Motors Ireland - Annual 2022

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A N NU A L 2022

€ 4.95 / £ 4.50

NEW ŠKODA KAROQ

ASTON MARTIN DBX707 THE ULTIMATE LUXURY SUPER-SUV

THE NEW AUDI Q8 e-tron


YOU’LL NEVER TAKE A WRONG TURN WITH TOYOTA

The choices we make, determine where we’re going. Choose to lower your emissions and fuel costs with Toyota, Ireland’s best-selling car brand in 2021 and 2022.


NEW PEUGEOT

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HYBRID WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure) combined fuel consumption for 308 Hybrid in l/100km is 1.1-1.4. WLTP combined CO2 emissions (g/km)range is 24-29.


LETTER EDITOR

from the

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elcome to the new issue of Motors Ireland. For our cover car this issue we have the Aston Martin DBX707. Aston Martin’s engineering team set about realising the full potential of the DBX’s 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 when developing the DBX707. Led by Aston Martin’s Head of Powertrain Engineering, Ralph Illenberger, the DBX707’s engine now features ball bearing turbochargers and a bespoke engine calibration to liberate more power and torque. Also new to Aston Martin’s flagship high performance SUV is a 9-speed ‘wet clutch’ automatic transmission. Capable of managing much increased torque loadings compared with a regular torque converter automatic, this high-performance transmission allows output of the 4.0-litre V8 to be lifted to an immense 707PS and 900Nm, increases of 157PS and 200Nm over the DBX (V8). Flick forward to read the full review. The first Polo was unveiled in 1975, shortly after the successful launch of the Mark 1 Golf. With a wheelbase of 2,335mm it was smaller than today’s Volkswagen up. It shared the same design as the Audi 50 model and in 1978 when Audi pulled its 50 model the polo began its unstoppable rise around the world selling 500,000 units. We were driving the 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged R-Line version and that comes with some specific styling cues. Definitely worth a look if in the market for a five door hatchback. Initially conceived in 2017, a two-year development period saw the Lamborghini Huracán Sterrato concept presented in 2019, with the 1499-unit production car announced just one week ago on the occasion of the Art Basel Miami Beach, for delivery in 2023 and 2024. While the world premiere in the United States had featured two different liveries in Verde Gea and Bianco Phanes, the Sterrato displayed on the terrace of the Doha lounge was dressed in Bianco Isi with the Italian flag livery, showcasing the Italian pride and heritage of the super sports car manufacturer from Sant’Agata Bolognese. The Huracán Sterrato comes with a 5.2-litre V10 engine with maximum power output of 610 hp and 560 Nm of torque (at 6500 rpm), combined with

Email: info@motorsireland.ie Motors Ireland Magazine 2023

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7-speed dual-clutch transmission and electronically controlled all-wheel drive with rear mechanical self-locking differential. The exterior expresses the adventurous spirit of the Sterrato right from the first glance. An amazing limited production I’m sure you’ll agree. In this issue we have a full lineup of Irish reviews including the Aston Martin DBX707 on our cover, the Mercedes-Benz EQS 450+, Opel Astra SRI, Volkswagen Polo, Tesla Model Y, Fiat 500 Electric, Škoda Karoq Sportline and the Peugeot 308 GT Hybrid. Our gimme 5 section has some great new cars hitting the market and we have all the latest car releases in our news section. Hope you enjoy the read!


CONTENTS NEWS

Latest news from motoring sector in Ireland.

ASTON MARTIN DBX707

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GIMME 5

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NEW GEAR Check out the latest trending gadgets.

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VW POLO The Volkswagen Polo has been around a long time because it does everything really well and with minimal effort.

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TESLA MODEL Y We get behind the wheel of the new Tesla Model Y.

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LAMBORGHINI HURACÁN STERRATO The first all-terrain super sports car presented at the Lamborghini Lounge Doha.

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MERCEDES-BENZ EQS 450+ The three-pointed star’s bread and butter has always been the large ultra-luxury saloon and this EQS 450+ doesn’t disappoint.

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OPEL ASTRA SRI This is the first Astra developed under new owners Stellantis and it arrives with a distinctive look and feel.

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FIAT 500 ELECTRIC The Fiat 500e brings plenty of style and character to a refreshed design and now with an electric powertrain.

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ŠKODA KAROQ This updated version of the Škoda Karoq has a pragmatic and understated charm about it.

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PEUGEOT 308 GT HYBRID Peugeot’s third generation 308 is much improved with a sharp new look, smart powertrains and more technology.

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PORSCHE 911 GT3 RS Purpose-built for performance.

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MAZDA CX-5 Mazda has introduced a mid-life upgrade that refines the range, brings new features and revised styling.

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By naming the DBX707 after its own power output, Aston Martin is wearing its intentions to be a dominating factor in this very combative segment very clearly to the competition. Five interesting motoring facts we learnt for this issue.

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NEWS

NEWS NISSAN LAUNCH NEW NISSAN QASHQAI E-POWER

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issan is set to shake up the EV market in Ireland with the launch of the all-new Qashqai e-POWER which allows drivers to enjoy all the benefits of EV driving without ever having to plug in the car to recharge it. The unplugged, electric driving experience that the new Nissan Qashqai e-POWER delivers is set to be a game-changer for motorists who are seeking to achieve a more fuel efficient and sustainable way of driving without buying a 100% electric vehicle. The new model also offers an advanced infotainment system with a broad portfolio of connected devices including effortless integration of smartphone, in-car Wi-Fi for up to seven devices and NissanConnect Services, a dedicated app with which to interact with and monitor the vehicle. An innovative new 10.8-inch Head-Up Display (HUD) provides

the biggest-in-segment image size. Key navigation, driver assistance and road information are projected onto the windscreen within the driver’s line of vision. Home-to-Car features are compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa devices. The Qashqai e-POWER is available from SV specification level and pricing starts at €42,500. Customers can register their interest in ordering the car at their local Nissan dealer and can also find out more by visiting www.nissan.ie

THE UPDATED BMW Z4 MW’s Z4 roadster has been updated to include fresh design accents to the exterior, with enhanced standard equipment and a wider range of options to choose from. The new features not only underscore the sporting character of the BMW Z4 but also build on its success in the Bavarian carmaker’s line-up and its important role in the company’s long history of open-top sports cars.

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The BMW Z4 brings the traditional roadster experience to the modern era. With powerful engines, rear-wheel drive and a classical fabric soft-top roof, the BMW Z4 is engineered with a focus on maximum agility, dynamism and steering precision. It features a contemporary high-class interior with a driver-focused cockpit layout. Its external appearance exudes sporting potency, particularly with the M Sport package which is now included as standard for the four-cylinder models. The exceptional status of the BMW Z4 when it comes to powertrain technology is embodied most prominently by the top-of-the-range model, whose six-cylinder in-line engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology is unmatched by any rival

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and displays outstanding performance attributes. The 3.0-litre 340 hp unit develops peak torque of 500 Nm (369 lb-ft) and powers the BMW Z4 M40i from 0 to 100km/h in 4.5 seconds. The four-cylinder engine, with a displacement of 2.0 litres and BMW TwinPower Turbo technology, stands out with its lively performance characteristics. With maximum output of 197 hp and peak torque of 320 Nm (236 lb-ft), the BMW Z4 sDrive20i sprints from rest to 100 km/h in 6.6 seconds. Prices in Ireland start from €66,820 RRP


THE 2023 MAZDA MX-5

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he new, 2023 Mazda MX-5 features new body, soft top and interior colour choices, and a new grade structure offering comprehensive equipment specifications on even entry-level models.

A new exterior colour, Zircon Sand, relaces Polymetal Grey, and the MX-5 roadster’s soft-top, which opens and shuts instantly with a flick of the wrist, is now available in brown, which replaces the red finish. A new, three grade structure offers customers a choice of the Prime-Line entry grade, Exclusive-Line mid grade and the top-of-the-range Homura grade. Exclusive-Line and Homura models may be equipped with an optional Driver Assistance pack, which bolsters the MX-5’s already comprehensive range of i-Activsense driver assistance technology. The Homura grade is enriched by numerous sporting features including Recaro seats and black mirror caps. Homura versions fitted with the Skyactiv-G 2.0 184 PS engine are additionally equipped with a Brembo brake system, Bilstein dampers, a strut bar and forged BBS alloy wheels. Also in the range, the Homura with a Skyactiv-G 1.5 132 PS engine featuring RAYS alloy rims.

NEW EQE SUV BY MERCEDES-EQ HAS LAUNCHED

Two new Special Edition models, Kazari and Kizuna, are identified by unique colour combinations: Kazari features Terracotta Nappa leather upholstery, a brown soft top and a black hard top, whilst Kizuna combines white Nappa leather upholstery with a blue soft top and a black hard top. Both models are equipped, as standard, with the Driver Assistance pack. The Skyactiv-G 1.5 132 PS engine is now available across the entire MX-5 model range. And automatic transmission is also available exclusively on Skyactiv-G 2.0 RF Special Edition models. Pricing is from €36,195

with credentials that have been widely acclaimed in domestic and international reviews. Available in rear wheel or all-wheel-drive formats in a range that includes two performance-oriented Mercedes-AMG versions, the EQE SUV is equipped with a multiplicity of innovative tech, comfort appointments and features, many of which originated in the range-topping EQS and its SUV derivative. Representing yet another step in Mercedes-Benz’s drive to ‘lead in electric’ and achieve their goal ‘to have a battery-electric model in every market segment in which they are active – before the end of this current year’ – its introduction brings the number of all-electric passenger cars to eight in the Mercedes-EQ portfolio. Range-wise, in standard models, owners can expect to achieve a distance of up to 590km from its lithium-ion battery, depending on its equipment and load configuration, while its ten-module drive concept enables it to offer a range of outputs from 180 to 300 kW. Towing capacity is 1,800kg (all-wheel drive) and 750 kg (rear-wheel drive).

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gainst the backdrop of continuing public demand for SUVs, Mercedes-EQ has introduced its latest offering – the new five-seater EQE SUV. The new EQE SUV is the all-electric powered sports utility version of the acclaimed EQE saloon,

At launch, models will be a 180kW entry-level EQE 300 SUV and EQE 350 4MATIC SUV; a 300kW EQE 500 4MATIC SUV and two Mercedes-AMG EQE SUV models – a 350 kW EQE 43 4MATIC SUV and 505 kW EQE 53 4MATIC+ SUV. It is expected that the first deliveries in Ireland will be in early Q2 2023 and pricing will be available closer to that date.

