Chery is the latest Chinese automaker to enter the UK market with its Omoda brand, Fisker has added more models to its line-up and we have a very special Fiat Panda, all in the latest Car co uk news.
This week is the famous Pebble Beach Concours in the US. Part of the Monterey Car Week, it is a celebration of some of the most iconic cars every made, but in recent years it has also become the place to debut a number of exciting new models. Don’t expect everyday hatchbacks or SUVs though, Monterey is all about the high end stuff, the most luxurious motors and the most expensive hypercars. It’s all glitz, glamour and money, money, money so to offset that slightly and because let’s face it, we aren’t really in that game, here’s some news on some more sensible models heading our way.
Chery set to grow in the UK
Chinese brands are really starting to make in-roads in the UK. BYD has just celebrated its five millionth electrified vehicle worldwide, making it the biggest seller of new energy vehicles in the world. It’s already in the UK with its Atto 3 with more models to follow. Meanwhile GWM (Great Wall Motors) has its Ora Funky Cat and another model on the way but now one of the other Chinese giants is set to arrive in 2023.
Chery is one of the top ten automakers in China and now it will make its first entry into the UK with its Omoda brand. Fitting in with the current trend, it’s all about crossovers and SUVs, with its first model, due to go on sale early in 2024 being the Omoda 5. There will be two versions, a turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol producing 197hp and a battery-electric model. The styling offers something slightly different while the interior looks modern with plenty of tech. It will also be equipped with lots of driving assistance systems. No word as yet on pricing or a retail network but as we get more information, we’ll be sure to let you know.
Still with Chinese brands and MG (yes MG is Chinese these days in case you missed it) has just released its highly anticipated MG4 Extended Range model which if the success of the regular MG4 is anything to go by, will sell in droves. The addition to the range is only available in top Trophy spec with a price tag of £36,495. For that you not only get one of the best electric vehicles (EV) currently available, but it has a driving range of 323 miles, 53 miles more than the Trophy Long Range. That’s all the more impressive when you consider that it has a more powerful 77kWh battery giving it a 0-62mph time of 6.5 seconds.
Moving to another fairly new brand, at least in its latest reincarnation and Fisker has revealed a number of new models. The electric Ocean SUV is due in the UK imminently but now the company, founded by automotive designer and entrepreneur Henrik Fisker has revealed its Ronin sports car in production form. 999 will be built with a price tag of $385,000. Slightly more down to earth is the Pear, or Personal Electric Automotive Revolution. A slight dig perhaps at the idea of the long rumoured car from Apple, the Pear is due to hit the market in 2025 with a price of less than £28,000. But wait there’s more, because Fisker also unveiled its Alaska pick-up, not to be confused with the Renault Alaskan pick-up. Also due to go into production in 2025, there’s no official word on plans for this model in the UK at this stage.
Now lets’s get to some other model news, starting off with details of a couple of new Hondas. First up is the new Honda CR-V which is now open for orders with prices starting at £45,895. It’s the sixth generation of this popular SUV but unlike when it was dominating the market, today it has far more rivals. The new one is only available as a hybrid or plug-in hybrid and while it’s not going to win any design awards, it promises to deliver the honest, comfortable motoring that this model has always been renowned for. Honda has also released pricing for its second battery-electric vehicle, the oddly named E:Ny1 and no we have no idea how you say it properly. Orders will open in October with prices from £44,995 for the electric SUV that offers a driving range of up to 256 miles. The looks are perhaps best described as conservative but it does feature lots of tech, driving assistance systems and comfort. We’ll let you know more about this one when we’ve driven it, but it’s going to have its work cut out to be a match for its rivals when it arrives.
Skoda has announced updates for its Scala and Kamiq models. Not that much has changed really, with design tweaks to the grille and front bumper, the option of Matrix LED headlights and more use of environmentally-friendly materials. The Scala now has a slightly sportier look, especially in the flagship Monte Carlo version and there are a few more connectivity options and more wheel choices. There’s probably a bit more but after trying to find the new stuff in just the first few pages of a very long press release, we were just too bored to go on.
There’s exciting news for fans of camping. According to Dacia over 28 million of us plan to have a camping holiday of some sort this summer, or given the recent weather, perhaps that should be a summer of some sort. If a last minute camping trip is on the cards then Dacia does have a special Sleep Pack which slots neatly into the back of its Jogger and offers a bed for two, as well as all the essentials plus a tent that attaches to the back of the car. We might have to test that out.
More exciting for many will be that Volkswagen has shown an image of the new California concept which will be unveiled later this month. It’s one of the most popular camper vans in the market and for many a new one will be really big news. VW is keeping many of the details to itself until the official reveal, but we do know it will be available as a plug-in hybrid for the first time and will continue to be based on the Multivan, or T5 in old school speak.
That brings us to something more exotic. Aston Martin has revealed the drop-top version of the DB12. We drove the coupe in Monaco recently and it is absolutely brilliant, so for convertible fans this should be a superb option The fabric roof opens in 14 seconds at speeds up to 31mph and it folds in 16 seconds neatly into a hard tonneau cover. Many of the components have been uprated to improve the car’s stiffness with the top down and it uses the same 4.0-litre twin-turbo Mercedes-AMG V8 to give it some serious oomph.
Finally, something a bit different, a Fiat Panda. Thats not that different we hear you say, but this is an old one, made new. The Panda is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and and Niels van Roij Design of the Netherlands has enhanced an original Panda Sisley 4x4 to make it little piece of luxury. Now called the Panda 4x4 Piccolo Lusso, it is a one off with a price tag of €30,000 and features a new paint colour of Azurro Blu as well as soft leather for the interior in a Mediterranean brown and cream. The original Sisley logo has been embroidered into the headrests and the boot is lined with an exquisite nautical teak. It is the Rolls-Royce of original Fiat Pandas and we think it looks fantastic.
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