Kia Motors (UK) Limited has opened the order books today for its new Kia e-Niro ‘2’ Long Range, offering more range than any other sub-£35,000 electric vehicle. The new model is now available to order across the UK, with customer deliveries due to start in July.
The new variant features the same long-range 64kWh battery pack and high-power 150kW motor as higher-specification e-Niro models, while offering a £34,945 on-the-road price (before applying any government grants).
The e-Niro ‘2’ Long Range is capable of travelling up to 282 miles on a single charge (WLTP combined), and up to 382 miles in city driving.
While its long-range battery pack and powerful electric motor delivers comparable driving range and performance to far more expensive EVs, it also provides a wide range of standard equipment. Highlights include its 8.0-inch touchscreen display, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, 17-inch aluminium alloy wheels, reversing camera system and rear parking sensors, Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go, and Smart Key & Button Start. A battery heating system is also fitted, designed to insulate and warm up the battery while the vehicle is plugged in, minimising the adverse effects of cold temperatures.
The ‘2’ Long Range also offers the same large cabin and spacious boot as other e-Niro models, with generous space for five occupants and 451 litres of cargo capacity.
The e-Niro was the UK’s best-selling battery EV during the first two months of 2021, accounting for almost one in five of all nationwide EV sales up to the end of February.
All e-Niro models, including the new ‘2’ Long Range variant, allow owners to sign up to KiaCharge, a new UK-wide integrated public charging service. KiaCharge provides easier, comprehensive access to the UK public charging network for owners of the brand’s EV and PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) models. More than 15,000 charge points across the UK are accessible from a single account, including those from several major charging networks, including bp pulse, Pod Point, IONITY, Source London, Chargepoint, NewMotion, Char-gy, and ESB. Certain national and regional charging networks are also accessible via KiaCharge.
All-new HR-V e:HEV: A deeper look into the design concept
The next generation hybrid-only HR-V e:HEV is the culmination of an extensive reassessment of modern consumer attitudes. By evaluating how today’s active, connected population identifies and selects high value products, Honda approached its development not only as an all-new compact SUV, but as a consumer product that must appeal through desirability, functionality and usability.
Honda’s research found that modern consumers choose products not only on the basis of competent performance or appealing aesthetics but how it integrates with their lives and whether the product fulfils their exact requirements. Following this lead, the team adopted the mantra “Amp up your life”, focusing on enabling active lifestyles throughout every stage of the new HR-V’s development. The objective was to widen the possibilities of what customers can do with the car to support and ‘amplify’ their everyday lives.
The result is a contemporary coupe-SUV body that appeals through the simplicity of its design, while its exceptionally spacious and versatile interior is more user-oriented and comfortable to sit in than ever. The all-new HR-V also achieves a desirable yet rare combination of premium SUV styling and exceptional space efficiency. It successfully extends the Honda brand's reputation for quality, functionality and practicality, and presents it with an individual and fun style, all within a compact package.
Honda began by focusing on its 'Man-Maximum, Machine-Minimum' (M/M) development principle, which is based on the belief that the purpose of technology and design is to serve the needs of the driver and passengers.
The efficient packaging of powertrain components in an updated version of Honda's global small platform and the brand's clever centre tank layout play key roles in enhancing cabin space and enabling four adults to be accommodated in maximum comfort. As well as interior space, advanced design and technology optimises airiness, comfort, ergonomics and versatility.
Honda Large Project Leader, Kojiro Okabe said: “When developing the HR-V we carried out group discussions with people of varying backgrounds, from many fields of expertise, and across all ages and genders. Building the car from scratch, the HR-V adds elements which bring fun and joy to all passengers. We aimed to augment, not repress people’s opinions or individuality and create a car that enabled all people to enjoy their lifestyles.”
The all-new HR-V e:HEV will be available in Europe in late 2021.
HELM Motorcars - The Jaguar E-Type Reimagined
Helm exists to push the boundaries of automotive customisation, and is born out of a love for the Series 1 Jaguar E-type.
Bringing together uncompromising production standards, with advanced modern technology and bespoke interiors by acclaimed leather expert Bill Amberg, Helm celebrates the artistry of the iconic Series 1 design, while elevating the driving experience to the pinnacle of contemporary luxury.
Only 20 cars will be produced, all to the exact specification of the owners, to create unique works of automotive art, which will never be replicated.
Originally designed by former aeronautics engineer Malcolm Sayer, on its release on 15 March 1961, Enzo Ferrari described the Series 1 Jaguar E-type as “the most beautiful car ever made”. Sixty years on, with Sayer’s mathematically perfect lines flowing seamlessly from long nose to shapely rear, it remains a marvel of automotive engineering.
Having spent over a decade professionally sourcing the finest examples of these cars for restoration from across the UK and Europe, Helm founder Chedeen Battick approached the project with an obsessive eye for detail, and a deep respect for the value of British craftsmanship.
