Skoda FabiaAs we come to the end of another week  we look at some of the motoring news which you may have missed starting with the new fourth-generation Skoda Fabia.

The fourth-generation Fabia continues ŠKODA’s extraordinary success story of offering all you need and that little bit more. This is the first Fabia to be based on Volkswagen Group’s modular MQB-A0 platform. It is the most spacious car within its segment and boasts further enhanced comfort features as well as a several new safety and assistance systems. Classic brand qualities such as excellent value for money, high functionality and a host of Simply Clever features, make this car the perfect entry-level model to the ŠKODA range.

Thomas Schäfer, ŠKODA AUTO CEO, said: “The new Fabia provides the perfect entry to our range. We have combined the well-known ŠKODA attributes – such as generous amounts of space, the highest levels of quality and safety, and excellent value for money – with an emotive design and the lowest drag coefficient (cd) within its class. I am convinced that this overall package will allow us to further strengthen our position in the entry-level segment and attract new customers to the brand.”

Skoda FabiaSkoda FabiaSkoda FabiaSkoda Fabia

 

 

Martin Jahn, ŠKODA AUTO Board Member for Sales and Marketing, stated: “The launch of the latest-generation Fabia is a real highlight for us. We have listened very carefully to our customers and refined our new small car in every aspect. With its dynamic look and state-of-the-art infotainment systems, we are increasingly appealing to younger customers. To sum it up: the new Fabia has everything it takes to continue the model’s success story.”

Boasting well-balanced proportions, sharply detailed headlights and rear lights - featuring the latest LED technology – this latest generation car is more emotive than ever before.

Inside, the instrument panel with a free-standing central display and optional digital instrument cluster catch the eye. Infotainment and connectivity are state of the art. The S, SE Comfort, SE L and Colour Edition trim levels will be available in the UK from launch at the end of 2021. A sporty Monte Carlo variant will follow later. Five petrol engines from Volkswagen Group’s current EVO generation deliver power outputs ranging from 48 kW (65 PS) to 110 kW (150 PS). Four Simply Clever features make their ŠKODA debut in the Fabia.

 

Elegance and wellbeing: More choices for Range Rover Velar

Land Rover has enhanced the unique appeal of the Range Rover Velar with a suite of updates, including the extension of colour options on the Velar Edition.

Elegance and wellbeing: More choices for Range Rover VelarThe Range Rover Velar Edition provides enhanced customer choice, with a combination of exterior and interior specification options. Based on the R-Dynamic SE model, the special edition includes a black contrast roof and matching 20-inch black alloy wheels. The distinctive addition to the range is now available in the full extended colour palette, with all standard metallic colours included as an option.

Range Rover Velar customers looking for an even more personalised and exclusive design can now choose from 14 distinctive paint colour options from the SV Bespoke Premium Palette or Match To Sample service. Specially developed hues, such as Tourmaline Brown [pictured] are available in a range of finishes such as satin matte and ultra-metallic.

New technology introduced for 2021 focuses on occupant comfort and wellbeing, with the debut of Cabin Air Purification Plus for Land Rover. Building on the existing Cabin Air Ionisation with PM2.5 Filtration, the enhanced new system goes even further to ensure the air occupants breathe inside the cabin is clean, with CO2 sensing and the ability to purify the cabin to start journeys with cleaner air*.

Additionally, Land Rover is introducing a range of new driver assistance features and Software-Over-The-Air updates for the Range Rover Velar, providing greater levels of support and convenience.

Range Rover Velar customers can now also take advantage of the sophisticated, technical exterior body paint colours available from Land Rover SV Bespoke, including the Premium Palette selection and Match To Sample service.

The SV Bespoke Premium Palette colours include Tourmaline Brown, Amethyst-Grey Purple and Petrolix Blue, giving customers even more personalisation potential with impeccable hand-finished quality. Each one is designed to enhance the modernist design of the award-winning luxury mid-size SUV and provides dramatic depth of colour.

Taking personalisation even further, the SV Bespoke Match To Sample service allows customers to blend their own unique colour, matched to any colour sample.

SV Bespoke paint colours are applied at the SV Technical Centre and its state-of-the-art processes have excellent eco-credentials. Each year, the facility saves 2.6 million litres of water by using dry recycled cardboard filter technology while its smart ovens save enough electricity to power more than 65,000 homes.

Across the core Range Rover Velar range, new Ostuni Pearl White replaces Yulong White and elegant Lantau Bronze is available across the entire line-up.