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NEWS

VOLKSWAGEN MAKES HISTORY AS ID. BUZZ NAMED IRISH CAR & VAN OF THE YEAR 2023

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olkswagen Passenger Cars’ ID. Buzz and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ ID. Buzz Cargo have been named Irish Car of the Year and Irish Van of the Year 2023 - the first time in the event’s history the same model has won both awards.

The ID. Buzz Cargo and its ID. Buzz people stablemate were awarded the unprecedented honour at a special ceremony at The Westin Dublin on Friday, capping off a memorable week for the new arrivals. On Monday, the ID. Buzz had its official Irish launch in front of a VIP audience at the VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art in Carlow. On Wednesday, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Director Alan Bateson was in Hanover to collect a Golden Steering Wheel Award for the ID. Buzz, Germany’s best known award for new car models. On Thursday, he received the trophy for International Van of the Year at the Fleet Awards in Johnstown House, Co Meath. Friday’s Irish Car of the Year and Irish Van of the Year Awards in association with Continental Tyres, were the highlight of an incredible week. A judging panel from the Motoring Media Association of Ireland (MMAI), which consists of motoring journalists from across Ireland, named the ID. Buzz and ID. Buzz Cargo the best car and van of the year, a feat that has never been achieved before. In addition, the ID. Buzz people won the MPV of the Year category, making it a hat-trick for Volkswagen Ireland on the night. Irish Car of the Year committee chairman, Joe Rayfus, called the ID. Buzz and ID. Buzz Cargo “standout” vehicles. He said: “The ID. Buzz is a very worthy winner of the Irish Car of the Year; a truly stand-out vehicle. And, as the third electric vehicle to win the title, it really does confirm the onward march in Ireland

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towards an electric motoring future. Accepting the Irish Van of the Year trophy, Alan Bateson, Director for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Ireland said: “I am extremely proud to accept these awards on behalf of the entire Volkswagen Commercial team. The ID. Buzz Cargo is a vehicle that has been 75 years in the making. This is a truly historic moment, heralding a new era of sustainability for both passenger cars and commercial vehicles. The phrase game-changer is bandied around liberally in the motor trade but the ID. Buzz is a truly a unique proposition. Everyone in the Volkswagen Commercial team feels privileged to have played their part in the delivery of these iconic vehicles and we cannot wait to see the reaction from members of the public now they are finally on Irish roads.”

Cutting edge technology, peerless practicality and a beloved heritage Power for the ID. Buzz and ID. Buzz Cargo comes from a 77kWh lithium-ion battery mated to a rear-mounted electric motor that develops 310Nm of torque and an output of 150kW (204 PS). Both vehicles have an electronically-limited top speed of 145kph as well as a fast charging capacity of up to 170kW, enough to charge the battery from 5% to 80% in just 30 minutes.

Sustainability in an electric era Sustainability is an integral part the new ID. Buzz Cargo, from design, to manufacturing, to the road. The leather-free interior features recycled synthetic materials, including seats made from reclaimed sea plastics and recycled plastic bottles. The ID. Buzz Cargo is manufactured using sustainable components: battery housings and wheel rims are made from green aluminium and tyres from low-emission production.


RENAULT ARKANA E-TECH FULL HYBRID

medium crossover/SUV of the year 2022

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ASTON MARTIN DBX707

ASTON MARTIN

DBX707

By naming the DBX707 after its own power output, Aston Martin is wearing its intentions to be a dominating factor in this very combative segment very clearly to the competition. 10

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Words: Anthony Kelly

Pics: Aston Martin Media

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e arrived in Belfast mid October to take collection of the new Aston Martin DBX707 and we weren’t disappointed. Look at the DBX707 from any angle, rolling on its 23-inch rims at any speed, and you know it means business. Wheels and tyres are 22in as standard (in a choice of Sport and Ribbon designs), with an optional 23in alloy wheel offered in a choice of textured black or satin black with diamond turned highlights. The adoption of a 23in wheel also brings dynamic benefits, with the larger diameter tyre offering improved steering response, better primary body control and improved lap times. At the front the DBX707 has a larger front grille and all-new design of DRL complete with new air intakes and brake cooling ducts, plus a new front splitter profile. The satin chrome grille - enlarged to significantly increase cooling airflow to both the ultra-high performance V8 and new 9-speed transmission - features double vanes, the six horizontal bars now split to create more visual interest and make this range-topping model immediately identifiable. At the rear a new lip spoiler has been added to the roof wing to reduce lift and increase high speed stability, with a significantly enlarged twin rear diffuser rising to meet the new large diameter quad exhaust system. Finished in satin black to compliment the gloss black treatment of the diffuser this new exhaust has been tuned to deliver a unique sound signature. Completing the rear-end changes a new rear bumper complete with integrated quarter panel vents accentuate the DBX707’s muscular lines. The carbonfibre skirts along with the bigger grille, and the extended spoiler and splitter, will all tell you that this is the faster sibling. But all of this is within the bounds of typical Aston Martin elegance. Previous Aston Martin Chief Executive Officer, Tobias Moers, said of the DBX707: “Right from its first introduction the DBX has represented Aston Martin’s dynamic and design values in a way that proves not all SUVs have to conform to the same compromises. With the DBX707 we have pushed the boundaries in every area to create a car which sets new standards of performance and desirability. The fastest, most powerful, best handling and most engaging car of its kind, it propels Aston Martin to the pinnacle of SUV performance”.

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ASTON MARTIN DBX707

“The German V8 is pushed to its limits in the 707.”

Starting with the powertrain, Aston Martin’s engineering team set about realising the full potential of the DBX’s 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8. Led by Aston Martin’s Head of Powertrain Engineering, Ralph Illenberger, the DBX707’s engine now features ball bearing turbochargers and a bespoke engine calibration to liberate more power and torque. Also new to Aston Martin’s flagship high performance SUV is a 9-speed ‘wet clutch’ automatic transmission. Capable of managing much increased torque loadings compared with a regular torque converter automatic, this high-performance transmission allows output of the 4.0-litre V8 to be lifted to an immense 707PS and 900Nm, increases of 157PS and 200Nm over the DBX (V8). The adoption of the new wet clutch transmission brings further benefits. Most noticeably much faster gear changes compared to the torque converter transmission. The feel of the shift is more immediate and direct, which gives the driver an increased sense of control and respon12

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siveness, and a dramatic character change from the DBX (V8). Launch capability is also improved, which contributes towards the DBX707’s 0-100 km/h time of 3.3 seconds. Aston Martin’s Head of Powertrain, Ralph Illenberger said: “With this exceptional new model we have truly unlocked the performance potential within the DBX to create a world beating high-performance SUV. The huge gains we have found in both power and torque demonstrates not only the inherent prowess of the 4.0-litre biturbo V8, but Aston Martin’s appetite and ability for finding uncompromising engineering solutions. The combination of this magnificent engine with a new 9-speed ‘wet-clutch’ transmission sits at the heart of DBX707’s formidable capabilities and unforgettable character.” Along with giving an informative tour of the DBX707 Michael Gimson, General Manager at Aston Martin Belfast did mention a neat trick with the DBX707. If you have the


compulsive need to announce to the world what it is, the 707 has a trick called the “Loud Start”. Holding down the brake and pulling in either of the paddle shifters will make the push button starter pulsate in bright red. Thumb it and the engine comes to life with a roar. Though this V8 is an AMG powerplant, it is inspected and signed off by an Aston Martin engineer.

to the DBX707’s exceptional handling is its air suspension system. Retaining the basic architecture and triple volume air chambers of the DBX V8 - already regarded as one of the best-handling SUV’s in the market - DBX707 features a dedicated chassis tune optimised to its uncompromising demands and objectives and you can really feel it on the challenging roads we drove while in Northern Ireland.

So the question most people asked following my time with the DBX707 is how did it drive. Simply put, the German V8 is pushed to its limits in the 707. The acceleration is brutal. Out on the road, you will seldom find enough space and time to really let this car flex its muscles. It demands open motorways or secluded quiet roads - and ones that are wide enough to comfortably accommodate it. As you would expect there is a Race Launch control too, which will catapult this car from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.3s, on its way to a top speed of 310 km/h. It isn’t just in straight-line blasts that the DBX707 excels, as the handling is sharp with a revised steering set-up along with bigger carbon ceramic brakes providing immense stopping power. Key

The laugh-out-loud acceleration mixed with its sharp dynamics makes the DBX707 one of the best examples within this segment of super luxury SUV’s and helps justify the hefty price tag in my view. I haven’t driven the standard DBX and I’ll be honest I don’t want to as I know after experiencing the DBX707 it would be hard to drive anything that awakens the senses like the 707. The Aston Martin DBX707 gets a cabin with a sporty treatment called the ‘Inspire Sport’ that has been created exclusively for the DBX707. It gets semi-aniline leather upholstery, a split-rim steering wheel, sport quilting and perforations on the seats. The 707 is also loaded with

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ASTON MARTIN DBX707

tech and gets a new centre console with a 10.2-inch infotainment system and a 12.4-inch driver’s display that can be controlled via a touchpad. As on the exterior, the DBX707’s interior features a dark chrome finish to switchgear as standard. Bright chrome and carbon fibre can be specified as an option. Piano Black veneer is standard with carbon fibre or bronze metal mesh veneer finishes available as an option. For customers looking to further enhance the exclusive nature of DBX707 and create something truly unique, Q by Aston Martin, the brands bespoke service delivers the ultimate in personalisation. Offering an extensive palette of options, from unique graphics through to tinted carbons and bespoke materials on both the interior and exterior, each ‘Q by Aston Martin – Commission’ car can push the boundaries of desire and is completely tailored to the customer. After driving the DBX707 I wondered how Aston Martin could top this great model and my mind turned to electric as it’s the way the industry is heading. Don’t be surprised to see the DBX electrified at some point in the future. “We set out a strategy for electrification, and it will focus first on performance-orientation. So, not a long-range hybrid. A performance-oriented hybrid, with two electric motors,” 14

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Previous Aston Martin CEO Tobias Moers said in an interview. “So, hybridization is the next step to go, and officially, we talk about 2025 as when we are going to launch our first pure electric drive vehicle.” Aston is excited about this path. “It’s the path to go. And we have to figure out how to bring the philosophy of our brand into the future of electric drive, but I’m not so scared about that,” Moers said. “We have a lot of attributes we can keep in the cars. Driving dynamics, the sense of personalisation. So, it’s merging together ultra-luxury with electric drive.” For now you can enjoy the amazing sound of this V8 and the DBX707 may well prove to be a collectors item over time as old gives way to the new electrified world. Enjoy it while you can! For any enquiries you can reach Aston Martin Belfast on +44 28 9038 5759.

