I will try my best to provide detailed info on various cars and what is like to live with them, I have already produced a few for Jaguar-car-forums, I will do my best to be unbiased, but it will be hard for some cars. I will re-produce press releases and copy from other motoring news.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

And the Yeti makes three - thats three Monte Carlo Special Editions.

  • ŠKODA Yeti Monte Carlo is available now, priced from £24,390
  • Standard features include signature black roof, black detailing on spoiler and front grille and black door mirrors
  • ŠKODA Monte Carlo range now comprises Fabia, Citigo and Yeti models
ŠKODA has announced full specification and prices for the eagerly anticipated Yeti Monte Carlo. It’s a distinctive and sophisticated addition to the compact SUV range, and packed with desirable extras.
Lining up alongside popular Monte Carlo models of the ŠKODA Fabia and Citigo, the name badge celebrates the Czech brand’s long and successful heritage in global stage rallies.
The ŠKODA Yeti Monte Carlo is based on the equipment levels of SE trim level, but offers customers a long list of added design, comfort and convenience features. The generous additional spec includes the striking Monte Carlo signature black roof with black detailing on the front grille and spoiler, rear diffuser, door mirrors and 17-inch ‘Origami’ alloy wheels.

Black-tinted front fog lights are also included, as are bi-xenon headlights with cornering function and dynamic angle control. Inside, cars come with a three-spoke leather ‘Supersport’ multi-function steering wheel, sports seats with unique Monte Carlo upholstery and exclusive design detailing on the door sills, instrument cluster and floor mats.
TheŠKODA YetiMonte Carlo is available with a 2.0-litre TDI CR 170PS DPF diesel engine, with 4x4 transmission as standard. Customers can choose between a six-speed manual or DSG sequential automatic gearbox, priced £24,390 and £25,490 respectively.
The manual version returns fuel economy of 49.6mpg, with 149 g/km of CO2 emissions and a 0-62mph time of 8.4 seconds. Figures for the DSG are 44.8 mpg, 164 g/km and 8.6 seconds.
The ŠKODA Yeti Monte Carlo is available in black, red, white, silver or grey.

Mini and JustPark to launch new App for easier parking.

  • Motorists currently waste 106 days of their lives searching for a spot
  • New App linked to 100,000 parking places across the UK
  • MINI owners can download App from Apple App Store now
JustPark, the online service that lets you park wherever and whenever, has revealed that MINI will be the first car brand in the world to allow drivers to reserve parking directly from their dashboards.
Using the app, JustPark-registered drivers can find, book and navigate to a parking space, choosing from over 100,000 spaces across the UK.
Integrating the complete parking process into the vehicle’s navigation system for the first time, the free-to-download JustPark app eliminates the time spent circling the streets looking for a suitable spot, an inconvenience that costs the average driver 106 days of their life.

How does it work?
Using the app, drivers can choose whether to input their final destination or search for parking around them while on the go. Drivers then browse a selection of convenient parking spaces, from car parks and hotels to homes and pubs. They can explore location details, pricing and reviews left by previous drivers.

Once drivers have chosen and paid for a space, they are directed to their destination by the car’s navigation system. The app is designed to be used while on the move, having undergone extensive safety testing by BMW laboratories in Munich.
JustPark and BMW
The app is the latest product of the partnership between JustPark and BMW i Ventures, the venture capital arm of BMW that invests in startups working to improve mobility in urban areas and took a strategic stake in JustPark – formerly known as ParkatmyHouse – in 2011.

JustPark founder, Anthony Eskinazi, said: “In 2014, no driver should have to experience the stress and uncertainty of circling the streets for that elusive parking space. JustPark gives drivers the convenience of finding and reserving an affordable parking space in moments. Just as we use apps to order taxis and takeaways, parking is finally being brought out of the dark ages.”
Chris Brownridge, Director for MINI UK, added: “MINI Connected is all about helping owners to interact with the outside world whilst on the move. Not only does our in-car system allow people to talk, listen and engage in a convenient way, but now it also helps them to find a place to park.”
He continued: “The JustPark functionality – which is a world-first for MINI – will make securing a convenient parking place in our busy towns and cities a breeze.”
JustPark has also today announced that it has secured an investment from Index Ventures, the investor who has backed many of today’s leading online brands including BlaBlaCar, Just-Eat and King.

