Weekly News Roundup - 22/02/19
- Ford has revealed the all-new Focus ST and will be available in both five-door hatch and estate body styles. The new Focus will be available to order with either a 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engine or the flagship 2.3-litre turbocharged petrol. Prices and full specifications will be announced closer to cars on-sale date in Summer 2019.
- Ford is also due to reveal the new third-generation Kuga towards the end of the year. Currently the best selling SUV in Europe, the next Kuga will be based on the architecture of the current Focus and have a longer wheelbase, allowing for a larger interior. Although details are limited, the new Kuga range is expected to include a hybrid and possibly plug-in hybrid variants.
- CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, has claimed that the car companies autonomous technology will be complete by the end of 2019, and safe to operate without any human observation before the end of 2020. “… The car will be able to find you in a parking lot, pick you up, take you all the way to your destination without intervention this year. I would say I am certain of that, that is not a question mark.” Musk also alleged that users would be able to fall asleep at the wheel and wake up at their destination.
- Mercedes-Benz has confirmed that production of the SLC will end later this year and have announced the Final Edition model, which will arrive in showrooms next month. The SLC, which was called the SLK up until 2016, has been around since 1996 and the Final Edition model will be available with the same optional yellow paint as the original SLK.
- Volvo has updated their MY20 lineup of cars with more simplified grades and updated power trains. The existing and ‘Pro’ non-‘Pro’ trim levels have both been discontinued and replaced by ‘Plus’ variants, such as ‘Momentum Plus’, ’R-Design Plus’ and ‘Inscription Plus’.In addition to new petrol automatic T5, T6 and T8 powertrains, the diesel D4 and D5 powertrains now benefit from mild hybrid technology.
These new powertrains are identified as B4 and B5. The ‘B’ refers to ‘braking’, as the mild hybrid technology uses energy stored from braking to assist the car battery, which can then be used for acceleration and/or powering additional equipment. Unlike hybrids and plug-in hybrids, mild hybrids cannot move using electrical power alone; it is always in conjunction with the petrol or diesel powertrain.
- Aston Martin has teased their upcoming mid-engined supercar, codenamed ‘Project 003’. Following the naming structure of the Aston Martin Valkyrie, codenamed ‘001’, and the track-only Valkyrie AMR Pro, ‘002’, the ‘003’ is rumored to be called the Aston Martin Valhalla.
Expected in 2021, ‘Project 003’ is going to be fitted with a “turbocharged petrol-electric hybrid engine” and will compete with the likes of the LaFerrari and Porsche 918.
The ‘003’ will sit alongside Aston Martin’s range of new models, which will include the ‘AM9’, a Ferrari 488 competitor, and the brands first SUV, the Aston Martin DBX.