Weekly News - November 15 2021


Cop26 brought a bunch of new electric vehicles and fresh commitments from automakers and governments. In our news round-up we look at some of the cool and super-cool new models both electric and traditional to suit a range of budgets and tastes.

Cop26 has come to an end but the shift towards greener transport is continuing regardless of what might have been achieved, or not, in Glasgow. This means more electric models, with Volkswagen expanding its line-up of EVs and some rather cool retro-mod classic recreations. Not everyone is planning to switch yet though and the auto industry still has lots of exciting stuff coming along with an engine under the bonnet. 

Volkswagen is following up its ID 3 and ID 4 electric models with the appropriately named ID 5. We’d seen the concept already but now VW has shown the production version of its first coupe-like electric SUV as well as the performance version, the ID 5 GTX. Coupe looks for SUVs are all the rage but they do mean compromising on room for passengers in the back seats as well as boot space. In the case of the ID 5 it means 12mm less headroom for those sat in the rear seats, but there’s 549-litres of luggage space, six litres more than the ID 4. The regular version has a single electric motor over the rear axle but if you want something more sporty, more GTi without the i then the GTX has e-motors on both axles. Expect the new ID 5 in the UK early in 2022. 

Next year will also see a new cat in town in the form of the Ora Cat 01. Ora is an electric brand from Chinese automaker Great Wall Motors (GWM) and its Cat 01 will be the first of a number of EVs heading to the UK including the Ballet Cat which is being revealed this week and which looks rather like a Volkswagen Beetle. Before that though, the big news is that he Cat 01 will be priced from around £25,000 making it one of the cheapest EVs in the market. The design is cool inside and out and it has plenty of tech as well as a driving range of up to 261 miles with the ability to rapid charge at up to 80kW.

Ora Cat

Another electric model that has been revealed is the new Subaru Solterra, the first EV from the brand. If you think you’ve already seen it then you’re sort of right, because essentially it’s the Toyota BZ4X with a few very small styling changes and a Subaru badge. Due in the UK in the middle of 2022, it has a 71.4kWh battery pack, choice of front-wheel drive with 201hp or all-wheel drive with 215hp and a range of up to 329 miles.

Toyota has chosen not to electrify its new Aygo X which has just been revealed in full production form and which will go on sale in 2022. It’s a much more funky thing than the last generation, featuring pseudo-SUV adventurous looks, more attitude and cool colours with names like Cardamom, Chilli, Ginger and Juniper. Sitting on the same platform as the Toyota Yaris, it’s larger than the outgoing model and features more tech and driving assistance systems.

Audi has revealed a facelift for its flagship limo, the A8 and A8L, featuring a few exterior design tweaks and lots of new tech and luxury inside. Exterior changes are more subtle than on other models with the four rings, allowing the A8 to keep its executive look. It has a new customisable light signature front and rear as well as new wheels and colour choices. Inside there are new screens and materials but it’s all a little behind the interior of the latest Mercedes S-Class. The new A8 goes on sale in the UK early in December priced from £73,375.

Then Ferrari has been busy making a one-off for a special customer. This time it’s the BR20, which rather oddly is a GTC4Lusso 2+2 with the back seats removed, thus taking away the additional practicality. Instead it’s all about the nostalgia of 1950s Ferrari tourers such as the 500 Superfast, designed to have space for two and their luggage and engineered to cross Europe at speed and in comfort.

Finally some interesting things from the twins of Hyundai and Kia, which let’s be honest just keep producing interesting things. Kia has given us a tease of its new EV9 which will be shown at the upcoming Los Angeles auto show to follow the stunning EV6. Less likely to go into production is the Hyundai Heritage Series Grandeur, a modern interpretation of the classic 1980s Grandeur saloon that is also fully electric. It has LED lighting similar to the Ioniq 5, an aircraft style gear selector, storage for watches or cigars, a modern touchscreen display and burgundy velvet upholstery. We like Hyundai’s approach to re-interpreting classic models like this and while it’s all a bit of fun at the moment, perhaps it’s a genre that will be appealing enough to make it into production one day.


Written by Mark Smyth