News - December 12 2022

Electric estates are finally on the way, there’s a new off-roader from Scotland and we have details of the classic cars to look for in 2023.

The estate of electric cars

What’s really lacking in the electric car market is an estate. Sales of the load-luggers have been on the decline generally in recent years as people swap to SUVs, but you really can’t beat a good estate car. If you want to go electric then you are limited to the MG5 EV or perhaps the Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo if you have more cash, but now Vauxhall has revealed its new Astra Sports Tourer Electric, together with the new Astra Electric. Both will arrive in the UK in 2023 and use a 114kW electric motor with a 54kWh battery to provide up to 258 miles between charges. They’ll also be packed with useful tech, practical comfort and you should be able to cram more than enough stuff into the estate, because that’s what they’re good at.

If you do want an SUV or a crossover, then Toyota has loads and now it plans even more. It recently revealed the next generation of its C-HR in the form of the C-HR Prologue design study, which will be available in hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions. Electric models are on the way too, including the first of six BZ models, the first being the BZ Compact SUV Concept, although we imagine a cooler name will be forthcoming.


A not so wee electric car from Scotland

We don’t get a lot of new model news from Scotland, but East Kilbride-based Munro has now officially launched its Munro Mk_1. We brought you some prototype images before but now we know it will cost from £49,995 and deliveries will begin next year. It’s a no frills, all-electric utility vehicle, designed and engineered for use on farms, in forestry, on mines and anywhere where the land is less than hospitable. It has a 1,000kg payload, 3,500kg towing capacity and features a a choice of either a 61kWh or an 82kWh battery, the latter claimed to provide up to 190 miles of driving or 16 hours run-time off-road. Designed, engineered and built entirely in-house, it is, as founder Russell Peterson says, “unashamedly agricultural”. Admittedly you might well see one in a swanky London suburb at some point, but the Mk_1 is definitely not going to be at home on the streets.

You could say the same about the new Lamborghini Huracan Sterrato. Launched with possibly the most tacky video ever, the Sterrato is all about thrashing along gravel tracks, bashing over dunes and generally enjoying some off-road performance antics. We’ve seen a few off-road cars recently, the Morgan CX-T and Porsche 911 Dakar come to mind. Both are classy, the Sterrato is not, but they’ll sell-out in the Middle East and be used to chase Land Cruisers and Mercedes-AMG G-Classes around.


All we want for Christmas is….a Donkervoort?

It’s very possible you’ve never heard of Donkervoort. The Dutch company has been around since 1978 and has sold over 1,500 cars but they don’t shout about things. Now they’ve revealed their latest creation, the F22 and it looks fantastic, like a modern interpretation of the famous Lotus 7. It weighs just 750kg and has a five-cylinder turbo under that long nose producing 500hp, so it certainly looks like fun. It has a cool targa roof, unique carbon fibre materials and promises traditional driving fun with a rev-matched manual gearbox and minimal electronic aids. It’s not cheap though, with prices starting at £210,000 but even so, the originally planned production run of 50 sold out almost immediately. The company has now added a further 25 but we suspect they are probably gone by the time you read this. Hopefully Santa got his order in early. 


Bullish classic car market

Every year, classic car specialist, Hagerty, reveals its list of buys for the year ahead, calling it its Bull Market List. For 2023 it has identified ten models that range from a family favourite to a raging bull, so something for everyone, so much so that we’re just going to call it a shopping list.

With the recent announcement that production of the Ford Fiesta will come to an end after over four decades, it’s not surprising that the list includes the Fiesta Mk1. Prices even for the most basic of versions are already on the way up. The Citroen BX has its fans for its unique design, great ride comfort and practicality and prices are also heading slightly northwards. That’s also true for the 1978-1980 Saab 99 Turbo, a rarity with only 100 believed to be in the UK. Hagerty predicts prices to jump into the early £30,000s for a mint condition model in the next few years. 

There are some sporty numbers in the list too, including the often overlooked Triumph Spitfire and the fantastic Audi TT Quattro Sport of 2005-2006. The Lotus Elise of 2000-2010 gets on to the list and at the top end of the sporty scale is the Lamborghini Diablo. Then there are more luxurious models like the R129 Mercedes-Benz SL500, which has seen a 20% increase in values over the last couple of years. Top of the luxury league is the Bentley Turbo R which has benefitted from post-Covid popularity of a number of models as people say to heck with it and buy what they’ve always wanted.

Finally, if you’ve always wanted a vintage car but thought they look too much like hard work, then you might want to look at the little Austin 7. It’s great to see a vintage model on Hagerty’s list for next year and with it receiving lots of attention due to 2022 being its centenary year, prices are really on the up, with the average price already increasing by 50%.


In other news….

Volkswagen’s ID3 is due to get a much needed makeover next year. So far, the company has only released a few sketches, but it does look as though the interior in particularly will be vastly improved. We’ll only get to see the final thing early in 2023 but VW is promising more tech, more practicality and better materials. 

Hyundai has announced prices for its streamlined Ioniq 6, the latest electric model from the Korean brand which arrives in the UK early next year. Prices will start from £46,745 for the rear-wheel drive 228hp Premium model, rising to £53,745 for the all-wheel drive 325hp Ultimate. 

Pricing for the new Honda Civic Type R has also been announced and you might want to sit down for this one because it starts at £46,995. named it Car of the Year a few days later, so we’re guessing it’s rather good, but is it that good? We were impressed by new Civic, so we’ll let you know.

Toyota has announced it is working with a consortium of partners to develop a prototype hydrogen fuel cell-powered Hilux. The project will take around two years and while some electric vehicle enthusiasts will wonder why they’re bothering, the fact is that hydrogen could well be a useful solution for many in various parts of the world where electrical charging infrastructure won’t be practical. 


On track

We haven’t really got into Formula E, it all seems a bit odd, but while some manufacturers and teams have left, others continue to join the grid. The latest is Volkswagen brand, Cupra, which has joined forces with ABT to form the ABT Cupra Formula E team and will compete in 2023. It revealed its new car this week with Cupra CEO Wayne Griffiths, saying ““It’s the right time to take the next leap forward and join the world’s greatest electric motorsport competition, and I can’t wait to see the ABT Cupra Formula E team competing in the heart of some of the world’s most iconic cities. Joining the Formula E, a unique motorsport platform, underlines our ambition of becoming a truly global relevant brand, with the aim of inspiring the world from Barcelona.” It adds to Cupra’s role in the all-electric FIA ETCR World Cup and Extreme-E, the latter something we understand even less than Formula E, but maybe we’ll watch some more in 2023.



Written by Mark Smyth