Motors Ireland - April 2022

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A P R IL 2022

€ 4.95 / £ 4.50

NEW MASERATI GRECALE SUV

LAMBORGHINI HURACÁN STO V10 NATURALLY ASPIRATED - 640 HP

VOLKSWAGEN AMBASSADOR EWAN MCGREGOR ON NEW ID. BUZZ


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LETTER EDITOR

from the

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elcome to our latest issue of Motors Ireland. For our cover car this issue we chose the Huracán STO. With its V10 naturally aspirated 640 hp (470 kW) power plant producing 565 Nm at 6,500 rpm, the rear-wheel drive Huracán STO delivers exhilarating acceleration of 0-100 km/h in 3.0 seconds, 0-200 km/h in 9.0 seconds and a top speed of 310 km/h. However, its heart beats with the exhilaration and emotion of a racecar. Superior aerodynamic efficiency, extensive use of lightweight materials, unfettered steering and first-class braking performance, ensure the Huracán STO delivers the emotion of a track experience on every road drive. Irish car reviews in this issue consist of the Kia Sportage, BMW iX, MINI Electric, Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the Volvo XC40 Recharge.. The Sportage is a key model for Kia Ireland and the brand’s bestselling model here for over 10 years. The latest generation of the popular SUV will be available in Ireland with a choice of four powertrains, including diesel, diesel mild hybrid, petrol mild hybrid and a petrol hybrid. A new Sportage plug-in hybrid with 265hp will join later in the year. We drive the new BMW iX. The BMW iX is the first fully electric Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) based on a new, modular, scalable toolkit on which the future of the BMW Group will be built. Conceived from the outset for purely electric mobility and sustainable manufacturing techniques, the BMW iX combines locally emission-free driving pleasure and sporting agility with a highly usable operating range and luxurious spaciousness. Staying with electric vehicles and we also drove the MINI Electric. The size and shape is the same as any other three-door MINI hatchback, plus it has the look and badging of the sporty Cooper S model, and its 32kWh battery and electric motor help it travel up to 235-270 km measured by WLTP industry standards between charges. MINI has kept its design as normal as possible. You can have the eye-catching three-pin-plug style wheels and fluorescent accents if you like, but if you don’t want to stand out, then you can have all the usual MINI wheels and paints instead like our test model. It was a cool car to test.

Email: info@motorsireland.ie Motors Ireland Magazine 2022

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If you’re looking for a luxury family car or business vehicle then the new seventh generation of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class could be what you’re looking for. It has gone on sale priced from €123,875 and is available in standard and long wheelbase versions. We really enjoyed our time with the S-Class and you can read the full review inside. Last but certainly not least is the Volvo XC40 Recharge. Volvo’s first all-electric car – is now available for Irish customers to order. The first fully electric car to be launched by the Swedish company, the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric P8 is capable of travelling more than 400 kms on a single charge, and can be charged to 80% of its battery capacity in as little as 40 minutes using a fast charger. Inside, the car benefits from the company’s brand-new infotainment system powered by Google Android, and an innovative approach to all-round functionality provides drivers with plenty of storage space. Finally, we have our Gimme 5 section with the latest in motoring, our New Gear section and new cars hitting showrooms in our Irish News section.


CONTENTS

CONTENTS NEWS

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Latest news from motoring sector in Ireland.

LAMBORGHINI HURACÁN STO The Huracán STO is the purest incarnation of Lamborghini Squadra Corse heritage.

GIMME 5 Five interesting motoring facts we learnt for this issue.

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NEW GEAR Check out the latest trending gadgets.

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KIA SPORTAGE The new Kia Sportage has arrived in Ireland, and goes on sale priced from €38,000.

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BMW IX The BMW iX is a seriously impressive achievement from the German manufacturer.

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MINI ELECTRIC The all-electric MINI is every bit the original iconic MINI.

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EWAN MCGREGOR INTERVIEW Who could represent the new Volkswagen icon ID. Buzz01 more passionately than a world-famous Bulli fan?

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FLYING SPUR Nine electrified Flying Spur Hybrids drive the equivalent of the breadth of the USA over six days.

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MERCEDES-BENZ S-CLASS The S-Class exemplifies all that is great in automotive refinement.

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RENAULT Renault celebrates the 50th anniversary of Renault 5 at Retromobile Auto Show.

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VOLVO XC40 RECHARGE The Recharge is the electric version of the Volvo XC40.

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NEWS RENAULT UNVEILS ALL-NEW AUSTRAL

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enault brings an ambitious model to its SUV range: the All-New Renault Austral. It will serve to bolster efforts to win back the C segment that forms the core of the global automotive market. The All-New Austral is part of the ‘cars for living’ tradition and marks the next milestone in the C-segment offensive started by the Arkana and the All-New Megane E-Tech Electric, with a resolutely modern approach. The ‘Nouvelle Vague’ that aims to turn the brand into an industry benchmark for technology, clean energy, and services. The range starts with two 12v mild-hybrid petrols powered by a 1.3-litre 4cyl engine with outputs of 138hp and 157hp. The All-New Renault Austral falls perfectly within the ‘Renaulution’ plan. Its name evokes images of the wide-open spaces of the south, a promise of endless possibilities, a hallmark of the brand’s DNA. A warm, welcoming, and modern brand where customers are given an enhanced experience of life. As such, the exterior design of the All-New Austral is not only true to the codes of the SUV category, but also athletic, sen-

THE ŠKODA FABIA MONTE CARLO ith the launch of this latest MONTE CARLO variant, ŠKODA completes its new, fourth-generation FABIA range. The iconic name ŠKODA initially introduced exclusively for the FABIA has symbolised a sporty lifestyle since 2011. It commemorates the brand’s many victories at the legendary rally. The black body details underscore the new FABIA’s dynamic appearance, while the interior is characterised by red accents and carbon-look detailing on the armrests and dashboard. A choice of two engines - 1.0TSI 95hp & 1.0TSI 110hp DSG will be available. The starting price for the Fabia MONTE CARLO is €24,750 and is available to order now.

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The sporty MONTE CARLO variants have contributed to the FABIA’s success since 2011. They are inspired by the brand’s numerous motorsport victories at the legendary rally and complement the Active, Ambition and Style trim levels. The powertrain options available for the MONTE CARLO variant include three triple-cylinder 1.0-litre engines with power outputs ranging from 95bhp to 110bhp.

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sual, and even technological. For the first time ever on a Renault vehicle, it also comes in an exclusive Esprit Alpine version for a sportier look, with dynamic and captivating design features. The sleek, high-tech interior on the All-New Austral boasts the level of comfort worthy of the family models that have marked Renault’s history.


NEW FORD MUSTANG CALIFORNIA SPECIAL

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he quintessential style of west coast America has crossed the Atlantic as the Ford Mustang California Special arrives in Europe for the first time.

Embodying the free-spirited ethos of the 1968 original, the new California Special is offered exclusively in convertible body style with a folding soft-top for classic looks and open-air thrills. A special-edition design package with unique badging, detailing, 19-inch alloy wheels and special “colour shift” California Special decals delivers distinctive style, and Ford’s charismatic 450 PS V8 petrol engine provides the power for effortless cruising. Inside, the Mustang California Special is designed to help liberate all the fun of the open road whatever the weather, with

MCCOY MOTORS AWARDED SEAT IRELAND’S RETAILER OF THE YEAR 2021

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bespoke California Special detailing adding exclusive appeal. Standard comfort technologies include heated and cooled front seats, a 12-inch customisable instrument cluster, and advanced SYNC 3 connectivity that enables drivers to call up their favourite road trip soundtrack or find directions to the nearest beach using just their voice. “The California Special is a huge part of the Mustang’s legacy in America and it symbolises so much of what Mustang stands for: The joy of driving and the freedom of the open road. Those ideals resonate just as strongly with driving enthusiasts in Europe, so it’s about time customers here got to experience the unique California Special blend of style, performance and driving fun,” said Matthias Tonn, Mustang chief programme engineer, Ford of Europe.

ucan-based McCoy Motors has been named SEAT Ireland’s Retailer of the Year for 2021. The family-owned, independent SEAT & CUPRA retailer has been a cornerstone of SEAT’s success in Ireland over the past nine years and was a top performer in 2021, ranking number one for several key metrics measuring performance across the business.

Founded in 1981, McCoy Motors was appointed a SEAT retailer in 2013 and has been a vital cog in SEAT’s success story in Ireland. Significant investment in 2019 led to the creation of a brand new, state of the art showroom, a move that facilitated further growth and made the customer experience even more welcoming. Recruitment of additional sales and service personnel allowed McCoy Motors’ leadership team to deliver on ambitious expansion plans. Meanwhile, a strong emphasis on staff training and upskilling has prepared the business for the evolution of the motor industry on its journey towards electrification. McCoy Motors is already at the cutting edge of industry developments and will offer customers even more digitalisation virtual product experiences. In addition to their outstanding sales success in 2021, the team at McCoy Motors excelled in terms of customer care, accessory sales and finance penetration through Volkswagen Financial Services.

