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Fiat Chrysler & Now Renault in New Emissions Probe

Posted on January 17th, 2017

At the beginning of the week the US Environmental Protection Agency called out Fiat Chrysler for using specific software in their cars that could secretly allow excess emissions. Then yesterday the spotlight fell on Renault too for the same thing, but it’s not as bad as you think, and definitely not as bad as Volkswagen.  continue reading…

Meet the Stunning New Jaguar F-Type

Posted on January 16th, 2017

Well, it’s not completely new, but it’s a lovingly face-lifted new version of the car going on sale early this year. That doesn’t mean they’ve just made it look prettier though, it’s got lots of new fancy tech, including a GoPro designed selfie video-recorder.  continue reading…

Deals of the Week

Posted on January 13th, 2017

It’s all about the Executive Saloon appeal in this week’s segment. And when I say appeal I mean the three cars that made the cut won’t just attract that kind of driver, they’ll attract the sort that want family cars and sports cars too, because they are truly versatile machines.  continue reading…

Throwback Thursday – 1975 Porsche 911

Posted on January 12th, 2017

 There are so many different types of Porsche 911 it’s any wonder you know which one I’ve decided to write about in today’s Throwback Thursday. I can tell you that it’s one of the most fearsome of the old school Porsches and straight from 1975 it’s super retro too.

continue reading…

Last Ever 9th Gen Honda Civic Type R

Posted on January 11th, 2017

The last 100 9th generation Honda Civics have now completed production, marking the end of the model’s lifecycle as the hotly-awaited new one goes on sale in March this year. The last 100 to be made are not only special, they have a unique Black Edition trim.  continue reading…

Nissan Uses NASA to Solve Autonomous Car Hick-Up

Posted on January 10th, 2017

You know when you imagine an Autonomous Vehicle driving down the road, you’re sitting in the drivers seat reading your Instagram feed, you imagine it might be 60, 70 years from now, right?

Well, it might actually be a little closer than we thought, as the head of Nissan’s Silicon Valley research centre, Dr Maarten Sierhaus, thinks he’s cracked it.

What problem, you say? Well, Autonomous Vehicles or AVs have a tiny downfall. As they’re technically robots they follow rules and wouldn’t be able to just see road works and go around them because it has to follow road markings, and it has the ability to only follow strict protocols (the laws of the road).

That means it would get stuck. It’s the same with fallen trees or broken traffic lights. It would be useless because we humans can take the wheel and over ride it, it’s just common sense. But say it didn’t have a human inside.

Yes, that’s also a thing. AVs will be free to roam the streets in Dr Sierhaus’s plan, ‘co-existing peacefully with other road users’. But how?

Using the same technology that NASA uses to land spaceships on other planets.

According to Nissan’s vision, if confronted by a brain-melting scenario, the AV would use cloud connectivity to send a cry for help to the command centre. A human operator would then tap into the car’s sensors and cameras, and using a detailed map of the area, plot a safe course around the hazard. Once passed, the AV would take the reins again and the course of action would be shared with other driverless vehicles in the area, again via the cloud.

So not only is this technology going to enable that vehicle to carry on with its journey, but it’s going to teach other vehicles close by the same lesson, so it will be improving the system a lot faster than if each vehicle learned using individual overriding by SAM.

Yes, that’s what Nissan have called it, and it stands for Seamless Autonomous Mobility. Dr Sierhaus said, ‘SAM will advance autonomous integration not by years but by decades…And it will be on roads sooner than you think.’

And using Nissan’s new partners, Mitsubishi and Renault, they aim to complete their vision to have 0% fatalities on the road and 0% emissions produced from any of its vehicles. Nissan’s CEO Carlos Ghosn estimates in his keynote speech that by 2030 25% of miles driven will be in shared cars ordered through apps, 15% will be fully autonomous, 25% will be pure electric (up 1% from today) and nearly 100% of cars produced will be connected. He says when sharing a ride in a former autonomous concept car that, ‘It gave [him] a glimpse of what is to come.’

So how do they aim to get to this target by 2030? Mr Ghosn announced that the next-generation Leaf, expected to lift some of the design cues and thinking of 2015’s IDS concept, was nearing production. This would be the next step to integrating further autonomous vehicle technology into their range of cars.

