Byton eyes Europe by 2020

Why stick with ‘three-box’ design when you don’t have engines up front?

“I’d say we’ve made a bit of a rupture with the K-Byte. It looks like a three-box but it’s really not, we’ve got a completely open space in front of the driver and passenger, which is why we’ve been able to create the idea of seats that swivel 12 degrees when the car is running autonomously. It’s clever packaging.” Read More

Peugeot e-Legend concept unveiled

Under the retro styling, the e-Legend is intended to showcase future technologies. It is designed to an electric powertrain featuring twin motors – located on each axle – that produce 456bhp and 590lb ft, delivered to all four wheels. It has a 0-62mph time of less than four seconds, with a top speed of 137mph. It features 100kWh of battery capacity, located under the floors, which offer a range of more than 370 miles. Read More

Mazda CX-3 2.0 Sport Nav+ 2018 review

It’s also the first model to get Mazda’snew 1.8-litre Skyactiv-D diesel engine, which replaces the 1.5-litre unit found in the outgoing model. Efficiency boosts come courtesy of revised multi-stage injectors and egg-shaped pistons, which make for better combustion. However, with 85% of UK customers opting for the petrol derivative, we’ve concentrated on that instead. Read More

Abarth 124 GT: hard top sports car costs £33,625

Abarth has announced that the 124 GT will be priced from £33,625, with only 50 units heading for UK roads.

The brand revealed its lightened version of its 124 sports car called the GT at the Geneva motor show

The 124 GT gets a removable hard-top roof made of carbonfibre and weighing 16kg. It’s lined on the inside, although it has to be stored separately when not in use, unlike the Mazda MX-5 RF’s folding hard top.  Read More

Lexus ES revealed as driver-focused £35,150 GS replacement

It is built on Lexus’s Global Architecture-K platform, which is a front-wheel drive layout said to offer significant improvements to structural rigidity, as well as more freedom to create a sleeker design. High-tensile steel is used in higher volume than before, helping to save weight, although the car has grown longer and wider compared with its predecessor, while sitting lower. Read More

Toyota Supra 2019 prototype review

Push the Sport button and the throttle and gearbox response sharpens, but there are gearshift paddles, so if you want a quicker response it’s probably more rewarding to take control yourself. There’s no word on a manual gearbox yet, but Toyota would like one.

The Supra rides well too – better than, while on the same size tyres as, a BMW M4: bespoke Michelin Pilot Super Sports, 255/35 R19 at the front and 275/35 R19 at the rear. Read More

Mercedes-AMG A35 revealed with 302bhp

Allied to the A35’s gearbox is a heavily revised version of the 4Matic four-wheel drive system used by the first-generation A45. It boasts variable distribution of drive, from front-wheel drive only to a 50:50 apportioning to the front and rear axles, via an electro-mechanically operated multi-plate clutch integrated into the rear axle assembly. Read More

Seat Tarraco flagship ‘to be sportiest’ in class

The Tarraco will be launched with four direct injection turbocharged engines: two petrol and two diesel. The entry-level petrol is a four-cylinder 1.5-litre TSI unit with a six-speed manual gearbox and front- wheel drive. The high-spec 187bhp 2.0-litre petrol comes with a seven-speed automatic and four-wheel drive. Both diesels are 2.0-litre TDIs. Read More

VW's MEB electric car platform: full details revealed

As part of its “Electric for All” campaign, the Volkswagen brand aims to sell 150,000 electric cars including 100,000 ID models made in Germany by 2020. 10 million vehicles will be produced in the first product life cycle “creating massive economies of scale.” Volkswagen aims to sell one million EVs by 2025. By 2021 the plan is to be producing 1,500 ID family vehicles per day, the equivalent of almost 550,000 a year. By the end of 2022, four of the group’s brands will be ramping up to 27 models. Read More

Audi E-tron launches as brand's first electric-only model

There are also specific wheel designs for the E-tron (“The task was to create aerodynamic wheels which still look sporty,” said Fahr-Becker) and orange hints – for example, in the name badge and optional orange brake calipers. “We took the colour from high-voltage cables. We wanted to create a special colour to accentuate that its electric,” Fahr-Becker added.  Read More

Audi E-tron: first electric SUV to be revealed tomorrow

Also confirmed is the use of alternating current AC chargers that can top up the battery by recovering energy on the move. As standard, the car will feature 11kW chargers for this, although 22kW chargers will be available as an option to enhance the recovery rate.

Audi previously revealed details about the E-tron’s regenerative braking system, which it says can recuperate up to 30% of the car’s total range. The car brakes using an electrohydraulic system for quicker responses, thanks to the additional pressure of a hydraulic piston. The system, Audi claims, can reduce braking distance by up to 20%, since there is little delay in getting the brakes applied with full pressure. Read More

Bowler Bulldog 3.0 V6 Diesel 2018 review

Downstream of the engine is the same eight-speed ZF gearbox that Land Rover offers, although Bowler has developed its own transmission cooler, which is mounted at one end of the car’s flatbed pick-up loadbay, is fed with cool air via a scoop on the roof, and keeps the gearbox going in ultra-tough desert conditions. Read More

2019 Corvette C8 tests flat out at the Nurburgring: with video

It also gives a clear connection between the radical new car and the front-engined Corvette that will continue in production. This could be advantageous given the existing car has an older and more conservative buying profile than other sports cars in the US.

