22 June 2017

Ford 1.0 EcoBoost is again class winner in EoTY awards

Ford's 1.0 EcoBoost petrol engine has won its class in the Engine of the Year awards for the sixth year in a row, writes Brian Byrne.

Offered with 100/125/140hp the engine now powers one in five new Ford vehicles sold in Europe, including two in five Fiestas.

It was named 'Best Engine Under 1.0-litre' by a panel of 58 automotive journalists, from 31 countries. It was first introduced to the Ford Focus in 2012

This year, the sub-1.0-litre award category featured 35 engines, nine more than in the 1.0-litre EcoBoost’s debut year.

Volvo designates Polestar name for electric performance brand

Volvo has decided that the Polestar name it owns will in future be the stand-alone brand for a range of electric vehicles, writes Brian Byrne.

Polestar was originally an independent motorsport operation involved in racing Volvos, and later was bought by the Swedish car maker with a view to tuning high-performance variants of its products.

The shift in direction reflects a growing interest in electric-powered performance cars.

Karoq will take part in Tour de France Grand Depart

As the official automotive partner to the Tour de France cycle race for the last 14 years, Skoda gets the chance for a little extra product placing, writes Brian Byrne.

This year is no exception, with the newly-revealed Karoq compact SUV scheduled to travel the first time trials of the Tour from Dusseldorf as service vehicles for teams from South Africa, the Netherlands and Belgium.

The Grand Depart of the of the Tour from Dusseldorf is on 1 July.

21 June 2017

Kia Stonic steps out

Kia's Stonic has now been properly revealed and will be a highlight on the brand's stand at Frankfurt in September, writes Brian Byrne.

Sales in first European markets will follow the Frankfurt debut, and the small SUV will be powered by a 120hp 1.0 turbocharged petrol and 1.25 and 1.4 petrol units, as well as a 1.6 diesel.

Personalisation of the two-tone colour options will be a feature aimed at a younger demographic of buyer, while Kia say that it also offers the most shoulder room in the class.

More details to follow.

20 June 2017

Opel flags next crossover

Opel has released preliminary imagery of the new Grandland X crossover which will debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, writes Brian Byrne.

Developed as part of a joint venture with PSA Peugeot-Citroen, details on pricing and trim will be available in coming weeks. Orders in Ireland will open before the end of the year.

It joins the Mokka X and the recently arrived Crossland X in an expanded Opel crossover/SUV lineup.