21 September 2017

Irish Ferries' Scarefest package announced

Irish Ferries has unveiled a ‘fright-fully’ attractive family package to Alton Towers Resort annual Scarefest - likely to appeal to brave parents and children seeking an action-packed break this October, writes Trish Whelan.

Valid for travel until 3 November, the €459 deal sees two adults and two children under 11 enjoy three nights with breakfast in the nearby Best Western Tillington Hall Hotel, inclusive of return car ferry travel and one full day’s entry pass to the theme park.

Coupled with spine-tingling favourites such as the House of Monsters, Rides at Dusk and the Freak Show Scare Zone, those seeking a less terrifying experience can visit Alton Towers Cbeebies Land which offers children the opportunity to meet favourites such as Postman Pat, Tree Fu Tom, Upsy Daisy and Igglepiggle.

Bookings can be made by calling 0818 300 400. For more information about Scarefest dates visit www.irishferries.com/alton. 

VW T-Roc prices revealed

Volkswagen’s new T-Roc crossover model, shown at the National Ploughing Championships in Tullamore this week, goes on sale here later this year priced from €24,750, writes Trish Whelan.

The entry-level T-Roc specification is offered with VW’s 1.0 TSI petrol engine putting out 115bhp which made its debut in the updated Golf earlier this year.

Standard spec on this grade has Climatronic 2-Zone air con, USB interfaces, Bluetooth and a 6.5-inch Composition Colour radio system.

The T-Roc Design spec, again with the 1.0 115bhp petrol (€26,995) adds 16-inch Chester alloys, a larger radio system with 8-inch glass touchscreen, a chrome package, Voice Control and App Connect.

The top Sport spec comes with a choice of 1.5 150bhp petrol engines or the 2.0 150bhp diesel, the latter offered in either 6-speed manual or 7-speed DSG automatic. Prices start from €29,750, the 1.0 diesel 4Motion starts from €34,795. Additional models will come later in 2018. The Sport trim comes with sports seats, 17-inch alloys, LED headlamps, tinted rear windows. The 2.0 150bhp 4M DSG diesel Sport is priced from €36,695.

A number of Technology Upgrade packs are offered. All T-Roc models come with Front Assist and Lane Assist systems.

Opel gives a special ADAM for charity

Recognising September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Opel Ireland is giving away a special Opel ADAM car to help raise funds for the Childhood Cancer Foundation, writes Trish Whelan.

Across September and right trough to midnight on Sunday 15 October, supporters have a chance to win this limited edition Opel ADAM designed by Irish Street Artist ‘Pan Cooke,’ when they make their donation of €4 to the charity by texting ‘GOLDOPEL’ to 50300 to enter the draw.

This special car features a unique roof design created by Opel ADAM Ambassador Pan Cooke. 

Opel Ireland as supporters of CCF for the past three years, recruited Pan’s help, along with children currently battling and recovering from cancer to create a fun roof design on the car in his own unique style.

Emily Barry, Senior Brand and PR Manager for Opel Ireland said they are hopeful that this latest campaign will help raise vital funds for the charity and shine a light on a very real issue that has such a profound and devastating effect on so many families in Ireland. 

Laura Cullinan of Childhood Cancer Foundation added “This campaign will help us to continue to raise awareness of childhood cancer and the devastation that a cancer diagnosis brings to children, their families and indeed their local communities.” She said “Every donation will assist us to continue to fund our projects at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin and other shared care hospitals around Ireland.”

For more details visit the Opel Ireland Facebook Page and www.childhoodcancer.ie/OPELADAM.

19 September 2017

Kia Stonic prices and details released

Kia's new Stonic small SUV will go on sale in Ireland at the end of October at a starting price of €18,599, writes Brian Byrne from Berlin.

There will be four engine options, a 1.25 84hp petrol for the entry K1 grade, a 100hp 1.4 petrol and 110hp 1.6 diesel in the K2 and K3 grades, and a 120hp 1.0 turbo petrol in the top K4 grade.

