19 September 2018

Land Rover concepts future Range Rover Sport in new TV series

Jaguar Land Rover gives a peek at a concept for a Range Rover Sport of the 2030s in a streaming TV series from Hulu, writes Brian Byrne.

The series, 'The First', is about a group of astronauts trying to get to Mars.

The car is used by the aerospace director of the team, played by Natascha McElhone, and includes such soon-to-come technologies such as self-driving capability (the steering wheel retracts into the dashboard when not needed), and a communications bar which messages other vehicles.

Also in concept it is fully electric.

New BMW Z4 for Paris debut

The new generation BMW Z4 will get its public debut at the upcoming Paris Motor Show before going on sale in first markets, writes Brian Byrne.

First deliveries of the classic roadster from Munich will be in March of next year.

The new car will be longer, wider and taller than its predecessor, but will have a shorter wheelbase which BMW says provides better agility in conjunction with the wider track.

A new treatment of the BMW 'kidney' grille along with a distinctive lights design combines with a strongly sculpted bonnet to provide a car with a lot of road presence.

A range of engines will be topped with a 340hp unit in the M40i version, with a 4.6s sprint to 100km/h capability. The 'entry' engine will offer 197hp.

Thumbs up for bus driver 'heroes' in road safety discussion

A moderated discussion on road safety hosted by Continental Tyres and members of the FAI revealed that a 'lack of communication' between different kinds of road users was the most common concern, writes Brian Byrne.

The discussion was chaired by Tom Dennigan of Continental Tyres Ireland, and was filmed for distribution as a road safety video.

The discussion focused on best practice and examples of ‘Sharing the Road’ among the different and sometimes competing road users. Other issues included drivers who do not use their indicators and pedestrians and cyclists who do not check both ways before crossing the road.

The overall consensus among the group was that their heroes are the bus drivers. Due to their extra training and professionalism on the road, bus drivers have gained a respect that other transportation areas are working to achieve.

The FAI group that appears in the video includes Pearl Slattery, player with Shelbourne FC in the Continental Tyres Women’s National League – who represented the point of view of pedestrians; John Ward, the FAI’s head of referees who is an avid and committed cyclist; Emer Kane, FAI member and motorcyclist who loves her Ducati 900; Mark Scanlon, an FAI Development Officer who travels around the country promoting the game from grass roots upwards – represented the views of car drivers; Stephen Egan, FAI staff member who drives an FAI-branded Ford Transit for the Association – representing van and small lorry drivers; and Lucky Singh, a bus driver from an Irish coach company that shuttles fans and players to and from matches.

SEAT reveals new flagship SUV

SEAT's new Tarraco large SUV has just been revealed at an event in Tarragona in Spain, writes Brian Byrne. The name, which is the original Roman Empire name Rarragona, was chosen by a social media vote of some 145,000 responses.

The new car previews what will be a stronger design language from SEAT in future models, including a grille that is larger and has more presence. Full LED lighting front and rear in the car emphasise the brand's lighting signature.

An FR sporty version will be along in 2020 and a PHEV hybrid with 210hp is also on the upcoming list.

The Tarraco will come to Ireland at the end of next February with two petrol engine options, a 150hp 1.5 and a 190hp 2.0. There will also be two 2.0 diesels, of 150hp and 190hp respectively. Transmissions will be 6-speed manuals and 7-speed dual clutch automatics. There will be FWD and AWD formats.

The vehicle will come in 5- and 7-seat options, but SEAT Ireland's people are very much expecting that the bulk of sales will be the 7-seater.

No prices or grade specifications will be announced here until December.

18 September 2018

Audi e-tron gets golden gate debut

Audi has presented its first production electric SUV, the e-tron, at an event in San Francisco, writes Brian Byrne.

Power is provided by two electric motors and the car is equipped with a special version of the quattro AWD system.

A highly developed over-run regeneration system is credited with a range that makes the car suitable for everyday use, according to Audi.

First deliveries of the new car in Europe are expected before the end of the year.

17 September 2018

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles will line out at the Ploughing

The official motoring partner to the National Ploughing Championships, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, will be featuring a full lineup of its commercial vehicles at the show, writes Brian Byrne.

These will include the California camper van, the Crafter van, the Amarok V6 Aventura pickup, the Caddy panel van and Caddy Maxi panel van, the Transporter LWB, Shuttle 9-seater and the Caddy Life 7-seater.

Models which are of particular interest to trades people and farmers will also be on show including Transporter and Crafter models available with 4Motion AWD with towing capacity of up to 2,500kg, as well as a low roof Crafter.

Today FM’s Phil Cawley will be live on the stand each day from 11.30am with competitions and giveaways for visitors to the stand. A graffiti artist will also entertain visitors over the course of the three days, transforming a Transporter with an incredible artistic display of van art.

Pictured are Anna May McHugh, managing director of the National Ploughing Association with Alan Bateson, Managing Director of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and a representative from Height for Hire. Also pictured are Kim Kilduff, Head of Sales and Marketing for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and NPA President James Sutton in the crane.

Citroen's C5 Aircross to debut at Paris

The new Citroen C5 Aircross will get its public debut at the Paris Motor Show in the beginning of October, writes Brian Byrne.

There will also be a hybrid concept of the SUV. The C5 Aircross will be a flagship model that incorporates Citroen's Advanced Comfort technologies.

Citroen will be celebrating its centenary in 2019.

BMW teases electric SUV

This is BMW's teaser concept of an electric SUV expected to debut as a production car in 2022, writes Brian Byrne.

The Vision iNext showcases the company's thinking on how its vehicles will incorporate zero emissions, Level 3/4 self-driving abilities, and connectivity.

BMW is understood to be offering a range of battery sizes when the car rolls out, the largest of which will provide almost 600kms of driving range.

The Munich based company plans to launch 12 electric cars by the end of 2025.

GoCar sharing leaps forward

Users of Dublin public transport Leap cards will now be able to use their cards to rent GoCars, writes Brian Byrne.

This follows an agreement between GoCar and the NTA, and is an initiative that comes in conjunction with European National Mobility Week.

GoCar car sharing was launched in 2008 and has over 450 cars available in Dublin and 15 counties.

GoCar plans to double its fleet in 2019, and this week is offering free sign-ups and €10 off first journey, as part of European Mobility Week.

Pictured are Jonathan Roche and Colm Brady of GoCar, at the announcement of the initiative.