Punchier powerplants are a certainty, however — especially given GM’s history of offering faster variants soon after the launch of a base car. Read More

2018 Paris motor show preview

The warm version of Mercedes’ new hatch arrives in early 2019 as a 300bhp understudy to the 400bhp full-fat A45. It’ll rival the Audi S3 and Volkswagen Golf R, while the A45 will be more of a match for the RS3 and BMW M2

Mercedes-Benz A-Class saloon

Mercedes is also taking the A-Class to the fight against the Audi A3 saloon by making a long-booted version. The A-Class saloon’s styling has already been revealed on the Chinese-spec long-wheelbase car, but a slightly different look will be applied to the European car. Read More

Volkswagen MEB electric car platform part of €6bn investment

Volkswagen has revealed more details about its new MEB  (Modular Electric Drive Matrix) electric vehicle platform due to begin production in 2019 with the ID hatchback

Cars will be produced in Germany at Zwickau, Braunschweig, Salzgitter and Kassel. About €1.2 billion will be invested at Zwickau, which will become the first pure MEB plant and largest competence centre for e-mobility in Europe, with €1.3bn of a total €6bn being invested at the other three sites.  Read More

Used car buying guide: Citroen C6

Standard equipment included nine airbags, an active rear spoiler, a pedestrian-friendly active bonnet, xenon lights, a head-up display and tyre pressure monitoring. Options included the Lounge Pack, offering powered and heated rear seats.

All this kit took the price of the most expensive C6 to around £40,000, which was a huge sum compounded by the horrendous depreciation that followed. It was a steep curve but one that in recent months has begun to bottom out as buyers looking for something different seek out tidy C6s. Read More

The history of the Jaguar XJ

At the time, praise was unbounded and with reason. This was surely the most beautiful saloon on sale, with ride quality to better a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow and handling that in some ways improved on that of the E-Type. It was whisper quiet, exceptionally rapid (so long as you didn’t make the mistake of choosing the gutless 2.8-litre variant) and, like all Jaguars of the era, exceptionally keenly priced. Read More

Exploring the Jaguar I-Pace with design boss Ian Callum

I have already sampled and dismissed the I-Pace’s Eco mode. I simply can’t bring myself to ask for something that deliberately dulls this car’s wonderfully precise accelerator response. Better to drive more accurately myself. The regenerative braking is a revelation: you get 0.2g of regenerative deceleration when you ‘lift’ and another 0.2g of regen from fairly gentle first pressure on the brake pedal, so you hardly ever have to use the friction brakes, which you soon come to view as efficiency killers and tools of last resort. Read More

Behind the wheel of DHL's new electric milk float

It’s the little things that excite him. Such as the fact that the StreetScooter’s figure-hugging driver’s seat is heated but the squab has no raised edge on the pavement side, so he can slide in and out easily. Or the way the vehicle locks automatically when he’s more than five metres away from it with the remote fob (there’s no key) in his pocket, and unlocks as he returns. And the way that if he forgets to put the handbrake on, parking pins shoot out automatically to lock the wheels. And the windscreen not only has washer jets but is also heated. “When we had the Beast from the East, temperatures were down to minus 15deg C but my windscreen was clear in a couple of minutes,” he says. Read More

Volkswagen: future technology will influence car design

“In China, the Sedric would be a room in which the environment is more healthy than outside. In Asia more generally, people spend so much time commuting that they love to sleep, so the Sedric might have seats in which they could sleep.

“In Europe, it’s all about saving time. In the Sedric, the time would be used to work or eat, or play with your kids.” Read More

Peugeot 308 SW 1.6 GT 2018 UK review

Beyond the GT badge, there are a few visual clues that this is a more performance-focused machine. The car sits slightly lower than other trim levels, has a revamped bumper design with air intakes where the foglights normally are and, in common with GT-Line models, gains LED lights and a twin-exhaust effect. Read More

Nissan Leaf long-term review

For that reason – plus the fact that petrol and diesel prices are creeping up to extortionate levels – I’m exceedingly happy to be back behind the wheel of another electric car (having previously run a Renault Twizy and a BMW i3) for the next six months.

Sadly, it isn’t a Jaguar I-Pace, but it’s no less interesting or significant. It’s a new Nissan Leaf. The car that kicked off the modern era of EVs in 2011 has moved into its second generation as of early this year, and it’s a useful step forward compared with its predecessor in every way. Read More

New Cars 2018: What's coming soon?


Cupra Ateca

296bhp fast SUV is the first to arrive in its segment. It won’t be alone for long, though…

Dallara Stradale

Motorsport outfit is to produce its first ever road car – it’ll cost around £163,000 for UK customers when the first examples arrive in October.

