21 August 2019

Volkswagen at the 2019 Ploughing Championships

Volkswagen SUV range.

Volkswagen will have a strong focus on is SUV range at this year’s National Ploughing Championships, writes Trish Whelan.

The brand has been a strong supporter of the show for many years and this year will have their largest range of SUVs on display ever, including the new T-Cross, the T-Roc, the Tiguan and 7-seat Tiguan Allspace, as well as the top of the range Touareg.

The National Ploughing Championships attracts almost a quarter of a million visitors each year and this year, with such a focus on new technology including electric vehicles, visitors will see the fully-electric e-Golf. Making its Irish debut is the new VW Passat, available as a petrol, diesel and as a plug-in hybrid in the form of the new Passat GTE.

If the weather takes a turn for the worst, visitors to the Volkswagen stand can pop by and pick up a Volkswagen poncho.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles will also have a strong presence at this year’s show. Models on display will include the new Grand California and the brand is also promising more surprises to be revealed closer to the event. 

New Volkswagen Passat.

‘World’s first Minivan’ for Concours of Elegance

This ‘car’ is so unique looking, we decided to share it with our readers, writes Trish Whelan.

This is billed as the world’s first production minivan, the art deco-inspired 1936 Stout Scarab. It will be on display at this year’s Concours of Elegance 2019 from 6-8 September at Hampton Court Palace.

Only nine were ever built and it is one of the rarest vehicles to be on display. It’s rumoured to have hosted a meeting between General Eisenhower and Charles de Gaulle during the Second World War. Throughout the 1950s, it was used by a circus owner, keeping monkeys in the car while they toured the continent. It was then sold on to a French industrial designer who had the vehicle placed in a museum in Reims. The current owners had it restored in 2001 and have kept it in top condition ever since. 

It was the brainchild of journalist and automotive & aviation engineer William Bushnell Stout. Unfortunately for him, the time-consuming coach-work and $5,000 price tag (almost $100,000 today) meant that the idea never gained the traction needed to become a success and the Scarab dream died after just nine were completed. 

The show is described as ‘an oasis of the rarest Ferraris, Bugattis, Rolls-Royces, Maseratis and more’. 

Photo credits -Michael Furman

20 August 2019

0% PCP Finance on a new 192 SEAT

SEAT Tarraco

To celebrate reaching 4pc market share in the Irish car market, SEAT Ireland is extending its ’192’ offers into August, but time is running out, writes Trish Whelan.

Zero per cent finance is available ons elected SE, FR & Xcellence models including Ibiza, Arona, Leon, Ateca and Tarraco. 

PCP Finance guarantees a minimum future residual value, so customers don’t need to worry about the re-sale value of their car, depreciation or the NCT.

These rates start from 0pc PCP Finance from €179 per month on the Ibiza SE, FR and Xcellence models. 0pc is also available on Arona FR and Xcellence from €219 per month, Leon FR and Xcellence from €239 per month, and Ateca FR and Xcellence from €249 per month.

There is also 0pc PCP Finance on the new Tarraco SE and Xcellence models from €309 per month. SEAT say this means they are offering the lowest PCP finance rate possible on their highest specced models. To avail of this offer, customers must order their car from stock this month and take delivery by 31 August.

Customers who are trading in an older model have a second option of a Trade-In Bonus. Customers have the option when buying a new SEAT to avail of a trade-in bonus of up to €3,000 on selected models to upgrade their old or low-value car. Such customers can still avail of finance rates of 0pc on selected models.

All of these finance offers include a 3-Year Service Plan, or customers can purchase this plan separately for €12.99 per month.

New Nissan Juke primed and ready to go

The new Nissan Juke has been in the final stages of road testing showing a new look and agile driving performances ahead of its official unveil next month, writes Trish Whelan.

Juke has sold over one million units since its debut appearance in 2010.

The stage is set for its return to the B-SUV segment it pioneered almost a decade ago.

Designed in Europe, New Juke has brought together the Japanese company’s designers across the region to work together on its evolution. 

Nissan has revealed that the car has sleek coupe lines, ‘striking’ 19-inch alloy wheels and athletic stance. 

They say inspiration for the new Juke design development has been tailored around B-SUV customer demands for leading design, latest tech and ‘fun to drive’ performance.

It will be loaded with technology and is the third Nissan model to feature ProPILOT technology which forms part of the Nissan Intelligent Mobility vision.

Juke’s footprint has increased in size to provide greater roominess and comfort for the driver and passengers, without losing its agile driving style.

Having launched and led the B-SUV segment with the first model, New Juke will have an even bigger personality and driving experience that will appeal to the growing number of drivers opting for the B-SUV segment.

Pictured are some camouflage images of the New Juke captured at the Millbrook testing track in the UK.

Mercedes-Benz reveals new electric MPV

On the eve of the launch of the first Mercedes-Benz electric car in Ireland, the EQC, the company unveiled its first electric MPV at an event in Stuttgart, writes Brian Byrne from the reveal.

The EQV is based on the very successful Vito van and specifically its V-Class upscale passenger shuttle companion. It is scheduled to come to Ireland in early summer of next year.

