Car.co.uk Weekly News - May 21 2021

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Another edition of weekly automotive news. Highlights include - Volkswagen has teased the new Polo GTi which will get its official debut in June & Land Rover has launched a HST version of its Evoque with sporty design bits and a 300 hp motor.

We all love a good car spy pic, a bit of camouflage, a bit of secrecy? This week there are plenty of them around, including images of the Mercedes-AMG EQS, the next generation of the Mercedes SL, the 2024 Porsche 718 Cayman and the 2023 BMW 7 Series. Spy pics always conjure up the idea of a photographer camped under a tarpaulin or in their car near to and automotive testing site, waiting for that elusive car to come along so they can get the pic and send it round the world.

Many of them are, but in recent years the car companies themselves have been sending out images of their cars undergoing testing. Spy pics, but not really. The latest are from BMW of the new 2 Series which is due to be revealed properly in a couple of months time. All we know at this stage is that it will offer 50:50 weight distribution and that the range-topper will be the M240i xDrive providing 374 hp. Will it have a massive grille? We don’t know yet, but we hope not.

A model revealed this week that has grabbed our attention is the Opel Manta. We say revealed, but it’s not a new model, the Manta is actually celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. What Vauxhall’s sister company Opel has done though, is restomod a Manta by putting an electric motor in to create the Manta GSe ElektroMod. Before anyone gets excited, at this stage it’s a one-off with no production plans, but doesn’t it look cool.

Sticking with electric, Lamborghini boss Stephan Winkelmann, this week announced the supercar manufacturer’s electrification plans. It’s all combustion engines for now, but in 2023 it will introduce its first hybrid production model and a year later all the bulls will be electrified. The first 100% electric Lambo will be in the second half of the decade, so it could be 2026 or it could be 31 December 2029. 

In other electrification news, Vauxhall has decided to join those betting on hydrogen by revealing its Vivaro e-Hydrogen van. It already has an electric van range, but in 2023 the hydrogen-powered Vivaro will go on sale in the UK offering a 249 mile range and refuelling time of just three minutes, provided you are able to find a hydrogen fuelling station.

Electric models are coming thick and fast, but this week a group of MPs making up Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee on Low Emission Cars lambasted the Government and in particular the Department for Transport, over their plans to ban sales of new internal combustion engined cars and switch everyone to electric. The committee said the government has “no clear published plan” with its chairperson, Meg Hillier MP saying: “The Government has a mountain to climb to get to all new cars in the UK emitting zero carbon in the next 14 years: to convince consumers and make the cars appealing, to make the car industry environmentally and socially compliant, to build the necessary infrastructure to support this radical shift and possibly biggest of all, to wean itself off carbon revenues. Yet once again what we’ve got is a Government throwing up a few signs around base camp - and no let-up in demand for oversized, petrol-guzzling vehicles.” Yeah, you tell ‘em, after all, it’s what the rest of us were thinking too.

We’ve also been wondering what the central sculpture would be at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. Well wonder no more, because it’s going to be dedicated to Lotus. We haven’t been told much about it yet, except that it will be more interactive than ever for both those visiting the famous estate and those tuning in at home. Sounds interesting. 

Finally, if you are planning to buy a new car this week then fear not, a new model has gone on sale. Actually it’s just a slightly updated version of an existing model, the Jaguar E-Pace R-Dynamic Black, which has some black trim and some more tech stuff, but it’s sort of new.

We have it on good authority that some proper new models that you might be able to buy will be revealed next week, so be sure to stick with Car.co.uk for all the news.