Weekly News - May 11 2022

In the latest news round-up, we feature the new electric Ford Transit Custom, some luxurious SUVs and an electric car that’s taken its name from one of the best car chase movies ever

Transiting to electric

The biggest news this week is that the best-selling vehicle in the UK in 2021 is getting an all-electric version. It’s not even a car, but the new E-Transit Custom that will have a driving range of up to 236 miles when it arrives here towards the end of 2023. It follows the launch of its big brother electric Transit and will feature DC fast-charging capability and a clever vehicle-to-load system called ProPower Onboard that can charge power tools and other items. 

Because everyone wants performance and luxury

Big reveals this week for two major names in luxury SUVs. We’ll start with the new Range Rover Sport, which naturally follows the new Range Rover that made its debut late last year. It’s ditched its bouncer look and instead gone with a more menacing, more Marvel villain look and we like it. Inside it still has lots of luxury, comfort and tech, but interior design boss, Lee Perry, told us at an exclusive preview that it’s all designed to look “faster”. There’s super cool stuff too like carbon fibre panels which are made from chopped up pieces of the material so no two panels are the same in any car anywhere on the planet. 

Under the bonnet there will be a choice of petrol or plug-in hybrid powertrains, the latter offering up to 70 miles of pure electric driving. It’s the Sport though so what you probably want to know is that it can hit 62mph from standstill in just 5.4 seconds, although if you want to do it in 4.5 seconds you’ll need the 4.4-litre V8 version. It also has lots of clever stuff like dynamic air suspension, the cool-sounding Stormer Handling Pack and of course, the full off-road capability you expect of any Range Rover. 

Then there’s Bentley, which promised us a fifth model in its line-up and then gave us a longer version of the Bentayga. It’s a slightly bigger deal than that of course, because the new Bentayga EWB (extended wheelbase) is the company’s new flagship, replacing the Mulsanne luxury saloon. It gains an extra 180mm in length, which has allowed for even more sumptuous rear seats, clever lighting tech for those reclining in them and a host of other features. Despite all this, we can’t help but feel sad that we have reached the point where a flagship Bentley is an SUV.


Beauty and the beast

Beauty comes in the form of the new Ferrari SP48 Unica, a bespoke one-off commission from a very wealthy customer of the Maranello marque. Based on the F8 Tributo, it’s been designed by the Ferrari Styling Centre in consultation with the client and features unique materials as well as design. 

Then to the beast, a collaboration between Mercedes-AMG and the musician Will.I.Am called The Flip. Mercedes gave us a whole load of information on how it’s about inspiring students to get involved in science and engineering, but frankly as soon as we saw the images, we threw up and didn’t really want to know anything more about it. 

In other news

Ineos recently announced its first dealer partners in the UK and now it’s followed it up with the reveal of pricing for its Grenadier SUV. Order books open on 18 May and prices will start at £49,000, presumably for the basic two-seater Utility Wagon. The company has also announced that there will be two Belstaff editions, named after the outdoor clothing company that Ineos also owns. These will be the Trialmaster which will be pre-configured for more hardcore of-roading and the Fieldmaster which is aimed at those with a passion for outdoor adventures. 

Finally, electric vehicle maker, Fisker has announced it will follow its Ocean and Pear models with an electric sports GT car that will be called Ronin. As massive fans of one of the best car movies ever, we always expected that Audi would get to use the Ronin name for something, but Fisker has beaten them to it. Granted it’s not going to make the noise of an Audi S8, nor will Robert de Niro be able to make dramatic gear changes, but founder Henrik Fisker says it will offer a high levels of performance and great driving range for four adults. It will be revealed properly in August 2023.


Written by Mark Smyth