Volvo’s next mid-sized SUV has been spotted testing but heavy disguised; styling draws from its successful XC90 sibling
The next Volvo XC60 has been spied testing ahead of its expected reveal next year.
Despite the model’s looming replacement – it’s been around since 2008, making it one of the oldest models on the road – the XC60 remains one of Volvo’s best-selling cars.
This new XC60 will incorporate Volvo’s new design policy, and you can just about make out the ‘Thor’s hammer’ daytime running lights, through the disguise.
A dominant front grille also hints at the styling direction of the next XC60, which will spearhead Volvo’s refreshed 60 Series in the next stage of Volvo’s reinvention. A Volvo spokesman couldn’t confirm or deny whether the shots show the next XC60, but wouldn’t rule out the possibility of the model’s replacement before the new XC40 arrives at the end of 2017.
It’s inevitable that the model will have Volvo’s 2.0-litre diesel and petrol engines at the upper end of the lineup, but Volvo’s aggressive stance on engine downsizing means that these will be the largest in the range. This means that the 2.4-litre D5 engine from the current XC60 will be discontinued.
Volvo’s new T5 three-cylinder hybrid system, although not confirmed, is likely to feature in the XC60. It will make its first appearance in the XC40 at the end of next year, before likely being carried over to the XC60.
Inside, the XC60 adopts many of the features of the 90 series, like the large, central infotainment system flanked by large air vents, and a digital dash display behind the steering wheel, rather than traditional dials.
When the XC60 goes on sale – likely a while after an appearance at either the Geneva, Detroit, Beijing or Shanghai motor shows – it’ll face renewed competition from the new Audi Q5, as well as a new BMW X3, which is due around the same time, having been introduced in 2010.
It’ll also be the first model to confirm or disprove whether Volvo will adopt a ‘Russian doll’ styling approach to its lineup – this early look seems to suggest styling which closely follows the XC90’s.
Citroen is set to make big saloons again, but why do most non-premium car makers have a problem selling them?
Citroën is going to make big saloon cars again.
Distinctive, high-tech, comfort-led cars, it says here. Just like the last-generation C6, a distinctive, high-tech, comfortled car that sold by the bucket load, assuming your measure was a particularly small bucket.
I was a big fan of the old C6, with its concave rear window and its freebreathing, easy ride quality. I once drove one home from Austria in a day, the kind of journey that would be torture in a lot of cars but was actually a pleasure in the C6, with its big, lazy diesel engine barely ticking over and a level of quietness to match any executive car of the time.
The attraction of making bigger cars is obvious to car manufacturers. They can’t charge much money for small cars, but they cost almost as much to develop and not that much less to make than a big car. So your margins remain tiny and your profitability is fragile.
Trouble is, while everyone is happy buying a small Ford, Citroën, Renault, Vauxhall and so on, conventional big Citroëns, Fords and Vauxhalls are a different matter. It’s not like there’s anything wrong with them, you understand. Lots of them are quite good, in fact. But they cost enough that you can have an Audi, BMW or Mercedes-Benz instead. So that’s what you do.
What the hell, then, does a nonpremium car maker do? Mostly they belatedly ape what Nissan has already done: build cars for which you can charge a premium and that customers actually want to buy.
Those look like being SUVs, not executive saloons, distinctive or otherwise. Due to the fact that buying one makes you look like an airport minicab driver, even premium luxury saloons are having a hard time in the face of luxury SUVs.
Thankfully, for a manufacturer with a global reach, there are places such as China where they still like a big saloon with a European badge. Whether it’s worthwhile bringing that same car to Europe, like Volkswagen has decided against doing with the Phideon, though, is a different matter.
I remember an interview with someone from Nissan’s factory in Sunderland, years ago, in which he was asked to what it owed its success: “Keep your head down, make cars people want,” he said. The first part is easy. The second bit, if it involves luxury French saloons, means overcoming decades of ingrained resistance against an ordinary badge, no matter how extraordinary the car.