Conclusion There’s no doubt the DBX707 is a special car to drive. It looks and sounds magnificent and the materials used throughout its decadent interior are all premium. It’s genuinely fun to drive and the only down side was handing back that keys at the end of our test.


TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION Model ASTON MARTIN DBX707 4.0-litre twin -turbocharged V8petrol

900 Nm

707 hp

310 km/h

3.3 seconds

€2,400 per year

14.2/100km

£190,000

“The adoption of a 23in wheel also brings dynamic benefits.”

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FIVE INTERESTING MOTORING FACTS WE LEARNT FOR THIS ISSUE

Audi, BMW, Ford, & Maserati 16

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THE NEW AUDI Q8 e-tron

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y calling this model the Q8, Audi is making a clear statement that the Audi Q8 e-tron is the top model among its electric SUVs and crossovers. The Audi Q8 e-tron and Q8 Sportback e-tron are immediately identifiable as fully electric models at first glance. This is thanks to the new front and rear designs that systematically carry Audi’s electric design language forward. As a prestigious electric SUV model from Audi, the Q8 e-tron ushers in the new corporate identity with a two-dimensional design of the logo on the exterior. The model lettering with an Audi logo on the B-pillar is new as well. Two battery sizes can be selected. The battery of the Q8 50 e-tron has a storage capacity of 89 net kilowatt-hours (95 gross kWh), while the more powerful versions of the Q8 55 e-tron and SQ8 e-tron have 106 net kWh (114 gross kWh). Thanks to an adjustment to the bat-

tery management system, the battery capacity usable for customers has increased as well. Like all luxury-class Audi models, the Q8 e-tron uses the MMI touch response operating system. Its two large high-resolution displays – the top one with a 10.1-inch diagonal and the bottom one with an 8.6-inch diagonal – replace nearly all conventional switches and knobs. Beyond operation with the two touch displays, a lot of features can be activated through natural voice control. The digital display and operating concept in the Audi Q8 e-tron is rounded out by the standard Audi virtual cockpit with full HD resolution. The new Audi Q8 e-tron and Audi Q8 Sportback e-tron will be available to order starting in mid-November, and will arrive to the Irish market in Spring 2023, with a starting price from €86,400.

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NEW BMW 3.0 CSL

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s the anniversary year comes to a close, BMW M GmbH is presenting the most exclusive special model the company has ever produced – a masterpiece of engineering embodying the essence from 50 years of racing passion and expressing its historic roots in a legendary model designation. The BMW 3.0 CSL is produced in a strictly limited edition. To mark the anniversary, exactly 50 consecutively numbered units of the special model will go on sale. Right from the start, this gives the BMW 3.0 CSL the status of a rarity that will find its place in the vehicle collections of particularly loyal and enthusiastic fans of the BMW M brand. The road version of the racing car, which was developed for homologation purposes, became a widely known symbol of inspiring driving pleasure focused on the essentials, especially in its final stage of development. CSL – this combination of letters in the model designation stood for “Coupé, Sport, Leichtbau” (Cou-

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pe, Sport, Lightweight), a concise summary of the two-door car’s recipe for success. The BMW 3.0 CSL features the most powerful straight six-cylinder engine ever used in a road-legal BMW M automobile. This is also a tradition: in its final stage of development, the predecessor of the same name marked a new record with an engine output of 151 kW/206 hp – not only for six-cylinder models, but for all BMW production vehicles produced up to that point. The version of the drive system with M TwinPower Turbo technology, which was further developed exclusively for the BMW 3.0 CSL, mobilises a maximum output of 412 kW/560 hp. The new record for straight six-cylinder models from BMW M GmbH with road approval underpins the special status of the vehicle. Its engine develops a maximum torque of 550 Nm and fascinates with a linear power delivery up to a maximum speed of 7,200 min-1. BMW has not yet released pricing for the 3.0 CSL but you can expect it to be expensive due to the work involved in building each car and the exclusivity of 50 units.


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PRAGA BOHEMA: 700HP HYPERCAR

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raga is not a household name yet, however it builds a lot of racing cars and is now turning its attention to the hypercar market. The historic automotive company Praga, currently a global player in various on- and off-track racing disciplines around the world, has revealed its allnew road legal hypercar in pre-production prototype form: a high-performance, low-volume, beautifully-appointed car designed around three core principles – lightweight, carbon, petrol.

The inspiration? Longstanding Praga friend and ambassador, and former F1 and current IndyCar driver, Romain Grosjean challenged Praga to deliver a genuine uncompromised two-person road/ track performance car, promising a truly unique driver experience.

The new Praga Bohema is a sub-1,000 kilogrammes, mid-engined two-seater that, in the right hands, is capable of extreme high performance on track targeting GT3 race car lap times on its semi-slick Pirellis. Yet it is also comfortable and practical for head-turning road trips.

“I was astonished by the Bohema’s amazing performance on track, its accessibility on road, and the ease of transition between the two,” said Romain. “Praga has truly delivered on my challenge! On the road, you get a smooth ride, the car eliminates the bumps, you can chat with the passenger, and everything is calm and OK. Then simply switch focus and you are on the track. The same clothes, the same car, but the feeling changes and you are pushing the limit and collecting amazing lap times again and again, discovering unbelievable possibilities in the Bohema. And we still have a few months to fine-tune the on-road compliance and on-track lap times!”

With its carbon fibre monocoque and race-oriented fully adjustable suspension, it is extremely light, targeting just 982 kgs (wet without fuel), while its powerful Nissan GT-R-derived six-cylinder twin-turbo engine ensures reliability, ease of servicing and the potential for further performance tuning. Whilst the Bohema’s race-derived semi-automatic transmission will support a unique on-road experience with track-focused performance. The goal? That the Bohema is a uniquely styled, rare and exclusive car that you really can drive to the track, pull on a crash helmet (taken from the bespoke luggage fitted in each of the car’s innovative 50-litre side pods), put in lap after lap at high speed on its Pirelli Trofeo R tyres, and then drive home again.

He was subsequently involved in the Bohema project and highlighted the car’s seamless transition from road to track whilst delivering extensive sessions on the challenging six-kilometre Slovakia Ring circuit in recent testing.

The result? The Bohema is an all-new design, developed by Praga’s small, but talented team of engineers and designers, and perfected in an F1 team’s wind tunnel. It uses a race-derived carbon fibre monocoque, with extensive aero providing over 900 kgs of downforce at 250 km/h. Top speed is just over 300 km/h: the fastest speed achievable on virtually any racetrack. Pricing is around €1.3 million.

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ALL-NEW FORD RANGER RAPTOR

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he all-new, next-level Ford Ranger Raptor has arrived, carving the way for the exciting new generation of Europe’s market-leading pickup.

Designed to dominate in the desert and master the mountains, the second-generation Ranger Raptor raises the off-road performance bar and embodies the smarter, tougher, more capable character present in every new-generation Ranger. Developed by Ford Performance, the allnew Ranger Raptor is the ultimate performance derivative of the latest Ford Ranger. With smarter technology controlling tougher, next‑generation hardware, Ranger Raptor blends raw power with mechanical and technical precision to create the most advanced Ranger ever. “We’ve really focused on delivering a genuine performance truck with the all-new Ranger Raptor,” said Dave Burn, Ford Performance chief programme engineer for Ranger Raptor. “It’s significantly faster, looks incredible, is packed with new features, and it’s the toughest Ranger we’ve ever made.” More power to play The biggest news for performance fans is the introduction of an all-new twin-turbo 3.0-litre EcoBoost V6 petrol engine tuned by Ford Performance to produce 292 PS and 491 Nm of torque The twin-turbo 3.0-litre EcoBoost V6 engine boasts a compacted graphite-iron cylinder block, which is around 75 per cent stronger and up to 75 per cent stiffer than the iron used in traditional castings. Ford Performance ensured the engine delivers immediate response to throttle inputs, and a race-bred anti-lag system similar to that first seen on the Ford GT road car and Focus ST enables rapid delivery of boost on demand. All-terrain control For the first time, Ranger Raptor gets an advanced full-time four-wheel drive system with an all‑new electronically‑controlled on-demand two-speed transfer case. The Raptor also now offers both front and rear locking differentials, with the new front differential providing a valuable additional feature for hardcore off-road enthusiasts.

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GIMME

NEW MASERATI MC20 CIELO

MC20 Cielo announces its special features in its very name: MC stands for Maserati Corse (‘Racing’); 20 refers to 2020, the year that began the brand’s new era; Cielo (‘sky’) highlights the fact that it is a model devoted to driving pleasure in the great outdoors, while maintaining all the prerogatives of the coupé.

Maserati audacity and the infinite sky, featuring a special “sky feeling”. The model is equipped with a state-of-the-art electrochromic (smart glass) window that can instantly be transformed from clear to opaque at the touch of a button on the central screen, courtesy of Polymer-Dispersed Liquid Crystal (PDLC) technology. The roof is also best-in-class in terms of thermal insulation and of opening and closing speed (just 12 seconds). Courtesy of this epitome of technology, MC20 Cielo provides a multi-sensory driving experience: all-encompassing with the roof closed and opaque; unique for the in-cabin brightness when the roof is transparent; holistic with the top down.

Equipped with the revolutionary V6 Nettuno engine, the Cielo offers a perfect mix of sportiness and luxury, courtesy of a specification unique to the segment: the innovative retractable glass roof. In actual fact, the new spyder acts a meeting point between

Developed at the Maserati Innovation Lab and produced at the historic plant on Viale Ciro Menotti, the spyder is 100% made in Italy and 100% made in Modena, as is the coupé version. For more information contact Charles Hurst Maserati on +44 28 9038 5755.

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aserati presents the MC20 Cielo, a one-of-akind car that can deliver the performance of a true super sports car, together with a holistic and immersive driving pleasure the like of which has never been seen before.