The EQV has an underfloor 100kWh lithium-ion battery which the company says provisionally will give it a range of 405kms, substantially more than the 150kms of the electric eVito van.

The EQV is targeting young upmarket families in its home market, especially a slice of its present V-Class customers who wish to be at the cutting edge of environmental technology.

15 August 2019

Toyota Ireland wins Defence Forces order

Toyota Ireland is to supply 280 new Land Cruisers to the Irish Defence Forces for use over the next four years.

The first vehicles in the order will be delivered towards the end of 2019.

The Land Cruisers will be enabled to operate sophisticated on-board IT and communications equipment commensurate with the requirements of a modern defence force.

All Land Cruisers are also fully compliant with Euro 6 emissions guidelines which will contribute to lower fuel costs and reduced CO2 emissions.

This significant investment reflects the Irish Government’s commitment to strengthening the operational capability the Irish armed forces.

Pictured are (Back) Cathal Ryan, Fleet Sales Manager, Toyota; Paul Murray, After Sales Director, Toyota; Michael Walsh, Irish Defence Forces; and (Front) Lars-Erik Aaroy, Deputy Managing Director, Toyota; Col. Ray O Lehane, Irish Defence Forces; Steve Tormey, CEO, Toyota; and Comdt. Shane Conlon, Irish Defence Forces.

Drive-thru ban 'to cut emissions'

Lots of ideas are coming through aimed at cutting emissions from automobiles, but one intriguing new law is a ban on the construction of fast-food drive-thru facilities, writes Brian Byrne.

That's what the City Council in Minneapolis, USA, has just passed, though it won't affect existing establishments or any current application for one.

The council said it is doing so to cut down on the number of cars idling while waiting for ordered food, and also because the facilities may impact on pedestrian safety.

The law is being criticised by a number of groups, including the Minneapolis Advisory Committee on People with Disabilities. They say the ban would limit access to food and services for people with disabilities.

Another plan by the Minneapolis authorities to ban gas stations in the city will have to wait until there's a greater penetration of the use of electric cars.

Peugeot powers Landsdowne Football Club for coming season

Landsdowne Rugby Football Club in Dublin has been given the use of a Peugeot 5008 7-seat SUV and a Peugeot Partner van, as part of a partnership agreement with Sandyford Motor Centre, writes Brian Byrne.

The Club was founded in 1872 by Henry Dunlop, and has won the Leinster Senior Cup a record 24 times. In 2017/2018, captained by Ian Prendiville and coached by Mike Ruddock and Mark McHugh, Lansdowne won the All Ireland League, the Bateman Cup, the Leinster Senior Cup and the Leinster Senior League Cup. It is the first-ever Leinster team to win all of these trophies in one season.

Pictured are Joe O'Grady, Group Head of Finance and Business Development, Sandyford Motor Centre; Mike Ruddock, Lansdowne Football Club Coach; Bruce Soraghan, Dealer Principal, Sandyford Motor Centre; and Derry Shaw, President of Lansdowne Football Club.

14 August 2019

FaceItDown clocks up 22m safely driven kilometres

Toyota Ireland says more than 22 million kilometres have been driven by users of its FaceItDown app since the initiative was launched in August 2017, writes Brian Byrne.

If users leave their mobile phone screen down while using the app and driving, they gain points towards rewards.

These include discounts at Q-Park, a free hot drink at Circle K stores, or €50 off FBD car insurance.

More than 49,000 motorists have installed the app in the last two years, and over 36,000 awards have been redeemed by users.

Research shows that when using a hand-held mobile phone while driving, you’re four times more likely to crash than someone who is not using a hand-held phone.

Audi sets up website to check for due updates

Audi in Ireland has introduced a website for owners of imported or Irish-sourced Audis so they can easily check for software upgrade or product recall requirements, writes Brian Byrne.

This is in association with Cartell.ie, the vehicle history and data monitoring company. The site is AudiCheck.ie, and by putting in their car's registration, owners will be able to see if these matters are up to date.

Any shortcomings can be rectified at their nearest Audi dealer, free.

Of all makes and models of imported cars tracked by Cartell.ie this year to end of June, 23pc of imported used cars had mileage discrepancies.

There was also outstanding finance alerts on 14.4pc of the cars checked, and 16.4pc registered damage alerts.

13 August 2019

Mini celebrates 10 millionth

A special event at the weekend in Oxford continued celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the Mini, with the 10 millionth of the nameplate since it was first launched in 1959, writes Brian Byrne.

The 60 Years Anniversary Edition car had pride of place with a version of the original in a lineup of 60 cars to represent each year of production, at Plant Oxford.

Launched in 1959 and designed by Alec Issigonis, the classic Mini revolutionised the automotive world and was produced at Oxford until 1968, before moving to Longbridge, near Birmingham, where it continued to be built until October 2000. Between 1959 and 2000 more than 5.3 million classic Minis were built.

Since the brand’s rebirth in 2001 under BMW ownership, sales around the world have gone from strength to strength. Last year nearly 400,000 MINIs were sold in 110 countries across the globe.