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IRISH CAR OF THE YEAR WIN FOR KIA EV6

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ia Ireland are celebrating after winning Irish Car of the Year 2022 for the EV6. Kia also won this this award in 2020 for the Kia Soul making them back to back winners as no award was made in 2021

The EV6 Kia’s first dedicated battery-electric vehicle has proved popular in other European countries with an ever growing trophy cabinet for its designers and engineers . The EV6 scooped up a win for the all-new Kia EV6 with the 2022 Car of the Year in the prestigious Car of the Year (COTY) awards. In the ‘Family SUV and Crossover’ category at the renowned Trophée de L’argus awards 2022 in France it also recently won. These latest wins follows multiple awards already bestowed on EV6 from various leading industry publications and experts across Europe. Accolades to date include: winner of 2022 What

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Car? ‘Car of the Year’ awards; ‘Crossover of the Year’ at the TopGear.com 2021 awards; ‘Premium’ winner in the German Car of the Year 2022 awards; and joint winner of the inaugural ‘Best Cars of the Year’ 2021/2022 awards. Ronan Flood Managing Director of Kia Ireland , commented, “We are honoured to receive this prestigious award. The competition was extremely tough this year with many new high profile entrants to the market .It is to the credit of our designers and engineers who created this cutting-edge model that EV6 emerged as the choice of the jurors for this years Irish Car of the Year .” “I would like to thank the members of the ICOTY jury who recognized the unique characteristics of this car and also the Kia customers who are literally queueing to get their hands on EV6”


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LAMBORGHINI HURACÁN STO

LAMBORGHINI HURACÁN STO

The Huracán STO is the purest incarnation of Lamborghini Squadra Corse heritage

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Words: Anthony Kelly

Pics: Webpress

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amborghini presents the Lamborghini Huracán STO - Super Trofeo Omologata: a road-homologated super sports car inspired by the racing heritage of Lamborghini Squadra Corse’s one-make race series with Huracán Super Trofeo EVO, as well as its three-time 24 Hours of Daytona-winning and two-time 12 Hours of Sebring- winning Huracán GT3 EVO. With its V10 naturally aspirated 640 hp (470 kW) power plant producing 565 Nm at 6,500 rpm, the rear-wheel drive Huracán STO delivers exhilarating acceleration of 0-100 km/h in 3.0 seconds, 0-200 km/h in 9.0 seconds and a top speed of 310 km/h. However, its heart beats with the exhilaration and emotion of a racecar. Superior aerodynamic efficiency, extensive use of lightweight materials, unfettered steering and first-class braking performance, ensure the Huracán STO delivers the emotion of a track experience on every road drive. “The Huracán STO is the purest incarnation of Lamborghini Squadra Corse heritage, directly transferring technologies from the Huracán Super Trofeo EVO and drawing on the Huracán GT3 EVO’s unique accomplishment of winning three consecutive times in the Daytona 24 hours,”. Maurizio Reggiani, Chief Technical Officer added: “The Huracán STO delivers all the excitement of a beautifully balanced, lightweight and aerodynamically superior super sports car, mirroring the driving feeling and exhilaration of Super Trofeo, and perfectly set up for the world’s most demanding tracks but created for the road. The extensive technical solutions and intelligence gained from both our Super Trofeo and GT3 programs has been refined and embodied in the Huracán STO, allowing the pilot to experience the emotions of a racing driver, daily, in a road-legal Lamborghini super sports car able to take lap records.” The Huracán STO sports an entirely new exterior design, revising its inimitable Lamborghini profile to optimize airflow. Mitja Borkert, Head of Design, says: “Racing cars are always a strong inspiration for our design. The Huracán STO exquisitely reflects the technology transfer from our successful Huracán race cars, displayed in every aesthetic detail.” Every aspect of the Huracán STO draws on the aerodynamic efficiency and lightweight technologies demanded in motorsports. The Huracán STO embodies the principle that Lamborghini design always follows function: even more valid for a street-homologated car inspired by a racecar. The Huracán STO is the result of the collaboration

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LAMBORGHINI HURACÁN STO

“The interior of the Huracán STO reflects the lightweight persona of the exterior.”

between Lamborghini’s R&D, Squadra Corse and Centro Stile departments, with every line and every feature aesthetically outstanding while optimized to ensure the best driving performance. The comprehensive aerodynamic solutions inspired by Squadra Corse racecars maximise aerodynamic performance. The front bonnet, fenders and the front bumper are comprised of one single component: the ‘cofango’ created by Lamborghini engineers combines the ‘cofano’ (hood) and ‘parafango’ (fender) including the front bumper, inspired by the Lamborghini Miura and more recent Sesto Elemento. It is not only lightweight, but also a timesaving access feature in motorsports. New air ducts on the front bonnet increase the airflow through the central radiator to improve engine cooling as well as helping generate downforce. The cofango also incorporates a new front splitter, directing airflow to the newly designed underbody of the car and to the rear diffuser. 12

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The cofango is shaped to push the airflow on top of the front fenders, which incorporate louvers to maximize airflow exiting from the wheelhouse, reducing pressure inside and increasing the front downforce. The side profile of the cofango directs airflow around the front wheels, reducing drag. A new rear fender derived from the Super Trofeo EVO achieves both reduction of the front area of the car and consequently the drag, while increasing rear downforce and the car’s overall aerodynamic efficiency. A NACA air intake integrated into the STO’s rear fender serves as an engine air intake, with the shortened duct allowing a 30% decrease in static pressure losses. The revised rear hood design features an integrated air scoop to improve air-cooling at the rear underhood. Dedicated air deflectors, integrated in the rear bonnet’s frame, manage the significant incoming airflow from the snorkel according to the temperature regulation needs of the engine and exhaust outlet.


An integrated ‘shark fin’ on the rear bonnet improves the dynamic abilities of the STO, particularly when cornering: in such conditions the incoming airflow has a yaw angle, and the different pressure levels generated by the two sides of the fin create a positive effect on yaw stability. The fin also helps straighten airflow onto the wing, increasing wing efficiency during cornering. A manual, easily adjusted aero set-up of the new rear wing optimizes aerodynamic balance and drag resistance according to track characteristics. A single slotted wing with double airfoil allows the front part of the airfoil to rotate into three positions to enhance rear downforce. By reducing the gap between the front and rear airfoil, compression is increased on the upper side, upping the suction intensity and extension on the bottom of the front airfoil. The aero balance of the car can thus fluctuate by 13%, adapting the STO to different driving styles and conditions. New front brake cooling ducts are dedicated to cooling

the discs and calipers of the new CCM-R brakes, working in conjunction with the cofango air-louvers that dispel hot air from the front wheelhouses. Additional air intakes including on the underbody, and optimized nolders, are located at the rear. The Huracán STO achieves the highest level of downforce in its class with the best aero balance for a rear-wheel drive car, with delivery of a superior aerodynamic load a key factor in its enhanced cornering performance. Overall airflow efficiency is improved by 37% and a significant downforce increase of 53% is reached over the Huracán Performante. The Huracán STO uses carbon fiber in more than 75% of its exterior panels, benefiting from complex structures produced as a single component for increased integrity while also reducing weight via less fixing points. Using its expertise in lightweight technologies, for the rear fender Lamborghini’s R&D department has adopted a carbon fiber ‘sandwich’ technique utilized in the aerospace industry. Thanks to this technology, the Huracán STO uses

“At its heart is the V10 aspirated engine.”

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“The Huracán STO achieves the highest level of downforce in its class.”

25% less carbon fiber material while maintaining the same structural rigidity. At a dry weight of 1,339 kg, the Huracán STO’s weight is reduced by 43 kg compared to the already lightweight Huracán Performante. The Huracán STO incorporates a windscreen 20% lighter than the Huracán Performante, and features magnesium rims for the highest strength-to-weight ratio, saving further weight over aluminum alloys with the same load factor. The magnesium rims are fitted with bespoke Bridgestone Potenza tires, available in two versions: one road-focused, the other more track oriented. From the moment, the engine is fired up, every aspect of the Huracán STO, inside and out, stirs the soul of a racing driver. The Huracán STO has at its heart the V10 aspirated engine of the Huracán EVO and Super Trofeo, outputting 640 hp (570 kW) and 565 Nm of torque at 6,500 rpm. With an increased wheel track, stiffer suspension bushing, specific anti-roll bars and Lamborghini’s MagneRide 2.0, the STO delivers all the emotion of a racecar while providing a comfortable road experience. The engine has been calibrated for a very sporty and responsive racing feel, with a direct pedal-to-throttle feeling and improved engine sound sharpness at high revs. The gearchange speed has been further increased to provide a highly responsive and rapid gearshift. Lamborghini rear-wheel steering, and a more direct and fixed steering ratio, has been designed 14

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for a race environment and a more intimate relationship between driver, car and track: the driver is fully in touch with the asphalt with feedback on the car’s behavior at his fingertips. Every aspect of the STO’s racing heritage and technology enhances its ability to corner faster, maximizing grip on exit: the Huracán STO is confirmation that races are won in corners rather than on straights. Three new driving modes exemplify the Huracán STO’s racing spirit, focused on high performance driving environments: STO, Trofeo and Pioggia. The default STO mode is for road driving and fun on curving roads. Every aspect of the Lamborghini Veicolo Dinamica Integrata (LDVI) vehicle dynamics system is optimized for all road conditions and coupled with a road-oriented suspension setting. The fully active ESC can be switched off for maximum driving fun while still supporting the driver. In Trofeo mode, all systems are optimised for dry asphalt and the fastest lap times on track. The LDVI assures maximum performance through dedicated torque vectoring and performance traction control strategies for both straight sprints, in ESC ON mode, as well for lap timing, in ESC OFF. The new Brake Temperature Monitoring (BTM) estimation algorithm allows the driver to constantly check the braking system’s temperature, and to manage wear of the system during its life cycle.