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DSautomobiles.ie - OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT TEST ENVIRONMENTAL DATA FOR DS 4 E-TENSE 225: FUEL CONSUMPTION COMBINED: 1.2 - 1.6 L/100KM. CO2 EMISSIONS: 27 - 35 G/KM. EQUIVALENT ALL-ELECTRIC RANGE: 56 - 62KM (WLTP).


New Gear

INSTA360 LINK The Insta360 Link is a new webcam that promises similar AI-based pan and zoom abilities that are integrated into the webcam of Apple’s latest MacBooks, iPads and Studio Display — only it’s able to deliver them in true 4k resolution. It’s able to achieve this by placing a fancy webcam on top of a gimbal, which can them rotate, tilt and track your movement to keep you in focus and in frame. www.amazon.com from €320

NOMAD 30W POWER ADAPTER (TRANSPARENT)

Nomad announced a transparent version of its 30-watt USB-C GaN wall adapter. It’s exactly the same as the company’s 30-watt USB-C GaN wall adapter, but instead of a matte black (called carbide) finish you can see its inner circuitry. It still supports Power Delivery and is powerful enough to charge an iPad or even a MacBook Air. The other good news is that it still costs $30, so there’s not even a price hike to get this neat design. www.nomadgoods. com from €30


DJI MAVIC 3 CLASSIC The just-announced Mavic 3 Classic is essentially a more budget-friendly version of the DJI’s flagship Mavic 3 drone was released in late 2021. The “Classic” version is very similar to the flagship model, with the major difference being that it doesn’t have a telephoto lens. Other than that, it has the same camera sensor, same advanced flying features and abilities, and same battery life and flight time. The price various on the package you get (just like the Mavic 3), but the “Classic” starts at about $450 cheaper. www.harveynorman.ie from €1,779

BLUESOUND PULSE M Bluesound, a big competitor to Sonos in the multi-room speaker space, announced its newest wireless speaker: the Pulse M. You can think of it as a beefed up version of the Sonos One or a slightly more affordable version of the Sonos Five. The big difference is that the Pulse M is able to deliver 360-degree sound, so it’s theoretically able to fill a room better than the mostly front-firing One or Five. If you buy two, you can set them up as a stereo pair or as rear satellites in a home theatre system with Bluesound’s Pulse Soundbar+. Available in white or black. www.bluesound.com from €549

APPLE WATCH ULTRA The Apple Watch “Ultra” was another big standout from Apple’s big event. It’s a completely new line of Apple Watch that’s larger, more rugged, more sophisticated and more expensive than any other Apple Watch. It has a bigger and redesigned digital crown and an all-new “Action” button that can be customised to do things like quickly start specific workouts. It has a bigger battery that lasts 36 hours (or up to 60 hours when in low-power mode). And it has a new Compass app and an app specifically designed for recreational scuba divers called Oceanic Plus. www.Apple.com from €999

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VOLKSWAGEN POLO

“We were driving the R-Line version and that comes with some specific styling cues.”

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VW POLO

The Volkswagen Polo has been around a long time because it does everything really well and with minimal effort.

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VOLKSWAGEN POLO

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he first Polo was unveiled in 1975, shortly after the successful launch of the Mark 1 Golf. With a wheelbase of 2,335mm it was smaller than today’s Volkswagen up. It shared the same design as the Audi 50 model and in 1978 when Audi pulled its 50 model the polo began its unstoppable rise around the world selling 500,000 units. It is only available as a 5-door hatchback and it has grown in dimensions to be a size similar to a 3rd-generation Volkswagen Golf. The Volkswagen Polo was recently facelifted and although it retains a familiar look at the front, it does have a fresh headlight, grille and bumper design that gives it a cleaner look. The changes to the back are more profound, with new split tail lights that extend into the tailgate. Its most striking feature is the redesigned front with optional LED light strip combined with IQ-LIGHT Matrix LED headlights between the headlamps. On closer inspection, it’s not only the choice of colours that stands out so prominently, but a whole range of features through which each of the Polo, Polo Life, Polo Style, or Polo R-Line equipment lines come into their own. We were driving the R-Line version and that comes with some specific styling cues. The bumpers are different, with high-gloss black cross and longitudinal bars on the air intakes and their surrounds. There are new LED fog lights as standard on the R-Line and at the rear of the R-Line there is a high-gloss black diffuser with chrome-look integrated exhaust panels in the lower part of the vehicle. There are 16” “Valencia” alloy wheels as standard on the R-Line but you can upgrade to 17” “Bergamo” alloy wheels for just €400. Our car came with €730 of optional extras which included the pure white paint and a sports package. On the road the Volkswagen Polo 1.0 TSI is so quiet and refined it feels like a

bigger and more sophisticated package than what the price suggests. It rides comfortably too and there’s really no faulting the road holding. The steering feels accurate and intuitive. Overall, the Polo exhibits a solid and planted feel on the road. The Polo starts at €20,905, and that money pays for the most basic model. The Life model would be a reasonable entry level offering and that starts at €23,510. For an entry-level small car it’s quite well equipped, with 15-inch alloy wheels, a 6.5-inch touchscreen and manual air conditioning, as well as the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration technology. The Style trim gets you much the same equipment as the Life model but comes with 15-inch alloys, upgraded Chrome package, improved interior with ambient lighting, carpet mats front and rear and sports comfort seats. Functional equipment is improved with a 8” “Discover Media”, park distance control front and rear, dynamic cruise control, travel assist, LED Matrix Headlights with IQ.LIGHT including Light Assist and raises the price tag to €26,625. The R-Line and Style models are similar in pricing but the R-Line is actually slightly the cheaper of the two, at €25,490, and that pays for sportier R-Line styling, 16-inch alloy wheels and sportier seats with lumbar support, plus parking sensors, a bigger touchscreen with navigation and a rear-view camera. With the addition of the latest driver assistance systems as standard, including Adaptive Cruise Control and IQ. Drive Travel Assist in the Style and R-Line models, this makes the Polo one of the best-equipped small cars when it comes to safety systems. Optional as part of a Driver Assistance Package is the Side Assist lane change assist system which uses an LED light in the side mirrors to indicate that there are other vehicles in your blind spot or driving up to 50m behind

“On the road the Volkswagen Polo 1.0 TSI is so quiet and refined.” 28

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VOLKSWAGEN POLO

“It is only available as a 5-door hatchback.”

you and Park Assist including parking distance warning system not only tells you whether a parking space is large enough when driving past, but can also drive into the parking spot for you. Conclusion This latest-generation Polo is a really good offering. The recommendation I’d make is go for the entry-level Life trim because it keeps costs down but still gets you a respectable amount of standard equipment. That kit includes 15in alloy wheels, air conditioning, automatic windscreen wipers, heated and power-folding door mirrors. The Polo offers a combination of driving refinement and interior sophistication that’s hard to beat at the price.

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TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION Model Volkswagen Polo R-Line 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine

175 Nm

95 hp

187 km/h

10.8 seconds

€190 per year

€20,905



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TESLA MODEL Y

he design of the Model Y is the work of Franz von Holzhausen, Tesla’s head of design for the past 14 years. This car is certainly aimed at appealing to the largest possible audience, with no aggressive or controversial elements in its design. In design, there’s also efficiency, with a low drag coefficient, just 0.23 Cd, which helps the car achieve some of the best range on the market. The higher seating position offered by the Model Y, allows a better view of the road and environment ahead of you, but also allows your body to be positioned more comfortably in the vehicle. The Tesla Model Y driving experience is similar to that of the Model 3 in many ways. So there’s no start/stop button, you just select drive using the gear selector on the right-hand side of the steering column, press the accelerator and you’ll be accelerating quietly and, with the 0-100 km/h times of sub 5 seconds, quickly. The Model Y is ideal for motorway use, being refined on long journeys, having a 500km plus range - which is even possible at motorways speeds - and you’ll be able to charge easily using the Tesla Supercharger network. The Model Y has all-wheel drive, giving good grip; combined with its weight of around two tonnes, it feels more secure to drive rather than light and agile. The suspension is quite firm, and so the standard 19-inch wheels will give the best ride quality; the 20-inch wheels will make the firm ride even firmer. The Tesla Model Y Long Range priced from €66,990 offers quick performance with 0-100 km/h in just 5 seconds, and with a tap of the accelerator you can feel the instant power available. Driving range is 533km (WLTP). The Model Y Performance is priced from €72,990, with 0-100 km/h in 3.7 seconds and a minimal drop in range to 514 km (WLTP) and a top speed extended from 217 km/h to 250 km/h. It also gets 21’’ ‘Überturbine’ wheels, performance brakes, lowered suspension and aluminium alloy pedals. Model Y’s rapid straight line performance is enhanced by all wheel drive offering superb grip in corners. Tesla All-Wheel Drive has two ultra-responsive, independent electric motors that digitally control torque to the front and rear wheels for better handling, traction and stability control. On the inside at the heart of your Tesla driving experience is the 15″ touchscreen, mounted to the centre of the dash, this provides access to vehicle functions like climate control, entertainment options like Spotify, as well as vehicle configurations and personalisations. For new Tesla owners this will take some time to get used to. In my experience, after a couple of days, you settle into feeling comfortable taking glances over to your speed or to access vehicle controls. Essentially everything is controlled from this 15” touchscreen. The centre console features a dual-wireless charger ideal for the latest large smartphones to charge while you drive. All Model Y’s have a high specification including 13 speaker premium sound system, power adjustable front seats, heated front and rear seats, and tinted panoramic glass roof. Model Y also connects with the Tesla mobile app for unique, easyto-access features like remote unlock, remote pre-conditioning, location tracking, Speed Limit Mode, and much more.

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Words: Anthony Kelly

Pics: Webpress

MODEL Y

We get behind the wheel of the new Tesla Model Y.

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TESLA MODEL Y On the safety side Model Y has a 5-Star Euro NCAP safety rating. Model Y also achieved some notable results. The Model Y received the highest Overall Score among any vehicle tested under Euro NCAP’s newest, most stringent test protocol. Model Y received a score of 98 percent in Euro NCAP’s Safety Assist category which evaluates a car’s active safety features including its ability to avoid accidents, mitigate injuries and prevent drivers from unintentionally drifting out of their lane, performed with Model Y equipped with Tesla Vision, their camera vision and neural net processing system. Model Y also achieved a score of 97% in the Adult Occupant Protection category—once again the highest of any vehicle tested in this protocol.