HPI calls for car dealers to be ready for DVLA changes

As of 1 October 2014, the Driving Vehicle and Licensing Agency (DVLA) will make the widely publicised move from paper tax discs to online. Vehicle information provider, HPI, is warning dealers to ensure they don’t get caught out with fines for a car they no longer have on their forecourts.
After the paper tax disc is abolished, dealers will no longer be able to purchase vehicles with a tax disc in force; tax discs will not be transferable when a vehicle is sold. Dealers can either use trade plates, provided that the vehicle is used within the conditions for use of trade plates, or obtain new vehicle tax, if the vehicle needs to be registered in a dealership’s name.

Dealers and vehicle testers still need to apply and pay for a new trade licence once it needs renewing, but there will no longer be a paper trade licence to display with the trade plate. The new rules no longer require a trade licence holder to display a trade licence, however the rules for trade plates will not change in October.
The new rules also put the onus on used car sellers to inform the DVLA, when they sell their vehicle.  Importantly, under the new rules, used car sellers, including motor dealers are responsible for notifying the DVLA and then they will receive a refund for any months left on the vehicle tax. Dealers who fail to inform the DVLA, could be fined and they will still be liable for vehicle tax on a car they don’t even own anymore.
Car owners still need to have vehicle tax to drive or keep a vehicle on the road, but now the DVLA is taking payments online, including Direct Debit payment options or motorists can visit their local Post Office branch. Instead of using paper tax discs to spot tax evaders, police cameras will automatically check a car’s number plate.
Phil Peace, Commercial Operations Director for HPI comments, “We remind motor traders to always send the V5C to the DVLA, rather than relying on the buyer to do it. And always apply for a Certificate of Destruction (CoD) from an authorised treatment facility (ATF) for vehicles that are scrapped. We’re hoping that the new DVLA initiatives will make it harder for drivers to head out on the road untaxed. It’s easy to check if a vehicle is taxed by heading online at the Vehicle Enquiry Service, making this the first step for dealers and consumers alike who want to avoid the risk of fines.”

Next gen Bugatti veyron may be too powerful to register top speed !

The successor to Bugatti’s iconic Veyron hypercar could feature performance credentials so wild that its top speed will be difficult to prove, according to an exclusive report in Autocar today.
Bugatti insiders have revealed to the world’s oldest and most respected motoring magazine that the new model, slated to go on sale in 2016, could have a top speed of 286mph and a 0-62mph time of 2.3sec, if current computer simulations are to be believed.
The car will feature a hybrid powertrain based on the same quad-turbocharged 8.0-litre W16 engine featured in the Veyron, and will generate close to 1500bhp.

The nine-year-old Veyron’s top speed of 268mph was already a challenge to prove, due to the limitations of its Michelin road tyres; Autocar believes that, unless tyre technology has advanced sufficiently, the rubber could disintegrate before the new vehicle reaches maximum speed.
Autocar road test editor Matt Prior said: “Even though aerodynamic drag increases at the square of speed, if you up the power enough, it’s entirely feasible that Bugatti could find another 18mph for the taking in the Veyron’s successor.
“But we’re well into the realms of academia now. Making a road car that can do 286mph is one thing; making a road car do it on road tyres is rather more difficult.”
A full report on Bugatti’s Veyron heir can be found in today’s edition of Autocar or by visiting the website at http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/new-cars/bugatti-plans-new-286mph-1479bhp-veyron-successor.
The new vehicle is being built around a carbonfibre monocoque, like its predecessor. It will seat two in what is planned to be a highly luxurious cabin, complete with all the very latest in connectivity technology.
The heavily revised powertrain receives electric assistance, while drive is channelled to all four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox and multi-plate-clutch four-wheel drive system.
Originally launched in 2005, there are only 15 Veyrons left to be sold. As with the Veyron, the new car’s production will be limited to around 450 units.

Skoda Citigo Monte Carlo added to Motability line up.

