18 June 2019

Kia launches new e-Niro and e-Soul

James Brooks of Kia Motors with the new e-Niro and e-Soul 
Kia has launched two new electric vehicles to its line-up, the e-Niro and e-Soul, writes Trish Whelan.

This five-door, five-seat car completes the eco-friendly Niro crossover range alongside Niro Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid versions of which over 250,000 units have sold globally since the Niro's introduction in 2016. To date, Europe has accounted for over 100,000 sales of the hybrid crossover.

New e-Niro 
The new e-Niro was the first fully electric crossover utility vehicle produced by the Korean car maker. It went on sale in some European countries at the end of last year. It is equipped with a high-capacity 64 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that provides a driving range of up to 455 kms on a single charge (282 miles) on the WLTP combined cycle.

Plugged into a 100 kW fast charger, it takes just 42 minutes to recharge from 20pc to 80pc.

e-Niro interior.
Features include a range of dedicated EV in-car technologies, new safety features, and a stylish exterior and interior design.

Kia say it offers buyers a convincing alternative to compact crossovers powered by traditional petrol or diesel internal combustion engines and gives owners the opportunity to complete both long distance drives and daily commutes with zero emissions and very low running costs.

The physical transmission has been replaced with a new 'shift-by-wire' rotator dial drive selector which extends out from the base of the central arm rest. The pair of paddles behind the steering wheel let drivers choose between five levels of energy regeneration and the driver can chose from Eco, Normal and Dynamic modes.

An 8-inch touchscreen enables owners source nearby charging points and monitor the level of remaining charge and range.

At 4,375 mm in length, it offers more cargo space at 451 litres than many other plug-in and electric vehicles. This can extend to 1,405 litres with rear seats folded.

The Medium Range option is from €33,495, has a range of up to 289 on a full charge, VRT relief and grants up to €10,000, a grant up to €600 for a home charger, and no BIK for company car drivers. The Long Range version, priced from €37,495, has a range of up to 455 on a full charge and the same grants as with the Medium Range and no BIK for company car drivers.

The new e-Niro is produced at Kia's Hwasung manufacturing facility in Korea. It is covered by Kia's 7-year, 150,000km warranty as standard. The warranty also covers the battery pack and electric motor.

New e-Soul.
The funky new Kia e-Soul brings long-range, zero-emissions power to the urban crossover class.

Electrified models accounted for one in eight Kia cars sold in Europe last year, up from one in 10 the previous year. This new car is expected to add significantly to that tally.

Every exterior panel is new yet the car stays true to its boxy origins. At 4,194mm long, it is 55mm longer than the car it replaces.

With maximum torque of 395Nm available from a standstill, the long range e-Soul can do 0-100km/h in 7.9 seconds. Kia claims is up to 30pc more energy efficient than Europe's current best-selling electric car.

e-Soul interior.
Buyers have a choice of two long-range, zero-emission powertrains and offers a fully-electric driving range of up to 452kms from a single charge. They can choose from a long-range (64 kWh) and standard range (39.2 kWh) powertrains.

E-Soul K2 Long Range prices are from €35,995 (VRT band A0 annual road tax: €120), the K3 L/R is from €37,995. Both battery packs can be recharged from 20pc up to 80pc capacity in 42 minutes from a 100 kW DC fast-charger.

Both e-Soul and e-Niro prices include VRT reduction of €5,000 and €5,000 SEAI grant.

All versions are generously specced.

Peugeot reveal new 508 SW pricing and spec


The new Peugeot 508 SW will retail here from €34,110 plus delivery related charges for the Active 1.5 BlueHDI diesel 130bhp 6-speed manual version, writes Trish Whelan.

Order books are now open and deliveries to first customers here in Ireland will begin from 1 July onwards.

The new 508 SW which competes in the D-segment estate sector, has the same sharp front design as the 508 fastback and adds a low-slung, svelte estate bodyline. The brand say it forms the perfect balance between sport elegance and practicality, providing plenty of passenger space and a large, easy to access boot, offering a total load space from 530 litres with the luggage cover closed and up to 1,780 litres thanks to Magic Flat rear seats.