Pioggia (rain) mode optimises traction control, torque vectoring, rear-wheel steering and the ABS on wet asphalt. Traction control and the braking system are calibrated to minimise loss of grip and engine torque cut, with the LDVI system employing precise estimation to deliver only the torque needed in wet situations. The torque vectoring reflects the low adhesion conditions and ensures better cornering, while the suspension is calibrated to maximise grip and improve load transfer. The motorsports DNA of the Huracán STO is as evident in its braking system. With Brembo CCM-R brakes drawing on materials expertise from F1 applications to deliver superior durability, the CCM- R discs provide four times higher thermal conductivity than traditional CCB. Stress resistance is 60% higher, with maximum brake power improved by 25% and longitudinal deceleration by 7%. This results in robust braking consistency in all driving conditions: braking feels sporty, can be perfectly modulated, and thus is optimized for track use. The interior of the Huracán STO reflects the lightweight persona of the exterior: extensive use of carbon fiber features throughout the cockpit, including sport seats in full carbon fiber; an Alcantara interior with Lamborghini’s Carbonskin; carpets removed and replaced by floor mats in carbon fiber; and the fully carbon fiber lightweight door panels with a door latch as opener. A rear arch with four-

point seatbelts and a newly designed front trunk for helmet storage, underline the Huracán STO’s racing DNA. The rear arch, developed in cooperation with our Technical Partner Akrapovič, is made from high-grade titanium alloys. It is 40% lighter than conventional stainless- steel rear arches. New Human Machine Interface (HMI) graphics feature on the Huracán’s touch screen, which manages the car’s functions including drive mode indicator, the LDVI system, tire pressures and brake temperatures. A fully connected telemetry system allows pilots driving their Huracán STO on racetracks to monitor and record their performance and to analyze the data via the Lamborghini UNICA app. Owners of the Huracán STO can fully personalize both the exterior and interior of their race car- on-the-road via a rich Ad Personam personalization program, with limitless paint and trim combinations as well as race-style vinyls. The concept of a personalized livery is inherent in the design of the Huracán STO, just as Huracán Super Trofeo race cars line up in their unique colors and designs on the starting grid. The launch livery of Blu Laufey and Arancio California exemplifies the Huracán STO’s young and sporty racing spirit.

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FIVE INTERESTING MOTORING FACTS WE LEARNT FOR THIS ISSUE

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Audi, Mercedes, Maserati, Volkswagen & Polestar


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AUDI A6 AVANT E-TRON CONCEPT

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udi has taken the covers off the A6 Avant e-tron concept, offering a preview of the production electric A6 estate which is due to arrive in 2024. The concept’s unveiling comes following the reveal of last year’s A6 e-tron concept, the all-electric saloon version of the A6 which is set to land in 2023. Both models will go on sale alongside combustion-engined counterparts. Its dimensions are roughly the same as those of existing A6 and A7 models and, as expected, the Avant’s design language is very much in keeping with that of the saloon. Its lines are a consistent development in Audi’s contemporary formal language. Significant elements like the closed Singleframe and the continuous strip of lights in the rear emphasise its kinship with the other electrically powered Audis in the e-tron fleet.

co-developed with Porsche. The PPE technology will ensure that what the car’s lines imply is translated into a standard of dynamic driving performance and everyday suitability befitting use for long drives. That means that, in the future, an Audi A6 e-tron will deliver up to 700 kilometres (435 miles) of range (under the WLTP standard), depending on the drive system and model variant. And the strongest representatives of the series will sprint from 0-62mph in less than four seconds. The values of the Sportback and the Avant only deviate slightly from one another. Because this is just a concept and the production version isn’t going to be hitting Irish roads before 2024, any announcement on pricing for the A6 Avant e-tron is obviously a long way off but you can expect prices to be in line with the company’s current combustion-engined cars, so a starting price for the electric A6 Avant when it arrives could be around the €70,000 figure.

The Avant e-tron concept is built around new PPE (Premium Platform Electric) architecture,

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NEW ‘EDITION 55’ MERCEDES G-CLASS FRONTS AMG ANNIVERSARY

o mark the 55th anniversary of AMG, Mercedes-Benz has launched a new G-Class ‘Edition 55’ model which is made available to order on international markets and through their Irish dealer network until October 2022 next.

Within the world of Mercedes-Benz, the G-Class is truly unique. Though not as prominent on Irish roads as its more fashionable, more luxurious stablemates, G-Class enjoys something akin to cult status amongst a worldwide fan base hooked on its design, rugged good looks and muscular off-road capability. Comfortable on the slippery slopes and the flooded byways, G-Class is aimed at the ‘go anywhere, go everywhere’ owners with a regular need to reach out-of-the-way locations, in all weather and in all conditions. In its latest G 63 ‘Edition 55’ guise, customers are offered what Mercedes calls ‘the highest possible individuality and exclusivity’. Power comes from a 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine with 430 kW (585 hp) and 850 Nm maximum torque with a WLTP combined fuel consumption figure of 16.0 l/100 km, with combined CO2 emissions of 363 g/km). Other tech features include a 40:60 ratio all-wheel drive with three differential locks, fast- shifting nine-speed automatic transmission, double-wishbone independent front suspension with

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adaptive adjustable damping that accounts for on and off surfaced roads. Underpinning its appeal as a performance SUV is its powerful drive, AMG ride control suspension, AMG- specific driving programs and a luxurious interior. Key features include its colour choice (one being obsidian black metallic), styling touches (one being its 22-inch,cross-spoke forged wheels with matt grey finish), colour coordination (as in its contrasting black and red interior), and trim elements (such as its chrome fuel filler cap and door sills) plus a number of special items (like AMG Night packages) and an optional extras package. Described by Ciaran Allen, sales manager for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars in Ireland as ‘a suitably iconic vehicle’ with which to mark 55 years of AMG, he said: “in the G 63 Edition 55, Mercedes-AMG has produced a model that will be celebrated the world over and carry the AMG brand’s highly successful performance and sports car story to new heights…literally”. No price is yet available for the model locally though, in accordance with custom and practice in such cases, one as specialised and individualised as the G 63 is, price is likely to be calculable at time of order, varying from one customer to another in accordance with the level of extras, optional items and final specifications as may be required in each case.


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THE NEW MASERATI GRECALE SUV

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recale strikes the right balance between versatility, elegance, performance and innovation, guaranteeing performance, comfort and safety, all at the same time. These features are combined with off-road capabilities and uncompromising driving pleasure. Developed at the Maserati Innovation Lab in Modena, the new SUV is produced at the Cassino plant.

To complete the range, the Grecale Folgore, the 100% electric version with 400V technology. The new SUV stands out in terms of spaciousness and comfort, boasting an impressive set of “best-inclass” features. It is best-in-class in terms of interior space, driveability, handling, acceleration (0-100 km/h in 3.8 seconds – on the Trofeo), top speed (285 km/h – again on the Trofeo), sound quality and extensive use of fine materials such as wood, carbon fibre and leather.

An extremely wide range of engines is available: conventional internal combustion, hybrid and, in a year’s time, Grecale will also be the first full-electric SUV in Maserati history.

The design of Grecale embraces Maserati’s new visual symbol, which distinguishes every new model since the MC20. The front features a low and imposing grille. The profile is notable for its contrast between purity and technique, with a highly fluid body featuring meandering, visual forms and its technical components highlighted by the use of carbon fibre. In the rear, the boomerang taillights are inspired by the Giugiaro 3200 GT and fit in with the trapezoidal line, made even more striking by the coupé effect of the cabin and its finish like a sports car’s. For more information contact Charles Hurst in Belfast.

Three versions will be rolled out at launch: GT, powered by a four-cylinder mild hybrid engine capable of delivering 300 hp; Modena, with a four-cylinder 330-hp mild hybrid engine; and the powerful Trofeo, equipped with a high-performance 3.0L 530-hp petrol V6 based on the Nettuno engine fitted to the MC20. At launch, the Grecale is also available in the PrimaSerie Launch Edition, a limited edition featuring exclusive content.

