27 May 2022

Peugeot launches new 308 in Ireland

Peugeot Ireland MD Des Cannon, with Marketing Manager Jana Solovjova, Sales Director Luke Messitt, and Technical Manager Martin Dunne.

Peugeot Ireland has launched the new-generation 308 hatchback, with a wagon version coming along shortly, writes Brian Byrne.

The new car is priced from €31,765 and there are three engine options — 130hp petrol and diesel, and PHEV in two power outputs of 180hp/225hp. There will be an all-electric version towards the end of next year, in line with the policy of the Stellantis Group driving towards full electrification across its ranges. All 308s here come only with automatic transmission, the only option available in RHD markets.

The new 308 is the first production vehicle from Peugeot to have the new Lion logo, in a new grille style aimed at distinguishing its models in the upper end of the market.

The new car is longer than its predecessor, with a longer wheelbase offering excellent space for adults in the rear, and a good boot. The car is lower to the ground, which makes for a very sleek profile.

There are three grades, with the middle well-specified Allure grade expected to be the main seller. 

New fully-electric MPV launched

The Harris Maxus group has launched a fully-electric 7-seat MPV to the British and Irish markets, writes Brian Byrne.

The Maxus Mifa 9 will be available to order from August for deliveries in Q1 2023.

It was introduced to UK and Irish markets at the recent CV Show in Birmingham.

With a claimed range of up to 520km, the Mifa 9 price and specifications will be released later in the summer. 

Ford trials automatic speed limit control

Ford is experimenting with a system that automatically slows a car to the local speed limit by means of connectivity, writes Brian Byrne.

The Geofencing Speed Limit Control System sends a signal to suitably equipped cars that tells them they are in a speed limit area, and the car automatically slows to that speed. It uses GPS and the in-car technologies already available such as Intelligent Speed Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go.

The trial is the result of a collaboration between the Ford, city officials in Cologne and Aachen, and Ford software engineers.

It is still only in the experimental stage.

New SIMI President

The new President of the Society of the Irish Motor Industry is Antonia Hendron, Managing Director of M50 Truck & Van Centre, Dublin.

Ms Hendron was elected to the position at SIMI's AGM last week, held in Killashee House Hotel in Kildare.

In her inauguration speech she said she wanted to help the motor industry to become a leader and enabler of the green transition.

She said 'consumer confidence is key' to making this transition and would require the Government to continue VRT and grant support for electric vehicles until at least 2025. 

20 May 2022

New Mercedes-Benz EQS and EQE arrive here

Mercedes-Benz has introduced two important new models to Ireland, the large luxury EQS and smaller EQE, writes Trish Whelan

With the brand’s EQA, EQB, EQC, and EQV people carrier, their arrivals increase to six the number of electric-powered passenger vehicles sold in Ireland while taking yet another major step towards their goal of having a fully carbon-neutral fleet inside the next 20 years. 

Genetically modelled on the recently launched S-Class saloon (but looking very different), the EQS comes in a choice of two model variants: EQS 450+ (with rear axle eATS electric motor) priced at €129,965, and an EQS Mercedes-AMG 53 4MATIC+all-wheel-drive version (motors on both axles) at €180,015. It has an operating range of up to 735kms (WLTP), power output of up to 333bhp and a top speed limited to 210km/h. Electrical consumption is 18.9-16.2kWh/100km. 

Mercedes-Benz Ireland sales manager Ciaran Allen (pictured above with the new EQS) describes the new EQS as ‘the embodiment of everything the brand represents in terms of luxury, comfort, safety and specifications’ and ‘a mould breaker many of whose features will be seen in future EQ models’. 

The car embodies over 40 new inventions and 20 new design applications to create what the brand says is ‘a car that appeals to almost all of the senses’. 

Inside, a key feature is the optional concave dash-mounted MBUX infotainment ‘hyperscreen’ whose curved and flexed surface appears to float across the full width of the car. Now equipped with artificial intelligence and a ‘learning’ capability, it supports the driver in numerous additional ways beyond what was possible previously. 

The car we drove at launch from Powerscourt Hotel in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, was the 450+ which has a power output of 333hp (565Nm torque) which can sprint from 0-100km/h in 6.2 seconds. The MBUX Hyper screen added another €12,218 to the price but looked absolutely stunning. The premium plus package was another €17,776. 

The new EQE, the all-electric version of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class series, will appeal to current E-Class owners. It has a range of up to 654km. Here in Ireland the focus will be on the EQE 350+ version priced at €85,980. 

This was the car we drove briefly at launch with the AMG Line. It comes with a 292hp electric motor and 565Nm torque and can do the 0-100km/h sprint in 6.4 seconds. Annual road tax is €120. Optional extras included AMG Line interior and exterior pack, a premium package, and red seat belts which combined took the total price of the car to €105,131. 

Another model at launch is the AMG EQE 43 priced at €120,180. Coming later will be an EQE 500 and AMG EQE 53 both equipped with 4MATIC AWD and eATS at front and rear axles. Slightly shorter than the EQS in terms of overall length, EQE is comparable to the CLS in terms of its outer dimensions and visual appeal. Inside the cabin has plenty of space for passengers with generous front shoulder room, a longer interior and a higher seating position. Boot capacity is 430 litres. 

