Car.co.uk Weekly News - March 15 2022

There’s a buzz in the air and it’s not just because spring has arrived as we look at the lat-est electric vehicle from VW. It’s one of a number of new EVs heading our way and we also look at some of the latest models now on sale in the UK.

Bulli returns to the playground

The industry is abuzz with new models at the moment and while the pun might be terrible, that leads us into one of the most exciting new model reveals of recent years, the new Volkswagen ID Buzz. VW has been teasing us with designs for ages and we weren’t really expecting it to be the electric homage to the original VW Bulli bus in production form, but they’ve nailed it. 

Revealed as both a bus and a Cargo van, the new ID Buzz will go on sale towards the end of the year and promises not only super cool looks but also emission free motoring with a 77kWh battery that can charge on 170kW charger from 5-80% in just thirty minutes. Initially it’s a five seater, but VW is promising a longer wheelbase six and 7-seater version for larger families and Saturday sports duties. Not surprisingly it’s buzz-ing (sorry, we can’t help it) with tech including the ability to put power back into your home and no doubt you will be able to carry a surf board on the roof. If you wan t to carry more than that then the Cargo van version can hold two Euro pallets. No word on driving range or pricing as yet.

While the ID Buzz might seem perfect for family trips, if you prefer your adventures to have a bit more off an all-terrain flavour then Jeep has revealed its first ever EV. What’s it called? They haven’t told us. How capable will it be? They haven’t told us that either? How far can it drive? Nope, they haven’t told us that. When is it coming? Now that they have said; 2023. We assume Jeep will give us more info at some point and then we can answer all your burning questions.

We don’t know much more about the Polestar O2 either, except that while it’s just a concept, there’s every chance Polestar will build it before we ever get to see a Tesla Roadster 2. The O2 is based on the design language of the Precept concept and is the Swedish electric car company’s take on a fun, open-top two-seater sports car, something we really don’t see so much of these days. Let’s hope they make it. 

We’re still taking electric and Ford this week announced not one, not two, but seven new electric models. Granted some of them we already knew about like the electric Transit, but big news is that Ford will use Volkswagen’s electric MEB platform to make a medium crossover in 2023 and a sporty crossover in 2024, plus there will be a new electric version of its Puma in the same year. 

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It’s not all electric

Mazda promised a new SUV this year and it’s now shown us its CX-60, which will arrive in the UK in the au-tumn priced from £43,950. It’s a bit of a departure from Mazda’s usual designs, looking more suited to the US market than the UK but Mazda makes great cars and so our expectations with this are high. No electric version, but there will be a plug-in hybrid promising 42 miles of electric range in the city or you can go big with a 3.0-litre straight six petrol or 3.3-litre diesel, both with a tiny bit of 48V mild hybridisation. 

Renault has shown its new Austral and while the French brand won’t confirm it, it’s likely to replace the exist-ing Kadjar in a few months time. We say that with a degree of certainty because it sits on the same platform as the new Nissan Qashqai and the last generation of that was the Kadjar’s twin. The Austral has a more dy-namic appearance and will be the first Renault to be available as a sporty-looking Esprit Alpine version. There will be electrification with the option of an E-Tech hybrid which we’re guessing will be similar to Nis-san’s upcoming E-Power offering in the Qashqai. You can also expect more tech, including a new electroni-cally controlled all-wheel drive system, 32 driving aids, a large head-up display and a massive Tesla-style 12-inch vertical infotainment screen.

New models pouring in

There are lots of new models heading to UK showrooms as you read this too, including the updated Audi Q4 E-Tron and its Sportback sibling. The main changes are a faster charging time on models with the larger 76.6kWh usable battery but there’s also a new 11.6-inch infotainment display. It might not seem like much, but if you can save a few minutes on charging times, that’s worth it. 

BMW has updated its 8 Series coupe models, including the M8 and they should be in the UK shortly. Al-ready here though are the new 2 Series coupe and 2 Series Active Tourer. The former has sporty looks in-side and out and unlike the 1 Series, retains its rear-wheel drive setup. It also still has a small grille, yay, we hear you say. The Active Tourer on the other hand has a massive set of front teeth, but it could have been worse. Behind those teeth is a car that has plenty of space and practicality for families who still appreciate the benefits of an MPV and don’t want to buy an SUV. 

While we are on the subject of BMW, the German automaker has just bought the Alpina brand. Alpina has been tuning BMWs for decades to create versions which are great to drive and show a little more individual-ism and character over regular Munich models. Both companies are promising to keep working together but it’s unclear what the future holds. Could Alpina become the flagship over M or will it become a lifestyle brand beneath it? We just hope BMW doesn’t mess with it. 

Finally Vauxhall has launched its new Grandland. It features a new design inside and out, adopting the brand’s new design language that we’ve already seen on the Corsa and Mokka. It also boasts more tech, better safety systems and more efficient engines including a plug-in hybrid version. At the same time, Vauxhall has announced it will be all-electric by 2028, so yes, we ended up where we began this week, talk-ing electric.