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Conclusion

When it comes to delivering a pleasing mix of range, interior space, technology, performance and quick charging, the Y stands out and delivers. I enjoyed the Long Range all-wheel drive version we tested. It may lack the ballistic acceleration of the Performance model but it is still quick enough. Operating everything from one central screen can be difficult at first when on the move but I noticed it got easier the longer I had the car. My best advice would be to reach out to Tesla and get a test drive and see how the Model Y might fit into your current lifestyle.


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LAMBORGHINI HURACÁN STERRATO

LAMBORGHINI

HURACÁN STERRATO The first all-terrain super sports car presented at the Lamborghini Lounge Doha.

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Words: Anthony Kelly

Pics: Webpress

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LAMBORGHINI HURACÁN STERRATO

utomobili Lamborghini presents the Huracán Sterrato[1] to VIP guests and media from Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), at its floating Lounge created in Doha. The Sterrato was formally presented by the Lamborghini executive management team, headed by Chairman and CEO Stephan Winkelmann. Joined by Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Federico Foschini, behind-the scenes workshops with Chief Technical Officer Rouven Mohr and Head of Design Mitja Borkert provided detailed insights into the design and engineering evolution of Sterrato. “The Huracán Sterrato is the culmination of a development project that is entirely symbolic of Lamborghini’s philosophy: pushing expectations and possibilities to produce something unexpected but immediately recognizable as a Lamborghini,” said Stephan Winkelmann. “Following the car’s official unveiling in Miami, its presentation in Doha has enabled us to share the inspiration and evolution of this fun, all-terrain super sports Lamborghini with our EMEA clients, where the production Huracán Sterrato has received an equally enthusiastic reception.” Initially conceived in 2017, a two-year development period saw the Sterrato concept presented in 2019, with the 1499-unit production car announced just one week ago on the occasion of the Art Basel Miami Beach, for delivery in 2023 and 2024. While the world premiere in the United States had featured two different liveries in Verde Gea and Bianco Phanes, the Sterrato displayed on the terrace of the Doha lounge was dressed in Bianco Isi with the Italian flag livery, showcasing

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the Italian pride and heritage of the super sports car manufacturer from Sant’Agata Bolognese. The Huracán Sterrato comes with a 5.2-liter V10 engine with maximum power output of 610 hp and 560 Nm of torque (at 6500 rpm), combined with 7-speed dual-clutch transmission and electronically controlled all-wheel drive with rear mechanical self-locking differential. The exterior expresses the adventurous spirit of the Sterrato right from the first glance. The increased ground clearance by 44 mm ensures greater suspension travel, the front (+30 mm) and rear (+34 mm) tracks are wider. Furthermore, in addition to protecting the car body, the aluminum front underbody protection, the reinforced sills, the rear diffuser and the sturdy wheel arches all emphasize its muscularity. The classic air intake located on the rear hood not only enhances the sporting spirit of the model, but also helps supply the engine with clean air when driving on dusty tracks. Customers joining Lamborghini in its pop-up Lounge floating on a pontoon in Doha Bay, were also able to consult Lamborghini’s Ad Personam specialists to configure their new Sterrato, selecting from more than 350 exterior paints and finishes, 60 internal leathers and a host of other finishes and options for virtually unlimited personalization potential. New Lamborghini products including Urus Performante, Urus S, Huracán Tecnica and Huracán STO were also available for test drives, while the VIPs and journalists present enjoyed the Lounge’s hospitality overlooking the Doha coastline. Invited VIP guests and Lamborghini owners visiting the area can experience the world of Lamborghini from 21 November to 18 December.


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MERCEDES EQS 450+

MERCEDES-BENZ EQS 450+ The three-pointed star’s bread and butter has always been the large ultra-luxury saloon and this EQS 450+ doesn’t disappoint.

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he new Mercedes-Benz EQS has arrived in Ireland, a new flagship premium electric car for the German brand. The arrival of the EQS also increases to six the number of electric EQ models the brand now markets in Ireland, including SUVs like the EQA, EQB, and EQC, as well as the recently launched EQE business saloon, and the EQV people carrier. The EQS 450+ has a streamlined design. It’s beautiful and elegant and one look at it and you’ll know that this one has aerodynamics written all over it. There aren’t many cuts or creases that you notice on the car and that’s the beauty of it.

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The EQS uses a new ‘modular’ construction method likely to be used in future battery-electric vehicles, with a cabforward design and coupé-like exterior. The headlight design, wheels and black panel front with ‘star’ inset link it to other members of the Mercedes-EQ family. In Ireland the new Mercedes-Benz EQS comes in a choice of two model variants: EQS 450+ (with rear axle eATS electric motor) priced at €129,965, and a EQS Mercedes-AMG 53 4MATIC+all-wheel-drive version (with motors on front and rear axles) priced at €180,015. Powering them are Mercedes-Benz’s own-manufactured batteries which, they claim, will have ‘better charging performance and significantly higher energy density’. Helped by its lightweight componen-


The new Grecale Trofeo. Everyday Exceptional DISCOVER THE NEW MASERATI GRECALE TROFEO. POWERED BY 530-HP V6 ENGINE. 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 Grecale Trofeo in mpg (l/100km) combined: 25.2 (11.2). CO2 emissions: 254 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.

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MERCEDES EQS 450+

ts and Cd value from 0.20. It has an operating range up to 735 kms (WLTP), power output of up to 245 kW (333hp) and a quoted top speed limited to 210km/h. Electrical consumption is 18.9-16.2kWh/100km. The length of the EQS, combined with its bespoke electric platform, also means that there’s lots of space inside the car. Inside the seats are sumptuous, adjustable and have literal pillows on the headrests, while the standard air suspension, adjustable damping, and S-Class-related axles let the EQS float across bumps. Despite the supreme comfort, this car can be admirably composed and even agile. The EQS may approach 2480kg but you’d never really know it driving it on public roads. Everything feels easy and operates with a plush-yet-stately quality. Inside, a keynote feature is the optional concave dash-mounted MBUX infotainment ‘Hyperscreen’ whose curved and flexed surface appears to float across the full width of the vehicle. The MBUX Hyper Screen (a €12,213 option) has 3 displays seamlessly blended together beneath a glass panel. Central Display, 17.7”, OLED with Haptic Feedback, Driver Display, 12.3”, LCD with LED Matrix Backlighting Passenger Display, 12.3”, OLED with Haptic Feedback. Now equipped with artificial intelligence and a ‘learning’ capability, it supports the driver in numerous additional ways beyond what was possible previously. There’s also a 15-speaker surround sound system. Motors in the seats deliver up to ten different massage programmes, while seat heating and inflatable air chambers replicate the body-soothing effects of a ‘hot stones’ treatment. Reproduced on interior trim, wheels, and fascia is a Mercedes-Benz ‘pattern’ design based on a three dimensional star motif first featured on a 1911 Daimler trademark. The new flagship EQS includes 40 new inventions and 20 new design applications. Described by Ciaran Allen, sales manager for Mercedes-Benz in Ireland as ‘the embodiment of everything Mercedes-Benz represents in terms of luxury, comfort, safety and specifications’, EQS represents what he calls ‘a mould-breaker many of whose features will be seen in future EQ models’ The EQS is easier to drive in urban areas than you might expect, and this may well be because it has rear wheel steering to assist the front wheel steering but it’s on long journeys when the car excels. On long motorway trips the EQS delivers completely effortless performance thanks to instant responses from the 333 hp/568 Nm electric motor, and the EQS must be one of the most comfortable ways to cover long distances. The EQS has AIRMATIC air suspension with adaptive damping, so even with the large 21-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels (a €2,374 option on our test car), the ride quality is excellent. One of the big news items about the Mercedes-Benz EQS is the impressive electric driving

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range of 782km (WLTP) and you definitely notice it driving around not having any range anxiety after a few days without charging. On the safety front, the EQS was awarded the maximum five-star score after going through Euro NCAP crash testing. Adult and child occupant scores were 96% and 91% respectively and the car’s active collision-avoidance technology earned it an 80% score in the safety assist category. Protection of vulnerable road users (i.e. pedestrians and cyclists) was rated at 76%. Those exceptionally high scores aren’t surprising when you appreciate the wealth of safety features and systems fitted to Mercedes’ electric flagship.

Conclusion

The Mercedes-Benz EQS is all about refined luxury. It isn’t cheap, but if you want an all-electric luxury saloon that does everything thing very well, the EQS is hard to beat.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION

Model Mercedes EQS 450+ 244kw electric motor, 107.9kwh lithium-ion battery

210 km/h

333hp

€120 per year

6.2 seconds

€129,965

568Nm


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OPEL ASTRA SRI

OPEL ASTRA SRI This is the first Astra developed under new owners Stellantis and it arrives with a distinctive look and feel.

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he Opel Astra is a compact car/small family car (C-segment) developed and produced by the German automaker Opel since 1991, currently in its sixth generation. It was first launched in September 1991 as a direct replacement to the Opel Kadett. As of 2022, the car slots between the smaller Corsa supermini and the larger Insignia large family car. This sixth generation of the much loved Opel Astra is mechanically similar to the Peugeot 308 as both share the same platform. The new Astra is based on the third generation of the highly flexible EMP2 multi-energy architecture. Peugeot and Opel have become family members under the Stellantis Automobile Company but individuality clearly remains in the models.