Autonomy hopes for the future
Last Friday, greater London, and in a brilliant naturally aspirated hot hatch, sitting next to me was as keen a car enthusiast and driver as you’ll find.
“I’ll tell you what,” he said, “I can’t wait for the day you can get on the motorway and the car just takes over.”
We’d been stop-start crawling for half an hour and even the prospect of an emptier motorway ahead wasn’t inspiring us. It doesn’t matter how much of a car fan you are; sitting in traffic is a huge waste of time.
The sooner automation takes us out of it – and improves traffic flow – the better. And we can all look forward to the times, away from roads like that, where automation only has the faintest hope of arriving, and where driving remains enjoyable.
The Government has announced a £35 million investment to encourage the use of ultra-low-emissions cars and motorbikes
The UK Government will invest £30 million in installing charge points for electric vehicles (EVs) around the country.
A £35.75m kitty has been divided up between different aspects of low-emissions vehicle ownership, of which £20m will be awarded to councils to install chargers for plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and electric taxis, while £10million will go towards installing chargers near workplaces and in residential areas with no off-street parking.
£3.75m will be put towards getting motorcycle riders onto electric motorbikes and scooters, although this is only an initial investment, suggesting that there is more money on the way for this cause.
As it stands, though, a Government grant scheme is being rolled out for electric motorbikes and scooters, as it was for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Customers can claim a discount of up to £1500 off the price of a new zero-emissions motorbike or scooter.
The remaining £2m is earmarked to encourage businesses to adopt hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
Given the comparative lack of infrastructure, though, it’s unusual that a larger portion of the grant was not reserved for improving this, rather than furthering the vehicles themselves, which will need somewhere to fill up.
The £5m will provide 50 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, earmarked for fourteen separate fleets around the country. This will more than double the number of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles on the road in the UK.
A £600m total investment in low-emissions vehicles will be complete by 2020, the Department for Transport (DfT) claims, while a £7.5m workplace charging scheme will launch later this year.
Autocar’s new cars list gives you all the information on 2017’s new arrivals, rounding up all the new models going on sale in the UK
There’s a whole raft of exciting new models coming at the end of this year and throughout 2017. Here is your one-stop shop for keeping up-to-date with what’s coming when.
The performance sister of the A5 gets a new 3.0-litre TFSI petrol engine producing 349bhp.
The UK’s cheapest new car has been cosmetically facelifted, and a new, more fuel-efficient 74bhp 1.0-litre petrol engine will be added to the range.
Dacia Sandero Stepway
The more rugged Stepway will benefit from the same updates as the regular Sandero.
Dacia Logan MCV
Dacia’s spacious and practical Logan estate gets the same treatment as its small hatchback siblings.
Seven-seat family MPV gets design tweaks and an Eco Pack for its 1.7-litre diesel engine, reducing CO2 emissions from 117 to 109g/km. The updated Carens will cost from around £19,000.
Small MPV gets a sporty variant with the same 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine as the Cee’d GT, producing 201bhp.
Top-of-the-range version of the GT sports car will go on sale in November, with first deliveries due in March 2017. It will be considerably pricier than the £110,510 mid-range GT S. The GT R’s 4.0-litre V8 petrol unit has new turbochargers, giving it 577bhp; 74bhp more than the GT S.
Range-topping model gets 30 more bhp courtesy of new turbochargers, plus some mild styling refreshes for a price tag of £149,995.
One step down in the Nissan sports car’s range, the GT-R Track Edition has specially developed Bilstein suspension and a more race-focused interior. It’s priced at a more modest £91,995.
Open-top version of the Leicester-built supercar gets 650bhp and a top speed of around 225mph. It costs from £296,400.
Spacious and practical family SUV gains striking new styling, 20in wheels, plenty of safety kit and a new touchscreen infotainment system. It costs from £24,500.
Seven-seater version of the above looks no less modern and won’t cost that much more, either.