  • Well equipped, stylish, Citigo Monte Carlo added to ŠKODA’s Motability offer
  • Fuel economy of up 62.8mpg coupled with CO2 emissions as low as 105g/km
  • Nil Advance Payments
  • New-look ŠKODA Motability website provides model-specific information and offers
ŠKODA UK’s special edition Citigo Monte Carlo is now available on the Motability scheme for the first time. Originally introduced on the Fabia to celebrate 100 years of the Monte Carlo rally, the Monte Carlo name has become a firm favourite in the ŠKODA range.
The Citigo Monte Carlo, based on the SE model, has been given a trendy new look thanks to a black trim that includes 15-inch alloy wheels, door mirror covers, front and rear spoilers and grille. These details are complimented by lowered suspension for a more stylish stance on the road. Inside, the Citigo Monte Carlo gains polished metal kick plates and a leather sports steering wheel, handbrake lever and gear lever gaiter. Customers gain Bluetooth connectivity, satellite navigation and trip computer plus floor mats with red stitching and a gloss black dashboard pad with MC logo.

The Citigo Monte Carlo is available in three- and five-door forms and is available on the Motability scheme with nil advanced payment.
Power for the Citigo Monte Carlo comes from an efficient 1.0-litre 60PS engine which is capable of 62.8mpg and emits just 105g/km of CO2.
More information is available at SKODA UK’s recently upgraded Motability website (www.skoda.co.uk/motability). The site supplies dedicated offers and product information for each model available on the scheme, in addition to a downloadable Motability Price Guide.
Andy Thomas, Sales Operations – Rental and Motability Manager at ŠKODA UK, comments: “The Citigo Monte Carlo is a very attractive, well-equipped, proposition for the right person and adds to our already popular Monte Carlo line-up.”

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Ford continues to be market leader for nearly 50 years.

UK market leader Ford has secured the two top sales positions for cars and commercial vehicles in July and for the year to date.
According to the official figures for the first half of 2014 from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT):
  • Ford Fiesta and Focus are the number one and two best-selling cars
  • Ford Transit and Transit Custom are number one and two best-selling CVs
  • Transit is Britain’s fifth best-selling nameplate, ahead of many top-selling cars
  • Ford’s year to date lead in total vehicle sales exceeds 63,000
Mark Ovenden, Ford of Britain chairman and managing director, said:  "Ford is in its 38th consecutive year of car sales leadership and its 49th consecutive year for commercial vehicles.  Ford Fiesta and Focus and Ford Transit and Transit Custom are at the core of this achievement but our extended Ford CV family and the introduction of new car models, the latest of which is the EcoSport, with, Edge, Mustang and Vignale to come, provide a basis for attracting many new customers and building on our leadership position.

“Delivering this success will rely on the continued support of our dealer partners, who make up the strongest network in the UK, as well as the company’s commitment to these new models and technologies.”
The official figures released by the SMMT today show that total car sales in July were up 6.6 per cent at 172,907, compared with July 2013. Ford’s July car sales were 23,647.  For the year to date (end July) total UK car sales were 1,460,172, up 10.1 per cent compared with the same period in 2013, while Ford car sales for this period were 197,201, up from 188,993.
With total registrations of 81,236 for the year to date, up 9.1 per cent compared with the same period in 2013, the Ford Fiesta was the UK best seller – more than 31,000 sales and 2.1 percentage points of market share ahead of its nearest non-Ford rival.
The Ford Kuga is Ford’s third best-selling model, after the Fiesta and Focus.  With sales of 2,154 in July, it secured 1.2 per cent of the total car market, up from 0.7 per cent in 2013.  With the Ford EcoSport now on sale and the launch of the Ford Edge due in 2015, Ford’s presence in this expanding sector is set to grow further.   
The strength in depth of Ford’s car range is further demonstrated by Fiesta, Focus, C-MAX and Galaxy all leading their segments in July while B-MAX and Kuga were second in segment.
UK commercial vehicle (CV) sales for the year to date were 203,965, up 12.8 per cent, compared with the same period in 2013.  Total sales and share of Ford CVs were up for July and for the year to date, compared with 2013, at 7,137 and 24.9 per cent and 46,223 and 22.7 per cent, respectively.
Ford medium commercial sales, headed by the industry-leading Ford Transit and Ford Transit Custom, reached 37,692 for the year to date up from 35,194.  Ford light commercial sales for the same period are up from 6,393 to 8,531, benefitting from the recent launches of the Ford Transit Connect and the Ford Transit Courier that are part of the extended Ford Transit family and, in this sector, join the segment-leading Ford Fiesta Van.

