Geneva Motor Show Highlights
Jaguar’s new 3 Series challenger will be called the XE, the firm has revealed. With an all-aluminium monocoque and a new range of engines it is claimed to offer emissions below 100g/km. It’s still a while off though, with a reveal towards the end of this year and full roll out in the middle of 2015.
Audi’s new TT will have emissions as low as 110g/km, when in diesel form. The firm promises the new model will be sportier than the current car (even the diesel does 0-62mph in seven seconds) thanks to new suspension and greater use of aluminium in construction. Visually, there are no real surprises, but then if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it is Audi’s mantra.
The new Twingo was one of the stars of the show. Ridiculously cute, brilliantly packaged (thanks to the engine tucked away under the boot floor) and boasting the turning circle and handling of a gnat, this little Renault has the potential to be a great car.
Skoda’s concept cars have a habit of turning up in production, and so the VisionC five door coupe should be hitting the road within a couple of years. It’s a very good looking car, with Skoda saying design is now a high priority for its models. It’s a very confident brand these days.
Citroen C4 Cactus
In the plastic, the C4 Cactus looks a brilliant car. The Airbumps that protect it flanks are a characterful addition and don’t look too odd either. The cabin is clean and simple and the overall package has a lovely, simple feel to it. If company car drivers take to its innovative combination of practicality and styling it could be a real winner for the brand.
Volkswagen Golf GTE
When the plug-in Golf goes on sale later in the year, it is expected that prices will be about £2,000 higher than the equivalent traditionally-powered model. In this case, that’s the Golf GTD and GTI: although it will do 30 miles on battery power alone, the GTE also has 204bhp.
Mitsubishi, with business booming and a huge new marketing push on the way, is targeting company car drivers with its new plug-in hybrid Outlander PHEV. The firm reckons there will be significant savings in BiK from a car with emissions of only 44g/km and an EV only range of 30 miles. Pricing will be announced in early April, which will be key to its success.
The new S-Class Coupe is a thing of beauty, managing to be both vast and elegant at the same time, which is not always an easy trick. Elsewhere on the stand, the new C-Class is shaping up nicely, and there are rumours a plug-in hybrid is not far off either.
BMW is going launch crazy this year, with new model introductions into double figures. Cars fleets may well be interested in include the Active Tourer MPV, X4 and X6 SUV, 4 Series GT and of course the M3 and M4 if tax saving isn’t high on your priority list.
Peugeot basks in the glory
Peugeot was basking in the glory of its 308 winning European Car of the Year. While there was some harrumphing about its win (especially from those who thought the i3 should have got the prize), there’s no denying that it is a huge leap forward for the firm.
Ford smartens up dealer network
Ford revealed the revised Focus and UK MD Mark Ovenden said the brand dealer network was to get a significant overhaul with a new look and the creation of new Ford Centres, which will be major sites showing every product everything the firm has to offer. It’s a pretty confident place at the moment, and has every right to be.