21 September 2020

More details on Mazda's first electric car

Mazda has released new details of its first electric production car, the MX-30 small SUV coupe, which will be available in RHD markets early next year, writes Brian Byrne.

The rear passenger doors are rear-hinged, with no centre pillar, facilitating easy entry to the rear. Aimed at the urban commuter market, the battery range is limited to 200kms, which Mazda says is well within the average daily drive of the European motorist.

The luggage compartment offers up to 366L of cargo capacity. Other features include climate control operated via a central touch screen, with temperatures responding to taps or swipes.

There are no details yet on prices or arrival date in Ireland.


Applegreen's carbon offset programme, fuelled by drivers

Joe Barrett, Chief Operations Officer; Fiona Matthews, Commercial Director; and Bob Etchingham, CEO.

Fuel and motorway services company Applegreen has established a carbon offset programme based on sales of its PowerPlus premium fuel in Ireland, writes Brian Byrne.

As part of the programme, the company will work with Irish NGO Vita in Africa, in a clean water initiative that is said to offset more than 100,000 tonnes of carbon each year. Vita is restoring community water points to provide easy access to clean water for families in East Africa, reducing their need to burn fuel wood in order to boil water, which results in deforestation.

Back home, Applegreen has announced that it will be planting 300,000 native trees including Pedunculate Oak, Birch, Scots Pine, Rowan, Holly and Hazel, around Ireland over the next three years, beginning in selected locations in Limerick and Mayo later this year. One tree will be planted for every tonne of carbon generated by the use of PowerPlus fuel, with a minimum of 100,000 trees per year and no upper limit.

Applegreen’s Joe Barrett says that if all customers buy PowerPlus fuel where it is available, the corresponding carbon reduction initiatives would be equivalent to reducing emissions from 180,000 cars.


18 September 2020

Ford expands Puma range in Ireland

Ford has expanded the range of Puma compact crossover options available to Irish buyers, writes Trish Whelan.

The car was introduced in February with a mild-hybrid powertrain based on the 125hp 1.0 EcoBoost petrol engine, with Titanium and ST-Line X grades. An ST-Line X Vignale version is being added to the range, priced from €28,644. It features LED headlights, Windsor leather seats, wrapped instrument cluster, heated front seats, heated steering wheel and Ford KeyFree system.

 A new seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is now also available, price of the so-equipped Titanium model at €26,797.


17 September 2020

Mercedes-Benz reveals test hydrogen-powered Actros

Mercedes-Benz has revealed a hydrogen-powered test Actros truck previewing a model planned for introduction in 2024, writes Trish Whelan.

The GenH2 vehicle will use fuel cell technology and will have a range of 1,000kms on one tank of liquid hydrogen fuel. The production version will be one of a portfolio of carbon-neutral trucks.

At the reveal, the company announced that it is engaged in joint venture research with Volvo and Rolls Royce concerning the development of fuel cell technology.


BMW announces Irish prices, specs for iX3

BMW has announced specification for the iX3 SUV which will arrive in Ireland next summer, priced from €70,205 OTR, writes Brian Byrne.

The all-electric drive car will be available in twop grades, Premier Edition and Premier Edition PRO. The launch will mean the X3 SUV will be the brand’s first model offered with a pure-electric drive system, a plug-in hybrid system or petrol and diesel engines.

The iX3 range is claimed at up to 450kms, and the electric motor has no rare-earth minerals in its design. The acceleration to 100km/h will be 6.8s, the same as the xDrive30i version.

The OTR price above is after the application of incentive grants.


15 September 2020

Details of new F-Pace revealed by Jaguar

A new generation of the Jaguar F-Pace is on the way with enhanced styling, a completely new interior and a range of engines that include a plug-in petrol hybrid, writes Trish Whelan.

Styling changes include a larger grille, new bonnet sculpting, a revisit to the bumper design, and super-slim all-LED headlights as well as the familiar J-shaped running lights.

Engine options will include diesels ranging from 163hp-300hp, a 250hp petrol and mild-hybrid petrols of 340hp and 400hp, as well as a 404hp PHEV with a rated all-electric range of up to 53km. Inside, a new 11.4" curved glass HD touchscreen is brighter and larger and has a simplified menu structure. There's also a 12.3" main display which is highly configurable.

An improved filtration system is part of a cabin air ionisation to improve the air quality for car occupants. No details are yet available for Irish arrival or pricing.

10 September 2020

Nissan produces 500,000 LEAF EV

The milestone car heading to its new owner in Norway.
Nissan marked the production of the 500,000th LEAF, the world’s first mass-market 100pc electric car to celebrate World EV Day, writes Trish Whelan.

The milestone was achieved at Nissan’s plant in Sunderland, England, almost a decade after the model first went on sale. The plant has built more than 175,000 LEAF cars since it began producing the model in 2013.

The car was delivered to customer in Norway ahead of World EV Day. Maria Jansen in Norway said they had a LEAF in 2018 and loved it and are very excited to become the proud owners of the 500,000th Nissan LEAF. “This car really meets our needs with extended range and enhanced technologies.

LEAF offers customers advanced technologies to enhance safety, comfort and control on the road. These include the award-winning ProPILOT - a hands-on, eyes-on system that allows the car to stop, restart and stay centred in its lane - and the e-Pedal technology for one-pedal driving.

With more than 14.8 billion clean-air kilometres driven since 2010, LEAF owners around the world have helped prevent more than 2.4 billion kilograms of C02 emissions.

LEAF has won accolades around the world including Car of the Year 2011 in Europe, World Car of the Year 2011, and Car of the Year Japan in 2011 and 2012.

Nissan Ireland and AIB recently combined forces to launch a new initiative called the ‘Power of Zero’ to help put more EV drivers onto Irish roads and to help Ireland reduce its carbon emissions. It offers consumers the opportunity to buy a new Nissan LEAF with 0pc finance and to avail of one year’s free servicing. Customers availing of the offer can save over €13,000 in finance and running costs as well as 11 tonnes of C02 emissions over five years.

Nissan LEAF under construction at the Sunderland plant.

French pricing for new C4 revealed

Citroen has released the French pricing for its new C4 and ë-C4 which upshifts the model in terms of style, comfort and powertrains, writes Brian Byrne.

In its home country the new car price will range from €20,900 for the petrol version to a net €28,600 for the all-electric one. Deliveries to first markets will be in late 2020.

The electric ë-C4 will have a rated range of 350kms. The new car will arrive in Ireland in the first quarter of 2021, with prices and grades details coming in advance of the launch.