TMW - Its that time of the month - UK JULY 2014 sales figures


JUNE 2013 1155 sales - JUNE 2014 1352 sales +17.06%
YTD 2013 9813 sales - YTD 2014 11178 sales +13.91%


JUNE 2013 3459 sales - JUNE 2014 3722 sales +7.60%
YTD 2013 33579 sales - YTD 2014 33741 sales +0.48%



JUNE 2013 9390 sales - JUNE 2014 9955 sales +18.65%
YTD 2013 73604 sales - YTD 2014 85077 sales +15.59%


JUNE 2013 7673 sales - JUNE 2014 8404 sales +9.53%
YTD 2013 62310sales - YTD 2014 72270 sales +16.89%


JUNE 2013 692 sales - JUNE 2014 731 sales +5.64%
YTD 2013 4806 sales - YTD 2014 6362 sales +32.38%


JUNE 2013 10761 sales - JUNE 2014 12032 sales +11.81%
YTD 2013 84528 sales - YTD 2014 95793 sales +13.33%


ABARTH +12.14%
BENTLEY +27.92%
CITROEN +1.55%
DACIA +73.32%
FIAT +16.75%
FORD +4.34%
HYUNDAI +8.84%
INFINITI +34.21%
JEEP +74.70%
KIA +8.46%
LEXUS +36.87%
LOTUS +5.74%
MASERATI +273.71%
MAZDA +25.09%
MG +801.92%
MIA +0.00%
NISSAN +14.86%
PEUGEOT +1.01%
PORSCHE +14.44%
RENAULT +61.72%
SEAT +22.62%
SKODA +25.35% 
SSANGYONG +154.04%
SUBARU +24.18%
SUZUKI +16.55%
TOYOTA +5.28%
VOLVO +19.97%


CHRYSLER -21.99%
HONDA -1.93%
MINI -12.25%
PERODUA -84.85%
PROTON -93.33%
SMART -9.84%

Another month passes by, I am sure they go quicker each one, but at least with each month we have lots of great new cars to look at and others to look forward too, so what have we had, more info on the XE and Discovery Sport, the new Corsa, new C-Class estate, along with the Lexus NX, added details from BMW about the Active tourer, still not sure what that car is all about, confirmation on SEAT and Skoda SUV's, Rolls confirms a fourth model to its line up, Corniche !, you heard it hear first.

Right, the sales, Jag and LR shine again with increases for all three brands, the Sport, Evoque, XF and F-Type are all models that have increased over the same period a year ago, and with only ten months left to go until XE is on the roads, the final testing and specs are being finalised, 2015 is going to be a HUGE year for JLR, with the New Disco range, XE and allegedly the new XF also in '15, however i am very doubtful that it will be launched, more likely a motor show reveal and '16 availability.

OMG Perodua sold three cars in JULY, heaven help us, it is still ten down on '13 and only 25 for the year, but someone people somewhere have no taste whatsoever, MG continues to produce huge percentage figures, however they do not equate to huge sales, 27 in July '13, 207 this year, so it seems the MG3 is doing good, but not as good as the 5,000 MG3 sales and 1,000 MG6 sales for 2014 MG stated they would achieve, they have only sold 1407 for the year, and a number of those have been released through Motorpoint AGAIN, so they are registering them and selling them off cheap, and that's not good for the proper buyer.

Renault & Dacia are producing great numbers, along with some great products, a number of all  new or recently replaced models are helping to promote both brands as ones to go to for new cars, with the Clio, Twingo,
Capture, Sandero, Stepway, Duster and Logan, all new for the UK buyer, sales can, and will only go one way, and that's higher.

