Second-gen baby Rangey goes hybrid and gains invisible bonnet…

Given the success of the debut model, it’s no surprise that Land Rover has stuck to its guns with the brand-new Range Rover Evoque.

The new version dons a familiar silhouette, though, combining the smoulder of the Velar with an updated version of the roof and waistline from the previous model. Whilst the new model mimics its forerunner, it’s built on Land Rover’s new Premium Transverse Architecture – an all-new base with electrification in mind.

On sale now, the new Evoque is available with a 48-volt mild hybrid system that recoups power usually lost during deceleration and stores it in the underfloor battery. Below speeds of 11mph, when braking the engine shuts off to minimise emissions output, the result is economy of up to 50.4mpg.

There are three petrol and diesel options apiece, all of which are from the Ingenium range of four-pot powertrains. On the diesel front, customers can choose from the following three states of tune: 150hp, 180hp and 240hp. The most efficient of these is the front-wheel drive 150bhp diesel option, capable of 52.3mpg. This is the only variant that WON’T carry the mild hybrid system.

The petrol models consist of a 200, 250 and 300hp selection, again all running the mild hybrid system, while all models bar the two-wheel drive Evoque come mated to a nine-speed automatic gearbox.

Everything from the platform through to the engine is focused on being greener than ever. Along with the eco-friendlier powertrains, natural and recycled materials can account for up to 33kg of each new Evoque, helped by the wider choice of responsibly-sourced interior materials, each offering their own unique styling.

Seats can now be optioned in a leather alternative, from the Danish textile savants Kvadrat, a durable wool blend paired with a technical Dinamica® suedecloth – made from 53 recycled bottles. Another new interior option is the Eucalyptus textile, produced from entirely natural fibres, plus there’s a new lightweight performance material not derived from animals.

The new Evoque features world first Ground View technology, making the bonnet invisible. Sounds expensive in more ways than one, doesn’t it? Well, thanks to cameras in both the front grille and on the door mirrors, they project a feed onto the central touchscreen to show what is ahead of and below the front end of the vehicle with a virtual 180-degree visual – ideal for clambering over rocks, or Tesco car park kerbs.

Another visual aid bestowed upon new Evoque drivers is the ClearSight smart rear-view mirror, which transforms into a HD video screen at the touch of a button, bypassing the bobbing heads of rear passengers and displaying the feed from a camera mounted above the rear window.

The interior also takes design cues from the Velar, with a dashboard housing two 10-inch touchscreens and driver information being delivered via a 12.3-inch interactive driver display behind the wheel, alongside a full-colour head-up display. There’s smartphone integration, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot. You can even download an app for your Evoque so you can programme certain settings within your vehicle.

It’s not just a pretty face, either. The Evoque has the ability to learn the preferences of its driver, using artificial intelligence algorithms to monitor habits displayed by the helmsman or helmswoman. This can prepare the heat settings, massage seat preferences, and also remember the seat and steering wheel settings for each driver – up to eight profiles can be registered.

The new Evoque is live on the online configurator, and is available from £31,600 for the manual two-wheel drive D150 model, whilst all-wheel drive models start at £35,100 with the same engine, but with an automatic shifter.

Their first entry into the large SUV sector, the seven-seat Tarraco completes Seat’s sports utility line-up and will come to market at the start of 2019.

Becoming the new flagship model, the Tarraco sits above the Arona and Ateca in Seat’s hierarchy, there are two petrol and two diesel powertrains to choose from.

The petrol units on the table are a 150bhp 1.5-litre TSI unit available with a six-speed manual ‘box, and a 2.0-litre version offering 190bhp that’s mated to a seven-stage DSG auto and four-wheel drive. On the other front, both of the diesel blocks are 2.0-litre TDIs, also offering either 150 or 190bhp. The lesser diesel can be front or four-wheel drive with either of the transmission options, whilst the punchier version gets both the DSG and drive to all of its wheels.

MacPherson strut system underpins the front of the Tarraco, with a multilink setup at the back, with the aim of giving the big wagon a dependable stability and responsiveness to the driver’s controls whilst having the size and space to seat seven and serve compellingly as a family chaperone.

Interior features include digital cockpit and a 10.25″ screen for the driver and an 8″ touchscreen infotainment that adorns the central dashboard. The system features both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and there is also a seat Drive App which allows users to stay in touch with their vehicle’s information and control various features. Amazon Alexa is also available on the Tarraco, allowing customers to manage their personal schedule, select music, navigate with ease and even ask for news updates. Oh how 21st century.

Pinned as a capable family vehicle, the amount of safety equipment on the Tarraco is certainly pleasing. Front assist with bicycle detection, plus lane assist and emergency call are standard on all Tarraco models. Adaptive cruise control is standard on Xcellence trim variants, and emergency assist, blind spot detection, exit assist, traffic sign recognition , traffic jam assist and light assist can all be optioned. The Tarraco can also be fitted with two new systems – pre-crash assist (like on the new Touareg) and rollover assist. The pre-crash system detects an incident, and in 0.2 seconds tightens the seatbelts, closes the windows and sunroof to make the passenger compartment as safe as possible. Rollover assist, when activated by the occurrence of a roll, turns off the engine, unlocks the doors, turns on the hazards and adjusts the ventilation system.

Other systems that can make life easier for Tarraco drivers include the park assist, electric tailgate featuring virtual pedal activation, and a top view camera system.

Pre-sales of the Tarraco will begin in December, and the car will hit the market early next year.

Suzuki have released details on the specs – and pricing – for the first new Jimny in twenty years, which goes on sale in January 2019.

