15 April 2021

Latest electric Audi revealed

Audi revealed its next electric car online last evening, the Q4 e-tron, which will be the brand's entry-level EV, writes Brian Byrne. Premiered in streamed event under the banner 'Celebration of Progress', the car will follow the original e-tron, the e-tron Sportback, and the e-tron GT that has now gone on sale in Ireland.

The Q4 e-tron will be available in SUV and Sportback formats, both with the familiar shape trapezoid grille but in the EVs with closed frontage. In addition to its own version of Audi's current interior thinking, the car will have steering wheel with touch-sensitive controls, and the Q4 e-tron will be the first Audi to feature an option of augmented head-up display including moving navigation signals.

Electric powertrains will range from 170hp-300hp with ranges between 335km-508km. The Q4 e-tron will arrive in first RHD markets in the second half of this year. No Irish date or price yet available. 


14 April 2021

Ford Lease is a one-stop shop for full fleet management

Ford Lease is offering Irish businesses a competitive and integrated one-stop shop for leasing and full fleet management, saving time and money.  Targeted at businesses that run a fleet of vehicles, Ford Lease is a competitive integrated leasing and full fleet management offering that was recently launched in the Irish market.

Ford Lease is provided as a partnership between Ford Credit, Ford’s finance arm, and ALD Automotive (formerly Merrion Fleet). Mastertech, one of Ireland’s leading building services and engineering solutions providers recently concluded a Ford Lease agreement for the supply of a range vehicles through main Ford dealer Spirit Ford in Sandyford, Dublin. Mastertech runs a full fleet of some 30 vehicles and the range supplied through the Ford Lease agreement includes Transit Custom, Ranger, Kuga Commercial and Focus passenger vehicle models.

Paul Kane of Mastertech said the agreement took much of the work out of running our extensive fleet of commercial vehicles. "It is ideal in that our optional service and maintenance plan means that we do not have the headache of worrying about servicing and maintenance of the vehicles, we are covered for problems such as tyres and general servicing, freeing up our team members’ time so that they can focus on meeting the needs of our customers”.

Lynn McHugh, Fleet Manager at Spirit Ford said Ford Lease is fully scalable to the needs of the customer whether they want one, two or even 20 vehicles under the deal. "The accountants love it because it comes with a set monthly cost over a set period of time and enables the customer to reduce to a minimum the amount of time any of their vehicles could potentially be off the road due to the unlikely occurrence of breakdown or other mechanical issues."

Fleet managers interested in finding out more about Ford Lease should click on ford.ie or speak to a local Ford dealer.


13 April 2021

Skoda updates Kodiaq SUV

Skoda has updated its Kodiaq large SUV with a striking new front end design and upgrades to the interior, writes Brian Byrne.

Full LED Matrix headlights are now available as an option for the first time on the model. The range-topping RS version has a new and more powerful 245hp turbo petrol engine and a new, lighter, 7-speed DSG dual-clutch auto transmission.

Interior changes include new decorative trim items and the option of perforated leather seats with full electric operation. A Virtual Cockpit option is also available.

The latest version of the car will be in first markets from July of this year.


New Ford Ranger variants coming

Ford will be adding two special edition variants to their Ranger pickup range here in the autumn, writes Brian Byrne. The Stormtrak and Wolftrak versions will add choice to Ireland's best selling pickup.

The Stormtrak will be powered by a 213hp 2.0 diesel, with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Special paint options and Stormtrak decals and badging will help the vehicle stand out on the road, or offroad. Leather seating is standard.

The Wolftrak will come with the 170hp diesel and a choice of 6-speed manual or 10-speed auto. It is geared specifically for owners who do rugged outdoor work in farming, forestry, and industry.

A new power roller load bed cover will be standard on the Stormtrak and an option on both the Wolftrak and the current Wildtrak grade. Pricing will come before the October date when the vehicles will be in Ford showrooms here.


12 April 2021

New flagship from Citroen revealed

Citroen has unveiled a new flagship model in the medium-large car segment, the C5 X, which will go on sale in Ireland early next year, writes Brian Byrne. The car combines attributes of a large sedan, estate and SUV in what the company calls a ‘disruptor’ design that eliminates the need to choose between those formats. 

The C5 X will come with both petrol and plug-in hybrid powertrain choices, with power outputs up to 225hp. At today’s reveal the design team described the styling theme as ‘fluid’, offering elegance as well as practicality. The new car is being built in China, which has a large market for the D-segment, and where Citroen has a significant presence as well as established manufacturing facilities. 

Colin Sheridan, MD of Citroen Ireland, said today that the car will offer ‘an industry benchmark’ for driver and passenger comfort. Pricing and specification will be announced towards the end of the year.  

Citroen Ireland will also be launching a number of new and facelifted models in coming months. These will include the all new C4 and ë-C4, the C5 Aircross PHEV as well as the facelifted C3 and C3 Aircross models. There are also additions in the LCV sector with the imminent arrival of the ë-Berlingo and International Van of the Year, the ë-Dispatch.

Opel Mokka now in Irish dealerships

The Opel Mokka has now arrived in Ireland at a starting price of €23,295, writes Brian Byrne.

Available in SC, SRI and Elite trims, standard equipment on the entry level SC trim includes enhanced traffic sign recognition, lane keep assist, electronic cruise control with speed limiter, rear parking sensors with rear view camera, and 16” alloy wheels.

 Engines are 1.2 petrol in 100hp and 130hp, a 110hp diesel, and a 136hp electric version with a range of up to 324kms.


9 April 2021

Impressive Audi e-tron GT arrives in Ireland

Audi's new sporty flagship, the e-tron GT quattro large coupe, has gone on sale in Ireland at a starting price of €102,397, writes Brian Byrne. A more powerful RS version will cost €140,367.

The all-electric cars are the latest in a growing range of battery-electric vehicles from Audi, which began with the e-tron 50 SUV in early 2019, and will be augmented by the upcoming Q4 e-tron expected to be on sale in RHD markets by the end of this year.

The 'standard' e-tron GT has a power output of 476hp, offering a sprint to 100km/h in 4.1s. The RS has 598hp and a 3.3s sprint capability. There is just one battery available, offering ranges of 479km/472km in the respective cars. At an appropriate charging station, a recharge from 5pc-80pc is possible in 22.5mins.

There are two electric motors, one on each axle, with AWD and variable torque vectoring up to 100pc between front and rear axles as driving conditions require. A two-gear rear axle provides for very fast acceleration from standstill. A super-streamlined silhouette provides a very aerodynamic Cd value of 0.24, and the active air suspension automatically lowers the car at higher speeds. The e-tron GT comes with a bespoke sound system that provides a sporty note to warn other road users and gives the occupants a sense of being in a high-powered sports car.

There are three choices of sport seats in the standard GT, and a special RS-styled interior set for the more powerful version. The interior design reflects the latest Audi styling, with high quality materials and the 'virtual cockpit' digital instrumentation and connectivity-navigation screen.

The e-tron GT is targeting the top end of premium electric cars, including Volvo's Polestar, Porsche's Taycan, and the Tesla Model S. Audi Ireland's marketing director, Richard Molloy, says there has been a very strong interest in the car, with a number of customers already having put down deposits. Delivery of the first cars will be in July, and Molloy says supply will be 'tight', and Audi Ireland are already negotiating for additional vehicles beyond their initial allocation.

An early first drive experience with the car this week was impressive, with performance and overall feel being very much in line with the promise. A more comprehensive drive impression will follow later.