To celebrate three decades of the California nomenclature, Volkswagen have released released the most exclusive special edition to date.

The creatively named California 30 Years will see a production run of 999 examples – just 30 of which will be coming to the UK. Based on the range-topping California Ocean model, all models will come with LED headlights, removable tow bar and contrasting roof and wing mirrors. In addition to this, the 30 Years will have an exclusive body colour option – Tumeric Yellow – along with a numbered plaque on the B-pillar.

Inside, the special edition has VW’s Discover multimedia system, heated front seats, front and rear parking sensors plus side scan and cruise control. All 30 Years models can make the most of the VW app, to control various vehicle features, too, such as the music, navigation and other apps in the Discover setup.

Three powertrains are available – all 2.0-litre TDI units. The options include 148bhp or 192bhp, with the third option being the more powerful unit equipped with all-wheel drive – all of which use a seven-speed DSG gearbox.

Pricing kicks off at £64,307 OTR for the least powerful variant, £67,097 for more power and rise to £70,629 for the range-topper.

It’s an exclusive model, so if you’re looking to get in on the act it’s best to act fast.

Volkswagen’s first small SUV, the T-Cross, has been launched around the world at ceremonies in Amsterdam, Shanghai and Sao Paolo.

The urban crossover aims to merge style, practicality and versatile functionality in a city-centric package. Front to back the T-Cross only measure 4.11-metres, and the wheelbase of 2.56-metres aids an interior than can reasonably seat five. Depending on the position of the rear seating, the boot will hold between 385 and 455-litres of cargo and 1,281-litres when the rear seats are dropped.

The power will come from a trio of petrol units and a singular diesel option – all turbocharged. Of the petrols, there are two sizes. The two 1.0-litre options offer up 95 or 115bhp, with the 1.5-litre gasoline option kicks out a full 150 horses. The solitary diesel option is a 1.4-litre TDI worth 95bhp.

The Polo-sized SUv will house a decent amount of standard tech, with a list that includes a host of driver aids. Front collision assist, pedestrian monitoring, city emergency braking, lane keep and hill start assist, blind spot detection and rear traffic alert all come as standard. Additionally, a driver alert system, park assist and adaptive cruise can be optioned.

At the time of launch there was no word on pricing or official release date for the T-Cross.

The Toyota Hilux is turning 50 and what better way to celebrate the occasion than with the unveiling of a new Hilux.

Okay, so this isn’t a new Hilux as such, instead it’s a special edition version designed specifically to celebrate 50 years of one of the most iconic vehicles ever made.

Christened as the Hilux Invincible 50, this joint venture between Toyota and Arctic Trucks builds upon a regular Invincible-spec double-cab Hilux and maximises the attitude you would expect from a rough-and-ready Hilux pick-up. And the result is one tasty truck.

Over the last 50 years, the Hilux has been put through some gruelling paces, having conquered both Poles, driven up the side of an erupting volcano, been submerged in the sea – funny, but all that links to the exploits of three guys on a TV programme called TOP GEAR.

Some epic moments then over the last 50 years, so naturally you would expect this new and exclusive special edition Hilux to be just as epic…

Well, just 50 people in the UK will be able to become the judge of that. Each Invincible 50 will have a numbered commemorative plaque and even the new 16 x 7.5 ET05 rims, complete with a satin black finish and machined lip, will let people know this is no ordinary Hilux.

While the Hilux may have been to every corner of the globe, on each corner of this limited-run vehicle, you’ll find 265/75R16 KO2 all-terrains from BFGoodrich and a performance suspension setup engineered by Arctic Trucks and Bilstein.

Those new boots and suspenders mean there’s more ground clearance to play with, in total the Invincible 50 sits 40mm higher at the front and the 20mm at the rear, improving articulation and those all-important approach and departure angles for when you find yourself in the rough.

The Invincible 50 mimics other offerings from Arctic Trucks with its inflated arches giving it the sort of presence only the Hulk can better. A sports bar – not the kind you get drunk in – sits on the rear overlooking the load bed, laying the perfect place in which to strap a set of powerful Vision X lights.