It will begin with Europe and the facelifted Qashqai, which will hopefully be on the roads by mid-2017, and will include the optional Pro Pilot I. This is a very clever piece of kit that can accelerate, brake and steer the car within its lane at speeds of up to 70mph. Similar stuff is already present on Volvos and Mercedes cars but by 2018 there will be a Pro Pilot II, which can also change lanes autonomously, and no one can do that yet.

By 2020, Nissan expects that with Pro Pilot III, AVs will be able to not only change lanes but navigate complex urban environments all by themselves with no assistance needed by physical human presence, but with the clever guiding of redundant ex-delivery drivers employed to use the incredible SAM system created by NASA.

If there was any motivation for you this Tuesday, it’s that apparently anything is possible if you have access to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

For information about Nissan, their range of cars or the car leasing process, please feel free to call our team on 01565 880880, or instead, visit our website to see our best value lease deals.

New Mercedes GLA Class Revealed

Posted on January 9th, 2017

Mercedes have given the upmarket crossover new design tweaks inside and out including specific aerodynamic changes to help improve the car’s agility and speed on the road.

The latest concept was revealed at this year’s Detroit Motor Show and initially it was hard to notice the changes, but once you notice the smaller details, it becomes clear what Mercedes had chosen to upgrade.

Firstly, the new car for European customers gets new engine improvements, now with higher outputs, which have even more influence when joined to the lighter bodyweight of the car.

For the upcoming GLA, Mercedes say there’ll be “an extended range of engines”, which should mean you’ll get more of a choice this time, with the four-cylinder petrols and diesels you might already be familiar with, including a 184bhp GLA 220 petrol, which nicely joins up the range from the 156bhp to the GLA 200 and 211bhp GLA 250.

Our continental European friends get a much smaller GLA 180 engine option too, which frankly won’t win you any races but may be a more economical option for those not venturing too far from town. It’s highly unlikely that we’ll see that over here though.

Other improvements have been made to subtle places, such as the lights, which were originally Bi-Xenon, but have now been upgraded to a superbly finished LED system, which Mercedes say the bulbs should last more than the entire lifetime of the car and will never need changing, making life a breeze.

As far as the aerodynamic changes go, the GLA’s bodywork has been again subtly moulded to create a more streamlined shape and to eliminate unnecessary drag. You can see the more stilted yet rounded figure of the body, which in my opinion, makes it look more like a crossover SUV than it did before. More road presence and a higher front view means ultimately a safer and more enjoyable driving experience. They’ve done this by making revisions to the front splitter, rear spoiler and rear diffuser.

So what’s changing on the ridiculous GLA 45 then? Well, it’s a little more than impressive. The very agreeable 381bhp four-cylinder monster has locking front differential and a ‘Race’ button, which is highly attractive to anyone actually wanting a bit of shove out of their SUV. Although if you’re a fan of traditional limited-slip differential, you may be disappointed.

The lovingly crafted AMG 7-speed Automatic gearbox has been tuned for even better acceleration now with shorter gear ratios from 3 to 7, meaning this car will do 0-62mph in just 4.4 seconds and a top speed of up to 167mph with the optional AMG Driver’s Package.

And even better, the new Yellow Night Edition, which is the same as an ordinary night edition except it’s yellow, gets upgrades too including Light and Sight package, the Aerodynamic package and Dynamic package, which all pretty much say what they do on the tin.

And all in all, doesn’t the GLA just look a bit better? It looks more assertive and more stylish than its predecessor and because of its new energy saving techniques coupled with revised engines and sleeker body, it’ll drive much better too.

For more information about the new GLA Class and to enquire about leasing one, please call our team today on 01565 880880, or instead visit our Mercedes GLA leasing page to see our latest deals and enquire.

DEALS OF THE WEEK

Posted on January 6th, 2017

 

January is not only the longest, toughest month of the year for most of us, it’s also one of the best months in which to get a new car. Why? Because car dealers like us have the best offers of the year on, so you’ll have a fantastic choice and more chance of getting your dream car.

Today we’ve got our three top offers that provide the best value for money, and they’re not just super-minis, so take a look over our shortlist and see if one of them suits your needs.

The first deal on the list is a British classic and one that has become immensely popular due to its customisable designs both inside and out. It’s the Mini Cooper 1.5 5-door hatchback with the amazing Chili Pack.