According to Head of Marketing & PR for Kia Ireland Aidan Doyle, the 1.4 petrol is expected to be the top selling engine variant. James Brooks, MD of Kia Ireland, says he anticipates that upwards of 1,000 units of Stonic will be sold in 2018. He added that his expectation is 74pc of sales will be petrol.

All versions will have as standard a 7-inch touchscreen for entertainment and information management, speed limiter and cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity, and a spare wheel.

The K2 grade adds, among other things, projection fog lamps, folding mirrors and roof rack. The K3 specification includes a suite of driving aids, heated front seats, sat-nav and digital audio radio and a rear-view camera. Personalisation with contrasting roof and body colours will be available in the K3 and K4 grades.

The top spec K4, in addition to the 120hp engine gets push-button start, blind spot vehicle detection, and fully automatic climate control.

The top price for the car, entering a very competitive arena, will be €24,599, for either the K3 diesel or the K4 turbo petrol.

Driving in the countryside outside Berlin demonstrated an easy to drive car with good accommodation for four adults. A stint on a handling track on an old WW2 aerodrome suggested that the Stonic is a nimble and accurate performer, especially in tight and difficult conditions.

The main competitors in the Irish market are the Renault Captur, Opel's Mokka X, the Peugeot 2008, and Nissan's Juke which is due to be brought out in a new generation soon.

A First Drive review will follow.

17 September 2017

VW to show three new models at The Ploughing

Volkswagen Ireland will showcase three new models, never before seen in Ireland, at the National Ploughing Championships this week, writes Trish Whelan. The the new Polo (pictured above), T-Roc and Tiguan Allspace which will be among 15 models on display at the show, which is Europe’s largest outdoor event.

The new Polo is longer and lower in height than the previous generation and also larger inside and comes with a larger luggage capacity offering 69 litres more than the previous generation. It also has new technologies, with Active Info Display making its world premiere in the Polo. Engines for Ireland are predominantly petrols, 1.0 units ranging from 65-95hp and at the top of the range, a new 200hp GTI version will follow next year. There will also be a 1.6 diesel next year.

The new T-Roc (above) is a mid-size SUV that slots under the Tiguan in the brand’s SUV range. It comes to Ireland just before Christmas and will have both petrol and diesel engines. Most buyers are expected to opt for one of the new 1.0 and 1.5 petrol engines with 115- and 150bhp. Diesels will come in 2018.

Volkswagen is expanding the Tiguan range for the 181 plat with the Tiguan Allspace (above) which is an extended version of the Tiguan allowing space for an extra row of seats. This is VW’s first 7-seater SUV.

The Volkswagen stand will include demonstrations of Volkswagen Connect + Security & Service online services which tell you a variety of information about your car. There will be off-road displays of the 4Motion Tiguan and Touareg thanks to Orangeworks. Visitors will also have a chance to meet some of Volkswagen’s Brand Ambassadors including Bernard B rogan, Simon Delaney and Dave Moore.

JLR's debuts at The Ploughing Championships

Jaguar Land Rover returns to this year’s National Ploughing championships taking place this week from Tuesday 19 - Thursday 21 September at Screggan, Tullamore, Co Offaly, writes Trish Whelan.

Jaguar’s performance SUV, and winner of World Car of the Year 2017, the F-PACE will make its debut at the event alongside the Jaguar range of luxury saloons including the XE and XF as well as the F-TYPE sports car.

Land Rover will introduce two new models, the new Discovery (Land Rover’s most versatile SUV yet), and the recently launched new Range Rover Velar (pictured above) which sits between the RR Evoque and the RR Sport.

The Jaguar Land Rover kitchen will again host a series of cooking demonstrations with celebrity chef Rachel Allen over the three days of the festival. Irish Rugby International Jamie Heaslip will join Rachel on Wednesday for the cooking demo. 

Jaguar Land Rover stand is located at Block 3, Row 9, Stand 223 at the show. The Rachel Allen cooking demonstrations will take place each day at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. Guests are advised to arrive early as spaces are limited.

Rachel and Jamie are pictured below cooking up a storm at the Jaguar Land Rover kitchen last year.