Velar features a reductive design, emphasised with beautifully integrated digital screens that are fitted with Land Rover’s state-of-the-art infotainment system, Pivi and Pivi Pro. The intelligent and intuitive system, offered as Pivi ProΔΔ from an S-specification pack, transforms the digital experience inside Velar. Pivi is designed around ease of use, with a simple interface reducing the number of interactions to enhance safety. Crisp graphics and super-fast responsiveness are enabled with a new electrical architecture under the surface, ensuring the screens and navigation system are ready to go in seconds, thanks also to a dedicated power source. Customers can access software updates ‘over-the-air’ (SOTA) reducing the need to visit a retailer.

One such SOTA update coming to the Range Rover Velar in 2021 is wireless Apple CarPlay®** Wireless Android Auto™ will also become available at the same time**.

Range Rover Velar is priced from £45,925 in the UK while the Range Rover Velar Edition is priced from £60,345.

 

227.080mph: ŠKODA celebrates the 10th anniversary of its historic Land Speed Record run

ŠKODA UK is celebrating the 10-year anniversary of setting a new land speed record at the famous Bonneville salt flats in Utah, USA. At 07:45am local time on Friday 19 August 2011, a specially prepared ŠKODA Octavia vRS driven by journalist Richard Meaden, officially became the fastest 2.0-litre forced induction production car, registering a Southern California Timing Association (SCTA) sanctioned speed of 227.080mph.

Bonneville Octavia vRSTo mark the occasion, ŠKODA UK has completed a restoration of the 2011 Octavia vRS, returning it to the same specification that completed the final run along the world-famous salt flats. The freshly restored racer was put through its paces at Millbrook Proving Ground’s high-speed bowl by members of the motoring press, alongside a selection of some of ŠKODA’s greatest performance models past and present marking the 20th anniversary of vRS in the UK.

Recalling ŠKODA’s record-breaking visit to Bonneville, Meaden said: “Driving the salt flats was a dream come true. It always felt like a privilege to be allowed to charge flat-out down the salt. Knowing how much passion and hard work went into getting the Octavia to Speed Week made that privilege all the greater. I’m incredibly proud of what we all achieved and will never forget how it felt to break a record or to be part of such an exceptional group of people.”

Although the 2011 ‘Salt spec’ Octavia became the first ŠKODA to hold an official Land Speed Record – beating the previous benchmark by more than 11 seconds – the original target for the ŠKODA UK team was to break the 200mph barrier. Indeed, it was only after the car eased past the famous ‘double century’ in early runs that the team realised that the existing record might be beatable. The Octavia vRS’ record-breaking run consisted of two official sprints of Bonneville's famous five-mile course: the first at 225.513mph on Thursday 18 August, with the return at 228.647mph on Friday 19 August.

The car itself – a Corrida Red Octavia vRS 2.0 TSI – was originally destined to join the ŠKODA UK press fleet before being requisitioned for the Bonneville project. Although based on a production Octavia vRS 2.0 TSI, the ‘Bonneville special’ required extensive modification for the record attempt. Under the regulations set out by the Southern California Timing Association, only a certain number of modifications were permitted. Adding to the challenge was the fact that the Octavia’s 2.0 TSI engine was so new at the time that very few motorsport or high performance upgrades were available from external suppliers.

Working to an almost impossibly tight deadline, key upgrades included an injection system altered to deliver more fuel to the engine (eight injectors), and a cooling system which benefited from the addition of a 10-litre radiator. The longer-geared transmission from an Octavia GreenLine was also installed to enable a higher top speed, while the traditional brake discs and calipers were removed and replaced by a parachute to ensure the car could safely stop on the salt surface. Operated by a lever in the cabin, this had the added advantages of reducing excess drag, unsprung weight and friction.

 

Public debut of Radford Gold Leaf Type 62-2 at Quail Lodge

Radford unveiled its Type 62-2 sportscar the public for the first time, in its Gold Leaf livery at the exclusive Quail Lodge show. The Lotus Type 62-2 coachbuilt by Radford (The Type 62-2), is limited to just 62 examples worldwide, with each model built precisely to its individual owner’s desired specification. Of those 62 cars, only 12 will be Gold liveried cars, and Radford is now taking build slot applications for this ultra-exclusive model – and over half of the cars have already been allocated to owners.

Gold Leaf Lotus Type 62-2 Quail EditionGold Leaf Lotus Type 62-2 Quail Edition

 

 

The Gold Leaf Type 62-2 ‘Quail Edition’ is the most extreme version of the Gold Leaf liveried car. It is the first time the car has been seen in public, and it sits alongside the 'Classic' version, which provides subtle design cues to the original Type 62 Lotus car.

The Gold Leaf Type 62-2 Quail Edition wears a modern twist on the iconic Gold Leaf livery, which is one of the most famous and significant racing car liveries ever to grace a Formula 1 car. Its legendary red, white and gold colour scheme was applied after Colin Chapman signed a huge deal with Gold Leaf, and is most well-known on the Type 49B raced Graham Hill raced during the 1968 season. The colour scheme also featured on the famous Lotus 72 F1 car raced by Emerson Fittipaldi and Jochen Rindt in the 1970 season.