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he ID Buzz will initially arrive in Ireland later this year as a five-seater people mover or a commercial ID Cargo van with a choice of two or three seats. Both variants feature an 82kWh (77kWh net) rechargeable battery and a 150kW (200hp) electric motor. Later this year a longer-bodied, seven-seat version will launch. It will have a larger battery with a driving range of about 500km. The new ID. Buzz is likely to be around €60,000 for the passenger version when it lands in Ireland. ID. Buzz drivers and passengers experience the new Bulli feeling in a spaciously designed interior. Typically Bulli: the layout is very clear, the concept well thought through and utilisation of space optimal. In the lounge-like, friendly ambience of the MPV version, five people have ample room for travelling and for their luggage (1,121 litres of capacity). If the second row of seats is folded down, the load capacity increases to up to 2,205 litres. Two or three seats up front, as the customer desires, and a fixed partition separating off the 3.9 m3 cargo space are distinctive features of the ID. Buzz Cargo. The zero-emission cargo version can take two loaded euro pallets, loaded in transversely. Alan Bateson, Director of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Ireland, said: “The ID. Buzz is a complete game changer for Irish motoring. Not only is it the first all-electric MPV and van to be made and shipped with a carbon neutral footprint, it brings the spirit of the original T1 to the cutting edge of vehicle design and technology. There has been a huge amount of interest in ID. Buzz ever since the Microbus prototype was unveiled in Detroit in 2000. Now that it is finally here, as a desirable family passenger car and highly-practical and versatile commercial vehicle, we can see what all the fuss was about.”

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POLESTAR

ARRIVES IN IRELAND

olestar, the Swedish premium electric performance brand, arrives in Ireland with the Polestar 2 electric performance fastback. Soon available to order from https://www.polestar.com/ ie, Polestar 2 starts at €54,500 and offers three different drivetrain configurations.

Jonathan Goodman, Polestar’s Head of Global Communications and Polestar UK, comments: “We’re excited to bring Polestar to Ireland. As we continue our rapid and global roll out of the Polestar brand, Ireland was the logical next step in our plans. We’re proud to offer an exciting and advanced EV in the premium segment here.”

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Kieran Campbell, Market Lead for Polestar Ireland, comments “It’s clear there’s huge appetite for new premium electric cars here in Ireland, so the arrival of Polestar couldn’t be better-timed. With its avant-garde styling, advanced technology and impressive sustainability credentials, Polestar 2 is the perfect car for Ireland’s transition to electric vehicles.” In Ireland, the Polestar 2 model range will include three versions, offering a mix of performance and range. The Standard range Single motor version will feature a 231 hp / 330 Nm electric motor and a 69 kWh battery pack good for a WLTP range of up to 474 km*, while the Long range Single motor will increase battery size to 78 kWh with a corresponding jump in its WLTP range of up to 542*. The Long range Dual motor variant has two electric motors and the same 78 kWh battery, with a total output of 408 hp and 660 Nm, with a WLTP range of up to 482 km*.


SPORTS CAR INTENSITY, RACE CAR SOUL.

THE WORLD’S MOST POWERFUL LUXURY SUV #NEWSEATOFPOWER astonmartin.com Aston Martin Dealer, 1234 Aston Martin Road, Gaydon, Warwickshire, CV35 0DB, UK | 01234 567890 | astonmartindealer.com Official government fuel consumption figures in litres/100km (mpg) for the Aston Martin DBX707: WLTP Low 22.0 (12.8); WLTP Medium 13.9 (20.2); WLTP High 12.0 (23.4); WLTP Extra High 13.3 (21.2); WLTP Combined 14.2 (19.9). WLTP CO2 Emissions 323 g/km (NEDC Combined CO2 - Awaiting certification). Urban RDE trip NOx 85.8 mg/km, PN 9e11; Complete RDE trip NOx 85.8 mg/km, PN 9e11. PEMS ID: 09-SCF-0025-0; TA Number: Awaiting certification.


New Gear

URBANISTA LOS ANGELES HEADPHONES Charging devices is one of those daily pains that we could all live without, and while battery lives have improved, it is still a regular occurrence. This is a problem Urbanista is attempting to resolve with the Los Angeles headphones. Lined with a solar cell material, these headphones will constantly charge themselves throughout the day as long as there is light. This works both inside and out in the big wide world and theoretically removes the need for charging. Along with the unique charging feature, the Los Angeles headphones also include active noise cancelling, ambient sound mode and voice assistant features. www.urbanista.com from €200

TAG HEUER CONNECTED CALIBRE E4

If you like the idea of a smartwatch, but also want to feel like the classy individual you are, the Tag Heuer Connected Calibre E4 could be just what you need. It is by no means affordable at £1550 but that price is pretty normal from a brand like this. Skip past the large amount of futuristic buzzwords here and there are some interesting features to this watch, especially around fitness. The watch includes guided 7 minute workouts with animations and notifications to switch exercises. You can choose upper, lower or full-body exercises. www.tagheuer.com from €1,950


In its latest launch event, Apple listed off a host of new gadgets, but it’s the new Mac Studio that stands out as the most interesting addition. A small desktop computer with a surprisingly high amount of power, the Mac Studio is aimed at creatives with digitally-intensive work. Coming in two models (expensive and bank-breaking), you can choose how much power you want from your computer. The more affordable option still feels incredibly overpowered, offering 3.4x faster graphics compared to the 27-inch iMac - another incredibly powerful device. We’ll be honest, for the majority of people this is going to be a heavily overpowered piece of kit. However, if you’re a serious video editor, 3D designer or someone intending to really push your computer’s processing power to the extreme, this will be the perfect investment.

MAC STUDIO

www.apple.com from €2,350

ASUS ZENBOOK 17 FOLD With Samsung taking the helm, the world of foldable devices seems to be flourishing recently. We’ve seen plenty of brands launch their own folding smartphone but at CES 2022, Asus went a step further by unveiling a folding tablet. The Zenbook 17 Fold is, as the name suggests, a 17-inch folding tablet. It can be folded completely over for easy storage, or you can even bend the display at any angle. Asus has crammed in fancy features like AI noise cancellation, Dolby Vision Atoms and Vision for high-end streaming and, surprisingly for a folding tablet, a lot of ports! However, while no price has been announced yet, we would expect the Zenbook 17 Fold to be pretty expensive on its launch. www.asus.com from €tbc

SKYDIO 2+

There are a lot of drones on the market right now, all offering something slightly different. However, Skydio’s 2+ has a unique feature we haven’t seen elsewhere that really helps it to stand out. Through technology known as Keyframe, you can plan out routes that the Skydio 2+ will follow. You can define complex camera movements and then choose what speed the drone will approach these routes. Skydio’s aim with this feature was to be able to give anyone the ability to get clean drone shots, no matter their level of skill. Equally, you can use this feature to film yourself doing something if you don’t have someone to pilot it for you. www.skydio.com from €1,000 25


KIA SPORTAGE

SPORTAGE The new Kia Sportage has arrived in Ireland, and goes on sale priced from €38,000.

Words: Anthony Kelly

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“The fifth generation Kia Sportage is far more grown up.”

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he Sportage is a key model for Kia Ireland and the brand’s bestselling model here for over 10 years. The latest generation of the popular SUV will be available in Ireland with a choice of four powertrains, including diesel, diesel mild hybrid, petrol mild hybrid and a petrol hybrid. A new Sportage plug-in hybrid with 265hp will join later in the year. Trim levels include K3, K4 and a top of the range GT Line. The Kia Ireland offering features a choice of four powertrains and four trim levels which we will run through in a moment but first take a look at the design. Kia designers are really delivering as of late with cutting edge designs and modern looking vehicles and this Sportage is another great example. The fifth generation Kia Sportage is far more grown up and modern looking than its predecessor. The talented design team have taken inspiration from their hero model - the EV6, so you get crisp lines, refined body, while the rear of the vehicle emphasises its wide stance, which is accentuated with its prominent rear haunches. From the front, the all-new Sportage has an intricate design form with its detailed black grille. Kia’s classic tiger-nose grille gives a polished look and is garnished with silver plastic accents. There are also distinctively fashioned LED DRLs (daytime running lamps), which in turn create solid boundary lines for the striking Matrix LED headlamps. The results are a bold futuristic look. A slick raked roof line leads you to the spoiler and rear lamps. These rear lamps are connected by a slim horizontal bar design. There is also a hidden rear wiper much like the Hyundai Tuscon, under the subdued rear spoiler, giving the all-new Sportage a stunningly wide and sleek impression from the back. The new Kia Sportage K3 starts at

