20 September 2022

Jack Conan becomes ambassador for Windsor Opel


Irish rugby star, Jack Conan, has been appointed a Windsor Opel Brand Ambassador, writes Trish Whelan

He has been presented with a new Opel Mokka-e. 

Opel is a sponsor of Irish Rugby and the official car partner to the IRFU. Jack has been a powerful force in the Leinster and Ireland back row since 2014. Since making his Leinster debut that year, he has made over 100 appearances for the province, winning four PRO14 titles and a European Champions Cup. 

The Bray native also toured with the British and Irish Lions for the first time in South Africa last year. He has played 30 test matches for Ireland and was part of the winning Six Nations and Grand Slam team in 2018. He was also on the Ireland team that made history earlier this year by beating the All Blacks in New Zealand for the first time. 

Jack says the Mokka-e (Continental Irish Small SUV of the Year 2022) is more than spacious for a guy his size with plenty of room for all his training kit and even for his dog Riley. 

Mokka-e can do around 320kms on a single charge. 

Peter Nicholson, Managing Director at Windsor Motor Group looks forward to working with Jack to promote the Windsor Deansgrange Opel and Windsor Liffey Valley Opel dealerships.

 

I.D. Buzz is 'smart device on wheels'


The ID. Buzz from Volkswagen builds on the strengths long offered by Volkswagen buses, writes Trish Whelan

It may have a retro look to it but the technology is state-of-the-art. With a maximum load capacity in excess of 2,200 litres, various clever storage solutions and pull up tables, captain’s chairs plus up to eight fast-charging USB-C slots (that can power a laptop from zero to 50pc in 30 minutes), it can be considered an office on wheels. 

The interior is an open space with plenty of room, great variability and a high level of comfort. It’s also a pioneering companion in the digital world offering the best connectivity thanks to its fully digital operating concept and infotainment system. 


The driver can operate the Digital Cockpit with its 5.3-inch display like a large touch display in the middle of the dash panel. To match the driver’s elevated seat position, the vehicle is equipped with a high dash panel. It will have five seats, including a three-seater bench and two wide-opening sliding doors. 

Using the We Connect I.D. app on their smartphone, owners can remotely control charging and the electric stationary air conditioning and also check the battery charge level. A seven-seat configuration will follow, with a longer wheelbase. 

No prices or other information yet.

 

10 September 2022

BMW forecasts cheaper, better EV batteries


The cost of EV batteries could be reduced by up to 50pc by using recycled materials in manufacture, according to BMW, writes Brian Byrne.

The company also says the sixth generation batteries it will be producing for its cars by 2025 will offer a 30pc increase in range over current ones of similar size and weight.

BMW is developing a new design of lithium-ion cells that are round in shape, and use less cobalt than current batteries. Moving to an 800-volt architecture will also speed up charging times.

BMW will be producing the batteries at factories in China, Europe and North America, designed at its Battery Cell Competence Centre located in Munich. 


8 September 2022

Jeep showcases three new models

Jeep Avenger.

Jeep has revealed now models which will offer full electric power, as part of its plan to provide an electric SUV in every segment by 2025, writes Brian Byrne.

One of them, the Avenger, will go on sale in Europe in early 2023. It is described by the company as an 'urban SUV'. It will be built in Poland on the Stellantis Group CMP platform already used for the Corsa and 208 models among others.

A Recon off-roader will reflect elements of the iconic Wrangler, and there's also a new up-market model reviving the company's Wagoneer nameplate.

Both of these will eventually be sold in Europe, though not until after US sales begin in 2024. Jeep is aiming to have 100pc of its sales in Europe as EVs by 2030. 

Jeep Wagoneer.

Jeep Recon.


Ford reveals E-Transit Custom


Ford has formally announced the all-electric version of its next generation Transit Custom, which will begin production in the autumn of 2023, writes Brian Byrne.

The E-Transit Custom will have a rated range of up to 380km, with an 1,100kg payload and a towing capacity of up to 2,000kg.

Under the Ford Pro division, the E-Transit Custom is also described by the company as a 'business hub', with 5G connectivity and a flexible workspace including a steering wheel that folds to become an holder for laptops and tablets.

E-Transit Custom is one of four new Ford Pro electric commercial vehicles coming to Europe by 2024. The E-Transit large van is already on sale and Ford Pro claims operating savings compared to the diesel version can be as much as 40pc. 



Megane E-Tech EV here in October


Renault Ireland is planning to have its new electric Megane E-Tech model in dealerships for October, writes Brian Byrne.

Meanwhile, the Renault Group achieved an 11.2pc market share in Ireland in August, achieving second position.

The Renault Clio was number one in the B segment and third in the overall car market for the month.

The Dacia Sandero is in the number two slot year to dat in the B segment, with Renault's Clio overall the fourth best selling car.

