News - August 31 2022

Skoda has revealed its new design strategy, as has Bentley and a new company in Scotland is building an electric off-roader.

Another week and yet more luxury and performance cars have been revealed. Where are all the new normal cars, the ones most of us can afford to buy or lease? We love a supercar as much as anyone but there seem to be more new ones revealed on a regular basis than the kind of hatchback you will find in your local supermarket car park.

Fortunately there are a few though and some of them can be found in our New Car Launches section, such as the impressive new MG 4 electric hatchback, the latest generation of the Honda Civic and Mazda’s first large SUV in Europe and its first plug-in hybrid, the CX-60

They aren’t the only new regular models to hit the market either, Citroen has just launched the latest version of its C5 Aircross in the UK, the new Vauxhall Astra has arrived and, actually that’s about it.


Czech this out

Fear not though because more are coming and some will be Skodas with the Czech automaker having revealed a brand new design language for its future new models. At a big reveal bash in Prague, Skoda showed off its new logo which looked like it was penned by a teenage graphic design student and more importantly, announced a massive investment in electric mobility. 

The Skoda Vision 7S is s seven-seater SUV that showcases the design of future new Skoda models with brand new look inside and out. It all looks impressive and futuristic without going too far when it comes to removing practical touches like physical buttons on the dash. Skoda is also promising a range of more than 375 miles and it will be able to recharge at up to 200kW.

It’s still a concept, although Skoda says it’s close to the production model which will only hit the market in 2026. It will be joined by a small hatch, presumably on the same platform as the upcoming replacement for the Volkswagen Up, the ID2, as well as a compact SUV. The company plans to make 70% of its models all-electric by 2030 and will be investing over £4.8 billion to achieve this.


Bentley goes in to Bat-ur

Now to those luxury and performance models and if you have a big wad of cash under the mattress then how about the new Bentley Batur? It’s a new coachbuilt model being handcrafted by its Mulliner division and also happens to be the most powerful Bentley ever with a W12 engine pushing out over 740hp and 1,000Nm of torque. 

What interests us more though is that it shows a new design direction for the Crewe automaker. Bentley’s director of design, Andreas Mindt says it’s cleaner, more simplified while providing more visual muscle to the design. The lines are bolder than we have seen in recent models and it all looks more upright, more purposeful. That might be a lot of design speak, but it’s also important because the Batur provides some cues to what future electric Bentleys might look like and that’s quite significant. 

McLaren has revealed its Solus GT, essentially a physical version of its Gran Turismo sim-racing car. Only 25 will be built, all of which are already sold and the lucky owners will be strapped into a single-seater track car with a V10 engine that revs to 10,000rpm has 840hp and 650Nm and can reach 62mph in 2.5 seconds. It’s basically a McLaren Formula 1 car with a fighter-jet style sliding canopy roof. Just look at it, it looks amazing and frankly if we had the money, we would.

If you prefer your hypercars to be roadworthy, then how about the new Hennessey Venom F5 Roadster which was revealed at the Motorsports Gathering in Monterey, California. It’s the topless version of the coupe shown last year and just 30 will be built, each engineered to be able to exceed 300mph. It features a 6.6-litre V8 that produces 1,842hp channelled through a seven-speed single clutch automatic gearbox. £2.6-million and it’s yours.


Scottish utility

Now for something completely different as the saying goes, the Munro EV. It’s being developed in Scotland as a proper 4x4 utility vehicle with that uses off-the-shelf components for ease of repair and has a traditional body-on-frame construction. The 4x4 system might be mechanical but the tech includes a 375hp, 700Nm electric motor that uses an 80.1kWh battery and the company claims a range of up to 168 miles, including 16 hours of constant off-road use. It can charge at up to 100kW using a fast charger and will have on-board power options including a 22kW three-phase supply. Crucially for a utility vehicle it will have a 1,000kg payload capacity and the ability to tow up to 3,500kg.

Munro says its Mk_1 will cost £65,000 plus VAT and can be registered as a commercial vehicle so it will qualify for available grants and VAT relief. Development models have been testing since 2021 and production is due to ramp up from 2023 with the aim of selling to key markets such as the UK and US.

Then finally and still with EVs, some great news for those who weren’t convinced Polestar would put its O2 concept into production, because the Swedish automaker has announced it will. Set to be badged as the Polestar 6, the bad news is that you’ll have to wait until 2026 to get your hands on one by which time you might need the seven seats of the Skoda Vision 7S.


Written by Mark Smyth