€38,000 and is available with a 1.6-litre MHEV petrol engine with 150PS or with a 1.6-litre diesel with 115PS. Equipment includes 18” alloys, LED headlamps, dual-zone climate control, reversing camera with dynamic guidelines, cruise control with speed limiter, lane keep assist, lane follow assist and forward collision avoidance. There are also heated front and rear seats, power adjustable front seats and 12.3” infotainment screen with Kia Connect (UVO connectivity). The Sportage K3 petrol hybrid (230PS) is available from €42,000 and also features smart cruise control and highway driving assistance . The K4 trim level is available with the 1.6-litre diesel engine (€40,500) and the 1.6-litre petrol hybrid (€44,500). Features include a matt chrome coated front bumper, door garnish and silver painted rear skid plates. Inside there is beige leather upholstery, driver memory seats, ventilated front seats, curved 12.3” inch driver cluster display, and a wireless phone charger. The K4 hybrid adds blind spot collision avoidance. The top of the range Kia Sportage GT-line comes with the 1.6-litre diesel mild hybrid with 136 hp. Features include 19”alloys, special GT-line sports upholstery, GT-line exterior styling, sports pedals and a powered tailgate. The new Kia Sportage has been designed for Europe. It has a new design and was developed on a new ‘N3’ architecture. The latest version has more boot space, headroom and legroom compared to the outgoing Sportage. The packaging of the HEV and PHEV models has been carefully arranged to minimise impact on passenger and boot space. Luggage capacity is up to 591 litres depending on model. For the Sportage Plug-in Hybrid arriving in Ireland later in 2022, the compact 1.6 turbo petrol engine is part of an advanced powertrain package that also features a 66.9 kW permanent magnet traction electric motor and a 13.8

“A new-generation Electronic Control Suspension (ECS) is said to provide optimum comfort.” 28

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kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack. It will be the most powerful of the range with 265hp. Gearboxes include a 6-speed manual and 7-speed dual clutch automatic. Both the Sportage Hybrid and Sportage Plug-in Hybrid models are equipped with the latest-generation six-speed automatic transmission. A new-generation Electronic Control Suspension (ECS) is said to provide optimum comfort and superior safety levels at all times thanks to its continuous damping control. The technology reacts quickly to the Sportage’s body movements and steering inputs, making rapid damper adjustments to counteract heave, pitch and body roll through corners. It also adapts the damping force of the suspension to comfortably accommodate obstacles and reduce wheel impact from aftershocks. From my experience with the Sportage GT-Line it really irons out potholed roads and bumpy city streets. It’s very impressive in this regard. While there’s an excellent level of all-round comfort, that hasn’t come at the cost of handling or driver engagement you’ll be glad to hear. With grippy tyres and a wonderfully-balanced steering and chassis, the Sportage turns in predictably and directly without being too sharp. It’s perfect for the intended demographic and if you flick the mode selector into Sport the steering and throttle sharpen up for more eager responses. Wind noise is next to non-existent and tyre roar even on rough back roads is very quiet. The Sportage gives a confident bigcar feeling and that carries over whether you’re moving around the city or driving on the motorway. It’s quiet and unfazed by poor weather or uneven road surfaces. Conclusion Kia really needed to make a statement with the new Sportage and it has done just that. I personally like the overall exterior design but that’s an individual thing so hopefully you’re in agreement. It’s spacious, comfortable, comes with plenty of tech and the ride and handling balance is pretty much spot on. The Sportage has certainly put itself as one of the class leaders right off the bat, and in the flagship GT-Line offering you might think twice about buying one of the traditional premium brands. 30

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“The latest version has more boot space, headroom and legroom.” TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION Model Kia Sportage GT-Line 1.6 diesel MHEV 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel

320 Nm

136 hp

180 km/h

11.4 seconds

€210 per year

€38,000


The new Maserati Levante GT Hybrid. Performance Charged ELECTRIFY YOUR DRIVE WITH HYBRID TECHNOLOGY AND POWERFUL MASERATI PERFORMANCE. CHARLES HURST MASERATI 62 Boucher Road, Belfast BT12 6LR - 02895 176167 www.charleshurstgroup.co.uk/maserati

C H A R L E S H U R S T M A S E R AT I

Fuel economy and CO2 results for the Maserati Levante GT Hybrid in mpg (l/100km) combined: 26.4 (10.7) to 29.1 (9.7). CO2 emissions: 243 - 220 g/km. Figures shown are for comparability purposes; only compare fuel consumption and CO2 figures with other cars tested to the same technical procedures. These figures may not reflect real life driving results, which will depend upon a number of factors including the accessories fitted (post-registration), variations in weather, driving styles and vehicle load.


BMW IX

T

he new BMW iX is the first fully electric Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) based on a new, modular, scalable toolkit on which the future of the BMW Group will be built. Conceived from the outset for purely electric mobility and sustainable manufacturing techniques, the BMW iX combines locally emission-free driving pleasure and sporting agility with a highly usable operating range and luxurious spaciousness. The styling is certainly distinctive, with a low shoulder line and enlarged kidney grilles setting the iX apart from just about anything on the road. The footprint is about the same as a BMW X5’s, but with a significantly lower roofline; in the metal the design is rather striking. Step inside the iX and the cabin is very impressive. The dashboard slopes down from a low scuttle, which coupled with the lack of a transmission tunnel and a panoramic glass roof, gives a pleasingly airy ambience. Material quality is extremely high, with soft quilted leather and metal trim, and BMW was intent on minimising clutter, so the dashboard is almost entirely clear of buttons. Instead, the main controls can be found on a floating centre console, which features a crystal-glass volume dial, gear selector and iDrive controller, with buttons integrated into a smooth touch-capacitive sleek black panel. It provides an appealing interior in what is BMW’s most technologically advanced interior to date. The iX offers 20 times more computing power than any previous BMW, and introduces the marque’s new iDrive 8 infotainment system. It brings new features such as 5G connectivity, mixed-reality satellite navigation and Digital Key Plus, which uses your smartphone in place of a conventional key. There’s also a handy little slot on the floating centre console that lets you stand a phone upright. The seamless, curved display takes centre stage inside and houses a 14.9-inch infotainment screen alongside a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel. Graphics are extremely crisp, and the interface is responsive to operate, whether that be through touch or the rotary dial. With so many functions, however, it can seem at first to be difficult to navigate the myriad of icons and sub-menus while on the move, but after our week of testing with the BMW iX, it became an easy task. Thanks to the iX’s large dimensions, there’s a generous amount of rear legroom, and the car’s boxy shape means that headroom is in abundance, even for those over 6ft tall. The rear seats share the same soft cushioning as those in the front, with a slight recline providing added comfort. There are also more charging ports than you would have devices. The car’s battery packs are housed within the floor, which usually results in shallower footwells for rear-seat passengers, but the iX’s rear seats are set quite high relative to the floor, which minimises this effect. The model range will comprise the BMW iX xDrive40 that produces 326hp and is able to cover up to 414 kilometres on a single charge, plus the xDrive50 with a combined output of

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BMW IX Words: Anthony Kelly

Pics: Webpress

The BMW iX is a seriously impressive achievement from the German manufacturer

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BMW IX 523hp and a range of up to 613 kilometres (WLTP). Powerful performance is instantaneous and all with zero tailpipe emissions. Both versions are equipped with an intelligent all-wheel-drive system, making the iX the very first all-wheel-drive pure electric vehicle produced by BMW.

there’s no combustion engine to mask unwanted sounds). Since it is a tall, SUV, there is some wind noise at high speed, although a drag coefficient of 0.25cd makes the iX slipperier through the air than an X5 and it’s hardly noticeable when cruising.

The impressive battery range is complemented with flexible charging that is designed to be as convenient as possible. DC power can be taken on board at a rate of up to 195 kW (BMW iX xDrive50) or 150 kW (BMW iX xDrive40). This allows the battery charge to be increased from 10 to 80 per cent in around 35 minutes in the BMW iX xDrive50 or 31 minutes in the BMW iX xDrive40.

But it’s the new underpinnings that impress most. Made from a blend of aluminium and carbon-fibre construction that you can see when you open the doors, the structure of the iX feels very rigid, and provides a strong platform. The set-up is well judged, and the iX rides very well, smothering uneven surfaces. Sudden road imperfections, such as potholes are not very noticeable, with only the harshest of bumps sending a distant thud into the cabin. Turn in and the steering is accurate for a car of this type. With the 600kg battery pack mounted within the floor, most of the car’s 2.5-tonne mass is concentrated low down, allowing it to mask much of its weight during direction changes. Roll is well contained, and the iX feels incisive in a way that such a tall, heavy car shouldn’t. The iX can feel wayward when nearing the limit on a tight road, and it can’t hide its mass under braking, but this is certainly a dynamically accomplished SUV.

Both variants are available in Sport or M Sport trim levels, with the extensive standard specification including 21inch alloy wheels, Driving Assistant Professional, Parking Assistant, BMW Live Cockpit Professional, climate comfort windscreen, four-zone air conditioning, heated front seats, wireless phone charging and Shadow Line exterior trim. An array of options, including dedicated Packs that group extras which complement each together, allow for further personalisation. Also set to join the model line-up is the BMW iX M60 which, with an expected maximum output in excess of 600hp, promises an exceptionally sporty all electric driving experience. A 2.5-tonne, electric SUV is unlikely to satisfy the ultimate driving experience, but the iX has a fair stab at it. We drove the xDrive 40, and in pure performance terms, it’s genuinely quick. Press the acceleration pedal and thrust is instant. Refinement is excellent, and the iX feels very well isolated from road noise (particularly important when

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Conclusion With a bespoke EV platform, cutting-edge tech suite and BMW’s new-generation electric motors, the iX promises much, and it delivers. Putting aside the very quick straight-line pace, there’s real depth to the package and driving experience; the chassis feels expertly judged, cabin quality is superb and real-world driving range is strong. Overall it’s a convincing EV and we’ll worth a look.


TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION Model BMW iX xDrive 40 M Sport Twin-motor, 71kWh battery

630 Nm

320 hp

200 km/h

6.1 seconds

€120 per year

0/100km

€98,656

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MINI ELECTRIC

MINI

ELECTRIC The all-electric MINI is every bit the original iconic MINI

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“You get the same funky design.”

Words: Anthony Kelly

Pics: Webpress

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MINI ELECTRIC n size and shape it’s the same as any other three-door MINI hatchback, plus it has the look and badging of the sporty Cooper S model, and its 32kWh battery and electric motor help it travel up to 235-270 km measured by WLTP industry standards between charges.

Level 2 (from €28,175 on the road) includes a cloth/leather-look upholstery, additional exterior body colour and wheel options, as well as rear Park Distance Control (PDC), rear parking camera, heated front seats, and Driving Assistance Pack.

MINI has kept its design as normal as possible. You can have the eye-catching three-pin-plug style wheels and fluorescent accents if you like, but if you don’t want to stand out, then you can have all the usual MINI wheels and paints instead like our test model. Updated changes include styling tweaks to the wheel arches, larger radiator grille with black surround and dissected by a bumper that is now body-coloured instead of black. The only major giveaway that this MINI is a bit different inside are some fantastic new digital dials. They’re almost oval in shape and have a classy matte finish, displaying your range, power use, speed and trip info clearly.

Level 3 (from €33,095 on the road) includes front PDC, Park Assist, Harmon Kardon sound system, head-up display, panoramic sunroof, matrix LEDs and an 8.8” infotainment touch screen. Wireless phone charging is also included, as is leather upholstery, a choice of five alloy wheels and six exterior body colours.

You get the same funky design with MINI’s trademark circular centrepiece on the dash, plus a very good fit and finish. You’ll also find MINI’s usual infotainment system, that includes sat-nav, and Apple CarPlay is controlled via touch or a rotary dial and menu shortcut buttons between the front seats.

The MINI factor to how it drives and performs comes through well. With the additional weight of the battery and other powertrain-related parts, this electric version incurs a 145kg weight increase.

There’s a new digital dashboard with a 5.5-inch colour screen behind the steering wheel, with information on available range and charge level of the battery relayed to the driver. Standard equipment on Level 1 models (from €25,715 on the road) includes sports seats, automatic air conditioning, cruise control, Connected Navigation including Real Time Traffic Information (RTTI), and LED lights front and rear.

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The car comes with both home and public charging cables as standard, designed for AC and DC charging using Type 2 and CCS Combo 2 plugs. 50 kW DC fast charging is available, giving 80% charge in about 35 minutes. The new MINI can get a full charge at home in 4 hours and 20 minutes using 7.4 kW AC charging.

However, the fact that the majority of that weight is set low in the chassis means the extra burden isn’t all that apparent. If anything, the lower centre of gravity improves that grippy, go-kart feeling that the MINI is known for. The steering is nicely weighted, with that typical slightly-heavier-than-normal feel that is a signature of sporty MINIs. The suspension has clearly been recalibrated and even biggish bumps are easily absorbed, as are smaller imperfections.


in 7.3 seconds - and it maintains that sense of urgency around city streets. The four drive modes vary the amount of power available, but I ran a fair distance at 100kmh in the ‘eco’ modes and it felt fine. Move into Sport and, of course, it is far more enlivening, though this also draws more power, so will shorten your overall range. Conclusion Range remains a downside, but it shouldn’t be a deal breaker for the type of customer the MINI Electric is aimed at. It fuses legendary go-kart feeling, distinctive design and premium quality with emissions free driving. If you do regular long journeys it probably isn’t the choice for you but if you are constantly doing short trips and urban commuting this could be what your looking for.

As much as a shorter than expected driving range niggled a bit, it never actually annoyed and certainly didn’t lessen the overall enjoyment factor. However, it did cement the impression that it’s likely better off in the role I tend to envisage all MINIs doing best. Being a car aimed at typical urban commuters who don’t face long daily journeys and, perhaps more to the point, want an electric car to be stylish. It fills that role perfect. A top speed of 150kmh reminds us that it isn’t a fast car overall but neither is it a slow one in the speed bands that are more relevant. The initial step-off is decent – 0-100kmh

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION

Model MINI Electric Level 2 32.6 kWh

270 Nm

184 hp

150 km/h

7.3 seconds

€120 per year

€37,715

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EWAN MCGREGOR INTERVIEW

“THE ID.BUZZ PUTS A SMILE ON MY FACE” Who could represent the new Volkswagen icon ID. Buzz01 more passionately than a world-famous Bulli fan? The Scottish actor Ewan McGregor, known from Blockbusters as “Star Wars” and acclaimed movies like “Trainspotting” or “Moulin Rouge”, is the new brand ambassador of Volkswagen. Words: Anthony Kelly

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he Hollywood star has always been a huge Volkswagen fan and even washed dishes as a teenager in a hotel to buy his first beetle. And – he owns a precious classic car collection! On a recent trip to Wolfsburg and Hanover he had the chance for a look behind the scenes of the Volkswagen factory and the production of the new ID. Buzz01. Here he talks about what really drives him and why e-mobility is a must for the future. Ewan, you had the chance for a behind-the-scenes view of the Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg and the production of the new Volkswagen icon, the ID. Buzz01, in Hanover. What impressed you the most? It was a big day for me, because I have been a Volkswagen enthusiast for all my life. Since I had my first Volkswagen, when I was 16 years old. And I have collected them ever since. So, to be in the factory where my 1954 beautiful Beetle was made and to see all these impressive factory buildings in Wolfsburg was really special to me. Then heading to Hanover to see where the busses and the commercial vehicles have been made – it was just so exciting! There I was able to watch the actual production line and see the ID. Buzz being actually made. Starting with the bare metal bodies... to see and meet some of the employees, to watch the robots was just amazing. I was like a kid in a candy store. Your love for the brand Volkswagen started early in your life. You worked as a teenager in a hotel kitchen to save money for your first Beetle, correct? I started working on the weekends when I was 14 years old: I washed dishes in the “Murraypark Hotel” in Crieff. I saved 500 Pounds working for two years. Then my dad and I looked though the papers and I finally found my first car. I can’t remember if we looked for a Beetle, or if it was the only car I could afford. But it changed my life. When you are 16 and you get our first car, that feeling of driving and independence is just the best. And I really loved my Beetle but needed to wait a bit before I was allowed to drive it. I tried to find it years later, because I had to sell it when I went to drama school to pay for my education as an actor. Unfortunately you had to sell your beetle – but it was probably a good investment in your future career … Oh yeah! But after some time I wanted my beloved car back. I tried to find it … But unfortunately I could not find it as it was last registered in the early nineties. Sadly, I think it probably just disappeared. Nowadays you have a huge passion for classic cars and own an exquisite collection. Some of them from Volkswagen – how many exactly? I have three Beetles. And one transporter – a single cab.

I also bought a panel van in England which is a left-hand drive and I have that being rebuild by a friend of mine with the original paint. And your blue Volkswagen 1954 Beetle is even electric! Share with us, why you decided the electric transformation? I drove some electric cars and I liked the way they drive – the power delivery comes in immediately. That really fascinated me on my long trips with my friend on our electric motorcycles. And finally I heard of a company called EV West in San Diego who converts classic cars into electric vehicles. My most beloved car is my oval 54 Volkswagen Beetle and I just thought I will use it more if it was electric. And I was right, I use it all the time in the traffic in L.A. I just love it … and now I can hear my passengers all the time when they are talking – before it was pretty loud. And of course, going electric is the right way as I had just installed a solar power electric system in my new house. You have five children – how much do you worry about the pollution on our beautiful planet? And how sustainable is your own lifestyle? There is unfortunately a lot of pollution on our beautiful planet … and I do think about my kids’ future. And the future of their children. Honestly you just want to do the best you can for the world. I am not an activist, but I always had my eyes and ears open and try to learn, what you can do and needs to be done for the planet. I do what I can in my small way. So I have lots of solar power in my house and collect it in house batteries. I just run larger electrical things like washing machines during the day, so I know it is coming straight from the sun. I charge my electric car, my 1954 Beetle, during the day, when the sun is stronger from a solar panel. I have a well in my house where I draw the water up using electric solar power and I use that to irrigate my landscaping. It is a brilliant zero emission system and that makes me really happy too! Ewan, when did your love of Volkswagen start? It is in my blood since I was a kid. Even before that. My parents drove a Volkswagen Beetle through the seventies. And we did these long journeys – we would drive from Scotland to Brittaney in France every year to camp in the little town called Carnac. My parents would load us in the Volkswagen Beetle at night in our pyjamas. And we would drive overnight so we would sleep and then we would get on the ferry. It is probably the time when my real love affair with that car started. Then later got my first transporter, my first split screen Type 2 when I moved to California. I just love the brand so much. Me and my friend Charlie on our tours would always talk that we are van men, when we were riding our motorcycles. We needed Volkswagen vans to move the bikes sometimes around. I always liked the Volkswagen Cargo vans too.