Electric hatchback gets a new 41kWh battery to replace the current car’s 22kWh unit, meaning a jump in range from 140 to 250 miles between charges. It will cost from around £18,000.
The most potent version of the Clubman estate has a 228bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine, four-wheel drive and upgraded suspension, braking, cooling and exhaust systems.
Tesla’s first SUV is a crazily quick all-electric affair with falcon doors. It costs from £76,500, and first UK customer deliveries should arrive before the end of this year.
The first diesel Bentley has a triple-charged 4.0-litre V8 diesel engine that produces 429bhp – the W12 petrol version gets 600bph. The Bentayga Diesel’s fuel economy is a claimed 35.8mpg.
New small hatchback features unusual styling akin to the larger C4 Cactus, and has plenty of colour personalisation options. It will cost from around £12,000.
Family MPV has morphed into a brawny SUV. It has new safety and assistance technology and inside there’s Peugeot’s latest i-Cockpit design. The 3008 will cost from around £21,000.
Popular city car gets a facelift, with a mildly refreshed exterior, and an interior with more infotainment features added. Entry-level prices are expected to go up from the current £7995.
This estate has “genuine off-road ability”, rides higher than the regular V90 and has bigger wheels. It comes with diesel engines only, and is expected to cost from around £40,000.
New mid-sized executive car will be available as a saloon or as a Touring estate model. It’s loaded with new tech, including semi-autonomous driving, and has a lighter chassis that will help improve fuel efficiency. Pricing for the new 5 Series will be around £1500 higher than the previous car’s £30,335 entry-level, but it has more kit as standard.
Early / Spring 2017
New two-seater model is described as a “high-performance, elegant, lightweight car dedicated to driving pleasure in its very purest form”, and is rumoured to be called the A120.
This hot supermini, boasting 280bhp and four-wheel drive, will act as a swansong for the current A1 prior to the arrival of a new, second-generation line-up in 2018.
Hot coupé doesn’t get any mechanical upgrades, but it does receive an M4 GTS-inspired front splitter and bonnet intakes, a larger rear spoiler and new LED headlights and tail-lights.
Flagship performance version of the new 5 Series will only be available as a saloon. It has a developed version of BMW’s twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 petrol engine.
The first new model from the quirky company for 13 years is a two-door speedster powered by a 4.8-litre BMW V8 engine. It will cost around £250,000, and just 70 will be made.
This new entry-level version of Ferrari’s V12 breadvan-styled GT has a modified version of the 3.8-litre V8 engine from the California T. It will cost from £240,340.
Ferrari’s 217mph hybrid hypercar loses its roof. The Aperta combines a 6.3-litre V12 engine with an electric motor and battery pack for 950bhp. Unfortunately, it’s already sold out.
The city car gets a refresh that’s expected to bring styling upgrades and improvements to efficiency akin to those of the larger 500 hatchback.
Honda’s family hatchback has grown and been given a radical styling overhaul. Two petrol engines and one diesel engine will be available at launch. A hot Type R variant is also coming.
All-new hatchback is promised to provide a far sportier driving experience with “very agile and responsive handling” and a “dynamic ride”. There will also be an i30 N hot hatch version.
New pick-up gets a 1.9-litre diesel engine to replace the current 2.5-litre unit, giving better fuel economy and refinement, but keeping the 3.5-tonne towing capacity.
Update brings minor exterior tweaks and Jaguar’s latest InControl Touch Pro infotainment system. Pricing won’t change much from the current entry-level cost of £92,310.
Five-door only hatchback will go on sale in the UK in February. The interior should be plusher and more spacious, and Kia is promising improved ride and handling.
Super coupé and roadster will get a minor facelift for a mid-life refresh. A completely new nose, large front spoiler, smaller side intakes, more rear aero and a new rear wing feature.
Fifth-generation SUV will launch next spring. Despite being bigger and more spacious, it’s promised to be faster, lighter, and more economical than its predecessor. Engines are a 2.0 and 3.0-litre diesel, plus a 2.0-litre petrol. Land Rover says the stylish new Discovery is its most capable off-roader yet due to its lighter weight, better ground clearance and improved wading ability.