The Gold Leaf Type 62-2 Quail Edition showcases several key enhancements over the Classic and Gold Leaf cars. The car features a bespoke carbon fibre composite front splitter and rear diffuser. It also features AP Monobloc calipers and fully carbon ceramic brake rotors. These are housed within larger 18-inch front and 19-inch Dymag carbon composite wheels – which lower the unsprung mass, and improve the nimble handling characteristics of the car, yet further. The composite wheels are shod in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres.

The public premiere of the Gold Leaf car at the Quail is the first time the elegant lines of this ultra-exclusive version of the Type 62-2 exterior have been shown, and the luxurious interior will be revealed at a future date. The car's design has been led by preeminent automotive designer Mark Stubbs who has taken the project from a sketch to the production-ready car revealed today. Stubbs’ design for the Type 62-2 evokes the spirit of Lotus and the original Type 62 as a homage to the marque's illustrious motorsport history. With support from Radford’s engineers, former FIA Formula OneTM World Champion Jenson Button has fine-honed the dynamic response of the Type 62-2 to ensure a superlative driving experience.

Production of the Radford Type 62-2 begins in late 2021, with first deliveries being made in 2022.

 

MINI celebrates the world premiere of the MINI STRIP, a custom-made, one-off model co-created by Paul Smith

MINI celebrates the world premiere of the MINI STRIP, a custom-made, one-off model co-created by Paul Smith and MINI, shining the spotlight on the issue of sustainability in automotive design and manufacturing.

MINI STRIP: Sustainable design with a twist, by Paul Smith MINI STRIP: Sustainable design with a twist, by Paul SmithMINI STRIP: Sustainable design with a twist, by Paul Smith

 

Guided by the overarching theme of ‘Simplicity, Transparency, Sustainability’, the car showcases inspirational ideas for a more sustainable method of automotive design. As the name suggests, the process began by completely stripping down the MINI Electric and reducing it to its structural essence. Only then were the elements that the designer viewed as absolutely necessary defined and implemented – with sustainability taking a front seat.

The joint design process applied the principles of maximum reduction, to produce a minimalist, high-class design with a fresh and unconventional appeal. Raw materials are a very deliberate part of the exterior design - the body was left in its unfinished state with no coloured paint applied, but instead just a thin film of transparent paint to protect against corrosion. Grinding marks from the factory have been consciously left intact on the galvanised steel panels to clearly identify the car as a functional object: this intentionally rough-hewn effect was dubbed “the perfect imperfection” by Paul Smith.

Parts of the MINI black band have been 3D-printed from recycled plastic and their basic material qualities have been left exposed - like the metal panels. Bicycle enthusiast Smith – who enjoys rolling up his sleeves occasionally and replacing or modifying individual parts of his road bikes himself – provided the inspiration for the visible screws in the add-on parts, which show how simple dismantling would be and how easily the vehicle could be reincorporated into the raw-material cycle at the end of its service life. The functional and distinctive front and rear apron inserts were also manufactured via a 3D printing process, which produced their striking texture.

The blanked-off radiator grille of the MINI STRIP and its wheel covers help to reduce drag, thereby increasing its theoretical range. The grille trim and aerodynamic covers on the wheels are made from recycled Perspex, saving both weight and resources. Recycled Perspex was also used for the large panoramic roof that allows curious eyes to view the largely bare structure of the bodyshell inside.

 

Lotus Emira arrives in the USA with F1 legend Jenson Button at the wheel for thrilling Laguna Seca film ahead of USA public debut at The Quail 

Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button put the all-new petrol-powered sports car through its paces at Laguna Seca Raceway.

Lotus EmiraLike Lotus, Jenson was in California for Monterey Car Week, the Radford 62-2 – a reinterpretation of the Lotus Type 62 to be manufactured using Lotus technology – recently received its world premiere ahead of making its public debut with the Emira on the Lotus stand at The Quail, A Motorsport Gathering.

Jenson Button stated after his drive that “This is such a great circuit, most road cars on tracks don’t work, but this does.”

The Emira is an all-new mid-engined sports car that perfectly embodies the ongoing transformation of the iconic British sports car manufacturer. Its striking design is delivering exotic supercar appeal in sports car segment, with inspiration from the Lotus Evija hypercar clear in its fluid surfaces and crisp feature lines.

Two petrol engines are available, including a new-to-Lotus 2.0-litre turbocharged ‘i4’ from technical partner AMG as well as the much-loved and characterful 3.5-litre supercharged V6 from the critically acclaimed Evora GT.

A choice of manual, automatic and Dual Clutch Transmission is available, with power output from 360 to 400 hp at launch. All versions will hit 0-62mph (0-100km/h) in less than 4.5 seconds.