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EWAN MCGREGOR INTERVIEW In Hanover you were able to configurate your own ID. Buzz01… I can share with you that it will be orange. Generally I think the ID. Buzz is a practical, safe but really fun vehicle. You don’t experience this so often with new cars. The ID. Buzz has really got character. That is unusual for a new car and it puts a smile on my face. It is very cheerful on the outside and on the inside. I think it is a really happy car. Where will you take your happy ID. Buzz01 on your first trip? I will probably go up the coastline. I live in California – so I will maybe just head up the Pacific Coast Highway – it’s a great road that goes all the way to San Francisco and beyond. If you could pick four people dead or alive – famous or not – to accompany you on your first trip with the ID. Buzz01, who would it be? Jimmy Stewart was my favourite actor. I would pick him together with the comedian Billy Connolly – that could be

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a good mix. And the actress Lou Gish, she passed away, I had a play with her in London and I miss her. The fourth could be Sigourney Weaver … she is a great actress, why not? You really enjoy driving: and you had been around the world with your motorcycle. What means driving to you? It is a sort of meditation for me. There is something very satisfying going from point A to point B. You never know what will happen, who you will meet. It is very pleasing somehow this nomadic way of life. That’s why I like old cars and bikes because you never know if they gonna make it or not … or if they break down. I like the fun of driving. You love cars and a good adventure. Please give us more details about your classic car collection and how many Volkswagen you own? I have five Volkswagens and a 1937 Wolseley. One of the cars Winston Churchill really loved. This one came from the Movie “Christopher Robin” I made. And I own a 1960


“My parents drove a Volkswagen Beetle through the seventies.”

Silver Cloud II Rolls-Royce. I like to drive it in L.A. And I have some Rat Rods – quite silly cars, but fun and a big Off-Road vehicle. Would you ever sell them? Yes … when I get a new one I like to sell another one. Some of them I can never sell. The oval window beetle from 1954 I will always keep. Is it only you driving your antique cars? Actually I am the only person that does drive them. Not that I would not allow them … but most of them are stick shift and nobody drives stick in my family. And what drives you in real life? My passion for my career. My family and fun and happiness. By the way – if you would be a car, what would you be? (laughing) … I think a beetle. In the museum in the Autostadt in Wolfsburg I had the chance to look at one of the first Ferdinand Porsche Beetles. In that moment I just realized, that I love this car more than any other car. I love the shape of it. Just everything about it.

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FLYING SPUR

FLYING SPUR

ELECTRIFIES IN BEVERLY HILLS Nine electrified Flying Spur Hybrids drive the equivalent of the breadth of the USA over six days

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FLYING SPUR ver six days in January, a combined fleet of nine Flying Spur Hybrids covered 10,500 miles over six days, of which 3,000 miles were on electric power – equivalent to driving across the United States from coast to coast. Compared to a Flying Spur V8, each car saved three gallons of fuel each day.

Almost 100 media guests and experts from around the globe had the opportunity to experience the new Flying Spur Hybrid in sunny California – and drove an impressive number of miles on battery power alone. From chic Beverly Hills, through the beautiful scenery of the Ojai mountains to the coastal splendour of Santa Barbara, the fleet of Flying Spur Hybrids amassed data – downloaded every day from the car’s built-in statistics - showing that 30 per cent of their usage was with the engine off. Over a varied 194 mile route of 50 per cent highway, 44 per cent country roads and 6 per cent urban driving, the Flying Spur Hybrid’s Intelligent Navigation System calculated the best possible use of battery energy for maximum efficiency, deliberately retaining charge for when it would be needed most – in urban environments, on slower roads

and in traffic. In a recent Bentley research study, 70 per cent of customers identified the top purchase reason of a hybrid was due to environmental friendliness, with 98 per cent driving daily in EV mode and 83 per cent also charging their vehicle daily. However, customers still want the ability of grand touring, using electric drive during the week with the security of an internal combustion powertrain for the weekend, making a hybrid a perfect solution. The uptake of Bentley’s new Hybrid models is already reflected in last year’s sales figures, with one in every five Bentaygas sold being a hybrid. In November 2021, an engineering prototype Flying Spur Hybrid travelled more than 450 miles across Iceland on a single tank of second generation biofuel and a battery recharged with geothermally-sourced electricity, proving genuine real world grand touring ability whilst achieving an 80 per cent CO2 reduction on wheel-to-well basis vs. ordinary gasoline. This combination of extensive range with the added benefit of electrified driving in the city, and the ability to add another 400+ miles of range in a matter

The Flying Spur Hybrid demonstrates that hybridisation does not compromise luxury or performance.

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of minutes by refuelling, is the key factor behind Bentley’s commitment to hybrids as part of its Beyond100 journey to full electrification. The Flying Spur Hybrid demonstrates that hybridisation does not compromise luxury or performance. With an unperceivable blend between the internal combustion engine and electric motor, refined serenity is on offer regardless of driving mode or style.

The E-motor is powered by a 18.9 kWh lithium ion battery and can be charged to 100 per cent in as little as two and a half hours (region specific). The power electronics convert the energy stored from the high voltage battery to supply the E-Motor or supplement the existing 12v vehicle electrical infrastructure.

The new powertrain combines a 2.9-litre V6 petrol engine with an advanced electric motor, delivering a total of 536 bhp (544 PS) and 750 Nm (553 lb.ft) of torque - an additional 95 bhp in comparison to the Bentayga Hybrid.

The Flying Spur was designed as a car both to drive and be driven in. Contemporary and uplifting, the luxurious cabin skilfully combines key elements of Bentley DNA, cutting-edge technology and the finest automotive craftsmanship in the world. It features astounding detail, sculpted surfaces and contemporary lines that will constantly surprise and delight occupants.

The advanced electronic motor is located between the transmission and the engine and provides up to 134 bhp (136 PS) and 400 Nm (295 lb.ft) of torque. The permanent magnet synchronous motor delivers full torque instantly for silent acceleration from standing start.

The refinement and craftsmanship is not only skin deep. In EV mode, the Flying Spur Hybrid offers occupants up to 50 per cent lower cabin noise overall compared to a combustion engine, thus providing the level of isolation, luxury and serenity to watch the world go by.

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MERCEDES-BENZ S-CLASS

ercedes-Benz has confirmed that the new seventh generation of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class has arrived in Ireland. It has gone on sale priced from €123,875 and is available in standard and long wheelbase versions. The new S-Class’s profile is a lot smoother, with less dominant character lines, the door handles pop out to meet you when you approach the saloon and the overall vehicle is more aerodynamic. When in Sport it offers a low drag coefficient of 0.22. It rides on 20-inch alloys with loads of rubber and there’s plenty of chrome additions but it doesn’t feel overdone. Our test car was finished in Selenite Grey Metallic, probably as this will be the easiest colour to sell the car in. I expect 90% of S Class sales will be white, black, grey or silver. Overall I like the look. The lines have been tightened and modernised, so the new S Class can hold its head up with its peers. At the rear of the car, it’s much the same with fresher lines and a normal S Class look. The taillights have come in for a redesign, and look spectacular at night. The brand says the new S-Class comes with an even higher level of standard specification including AMG Design Line, rear Thermatronic Climate Control, Nappa leather upholstery and trim, heated rear seats, metallic paint and OLED touchscreen with augmented reality. The interior is outstanding. Soft leather and upper class materials fill the cabin, as does the technology. The seats are quilted, come with virtually every electrical adjustment possible and if you can’t get comfy in the driver’s seat there is something wrong with you. Space has been improved inside with driver and rear passenger elbowroom increased by 38 mm and 23 mm, with 16 mm more rear headroom. The 550 litre boot is increased by 20 litres. Mercedes-Benz says the ambience inside the new S-Class is quieter and more comfortable thanks to improved acoustics and additional air and hydraulic features that adjust suspension and dampen body movement to enhance ride comfort. The driver experience is dominated by the second-generation Mercedes-Benz MBUX User Experience with 3D display and 50 percent better computing power. Its features include eyetracking spatial perception using cameras and algorithms that anticipate occupant wishes and interpret body language, head and hand movements to manage functions. The ‘Hey Mercedes’ function is now available to every seat occupant, and recognises speech and voice commands in twenty-seven languages. A ‘learning feature’ helps it recognise buzzwords and vary its voice output beyond stereotypical answers. Other enhancements include measures to protect the vehicle against vandalism, improved driver assistance packages, an active body control feature, which raises the vehicle up to 8 centimetres when a side impact threatens, new headlamp technology, which projects warning symbols onto the road ahead, a multi-speaker 4D sound system with enhanced personalisation functions, and a new ‘over-the-air’ system that automatically updates software for more than 50 components. There is one word that sums up driving the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and that’s smooth. Driving on a rural back road, or any road, the whole car feels heavy, surefooted and planted. It’s a joy to drive, but admittedly it does encourage you to drive extremely smoothly. Matched to the engine is one of the best transmissions out there. The nine-speed automatic is faultless, right gear at the right time and velvet-smooth changes. Another part of this car that’s perfect. It’s quick and powerful and yet the drive seems graceful, everything just feels more mature and grown up. The S-Class just glides over the road and it’s quiet too, the high rigidity of the new bodyshell offering outstanding noise and vibration comfort. Engines for the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class include two petrol and three diesels from launch, with a plug-in hybrid to follow. All have V8, 6-cylinder in-line engines and 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission. Petrol models include an S450 and S500, which both use a 3.0-litre engine and have 4-MATIC all-wheel drive. Diesels are a S350d, S350d 4MATIC and S400d 4MATIC. Conclusion It’s safe to say that the new Mercedes-Benz S Class did not disappoint. This car is amazing, and it’s clear to see why it’s held as a benchmark of luxury in the premium consumer market. It had plenty of power and effortlessly moved along while keeping the revs low and as quiet as possible. It’s hard to get stressed while driving the S Class. The car is really quiet and you’re so comfortable that it just puts you in a good place when behind the wheel. 48

