24 June 2022

Nissan moves nearer full electrification with New Juke

The arrival of the new Nissan Juke hybrid follows the launch of their new Ariya 100pc electric crossover and new Qashqai mild hybrid, writes Trish Whelan

The new Juke starts in 100pc electric mode and can reach speeds of up to 55km/h in pure EV mode. The Juke hybrid powertrain consists of a new generation combustion engine specifically developed for working in a hybrid powertrain application. The powertrain provides 25pc more power than the current petrol engine with a fuel consumption reduction up to 40pc in the urban cycle and up to 20pc over the combined cycle. 

New Juke comes equipped with Nissan’s e-pedal allowing the driver to accelerate and slow down using only the accelerator. Boot space is 354 litres, expandable to 1,237 litres. 

The brand is committed to having 75pc of its sales mix to be fully electric by next year. Pricing to be announced later this summer.

Peugeot's new 408 here next year

Peugeot’s new 408 will be on sale in Ireland at the start of next year, writes Trish Whelan

The new model will offer a new fastback silhouette at the top of the C-segment. The range of engines includes two rechargeable hybrid versions with 180bhp and 225bhp as well as a 130bhp petrol version, all paired with an 8-speed EAT8 automatic gearbox. No diesel version is available but an all-electric version will follow a few months later. 

The car is aimed mostly at active couples, with or without children, who will use their car for personal and profession purposes and will offer a very high level connected experience. Features will include the latest generation of the brand's i-Cockpit with its compact steering wheel as well as the latest technologies.

 It will be produced in Mulhouse France for the European market.


Citroen reveals details of new C5 Aircross SUV

Citroen’s facelifted C5 Aircross SUV has undergone significant design enhancements which include a new more rugged design with a new front end, writes Trish Whelan

The model has been the best-selling Citroen passenger car in Ireland since 2020, and will now be available with a choice of petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid versions. The petrol will be a 1.2 PureTech 130hp engine paired to either a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission; the diesel 1.5 130hp will also be matched to either of those while the Plug-in hybrid will have a 1.6 petrol engine paired to an 80kW electric motor to deliver 225hp (combined) with the possibility of driving up to 55km in full electric mode. Road tax is from €200 (diesel) to €270 (petrol) while the PHEV is €140. 

A new 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system comes as standard from the second trim level. The new C5 Aircross has the latest generation of Citroen Advanced Comfort seats with an extra 15mm layer of memory foam. Boot volume is from 580 to 720 litres in the petrol and diesel versions, and from 260 to 600 litres for the hybrid version. Driver-assistance systems include Highway Driver Assist, a level 2 autonomous driving system that combines Adaptive Cruise Control with a Stop & Go function, and the Active Lane Departure Warning system. 

First models are set to arrive here next month for the 222-registration period. Pricing starts from €38,990 for the 130hp petrol; from €39,700 for the diesel and from €48,500 for the 8-speed automatic hybrid version.


16 June 2022

New Range Rover & RR Sport models in September

The good times are back with the announcement that new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models are due to arrive here in September, with hefty price tags, writes Trish Whelan. Around 96pc will be low emission Plug-in hybrids. Huge interest has already been expressed by potential customers. 

At a special preview of both cars at Jaguar Land Rover, Spirit Motors in South Dublin on Monday last, Eddie Kavanagh, company Managing Director, said the new third generation RR Sport brings new levels of refinement as well as exceptional performance. It is hailed as the most thrilling RR Sport ever with a 0-100km/h time of 5.4 seconds. 

Mr Kavanagh is pictured above with the new Range Rover Sport on show at dealerships this month.

The suite of powerful and efficient powertrains includes six-cylinder extended range electric hybrids, a potent new V8 and mild hybrid six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines. Pure-electric propulsion will be introduced in 2024. All models are fitted with an eight-speed automatic transmission and Intelligent All-Wheel Drive while Land Rover’s latest Terrain Response system applies the most appropriate settings for the terrain. A new feature is Adaptive Off-Road Cruise Control which helps drivers navigate tricky terrain by maintaining steady progress according to the ground conditions. You select one of four comfort settings and the system adjusts the speed accordingly. The new model is 35pc stiffer than before which is sports car level standard. 

Its electric performance has a combined output of 510hp and 700Nm torque, a total real-world range of 740km, and a 113km WLTP EV range - the average daily commute is around 60kms. The battery can charge to 80pc with DC rapid charing in 60 minutes, within five hours with a home charger. C02 emissions are as low as 18g/km. 

Pictured above is the interior of a LHD Range Rover Sport model.

Connectivity includes a 13.1-inch screen, Haptic display, wireless connectivity, over-the-air updates, and voice control. RR Sport also has powerful and precise lighting with digital LED with dynamic light projection making the road ahead visibly brighter for 500 metres and the all-wheel steering, 3D surround cameras and manoeuvring lights which all make for effortless agile manoeuvring of the car allowing a turning circle of 11 metres. When using the navigation, the car knows your location and can read the road up to 3kms ahead to prepare for upcoming corners, adjusting the suspension settings to minimise body roll. The car can also park itself. 

It is available in S, SE, HSE and Autobiography specifications, with a First Edition available throughout the first year of production. The Range Rover Sport Dynamic SE with 460hp PHEV is priced from €114,150. 

