Dacia has confirmed its electric Spring will come to the UK, MG has revealed a sporty version of the MG4 and it’s nearly time for the biggest motoring event of the year, the Goodwood Festival of Speed. All this and more in the latest Car co uk news round-up.
Dacia to put Spring into UK EV market
Dacia has officially confirmed that it will bring Europe’s cheapest electric car, the Spring Electric, to the UK in 2024. No word on prices yet, but it sells on the continent for the equivalent of around £15,000 before incentives. Given the UK will get the midlife update version in right-hand drive, expect it to be a few grand more. Powered by a 26.8kWh battery and a 44hp electric motor, the current model takes around five hours to charge on a 7.4kW wallbox and has a combined WLTP range of 140 miles and a city driving range of 183 miles. Earlier this year Dacia launched the Spring Extreme in Europe with a more powerful 65hp electric motor but there’s no word on whether that specification will come to the UK or be available in the updated model.
More details will be revealed closer to the 2024 launch and while there will lots of excitement surrounding the new that it is on its way here, we are slightly more cautious. That’s because the Dacia Spring is based on the Renault Kwid Z.E. built in China and not known for its safety qualities. We’ve driven the Kwid and probably wouldn’t get in one again, but the Spring does have more safety kit including electronic stability control, autonomous emergency braking and six airbags. Even so, it only scored one star in the Euro NCAP crash test and that is a very obvious concern because the body structure isn’t the strongest. We can only hope that the midlife update will rectify this because it would be great to have a budget EV that more people can afford to get into.
That’s not the only big news out of Dacia this week though. The automaker has also announced it is going to enter the Dakar Rally in 2025 and will use the expertise of Prodrive to develop its entry. We know this won’t be exciting news to everyone but it definitely grabbed out attention, even more so when Dacia announced multiple rally champion Sebastien Loeb will be the lead driver.
MG promised a more powerful version of its superb MG4 electric vehicle and here it is, the MG4 XPower. Priced from £36,495 it will have 435hp, two electric motors and will sprint to 62mph in just 3.8 seconds. The design will be sportier than regular versions with a black roof, 18-inch alloy wheels and orange XPower brake calipers. Other enhancements include a Dynamic Cornering Control System, recalibrated suspension that is 25% stiffer than standard versions and upgraded brakes.
The Kia Picanto is a great little car that has always tried to punch above its weight. Now there’s a new one and it has way more attitude thanks to a new GT-Line spec that adds sporty looks. It’s not short on comfort or equipment either with a new eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a 4.2-inch digital instrument display. Engines remain the same with a 1.0-litre or 1.2-litre but Kia says suspension and handling have been upgraded.
Following the reveal of the new E-Class recently, it was inevitable that the coupe version would come along and here it is. Now called the CLE, it replaces both the C-Class and E-Class coupes. Measuring 4,850mm it is 15mm longer than the outgoing E-coupe and has a 25mm longer wheelbase than the C-coupe. Basically, it sits in between them both and has more space than one and less than the other. That’s probably all you need to know, except that it will arrive in the UK in November and will be followed next year by a convertible and we suspect, some hot AMG versions.
Toyota has unveiled the second generation of its C-HR crossover, describing it as a concept car for the road. Details of models and availability for the UK have not yet been confirmed, but the design definitely has a sportier look to it, adopting a similar face to that on the Toyota BZ4X electric vehicle. No pure electric C-HR though, instead it will stick the usual hybrid options but the suspension has been upgraded and there are more driving assistance systems. This includes Acceleration Suppression, a system that prevents sudden use of the accelerator when the risk of a collision is detected. Anyone who remembers the unintended acceleration scandal with the Prius will find this an interesting development.
The interior of the C-HR has also been extensively revamped, including a new 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, an ambient lighting system with up to 64 colours and the Toyota Smart Connect multimedia package with a 12.3-inch touchscreen.
Over ten years since it was launched, Land Rover, or rather JLR now, has introduced a significant update for the Evoque. It now has the interior looks and equipment of other Range Rover models including an 11.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system within a new centre console, over the air updates, the latest eco-friendly materials and a new air quality system. There are some design changes too including a new grille, Pixel LED headlights and brighter rear lights. Engines all remain the same, but the overall appearance aims to be a little more sophisticated.
Hyundai has confirmed its new Kona EV will start at £34,995 when it goes on sale in the UK shortly. Available in Advanced, N-Line and N-Line S versions, there will be a choice of 48kW or 65kW powertrains with a range of up to 319 miles. The electric version will join hybrid and traditional petrol models.
Kia has revealed pricing for its new seven-seat electric SUV, the EV9. Are you sitting down because it will start at £72,495. For a Kia. Now we know Kia has been trying to be seen as a more premium brand for a few years, but over seventy grand, for a Kia. We’re a bit shellshocked by this, but as we haven't seen one we will just wait and see.
Volkswagen has issued images of the updated T-Cross, which will only go on sale early in 2024. What we found most curious is that VW seems to have used the same studio as Vauxhall/Opel for some of its images but that’s just us being picky. What you need to know is that the design will be tweaked inside and out, it will get a new infotainment system, additional driver assistance packages and probably some other stuff.
Look out for our full driving review of the new Aston Martin DB12 shortly but in other Aston news, the company has announced a tie-up with Lucid Group to make its new electric vehicles. No word on when the first models will debut but the automaker has already said it plans to electrify its core models by 2030.
It’s that time of year when we all get really excited and prepare to travel to the Goodwood estate in the south of England for the Festival of Speed. There will be loads of new models, some exciting concepts and lots of incredible classics, not least of all is the Le Mans winning Mazda 787B. Having only ever seen it static in the Mazda museum in Hiroshima, the chance to see it go up the famous hillclimb will make the traffic getting into Goodwood totally worth it.
There will be lots of other stuff too including the MG EX4, a re-imagining of the famous Metro 6R4 rally car of the 1980s. We’re intrigued to see the new AIM concept from Japan and Ineos will debut its Grenadier Quartermaster double-cab pick-up and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle.
Renault will put its R5 Turbo 3E to the test on the hill and will have its new Renault 5 Prototype on display along with the 4Ever Trophy concept. Polestar will have its Polestar 3 and upgraded PS 2. There will be some new Porsche and BMW models, including the UK debut of the latest generation 5 Series and the Mini Aceman concept. After smashing the hillclimb record last year, McMurtry will be back with a track car that anyone with a hefty bank balance can actually buy. It’s going to be another great FoS so look out for our special report from the Goodwood estate.
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