The exterior of the Astra showcases the modern design language from the Opel group. Astra is one of the oldest and most renowned cars in Europe and therefore, giving it a modern spin was necessary. The overall design makes it look understated and simple with sleek headlamps with Matrix LED effect, LED DRLs, a modest front grille, sporty bumper with fog lamps. The sides host chunky alloy wheels and a coupe-like swooping roofline. The rear has sleek tail lights and a sporty bumper along with a shark fin antenna. The Astra is 4,374 mm long, 1,860 mm in width and has a wheelbase of 2,675 mm. The boot space is a large 422-litres. The overall appearance can be summarised

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION

Model Opel Astra 1.2 SR 1.2-litre three-cylinder, turbocharged petrol

230Nm

130hp

210 km/h

9.7 seconds

€200 per year

€27,995

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as modern, sharp and understated. Opel already proved that it could make cars look the part with the latest Mokka and Grandland, and it has now made the most of this momentum with the new Astra. To our eyes it’s one of the best-looking cars in the segment, with the latest interpretation of Opels ‘Vizor’ front end design being deployed successfully. Space is good in the front of the new hatchback, but rear leg space is a little restricted. This is because the Astra’s boot is bigger – and it has eaten into the rear-seat area. Even though, two or three adults will still fit in the back, as headroom is fine. It is just the lack of leg and knee room that might rain on the parade on a long journey. Up front houses a Pure Panel Pro cockpit. You get two 10-inch screens – a digital infotainment and an instrument system in one combined unit. The displays are crisp, and the navigation is better than anything I’ve seen in an Astra before. Wireless connectivity in the shape of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay is incorporated as standard. In the SRI model we tested you get a pair of USB-C connectors in the front. They are hidden into the storage space under the sliding cover and a single USB-C port for those in the rear seats. There’s also a 12-volt socket. The new Astra is available with a powerful plug-in hybrid electric drive as well as petrol and diesel engines, electri-


fying Opel’s compact class model for the first time in the brand’s history. The fully electric Astra won’t arrive until next year. Power ranges from 110hp to 130hp with the petrol and diesel variants and up to 225hp output with the plug-in hybrid variants. A six-speed gearbox is standard on the petrol and diesel power units, with a six-speed and eight-speed automatic transmission optional. Our test vehicle is the 1.2-litre SRI turbocharged petrol engine with front wheel drive and a manual gearbox. On the road the 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine is very capable and doesn’t feel strained, it only became noisy under hard acceleration. With a low drag coefficient of 0.269 it helps the Astra cut smoothly through the air. It’s very comfortable, ironing out road imperfections with impressive comfort levels. Coupled with the comfy seats it means longer journeys are something to look forward to. The Astra’s ergonomic front seats certified by AGR (“Aktion Gesunder Rücken” – Campaign for healthy backs, an independent German association promoting research related to back-pain prevention) is extensive and a key component of the German carmaker’s customer-centric approach to mobility. They are available optionally in Alcantara or leather. The steering is light enough that driving around town should be a relaxing affair. Standard SRI spec includes adaptive cruise control with traffic stop-start on the manual model we tested, keyless entry and start that auto-locks the car as you walk away, a heated steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, power-folding door mirrors, heated front seats, front-seat armrest with a storage box, rear-seat armrest with a ski-hatch, black and red dash trim, alloy pedals, adjustable boot

floor, extra USB connectors, an SRI body kit including a ‘black pack’ for the exterior trim, the 17-inch ‘Kadett’ alloys, privacy glass, anti-dazzle rear-view mirror and parking assistant with a 360-degree camera system. There’s plenty of safety technology on the new Astra such as Safety & Security Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) / Electronic Braking Distribution (EBFD), Forward collision alert, Adaptive cruise control, Lane Keep Assist, Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, Traffic sign recognition and hill start assist. The most basic Astra is the SC model, which comes with either a 110hp version of the 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, or the 130hp 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel. Prices for the SC start from €27,995 for the petrol or €30,995 for the diesel. The SRI model comes with a starting price of €31,995 and for that you get the 130hp 1.2 petrol engine that we tested. You can have the diesel engine in SRI trim for €33,995, or you can add an eight-speed automatic gearbox to the 1.2 petrol for €34,995. At the top of the range for now is the Elite model, which comes only with the 1.2 130hp petrol engine in either manual or automatic forms, priced from €34,995 or €37,995 if you want the six-speed automatic.

Conclusion

This new Astra looks great, has impressive equipment levels for the pricing and is incredibly comfortable while also being a bit more practical, making it ideal for the family buyer.

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FIAT 500 ELECTRIC

FIAT 500 ELECTRIC The Fiat 500e brings plenty of style and character to a refreshed design and now with an electric powertrain.

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“The 500 retains all of its familiar Italian flair.”

Words: Anthony Kelly

Pics: Webpress

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FIAT 500 ELECTRIC

he Fiat 500 profile is still easily recognisable, but the latest third-generation car has switched to all-electric power. The new 500e shares very few components with its predecessor, being based on a totally new platform. Electric vehicles are typically very reliable thanks to their lack of moving parts, and the new 500’s build quality does appear to be a significant improvement over the car it replaces. The 500 retains all of its familiar Italian flair, and is now even more appealing with updated on-board tech The new 500 is slightly longer, wider and taller than the previous model, and has been developed using an all-new platform, so there are no compromises on valuable interior space which is an issue that can sometimes occur with modified combustion-engined models. It’s one of the best small cars on sale right now, and shouldn’t cost too much to run thanks to its efficient, electric powertrain. The Fiat 500 Electric (‘500e’) goes on sale priced from €24,995 in Ireland, including the SEAI grant for electric cars and VRT relief for private retail customers. The range will include a hatchback and cabriolet. There are two battery options available now for the 500e. The entry into the new 2022 Fiat 500e range in Ireland is the 500e 23.8 kWh. It has 95 hp and a range of up to 180 km measured by WLTP. It is is priced from €24,995 in Ireland. Next up is the Fiat 500e 42 kWh with 118 hp and a range of up to 320 km (WLTP). It is priced from €26,995. I drove the 42kWh hatchback La Prima model. I think I’d personally struggle with the lower range option of the 23.8 kWh option however it would work perfectly for urban commuting or as a second car so if it fits your lifestyle then it’s well worth a look. The Fiat 500e convertible is available from €31,495. There are four trim levels – Action, Passion, Icon and La Prima. Availability depends on the model. For faster charging, the new Fiat 500 Electric can fast charge at 85 kW. The brand says it takes only 5 minutes to add 50 kilometres or charge to 80% in 35 minutes. The Combo 2 socket located on the rear right side panel of the car powers the fast charger, for both AC and DC charging. Once inside the 500e you’re greeted with a more open-feeling cabin than that of its predecessors. Helped by the new electric platform, the lack of a centre console creates the impression of more space. There is a storage console between the two front seats which also features the driving mode and infotainment system volume switches – the gear buttons are positioned beneath the 10.25-inch infotainment system and the air conditioning controls. The infotainment and driving display screens are sharp and clear.

Three driving modes allow different driving styles. ‘Normal’ mode is just that, while ‘Range’ gives a one-pedal option, allowing the 500e to be driven using just the accelerator. Battery regeneration is also maximised under deceleration. ‘Sherpa’ mode is for when the remaining range is low. It optimises battery charge, air conditioning, the 48

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speed and acceleration to maximise remaining distance. On the move, the 500e is defined and invigorated by its electric powertrain. Nippy and fun to drive, it has an even cheekier personality than before, and as with the Honda e, you feel you can slot into the smallest of gaps as you move about town. Being electric, the 500e’s refinement is impressive, which, along with its range, means it can escape cities, too. A firm ride doesn’t equate to being uncomfortable, and all things considered, the 500e is engaging, entertaining and responsive. John Saunders, Managing Director of Fiat Ireland, said: “The New Fiat 500 Electric has received an overwhelming positive response in Europe, and we expect the same in Ireland. This iconic urban car has the outstanding range of 320 km, best in class safety features, and level 2 autonomous driving, bringing all the associated benefits to urban mobility. 2022 is an exciting year for FIAT in Ireland and we look forward to welcoming all customers old and new into our showrooms nationwide.” Conclusion On the whole, the Fiat 500 Electric ticks a lot of boxes: it’s supremely stylish, fun-to-drive and it’s a charming little car, has a decent range between charges if you go for the range-topping model and has a well-appointed interior. The rear seats are a bit of a squeeze, but if you want a small car that is perfect for use around town, the electric 500 should be on your short list.


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TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION

Model Fiat 500e La Prima 42kWh battery

150 km/h

118hp

€120 per year

9.0 seconds

€24,995

220Nm

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ŠKODA KAROQ

ŠKODA

KAROQ SPORTLINE This updated version of the Škoda Karoq has a pragmatic and understated charm about it.

Words: Anthony Kelly

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he Škoda Karoq uses a tried-and-tested recipe, combining the VW Group’s MQB underpinnings with MacPherson strut front suspension and a torsion beam rear axle on 2WD versions, while 4x4 cars have a multilink set-up that also forms the basis of the Kodiaq and many other models in the brand’s line-up, highlighting its versatility. The new Karoq is characterised by new design details include the wider, now hexagonal Škoda grille, restyled front and rear aprons, as well as slimmer and sharper LED headlights and tail lights. The daytime running lights are now split in two, and for the first time, the Karoq can be equipped with full-LED Matrix headlights which are standard on Style and Sportline models. Aerodynamics have been improved by more than 9%, meaning that the SUV now boasts a drag coefficient (cd) of 0.30 and correspondingly lower CO2 emissions. This has been made possible, for example, by new alloy wheels with Aero inserts, a longer rear spoiler, side finlets on the rear window and the now covered underbody. As our test vehicle is the Sportline model it comes with black detailing on the bodywork and black badging which looks really good. An increased range of state-of-theart assistance and safety systems ensures even higher levels of active and passive safety. The Škoda Karoq has been awarded the 5-star rating in the Euro NCAP ratings. Safety enhancements include the Safety pack option of two additional side airbags front and rear side, curtain airbags and crew protect assist including front seatbelt pre-tension and a new suite of advanced active safety systems called Travel Assist. Getting into the Karoq Sportline model, you notice the pleasant driving set-up almost immediately on the road. Less sidewall on the tyres no doubt play a part and no question that the new wheels, officially called “Procyon”, do look the part with black alloy and aero inserts. At cruising speed it moves along comfortably and is a pleasure to drive on motorways and dual carriageways. Some of the rural back roads around my area are in need of some pretty urgent repair and on these potholed roads, the ride was well up to the task despite some jolts here and there. Any other mid-size SUV would have been similar or worse. Some of these were deep potholes so credit to the Karoq on this terrain. On the road it feels sharp, with the 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder diesel engine and a 7-speed DSG gearbox making light work of gear changes. It feels nimble and pushes just the right amount of power with the powertrain producing 115hp of power. It’s frugal consuming just 5.1 litres per 100kms of travel. With prices of fuel on the rise this is definitely a good thing. One thing the Karoq does lack is an eco-focused plug-in model,

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ŠKODA KAROQ but if that’s what you’re looking for then you’ll be steered towards the impressive Enyaq iV electric SUV instead. Skoda’s first bespoke electric car shares a common platform with the Volkswagen ID.4, but with a starting price of €37,465 for the iV 60 model it’s a perhaps more luxurious option. We’ll be reviewing the Škoda Enyak in our next edition so check back in with us for that. The updated Škoda Karoq can be equipped with one of three efficient engines from Volkswagen Group’s latest EVO generation. One diesel and two petrol engines deliver power outputs ranging from 110bhp to 150bhp. The look of the Karoq’s interior is defined by new decorative trim and upholstery options, which can be made from sustainable materials if selected. For example, in the Eco pack, the seat covers are partly made from recycled plastic juice bottles. Optional extras to increase comfort include enhanced LED ambient lighting (standard on Style

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and Sportline models), which now also illuminates the rear door trim in one of ten colours, and the electrically adjustable front-passenger seat including a memory function. The Karoq is available in the Ambition and Style trim levels and as a Sportline variant. Overall it’s incredibly functional, with great ergonomics, plenty of space and a sense of quality. It feels well built, while it’s also stacked with tech features.