Trims are Active, Allure, GT Line and GT. Two new petrol options and four diesel options, based on the 1.6 PureTech 1.5 BlueHDi and 2.0 BlueHDI engines, are offered.

A 225bhp plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version providing power to the front wheels using a 1.6 PureTech petrol 180bhp engine and a 110bhp electric motor, is due in Ireland at the end of this year. With a ZEV range of 50km (WLTP), the batteries will be located under the Row 2 seats to preserve the roomy boot.

It follows the launch here of the 508 fastback model at the start of this year.

Features include the latest generation of the brand’s i-Cockpit with a configurable 12.3-inch head-up digital instrument panel, either a 10-inch or 8-inch touchscreen dependent on trim, and a compact multi-function steering wheel as standard.

Safety features also come as standard including Emergency Brake Assist and Active Lane Keeping Assistance with edge detection. MirrorLink with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is also included as standard in every model.

Active trim gets 167-inch alloys as standard, automatic dual zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors with 1800 colour reversing camera, AGR driver and passenger seats, auto headlights + wipers and electrochrome rear view mirror. 

Allure trim adds Active Blind Spot Detection, Advanced Driver Attention Alert, Peugeot Smartbeam Assist, 3D Navigation with Voice Recognition, twin chrome exhaust, 17-inch alloys and dark tinted rear glass. RRSP prices for the level three Allure trim start from €36,640.

Starting from €39,880, the level four GT Line trim adds Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Positioning Assist, a smartphone charging plate, 18-inch alloys, and Peugeot’s signature 3D rear light cluster. It also comes with the i-Cockpit Amplify which allows customer to change the interior lighting balance as well as the engine note through active speaker technology.

The top of the range level five GT model, from €50,820, features an Active Suspension system, a foot operated smart electric tailgate, electrically adjustable and heated driver and passenger seats with driver seat memory function, driver and passenger seat multi-point massage function and full grain leather upholstery.

Prices shown exclude delivery related charges.

Climate Action Plan: Motor Industry Key Stakeholder


Brian Cooke
Commenting on the Government’s Climate Action plan, SIMI Director General Brian Cooke said the Motor Industry continues to be supportive of the drive towards zero emissions transport.

“The Climate Action Plan is hugely ambitious and it is important that we get greater clarity on the detail of any proposals, both short term and long term,” he said.

“The Industry is a key stakeholder as the provider of vehicles to this project and welcomes the State’s commitment to supporting the implementation of an extensive nationwide charging infrastructure that will support the roll-out of these vehicles.”

He said the plan underlines the big growth in zero-emitting vehicles will happen from 2024 onward, and in that context, it’s important that the State and the Industry start talking now to consider policies that will support change both pre and post 2024.

“Lessons have to be learnt from the past, when dramatic changes to the taxation systems contributed to extensive job losses in the Industry, and any short-term changes must support the new car market and not undermine used car values.”

He added that in the short term, any changes should be gradual, as implementing measures too quickly can undermine used car values which will only make it more difficult for motorists to change to a new lower emitting car, which would ultimately hinder the drive towards zero-emissions.

So far this year 1,949 new electric vehicles have been registered which is a 58.1pc increase on total registrations in 2018 (1,233). 

The SIMI Director General said the incentives are working well as registrations continue to grow. He called on the Government to extend the current incentives that are in place, including the VRT relief, the grant scheme and the BIK benefit, out beyond the current expiry date of 2021. 

“Change can happen with the right measures, but cannot happen overnight, and sensible policies aimed at encouraging motorists to make the right choices can lead to clean affordable and convenient mobility solutions.”

Volkswagen's 192 offers


Volkswagen Ireland’s 192 campaign includes Technology Upgrades across the range, 0pc APR PCP Finance on many models, Purchase Contributions of up to €2,500 and discounts on R-Line equipment packs, writes Trish Whelan.

The addition recently of the new T-Cross means there is now a choice of five SUVs in the range, from the T-Cross to the T-Roc, Tiguan, Tiguan Allspace and the Touareg. 