There’s other, less blindingly obvious tweaks here, too, like the Arctic Trucks mudflaps, a tailgate carrying the old-school Toyota decal and in front of it, a bed liner treated with Line-X for an extra durable workspace. Invincible 50 badging, crafted in chrome, has been machine-gunned about the vehicle and you can have your Invincible 50 in the choice of black.

It’s likely these special edition Invincible 50s will sell out quickly, and you can order yours now with deliveries taking place throughout December and into early 2019. There’s no word on the price just yet, but expect to pay a premium for the privilege of owning such a rare – and wonderful – truck.

BMW have announced the X7, a large SUV with three rows to seat seven adults in comfort.

At launch, the large SUV will be offered with three turbocharged six-cylinder powertrains – one petrol and two diesels. The petroleum variant (xDrive40i) poses 340bhp and 332lbf.ft, 32.5mpg on a combined cycle 198g/km. The xDrive30d offers 265bhp, 457lbf.ft and 43.5mpg and 171g/km compared to the M50d’s 400bhp, 560lbf.ft, 40.4mpg and 185g/km.

The all-wheel drive models feature the latest xDrive system, and the M50d is fitted with an M Sport differentia – which is also part of the off-road package.

A double wishbone setup at the front combines with a five-link rear axle and both feature air suspension with self-levelling as standard. When sport mode is engaged on the M50d or its speed exceeds 86mph – which it obviously won’t, ever… – the ride height is automatically lowered by 20mm. There is also room to raise the ride height in two stages by up to 40mm over the standard stance. The off-road package also adds the choice of four drive modes – xSnow, xSand, xGravel and xRocks – each time adjusting the setup to keep the X7 xSurefooted when xOff-Roading.

The rear doors are longer than the obverse pair, enhancing the ease with which occupants clamber into the second and third rows of seating. Once inside, the pair in the third row have full-size seats, with their leg room controlled by the positioning of those in the middle row. An option to have three rows of two-abreast is offered, and will equip the mid row the same armrests as those in the front. Both the second and third rows can be flattened, which would increase the boot capacity from 326 all the way up to 2,120-litres.

X7 drivers will be subject to a newly designed digital binnacle via a 12.3-inch screen, and a leather steering wheel comes as standard. The centre console plays home to a newly designed gear selector plus the iDrive controller, electronic parking brake, all drive mode buttons and the start/stop button.

Aids included for the driver are a rear-view camera, 360-degree birds-eye view. Safety features including stop-start adaptive cruise control, pedestrian warning, city braking, collision warning, crossing traffic warning and lane keep assist – but these are part of the optional Driving Assistant Professional pack.

The X7 goes on sale in April of next year, and prices will begin at £72,155 OTR.

Oh, and it’s big, with a length of just over five-metres, a wheelbase measuring a little more than three, is two-metres wide and stands at 1.8-metres tall. Shouldn’t be too hard to spot on the road, then…

The new Jeep Wrangler is very good. We drove it not long back and were very impressed. And now, we have all-important details on pricing.

Entry level Sahara variants begin at £44,495 in two door variant, with the price rising by £1,500 for the additional two doors.

Two and four-door Overland variants cost from £46,495 £47,995 respectively – the same as the Rubicon variants.

All of the new Wranglers will be covered by Jeeps 5-3-5 pledge (five-years warranty, three-years servicing and five-years roadside assistance) and they go on sale on the 13th October. Initially only the 2.2-litre MultiJet II engine will be on offer, but the 2.0-litre petrol will join the line-up later in the year.

To recap all the details of the new Wrangler, click here.

The latest sports SUV to be unveiled is the Audi SQ2, with the compact S model set to go on sale at the end of the year. Audi will publicly debut the SQ2 at the Paris Motor Show in October.

With little tweaks adding sportiness here and there – such as the 20mm lower stance – the SQ2 looks the part, and should play it, too.

