New Honda HR-V Sport 2019 review

The new Honda HR-V Sport arrives with styling tweaks and 180bhp, but is it worth the extra money?Verdict3It's hard to imagine who this new Honda HR-V Sport is aimed at. Cars like this spend most of their time in town, where our car’s handling and powertrain benefits remain impossible to exploit. The harsh ride will be challenging to live with on all but the flattest and smoothest roads, too. None of this should detract from the fact the HR-V remains a practical small SUV, but, as ever, Continue reading “New Honda HR-V Sport 2019 review”

Tesla starts Hardware 3 rollout: Enhanced Summon, red-light warnings

Tesla Model 3 Enhanced Summon video still [by YouTuber Nagaraj Kelageri]

Like Teslas rolling through parking lots on their own, the self-driving future is inching closer.

This week, Tesla owners began to experience new features of the company’s long-promised next update to its self-driving system, including Enhanced Summon, which is one of the first features of Tesla’s planned Full Self-Driving capability to be enabled. The new features also include warning drivers about upcoming red Continue reading “Tesla starts Hardware 3 rollout: Enhanced Summon, red-light warnings”

Volvo to boost plug-in hybrid production to 25 percent of fleet

2020 Volvo XC90

While other automakers are moving away from plug-in hybrids to electric powertrains, Volvo is finding unexpected success with its lineup of plug-in hybrids.

At a recent roundtable with journalists in Sweden, Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson said the company is disappointed that it underestimated demand for its plug-in hybrids.

DON’T MISS: Volvo XC90, XC60 T8 plug-in hybrids add electric miles for 2020

“We are not happy because we could sell more [plug-in hybrids],” he said, according to Automotive News (subscription required.) “We underestimated the demand.” He said the company did not have a big enough supply of batteries, motors, and other electrical components to build more of its plug-in hybrids, which sell for about 30 percent more than non-hybrid versions of the cars.

Samuelsson said the company will boost its capacity for those plug-in hybrid components for 2019, from its current 10 or 15 percent worldwide, up to 25 percent of its sales.

READ THIS: Audi plans new plug-in hybrid Q5, A6, A7, and A8 for Geneva reveal

Last year in the U.S., Volvo sold a little less than 1,500 XC90 T8 PHEVs, a little more than 2,100 XC60 T8 PHEVs, and fewer than 500 S90 T8 sedans, but it sold almost 27,000 plug-in hybrids in Europe, combined.

At the same time, the company announced an upgrade to upcoming XC60 and XC90 T8 hybrids to boost their plug-in range by about 15 percent.

CHECK OUT: Fiat Chrysler lays groundwork to build electrified Jeep models

The new models haven’t been rated by the EPA, but current models have an estimated 17 miles of electric range, which would put the new ones up around 20 miles. The Volvos use a 2.0-liter turbo-4 and an 8-speed automatic transmission to drive the front wheels, and an electric motor to provide another 87 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels.

Volvo also announced a new B5 line of mild-hybrid SUVs for Europe.

Other automakers, such as Audi, BMW, and Jeep have also announced plans to boost their lineups of plug-in hybrid SUVs, earlier this month at the Geneva auto show, so the new Volvos will have plenty of competition.

Ford Fiesta and Focus to get mild hybrid tech next year

Ford's new range will include a 48-volt mild-hybrid Fiesta and Focus, as well as an electrified version of the Tourneo and Transit van

Ford has announced it will introduce a 48-volt mild-hybrid powertrain for the Fiesta and the Focus hatchbacks next year. The system comprises of a 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost petrol, a belt-driven integrated starter/generator and a 48-volt lithium-ion battery pack.

• Best hybrid cars to buy in 2019

Ford claims the new hybrid powertrain will Continue reading “Ford Fiesta and Focus to get mild hybrid tech next year”

New Tesla Model Y: prices, specs and release date

Barely a fortnight after its release date, Tesla has increased prices by around £760 across the Model Y’s range

The price of the new Tesla Model Y has increased, less than two weeks after its worldwide debut. The company’s online configurator currently lists prices for the ‘Long Range’ version and above, all of which have received a $1,000 (around £760) price-hike. Whether or not the entry level car, priced at $39,000 (roughly £29,500), will be subject to the increase is yet to be Continue reading “New Tesla Model Y: prices, specs and release date”

Fixing roads in England and Wales would cost £10bn

New figures suggest it would cost nearly £10bn to restore roads in England and Wales to a “reasonable, steady state”

It would cost nearly £10bn fix England and Wales’ damaged roads, according to new data.

Figures from the Asphalt Industry Alliance’s (AIA) Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey suggest that the cost of restoring the roads in England and Wales to a “reasonable, steady state” would be approximately £9.79bn – that’s £69.9m per local Continue reading “Fixing roads in England and Wales would cost £10bn”

How Does Your Car Score For Security?

Thatcham Research has launched security ratings to help consumers better understand the theft risk of new cars against a back drop of rising vehicle thefts. The new ratings assess whether measures to specifically address the keyless entry/start vulnerability, have been adopted.

Six of the 11 vehicles launched this year have been given a ‘Poor’ rating as the keyless entry/start system they have as an option has no security measures to prevent theft by criminals using the so-called Continue reading “How Does Your Car Score For Security?”

One-off Ferrari P80/C track only car unveiled

Ferrari’s Styling Centre has built a bespoke track-only supercar, inspired by the 330 P3, built on the same underpinnings as the 488

Ferrari’s in-house Styling Centre, in conjunction with the firm’s own engineering and aerodynamics team, has banded together with an affluent client to create the P80/C. It’s a one-off, bespoke track-only “Hero Car” inspired by the 1960s Ferrari 330 P3 and Dino 206 S.

The project entered its initial design phase in 2015. Using the Ferrari 488 GT3 Continue reading “One-off Ferrari P80/C track only car unveiled”

Best rain repellent screen wash 2019

Which rain repellent screen wash should you put in your reservoir?

Screen wash is motoring essential, shifting bugs and keeping the washer nozzles flowing when the temperature drops. But a growing number of products are adding a rain repellent to help keep screens clear. 

Drivers tend to love or loathe rain repellents. Fans revel in the way water beads away without the need for wipers, while critics dislike the mist-like smear that follows the sweep of the blades. 

If you’re a fan, Continue reading “Best rain repellent screen wash 2019”

New Skoda Octavia SportLine launched with mild styling tweaks

The new Skoda Octavia SportLine is on sale now, with prices starting from £23,870

Skoda has announced the new Octavia SportLine hatch and estate. The models sit below the range-topping Octavia vRS, adding a range of sports-inspired trim, a new body kit and more technology to the SE trim level. Prices start at £25,120 for the base model hatch, rising to £27,860 for the range-topping estate.

Styling revisions over the standard Octavia include a new, gloss black front splitter, a gloss Continue reading “New Skoda Octavia SportLine launched with mild styling tweaks”