Ford Mustang Bullitt

Ford Mustang Bullitt For Europe

The Ford Mustang Bullitt will go into production for customers in Europe from June.

When this special edition of the famous pony car was first revealed at the Detroit Auto Show in January, it was not known if it would reach Europe so this is good news for European Mustang fans.

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the legendary Warner Bros. film starring Steve McQueen, the new Ford Mustang Bullitt special edition features Ford’s 5.0-litre V8 engine enhanced to deliver an anticipated 464PS and 529Nm of torque.

The new Ford Mustang Bullitt also introduces new rev-matching technology for seamless gear changes accompanied by a “blip” of the engine when downshifting, and an active valve performance exhaust system enhances the V8’s signature sound.

This Bullitt edition is offered with a choice of Shadow Black or classic Dark Highland Green.

“Our special edition new Ford Mustang Bullitt evokes a unique heritage we’re proud to share with the McQueen family, and are excited to offer for customers in Europe for the first time," said Steven Armstrong, group vice president and president, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Ford Motor Company.

Special edition styling includes 19-inch Torq Thrust-style wheels, red Brembo™ brake callipers and a faux Bullitt fuel-filler cap. The interior features Recaro sports seats, and each Ford Mustang Bullitt will have an individually numbered plaque in place of the traditional Mustang emblem on the passenger-side dashboard. As a nod to the original car’s interior, the gear shifter features a white cue ball gearshift knob.

Ford’s 12-inch all-digital LCD instrument cluster and B&O PLAY audio system delivering 1,000 watts through 12 high-performance speakers will also be included.


Honda Urban EV concept

Orders For Honda Urban EV Will Begin In Early 2019

Honda has confirmed at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show that order books for a production version of the Honda Urban EV Concept will open in early 2019.

Speaking during Honda’s 2018 Geneva motor show press conference, Senior Vice President, Honda Motor Europe, Philip Ross confirmed the news, “A production version of this highly acclaimed concept will be introduced to Europe during late 2019, and in response to the positive feedback to this model, we expect to open order banks for the Urban EV during early 2019.”

The Honda Urban EV Concept previews Honda’s first mass-produced battery electric vehicle sold in Europe.


2019 Toyota Auris

Toyota Begins Phasing Out Diesel Cars

Toyota will phase out diesel engines from all its passenger cars in 2018 due to strong customer demand for hybrid versions of its core models.

Similar to the Toyota C-HR, the next generation Toyota Auris will be offered with petrol and hybrid variants only.

In 2017, hybrids represented 41% of Toyota's total sales, rising by 38% year-on-year to 406,000 units.

In contrast, Toyota’s diesel mix on passenger cars was less than 10% globally in 2017.

Toyota says that they will continue to offer diesel engines in commercial vehicles (Hilux, Proace and Land Cruiser) to meet customer needs.

Johan van Zyl, President and CEO of Toyota Motor Europe commented: "Toyota has been pioneering Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) technology for more than 20 years. For several years, HEV versions have been the dominant powertrain where offered.

In our latest new model, the Toyota C-HR, HEVs accounted for 78% of sales last year.

As part of our electrified vehicle strategy, we are progressively expanding our HEV offering with a second, more powerful 2.0l engine. Starting with the new generation Auris, this expanded HEV line-up is a natural reaction to our passenger car customers’ demands.

Toyota’s HEV mix in passenger cars already equalled our diesel mix in 2015. Since then, HEV sales substantially exceed our diesel sales. In commercial vehicles, where personal & business needs (e.g. Torque & Payload) remain, we will continue to offer the latest technology diesels.”

Comment from Toyota Ireland

In Ireland, diesel passenger car sales have seen a 17% decline year on year between January 2017 and January 2018, and Toyota Ireland’s diesel car sales are now at only 20% of its overall mix, compared to 60% two years ago.

In contrast, hybrid electric cars now represent almost 50% of Toyota Ireland’s car sales mix.