For the year to end August, Dacia has recorded a 3.2pc market share, up 1.0pc on last year, helped by sales of the all-new 7-seat Dacia Jogger. 


6 September 2022

New Nissan X-Trail breaks cover


Nissan has today unveiled its new, fourth generation X-Trail, writes Trish Whelan.

Almost seven million units of the model have been sold globally since its launch in 2000, making it one of the world’s most popular family adventure vehicles. 

The new X-Trail has been designed and engineered from the ground up and will be available in both five and seven seater configurations. 

The new X-Trail will be available with the brand’s e-Power drivetrain, comprised of a high-output 1.8kWh battery integrated with a 1.5 turbo petrol engine, power generator, inverter and 150kW front electric motor, giving a combined 211hp and over 330Nm torque. There is no need to charge the battery. The petrol engine is used solely to generate electricity whilst the wheels are always completely driven by the electric motor. This means the engine can always run with its optimal range, leading to superior fuel efficiency in urban settings. 

The new X-Trail is equipped with Nissan’s e-pedal allowing the driver to launch, accelerate and decelerate using only the accelerator. The new model also features a new all wheel drive system designed to work with Nissan’s electrified powertrains. 

The car is equipped with Nissan’s e-4orce, their new 4WD technology for electrified powertrains. A motor on each axel delivers precise blend of power and control to each of the four wheels which results in a smooth ride, confident acceleration and traction, quick response in all conditions and reassuring braking. Being dual motor, there is no transmission tunnel to compromise rear interior space. 

New X-Trail is equipped with the next generation of ProPilot driver assistance, called ProPilot with Navi-link. It accelerates and brakes the car within a single lane on a motorway. It also comes with the brand’s Intelligent Forward Emergency Braking with predictive function. Sensors can read the road beyond the car in front to detect if a vehicle suddenly brakes and the system will apply the brakes to reduce the likelihood of a collision. 

Inside, Nissan say the cabin sets a new segment standard for ambience, distinctive design and enhanced usability. New X-Trail has easy-to-use core functions with simple heating/air conditioning controls as well as buttons that govern the central screen functions like audio and navigation. Access to the second row seats is more accessible due to the rear passenger doors opening to nearly 90 degrees, making it easier to load items, or to install a child seat. The boot is now larger than before. The two foldable seats in the rear can accommodate passengers of up to 1m 60, so are not just for children. 

The 12.3-inch NissanConnect display screen is a digital gateway to navigation, entertainment and vehicle settings and is compatible with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, with wireless Apple CarPlay also introduced. A new 10.8-inch Head-Up-Display provides key navigation, driver assistance and road information projected on to the windscreen within the driver’s line of vision. 

Nissan say this versatile seven-seater crossover is ideal for those who aren’t quite ready to go full electric. European deliveries start this Autumn. Nissan is committed to ensuring that 75pc of their sales mix will be electrified by the end of 2023.



 

 


2 September 2022

New MMAI motoring association formed


The Motoring Media Association of Ireland (MMAI) has been established to represent professional motoring journalists across print and digital outlets in Ireland, writes Trish Whelan. It is the result of a merger between the Irish Motoring Writers Association (IMWA) and the Association of Professional Motoring Press (APMP). 

Pictured above are motoring journalists who were present at the meeting.

The MMAI will be responsible for organising the annual Continental Tyres Irish Car of the Year and Continental Tyres Irish Van of the Year Awards, Ireland’s most prestigious and widely recognised motoring accolades for over 40 years. Only members of the MMAI are eligible to vote in these awards which determine the best new cars and vans to be launched each year. 


Officers appointed at the inaugural AGM of the new MMAI held in Dublin recently included Chair: Joe Rayfus; Vice-Chair: Daragh Keany; Secretary: David Walshe; Treasurer: Martin McCarthy; and PRO: Caroline Kidd. Leah Carroll and Michael Moroney were elected to the Awards Executive and will be joined by Joe Rayfus to oversee the planning and organisation of the annual Irish Car of the Year and Irish Van of the Year awards. John Galvin and Cathal Doyle were elected to join Daragh Keany on the Association’s Members Executive which will oversee membership criteria of the MMAI. 

Membership will be restricted to media professionals currently producing original motoring related content in Ireland, with membership eligibility reviewed on an annual basis. 

The MMAI brings together Ireland’s most experienced motoring journalists across print, broadcast, and online media, with members representing the full spectrum of national, local and online media. The new Association has been created to be modern and inclusive, with members from around the country working in the interests of motorists and new car buyers across Ireland. 

At the AGM, newly elected Chair of the MMAI, Joe Rayfus, said: “As a new association, we will build on the great traditions and values of our former organisations, while working together to represent all our members and ensure that now and long into the future the Irish Car of the Year and Irish Van of the Year Awards continue to be the most prestigious and highly regarded awards among the industry and consumers.”