The new Volkswagen Amarok grabs our attention this week, but don’t worry, we also have cars in the form of the new Hyundai Ioniq 6, MG4 and a tease from Honda.
Volkswagen rocks the pick-up market
After all the big reveals at Goodwood Festival of Speed, it’s not surprising that things have gone a little quiet on the new model front. It’s gone so quiet in fact that the biggest reveal isn’t a car at all, it’s a pick-up but it is one we’ve been looking forward to.
For months now we’ve been talking to the designers and engineers behind the new Ford Ranger, which arrives in the UK later this year, but this isn’t about the Ford, well not exactly anyway. For the first time the Ranger and the new Volkswagen Amarok are one and the same, barring some design differences of course. The second generation of the Amarok has just been revealed and it too will arrive in the UK towards the end of the year which will be exciting news for those who need to load two kids and two pallets, or no kids if you go for a single cab version.
The new Amarok is 96mm longer with 173mm added to the wheelbase, which should translate into more interior space, especially for those sat in the back. If we’re talking measurements, it can now also wade through water 800mm deep, an increase of an impressive 300mm and the payload is up to 1.16 tonnes.
There’s plenty of tech too, including a digital instrument cluster, 10 or 12-inch vertical touchscreen infotainment system, a whole bunch of driver assistance stuff, the option of a premium sound system from Harman Kardon and even an electrically operated load box roller cover.
Engines for the UK haven’t yet been confirmed but they’ll come from a choice of five; four turbo-diesels and one petrol, offering power between 150 hp and the range-topping 302 hp 2.3-litre turbocharged petrol, essentially Ford’s EcoBoost motor.
If you’re wondering why there isn’t a plug-in hybrid or even a fully electric model, then that’s because Ford and VW are still working on them. Ford has already said it will have a PHEV version of the Ranger, but VW wants to go beyond that and will skip the hybrid route and instead is aiming to launch a fully-electric Amarok in a few years time.
MG has revealed its new MG4 EV that will arrive in the UK in September. It marks not only a new design direction for the Chinese-owned MG, but also a new architecture in the form of the brand’s Modular Scalable Platform which will be used for everything from compact hatchbacks to SUVs and possibly even the return of an MG sports car.
New battery tech in the MG4 EV will offer between 51kWh and 64kWh allowing for a driving range between 218-281 miles. Interestingly though, the company is pushing the sportier side of the new platform, pointing out that rear-wheel drive, slimmer batteries and potential 50:50 weight distribution will provide enhanced roadholding and driver engagement. It all sounds promising.
Then there’s the Hyundai Ioniq 6. We were really excited when the South Korean automaker unveiled its Prophecy concept and now it’s been turned into a production model, the Ioniq 6. Hyundai Motor Group design boss, Luc Donckerwolke told us just a few weeks ago that where the Ioniq 5 follows a geometric design, the next model would be more sensual and that’s definitely the case. It’s less sensual than the concept mind and honestly, we much prefer the Prophecy, but we can’t always get what we want. The design is being referred to as an “electrified streamliner” a nod to streamliner design of the middle of the last century. It’s definitely very different, although there are elements of the design that can be compared to models like the Audi TT, Porsche Panamera and even the Kia EV6.
It will go on sale next year, with pricing expected to compete with rival electric models from BMW, Polestar and Tesla. Expect rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive versions with a wide range of power choices and rumour has it that there will be a performance N version to follow the Ioniq 5 N which is currently under development.
Also arriving in 2023 is the new Citroën E-C4 X, which is basically an elongated version of the electric C4. It features a fastback rear design that adds 240mm to the C4’s length as well as an extra 130 litres of boot space. Like the electric C4, it will have 136 hp, deliver up to 200 miles of driving range and will be capable of using a 100kW chargers.
Honda is due to launch the new hybrid-only Civic in the UK next month, but fans of performance Hondas will be excited to see the new Civic Type R which will be revealed on 21 July. The model celebrates its 25th anniversary this year but Honda is keeping its cards close to its chest, so we’ll have to wait a little while longer to get all the details.
Finally back to electric but not one brand, not even one model, but the chance to test a range of electric models in one place. Charging operator Gridserve has launched its new test drive programme from its sites in Norwich and Braintree where potential buyers can get behind the wheel of models that include Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Polestar and Tesla. Sounds like an interesting and worthwhile day out if you’re considering going electric.
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