19 February 2018

CR-V, electric vehicles, for Honda Geneva display

Honda CR-V prototype at Frankfurt.
The new generation Honda CR-V will debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month and is expected to be on sale in Ireland before the end of the year, writes Brian Byrne.

The CR-V will come with the choice of a hybrid powertrain for the first time. There will be no diesel.

The Urban EV Concept first shown at Frankfurt last autumn will also be seen again, at Geneva, in advance of a production version due for launch next year. Beside it will be the Sports EV Concept, a possible electric sports car in the future.

The NeuV first shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in 2017 is an advanced electric concept with autonomous features and artificial intelligence.

Next Nissan Academy group in summer

Applications for the 2018 Nissan Academy Apprentice programme will open again in the summer, writes Brian Byrne.

The programme was established in 2015 to help develop the 'technicians of tomorrow' for the brand.

In addition to providing technicians who will be familiar with the latest and upcoming safety and connectivity systems, the apprentices get right up to date with the electric motor systems which are a foundation of future Nissan powertrain technologies.

A group of the current are pictured above.

Revised C-Class for Geneva, in Ireland mid-summer

A revised Mercedes-Benz C-Class will be featured at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show alongside the brand new A-Class, writes Brian Byrne.

Both cars will be on sale in Ireland in mid-summer, the C-Class in coupe form which will be followed in September by saloon and estate versions.

The C-Class in its current generation was Mercedes-Benz's top-selling model in its fourth year on sale. The brand sold a combined total of over 415,000 Saloon and Estate models worldwide in 2017.

In the revision, bumpers, lights and interiors have been upgraded.

New BMW X4 details revealed

BMW has revealed full details of its second generation X4 sports activity coupe, writes Brian Byrne.

The car will debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month, and features a new lighter chassis, BMW's xDrive AWD, and will have two M performance versions with 326hp and 360hp available. A 2.0 diesel with 190hp will be the base model.

The new car is longer, wider and lower than the outgoing car, with a longer wheelbase helping to provide more room for occupants.

All versions will have LED lights front and rear, including adaptive headlights and new foglights.

The BMW Display key which shows fuel level, remaining range and service information will be an option, and the key can also be used to lock the doors, close the windows and operate the optional auxiliary heating system.

16 February 2018

Irish Ferries floats double Haven holiday deal

Irish Ferries has announced details of a holiday double deal at a selection of popular UK Haven resorts this Summer, writes Trish Whelan.

First up is a 7 nights break for up to 6 people sharing a two bedroom deluxe holiday home at the all-action park of Presthaven Sands in North Wales or Cala Gran near Blackpool from €903.

The price includes return car ferry crossing and is valid for bookings made by March 31st. Families staying between June 1st and 18th enjoy the added bonus of getting their 4th or 7th night free.

A second offer sees potential savings of up to €362 on bookings made before April 3rd at a choice of Presthaven Sands, Hafan y Mor, Cala Gran or Marton Mere resorts.

Along with evening entertainment aimed at ensuring happy kids mean happy parents, each park boasts activities to suit all the family including outdoor and heated indoor pools, children’s paddling pools, go karting, bike hire,ten-pin bowling, pitch & putt and tennis courts.

For more information or to speak to a friendly Haven Holiday specialist and secure your favourite park at the lowest price, call 0818 300 400 or visit www.irishferries.com/haven

13 February 2018

Rolls Royce confirms Cullinan as SUV's name

Rolls Royce is to name its first SUV the Cullinan, a reflection of the largest-ever gem-quality rough diamond, writes Brian Byrne.

Deliveries of the car will be in 2019, and is expected to substantially increase sales of the BMW-owned brand.

It will target the Bentley Bentayga and the Aston Martin DBX, the latter also coming next year.

Peugeot will debut new 508 at Geneva

Peugeot will debut a new generation 508 mid-sized saloon at the Geneva Motor Show next month, writes Brian Byrne.

The car is expected to be significantly different, with a coupe element to its styling. It is also expected to have elements from the Instinct concept shown at Geneva last year (above), which also previewed a 300hp plug-in powertrain, a less extreme version of which is probably going to be part of the engine choices.

The car is being produced on the same platform as the new 3008 and 5008, the former which has won both the European and Irish COTY accolades.

It is competing in a segment which is diminishing in sales overall, challenged by the ongoing growth of the SUV in customer preferences.

Upgrade to Mini Connected

All new Minis from next month will be available with 4G connectivity, thanks to an upgrade to the Mini Connected system, writes Brian Byrne.

The new in-built 4G SIM card and updated Mini Connected app will allow Mini drivers to access a variety of new digital services.

These will be available as standard on the Mini Countryman and Mini Clubman for UK customers, and optionally available as part of the Mini Navigation Plus package for Mini 3-Door Hatch, Mini 5-Door Hatch and Mini Convertible models.

The offering in Ireland hasn't yet been announced.

Jaguar I-Pace reveal next month

Jaguar will be revealing the production version of its new I-Pace electric SUV online on 1 March, ahead of physically debuting the car at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, writes Brian Byrne.

Because electric cars have shorter range in low temperatures, the company has been testing its prototypes in Northern Sweden where temperatures can drop as low as -40degC.

One way of ensuring maximum range is to pre-condition the car while it is plugged into the owner's home charger, so that it is heated and ready to go as soon as the driver sits in.

Jaguar are saying a 350km range for the I-Pace, which is due on sale in the second half of the year.

Petrol and diesel have 'positive' future — poll

A Europe-wide poll commissioned by Mazda found that almost six in ten motorists believe the future for petrol and diesel engines remains 'positive', writes Brian Byrne.

The Mazda Driver Project research — commissioned together with Ipsos MORI — polled 11,008 people across key European markets and an average of 58% believe there is “a lot of innovation and improvement still to come with petrol and diesel engines”; the figure is as high as 65% in Poland and more than 60% in Germany, Spain and Sweden.

On average, 33% of drivers stated that if running costs were the same as an electric car they would 'prefer a petrol/diesel car' — in Italy as many as 54% expressed this opinion.

In another area, only a third of drivers 'welcome the advent of self-driving cars' with the number dropping as low as 25% in France and the Netherlands.