Giving Toyota Ireland’s perspective on the announcement, Steve Tormey, CEO of Toyota Ireland said, “I am proud to be in the driver’s seat of a company that is willing to make the difficult decision to lead the Irish market out of diesel and help deliver cleaner air quality for our future and that of our children’s’ children."

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten said, “I welcome Toyota’s leadership on this. As a country we have no option but to move towards a zero emissions vehicle society to help protect our environment, improve our health and to ensure the next generation doesn’t suffer from complacency or inaction now. Climate change requires all of us to make changes and Toyota’s initiative will significantly help lead us on our low-carbon journey.”


Volvo XC40, 2018 European Car of the Year

Volvo XC40 Wins 2018 European Car Of The Year

The new Volvo XC40 has been named the 2018 European Car of the Year. The small SUV from Volvo won with a healthy lead of 325 points over the SEAT Ibiza with 242 points, and the BMW 5-Series with 226 points.

This is the first time that Volvo has won this prestigious award.

The Volvo XC40's quality, looks, ruggedness and safety impressed Jury members.

“Winning this award with our new XC40 is perfect timing,” said Håkan Samuelsson, President and CEO of Volvo Cars. “Volvo now has three globally available SUVs in its range for the first time. The XC40 will be a strong contributor to further growth, taking us into a new and fast-growing small SUV segment.”

The Volvo XC40 is the first model on Volvo Cars’ new compact modular vehicle architecture (CMA), which will underpin all upcoming cars in the 40 series, including fully electrified vehicles.

“We have a clear strategy for growth and we are committed to leading in automotive safety, connectivity services and electrification,” said Håkan Samuelsson. “The XC40 reflects that commitment, and looking at the response from our customers and from the Car of the Year jury here today, we are on the right track.”

The Volvo XC40 is on sale in Ireland now. For more information visit Volvo's website.


Richard Wright Car Photography

'Beast From The East' Car Photography

Richard Wright is a documentary photographer based in County Meath, Ireland. In this series of photos, the 21 year old documents his friends and their cars during the recent snowstorm that hit Ireland and Europe dubbed the 'Beast from the East'.

"These photographs are an accurate representation of the motor culture in County Meath," says Richard.

Richard says his photography has brought him across the world, most recently to India to cover the daily life of Indian citizens.

"In my photography, I focus mainly on people and their culture and emotion. I become deeply intrigued by different cultures and the emotional result," says Richard.

Here is a selection of Richard's car photography from the 'Beast from the East'.

Richard Wright Car Photography
(l-r) Ford Focus, Volkswagen Jetta and Opel Corsa. Friends arrive one by one to a quiet car park in Athboy, Co. Meath.

 

Richard Wright Car Photography
'DARE' alloy wheels on Matthew's Volkswagen Jetta, filled with snow and glistening in the morning sunlight.

 

Richard Wright Car Photography
Nathan's BMW 3 Series

 

Richard Wright Car Photography
Matthew's Volkswagen Jetta in motion

 

Richard Wright Car Photography
Waiting out the storm

 

Richard Wright Car Photography
The friends driving in convoy

 

Richard Wright Car Photography
Jack's Opel Corsa returns to the original meeting place

To see more of Richard's work, click here.

@richywright_ie


Electronomous Car Tech Summit 2018

Electronomous 2018 Car Tech Summit In Killarney

An international line-up of experts from the automotive and technology industries will gather in Killarney, Ireland, this May for Electronomous 2018 Car Tech Summit.

Electronomous is an annual forum for discussion on topics including electric vehicles, connected car technology, autonomous vehicles, cyber security and more.

The conference, organised by vehicle history and data expert Cartell.ie, will discuss how technology is changing all aspects of the automotive world including the rapid development of mobility solutions, as well as other key industry processes such as insurance, finance and sales.

The main attraction of Electronomous is a panel of globally-renowned speakers, including Marcus Rothoff, Head of Volvo’s Autonomous Driving programme; Uwe Puetzschler, Head of Car2X at Nokia; Barry Napier, CEO of Cubic Telecom; and Gareth Dunsmore, Electric Vehicle Director with Nissan Europe, to name just a few.

