Sunday 19 November 2017

World Car Awards biggest on planet, 'P' for phone charge, New Duster, Jag sets Pace

Short cuts with Eddie

Jaguar's E-Pace SUV
Jaguar's E-Pace SUV
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

I'M happy to report that the World Car Awards (of which I'm honoured to be a jury member) have been declared the number one programme of their type on the planet, not just this year but for the fifth time in a row.

That means news about the awards gets huge coverage and reaches untold millions every time there is a development, announcement or final decision.

The objective for 2018 is to maintain that number one status for the sixth consecutive year while "promoting our jurors, and their media outlets, within the regional and global automotive communities".

The 2018 Road to World Car begins at the Frankfurt motor show in September, when the nominated cars in six categories will be announced. Here's to another year. I wonder what I'll vote for?

I'll spare you the detail, but the BBC this week reported the following: "British scientists have developed a way to charge phones with power created from urine."

Dacia's new Duster will premiere at the Frankfurt motor show in September. Remember where you read it. There will be mega interest.

The new Nissan Leaf electric car, unveiling in September at the Frankfurt show, will have ProPILOT technology, which will allow for autonomous drive on single-lane highways.

With under half of us "very confident" of our ability to change a tyre (according to an AA study) I wonder if there isn't a case to be made for basic instructions to be included on two fronts: point-of-sale and when learning to drive.

Mind you, with the lack of spare wheels/tyres in cars these days (replaced by gooey messes in some cases) and the growth in roadside assistance, the general lack of confidence/ability is understandable. A lot of men (77pc) were "very confident", but just 17.5pc of women felt similarly.

Jaguar's biggest assault on the global car market will kick off with the E-Pace SUV in mid-July. It slots below the F-Pace and will rival the BMW X1 and Audi Q3.

It sits on the same platform as the Land Rover Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque and comes with 2WD (front) or 4WD, and either 6spd manual or 8spd auto transmissions. There will be 2-litre 4cyl petrol and diesels (161bhp, 178bhp and 237bhp powerplant). It will also get Jaguar's new hybrid powertrain.

The Opel Insignia Country Tourer, the third model after the hatch and estate, is to go on sale in September and will have the same all-wheel-drive system as the Ford Focus RS.

Volvo's Polestar brand is to roll out a number of electrified vehicles, and none will carry the Volvo logo.

Ford will have a 1-litre EcoBoost petrol with cylinder deactivation technology to further cut emissions and boost economy from early next year. The EcoBoost has just been named 2017 International Engine of the Year in its category for the sixth year in a row.

Some interesting findings from a Carzone study: 50pc of motorists change car every five years; 47pc stick to the same brand; rising insurance premiums are a key concern: 69pc say technology plays an important role in what they buy; 65pc believe in-car technology has made them a better driver.

Irish Independent

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