The 2.0-litre TFSI engine kicks out 296bhp and 295lbf.ft, which when paired with the trademark quattro drivetrain will no doubt result in a zesty little SUV. The figures that back this up are 4.8 seconds to 62mph and a limited terminal velocity of 155mph.

Like all current Audi range-toppers, there’s a healthy does of interior luxuries bestowed upon the SQ2. Sports seats are standard, along with a multi-function sports steering wheel and a full-colour driver information system. Choosing the virtual cockpit replaces this with a fully digitised instrument cluster, which can be customised using steering wheel-mounted buttons and is part of the Technology Pack. Much of the furnishings are black as standard, with various metallic trims around the interior – brushed aluminium details on the instrument panel and stainless steel pedal caps and footrest. A combination of finishes are available in the SQ2, with leather and cloth as standard, but alcantara and nappa leather options will also be available.

The multimedia system is extensive, with the range topper comprising an 8.3-inch touchscreen that features touch scroll and is capable of voice recognition, too. The Audi connect package installs a SIM card, which offers the driver several online features such as live traffic information, navigation that utilises Google Earth, plus access to your Twitter account and emails. The myAudi app on your smartphone will connect your mobile to the system to function as a streaming host and also transfer item form your calendar to the car.

Driver assistance includes front collision warning and emergency braking, along with adaptive cruise with stop-and-go traffic assist, which at up to 40mph can assist with steering, accelerating and braking. Active lane assist is also fitted and optional parking assist can automatically pilot the vehicle into a parking space. There are also cross traffic assist, which warns of collisions when reversing out into a road, and side assist alerts the driver of a potential hazard when changing lane.

There are no prices revealed just yet, but they can be expected before sales start later in the year.

Seat is dipping its toe into the large SUV market with the introduction of the Tarraco.

This is the company’s third SUV to date and will be based on the hugely successful Skoda Kodiaq, as the Spanish firm looks to replicate the fortunes of the smaller Ateca and compact Arona.

But the Tarraco has a tougher task on its hands than purely holding its own against its estranged cousin, the Kodiaq, and managing to mimic the popularity of its smaller siblings. You see, the Tarraco is carrying (quite literally) the new face of Seat, with the SUV’s styling dubbed as the debut for Seat’s next generation of design.

Fortunately, there are still some familiar Seat cues, like the triangular LED light signatures and the more aggressive stance in general that Seat utilises over the more conservative VAG brands.

In terms of the Seat brand, the Tarraco will become the company’s flagship vehicle and head up the SUV division. So now would be a good time to find out what makes up a Tarraco!

For starters, the Tarraco is based on the VW Group’s MQB-A platform, created for vehicles boasting longer wheelbases. There will be three levels of trim available from when the vehicle goes on sale at the beginning of 2019: Style, SE and Xcellence, while the Tarraco can be optioned with the usual assortment of power plants from the VW stable.

With regards to four-wheel drive models, customers can choose between the 190hp 2.0-litre four-pot petrol, which comes equipped with the seven-speed DSG auto ‘box, or there’s the two turbodiesel units – again 2.0-litre four-cylinder jobs – available in either 150hp or 190hp tunes. The 150hp version can be selected with the DSG auto or a six-speed manual, although the 190hp model is a purely DSG affair. Other means of power will be introduced in the future…

Meanwhile, we can tell you that the Tarraco will have the benefits of Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC), developed to bring the best of both worlds for when you require comfort on longer journeys, but also composure when you’re not just racking up the miles on the motorway.

Is there a risk the Tarraco will just feel like another Kodiaq? Well, while this may not be a seven-seat Cupra in a sporty Kodiaq frock, the fact the Tarraco is 38mm longer, but 39mm shorter than the Kodiaq tells you there’s a sleeker posture to the Spaniard. Only when we get behind the wheel of one will we be able to confirm whether or not the Tarraco possesses a sporting edge or not.