Conclusion

This impressive five-door SUV represents very good value in base form – a hallmark of the Škoda brand. With an efficient range of engines to accompany it, we can only see the Karoq’s desirability going upwards, despite the increasing number of rivals that it has to contend with. The styling tweaks have brought it closer into line with the rest of the Skoda range while simultaneously injecting some new life into this mid-size SUV.


TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION

Model Škoda Karoq Sportline 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine

221Nm

115hp

135 km/h

11.0 seconds

€210 per year

€34,900

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PEUGEOT 308 GT HYBRID

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he new Peugeot 308 is built from an evolution of the EMP2 (Efficient Modular Platform) multi-energy platform, which makes it possible to deploy fully electrified versions. Two plug in hybrid versions are available from launch. The vehicle is the first in the Peugeot line up to bear the new Peugeot brand coat of arms in a grille entirely dedicated to it. It is a big deal as it’s the first Peugeot to adopt this brand new logo. It signifies the giant leap in the brand’s upmarket identity. A design and technological evolution, the radar for driving aids disappears behind the coat of arms (radome technology using indium compatible with radar waves), making it the centre piece on the grille. The new Peugeot 308 is bolstering itself in its segment and changing its body shape, the 55mm extended wheelbase stretches the silhouette and offers more space for rear passengers while the 20mm height reduction combined with a soft-nose visually lengthens the bonnet. The front headlamps use LED technology from the entry Active grade. Chiselled and slim, they contribute to the dynamics and identity of this new Peugeot 308. They are extended by hook-shaped daytime running lights on the front bumper. This light signature reflective of the current Peugeot style is recognisable at first glance both by day and by night. On the GT grades, the Full LED headlamps are even thinner and have Peugeot Matrix LED Technology, for greater efficiency and safety in everyday use. At the rear, the headlamps use Full LED technology displaying the 3 claws for a modern, brand-specific light signature. The hatchback’s overall shape and design has been adapted to stand out in a busy category. The new Peugeot 308 comes in 7 shades: Olivine Green, Vertigo Blue, Elixir Red, Pearl White, Ice White, Artense Grey, Perla Nera Black. The new Peugeot 308 will be available in 3 grades – Active, Allure and GT, with pricing as follows: Active – From €31,765, Allure – From €35,705 and GT – From €39,215 Boot capacity is 412 litres (1323l with the second row down) and there’s an additional 28 litres of compartmentalised storage space under the carpet. A lot of work has been put into aerodynamic efficiency, including the design of the rear and the wheels, plus the “vanishing” line at the top of the roof, which has a long spoiler, all in the interests of helping to the reduce fuel consumption and limit CO emissions. The turning circle is 10.5m, which makes it ideal for manoeuvring in tight spots. On the road in Sport mode, The GT’s roadholding is nimble, with rapid throttle response to match the positive steering. It’s a smile-inducing enjoyable drive. The Peugeot 308 GT Hybrid is quieter, quicker, more techie

“The 308 is very smart and loaded with aids.” 54

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


PEUGEOT 308 GT HYBRID Peugeot’s third generation 308 is much improved with a sharp new look, smart powertrains and more technology.

Words: Anthony Kelly

Pics: Webpress

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PEUGEOT 308 GT HYBRID and more fuel efficient than I’d expected, combining a 1.6-litre petrol engine with an 81kW electric motor, powered by a 12.4kWh battery and giving up to 60km of EVonly range. The adaptive cruise control is easy to engage on longer journeys and the long range (75m) blind spot, traffic sign, pedestrian and cyclist detection provides an extra set of eyes front and rear. The 308 rides well though, which is particularly impressive given the extra weight that a plug-in hybrid powertrain brings and even more so when you consider that our test car rode on large 18-inch wheels. The 308 is very smart and loaded with aids such as: HD reversing camera with cleaning nozzle: for a 10/10 vision, Rear traffic alert: eyes in the back of the head for help when reversing, Peugeot Matrix LED headlamps: you can now drive with “full headlights” all the time, Configurable i-Toogles: a tailor-made dashboard, Air Quality System: breathe, let the 308 take care of the rest, OK Peugeot voice assistant: to speak into the car’s ear, Like all Peugeot customers, users of the new 308 are able to use the

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MyPeugeot app. This application allows users to remotely start or schedule the heating or air conditioning so that the compartment temperature is perfect when they set off. Our test car came in the top GT specification which meant that all of the materials were of a top-notch quality. The new 10-inch infotainment system feels like a real departure from Peugeots of old, with its clear design and logical menus making it really easy to use. The i-toggles panel under the infotainment screen allows quick access to features such as media, climate and mirror screens, but in the GT PHEV, there’s also an EV-specific menu for energy flow, charging details and efficiency statistics. Conclusion Peugeot has hit the target with the new 308. It’s very stylish with an interior and technology offering that’s very upmarket. The addition of hybrid powertrains is hugely important and improves the overall offering for the Peugeot 308 line-up.


“The Peugeot 308 GT Hybrid is quieter, quicker and more techie.”

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION

Model Peugeot 308 GT 1.6 Hybrid 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, 81kW electric motor

360 Nm

180 hp

225 km/h

7.6 seconds

€210 per year

5.1 g/km

€49,995

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PORSCHE 911 GT3 RS

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he new Porsche 911 GT3 RS makes no secret of its intentions: it is uncompromisingly designed for maximum performance. The sports car takes full advantage of technology and concepts from motorsport, from its high-revving naturally aspirated 525 PS (386 kW) engine to its intelligent lightweight construction. But it’s the cooling system and aerodynamic elements of the 911 GT3 RS that connect it most directly with its motorsport brother, the 911 GT3 R.

ge compartment is located on other 911 models. This has made it possible to use the space freed up on the sides to integrate active aerodynamic elements. These continuously adjustable wing elements – in combination with the two-part rear wing and a number of other aerodynamic measures – provide 409 kg of total downforce at 124 mph (200 km/h). It means that the new 911 GT3 RS generates twice as much downforce as its 991.2-generation predecessor and three times as much as a current 911 GT3. At 177 mph (285 km/h), total downforce is 860 kg.

Central radiator concept inspired by motorsport – the foundation for active aerodynamics A centrally positioned radiator was first used by Porsche in the Le Mans class-winning 911 RSR and subsequently in the 911 GT3 R. Now, it is featured in a road-going 911 model for the first time.

The look of the new 911 GT3 RS is characterised by the large number of functional aerodynamic elements. The most prominent feature of the GT3 RS is the ‘swan-neck’ rear wing, which is significantly larger in all dimensions than any wing previously used on a road-going 911. It consists of a fixed main wing and an upper, hydraulically adjustable wing element. For the first time on a Porsche production vehicle, the upper edge of the rear wing extends higher than the roof.

Instead of the three-radiator layout seen in previous 911 models, the new 911 GT3 RS relies on a large, angled centre radiator in the car’s nose, positioned where the lugga-

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PORSCHE 911 GT3 RS Purpose-built for performance.

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PORSCHE 911 GT3 RS In addition, the front end of the 911 GT3 RS no longer has a front spoiler, but instead features a front splitter that divides the air flowing over and underneath. Sideblades accurately direct air outwards, while front wheel arch ventilation is provided via louvred openings in the front wings. Inlets behind the front wheels, in the style of the iconic Le Mans-winning 911 GT1, reduce the dynamic pressure in the wheel arches. Sideblades behind the intake ensure that the air is directed to the side of the vehicle. Air from the centrally positioned radiator flows out via large nostrils on the bonnet, while fins on the roof direct the air outwards, ensuring cooler intake temperatures in the rear. The openings in the rear side panel are used purely to improve aerodynamics and not to draw in engine intake air. The rear wheel arch also features an intake and a sideblade for optimised airflow, while the rear diffuser is an enhanced version of the one used on the 911 GT3. Another first for a production Porsche model is the fitment of a drag reduction system (DRS). To achieve low drag and therefore higher straight-line speeds, the DRS allows the wings to be flattened out at the push of a button. There is also an airbrake function, activated during emergency braking at high speeds: the wing elements at the front and rear are set to their maximum angle, creating aerodynamic drag that works in combination with the brakes to improve overall deceleration. Track suspension that can be adjusted from the cockpit Aerodynamic enhancements even include the suspension components. Because the wheel arches of the new 911 GT3 RS are subject to powerful airflows, the front double-wishbone arms have been designed with teardrop-shaped profiles. These aerodynamically efficient links, normally only used in high-end motorsport applications, increase downforce on the front axle by around 40