Highlights of the Technology Upgrades include, on the Golf Highline model, Discover Media Sat Nav, High Beam Light Assist, and a rear-view camera (with a value of €1,308) are available now for €699. The Golf Highline is also offered with PCP finance from 0pc APR allowing a monthly repayment of €299 per month. An R-Line Exterior Pack is available from €309 per month with 0pc APR PCP finance. This includes a 3-year Service Plan. There’s also a €1,500 Purchase Contribution on TDI models, with €1,000 on petrol models. 

The Polo Trendline model comes with the option of a Technology Upgrade which includes 15-inch alloys, front fog lamps, multi-function steering wheel and floor mats which would cost €1,140 if priced individually but with the 192 offer, cost €599. 

Other offers are on T-Roc, Tiguan Highline, Tiguan Allspace, available with seven seats; and the Passat Highline. There are similar offers for the up!, Arteon, Touran, Sharan and Touareg models with savings of up to €4,530 with these Technology Upgrades as well as the Purchase Contributions of up to €2,500 and 0pc PCP Finance on many models. 

17 June 2019

Peugeot 192 Drivetime now on nationwide


Peugeot’s 192 Drivetime event is now underway at all the brand’s dealerships nationwide, writes Trish Whelan.

The 192 offers are available for a limited time only this summer.

Customers who register their new 192 Peugeot passenger car or light commercial vehicle before 31 July can avail of finance from 3.9pc plus either scrappage up to €4,000 or a deposit contribution of up to €750 on younger trade ins. A five-year extended warranty is offered across the Peugeot car range.

Des Cannon, Managing Director at Gowan Distributors Limited who import Peugeot cars to Ireland, commented that their car range recorded the biggest volume increase in the market in 2018 and has outperformed the car and van market June year to date. “Consumer demand for the multi award-winning Peugeot SUV range continues, with the 2008, 3008 and 5008 SUVs dominating our sales table year to date and our dealers are recording strong forward orders for 192 for these star sellers, alongside our new Rifter and 508 fastback models.”

He added that the Peugeot van range performance remains consistently strong in the Irish market taking fourth place in the overall sales league, with a 7.8pc market share year to date in June, with firm interest in the Partner (International Van of the Year 2019), the Expert, a former Irish Van of the Year winners, and the load-lugging Boxer line-up.

“Our 192 offers are designed to drive down the cost of motoring thanks to our low-cost finance, deposit contributions or scrappage offers.”

Motorsport Ireland Weekend Roundup


The cars driven by two Irish drivers contesting the world’s most famous motor race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, each completed more than 4500 kilometres between the start on Saturday afternoon and yesterday’s finish, writes Richard Burke.

Corkman Matt Griffin finished eighth in class at the wheel of the Clearwater Racing Ferrari 488 GTE, while current Motorsport Ireland Young Racing Driver of the Year Charlie Eastwood from Belfast shared the TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage to twelfth place.

At home, Anthony Culleton from Laois was the outright winner of the Midland Autocross at Scramogue, Co Roscommon, the third round of the Five Star Catering National Championship, with Matt Shinnors and Christopher Snow Jnr winning the main saloon classes.

14 June 2019

Audi 192 Sales Event

Audi e-tron

The Audi 192 Sales Event is currently taking place across 11 authorised Audi dealerships nationwide with offers available on vehicles registered before 31 August, writes Trish Whelan.

The event offers APR rates from 2.9pc.

These exclusive offers also include special edition Audi service plans making it more affordable than ever to drive an Audi with plans available from €15.99 per month as well as a complementary €250 Audi genuine accessories offer.

Audi Q5 - With an APR of 2.9pc, the Audi Q5 model is available in four powerful, efficient TDI variants. This sporty SUV has a sculpturally flared singleframe grille with a solid frame which dominates its aerodynamically flat front end. Space is not compromised by design. Features include Audi’s virtual cockpit included in the Technology Pack. The fully digital instrument cluster, with various display options, projects information directly in front of the driver via a large high-resolution monitor with richly detailed graphics.