The Deal

If you put down just 3 months initial rental in advance, this car could be on its way to you for only £168.99 per month + VAT, which is for a lease length of 48 months and an annual mileage allowance of 10,000 miles.

We understand if these terms don’t exactly meet your needs, so if you would like to adjust them please visit the Mini Cooper 1.5 Chili deal page on our website where you can adjust the terms, see a quick quote and enquire on the deal.

Included in the deal

The revised Mini Cooper designs have vastly improved the look and practicality of the car as a whole. I could have listed a lot of things about the old Mini (not the original, the 2001-2013 design) that were rubbish, like the hold-all sized boot, which is now a much more acceptable 271 litres with the rear seats up and 941 litres with them down due to its increased body length.

Other improvements include the fuel consumption rates of the car, which are now stated to be 60.1mpg in combined mode with 109g/km of CO2 emissions, which for the hatchback sector is good, especially since it has a 1.5-litre engine.

For the 136hp you get from the lightweight engine you’ll be able to achieve 0-62mph in 8.2 seconds and a top speed of 129mph, meaning that this car is pretty nippy and consistent with its predecessors. You’ll definitely enjoy driving this car, it’s low centre of gravity and wide wheelbase mean it grips the road very well and because the body of the car weighs only 1220kg it makes a great B-road thrasher too.

For the interior of the car Mini have made further changes, including minimising the use of those cheap-looking scratchy plastics and replacing them with wonderful leathers and smooth materials.

In addition you have the Chili pack in this car, which provides some brilliant extras, such as the leather multifunction sports steering wheel, carbon black cloth/leather upholstery, height-adjustable front seats, extra clever storage solutions, MINI Excitement pack which allows you to customise ambient lighting choices, Rain sensor & Auto headlight activation and dual-zone air con.

MINI Driving Modes allows you to select from Mid, Green and Sport traction modes for the car that changes the colour of the instrument panel as well as how the car performs.

If this car deal is too good to pass up, then please feel free to call our team to discuss the next steps on 01565 880880, or instead, visit the Mini Cooper 1.5 Chili lease deal page on our website where you can see the deal in more detail.

Moving on now to a MINI cousin, but one with so much more power, refinement and road presence, it’s the BMW 4 Series 420d 190 M Sport 5-door Gran Coupe.

The Deal

This large, 5-door family car is yours for only £270.53 + VAT when you choose to pay 9 months initial rental in advance, which is for a lease length of 48 months and an annual mileage allowance of 10,000 miles.

Again, I know these terms may not suit everyone’s motoring needs so if you need more miles for instance, visit our BMW 4 Series 420d M Sport Gran Coupe deal page where you can adjust the terms, see your quick quote and enquire on the deal.

Included in the deal

What makes the Gran Coupe so much more appealing to a wider audience is its 5 doors, which makes it much more practical and thus more attractive to families. It is also larger and roomier than the coupe model and even boasts a bigger boot size of 480 litres with the rear seats up and 1300 litres with them down. Plenty of space for the whole family’s luggage.

With this model too, you get 190bhp coupled with 400Nm of engine torque which allows it to get up to 62mph from standstill in 7.3 seconds and a top speed of 144mph, meaning it’s quick but it will also give you a good boot up to motorway cruising speed with no effort at all.

BMW have always prided themselves on their immense and efficient engineering, which is justified, and this 4 Series is no exception to that rule. Inside you’re treated to beautiful, high quality leather upholstery, inlays made of special aluminium and the sleek lines of the controls, which all give off a high quality, premium finish.

There are elements to this stunning car that are really unique, such as its one-piece automatic boot opening and frameless windows which ooze refinement, as well as the striking, unmistakable Adaptive LED headlights which allow you to see round a bend rather than after you turn.

The 4 Series Gran Coupe is a really innovative car. The Adaptive M Sport suspension makes the 4 Series sensational to drive using electronically controlled dampers which adjust to your driving style and the road conditions, so that when moving, you feel completely comfortable and in control.

There is so much more I could say about this ingenious machine and the technology created and implemented to elevate this car above the rest of its class, but I just don’t have the room.