Saloon’s facelift brings styling changes, new suspension and revised power steering. Inside, the 7.0in infotainment screen grows to 10.2in. The updated IS should cost from around £29,000.
This stylish performance coupé is due on sale in the spring, with an entry-level price of more than £70,000. The car’s 5.0-litre V8 engine produces 467bhp.
Lexus LC 500h
The hybrid variant of the above has 3.5-litre V6 with an electric motor and lithium ion battery pack.
Indian automotive giant Mahindra gives its electric e2o city car a four-door variant. More range is likely, as is an entry-level price of around £14,500.
Hard-top version of the fun-handling two-seat soft-top roadster goes on sale on 4 March for a starting price of £22,195. Like-for-like, the RF is £2000 more expensive than the standard soft-top.
Hotter version of the already performance-oriented C 63 will powerful version of the C 63’s ‘hot-vee’ twin-turbocharged V8 under the bonnet, and could get as much as 580bhp.
High-riding version of the E-Class luxury estate has specially tuned four-wheel drive system and bigger tyres to improve ride comfort on rough roads. It will cost from around £45,000.
The new iteration of Mini’s SUV is based on the same underpinnings as the Clubman, meaning it will be larger, more spacious, and should have better refinement. A plug-in hybrid will later join the range. The interior will be more upmarket with more luxury options available. The new Countryman should cost from around £22,500.
Available from March 2017, the revolutionary new Micra city car has more modern proportions, sleek angular styling and mechanicals shared with the next-generation Renault Clio. It has new infotainment tech, most safety systems found on luxury models, and above all should offer a sporty driving experience. It should be priced around the £10,000 mark.
The 3008’s seven-seat sister arrives in February. It will feature the same aggressive SUV makeover as the 3008, and should cost from around £24,000.
Shooting-brake bodied version of Porsche’s second-generation luxury grand tourer will have a more practical interior and boot, but the same engines as the regular car.
Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid
Petrol-electric hybrid version of the regular Panamera has a claimed pure electric range of up to 31 miles and claimed fuel economy of 113mpg. The 456bhp car will cost from £79,915.
Small SUV is due a mid-life refresh.
Family hatchback is due a very minor facelift.
Skoda’s second SUV should be a game-changer for the Czech brand. The large SUV will be available will five or seven seats; it has a practical interior and class-leading boot capacity. The Kodiaq’s engine range consists of two 2.0-litre diesel engines, two 1.4-litre petrols and a 2.0-litre petrol. Prices will start at £21,495, undercutting all of its direct rivals. Order books open in November 2016.
The Octavia saloon and estate are expected to get a cosmetic update to bring their styling into line with the new Kodiaq SUV.
The same goes for the more upmarket Superb, the range-topping version of which might also get a more powerful engine.
Only the hatchback Impreza is likely to come to the UK. It’s longer and higher-riding than the current car, and has plenty of new safety tech systems. It should cost from around £18,000.
Subaru’s exciting sports car will get a minor facelift for 2017.
The same goes for its sporty estate.
After nine years away, the Ignis returns as a city car with mini-SUV looks. Its engine line-up will include the 1.2-litre Dualjet engine from the Baleno; a hybrid version could also come later. Two-wheel drive will be standard, and four-wheel drive is expected to be a £1500 option. The Ignis should cost from around £13,500.
New executive saloon will have taller doors and a roomier interior. A new 1.6-litre CDTi diesel engine will replace the current 2.0-litre unit. The new Insignia will cost from around £16,500.
BMW-modder Alpina will have the hottest estate on offer in the upcoming BMW 5 Series range. The B5 Touring will use BMW’s 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged petrol V8, giving it around 600bhp and a 0-62 time of less than 4.0sec. It should cost from around £60,000.
Alpina D5 Touring
Diesel version of the above is powered by a twin-turbo 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel engine with around 400bhp. It promises combined fuel economy of about 50mpg. Pricing will be similar to that of the B5 Touring.