Audi A6 - As part of the Audi 192 sales event, the A6 has an APR rate of 3.9pc. It boasts many of the refinements and innovations in the latest Audi A8, the brand’s luxury flagship model. The A6 contains upgrades from advanced mild hybrid drivetrains. The model also contains a new all-digital MMI touch response interface.

As part of its 192 sales event, Audi is offering a host of service packages to suit individual customer needs. Monthly plans start from €15.99 per month and cover all services and schedule maintenance which includes pollen filters, air filter and brake fluid replacement with complementary €250 Audi genuine accessories vouchers on offer. (Plans range from 3 years 45,000km to 5 years 120,000km).

Throughout the Audi 192 sales event, motorists are invited into Audi dealerships to experience the brand’s first all-electric SUV - the Audi e-tron. Audi dealerships will be showcasing the e-tron, providing information on how drivers can invest in an electric vehicle, and also holding demonstrations to bring drivers up to speed with all things e-tron including charging options. 

Thorsten Godulla, Managing Director, Audi Ireland says there has never been such a wide choice of Audi cars available and these offers ‘bring a new level of affordability to ensure drivers can get the Audi they deserve’. He added that the e-tron ‘has received great feedback as it offers real-world efficient driving solutions together with technology and design features that define Audi as a leading automotive brand’.


13 June 2019

MyClinic.ie: Ireland's first online travel vaccination service


An innovative new travel health service has been launched by MyClinic.ie, meaning you can now have your travel vaccinations given at participating pharmacies nationwide, writes Trish Whelan.

After completing MyClinic’s online travel health consultation, priced at €30, a GP will advise you of any vaccinations or anti-malaria tablets you should consider and issues your prescription.

As well as advice from the GP, you also receive a personalised travel health pack by email, containing the most up-to-date information to help you stay healthy on your trip.

Once you complete the consultation you can book an appointment online at your nearest participating pharmacy to pay for your vaccinations and have them given by a specially trained pharmacist. 

The service is designed to be most convenient and cost-effective way for travellers to access travel health consultations. Commenting on the launch, Dr Daniel Clear, founder of MyClinic, said: “We are very excited to be providing the first travel health service of its kind in Ireland.  

“With Irish people travelling more than ever, and infectious diseases on the rise, we want to remove the barriers to accessing appropriate advice and protection so that people can stay healthy when abroad.”

MyClinic launched in 2017 as the first platform in Europe to bring together the range of primary healthcare services online.

Registration to MyClinic is free and provides users with a personal health record and interactive dashboard where they can access video consultations with healthcare professionals, order repeat prescriptions, and avail of the latest in smart home blood testing and STI screening. 

Repeat prescriptions offered cover a range of common conditions,  including acne, cystitis, thrush, male sexual health problems and various forms of contraception.  Prescriptions are sent by post within 24 hours, or directly to a pharmacy for same-day collection,  if needed urgently.  

MyClinic  operates  a  seven-day  service, with a repeat prescription costing €20 and a video consultation with a GP costing €25, a significant saving on the  €60 typically faced in a GP surgery.

12 June 2019

New BMW X1 here in July


With bold new styling, the new BMW X1 which will arrive in Ireland next month (July), falls in line with the latest X family design philosophy, writes Trish Whelan.

The current range of three and four-cylinder Twin-Power Turbo engines will shortly be joined by a new low emission plug-in hybrid X1.

Two petrol and two diesel engines feature. The petrol range starts with the e140hp 1.5 sDrive 18i with peak torque of 220Nm. It will do from zero to 100km/h in 9.7 secs. It comes with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual clutch auto; C02 emissions are 125g/km and combined fuel consumption 37.7 (56.5mpg).

The more powerful 2.0 X1 sDrive 20i with 192hp and 280Nm of torque can be specified with a seven-speed Sport dual-clutch automatic (0-100km/h in 7.7 secs; 129g/km C02 emissions and combined fuel consumption of 47.9 (52.3mpg) 0-100km/h in 7.4 seconds and C02 is 143g/km; 38.7 (51.4mpg).

