Wheels & Deals: All of this week's news from the motoring world

Everything that is making news in the world of cars and motors.

Agera RS is fastest street car

The Koenigsegg Agera RS is now the world’s fastest street-legal car, recording a 277.9mph average over two runs in Nevada.

The hyper-car was driven in opposite directions of an eleven-mile stretch of closed public highway, between Las Vegas and Pahrump, with the Swedish manufacturer’s test driver, Niklas Lilja, reaching 284.55mph and 271.19mph, resulting in a world-record average of 277.9mph.

The previous record was held by the Venom GT, built by Texas-based car-tuning company, Hennessey. That had a two-way average of 270.49mph, achieved on Valentine’s Day, 2014. It narrowly took the record from the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, which had a 269.86mph time.

In footage uploaded to YouTube, the Koenigsegg looks remarkably stable, smashing through the previous record with little fuss.

All eyes will now be on Bugatti, after its recent release of the Chiron supercar.

Having held the record with the Veyron, the French manufacturer is likely cooking up plans to show what its new, 1,480bhp high-performance car can do.

Lamborghini collaboration

The Terzo Millennio is the result of a collaboration between Lamborghini and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The concept car “imagines design and technology theories of tomorrow”, with a focus on next-generation, all-electric propulsion and the use of innovative materials in vehicle construction.

Unlike traditional electric vehicles, the “Third Millennium” uses super-capacitor technology to store energy. The advantages are high-power potential and a long life-cycle. The challenge for the engineers is creating super-capacitors with comparable energy density.

Propulsion comes from four electric motors, one on each wheel, maintaining Lamborghini’s commitment to four-wheel-drive. It also gives designers and aerodynamicists more freedom, as there’s no bulky engine. These are the first steps towards an electric Lamborghini production car.

Perhaps the most sci-fi-like feature is the self-healing bodywork. Lamborghini says it is developing technology that can monitor the carbon-fibre structure, spot cracks, and release “healing chemistries” to repair the damage before it spreads. This allows it to use the lightweight construction in high-stress parts of the car to reduce weight.

Stefano Domenicali, chairman and CEO of Lamborghini, said: “Collaborating with MIT, for our research and development department, is an exceptional opportunity to do what Lamborghini has always been very good at: Rewriting the rules on supercars. Now, we are presenting an exciting and progressive concept car. We are inspired by embracing what is impossible today to craft the realities of tomorrow: Lamborghini must always create the dreams of the next generation.”

The Italian supercar manufacturer’s collaboration with MIT was signed last year, and Lamborghini staff are working with the Dinca Research Lab, and the Mechanosynthesis Group, on radical innovation of future car technologies.

Skoda Karoq to debut

The much-anticipated Škoda Karoq, the second model in the brand’s SUV offensive, will debut on Irish soil this December, with a starting price of €27,715 for the Ambition model.

New technologies on the model range will include a digital information display and a 1.5 TSI petrol engine for the first time in a Škoda.

The Karoq sits just below its bigger brother, the Kodiaq, in the Škoda line-up, giving customers all the space, functionality, and clever features synonymous with the brand.

Škoda boasts of the Karoq’s aggressive stance and off-road character, LED lighting, high-quality materials and precise workmanship.

The optional, Vario-Flex seats can be adjusted forward and back, folded or removed, allowing for the boot capacity to be increased to 1,810 litres. The umbrella beneath the passenger seat and the optional electric tailgate will draw punters.

It is larger than the Yeti, which it replaces: it is 160mm longer, 48mm wider, and the boot capacity has increased by 105 litres. Despite this, the Karoq is actually 13kg lighter than the outgoing Yeti.

Alfa Romeo packages

As the January new car market draws near, Alfa Romeo has announced details of its ‘181 Sales Event’ — available from now until December 31 — which includes personal contract plan (PCP) finance, with an APR rate of just 2.9%, as well as a low-rate hire purchase (HP) finance rate from 0%.

The stunning, new, Stelvio SUV embodies everything a true Alfa Romeo should. It features perfect, 50/50 weight distribution, Alfa Romeo Q4 all-wheel drive architecture, best-in-class power-to-weight ratios and innovative engine and driver technologies.

It is available in dealerships nationwide, with 2.9% APR PCP finance, or from 0% APR HP finance.

Alfa Romeo’s super-mini and hot-hatch, the MiTo and Giulietta, are also on offer with the same terms, as is the adorable Giulia saloon.

For further information on the Alfa Romeo ‘181 sales event’, visit www.alfaromeo.ie, or contact your local, authorised Alfa Romeo dealer.

Polo due next month

The sixth-generation of the Volkswagen Polo will arrive in Ireland next month, in time for 2018 sales, with pricing starting at €16,795, for the 1.0-litre, 65hp Trendline.

Curiously, only left-hand drive models can be seen in the majority of Volkswagen dealers nationwide right now, but don’t let that put you off.

The new Polo is dramatically larger than the car it replaces. It is 81mm longer, has a 92mm longer wheelbase, and has a 71-litre larger luggage capacity than before (351 litres). There is a much more powerful, masculine design to the new car.

Inside, it been developed for the digital era. It is the first car in its class to be offered with the optional active-info display. This replaces the traditional, analogue speedometer and driver cluster with a hi-res, 10.25-inch digital display.