Honda HR-V facelift

Honda’s small SUV gets a new nose and upgraded interior, as well as a new turbocharged petrol engine borrowed from the Jazz Sport and updated 1.6-litre diesel. Read More

2019 DS 3 Crossback to be revealed tomorrow

Using PSA’s Compact Modular Platform (CMP) underpinnings, which can be adjusted to eCMP form for electrified powertrains, the 3 Crossback is due with a familiar range of turbocharged three and four-cylinder engines, including the 1.2 Puretech and 1.6 THP petrol units.

The smaller engine will come in the entry-level car, which is predicted to start from about £20,000. That would slightly undercut the Q2 (£21,665) and be almost £5000 more than the 3 hatchback. Read More

Lexus UX 250h F Sport 2018 review

And the driving experience? There’s very little to doubt about the way this car finds its way down a road. Sitting on 18in wheels and optional adaptive dampers – Adaptive Variable Suspension in Lexus speak – this top-of-the-line F Sport model rides with composure and maturity. Its steering is a little vague and oddly elasticated around the straight-ahead but with some lock on it becomes crisp and accurate. Read More

2019 Mercedes GLE gets long-range hybrid and trick suspension

The GLE uses the car maker’s MHA (Modular High Architecture) platform. which is heavily related to the MRA (Modular Rear Architecture) platform that underpins the C-Class, E-Class and S-Class. However, the MHA has been created to ensure a high ground clearance for SUVs.

The model has more space than its predecessor, with a considerably longer wheelbase at 2995mm, an increase of 80mm, which means second-row leg room is increased by 69mm to 1045mm. The second row of seating is fully adjustable electronically, controlled by a switch in the door panel. The GLE is also offered for the first time with the option of a third row, adding two extra seats. Read More

James Ruppert: the best budget mile-eaters

If size is an issue then I still adore the now-departed Volvo C30. What a lovely piece of industrial design it is.

I spied a beige-coloured one without any R Design flim-flam, just the matt black detailing, and it looked superb. I know styling isn’t in the brief, but these look like icons waiting to happen. Anyway a 1.6 D in SEtrim and from as far back as 2007 is £2750. Compared with lots of others this example had a pretty reasonable 77,000 miles; later 2009s and 2010s tended to be into six figures. Oh yes, that diesel engine should comfortably do 50mpg overall. Anyway, the C30: that’s the stylish one. Read More

2019 Corvette C8 caught on video testing mid-engined shape at the Nurburgring

It also gives a clear connection between the radical new car and the front-engined Corvette that will continue in production. This could be advantageous given the existing car has an older and more conservative buying profile than other sports cars in the US.

Punchier powerplants are a certainty, however — especially given GM’s history of offering faster variants soon after the launch of a base car. Read More

Vinfast launches as first global Vietnamese car brand

The plant will also produce an electric scooter, which will go into production that autumn. Meanwhile, Vinfast has secured a licence to produce what was sold in the UK as the Vauxhall Viva. This restyled A-segment city car will be sold in Vietnam from autumn 2019 in two versions: a 1.0-litre manual in taxi specification and a 1.4 version with a continuously variable transmission for commercial sale. Read More

New Land Rover Defender to expand into versatile family

Top-end performance versions of the Defender will get the new straight six Ingenium engine in various states of tune. V8s will not be used in future JLR products. The six-cylinder engine will also be offered in mild and plug-in hybrid versions.

Permanent all-wheel drive will be standard on all models, as will automatic transmissions. It seems unlikely that JLR will engineer a manual gearbox for MLA-based vehicles, because there would be little demand for it on future Range Rover and Discovery models. Read More

Taking the 2018 Ford Focus on a 600-mile road trip of the UK

Having crossed into England, we turn on to the A689 at Carlisle. The first few miles are filled with trucks, but these all turn towards the A69 and Newcastle upon Tyne at Brampton, which leaves us on another near-empty back road. Next destination: Alston. No fewer than five A and B-roads meet in this Cumbrian market town and, from previous experience, they’re all belters. But we take the best-known, the A686 Hartside Pass towards Penrith. Read More

Britain's best affordable driver's car 2018 – part two

Gone is the standard car’s frustrating body roll, this uprated version being tauter, flatter and better controlled. The steering is sharp around the straight-ahead, though, making it flighty and nervous. My biggest reservation, however, is the amount of grip the car has. On Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres it grips like chewing gum to hair, so you carry more and more speed along a road as if you’re trying to escape from something. It’s too much even for the circuit. Yes, the car has massive turn-in bite, but when you have to take enormous liberties just to awaken the car’s rear-wheel-drive balance, you can’t help but wonder what the point is. The MX-5 is actually the least playful car of the four, although you could quickly fix that by changing the tyres. Read More

Britain's best affordable driver's car 2018 – part one

Part One: The grateful eight

We need four from the eight, that’s the idea. There’s a fifty-fifty chance of getting through to the knockout phase, then, and, as was said quite a lot earlier this summer, once you’re there, there’s every chance, right? At the end of the day, Clive, on the night, with a little bit of luck, it could go your way. Isn’t it, eh? Read More

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