Based on the standard A3, the RS3 gets its power from a lightweight 2.5-litre engine most recently used in the latest TT RS, producing 394bhp. The RS3 should cost from around £35,000.
Third-generation SUV will also spawn a sporty M version in 2018.
The mini-MPV version of the C3 hatchback will have styling similar to its smaller sibling but on a larger scale.
The slightly odd-looking original Ecosport small SUV was revised in 2015 to better suit European buyers’ tastes, and now it’s due for a second, mid-life refresh.
One of the most anticipated models of 2017 will be Ford’s small hatchback. The current model is the UK’s best-selling car by a long chalk, so it will have to continue that car’s low price, impressive refinement, good looks and involving driving experience. A range of small-capacity turbocharged three and four-cylinder engines seem almost inevitable.
Mid-sized SUV will be bigger and more premium. Engines are likely to mirror the 118bhp 1.6-litre diesel and 128bhp 1.5-litre petrol units from the smaller HR-V.
Just over a year on from the second-generation XF saloon’s launch, an estate version will come along, with the same engines as its sibling. It’s expected to be slightly more expensive than the saloon, which costs from £32,300.
Rugged SUV will make its European-spec debut in early 2017. It’s based on a stretched version of the platform that underpins the Jeep Renegade and Fiat 500X.
The third-generation model of Kia’s little city car is likely to be available in five-door form only.
Performance saloon will be four-wheel drive only. Under the bonnet is a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine, getting either 563 or 603bhp.
Open-top version of the new E-Class saloon should cost from around £37,000.
A two-door hard-top version of the new E-Class is also expected, rivalling the BMW 6 Series. It should cost from around £39,000.
As-yet-unnamed smaller sibling to the GS is positioned as a budget alternative to the Nissan Juke. It’s claimed to offer “a large amount of equipment for considerably less money than rivals”.
Best-selling SUV will get a facelift that’s likely to include semi-autonomous driving technology.
The next Range Rover model will move the brand into sportier and more road-biased territory with a luxury model pitched at the BMW X6 that should cost from around £60,000.
Due in July, this new SUV shares a platform with the Kadjar and the Nissan Qashqai. It’s offered with two petrol and two diesel engines, with power ranging between 128bhp and 173bhp. The Koleos should cost from about £23,000.
The current Ibiza small hatchback is Seat’s best-selling model in the UK. The new car will be slightly bigger, with styling based on its larger Leon sibling. New engines for the Ibiza will include four-cylinder turbo petrol and diesels, and it should cost from around £10,000.
Smart’s new electric model gets a new driveline, which is largely shared with the Renault Zoe, plus developments to its charging system100-milemile range is claimed from the car’s 22kW battery, which can be fully recharged in just 45 minutes. It should cost from around £20,000 after the £4500 Government grant has been applied.
Smart Fortwo Cabriolet Electric Drive
The same as the above goes for the drop-top version of the tiny city car.
Smart Forfour Electric Drive
The Smart Electric Drive range is completed with the eco-ification of its four-seater. It will cost slightly more than its smaller sibling.
New SUV, due to be on sale by autumn 2017, will be more refined, with plenty of in-car tech. A turbocharged 2.2-litre diesel engine will be available from launch. The Rexton is expected to cost from around £30,000.
This small car will have evolutionary new styling with a ‘more mature’ look. The fourth-generation hatchback is due next May, and will be powered by a 1.0-litre Boosterjet engine. The car will be five-doors only and will be priced in the region of £9,500. A Swift Sport hot hatch will come up to a year after the standard car is launched.
Small MPV gets SUV-influenced looks and probably a new name.
Updated drivetrain for the electric hatchback will provide a range of 186 miles, which is 86 more than the current car’s.
Hot hatch / estate with turbocharged four-cylinder engine getting 296bhp will be updated for 2017.