From the steel-reinforced monocoque shell, the handmade aluminium doors and hand built and polished big bore aircraft-grade stainless steel exhaust system, upwards of 3,800-man hours go into creation of one of Helm’s E-types. Under the aluminium handmade bonnet, lies a 300 bhp fast road 3.8 litre normally aspirated engine.
Elsewhere, modern technology such as electronic speed-sensitive power steering, a bespoke engineered five-speed gearbox, 6 pot alloy front brakes, adjustable suspension, a heated screen and soft close door system, is integrated subtly without interfering with the purity and elegance of the original design.
The interior, designed and produced in collaboration with Bill Amberg, sees buttery soft suede and plump semi-aniline leather used throughout. Lowering oneself into the driving seat of a Helm E-type is an unparalleled sensorial experience – the haptic qualities of the leather, together with thoughtful and exquisite internal detailing are intended to be as satisfying as trying on a new bespoke suit, or a perfectly fitted glove.
Hand crafted aluminium internal panels have been wrapped by Amberg’s team of leather craftspeople, while beautifully executed hand-stitched detailing is used on leather toggle switches, a hand stitched steering wheel and matching grab handle. Leather upholstery with stitched detailing was completed by the studio, and Amberg has created bespoke luggage for each Helm E-type, in the form of two sets of his iconic Rocket bags, in weekend and briefcase editions.
Turning the key in the ignition, a Helm Jaguar transports the driver back to a place and time in history. “I wanted to create the E-type the way I feel it should be, remaining sensitive to its history, but without a vinyl interior, and without the hassle of carburettor trouble,” explains Chedeen. “We combine British craftsmanship with the finest standards of modern automotive engineering, instilling a feeling of love, care and attention to detail within each component.”
The Stellantis plant in Tychy, Poland celebrates its latest achievement: 2.5 million Fiat 500s produced
2.5million 500 models have now been produced at the Stellantis plant in Tychy, Poland. The record-breaking model, ordered by a customer from France, is a 500 Hybrid equipped with a 70hp mild hybrid engine.
With 2.5million units produced, the 500 has broken the Polish factory’s record for total single-model vehicle production, ahead of the second-generation Panda (2,168,000 units) and the Fiat 126p (2,166,000). Produced in Poland since 2007, the Fiat icon was met with great success in international markets, so much so that it has reached customers in over 100 countries across the world. Almost 80 per cent are sold outside Italy, making it the most international car produced by Fiat. The main markets, besides Italy, are the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, and countries as far away as Japan. 500 has even reached markets as far afield as the Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Saint Martin, Senegal and Ghana.
The Fiat 500 ended 2020 as the European leader in the city car segment with an impressive best ever market share of 17.7 per cent, having increased its share in the segment by three percentage points. Since the debut of the first generation in 1957, over 6.7 million 500 units have been sold worldwide. This serves as confirmation of the extent to which the Fiat icon has become part of the collective imagination of generations of drivers: of different ages, tastes and nationalities.
World’s oldest Aston Martin coming to Concours of Elegance during its centenary year
The Concours of Elegance, presented by A. Lange & Söhne, will host the oldest surviving Aston Martin during its 2021 event at Hampton Court Palace this September. Aston Martin ‘A3’ was the third car ever built by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford, and was extensively driven by the founders. This year, it celebrates its centenary.
The Concours of Elegance was first established in 2012 to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, with a collection of 60 of the rarest cars in the world in the Quadrangle at Windsor Castle. Since then the Concours of Elegance has evolved into a world-renowned celebration of craftsmanship, design and innovation, hosted since 2017 at Hampton Court Palace, but always with spectacular cars like the Aston Martin ‘A3’at its heart.
Given its name because it is built on chassis no.3 and uses a Type A engine, ‘A3’ produces just 11hp from its four-cylinder side-valve engine. Nevertheless, it was raced in period, and proved capable of setting speed records, achieving an average of more than 86mph over 100 miles at the Brooklands circuit.
By 1923, the car’s life as a factory prototype was complete and it was sold to a customer. It changed hands a number of times until history shows it under the ownership of R.W. Mallabar in 1927. Following a con-rod failure, the car returned to Aston Martin for an engine rebuild, at which time the car was refinished in pale grey (rather than its original black) with red wheels.
The next time ‘A3’ reappears in the history books is 2002 when it was identified at auction as the third Aston Martin ever produced. In 2003 a generous donation enabled ‘A3’ to be purchased by the Aston Martin Heritage Trust, who entrusted it to Ecurie Bertelli for a full restoration to as close as original specification.
A new body was designed and hand-beaten into shape to replace the later green body that had been added at some point in A3’s life, a new ash bodyframe was built, the engine was rebuilt, the radiator was refurbished and the chromium finish removed. The car is presented today in full working order, with its factory specification black paintwork, preserving an extremely important part of Aston Martin history.