Thursday 27 April 2017

Visions of the future as marques reveal shapes and sizes of cars to come soon

Skoda's 300bhp four-seat crossover Vision E electric car concept
Skoda's 300bhp four-seat crossover Vision E electric car concept
Audi's e-tron Sportback concept
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

Visions of the near-future have emerged this week as carmakers gear up to meet demand for more electric, SUV and luxury cars.

Skoda joins the electric club, Citroen signs up for the SUV brigade while Mercedes 'puts the boot in' with an A-Class saloon and takes a step closer to autonomous driving with the S-Class. Volkswagen and Audi, meantime, show further intent of being major players in the electric-car world.

Skoda's 300bhp four-seat crossover Vision E electric car concept (pictured above) is 4.6m long and built on the VW Group's MEB platform while also heralding its design future.

The first Skoda concept powered by a battery-electric drivetrain, it is said to be close enough to what we'll see on the road by 2020. It will be the trailblazer for five other electric Skodas by 2025.

The Vision E's wheelbase is 60mm longer than the Kodiaq SUV. Also, expect a plug-in hybrid Superb by 2019.

Meantime, Citroen is finally joining the growing SUV/crossover segment with its C5 Aircross, a rival for the likes of the Nissan Qashqai, Renault Kadjar and Ford Kuga.

It will also embrace the carmaker's first plug-in hybrid variant (200bhp engine, plus an electric motor front and rear 300bhp). There is a claimed all-electric range of up to 60km. There will, of course, be petrol and diesel versions.

Additionally, the Aircross shows off the marque's new Progressive Hydraulic Cushions suspension system, which Citroen claims creates a 'flying carpet' effect.

At 4.5m long, 1.84m wide and 1,67m tall, it will be one of the largest SUVs in the sector. Expect it here towards the end of next year.

I reckon Mercedes' new saloon version of the A-Class will be of real interest, if the success of Audi's A3 booted model is anything to go by.

The Merc concept is said to be a near-enough to the production version, which is set to get to Ireland by late 2018. At the other end of the scale, meanwhile, Mercedes is also showing off its revised S-Class, which has new 6cyl in-line engines (diesel and petrol) as well as a new V8 biturbo petrol. The company plans also plans a plug-in hybrid.

And with its Intelligent Drive system, autonomous driving takes another step closer. The revised S-Class should be here by autumn.

Volkswagen's electric push intensifies with its ID Crozz concept at the Shanghai Show as it aims to sell as many as one million electric car sales by 2025.

Audi A172943.jpg  

And Audi is showing its e-tron Sportback concept (above) at Shanghai too. The production electric model, due in 2019, will rival Jaguar's I-Pace electric SUV.

Indo Motoring

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