The USA is a key market for the Emira as Lotus transforms into a truly global performance car company, and Lotus retailers across the country have already seen strong demand from potential customers.

The Lotus Emira will be joined by the Lotus Evija hypercar and the Radford 62-2 at The Quail: A Motorsport Gathering on Friday 13 August. All three will be part of a press conference held at 9.15am PDT (GMT-8) on the Lotus stand.

 

Used vehicle shortage fuels surge for UK's leading sustainable salvage company

SYNETIQ - the UK’s largest integrated salvage, dismantling and vehicle recycling company - has seen unprecedented demand through its online vehicle auction, leading to increased value of salvage vehicles.

The business supplies a key niche of the used vehicle supply chain, operating an online salvage auction used by a worldwide customer base of over 30,000 bidders.

Car in Green roomSYNETIQ’s top three best-selling vehicles mirrored those in the SMMT’s Used Car Sales Report for Q2 2021, with the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Corsa and Volkswagen Golf proving immensely popular with the salvage auction users across the world.

Also in particularly high demand were commercial vehicles, reflecting supply shortfalls across the whole marketplace. The Ford Transit was SYNETIQ’s fourth best-selling vehicle overall; the business reporting a marked increase in popularity compared with pre-pandemic sales figures.

Recent SMMT data revealed overall used vehicle sales have more than doubled, owing to COVID-19 restrictions easing, a shortage of new models and Brexit complications. Unsurprisingly, a scarcity of supply has driven increases in the value of repairable vehicles sold through SYNETIQ’s salvage auction.

Tom Rumboll, CEO at SYNETIQ, commented: “Facilitating the return to use of repairable salvage vehicles, when safe to do so, is a key element of SYNETIQ’s integrated, circular model. There are myriad factors as to why a vehicle is written off, and we believe those which are safe for repair should go on to fulfil their primary purpose.”

“Each vehicle we process has been given a category by an appropriately qualified person before it reaches us – this helps us define the safest and most sustainable route it takes. Vehicles which are not safe for repair are processed in the most environmentally beneficial way, with reusable parts directed back into the vehicle repair supply chain.”

SYNETIQ became a member of the SMMT in June, as it continues its mission to help build a sustainable future for motoring in the UK. As a member of SMMT working groups, such as Electric Vehicle, Aftermarket and Remanufacturing, SYNETIQ hopes the industry can maximise the reuse and recycling potential of each vehicle, reducing CO2 emissions and material waste further.

Recently, SYNETIQ has also launched initiatives to highlight environmental benefits of integrated salvage and recycling. This includes training a large proportion of their colleagues on carbon literacy, as well as a study into the CO2 savings that can be achieved by using Green Parts in vehicle repair. 

 

Up close and personal: Kia launches nationwide ‘EV6 Electric Experience’

Kia has launched a series of exclusive nationwide ‘EV6 Electric Experience’ events to offer an early opportunity for customers to get up close and personal with Kia’s ground breaking electric car, the EV6.

KiaThe events include an exciting car reveal and an interactive walk-around the EV6, with EV experts available to answer all questions. Customers will walk away with first-hand knowledge about the new electric car, as well as the wider Kia EV range and supporting technologies including Kia’s proprietary charging app, Kia Charge.

One of eleven Kia electric cars to be launched by 2026 as part of its ‘Plan S’ global strategy, the EV6 is the first of seven dedicated EV models and is built on the Electric-Global Modular Platform. This was developed for electric vehicles alone and features 400/800-volt charging for next-generation ultra-fast charging, with 10-80 per cent charge taking as little as 18 minutes for the EV6.

Alongside its charging capabilities, the EV6 has an impressive WLTP-combined cycle range of up to 328 miles from its standard long-range 77.4kWh battery pack. That’s more than enough to cover a return trip from London to Cardiff, on just one charge.

The EV6 will be available in four distinct grades in the UK, including entry-level ‘Air’, ‘GT-Line’, ‘GT-Line S’, and a performance-focused ‘GT’ version set to arrive next year. The electric car is powered by either a single motor rear-wheel drive or twin motor all-wheel drive powertrain, depending on grade and customer preference. Prices start from £40,895 for the real-wheel drive entry grade.

Technology features as standard across the EV6 range, with impressive equipment including a curved panoramic display with twin 12.3-inch touchscreens; Android Auto and Apple CarPlay; UVO Connect for remote telematics; LED lighting all around; vegan leather upholstery; rear parking sensors; rain-sensing front wipers; engine Start/Stop button with Smart Entry System; navigation-based Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go; Forward Collision Avoidance Assist (FCA) with city, pedestrian, cyclist and junction-turning functionality; Highway Driving Assist; and Drive Mode Select to name but a few.

The events run dealer-by-dealer until early November, and are available to all members of the public who book a place via the website.

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