29 February 2024

Peugeot sponsors Pop-Up race series for 2024

Peugeot Ireland is continuing its partnership with Pop-Up Races for the 2024 racing season, writes Trish Whelan. 

The sponsorship agreement will see the car company renew its role as the official vehicle partner for the race series which will include various events across Ireland. The aim is to encourage people to embrace an active lifestyle and take part in community activities. There’s a guaranteed prize pot of €18,000, with an additional prize fund of €6,000 for the individual competition and €9,000 available for new course record bonuses, making this year’s Series prize pot €33,000 in total. 

The 2024 Peugeot Race Series will kick off with the Streets of Portlaoise 5k on 17 March. The full race calendar includes a range of distances from 5k to Half Marathon, with events taking place in various towns and cities across Ireland. 

The Series 2024 includes: 17 March Streets of Portlaoise 5k, 28 March Streets of Kilkenny 5k, 14 May Bob Heffernan / Mary Hanley 5km (Enfield), 19 May Aisling Murphy Memorial 4 Miles (Tullamore), 22 June Dunshaughlin 10k, 29 June Roscommon 10 Miles, 21 July Edenderry 10 Miles, 18 August Cork City 10 Miles, 15 September Charleville International Half Marathon.

For registration details and event dates, visit www.popupraces.ie 

Pictured above: At the finish line of the Ashling Murphy 4 Miler 2023 in Tullamore. The race winner was Eoin Everard of Kilkenny City Harriers A.C.


28 February 2024

Smart #1 reaches the Irish market

The latest electric car brand to land in Ireland is the smart, a joint venture between Mercedes-Benz and Chinese automotive giant Geely, writes Brian Byrne.

The smart #1 is the first of several models using the hashtag prefix that will be rolled out over the next 12 months, and is pitched against the likes of Hyundai's Kona Electric and the VW ID.3.

The rear-drive car has chirpy looks and an interior that features quirky graphics, including a 'madra rua', an animated fox that sits on a bottom corner of the infotainment screen.

A 272hp electric motor with a 66kWh battery provides a rated range of up to 440km, 

The smart #1 range will be marketed through a number of dealer outlets within the Mercedes-Benz passenger car network. There's a choice from four versions, with an entry prize of €37,479.


26 February 2024

Renault reveals new small electric car

The new Renault 5 E-Tech Electric has been revealed at the former Geneva International Motor Show, writes Brian Byrne.

The name revives memories of the original 5 launched in 1972 and becoming a iconic small car during its lifetime.

The latest iteration is built on a new special platform dedicated to B segment electric vehicles.

The car will be available with battery choices up to 52kWh and a rated range of up to 400km. 

Renault takes 7th European COTY award

The Renault Scenic E-Tech Electric has been voted European Car of the Year 2024, writes Brian Byrne. It is the 7th Renault vehicle to win the award.

The car was in the final choice from a short-list of BMW 5-series, BYD Seal, Kia EV9, Peugeot E-3008/3008, Renault Scenic, Toyota C-HR, and Volvo EX30, after the first round of voting by a jury of 59 motoring journalists from 22 countries.

Orders are already open, and the first vehicles are expected in the Renault network very soon. 

23 February 2024

SIMI announces winners of Motor Industry Awards

The Society of the Irish Motor Industry, in partnership with sponsor Bank of Ireland, took place yesterday at the Clayton Hotel in Dublin with Simon Delaney, Master of Ceremonies announcing the accolades in front of over 700 senior motor industry figures, writes Trish Whelan

The award winners, adjudicated by an independent panel, operate across all sectors of the Irish Motor Industry. Companies selected demonstrated an award-winning level of excellence and best practice over the last 12 months. 

Category award winners were: Bodyshop of the Year: Denning’s Cars Ltd., Dublin Vehicle Recovery Operator of the Year: Hamill Rental Ltd., Co Westmeath Independent Retailer Operation of the Year: Autopoint Motor Group, Co Kerry Franchised Aftersales Operation of the Year: Toyota Naas, Co Kildare Franchise Sales Operation of the Year: Western Motors Drogheda, Co Lough.  

Before their announcement, SIMI President Paddy Magee commented the resilience and adaptability of the Motor Industry to trade during these challenging times and acknowledged the industry’s continued commitment to the climate change targets. The Motor Industry plays a significant role in the Irish economy, collecting over 1 billion euro for the Exchequer from car sales last year. When other motoring taxes, and the annual tax take from motorists are included, it is close to 6 billion euro. 

Mr Magee remarked: “Manufacturers and retailers have worked diligently to grow the EV market, with over 70 different new electric vehicles models now available, demonstrating the dedication to consumers and the investment by the industry in the electric vehicle transition. While we accept that incentives cannot continue indefinitely, it is still too premature to start phasing out supports. The Government has been generous in its supports of EVs to date; it is simply imperative that this Government commitment is maintained as we move to the next cohort of potential EV buyers.” 

Zero Emission Vehicles Ireland (ZEVI) announced the winners of the ZEVI EV Dealership of the Year regional awards which are: Fitzpatrick’s Garage Kildare Ltd in Kildare for Leinster, Fermoy Nissan in Cork for Munster, Western Motors Ltd in Galway for Connaught, Connolly’s Volkswagen Letterkenny for Ulster. 

John Feeney of Finance Bank of Ireland said the bank are delighted to partner with SIMI for the Irish Motor Industry Awards and the event is ‘a small representation of our strong and steady backing for the motor finance business’. He said the bank is proud of their partnership with 23 motor brands and are committed to supporting the transition to electric vehicles. 

SIMI President Paddy Magee (pictured below) praised all the companies who were shortlisted for each of the SIMI Motor Industry Award categories. 

Pictured above at yesterday’s ceremony were (L-R): Paddy Magee, President of SIMI; John Feeney, Bank of Ireland with Liam Gillespie and Robbie Matthews of Western Motors Drogheda, winners of the Award for Franchised Sales Operation of the Year 2024; Brian Cooke, Director General of SIMI.



New Ineos vehicle revealed

The independent specialist carmaker Ineos has revealed a new 4x4 vehicle, the Fusilier, which will be offered with both all-electric and range-extender powertrains, writes Brian Byrne.

Smaller than the existing Grenadier 4x4, the Fusilier was unveiled in London by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, founder of Ineos, a subsidiary of his major petrochemicals and oil products company.

No launch detail for the Fusilier has yet been provided, though further information is expected by the autumn.

Ineos vehicles have been developed in conjunction with Austrian specialist manufacturer Magna. 

22 February 2024

PHEV option available in new Tiguan

A new plug-in hybrid drivetrain has been announced for the latest generation of the VW Tiguan, which has just begun market launch across Europe, writes Brian Byrne.

The claimed range of the EV element of the system is 120km, giving the car an estimated combined petrol-electric range of 900km on a full tank. It will be available in two outputs, 204hp and 272hp.

The new Tiguan is the third generation of what is currently the brand's most successful vehicle.