The new Polo is now only available as a five-door model, with a choice of 14 colours and three dashpad colours.

In Ireland, the new Polo is offered in Trendline and Comfortline specification, but there will also be a top-of-the-range GTI version, in early 2018.

The engine range consists of the 1.0-litre, 65 bhp petrol; 1.0-litre, 75 bhp petrol; 1.0-litre, TSI 95 bhp petrol; and two diesels: a 1.6-litre, TDI 80 bhp and a 1.6-litre, TDI 95 bhp. The GTI features a 2.0-litre, TSI petrol engine that outputs — gasp — 200 bhp, which should be fun.

The Trendline model is available with the choice of 1.0-litre, 65 bhp; 1.0-litre 75 bhp; and 1.6-litre 80 bhp, TDI diesel. Standard equipment includes Bluetooth connectivity, 6.5-inch ‘Composition Colour’ radio system with four speakers, a multi-function display, and forward collision warning with autonomous emergency braking. The Trendline model is available with 3.9% APR PCP finance, with monthly payments from €199.

There is also a technology upgrade offer for the Polo Trendline. This includes an upgrade to 15-inch ‘Sassari’ alloy wheels, a multi-function steering wheel, front fog lights, multifunction display, floor mats, and the driver-alert system.

Priced individually, these items cost €861, but are available for just €499 with this offer.

The Polo Comfortline comes with added choice, including a 1.0-litre, TSI 95 bhp petrol (7-speed DSG only) and two, 1.6-litre TDI diesel engines, with either 80 or 95 bhp.

The Comfortline specification starts from €18,695 and, in addition to the Trendline specification, adds items such as a multi-function steering wheel, 15” Sassari alloy wheels, cruise control, eight-inch ‘Composition Media’ radio system with six speakers, App Connect, 2 USB interfaces, and air con. The Comfortline model is available with 1.9% APR PCP finance, with monthly payments from €199.

There is also a technology upgrade available for the Polo Comfortline. Customers can upgrade to 16-inch ‘Las Minas’ alloy wheels, a lights-and-vision pack, park distance control, and the driver alert system, which would cost €1,429 when these items are priced individually, but, with the 181 offer, costs just €499.

At the top of the range, the high-performance, 200hp GTI version costs €32,395 and has a six-speed, DSG transmission. More details on the GTI model will be released next month.

Also, customers who are trading in a Euro 1-4 emissions, standard diesel vehicle, and who want to replace it, can avail of a €1,750 EcoGrant to be used against the purchase of a new Polo.

Mercedes pickup

Mercedes-Benz has appointed seven main dealers to represent the all-new Mercedes-Benz X-Class pickup, sales of which will commence after its introduction to the Irish market, later this month.

They are Sligo-based Connolly Motor Group, Cork Truck Services, Gilmore’s, of Kingscourt, Kinahan Commercials, of Moate, and three Dublin city outlets — MSL Grange, at Pottery Road, Deansgrange; MSL Park Motors, on North Circular Road; and MUTEC, on Long Mile Road.

The first venture by the German luxury car-maker into this popular, light commercial-vehicles segment, the X Class comes with a characteristic SUV appearance, which echoes its passenger-car stablemates.

Its twin-louvre radiator grille, centrally positioned star, and powerfully honed bonnet and headlamps combine to give the raunchy newcomer a distinctly up-market appeal.

Designed to suit all lifestyles and work environments, it comes in three model variants: Pure, a basic variant for classic robust use; Progressive, a crossover variant in terms of quality feel and comfort; and Power, a high-end variant designed for urban lifestyles.

Across all three, owners can choose from nine, attractive exterior colours and from a variety of exclusive 17-, 18- or 19-inch wheel rims. Its premium credentials are seen in its choice of cockpit trim, six seat covers (including two leather options, with contrasting topstitching) and in two roof-lining colours.

That’s the widest choice of materials and colours in this vehicle segment.

BMW price cut

BMW Ireland has announced an unprecedented 9% off every model.

This ‘Sterling Sales Event’ offer is in addition to the lower emissions allowance announced earlier this year by BMW Group Ireland. This gives customers a further €2,000 off any BMW with emissions of 130g/km or less.

The incentive is open to owners of diesel Euro 4 (EU4) emission standard vehicles or lower, who can trade-in their vehicle for a new BMW i, BMW iPerformance model, or low-CO2 emission models.

The promotional offer is available from now until March 31, at BMW retailers nationwide.

For example, the BMW 530e SE plug-in hybrid model now comes with €5,711 off the list price, €7,500 off in SEAI grants and VRT rebates, plus a potential €2,000, with the lower-emissions allowance dropping the price of this model to €48,249 (RRP).

All models are offered with BMW select finance, with rates as little as 4.9%. BMW select finance guarantees the minimum value of a BMW under BMW Select, a personal contact-plan finance (PCP) agreement.

The offer is timely for customers looking at the All-New BMW X3, one of the most advanced SUVs on the road. This new model arrives at BMW retail outlets from today, November 11.

A new, 2.0-litre petrol engine is offered, alongside the familiar diesel, plus a new performance flagship, the M40i — the first-ever M Performance vehicle in the X3 line-up.

Promotional discounts on this model range from €5,196 to €7,648 for the limited period.



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