The new Range Rover, pictured above, will also arrive in September. The First Edition D350 on view with a left-hand-drive version, is priced from €147,500.

Irish customers can have exclusive previews of the new RR Sport during this month as it visits Land Rover dealerships across the country. They include an in-depth walk around with product experts plus the chance to configure and pre-order their new vehicle.

Potential customers can still view the car this weekend (Friday and Saturday 17 and 18 June at Johnson & Perrott Land Rover, Bishopstown Cork; from 20-21 at Lyons Land Rover, Ballysimon Road, Limerick; from 22-23 at Autoboland Land Rover, Cork Road, Waterford; and from 24-25 at Conlans Land Rover, Naas, Co Kildare.



13 June 2022

ID.4 and Ioniq 5 battle it out in EV stakes

VW's ID.4 top of the league ... just.

With 8,261 electric cars sold year to date in Ireland at the end of May, EV sales are almost equal their full year sales for 2021, writes Brian Byrne.

The biggest selling model was Volkswagen's ID.4 with 1,132 units, with Hyundai's Ioniq 5 snapping at its heels literally on 1,127 units. Kia's EV6 is next with 740 cars delivered. Nissan's Leaf with 660 cars and Tesla's Model 3, with 500 units rolled out, fill out the top five places in total representing a tad over half of all EVs sold in this country this year.

Kia's Niro, Hyundai's Kona, VW's ID.3, Peugeot's 2008 and Renault's Zoe make up the rest of the top ten models, between them with a combined market share of 18.5pc.

In all, there are 59 models competing in Ireland in the battery electric space.

10 June 2022

New Mercedes GLC SUV due this Autumn

The latest new model from Mercedes-Benz is the all-new GLC expected here next Autumn, writes Trish Whelan

The GLC ranks as the best-selling model in the brand’s range over the past two years. Over 2.6 million units have been sold since the model was first launched six years ago. The premium German auto maker says it is the most dynamic model in their SUV family. 

The new model will be available in hybrid form only, either as a plug-in hybrid or as a ‘mild hybrid’ with 48-volt technology and an integrated starter-generator. Engines are 4-cylinder petrol and diesel units; four mild-hybrids and three plug-in hybrids with an electric-only range of more than 100kms (WLTP rated). With standard 4MATIC all-wheel-drive, GLC is comfortable on-road and off-road. 

The design includes muscular wheel arches, a wide track and flush wheels in 18 to 20-inch sizes. Features include the latest generation MBUX infotainment system as standard, a multi-function steering wheel and new dashboard which give the interior a modern, sporty, and luxury feel. The 12.3-inch screen faces the driver; an 11.0-inch central display rises above the centre console. 

The new GLC has a longer body and increased track widths. Boot capacity is now significantly larger and a touch-button tailgate opens and closes automatically. 

Towing capacity is 2.5 tonnes. 

Pricing and Irish specifications to be revealed closer to launch.

Easytrip celebrates 5 years with Blood Bikes

Mobility solutions specialist, Easytrip, is celebrating their five-year partnership with Blood Bikes, a not-for-profit charity, writes Trish Whelan

Easytrip has been supporting the charity since April 2017 enabling BloodBikes to continue to provide a vital service across Ireland, and has now extended their support for a further five years. In a typical year, the charity would make over 100,000 deliveries and in the last two years that support doubled to an estimated 250,000 dispatches. 

Blood Bikes provide urgent transportation of essential medical items such as donated blood, human tissue, breast milk to hospitals and medical centres 365 days a year, supply their service free of charge with help from a legion of voluntary drivers. Over the last two years, the organisation has supported the National Ambulance Service and the HSE with Covid-19 and medical equipment deliveries. 

The charity said the help from Easytrip has allowed them continue to operate and support hospitals, medical centres, satellite units of hospitals, HSE as well as residential and nursing homes who all provide crucial healthcare and work with vulnerable patients. 

On average, Blood Bikes get 20 to 30 calls a day, seven days week seeking help. Having their tolls paid automatically means lifesaving deliveries are made quicker which impacts positively on the patients who need the vital supplies the charity delivers.

Pictured above are Sharon Percival of Blood Bikes Leinster; Patricia Smyth, Head of Customer Service at Easytrip; Colin Delaney, CEO of Easytrip, and Fergus Lennon of Blood Bikes Leinster. Photographer: Finbarr O'Rourke.

Irish Rugby star signs up to Team Opel

Irish rugby star, Stacey Flood, has been appointed Opel Brand Ambassador and presented with a new electric Opel Corsa-e, writes Trish Whelan

With an electric performance at the recent HSBC Rugby World Sevens Series in Toulouse, Stacey was one of the nominees for the HSBC Dream Team. She joins her team-mate and friend, Amee Leigh Murphy Crowe as Opel Brand Ambassador. 

James Brooks, Opel Ireland Managing Director said she is the perfect Opel ambassador and a wonderful role model for Irish women. 

A Dubliner, Stacey holds a degree in technology management from the National College of Ireland. She made her international senior Sevens debut in Kazan in 2015 and since then has played at every stage of the World Rugby Sevens Series. The Sevens aim to qualify for the Sevens World Cup in Cape Town in September.

She is pictured above with James Brooks of Opel Ireland.

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.