Wheels and Deals: Your motoring news round-up

SPORTY STYLE

Wheels and Deals: Your motoring news round-up

Safety has been a key priority in the development of the new Discovery Sport, resulting in a first-in-class pedestrian airbag, autonomous emergency braking, and a state-of-the-art bodyshell featuring both ultra-high-strength steel and lightweight aluminium.

This represents a fraction of the advanced equipment available in Discovery Sport, which also includes Head-Up Display, an all-new 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and tilt-and-slide row-two seating for maximum interior configurability.

At launch the Discovery Sport will be equipped with a range of four-cylinder turbocharged petrol and diesel engines. Both the all-alloy Si4 2.0-litre petrol engine and the 2.2-litre turbodiesel feature stop-start technology, high-pressure direct injection, low-friction internal components and smart regenerative charging for outstanding performance and economy.

Later in 2015, a highly efficient ED4 turbodiesel engine will join the range with CO2 emissions of just 119g/km. Both 9-speed automatic and 6-speed manual transmissions are available, along with a choice of two- or four-wheel-drive. Discovery Sport will be produced at the Land Rover plant at Halewood, Liverpool. It goes on sale in Ireland in early 2015 alongside the existing seven-seat Land Rover Discovery.

HONDA SUV

Honda has revealed the first images of the European version of its small SUV ahead of its world premiere at the 2014 Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris next month. The HR-V is Honda’s new entry into Europe’s fast-growing small SUV segment.

The unique exterior design of the new HR-V prototype echoes that of a coupé, with sharp, dynamic lines that link the sleek upper body with the stable and planted lower body. This coupé-like elegance is achieved without compromising the interior practicality of the car. The HR-V features a centre fuel tank location to create a spacious and adaptable small SUV cabins. Further details of the European HR-V will be announced in October.

DACIA BOOST

The Renault Group, after its best July on record here in Ireland, followed that up with an excellent August, coming in at number two in the passenger car market.

Dacia, Ireland’s fastest growing car brand saw an increase of 5.3% in market share in August, trending ahead of many well-known and established brands.

Dacia was the best-selling brand in Co Cork during the month and the company’s Duster was the best-selling passenger car in August, coming in at number one in Counties Mayo, Westmeath and Wexford. Almost 800 Dacia have been sold since the start of the new registration year. Renault reached number one in Laois, Kildare, Limerick, Louth and Meath with Captur the best seller. Renault Captur was also the best-selling car in Carlow.

The marque’s range of award winning LCVs continued to perform well in August with a 5.1% share.

Renault Finance lent over €4.5 million to Renault and Dacia individual and business customers last month, a 34% increase on the same month last year.

AUDI REVAMP 

Audi has thoroughly updated the A6 family with new engines, transmissions and headlights, plus a new infotainment system making both saloon and Avant versions more efficient, more powerful and more attractive.

The A6 allroad quattro and the S6, S6 Avant and RS 6 sport models have also been revamped and now feature numerous upgrades. Sharp lines, emphasised horizontals, athletically taut surfaces — the design of the new A6 epitomises precision and sporty elegance. Audi says it was carefully honed as part of the model refresh, with changes made to the single frame grille, headlights, air inlets, bumpers, side sills, rear lights and tailpipes. Audi optionally offers headlights with LED technology or Matrix LED technology, combined with dynamic turn signals.

The engine line-up for the new A6 and A6 Avant includes three TFSI units with output ranging between 190 bhp and 333 bhp and five TDI units ranging from 150 bhp to 326 bhp. The top petrol engine, the 3.0 TFSI, has been comprehensively revised. The engine developers have also redesigned numerous aspects of the 3.0 TDI clean diesel, which is available with either 218 bhp or 272 bhp. The 3.0 TDI clean diesel BiTurbo produces 320 bhp.

The high-performance diesel is paired with an eight-speed tiptronic. All other engine variants work together with a newly designed six-speed manual transmission. In the versions with front-wheel drive, a fully redeveloped dual-clutch transmission replaces the multitronic. In engine configurations starting at 272 bhp, quattro permanent all-wheel drive can be supplemented with the sport differential, which actively distributes power between the rear wheels.

Delivery of the new Audi A6 family will begin in Q4/2014. Irish pricing will be confirmed later this month.

SWIFT SUCCESS 

Suzuki’s Swift, which was launched as a world strategic model in 2004, reached cumulative worldwide sales of four million units in August, some nine years and nine months since it went on sale.

The Swift was first produced in Japan in 2004 and the following year, production and distribution began in Hungary, India, and China. Full-model change was made in 2010, and production and distribution also began in Thailand in March 2012.

Especially in Ireland, the Swift has been close a winner ever since the launch of the original SA model in 1984. The current model, launched in 2005 has sold more than 4,500 units in Ireland and continues to be a favourite on Irish roads.

The Swift has earned high praise, winning the Irish Car of the Year in 2006, along with various ‘car of the year’ awards in Japan, as well as in countries worldwide. It is currently produced in eight countries, and has been sold in more than 140 countries and regions around the world.

PEUGEOT GT

Peugeot has announced a new GT version of the award-winning 308 which will debut at the Paris Motor Show and go on sale next year.

Available in both hatchback and SW body styles, the new 308 GT will have a unique design with the iconic Peugeot Lion emblem being moved from the bonnet’s leading edge to the front grille, with three horizontal blades on either side.

Visibly widened by its side sill finishers, the 308 GT sits on 18-inch ‘Diamant’ wheels, shod with Michelin Pilot Sport 3 tyres. Their fluted spokes and engraved motif are exclusive to the 308 GT. For optimum vision in all circumstances, the 308 GT has been fitted with top-of-the-range headlights made up of 62 LEDs. Exclusive new direction indicators also distinguish the 308 GT from other models.

The range of colours for the 308 GT includes the new and exclusive ‘Magnetic Blue’. Evocative of the blue historically reserved for French competition vehicles, this bold shade suits the car’s fluid and dynamic lines, while emphasising its lowered ride height.

The Peugeot 308 GT engine range comprises a 1.6-litre petrol THP 205 bhp Stop Start engine matched to a six-speed manual gearbox returning 130g CO2/km and 5.6 l/100 km (50.4 mpg) for the Hatchback or 134g CO2/km and 5.8 l/100 km (48.7 mpg) for the SW and a 2.0-litre BlueHDi 180 bhp engine with an EAT6 six-speed automatic gearbox, returning 103g CO2/km and 4.0 l/100km (70.6 mpg) for the Hatchback or 107g CO2/km and 4.1 l/100km (68.9 mpg) for the SW.

To deliver maximum enjoyment, the 308 GT features enhanced new chassis settings. Ride height has been lowered by 7mm at the front and 10mm at the rear for a more dynamic drive.

The 308 GT’s suspension set-up (pseudo MacPherson at the front, deformable beam at the rear) has been given specific settings to suit the engines and the spirit of the car.

The all-new Peugeot 308 GT range will be officially unveiled at the Paris Motor Show next month, and is available to order in November when full specification and prices will be announced, with deliveries commencing at the beginning of January, 2015.

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