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kg at top speed. Because of the wider track (29 millimetres wider than the 911 GT3), the front axle arms are also correspondingly longer. To maintain downforce balance between the front and rear axles when braking from high speeds, pitching under braking has been significantly reduced. To achieve this, the front ball joint of the lower trailing arm has been set lower on the front axle. The multi-link rear axle has also been adjusted, with modified spring rates. Working in harmony with these changes, the driver assistance systems and rear-axle steering have an even more dynamic setup. The 911 GT3 RS offers three driving modes: Normal, Sport and Track. In Track mode, the basic settings can be individually adjusted. This includes the rebound and compression damping for the front and rear axles, which be adjusted separately and in several stages. The differential can also be adjusted, using rotary controls on the steering wheel. This is done quickly and intuitively with an operating and display concept borrowed from motorsport: four individual rotary controls and a button for the DRS are located on the steering wheel. These rotary controls are displayed with graphics in the instrument cluster during the adjustment process. The 911 GT3 RS also features the track screen already familiar from the 911 GT3: at the touch of a button, the driver can reduce the digital displays on the two seven-inch side displays to essential information only. The gearshift indicators to the left and right of the analogue tachometer have also been taken from the GT3. High-revving, four-litre six-cylinder boxer engine The 4.0-litre high-revving naturally aspirated engine has been further optimised compared with the engine in the 911 GT3. The increase in power to 525 PS (386 kW) is


achieved primarily by using a new camshaft design with modified cam profiles. Its single-throttle intake system and the rigid valve drive are derived from motorsport. The seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) has a shorter final drive ratio than the 911 GT3, further improving acceleration, while air intakes on the underbody ensure that the transmission can withstand extreme loads during frequent track use. The 911 GT3 RS accelerates from zero to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.2 seconds and reaches a top speed of 184 mph (296 km/h) in seventh gear. Combined fuel economy is 21.1 mpg, equivalent to 305 g/km CO2 (WLTP). The front axle features six-piston aluminium monobloc fixed-position calipers with 408 mm diameter discs. Compared to the 911 GT3, the piston diameters have been increased from 30 to 32 mm, while disc thickness has been increased from 34 to 36 mm. The rear axle continues to be fitted with 380 mm brake discs and four-piston fixed calipers. Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB) are available as an option, and feature 410 mm discs on the front axle and 390 mm discs on the rear axle. The new 911 GT3 RS comes standard with forged light-alloy centre-lock wheels, fitted with 275/35 R 20 front and 335/30 R21 rear tyres, ensuring a high level of mechanical grip. Lightweight construction all the way Intelligent lightweight construction has been a basic principle of all RS models ever since the legendary 911 Carrera RS 2.7. Thanks to an array of lightweight construction measures such as the extensive use of carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP), the 911 GT3 RS weighs in at only 1,450 kg (DIN kerb weight: vehicle including 90% fuel and all fluids). The doors, front wings, roof and bonnet, for example, are made from CFRP, and this material is also used in the interior, for example in the standard full bucket seats. Available with Clubsport and Weissach packages The interior of the GT3 RS is finished in typical RS style: black leather, Race-Tex and carbon-weave finish characterise the pure, race-derived ambience. The 911 GT3 RS is available with the Clubsport package at no extra cost, which includes a steel rollover bar, a handheld fire extinguisher, and six-point seatbelts for the driver.

The Weissach package features a carbon-weave finish to the bonnet, roof, parts of the rear wing and the upper shell of the exterior mirrors. The front and rear anti-roll bars, the rear coupling rods and the shear panel on the rear axle are made of CFRP and contribute to a further enhancement of the driving dynamics. The rollover bar, constructed from CFRP for the first time, saves around six kilograms compared with the steel version. Another highlight of the Weissach package is the PDK shift paddles with motorsport-derived magnet technology, which make gear changes even more tactile thanks to a more precise pressure point and a clearly perceptible click. A further option available with the Weissach package is magnesium forged wheels, which save another eight kilograms. The Weissach pack costs £25,739, or £22,515 without the rollover bar. The new 911 GT3 RS is available to order now, priced from £178,500 RRP. Customers will also be invited to explore the potential of the new car, and further develop their own skills behind the wheel, by participating in a bespoke driving experience around the unique tracks at the Porsche Experience Centre, Silverstone. Exclusive Porsche Design Chronograph Inspired by the motorsport mindset – where maximum precision is paramount – the Porsche watchmaking operation in Solothurn, Switzerland, has developed the 911 GT3 RS chronograph. This mechanical watch is reserved for owners of the car, priced from £9,750.00 RRP. It is based on a glass-bead blasted case, made from either natural or black titanium, and with a screw-down crown. Inside the watch is the mechanical Porsche Design chronograph calibre WERK 01.200, which has been COSC-certified for its high accuracy. Its flyback function allows the wearer to start, stop and reset the second hand with a single action. The chronograph pushers, which feature ‘Start/Stop’ and ‘Next Lap’ laser engravings, reveal that this chronograph is not just about telling the time. In addition to innovations, such as the pulsometer scale on the bezel, many design features and materials from the GT3 RS are also found.

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MAZDA CX-5

he CX-5 was already an impressive machine and it remains so in this latest incarnation. Design-wise there are new lights and bumpers and a slightly more prominent grille but unless you view new and old side-by-side you’d struggle to notice much difference. Given that the CX-5 is one of the best looking cars in its class, that’s no great shame and Mazda’s simple styling continues to be classy and timeless. The CX-5’s interior remains a cut above many mainstream rivals in terms of clarity, design, layout and materials. Everything has the look and feel of premium marques and, like the exterior, simplicity is key to its appeal from both a visual and practical view. It’s a comfortable car to drive or be driven in, with plenty of space up front and good rear space for two with a slight squeeze to accommodate three adults. If I had any complaint it might be that the infotainment display seems relatively small compared to rivals in this class. The Mazda CX-5 has a boot rated at 438L, which isn’t groundbreaking for the segment, but remains more than capable when it comes to carrying a large family-sized load of shopping and school bags, as well as suitcases for holiday road trips. Boot space expands to 1,340L with the rear-seats folded down, increasing its volume for large, bulky objects and sports equipment. At the core of the CX-5 is a monocoque frame underpinned by MacPherson strut front- and multi-link rear suspension, electrically assisted steering and disc brakes all-round. Mazda claims it has increased the torsional rigidity and noise suppression qualities of the CX-5 to improve its driving character and overall refinement. The suspension dampers, springs and stabilisers have been retuned in search of better ride and handling and all petrol-powered CX-5s have new steering vibration countermeasures. On the electronic side, the car features new dynamic stability software called G-Vectoring Control, which uses integrated control of the engine, transmission and chassis to monitor the car’s pitch as it progresses from turn-in to apex and then exit and makes subtle modulations to the engine’s delivery of torque to juggle the car’s weight around between its axles. On the road the new CX-5 is engaging with nice handling, good sound dampening and nicely responsive steering. The overall balance of the SUV and its direct and progressive steering make it an enjoyable drive. During my time with the CX-5 I came to conclusion that it’s nice to drive it more because of its handling and precise steering than its straight-line acceleration. Mazda goes against the grain and delivers a high quality driving experience that is unparalleled among most of its competition. There are lots of variations of pricing and models so we’ll run through them here. The CX-5 range starts off with a petrol-powered model using the 2.0-litre 165hp SkyActiv-G engine, in GS-L trim. That will cost you €36,745. Standard equipment at GS-L level includes 17-inch alloys, automatic wipers, automatic LED headlights, front and rear parking sensors, dual-zone climate control, leather finish for the steering wheel and gearshift, keyless ignition, cruise control, 10.25-

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Pics: Webpress

MAZDA CX-5 Mazda has introduced a mid-life upgrade that refines the range, brings new features and revised styling.

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MAZDA CX-5 inch infotainment screen and emergency autonomous braking. If you want the 150hp 2.2-litre diesel engine in GS-L trim, that’ll be €40,625. Newground adds 19-inch alloys in a black-and-silver finish, half-leatherette seats with suede inserts, adaptive cruise control, upgraded emergency autonomous braking, powered driver’s seat, heated front seats, a reversible boot floor, a blind spot monitor, automatic high-beam lights and lane-keeping steering. The Newground also gets some exterior styling upgrades. For the 2.0-litre petrol engine, you’ll pay €38,745, or €42,625 for the 150hp diesel. Alongside Newground is GT trim, which on top of GS-L adds 19-inch alloys, driver’s powered seat, black leather trim and heated seats and steering wheel. That will cost you €38,745 in petrol form, or €42,625 powered by diesel. GT Sport trim adds a seven-inch digital instrument panel, a head-up display, a de-icing strip for the front wipers, automatic high-beam, a sunroof, powered tailgate, keyless entry, adaptive cruise control, a rear-view camera, a high-end Bose stereo, blind spot monitoring, upgraded emergency autonomous braking, automatic high-beam lights, lane-keeping steering and traffic sign recognition. A GT Sport costs €41,895 with the petrol engine (€46,495 in automatic form), or €45,775 with the diesel engine (€50,375 with an automatic).

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION

Model Mazda CX-5 Homura 2.2 Skyactiv-D 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine

380Nm

150hp

147 km/h

9.9 seconds

€270 per year

€36,745

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Homura is next and was our test vehicle. The homura gives the CX-5 its sportiest looking trim with gloss black finish to the front grille, signature wing, lower bumper sections, wheel arches, door garnishes and door mirrors.There are also 19-inch alloy wheels finished in black metallic paint, and the front grille incorporates red accents. You’ll pay €43,895 for a 2.0-litre petrol Homura (or €48,945 with an automatic), €47,775 for the diesel engine, or €52,365 for the diesel auto. Top of the range is the GT Lux, which gets 19-inch bright finished alloys, LED interior lighting, heated rear seats, heated and ventilated front seats with Nappa leather, Japanese ‘Sen’ wood trim, reverse braking support, driver attention monitor, adaptive LED headlights and a mixture of body colour and gloss black exterior trim. Prices for a GT Lux start from €44,460 for the 2.0-litre petrol (€49,240 for the automatic), or €54,770 for the 2.2 diesel, which in GT Lux trim gets upgraded to 184hp with four-wheel drive (or €59,370 for the GT Lux 184hp diesel automatic).

Conclusion

The Mazda CX-5 is a strong option for families who like Mazda’s design style and sharp driving style in a compact SUV. All materials are top-notch, plush and nothing feels cheap.


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The order of progress. Test drive your Audi A6 today, available for collection in 231 with 4.9%APR.*

A6 - Fuel consumption, combined – 6.9-5.2 l/100km CO₂ emissions, Combined 135-180 g/km *Typical Finance Example: A6 40 TDI 204HP S-tronic SE. OTRP €58,938.00. Deposit [/ Part Exchange] €18,023.78. 36 monthly payments of €549.00. APR 4.9%. Optional Final Payment €25,959.56. Total Cost of Credit €4,959.43 including acceptance fee (€75) and completion fee (€75). No minimum deposit requirement. Finance is provided by way of Hire Purchase Agreement from Volkswagen Financial Services Ireland Limited and is subject to lending criteria. Terms and conditions apply. Volkswagen Financial Services Ireland Limited, trading as Audi Financial Services is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Offers available on new retail orders taken before January 31st 2023. Models shown are for illustrative purposes. Pricing correct as of 02/11/2022.

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