MINI seems to be struggling, considering they have the ALL NEW MINI 3, and refreshed Countryman and Paceman the sales are down significantly on the year, the biggest winners are Renault, followed by Ssangyong, Mitsubishi, Skoda and a couple of other, but it is nice to see other brands getting a decent slice of the pie, compared to the usual suspects.

August should be another quietish month, ready for the September plate change once again, so don't expect any huge numbers.

Jon Mower

Land Rover and Virgin Galactic: Meet the team.

  • Partners Land Rover and Virgin Galactic make progress in the world of testing and development of new vehicles – on land and in space
  • New Discovery Sport entering final development phase, with prototype fleets testing globally: video available showing extreme hot and cold testing
  • Land Rover is the first global partner of pioneering commercial spaceline Virgin Galactic
  • Land Rover releases two videos contrasting Virgin Galactic testing and development with Land Rover product engineering tests
Global partners in adventure, innovation and exploration, Land Rover and Virgin Galactic have opened the doors on the world of prototype testing and development. For the first time both brands compare the parallels and complexities behind the test and development of a new vehicle. Both Land Rover and Virgin Galactic have used their partnership to share values and experiences that have steered each brand to develop cutting edge technologies for both land and space.

The pioneering partnership, announced in April this year, has continued to make strides through Land Rover’s continued development of the new Discovery Sport vehicle while Virgin Galactic moves closer to the launch of the world’s first spaceline.
As the new Discovery Sport enters its final testing phase, Land Rover and Virgin Galactic, which continues its flight test and engineering programmes ahead of the launch of its commercial spaceflight programme, are giving a glimpse of what goes into their test and development programmes.
Murray Dietsch, Programme Director, Land Rover, said: “There is a common philosophy towards engineering between Land Rover and our partners Virgin Galactic. We start with an idea and build from there, spending years refining a design and completing virtual testing before the first prototypes see the tarmac. As our partnership with Virgin Galactic develops, it will be fascinating to get closer to their team and explore common areas of engineering and expertise.
“Discovery Sport prototypes have covered approximately 750,000 miles during the testing phase, in some of the world’s harshest and most challenging terrains and climates. A total of 181 prototype vehicles were built, completing over 11,000 tests over their lifetimes around the globe, ensuring total confidence in the robustness of build and design of the vehicles.”
“As we look to launching the world’s first spaceline, Virgin Galactic continues to push boundaries and develop pioneering new innovations that bring to life our vision,” said George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic. “In engineering and design, like Land Rover, our focus is on precision, ingenuity, and unparalleled design.”

Renault group continues massive growth in the UK, up 64% YTD.

  • Group sales of 6,768 in July – up 50.6 per cent year-on-year vs market 9.5 per cent
  • Strong growth across Renault cars, vans and Dacia brands
  • 2014 YTD Group sales up 64 per cent to 61,007 vehicles vs market 11 per cent
  • Group YTD market share up to 3.7 per cent vs 2.5 per cent in 2013
Renault Group's share in the UK rose year-on-year for an unprecedented fifteenth consecutive month in July, outperforming the UK market with a year-on-year increase of 50.6 per cent in the month and 64 per cent year-to-date with 61,007 total cumulative vehicles delivered across the Renault car, van and Dacia ranges – nearly three months ahead of the same volume in 2013.
For Renault cars alone, the sales of 4,088 cars in the month of July brings the total for 2014 so far to 36,152 cars – an increase of 61.7 per cent over the same period last year, in a market that was up 10.1 per cent, and representing a year-to-date car share of 2.48 per cent.  Retail market share stands at 2.56 per cent year-to-date – up 41.5 per cent compared to last year.  The New Clio hatchback and Captur B-segment crossover were the two best-selling Renault models accounting for 15,739 and 11,199 sales year-to-date respectively. 