Next-generation hatchback will be available as a five-door model only. It will have small-capacity turbocharged engines and an entry-level naturally aspirated three-cylinder petrol unit with around 75bhp. Turbocharged versions of the same engine will sit above this, with up to 115bhp on offer. A hot hatch Polo GTI will come later.
Long wheelbase version of the family SUV is due as part of a three-model Tiguan family.
Sitting above the Tiguan in the VW range, this SUV will have a more luxurious interior and a similar exterior design to its smaller sibling. A hybrid version is a possibility. The Touareg will cost from about £45,000.
Performance-oriented version of the saloon with racy styling should cost from around £38,000.
Volvo V90 R-Design
Same as above for Volvo’s new estate.
What cars are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments section below
Get the latest car news, reviews and galleries from Autocar direct to your inbox every week. Enter your email address below:
Not a class leader objectively, but the C3’s funky good looks and a swish interior give it subjective appeal. Needs the more powerful petrol, though
“You are never wrong to do the right thing,” said Mark Twain. Sure, abstract design can be hit or miss, but here, whichever side of that divide you fall on, you can’t argue that the new Citroën C3’s avant-garde looks add some froth to a sea of samey superminis.Old and new are literally welded together here, with the funky body sat on the PF1 platform of the previous C3. It’s been modified at the front to be kinder to pedestrians and toughened up around the B-pillars and front seat mountings to be kinder to you in a side impact. This, of course, adds weight, so the rest of the chassis has been lightened where possible, keeping the kerb weight roughly on a par with the outgoing model.Instead of gunning for the Ford Fiesta’s crown of best-handling supermini, Citroën has gone back to its roots. The springs and dampers have been softened and more suspension travel added to aid ride comfort.There’s new tech, too. The world’s first OEM dash cam is standard on this top-spec Flair trim, which records 30sec of video before and after an impact. Naturally, where there’s a camera there’s a social media opportunity, so you can also download an app that lets you take pictures and videos of your road trips, then share them with friends.
Already on sale in Asian markets, the new 4×4 looks set to arrive in the UK this year; previous-generation car axed in 2006
The new Mitsubishi Shogun Sport has been spotted in the UK ahead of the car’s launch in the UK before the end of the year.
According to UK managing director Lance Bradley, the car will launch in the UK ahead of 2017, and these latest shots of the car at Twickenham Stadium suggest that Mitsubishi, who sponsors English rugby, suggesting that the company is readying the model for the UK market, trying to drum up interest. It was spotted by Indianautosblog.
Introduced to Asian markets last year, badged as the Pajero Sport, Mitsubishi is now working on UK-spec homologation ahead of its expected on-sale date of November. It’s due to be priced between the Outlander and Shogun, meaning it should cost from around £26,000. The car which was spotted still bore Pajero badging at the rear, but the Shogun Sport name on its number plate.
According to Bradley, the introduction of the Shogun Sport would increase Mitsubishi’s annual sales by 10-15%, or 3000-4000 cars. “It will increase our sales quite a lot if we get it,” he said. “It looks fantastic and it’s really torquey.”
The Shogun Sport, which is based on the L200’s platform, has a 2.4-litre diesel engine that develops 179bhp and 317lb ft. This is mated to a new eight-speed automatic transmission and Mitsubishi’s Super Select 4WD II four-wheel drive system, which can operate in either two-wheel drive or all-wheel drive mode.
The previous-generation Shogun Sport model was last seen in UK showrooms in 2006, before being discontinued.
Meanwhile, the fifth-generation Shogun, which will be available as a plug-in hybrid, is expected by 2019. “The Shogun is slightly hard to justify for investment, being a small-volume car,” said Bradley.
He added that one of the advantages of Mitsubishi’s newly formed tie-up with Nissan was platform sharing, hinting that this would help to accommodate the next-generation Shogun.
The NX 300h Sport is part of several upgrades across the Lexus line for the new model year
The NX 300h Sport comes with a Black Pack that includes lashings of darkness on the exterior, including on the grille and mirror housings. The 18in five-spoke alloy wheels are also black. It also comes with a navigation system and heated seats as standard, the latter of which are clad in black Tahara upholstery with aluminium trim.
