Car.co.uk Weekly News - April 27 2022

In our latest news review - Hyundai takes the World Car of the Year title, BMW reveals its controversial-looking new 7 Series and we have the return of a German sports car maker.

The winner is…

The World Car of the Year 2022 has been announced as the Hyundai Ioniq 5, the well received electric car from the south Korean company. Not only did it take the top honour but it also grabbed World Car Design of the Year and, not surprisingly, World Green Car of the Year. Hyundai then announced it is updating the car for 2023 with a new 77.4kWh battery, video mirrors and a pricing re-alignment. 

Cover your eyes

What won’t win any design awards is the new BMW 7 Series which has just been revealed. BMW describes it as having a “graceful exterior” which to put it mildly is a bit of a stretch, but beauty is in the the of the beholder and all that so let’s wait and see. Go beyond the looks and you’ll find the most luxurious and most technologically advanced 7 Series ever with all models having some form of electrification and cool stuff like doors that can open or close at the touch of a button. 

The new 7 Series has a wide curved digital screen up front together with an interactive digital bar across the dash, but if it’s screens you’re after then you need to be in the back seat, which let’s face it is the best seat in a seven anyway. Here you’ll find the option of a 31.3-inch 8K theatre screen that drops down from the headlining and has a built-in Amazon Fire tv. While watching, you can relax in reclining seats that feature exciters, which sound interesting. 

The first model to arrive in the UK will be the fully-electric i7 xDrive60 with deliveries starting in December 2022 and prices starting at £107,400.

BMW has also revealed an updated version of its massive X7 luxury SUV. Again there are styling changes which will not be to everyone’s taste but the the X7 is all about presence and luxury. Inside it gets the latest curved screens on the dash and a choice of new trims options, while there will be new six and eight-cylinder engines with basic mild hybrid technology. 

Mercedes adds EQS SUV to electric range

First there was the Mercedes EQS saloon, now there is the EQS SUV, a car that is so close to the saloon that Merc hasn’t even bothered to give it a different name - it’s just EQS SUV. It’s not the same though, featuring a body that is 200mm higher than the saloon and an SUV rear that can house an optional third row of seats. 

Inside it’s all the luxury you expect of Mercedes together with its latest tech. There will be three models in the range and as we’ve mentioned range, Marc is promising you can drive between 315-410 miles on a single charge depending on model and all the other terms and conditions.

Ferrari drops the top on 296 GTS

Ferrari has followed up the reveal of its 296 last year with a topless version, the 296 GTS. It features the same V6 hybrid powertrain as its hard-top sibling with the ability to sprint to 62 mph in 2.9 seconds while also having a bit of electric-only range to sneak around town. The big difference of course is that it has a retractable hard top which can be opened or closed in 14 seconds at up to 27 mph. 

 

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In other news….

Audi has revealed the latest in a line of concept models, this time the UrbanSphere. It’s not as urban as its name suggests though, measuring in at a lengthy 5,510mm, longer than most SUVs. What that means though is a massive wheelbase of 3,400mm which provides loads of room for the occupants to relax in four individual seats. Tech includes a transparent cinema screen, individual screens, a range of infotainment apps and of course an electric powertrain. 

Here’s a name you might not have heard of for a while, if ever - Wiesmann. The niche German sports car maker was founded in 1988 but disappeared for years until a businessman took it over. Now it’s revealed its first model under the new ownership, Project Thunderball, an electric two-seater sports car with a 92kWh battery capacity. 680hp and 1100Nm of torque help to provide a 0-62mph time of 2.9 seconds and the team are aiming to give it a range of over 300 miles. 

If you are eagerly awaiting the opening of the first Ineos Automotive dealerships then the countdown is on because the company has announced 24 agents have been appointed in the UK. The first will begin operating in June as roll-out of the new Ineos Grenadier 4x4 gets underway.

While one new model is arriving, another is leaving. If you’re a big fan of the practicality of an MPV then you might be sad to hear that Citroen is canning the Grand C4 SpaceTourer after nearly thirty years. It’s yet another victim of the increasing demand for SUVs with Citroen admitting that it can’t compete in the sale race with its C5 Aircross.

Finally, if you’re into your vans then prepare for big news from Ford. The Blue Oval has announced that it will reveal its second major electric van on May 9th and judging by the teaser image, it’s a new Transit Custom electric. Maybe they will call it a Transition. Probably not.