The diesel range utilises a 2.0-litre power-plant and both the sDrive and the all-wheel drive xDrive18d models deliver 150hp and a peak torque of 350Nm. The benchmark zero to 62mph sprint is achieved in 9.3-9.4s while emitting 113-1145g/km of CO2. The X1 sDrive18d is offered with a six-speed manual or an optional eight-speed Sport automatic transmission. Combined fuel consumption is 36.7-53.3 mpg for the sDrive and 36.7-55.4mpg for the xDrive. 
The 190hp all-wheel-drive xDrive 20d is at the top of the X1 range delivering a maximum torque of 400Nm while emitting just 123g/km of CO2 with a combined fuel consumption of 39.8-55.4mpg. Like the 18dxDrive it uses the eight-speed Sport automatic transmission that enables it to accelerate from zero to 100kph in 7.8s and go on to a top speed of 219kph 

With OTR prices of from €38,975-€47,395, Irish customers can now place orders for the new X1 featuring increased levels of standard equipment and a simplified option structure.

The X1 has proved to be a huge success for the German car maker who say this latest version builds on that with bold styling, exceptional handling and the introduction of an all-new plug-in hybrid model.

In 2018, not only the highest-selling BMW X model worldwide, it also led the way in its segment as a whole over the same time period.

Features include BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive, extensive infotainment options and an updated range of BMW ConnectedDrive Services.

Four model variants are: SE, Sport, xLine and M Sport, each with its own unique looks and equipment to match. Newly available for the X1 are the exterior colour shades Jucaro Metallic. Exclusively for xLine and M Sport models are the new Misano Blue metallic and BMW Individual Storm Bay metallic.

Next year, the petrol and diesel models will be joined for the first time by the xDrive25e plug-in hybrid model.

BMW X1 


Jackie Tyrrell is new Renault Brand Ambassador

Jackie Tyrrell and Liz O'Gorman, Marketing Manager, Renault Ireland.

Kilkenny hurling legend Jackie Tyrrell has been announced as Renault Ireland’s newest brand ambassador, writes Trish Whelan.

Over a 14-year career with his county, Jackie won no fewer than nine All Irelands, four All Stars, 11 Leinster titles, and six National League titles.

The James Stephens man also boasts three Senior County Championships, two Leinster Club Championships and a Club All Ireland title over 19 years playing with the club.

When not working in Glanbia, Jackie is a pundit on RTE’s The Sunday Game and a sports columnist for The Irish Times.

He will join Renault’s strong line-up of sporting ambassadors including Alan Brogan, Dessie Dolan, Marc O Se, Mick Galwey, Anthony Daly and Jason Sherlock.

Jackie is now on the road in a sleek and brand-new Renault KADJAR.

Patrick Magee, Country Operations Director, Renault Ireland said: “We are thrilled to have Jackie on board as our newest Renault Brand Ambassador. We wish him safe and happy driving in his new Renault KADJAR.”

Make Dun Laoghaire your Port of Call in July


Ireland’s biggest sailing event returns this Summer, with the 2019 Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta. 

The biennial four-day series will take place from Thursday 11 to Sunday 14 July 2019. A festival of fun, sun and sailing awaits those in attendance at the waterfront and Dun Laoghaire town, as the four local waterfront yacht clubs will come together for this sailing extravaganza; Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club, National Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club and Royal St. George Yacht Club.

Some 2,500 sailors and 500 boats across 34 classes will compete in the eight instalment of the four day series on seven race courses will be specially laid out on Dublin Bay. The standard of sailing on show is bound to entertain and excite the crowds, due to its international flavour. The event attracts Olympic, international and national talent, many of whom are champions, with yachts competing from Hong Kong, England, Scotland, Wales, Isle of Man, and all four provinces of Ireland.

On land, there will also be plenty of entertainment around the waterfront to ensure those in attendance stay afloat! This year, face painting and a ‘selfie wall’ will ensure you capture your perfect picture from the day. Volvo and Spirit Motor Group will also be displaying their latest range of cars at The People’s Park, the East Pier and the Harbour Plaza.

There will be market food to sample from the People’s Park Market on Sunday 14 July. 

So, whether you’re looking for a family day out or to simply savour the festival atmosphere, Dun Laoghaire will be the perfect location for you.