8 December 2016

Renault launches Megane Grand Coupe in Ireland

The Megane family is growing with the introduction of a four-door version, the new Megane Grand Coupe available now to order from Renault’s 28 dealerships, writes Trish Whelan. Prices are from €21,990. 

Its arrival completes Renault’s offering in the C-segment.

The car was developed in tandem with the all-new Megane and benefits from the same features, technology and engine variants as its five-door sibling, but with added ‘record-breaking’ roominess for its class. 

The generous level of space for all onboard is down to the car’s longer wheel base. The boot is larger than that in the Renault Fluence. 

Other features, more commonly associated with the next segment up, include a colour head-up display, a 7-inch TFT colour screen instrument display and the R-LINK 2 multimedia and navigation tablet available in two formats (7-inch landscape or 8.7-inch portrait) as well as MULTI-SENSE technology which allows users to personalise their driving experience. 

The car also benefits from many high-tech driving aid technologies such as Adaptive Cruise Control, Safe Distance Warning, Blind Spot Warning, and Tiredness Detection Warning. 

Customers have a choice of two dCi engines of 110 and 130 with manual and EDC transmissions. 

Renault claim a fuel consumption of 3.7 L/100kms (76mpg) for the combined cycle and C02 emissions as low as 96g/km. Annual road tax is from €180-€190.

Four trim levels are offered, and nine exterior colours.  

Megane Grand Coupe has gained a top 5-star safety rating from Euro NCAP. 

Renault’s 171 offer includes 3pc APR Finance, 3 years servicing, and 5 years Warranty and Roadside Assistance.

Built in Renault’s Bursa plant in Turkey, the Megane Grand Coupe is set to go on sale in nearly 30 countries. 

7 December 2016

LaFerrari raises $7m for Italian earthquake fund

Earlier this week, a prized LaFerrari was sold at auction in Florida for $7 Million to benefit the reconstruction of Central Italy in the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes of 2016. The auction was held in conjunction with RM Sotheby’s and in collaboration with the National Italian American Foundation's Earthquake Relief Fund. The price achieved represents a record for the most valuable 21st Century automobile ever sold at auction.

All proceeds from the auction will go toward the reconstruction efforts in the areas affected by the earthquake. RM Sotheby’s has graciously donated their expertise to raise the highest amount possible. The decision to donate a LaFerrari from the company’s own collection for this cause  was announced on 31 August 2016 on the occasion of the bilateral talks between the Italian and German governments that took place at the Ferrari factory in Maranello, Italy.

The LaFerrari boasts a unique livery with a distinctly Italian theme: a red exterior with a white dream line on the hood and rear windshield. A  small Italian flag on the hood serves as a reminder that this is a gift by Ferrari to its home country. The car will also feature a commemorative plaque.

More details on new Insignia

Opel has released the first full pictures of the new Opel Insignia Grand Sport, writes Brian Byrne.

Key elements of the new car include the styling of a large coupe, overall lighter by 175kg over the current Insignia, AWD, and new generation intelligent LED lights.

It is slightly longer, lower and has a wider track, and a longer wheelbase which improves both the ride quality and the interior space.

The aerodynamics will be class leading with a CD number of 0.26.

A full range of safety technologies will include a 'bird's eye' camera system. lane keeping assist, rear cross traffic alert, and more.

The car will be revealed to the public at the Geneva Motor Show in March and will then go on sale.

Suzuki launches new Ignis

Suzuki’s new Ignis compact crossover model will go on sale in Ireland from January 2017, writes Trish Whelan.

Available in SZ3, SZ-T and SZ5 grades, the new car will be priced from €12,995-€17,995.

Power is from a 1.2 Dualjet with C02 emissions of 97g/km 104g/km, and 106g/km. Annual road tax is €180-€190. A 5-speed automated manual is offered along with a 4x4 ALLGRIP for the SZ5 model which is a ‘mild’ hybrid.

The Inis SZ5 gets a Dual Camera Brake Support which can detect lane markings as well as objects ahead including pedestrians and also their distance away. This Safety Pack feature has helped the SZ5 model to be awarded a top five stars in the latest Euro NCAP tests, while the standard model gained just three.

6 December 2016

Scenic and Grand Scenic available to order

Twenty years after inventing the world’s first compact MPV with the Scenic - which has since sold 5 million units of which 22,000 have been sold in Ireland since 1996 - Renault has completely overhauled its offering in the segment with the fourth generation of the model, writes Trish Whelan.

Unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March this year, the New Scenic five-seater, and New Grand Scenic seven-seater receive 20-inch wheels as standard across the range which is unique in its segment.

Both have a distinctive MPV body shape that is 20mm wider than the Scenic III, along with higher ground clearance, a longer wheelbase and wider tracks at both front and rear. A panoramic glass roof is available depending on trim level while aluminium roof rails are standard. 

Both versions are available with an 8.7-inch portrait touchscreen which is another segment-first, Multisense technology which enables the driver to alter the driving setup and cabin ambience and One-Touch folding rear seats, controllable from the boot or dash via the R-Link system which make it easy and quick to fold rear seats flat to carry larger items. The car has the biggest storage capacity and boot space in its class at 572 litres - the Grand Scenic has 596 litres with five seats in use. 

New Scenic has some high-end technologies and safety features drawn from the segment above, like Automatic Electronic Braking System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Warning, Traffic Sign Recognition and automatic high/low beam. 

A range of efficient petrol and diesel engines is available from launch, with emissions as low as 100g/km. The petrol is the Energy TCe 115; diesels are the Energy dCi 110 also with 130hp and 160hp. Claimed fuel consumption is from 3.9L/100kms to 6.1 L/100kms and annual road tax is from €180-€280. 

The five-seater has an RRP of €26,000-€34,900; the seven-seater is from €28,400-€41,700.

New Scenic has been awarded Euro NCAP’s highest score of five stars. 

Both versions are available to order at Renault Ireland’s 28 dealerships. 

New headlights system from Mercedes-Benz

A new headlights system developed by Mercedes-Benz will further develop the matrix LED technology to such an extent that it will be able to project symbols and words on the road ahead to give drivers more information about their surroundings, writes Brian Byrne.

The HD (high definition) technology uses a computer system which controls more than two million adjustable micro-mirrors in a pair of headlights to give ultra-precise control of the light beam.

Special algorithms receive detailed information about the surroundings from the vehicle sensors, such as cameras or radar, and the system can detect a pedestrian on the road and light up their body but leave their head in the dark, so that they are not dazzled. It can do this also for other cars and bicycles.

Mercedes-Benz is planning to launch the system in 2017, probably in an S-Class.