So if you’d like to know more now, pick up the phone and speak to our experts who can give you all the info you need on the car and the deal by calling 01565 880880, or visit the BMW 4 Series 190 Gran Coupe deal page on our website.

Finally our last car was one of the most talked about new cars of 2016, it was a new model and from one of our favourite British car makers, it’s the Land Rover Discovery Sport 2.0 TD4 180 HSE 5dr Automatic SUV.

The Deal

If you choose to pay 9 months initial rental up front then you’ll pay just £408.03 per month + VAT, which is for a lease length of 48 months and an annual mileage allowance of 10,000 miles.

But don’t be put off if these terms don’t exactly meet your needs, as you can use the Land Rover Discovery Sport 180 HSE Auto deal page to adjust the terms, see a quick quote and even enquire on the deal.

Included in the deal

Now it’s true that there was a lot of hype around this car at the time of its release because it was aiming to replace the old Freelander and after the insane rush for a Range Rover Evoque when it first went on sale, we were expecting big things.

We were right, the Discovery Sport was very popular with the same sort of people who bought Evoques – school runners. It must be so disappointing for the engineers and designers of this old-school off-road focused brand to be selling to parents to park at Sainsbury’s. Especially since most of the tech and even the control buttons are designed to suit farmers and sheepherders with thick gloves on. I suppose the need for sheepherder’s vehicles isn’t as great as the school run, however.

The interiors of this car are really special, just as you’d expect from this premium brand. With lots of purposefully placed controls, sense of space and lovingly installed upholstery, driving this is like being at home. Land Rover’s all-new InControl infotainment system connects your car to the outside world, providing you with a host of data for driving such as fuel economy, traffic and weather, audio preferences and sound adjustments, and navigation.

Jaguar Land Rover’s new Ingenium diesel engines, with a power output of 180hp it not only gives you great performance, it has a hugely increased fuel consumption level, better refinement being lighter and more affordable to own which essentially means you’re getting a much better deal.

Essential features on the Discovery Sport include front and rear parking sensors, electrically adjustable seats, electrically foldable and heated door mirrors, touch screen with satellite navigation, panoramic sunroof and power tailgate, along with a host of safety technology.

With Blind Spot Monitoring to warn you of approaching vehicles from either side, a range of Park Assist technologies that make parking simple, and Speed Limit Alerts to help you respond faster to restrictions, the car helps you to stay safe on the road.

As well as that there is front and rear heated seats, special Terrain Control functions which allow the car to perform off-road as well as on, giving you a choice of driving modes while Land Rover have tuned the car to cope with extreme temperatures, weather conditions and have provided the car with 4WD and Hill descent control for extra measure.

So if you want a Discovery Sport for the school run or to charge off-piste through mud and dirt, then call our team on 01565 880880, or alternatively, see the Discovery Sport 180 HSE Auto deal page to enquire online.

 

Enjoy the crisp, wintery weekend folks.

Throwback Thursday – The Volkswagen Scirocco

Posted on January 5th, 2017

We have been inspired with the fantastic offer we have on the Volkswagen Scirocco at the moment, and would like pay homage with today’s blog to an iconic car that has remained so popular through the decades.

There have been three different generations of the VW Scirocco, the first ever true Sports Coupe to be made by Volkswagen and when the first generation was launched in 1974 at the Geneva Motor Show it was hugely popular from the word go! It had the practicality and dependability of the Golf, in fact it shared its engine and was underpinned with the MK1 Golf GTi, but with a much sleeker and Sportier body all thanks to its designer Giorgetto Giugiaro (ItalDesign).

With a range of four cylinder engines the most popular, the one everyone wanted was the 1.6L Storm 110bhp which was released in 1979.

Image Credit: www.telegraph.co.uk

By 1981, the MK2 had already been in the pipelines for quite some time, and the MK1 was replaced by a newer far more modern looking version, taking on the Ford Capri and other rivals making them look dated.  It was made far more luxurious with a leather interior and an updated 1.8 fuel injected engine.  This time designed by Volkswagen in house design team. The new car featured increased front and rear head room with more space for your luggage. The exterior was even more sportier with a rear spoiler placed midway up the glass on the rear hatch, setting apart from its predecessor.

