17 August 2017

SUV craze poses emissions issues for carmakers

The current and increasing preferences by car buyers for SUVs may cause problems for European carmakers in meeting more stringent fleet emissions requirements, writes Brian Byrne.

This is because compact through large SUVs in Europe are very reliant on diesel for their power, but sales of diesel engines are dropping ahead of more bans on the technology in cities.

Tougher CO2 emissions standards will come into effect over the next three years, and in order to meet them, carmakers will need to invest strongly in hybrid technology.

This is why Volvo recently announced it would be incorporating hybrid components in all its powertrains from 2019.

Jaguar is taking the all-electric route with its new I-Pace, due for launch later this year. And Audi will have a battery-powered e-tron SUV next year.

According to figures compiled by JATO Dynamics, SUVs accounted for 26pc of all passenger car sales in 2016. By 2020 that penetration is expected to reach 36pc according to a forecast from LMC Automotive.

SUVs in the small car segment, like the Citroen C3 Aircross (above) coming to Ireland in November don’t have the same emissions issues, as they are powered generally by small petrol engines.

Killarney Autocross Preview

Killarney & District Motor Club will host the 2017Jimmy Devane Memorial Killarney Autocross on Sunday next August 20th, writes Austin Shinnors.

The event will once again be based on grass surface, with  a new venue  at Ballaugh, Killarney on the N72.

The Jimmy Devane Memorial Autocross event was first held in 2011 in honour of Jimmy Devane who was a prominent member of the Killarney Club. Jimmy was also a highly respected  autocross and rally driver who sadly  passed away in 2009. The Jimmy Devane Cup is awarded to the fastest time of the day at the event each year.

Sunday's autocross is round five and the half way point in the nine round  Munster Autocross Championship. It is also the first race on grass which will add excitement to a very competitive championship.

Corkman Paul O'Driscoll tops the leader-board with 72 points, 4 points ahead of Clare driver Brian Hassett. Fachtna Mc Carthy is third with 50 points, ten ahead of Sean Cahill - the 2016 Munster champion. Brian O'Mahoney makes it into the top 5 with 38 points while Johnny Kenneally leads the saloon category.

The 2017 Munster Autocross is supported by O'Shea Bus Hire, Barrett International Transport, Daly Motor Services  and Pablo Photography.

DPD goes with Sprinters

Two DPD parcel delivery franchises have taken the decision to enhance their fleet of commercial vehicles with the recent addition of two new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans each.

Supplied by Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles main dealer, Kinahan Commercials of Moate, two of the new units will operate from the Mayo depot in Foxford with the other two servicing the Longford / Roscommon base.

Finished in DPD’s white, red and black livery and complete with the Sprinter 21st birthday pack, the 314/43 vans all feature an upgraded radio with 14.7 cm TFT display (Audio 15), cruise control, multi-function steering wheel, reverse camera, leather steering wheel and adjustable steering column.

With roots tracing back to 1986, DPD Ireland now handles in excess of 13 million parcels per year. Recently the company doubled its hub size and trebled its sorting capacity from 7,000 to 21,000 parcels per hour.

Call for road safety 'Leading Lights' nominations

Ireland’s Road Safety Authority is seeking nominations for its ‘Leading Lights in Road Safety 2017’ awards, now in its 10th year.

These awards recognise and honour the contribution made by people and organisations nationwide in reducing deaths and serious injuries on Irish roads.

In particular they have acknowledged remarkable contributions made by volunteers, teachers, students, businesses, journalists and community groups in making the roads safer for all.

Entries will be accepted in each of the following categories: Road Safety Officer of the Year; Education - Pre-primary, Primary, Secondary, Special, Third Level/Further and Community Education; Public Sector; Emergency Services; Local Media; National Media; Business; Future Award; Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) of the Year; CPC Trainer of the Year; and CPC Training Organisation of the Year.

The winners in each of these categories will go forward and be in with a chance of becoming the winner of the Supreme Award for 2017.

Nominations are now open and more information on how to enter your nomination in the ‘Leading Lights in Road Safety’ Awards are available on www.RSA.ie/LeadingLights.

16 August 2017

T-Roc to debut in eight days

Volkswagen is holding the world premiere of its new compact crossover, the T-Roc, on Wednesday 23 August, writes Brian Byrne.

The car’s design offers an SUV style for use in an urban context, with style themes which include a wide radiator grille with integrated dual headlights.

The housings for the turn signals and daylight running lights are positioned in the front bumper, a tilt back at 80s/90s cars which breaks with current practice of having them high to prevent damage.

Picture of 2014 concept above from the Geneva Motor Show courtesy of Norbert Aepli, Switzerland.

Chery coming to Europe

This is a pre-production version of a new Chinese SUV that is slated to go on sale in Europe in the next couple of years, writes Brian Byrne.

Its model name will be revealed next month at the Frankfurt Motor Show by Chery Automobile Company, which says it plans to sell a range of hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and battery electric vehicles.

Chery is the most successful exporter of vehicles in China. It has sold over 1.2m units overseas since it was founded — more than any other Chinese carmaker — and it is also the first Chinese manufacturer to pass total sales of more than 6m vehicles.

In 2016, Chery Group sold over 700,000 units, a year-on-year rise of 28pc. Of this number, approximately 100,000 vehicles were exported — representing almost 30pc of all Chinese vehicle exports.

X2 teased in advance of Frankfurt

These are teaser pictures of the BMW X2 which will debut at Frankfurt next month, writes Brian Byrne.

Filling the gap between the X1 based on the same platform as the Mini, and the X3, the X2 will likely offer an FWD entry version as well as AWD configurations.

The engines should mirror the current offerings in the X1, which start at 150hp.

15 August 2017

Special low emissions trade in offer from BMW

BMW is offering a special €2,000 ‘Lower Emissions’ allowance on trade-ins against all of its cars which have emissions of 130g/km or less, writes Brian Byrne.

The incentive is open to owners of diesel Euro 4 (EU4) emission standard vehicles or below, who can trade-in their vehicle for a new BMW i, BMW iPerformance model or low-CO2 emission models. This scheme includes progressive vehicles in the range such as the BMW i3 and i8 and will run until 31 December, 2017.

It is also available towards suitable Mini vehicles.

The allowance offered will be in addition to any other government or retailer incentives that are currently in place.

Full details are available here. http://www.bmwco2.ie/contentv3/