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TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION

Model Mercedes-Benz S 350d AMG Line 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged six-cylinder turbodiesel

250 km/h

284 hp

€600 per year

6.4 seconds

€123,875

600 Nm

MERCEDES-BENZ S-CLASS The S-Class exemplifies all that is great in automotive refinement

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RENAULT

RENAULT CELEBRATES THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF RENAULT 5 AT RETROMOBILE AUTO SHOW

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022 is a year full of celebration to mark the 50th anniversary of Renault 5. A milestone in the brand’s history as this is a model that left its mark on the brand, the company, and an era.

The Renault stand at Retromobile 2022 is entirely devoted to paying tribute to the legendary icon. The floor plan echoes the R5 logo made for the 50-year anniversary. The 820 m2 stand will be home to twelve historic Renault 5 model for visitors to explore. Original models, selected from the Renault Classic collection, take visitors on a journey through the history of Renault 5. From the 1972 ‘L’ model through to its 1990 descendant, the Supercinq Baccara. Motorsports have always been part of Renault’s history. Renault 5 is no exception, with its sports and racing models elevating the design to that of an icon. A selection of legendary models is on display at the show. Like a dialogue between the past and the future, Renault 5 Prototype and 1974 Renault 5 electric stand opposite each other. This is the first-time people in France will have the opportunity to discover Renault’s upcoming essential and popular electric car. Sales of the upcoming electric Renault 5 will start in 2024. It will be made in France, at the Douai Factory, within the ElectriCity hub. The 50th anniversary of the legendary Renault 5 is one worth celebrating in style. For the occasion, Renault is putting its collection’s most beautiful models on display. For the first time in the history of automotive, Renault 5 was a range within a range. It came such a wide variety of versions that there truly was something for everyone. Positioned along the 50-shaped stand, the cars placed around the ‘0’ are all in vibrant colours that pop. True to the characteristic ethos of Renault 5: a non-conformist daughter of May 1968. As for the cars that run along the ‘5’, they trace the vehicle’s history, starting with the very first models through to its worthy descendant, the Supercinq. Sports versions have also been invited to join the party; their track record having helped shape the myth behind the legend.

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RENAULT

Renault’s upcoming essential and popular electric car Renault 5 Prototype demonstrates Renault’s ambition to make electric cars widely accessible with sales set to start in 2024. Its design merges with the dashing silhouette of the original. Its playful and mischievous side draws on modern trends in electronics, real estate, and sports. Stylistic features taken from the original R5 are more than just a hint at the old design. They have been reworked

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to hide modern features, such as the hood vent that now conceals the charging cable socket, the tail lamps that incorporate aerodynamic baffles, and the front bumper fog lights that have been replaced with LED day lamps. The front and rear logos light up and bring the car to life. Lastly, the nod to the French flag on the outside mirrors highlights the vehicle’s ‘French touch’. The contemporary design of Renault 5 Prototype draws on Renault 5, Supercinq, and R5 Turbo with its extended rear fenders.


Everything on the upcoming Renault 5, from the battery to the power train, and the new CMF-BEV platform assembly – the most competitive compact electric platform on the market – will be made within the Renault Electricity hub at the Douai facility in northern France. Proud of its roots, Renault looks to the future: one where the history of a great model gives rise to the advent of essential and popular electric car.

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VOLVO XC40 RECHARGE

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olvo Cars has said that it plans to become a “fully electric car company” by the year 2030, with all sales of the firm’s pure electric models set to move online. In order to meet its target, the company will look to remove cars with internal combustion engines — including hybrids — from its global offering by the end of the decade. In the mid-term, it wants half of global sales to be fully electric by 2025, with hybrids accounting for the other half. “There is no long-term future for cars with an internal combustion engine,” Henrik Green, Volvo Cars’ chief technology officer, said in a statement last year. “We are firmly committed to becoming an electric-only car maker and the transition should happen by 2030,” Green added. The Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric – Volvo’s first all-electric car – is now available for Irish customers to order. The first fully electric car to be launched by the Swedish company, the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric P8 is capable of travelling more than 400 kms on a single charge, and can be charged to 80% of its battery capacity in as little as 40 minutes using a fast charger. Inside, the car benefits from the company’s brand-new infotainment system powered by Google Android, and an innovative approach to all-round functionality provides drivers with plenty of storage space. Volvo’s first entrant into the compact premium SUV segment when it was launched in 2018, the XC40 has seen unprecedented success, winning a host of prestigious awards – including European Car of the Year in 2018 and Irish Car of the Year 2019 and we had high hopes for this electric version when we took delivery over the Christmas break. The fully electric XC40 Recharge range starts off at €64,314 for the ‘P8’ Twin Plus model, although there is a more affordable single-motor version powering the front wheels and delivering 231hp from a 69kWh battery, with a starting price of €50,508, though with 5,000 euro SEAI grant the cost will start from 45,508 euros. The single-motor version will be capable of 400km of range on a single charge. Overall performance isn’t down hugely compared to the dual-motor model. The battery is smaller but as it’s powering just a single motor the range remains the same. A basic Twin Plus comes with a heat pump cabin heating system, two-zone climate, a 12-inch digital instrument panel, full LED headlights, the comfort-oriented ‘Touring’ chassis, park assist at the front and rear, with a reversing camera, 19-inch alloys, high-gloss black exterior trim, keyless entry and ignition and Volvo’s new Google-based infotainment system. You can upgrade all of that to our Pro spec test car for €3,944, which includes adaptive cruise control, blind-spot

“The XC40 Recharge is great in the city.” 54

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Words: Words:Anthony AnthonyKelly Kelly Pics: Paddy McGrath & Mazda Press


VOLVO XC40 RECHARGE The Recharge is the electric version of the Volvo XC40

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VOLVO XC40 RECHARGE monitoring, a 360-degree camera system, 20-inch alloys, a body-coloured grille, a panoramic glass roof, a Harmon-Kardon premium sound system and wireless smartphone integration. There’s no messing around with keys or an internal-combustion starting process to take care of. You just get in the car, flick it into drive and off you go. The right pedal

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is heavy, the steering is direct, and the motors pack an immediate punch when you press the throttle. It gives you a proper shove in the back and feels very quick. The XC40 Recharge is great in the city, where its upright body and compact proportions make it a natural fit. It squeezes easily into tight parking spaces, and is easy to move through tight multi-storey car parks and city streets. Standard safety features include forward and reverse au-


tonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-centring assist (enabling semi-autonomous driving on motorways), blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic parking, hill-start assist, and hill-descent control. Volvo has an unparalleled reputation for safety and the Euro NCAP has given a five-star rating for the XC40. Adult occupant protection was rated at 97 percent, child occupant at 87 per cent, ‘Safety Assist’ at 76 per cent and even the mark for ‘Vulnerable Road Users’ was 71 per cent.

Conclusion The XC40 Recharge is an electric car for people who don’t want to shout about the fact they’re driving an electric car. Where the Volvo really shines on the open road is when it comes to its driver assists and the conventional feel from the behind the wheel, with the same practical layout as the petrol-powered XC40 range on the inside. It feels premium, sleek and stylish with the extra space you’d expect from a compact SUV.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION

Model Volvo XC40 Recharge 300kw twin-motor, 78kwh battery

660 Nm

408 hp

180 km/h

4.9 seconds

€120 per year

0 g/km

€52,950

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Embrace Progress

Book a test drive in your 221 Audi today

Fuel consumption combined: Petrol 1.8 – 1.2 l/100kms | Electric: 21.7 – 18.8 kWh /100km | CO₂ emission combined: 43 – 29 g/km.

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