Elsewhere on the vehicle, the Tarraco will be available in eight different colour options and use LED technology throughout. The vehicle doesn’t just use the latest lighting tech either, as Seat has blessed the Tarraco with the most advanced safety features, including Pre-crash Assist, Rollover Detection and Emergency Call, along with the now common blind spot, lane, traffic jam and emergency assist. Adaptive Cruise Control is standard, too, which is also nice.

Inside, Seat’s 10.25” Digital Cockpit will keep you updated on everything a driver should be aware of, while the 8-inch, ‘floating’ HMI screen keeps everyone else occupied through 21st century means of connectivity. Gesture control functions are to appear for the first time on a Seat vehicle as well, although only with the 8” Navigation Plus.

The Tarraco is Seat’s Kodiaq moment, but will it be as big as they hope?

Skoda will debut an exciting new SUV at the 2018 Paris Motor Show. We don’t know too much about the Kodiak RS, but what we do know is exciting.

The 237bhp diesel unit in the top-spec sporty SUV will be the most powerful diesel engine ever utilised by a Skoda, and there will be adaptive suspension and all-wheel drive. The RS’s dash will feature Skoda’s latest virtual cockpit with a fifth Sport setting, plus a dynamic sound boost that monitors and controls the engine sound depending on the selected driving mode.

We can’t see much else from the video, other than the Racing Blue – a colour Skoda hasn’t put on an SUV before – which will be exclusive for the Kodiak RS.

For more than that, we’ll simply have to wait and see…

 

 

The Jeep Cherokee has been updated for 2019, with a new interior, two diesel powerplants, an array of safety tech and will come to the UK only in the top two trim levels. The new face is much less squinty, too.

Much of the interior adjustments are simply aesthetic, with a styling refresh and rejig that is dominated by the 7-inch touchscreen astride the dashboard. The rest of the central console has been redesigned, offering more cubby holes and storage space designed for everyday essentials such as keys and smartphones et al.

On the face of it, the exterior styling has been toned down, with the Cherokee looking less troubled than it did at initial launch in 2014. Full LED headlights with running and fog lights as standard. The rear has had a slight makeover too, with design tweaks and a new tailgate made with lightweight composites that can be automatically activated by a low-down kicking motion.

To maintain the off-road capability as the heart of the brand, 4×4 versions of the Cherokee have three off-road systems to cope with all terrains and weather conditions – plus a rear drive module that is 8kg lighter than the last generation. Jeep Active Drive I gives full-time 4WD, Active Drive II ads low-range capabilities and the third mode equipped is rear axle disconnect. Selec-Terrain is also fitted which offers snow, sport, sand/mud and automatic terrain specific modes.

The 2.2-litre MultiJet II turbo diesel engine is mated to a nine-speed sutomatic transmission, with outputs of 195bhp and 332lbf.ft. The new and upgraded transmission now features new control software and for the first time offers manual control via paddle shifters on the Cherokee.

Standard safety features include both active and passive functions, with eigh airbags, rear parking camera, electronic stability control, electronic roll mitigation, active forward collision warning plus pedestrian emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, cross-path detection, lane departure warning, advanced brake assist and an active speed limiter.

As with all Jeeps, customisation will be a big part of the Cherokee’s offensive, with over 90 model-specific products in the Mopar aftermarket arsenal, ten bodywork colours to choose from and five different wheel options.

There’s no word yet on pricing or release specificities for the 2019 Cherokee, but we will keep you updated when there is.

Volvo have announced that a new software upgrade to all of their four-wheel drive vehicles will increase torque distribution to the rear axles.

The Polestar-developed update alters the bias towards the rear axle, increasing the frequency of torque sent that way to improve turn-in, more control and engagement whilst driving.

Only present in Dynamic driving mode, the update comes after tweaks to the system’s throttle response, quicker gear changes, more refined points of gear change and in-corner gear holding.

The optimisation will affect both petrol and diesel AWD versions of the XC90, XC60 and XC40 models from August 2018.