Renault vans followed passenger cars in July, outperforming the market with a growth of 46.6 per cent in the month and 1,276 vehicles registered.  Year-to-date sales stand at 10,475 vehicles with a market share of 5.66 per cent – up 60.5 per cent from the same period in 2013. 
Dacia represented the largest market share growth within the Group – up 73.3 per cent year-to-date with 14,380 ‘shockingly affordable’ new vehicles being sold compared to 8,297 for the same period in 2013.
Commenting on the results, Ken Ramirez, Managing Director, Renault UK Ltd, said: “The outstanding Group growth results, fuelled by the success of the new Clio and Captur crossover for Renault and the clear value of the Dacia line-up, definitively signal the confidence in the franchise’s sustainable growth plan.  These figures reflect the concerted strategy across the brands and our dealer network, aligned under our GO5+ mid-term-plan objectives. 
“With fantastic new products like All-New Renault Trafic, and from this September All-New Renault Twingo – totalling nine new models launched in just 20 months, of which six are completely new badges in the market including four in our new brand Dacia – we’re confident the Renault Group will continue its sustainable growth in the coming months and years, consistent with our GO5+ mid-term-plan ambition,” added Ramirez.

2015 Aston Martin Vanquish and |Rapide S get MY15 Dynamic upgrades.

  • Acceleration, top speed, emissions and fuel economy improve significantly
  • Debut of state-of-the-art eight-speed Touchtronic III automatic gearbox
  • New engine management system, enhanced trim and specification options   
Aston Martin is today revealing details of a raft of important enhancements to two of the brand’s most popular and successful sports cars: the Vanquish ultimate GT and Rapide S four-door, four-seat, sports car.
With the arrival of 15 Model Year (15MY) cars in markets around the world over the next few months, the luxury British brand is offering not only considerably enhanced performance and much-improved fuel economy and emissions, but also an even more honed, precise and responsive driving experience.
With the debut of the new Touchtronic III eight-speed automatic gearbox in both Vanquish and Rapide S – the first time that this state-of-the-art gearbox has been incorporated into a transaxle layout – Aston Martin is improving every major area of the cars’ performance and fuel economy. The brand’s engineers have worked meticulously with technical partner, ZF, to develop the eight-speed technology and integrate it perfectly into the latest generation of the iconic and much-imitated Aston Martin VH architecture.
The 0-60 mph times for both the Vanquish and Rapide S are reduced in 15MY cars: The Vanquish drops from 4.1 seconds to just 3.6 seconds (3.8 seconds 0-100 km/h) and the Rapide S is capable of the same sprint in only 4.2 seconds (4.4 seconds 0-100 km/h) – also down by a full half second from its previous figure of 4.7 seconds. These impressive gains not only ensure the cars’ exceptional competitiveness in their respective sectors, but also confirm Vanquish as the quickest accelerating series production Aston Martin in the company’s 101-year history.
Changes to gear and final drive ratios allow the cars to be not only quicker but also more frugal, with reduced emissions too. In both sports cars the CO2 figure drops by an average of ten per cent – down to 298 g/km for Vanquish and 300 g/km for Rapide S – while economy is boosted to 31 mpg, on average an 11% improvement, on the EU’s extra urban cycle for both the Vanquish and the Rapide S under the same stringent test conditions.
Combined with a revised final drive, the ratio changes also mean both cars are, for the first time, now capable of top speeds of 200 mph or above.
A reduction in exhaust gas back pressure as a result of ratio adjustment and other changes also benefits peak power, which rises by up to three bhp to a peak of 568 bhp (576 PS) in Vanquish, and two bhp, 552 bhp (560 PS), in Rapide S. Peak torque is up by 10 Nm, too, to 630 Nm at 5,500 rpm in all the cars.
The new eight-speed Touchtronic III automatic gearbox is not only three per cent  lighter than its predecessor, it is also packaged more efficiently occupying precisely the same space within the car yet adding two further ratios over the outgoing transmission.
Touchtronic III delivers exceptional shift speed and moves between ratios as quick as 130 milliseconds – far quicker than even the most accomplished racing driver is capable of – while better gearbox efficiency allows more power and torque to be transmitted to the road more of the time.
Ian Minards, Product Development Director at Aston Martin, explained: “We have a long and successful technical partnership with ZF and so it was a natural step for us to adapt and integrate their world class 8HP transmission in to our transaxle layout.”