Volkswagen updates its ID 3, Chinese automaker BYD arrives in the UK and the UK Car of the Year winner has been announced.
Volkswagen provides new ID
Volkswagen has upgraded its ID 3 electric car and it should provide significant improvements over the slightly compromised first model. The design is now sharper and less bloated while inside there are big enhancements to design and materials. There’s clever stuff too like Plug & Charge where the car starts charging as soon as you plug it in at a public charging station. There’s new software and new screens and crucially the engineers have provided haptic feedback to some icons, something that was a general criticism of the early model.
Customer feedback has been taken into account to make menus and controls easier to use and there’s the option of a new augmented reality head-up display. The latest generation of driver assistance systems have been fitted too. No changes to batteries, motors or driving range but it definitely looks much better.
We’ve been talking about BYD for some time, but now the Chinese automaker has arrived in the UK with its first model, the Atto 3 priced from £36,490. BYD stands for Build Your Dreams and even has this written across the back of its models, which frankly looks a bit naff. The all-electric Atto 3 crossover shouldn’t be though, with a 60.48kWh Blade battery delivering a claimed range of 260 miles.
BYD might be new to the UK but it is one of China’s largest automakers and its Blade battery technology has been praised for its light weight and performance. The Atto 3 was designed primarily for the European market and is available in three well-equipped trim levels: Active, Comfort and Design. It has all the latest tech, including a cool rotating infotainment screen and it scored a full five stars for safety from Euro NCAP. It’s early days for the brand in the UK so don’t expect to see many of these on the road but it could be an interesting alternative to some of the more established EV models.
Hyundai gave us a peek at its new Kona late last year now it has revealed more details of the popular crossover which was developed as an electric vehicle first. The new Kona Electric gets a 65.4kWh battery and a claimed range of 305 miles. Like other Hyundai Group models including those from Kia and Genesis, it will also have cool stuff like Vehicle-to-Load so you can charge your e-bike or power a pressure washer. Expect news of other engine options to follow as well as a new version of the Kona N performance version.
Ford has introduced the most powerful version of its 1.0-litre EcoBoost motor into the new Puma ST Powershift. This means 170hp and 248Nm, a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox and a 0-62 mph time of 7.4 seconds. It’s less than the regular Puma ST which gets 200hp from its 1.5-litre motor, but dropping half a litre means a 44 mpg claimed fuel consumption figure and slightly better emissions.
Yes we have another “and the winner is” this week with the announcement of the UK Car of the Year Awards for 2023. Top honours for the overall car of the year goes to the MG 4, a great choice for what is very much one of our favourite electric vehicles right now.
The Best City car award goes to the Toyota Aygo X with the MG 4 also taking the accolade of Best Family car. The budget-friendly seven-seater Dacia Jogger takes Best Large Family car with the Best Crossover award going to the new Kia Niro which has also just been awarded Women’s World Car of the Year. Best Large Crossover goes to the Range Rover, which is slightly odd because it’s definitely an SUV rather than a crossover. It’s not all about sensible practicality though, with the Best Coupé going to the new Toyota GR86 and the Best Performance trophy heading to Hethel for the Lotus Emira.
The first Mini ‘Made in Germany’ will hit the market this year in the form of the next generation Mini Countryman. It will be available as pure electric or with a combustion engine and will be produced alongside other models on the same platform including the BMW 1 Series and 2 Series at BMW’s Leipzig plant.
Lamborghini celebrates its 60th anniversary this year so what better excuse to announce a new model. Currently codenamed LB744, it will be Lambo’s first high performance electrified vehicle sports car and feature not one, but three electric motors. It’s not all electric though, because these will be mated to a 6.5-litre V12 to provide a power output of over 985hp. There’s a new platform and two of the electric motors will power the front wheels, while the third boosts the V12 with power to the rear and for the reverse gear. Lamborghini isn’t saying much about design, actually it’s not really saying anything so for now you will just have to use your imagination, or look at a great cutaway of the motors and engine.
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