Other features of the Sport include adaptive cruise control, an eight-speaker sound system, automatic wipers and headlights and folding door mirrors.
The NX is Lexus’ best-selling model in the UK, and the new Sport model sits above the SE in the NX 300h range. It costs £1000 more than the SE, at £33,995 on the road.
Other tweaks to the Lexus range for 2017 include a new Premier Pack option for the NX F Sport and the RX F Sport. The pack is designed to add some styling and performance enhancements, along with some extra equipment to the NX, including Lexus Premium Navigation, a 14-speaker Mark Levinson surround sound system and a head-up display. It also brings in a heated steering wheel for those chilly mornings, a 360deg panoramic camera for better visibility and Adaptive Variable Suspension for improved ride and handling.
The Premier Pack, which costs £5750 on the NX, also includes automatic high beam on the headlights, lane keep assist and a blind spot monitor, as well as rear cross traffic alert for reversing out of parking spaces.
On the RX F Sport model, the Premier Pack costs £4500 and also offers a choice of panoramic roof or sunroof.
For the new model year, automatic emergency braking has been added to the top-of-the-range RX 450h Premier model. The new safety system will automatically apply the brakes to avoid an impact if it detects an obstacle in the car’s path. RX F Sport models with the Premier Pack fitted will also get the same upgrade.
Customers who opt for either the RC F or GS F performance models will now get Adaptive Variable Suspension as standard. These cars will also get accompanying system tweaks to the Torque Vectoring Differential if fitted, and the Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management system.
Finally, Lexus’ paint shop has been busy cooking up some new colours. The NX can now be ordered in Azure Blue and the NX F Sport in Solar Flare – a bright orange. The RX F Sport is also now available in Azure Blue. The RC F now has the option of Graphite Black Paint, while the GS F can be ordered in Cadoxton Slate.
Skoda has revealed the pricing for its new Kodiaq large SUV, which goes on sale in the UK this November
The Skoda Kodiaq will cost from £21,495 when it goes on sale in the UK in November.
Entry-level S trim will kick off the range with a 123bhp 1.4 TSI engine, the only engine available for now in that trim until the lower-powered 2.0 diesel becomes available.
Standard equipment includes 17in alloy wheels, a leather multifunction steering wheel, a touchscreen infotainment system and DAB radio. Cruise control and rear parking sensors are reserved for the £22,945 SE spec and above. They’re available as options on the base-spec car, but Skoda hasn’t finalised the price of options on the Kodiaq yet.
The most expensive car in the current lineup is the Edition trim, which costs from £30,695 with the 148bhp 1.4-litre TSI engine and DSG gearbox, and rises to £34,895 when fitted with the 2.0-litre diesel engine producing 187bhp.
Four trims in total are offered on the Kodiaq for now – S, SE, SE-L and Edition. SE-L and Edition spec cars get seven seats as standard, while on SE-spec cars it’s a £1000 option. Entry-level S trim cars are only available with five seats.
There are five engine options at launch; three petrol and three diesel, ranging in power from 123bhp in the entry-level petrol to 187bhp in the range-topping 2.0-litre diesel. A lower-powered 113bhp diesel will come later.
The Kodiaq’s entry-level price undercuts its large SUV rivals, such as the £22,395 Nissan X-Trail, by £900, and the £28,795 Kia Sorento by £7300. The best-selling Kodiaq is expected to be the SE-L car, and the most popular engine is likely to be the 148bhp 2.0-litre TDI, fitted with a manual gearbox.
Skoda also says that ‘new levels of connectivity’ are available on the Kodiaq, which includes a post-accident emergency call system, as well as a minor accident notification and breakdown call system. Following the industry trend for remotely controlling car functions, the driver can access functions of the Kodiaq with Skoda’s connect app. These all come with a free subscription for the first year of ownership, although the cost of subsequent subscription hasn’t yet been signed off.