There will be two models made available from launch, with the SZ4 and SZ5 trims both featuring AllGrip Pro selectable 4WD with a low ratio transfer box equipped as standard.

SZ4 specifies plenty of standard equipment, such as air-con, cruise control, dual sensor brake support, DAB radio, all-important Bluetooth connectivity and front fog lamps.

The top-spec model adds 15-inch alloys and LED headlights, plus climate control, sat nav with smartphone connectivity, heated front seats, rear privacy glass and body-coloured door handles.

Lane Departure warning is standard on all models, as is the weaving alert function and high beam assist is standard, too.

With the latest slew of true off-roaders have increasingly swollen price tags – the new Wrangler is almost thrice the price of the last one, the G-Class is priced out off green lanes and into music videos and the new Defender won’t be cheap, either – has the Jimny followed suit?

No.

The SZ4 model will begin at £15,499 whilst the SZ5 is £17,999 with a manual, or £18,999 with an automatic transmission. With figures like these, and such positive reviews so far, if you want a new Jimny, you might want to get in line, now…

Aston Martin have confirmed that their upcoming SUV will be called DBX – and testing has begun on a Welsh Rally stage with a development prototype.

With release scheduled for the final quarter of 2019, the DBX is the first Aston to be made entirely at the brand’s new plant in St Athan. This signifies the start of a new era for the marque, as this plant will not only be home to their first ever SUV but also to their march towards electrification.

The DBX is being developed to conquer everything from glacial terrain to desert dunes and everything in between – whilst also retaining Aston Martin’s sporting history. And the dynamics that are demanded with it. No small order, then…

 

Mitsubishi have revealed the new L200, which will hit the market in Thailand on 17th November.

The new version of the pick-up that is celebrating its 40th anniversary has been updated and now incorporates the new generation Dynamic Shield front styling.

Tweaks to the interior are said to have made the truck more ‘modern and robust’ in feel, with frames surrounding the switch panel and air outlets, plus soft pad materials and stitching on the floor, armrests and handbrake.

New L200s will come with either adaptive Super-Select 4WD or Easy-Select 4WD which simplifies the manual switching between drive modes for varying road surfaces. Both feature an off-road mode with settings for gravel, mud or snow, sand and rocks – all in low-range, of course. Hill-descent control will be fitted, too.

Safety features on the new L200 consist of Forward Collision Mitigation, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Ultrasonic Misacceleration Mitigation System.

Larger front discs and callipers have been added in the updates, and rear dampers have been enlarged and accommodate more damping oil, giving a more planted ride. The gearbox has also switched to a six-speed automatic, up on the current five-notcher.

Following it’s release in Thailand later this month, the updated L200 is set to be rolled out sequentially in the company’s markets around the world, and eventually being available in 150 countries world wide.

We’ll get more information on the European spec truck in the run up to its release on the continent at the end of summer in 2019.

Volkswagen have launched the Tarok concept in Sao Paulo, an all-new pick-up truck set to hit the Brazilian market sooner rather than later. Allegedly with minimal changes to be made in becoming a production vehicle.

Set to match the tech content in their current SUV-offensive, the Tarok concept possesses a predominantly digital design. The interior also features a colour-keyed crossbar across the dashboard, surrounding the glass covered infotainment set-up with a digital cockpit.

The Tarok concept runs on a 1.4-litre 148bhp four-cylinder TSI unit that can be driven in Brazil as a TotalFlex Fuel Unit – running on either pure ethanol or a gasoline-ethanol mixture, utilising permanent four-wheel drive. This differs from the unit that will be used in the series version of the Tarok – a 2.0-litre turbo diesel TDI with the same power output that would be more appropriate for other global markets.

Real interest in the Tarok, though, comes around the back, with a variable load space. The design allows the load space to be extended by both opening the tailgate and then into the cabin. A system is in place so that it is possible to fold the lower rear section of the cabin, and the three rear seats, thusly extended the load space. In its smallest, most standard form, the bed measures 1206mm from back to front. Then extend it into the cabin and you’re looking at a figure of 1861mm and with the truck bed down it rises to 2775mm.

This could be of interest to those wondering about the lineage of the next-generation Amarok, as it itself grew from a concept before Volkswagen set it into production in 2010. One thing is for sure, the Tarok has potential to become a very versatile pick-up.

The VW one-tonner is already one of the more luxurious offerings within the current pick-up market, but with the new Aventura special edition, it just got a bit fancier.

Powered by the most powerful 254bhp V6 in the range, the Aventura runs with the eight-speed DSG gearbox, permanent all-wheel drive and features an overboost function which temporarily ups power to 268bhp.

The interior features the Discover Media Navigation system, and the Aventura is fitted with other extra gadgets to make the driver’s life easier. The Lights and Vision package installs automatic headlights and separate daytime running lights that feature a coming home function along with automatic windscreen wipers.

Seating comes in the form of Volkswagen’s ErgoComfort seats. These come wrapped in Nappa leather and are 14-way adjustable. The same leather also adorns the steering wheel which boasts controls for the multimedia system and houses paddle shifts to manually control the transmission.

Paint options are either Ravenna Blue or Indium Grey – both of which can be specified in a matte finish. If you do choose to go matte, the Aventura comes with a 24% saving on the usual price for the procedure, at £2,335 pre VAT. The wheels are 20″ Talca alloys and the exterior is fitted with a body-coloured sports bar, chrome plated side bars, under-body cladding, power folding mirrors and a protective coating for the truck bed – to which you can add Mountain top roll covers for £1387.50 plus VAT.

The Aventura Amarok is on sale now, with pre tax prices starting at £39,960 at your nearest VW CV centre.

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.