Ciaran Allen for Mercedes-Benz Ireland said at the launch “We are confident EQE will be another electric powered winner as motorists convert to more eco-friendly motoring in ever increasing numbers.”


Renault and Dacia dealer for South Tipperary

Renault Group Ireland has appointed Kevin O’Leary Clonmel as the new Renault and Dacia main dealership for South Tipperary, writes Trish Whelan

Kevin O’Leary Group is one of Ireland’s most established motor groups, founded in 1963, with dealerships in Bandon, Cork City and Clonmel. The dealership will have the full range of Renault and Dacia cars as well as Renault’s full van range. It will also offer servicing and parts facilities. 

Paddy Magee, Country Operations Director of Renault Group Ireland said the Group are delighted to have Kevin O’Leary Clonmel on board. “The business has been built on excellent customer service and we looking forward to working together to represent the award-winning Renault and Dacia brands in South Tipperary.” 

Kevin O’Leary, Group Director said they look forward to welcoming everyone to the showroom to view the Renault and Dacia range. “We will be in business 60 years in 2023, and employ over 150 people and will now grow our team in Clonmel to take advantage of this exciting opportunity.” 

Pictured above are (front): Kevin O’Leary, Director Kevin O’Leary Motor Group and Lynn Boucher, Sales and Network Manager Renault Group Ireland. Back: Willie Butler, General Manager, Kevin O’Leary Clonmel; and Brian Quinlan, Renault Ireland.


Renault reveals futuristic Scenic Vision Concept

Renault’s Scenic Vision, an innovative concept car, brings the brand’s vision for a greener, safer and more inclusive future to live, writes Trish Whelan.

It is powered by a one-of-a-kind hybrid - electric and hydrogen - propulsion system. The 40 kWh battery is recyclable and will be made in France by 2024 at the Renault ElectriCity Gigafactory. It has a 14kW fuel cell to recharge it during long drives and thus extend its range. Renault say in 2030 and beyond, it will be possible to drive up to 800km with the hydrogen tank able to be refilled in five minutes or less, once the network of hydrogen stations is large enough. 

Its design and manufacture incorporate methods that the Renault Group and its brands will use to achieve carbon neutrality in Europe by 2040 and worldwide by 2050. This includes Renault aiming for an entirely electric range by 2030. 

Some 70 per cent of the concept’s materials are recycled and 95 per cent are recyclable. Its carbon footprint, including the battery, is much smaller being 75 per cent lower than that of a conventional electric car.


13 May 2022

Mazda upgrades MX-30

Mazda has updated its electric car, the MX-30, for sale through Europe in July, writes Brian Byrne.

Improvements to the charging system means the car can be fast-charged in 26 minutes, a ten-minute shorter period.

Changes to the EV sound help the driver to be aware of the level of torque being applied, for a more natural driving sense.

A new black and grey interior option sharpens up the inside look, and there are new exterior colour options.


12 May 2022

Nissan launches 'game changer' Ariya

Seamus Morgan and Jeanne McGann of Nissan Ireland with the new Ayria.

Nissan claim their new Ariya electric car is ‘another game changer’ for the brand, writes Trish Whelan. Ariya is a fully electric sporty crossover that drives like a performance car.

At last evening's launch, Seamus Morgan, Managing Director Nissan Ireland, said the brand is moving towards full electrification of their range, starting with Ariya which is the result of a combination of Nissan’s great success stories, Leaf EV, Qashqai Crossover and the performance expertise of the GTR. The front wheel drive version offers EV crossover style to appeal to high grade mainstream customers while the Ariya e-4ORCE gets dual motor all-wheel drive technology to offer increased balance, handling, comfort and performance.

Ariya will be available with two batteries. The 218hp, 63kWh battery will have a range of 402kms while the 242hp 87kWh version will have a range of 529kms. Both get 300 Nm torque. The very powerful e4ORCE with AWD will have 306hp and 600Nm of torque.

With a suitable quick charge facility, the battery can recover up to 300kms in 30 minutes. In this Nissan, the charging plug is a CCS. Using a home Wall Box the 7.4 kWh will take up to ten hours to charge, with 13 hours for the 87kWh version.

Launch prices for the 63kWh Advance model will start at €48,995 (inclusive of SEAI grant but exclusive of dealer deliver related charges). The 87kWh Evolve will be €66,995 (no grant is available for vehicles above €60,000). Nissan say the 87kWh will be available later at a lower entry price.

Full pricing from 1 June.


10 May 2022

New Range Rover Sport

The third generation of the Range Rover Sport is now available to order in Ireland at a starting price of €114,150, writes Brian Byrne.

Engine options include six-cylinder hybrids, a new V8, and mild hybrid versions of the six-cylinder Ingenium engine in petrol and diesel forms. A full electric version is scheduled for 2024.

The styling is sleek and smooth with exceptionally slim headlights and a full-width surface-LED implementation of rear lights.

The company says the new car has the most engaging driving experience in the model to date, thanks in large part to a suite of systems managed by an integrated chassis control system.