In the latest Car co uk news review we have a budget hybrid, a Mercedes nightclub and the end of the road for the Audi TT.
We’ve got everything this week, from family-friendly budget models to stylish estates and a very expensive electric convertible. There are loads of tech announcements, a Mercedes that thinks it’s a nightclub and a significant award for the person behind the great designs coming out of Hyundai.
We’ll kick off with Hyundai because it has revealed its new i10 with refreshed design features and the addition of a i10 N Line sporty-looking version. There are new LED daytime running lights, a slightly more sporty look across all models and mood lamps in the front seats, although we aren’t quite sure what they are. It gets a new 4.2-inch digital instrument cluster to complement the eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There are new safety systems too including pedestrian and cyclist detection and lane keeping assistance. Expect it in the UK in the second half of 2023.
When it comes to budget motoring, few brands can really match Dacia and as it celebrates its tenth year in the UK it has joined the electrification revolution with its first hybrid. The Dacia Jogger Hybrid 140 combines a 1.6 litre petrol engine with two electric motors and a 1.2kWh battery and Dacia is claiming that it will be able to spend up to 80% of its time driving in cities in electric mode. It hasn’t provided a specific electric range figure though, only saying that it can drive at speeds up to 43mph in electric mode and return a combined fuel consumption figure up to 56.5mpg.
Priced from £22,595 it’s understandably a few grand more than the equivalent petrol Expression or Extreme SE versions, but you not only get hybrid power but seven seats, air-conditioning, cruise control, rear parking sensors and an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. In fact the only option available is metallic paint. If other Dacia models are anything to go by, this one is likely to be a popular choice.
With the onset of Spring, if you’ve been waiting eagerly for Mini to release an electric version of its convertible model then your wait is over because it’s finally here. You’ll want to sit down though, because while the regular Mini Electric starts from £29,000, the drop-top has a price tag of £52,500! Only 999 will be built with 150 coming to the UK but it will be hard for anyone to justify paying that kind of money for it.
If you’re a fan of the Audi TT then you’ll find it much easier to justify the £41,910 for the TT Final Edition, which as it says on the tin is the last TT to be made after Audi announced it will be canning the model that has been with us for 25 years. Available as a coupé or convertible, the TT Final Edition gets a few unique design touches as well as enhanced specification and interior elements. This one could well become a bit of a collector’s item.
If you like a bit of French style then you probably appreciate the fantastic looks of the Peugeot 508. Now the brand has announced a few updates to its fastback, estate and Peugeot Sport Engineered models, all of which will arrive in the UK in June. It’s mostly just design changes with a new front and rear look including an update to the three-claw lights and while inside it gets some new materials and a redesigned gearstick that is said to improve ergonomics. It also gets the latest Peugeot i-Connect Advanced infotainment systems.
Another model getting an update is the Suzuki Swace, which is essentially just a rebadged Toyota Corolla estate. It gets a few design tweaks, as well as upgraded materials and infotainment features. There’s 15 percent more power at 140hp with the electric motor on the hybrid getting 17kW more. In addition there are two new trim lines in the form of Motion and Ultra with more tech and safety features.
Car interiors have dramatically changed in recent years and while first impressions still count when it comes to exterior design, it’s the interior that we spend most of our time looking at. Materials and technology are the main battlegrounds and when it comes to screens Mercedes has gone the furthest. Now it’s unveiled the interior of the next generation of its E-Class and while other car makers are considering dialling back on screens, Merc continues to go all in with a dashboard that has more icons and screens than the tech in your living room.
There’s even more too, with Active Ambient Lighting with Sound Visualisation, meaning the lighting responds to the music. Yes, Mercedes has invented the in-car nightclub experience. The front passenger can now watch TV and the screens can display TikTok, play Angry Birds and there’s even a built in webcam so the driver can conduct Zoom meetings, although Mercedes is quick to point out that it will only work when the car is stationary. It’s more tech than we’ve ever seen in a Mercedes, possibly even in any car but is it too much? We’ll let you know when we get to try it all out.
There are no disco lights in the latest Volkswagen ID models, but the company is pushing ahead with its mission to use more sustainable materials. Existing models and upcoming ones like the new ID 7 will use materials like Sequal yarn for the seats which is made from ten percent collected marine debris and 90 percent recycled plastic yarn. Even the chrome is being replaced by an environmentally-friendly chrome-look paint.
VW is also finishing up testing of the next generation Touareg SUV, which has been braving the cold in the Arctic circle. The new model will be revealed in the summer and will be the first to take advantage of new legislation which allows for an illuminated badge at the rear. There’s more too it than that though, with a new chassis, enhanced interior with new Innovation Cockpit screens and IQ Light HD matrix headlights with 38,400 micro LEDs.
After reporting on the debut of the updated BMW X5 and X6 recently, it’s no surprise that the company has released details of its M Competition versions. Priced from £123,350 for the X5, both have a 4.4-litre V8 engine pushing out 625hp and 750Nm of torque with a 0-62mph time of 3.0 seconds and no doubt plenty of noise to go with it.
BMW has also added another model to its electric i4 range in the form of the i4 eDrive35. Priced from £49,995 it will arrive in the summer with a claimed driving range of up to 299 miles.
While we’re still way off seeing autonomous cars on our streets in regular use, trials continue around the world and in the UK, Nissan has just completed testing its self-driving electric Leaf as part of the UK Government-backed ServCity project. Over the past few years it has conducted 1,600 miles of testing on roads around Greenwich in London to assess the viability of the technology for both regular drivers and robotaxis. It’s all part of research to assess their viability and importantly, the infrastructure required to allow their use in the future.
Finally congratulations to the head of the Hyundai and Genesis Global Design Centre, SangYup Lee, who has been named World Car Person of the Year by the jury for the World Car Awards. It’s the second year in a row that the award has been won from someone from Hyundai Motor Group design, with Luc Donckerwolke, its president and chief creative officer taking the accolade last year. The awards keep on coming for Hyundai.
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