The event will be hosted by Quentin Wilson, former ‘Top Gear’ presenter and motoring journalist.

According to Jeff Aherne, Director of Cartell.ie: “Technology is disrupting all aspects of the motor industry. Electric is replacing combustion and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) are paving the way to Autonomy. This is an opportunity for all those with an interest in the space to understand what is coming”.

Commenting on the event, Quentin Wilson said: “Electronomous is a major future transport event with industry-leading speakers, experts and fascinating debates. If you’re interested in the new era of personal mobility – it’s unmissable.”

Some of the confirmed attendees for Electronomous 2018 include Volkswagen, IBM, Toyota, BMW, Honda, Applegreen, Valeo, TomTom, Audatex, the European Council for Automotive R&D (EUCAR) and the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The 300km 'Electric Drive'

The event will begin with a high-profile ‘Electric Drive’ from Dublin to Killarney on the afternoon of 2 May, with broadcaster Kirsteen O’Sullivan leading a fleet of electric vehicles on a 300km road trip in the company of motoring journalists and special guests. The drive will give members of the public a chance to see the range and capabilities of EVs for themselves.

Electronomous will also feature a series of pop-up ‘Tell Talks’ over the course of the event, offering a deep dive into a range of automotive / technology issues in the company of international experts.

Electronomous 2018 takes place at the INEC, Killarney, Co. Kerry, on 2-3 May 2018.

Tickets are available from www.electronomous.com

For a limited time only, Electronomous 2018 tickets are available for €300 + VAT per person (to include access to the 1.5 day event and all other associated events including the Evening Summit Dinner on May 2 at the Brehon Hotel).


Jaguar I-PACE

All-new Jaguar I-PACE Revealed In Full

Jaguar has revealed their new Jaguar I-PACE, all-electric SUV in full. Designed from the outset as an electric vehicle (EV), Jaguar says the new I-PACE offers aero-efficient design and interior space for five adults and luggage.

The new Jaguar I-PACE should hit roads this summer.

The new I-PACE is all wheel drive, while 400hp and 696Nm deliver 0 to 100kmh in 4.5 seconds.

A 90kWh Lithium-ion battery delivers up to 386 kilometres, with EV navigation to ensure range-optimised routing.

The new Jaguar I-PACE has a bespoke EV aluminium architecture that they say delivers Jaguar’s most rigid body structure with 50:50 weight distribution.

The I-PACE will be able to receive wireless over-the-air updates to ensure the car always have the latest software. The I-PACE will also be the first Jaguar to use the new Touch Pro Duo infotainment system.

The I-PACE joins the Jaguar F-PACE and E-Pace in Jaguar's SUV family.


Alfa Romeo Stelvio and Giulia Quadrifoglio Nurburgring

Alfa Romeo Stelvio And Giulia Quadrifoglio Nring

At this year's Geneva Motor Show, Alfa Romeo will reveal new Nürburgring Editions of the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio and Giulia Quadrifoglio.

Each car will be badged “NRING” and just 108 of each will be made, one for each year of the history of Alfa Romeo. The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio Nring and Giulia Quadrifoglio Nring have been created to celebrate the records recorded by Alfa Romeo on the legendary German race track.

The Alfa Romeo Stelvio holds the record for the fastest SUV in its segment, with a lap time of 7 minutes, 51.7 seconds.

The Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio is the record-holder for standard production four-door saloon, with a lap time of 7 minutes 32 seconds.

The new limited editions have exclusive contents, including a numbered badge in the carbon fibre dashboard insert and a Circuito Grey livery, exclusive to this limited edition.

Building on the standard Quadrifoglio specification, the “NRING”special series includes carbon-ceramic brakes, Sparco racing seats with red stitching and carbon shell structure, Mopar® automatic transmission knob with carbon insert, leather and Alcantara steering wheel with carbon inserts as standard. The front badge and the mirror caps are made of carbon fibre, like the side skirt inserts, while tinted windows, active cruise control, Harman Kardon premium audio package, and AlfaTM Connect 3D Nav infotainment system with 8.8-inch screen, Apple CarPlayTM, Android AutoTM and DAB complete the package.