Other technology on the Kodiaq includes automatic emergency braking as standard, adaptive cruise control, and other driver aids like lane assist and rear traffic alert. A driver alertness monitor is also available.
Order books for the Kodiaq open this November, and first deliveries are expected in April 2017.
Skoda sources say they have had more interest in the car ahead of its launch than any Skoda in history, so it’s safe to assume that it’ll be among the best-sellers in the large SUV segment.
Volkswagen’s next-generation Golf will usher in a new era of mild hybrid powertrains when it is revealed in early November
The next Volkswagen Golf will be revealed early in November, and will bring with it more solid evidence of Volkswagen’s new electrification strategy, ushering in an era of new super-frugal mild hybrid powertrains. Despite being a facelift, the Golf will be updated heavily, and the model to be revealed is regarded as the eighth-generation Golf.
Insiders predict the new Golf will feature a new 48V petrol hybrid system as its main powertrain option – a strategy which could be particularly effective in the US market, where VW’s ‘clean diesel’ aspirations look dead in the water in the wake of its emissions scandal.
The initial overhaul of the MQB architecture was well under way before the diesel emissions scandal hit the company. The aim was to reduce the expense of an architecture that many analysts (and rival car makers) believe has been over-engineered for the price points of the vehicles it underpins.
Targeting a ‘real-world’ 60mpg, the new mild hybrid powertrain is thought to be based on the company’s new turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, with the addition of an electrically driven supercharger and a combined starter motor/generator. A low-cost lead-acid battery is used to store recovered energy, such as when the car is braking.
Unlike a conventional hybrid transmission, which uses a full-size electric motor, these 48V mild hybrids provide assistance to the petrol engine via the oversized starter motor/generator. The belt that connects the starter motor to the engine’s crank pulley is also used to assist the engine when extra power and torque are needed. The process can be reversed to allow the engine’s crank pulley to turn the starter motor/generator when the car is slowing down.
This recovered energy is not used just to assist the engine. It is also used to power a small supercharger that’s driven by an electric motor. By powering the blower electrically, rather than relying on engine and exhaust gas speed to drive it, it can boost the engine’s performance from very low revs.
These two forms of electrical assistance allow the engine of a 48V hybrid to be significantly downsized, enabling a 1.0-litre three-pot Golf to offer brisk performance and impressive economy.
Insiders say the new 48V hybrid system should be competitive on cost with a modern EU6-rated diesel engine, because it doesn’t use a full-size electric motor or an expensive lithium ion battery. This is particularly relevant now that VW has announced that expensive urea injection systems are likely to be fitted to Golf-class diesel models.
Lexus hybrid hatchback has been updated for 2017, including the addition of two new trim levels and revised standard equipment elsewhere
The Lexus CT 200h has been updated, with the addition of new Sport and Executive Edition trim levels, and a raft of upgrades elsewhere in the range.The
The new CT 200h Sport and Executive Edition trims both cost £23,745, which is £1750 above the entry-level S trim. In addition to that trim’s standard equipment, Sport gets a reversing camera, sat-nav, rear privacy glass and black 17in alloys. Lexus claims that this version is aimed at younger customers.
A new £2500 Sport Plus pack combines parking sensors, keyless entry, heated front seats and a sunroof, along with a black painted roof.
The Executive Edition gets cruise control, sat-nav and grey 17in alloys over the standard specification. The new editions compete in price and position with the BMW 116d Sport and SE respectively for the CT 200h Sport and Executive Editions, as well as the lower end of the Infiniti Q30 range.
Elsewhere in the range, Lexus has reduced the price of its premium sat-nav system by £345, so it now costs £1650, and on all cars but the entry-level CT 200h S, a reversing camera now comes as standard.
Two new paint colours are available: shades of metallic blue and brown, while Advance spec cars now have red or blue cloth upholstery options.
The updated CT 200h is on sale now, and first deliveries are slated for the beginning of November.