Then in 1984, halfway through the model year a new space saver spare wheel was added, that provided room for a larger fuel tank allowing for a second ‘transfer’ fuel pump, other new options became available like air conditioning, power windows and mirrors and a manual sunroof, all things we take for granted today, the MK2 Scirocco was ahead of the game!

Image Credit: cartype.co.uk

Sadly in 1992 the Scirocco was taken out of production by VW, replaced by the Corrado that had originally been added alongside the Scirocco in the VW line-up in 1988 and targeted as a more upmarket model, but effectively replaced it.

However in 2006 Volkswagen released a concept image of an ‘Iroc’ at the Paris Motor show, hinting they were going to bring back the nameplate.

Image Credit: en.volkswagen.com

Leading us to the Scirocco of today the MK3, VW officially announced in 2006 that production of the new Scirocco would take place at the AutoEuropa assembly plant in Palmera, Portugal, based on the Golf MK5 it was unveiled in the 2008 Geneva Motor show and went on sale in summer 2008 in Europe, reaching the rest of the world by 2009.

The new Scirocco MK3 won ‘Car of the Year’ in 2008 from Top Gear magazine and a five star EuroNCAP safety rating in the same year, so VW knew they were on to a winner once again.

As a special treat we have put together a fantastic offer for you on the latest model, take a look and give us a call, but be quick, they are flying out the door!

 

So are there any TV Car & Motoring shows worth watching in 2017?

Posted on January 4th, 2017

 

Image Credit:- www.bbc.co.uk

As I’m sure you will all agree, there just aren’t enough decent Car shows on the television anymore…

After 14 years, 26 series, 237 episodes Fifth Gear was sadly cancelled in May 2016 due to the apparent lack of funding, first broadcast in 2002, ‘5th Gear’ was commissioned in a smart move by Channel 5 to replace the original incarnation of the BBC’S Top Gear which was cancelled in 2001, several of Top Gear’s ex-presenters, including Quenting Wilson, Tiff Needell and Vicki Butler Henderson, were hired by Channel 5 to present the series.

Fifth Gear, In my opinion offered a more ‘grown-up’ perspective of motoring, and for me and I’m sure many others it will be sorely missed, leaving the path clear for the two main contenders to go head to head, let’s take a look at how they compare…

Starting with the obvious – Top Gear

Top Gear series 24 will return to your screens on BBC Two in early 2017, a date that annoyingly is yet to be confirmed.

With the definite departure of Chris Evans, Matt LeBlanc will be joined by Chris Harris and Rory Reid with regular appearances from Eddie Jordan, Sabine Schmitz and The Stig of course!

With divided opinions on the revamped 2016 series minus Clarkson, Hammond and May, I must admit I gave it a miss, with a distinct lack of chemistry between the new presenters I think that it will take a while for the popularity to grow again, and now with the added stress of having to compete with The Grand Tour, which has been newly launched in November 2016, I would imagine the BBC have some major regrets.

The backbone of the show has not really changed…but here is a little taster of what’s to come anyway….

 

The Grand Tour

For all those that simply cannot bear to live without Clarkson, Hammond and May’s peculiar vehicular antics, this is a must see… The plot is pretty much the same as classic TG but on steroids, apart from the fact they film it from a giant tent in a different locations around the globe every week to avoid being sued by the BBC for copyright.

GT firstly pitched up in California, then other locations including Loch Ness, Johannesburg, Lap Land, Dubai and Whitby, yes Whitby.

Instead of the Stig, they have a new in-house driver, 59 year old ‘The American’ aka NASCAR’S Mike Skinner, not one to pull any punches, very vocal unlike the silent Stig!

With an eye watering budget of £4.5m per episode (compared to the £650.000 per episode Top Gear budget) this new series has certainly wet our appetite, with fresh ideas on top of the re-worked classics, state of the art cinematic filming and the warm fuzzy feeling of sheer fun and banter from the ‘Love Em, or hate Em Trio! We are very excited to say the least.

View taster here:-

 

First aired on the 18 November 2016, The grand Tour series one includes 12 episodes , each released every Thursday night/ Friday 00.01 am , and available to watch and download indefinitely.

On the down side you have to be an Amazon Prime subscriber to watch it, this comes in at £79 per year (Monthly payment option available) But if you look at what the Prime package includes, it is pretty awesome in my opinion! And you get a month’s free subscription… You can check that out by clicking here