The Giulia version also includes a new bare carbon roof.


Hyundai Kona Electric

New Hyundai Kona Electric On The Way

The new Hyundai Kona Electric will have a range of up to 470km

Hyundai has released details of the new Hyundai Kona Electric, "the first fully-electric subcompact SUV on the European market".

The new Hyundai Kona Electric will be available with two different powertrains. The long-range battery version provides driving range of up to 470 kilometres, with maximum power of 204hp. The system has 395Nm of torque and 0 to 100 kmh is 7.6 seconds.

The more basic version drives up to 300 kilometres on a single charge, with 135hp.

The battery packs will not compromise the cabin space because of the Kona's new specially designed platform. The Kona EV sits a little higher than the standard Kona and it's also a small bit longer. The boot is 332 litres, including storage of the charging cable.

Technology on board Kona Electric

The Hyundai Kona Electric has a shift-by-wire operation gear control which enables operation of the car simply by pressing buttons to switch driving modes.

An adjustable regenerative braking system allows the driver to adjust the intensity of the regenerative braking by using the paddle shifts behind the steering wheel. The system recuperates additional energy when possible.

A seven-inch supervision cluster gives information about the car’s driving performance and a head-up display sits in the driver's direct line of sight.

The Hyundai Kona Electric is equipped with Hyundai's latest active safety and driving assistance technologies, called SmartSense. Some of the aids include Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Detection including Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist, Driver Attention Warning and Speed Limit Information Function.

The Korean brand already markets the Hyundai Ioniq Electric in Ireland, an-all electric hatchback.

Finally, we don't know yet when the Hyundai Kona Electric will arrive in Ireland, but check www.hyundai.ie for more information.

Thinking of buying a Kona? Read my review of the Hyundai Kona 1.6 petrol.


Skoda Octavia

Ireland's New Car Registrations In February 2018

Official statistics released today by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) show that total new car registrations for the month of February were steady. The month finished with 17,081 new cars registered compared to 17,089 in February 2017.

New cars registrations year to date are down 3.5% on the same period last year at 54,143 vs 56,092 in 2017.

The Commercial Vehicle sector showed a mixed result between Light and Heavy Commercial Vehicle registrations. New Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) registrations were up 6.13% (2,634) on February 2017 (2,487) and year to date are up 6% (9,356).

New Heavy Commercial Vehicles (HGV) have declined 10% for the month of February (243) compared to the same month last year (270) and are down 11% (646) year to date.

Used car imports have increased by 14.4% in February 2018 (8,903), and year to date are 17.3% (17,964) ahead of 2017 (15,317).

Alan Nolan, SIMI Director General, said "New car registrations for the month of February delivered a steady performance when compared with the same month last year, however registrations overall remaining 3.5% down year to date. The increase in the light commercial vehicle sector reflects the strong economic growth for businesses, particularly in the local economy, while HGVs which may be more impacted by Brexit concerns, remain down 11%. The Brexit impact is also visible in the continued growth in used car imports which were 15.7% up in February."

Diesel market share is continuing to move back toward more traditional levels in new car sales, having reached an artificially high peak of 73% in 2014. So far in 2018, diesel accounts for 57% of the market. As a consequence of this shift, the average CO2 emissions for new cars registered this year have increased by 2.1%."

What were the bestselling brands and models?

The top five bestselling car brands so far in 2018 are Toyota, Hyundai, Volkswagen, Ford and Nissan.

The top five bestselling car model’s so far in 2018 are the Hyundai Tucson, Nissan Qashqai, Ford Focus, Skoda Octavia and Volkswagen Golf.

The bestselling car in February 2018 was the Skoda Octavia.

Audi is Ireland's bestselling premium brand, and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class is the best selling premium car so far in 2018.