- The New Range Rover Evoque was revealed at the end of last week and is now available to order. The new Evoque is the first Land Rover to offer a 48-volt mild-hybrid powertrain and works by harvesting energy which would normally be lost through deceleration and stores it in a small battery beneath the floor of the car.

At speeds below 11mph, the engine will shut off while the driver applies the brakes. When pulling away, the stored energy is then redeployed to assist the engine under acceleration and reduce fuel consumption.  A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) will join the range next year.

 The New Evoque is one of the first cars to show combined fuel economy under WLTP measures.  Cars tested under the old NEDC measures show a single MPG figure, whereas the New Evoque shows two figures – TEL (Test Energy Low) and TEH (Test Energy High).
TEL refers to the lowest/most economical figures (with the lightest set of options) and TEH refers to the highest/least economical figures (with the heaviest set of options).

Using a new ‘2.0 D150 SE FWD’ as an example, this is how the old and new figures compare:

NEDC equivalent = 52.3 mpg
WLTP (TEL)        = 44.9 mpg
WLTP (TEH)       = 42.1 mpg

The equivalent engine in the previous Evoque had a combined fuel economy of NEDC = 56.5mpg                  

                   

- The latest advisory fuel rates (AFRs) come into force from 1st December 2018. There are no changes to the rates for petrol cars, but a 1p per mile (ppm) increase will apply to the rate for diesel cars with an engine above 2,000cc and goes from 13-14ppm. All other diesel rates remain unchanged.

A 1ppm increase will also be applied to  LPG vehicles with an engine of 1,400cc or less, from 7-8ppm, and for LPG vehicles with an engine from 1,600-2,000cc, from 9-10ppm. LPG vehicles with an engine above 2,000cc will see a 2ppm increase, from 13-15ppm.  

The advisory electricity rate (AER) for plug-in cars remains unchanged at 4ppm.

 

- MINI will celebrate its 60th birthday next year and is set to mark the occasion with the launch of the MINI Electric. This car will be added to the 3-door hatch range and will be brands first fully electric car. The battery is expected to be the same as the BMW i3, which has been recently upgraded to a 42kWh capacity and should give the MINI Electric a range of approximately 200 miles.

 

- Following the recent revival of German car manufacturer, Borgward, their cars will begin to go on sale in the UK towards the end of 2019.
Borgward’s BX5 and BX7 premium SUV’s went on sale in Germany at the start of this year and will be the first Borgward models available the UK. Electric versions of each car, the BXi5 and BXi7, are expected to follow shortly after.

 

-- The 2018 LA Motorshow is well under way and some of the highlights include:

- 2019 Toyota Prius / Available with a new, intelligent, electric all-wheel drive system (Hybrid AWD-i). Up until now, the Prius has only been available with front-wheel drive and this new model will use an additional high-torque electric motor to provide extra drive through the rear axle of the car when required. The ‘Hybrid AWD-i’ system has been engineered to engage automatically when pulling away, at speeds up to 7mph, and when sensors detect low-grip conditions, such is in snow or on wet and slippery road surfaces, at speeds between 7 and 44mph.

- 2020 Jeep Gladiator / This is Jeep’s first pickup in 26 years, since the Cherokee-based Jeep Comanche. The Gladiator is based on the 4-door version of Wrangler and is offered with either a 3.6-litre V6 petrol or a 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine, which will be available at a later date. The Gladiator comes with a choice of cloth top or removable hard top, both complete with a fold-down windscreen.

 - 2019 Kia Soul EV / The Soul EV features a new cutting-edge liquid-cooled lithium-ion polymer 64 kWh battery pack, with an improved range over the outgoing model. The Soul EV is currently being tested to ascertain its estimated range, with the overall battery range due to be announced early in 2019.

- 2019 Mazda 3 / Available either as a hatchback or saloon, the engine line-up includes 1.5 and 2.0-litre versions of Mazda’s SkyActiv-G petrol motors and a SkyActiv-D 1.8-litre diesel that uses ‘multi-hole piezo injectors’ for smoother performance and produces less noise.

The New Mazda 3 also offers Mazda’s new SkyActiv-X supercharged petrol motor; which features Spark Plug-Controlled Compression Ignition (SPCCI).
SPCCI works by compressing the fuel-air mix at a much higher compression ratio, with a very lean mix. The SKYACTIV-X engine uses a spark to ignite only a small, dense amount of the fuel-air mix in the cylinder. This raises the temperature and pressure so that the remaining fuel-air mix ignites under pressure (like a diesel), burning faster and more completely than in conventional engines. Mazda claims this brings efficiency gains of as much as 30 per cent over a regular petrol engine.

- 2019 Porsche 911 Carrera (992) / The new eighth-generation of the 911 has been revealed. As well as being longer, wider and taller than previous models, the 992 is more powerful, faster and boasts more technology than before. It also has fixings and mountings for battery packs and motors, making provisions for future hybrid and possible electric powertrains.