• BMW has announced new plug-in hybrid (HEV) variants for its X1 and X2 compact SUV models.
    The X1 xDrive25e and X2 xDrive25e each consist of a 1.5 litre 3-cylinder petrol engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology and an electric drive specially developed for each model.

    The petrol engines achieve a peak output of 125hp and a maximum torque of 220Nm, which is transferred to a 6-speed Steptronic transmission and drives the front wheels. The electric motor meanwhile generates an output of 95hp and delivers 165Nm of torque to the rear wheels via a single-speed transmission.

    Using the latest-generation lithium-ion batteries, each car has a 10kWh battery with a range of between 33 and 35 miles (WLTP) in both the BMW X1 xDrive25e and BMW X2 xDrive25e.

    The BMW X1 xDrive25e is priced from £38,200 and available to order now, with first deliveries from March 2020. The BMW X2 xDrive25e will be available from summer 2020 with prices yet to be announced.


  • In other BMW news, the company has now ceased production of its 3 Series Gran Turismo, following CEO Harald Krüger announcing earlier this year "There will be no successor" to the hatchback variant of the popular 3 Series.

    Whilst the 3 Series GT sold well, BMW have stated the decision remove it from their lineup is down to cost-cutting. Krüger has stated that he intends to make BMW product development faster and more efficient, as well as cut 50% of the current drivetrain variants in the transition to its new modular platform starting in 2021.

  • Electronics company, Sony, has revealed an all-electric car concept at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this week, the Sony Vision-S.

    Whilst Sony has not confirmed any plans to actually enter the car market with their own production car, they say the concept is a means to “thoroughly understand the mechanism of cars” and “embodies [their] contribution to the future of mobility.”

    The intention of the Vision-S is therefore to showcase the technology Sony can make for the cars of tomorrow, focusing on infotainment, communications and safety technologies.

    Using 33 automotive grade sensors (including Sony CMOS sensors), the Vision-S can identify people and objects both inside and outside the car as part of what Sony call a ‘safety cocoon’. The concept also features a panoramic screen in place of a usual dashboard and ‘360 Reality Audio‘, which offers individual speakers in each seat and allows for each passenger to listen to their own music with personalised sound configuration.


  • Volkswagen has relaunched the VW up! for 2020, along with new safety equipment, new trim levels, and the accolade of being the first model in the UK to wear the new Volkswagen badge.

    After a short hiatus, the up! GTI also returns with the familiar 115PS 1.0 litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine. The rest of the up! range also features a new high-spec R-Line trim for the first time, which sits squatter than the standard up!, with lowered sports suspension. In addition, the R-Line receives comfort features such as heated front seats alongside electrically heated and adjustable door mirrors.

    Furthermore, the improved e-up! pure-electric vehicle, with an improved range of 162 miles (WLTP) will also be available to order soon.

    The New Volkswagen up! starts at £12,440 for the 3-door base model and up to £16,295 for the 5-door up! GTI.


  • Volkswagen has also added a new, range-topping turbo petrol engine to its T-Cross compact SUV. The 1.5 TSI 150 engine has an improved top speed of 124mph and matches the combined 44.0mpg (WLTP) fuel economy of the 1.0-litre engine.

    The new engine will be offered with SEL and R-Line trims, priced at £24,910 and £26,810 respectively.

  • Renault is set to release electrified versions of its two best-selling cars, the Renault Clio and Renault Captur.

    The Clio E-TECH will feature a hybrid engine with regenerative braking and be able to travel up to 38 mph in all-electric mode. Meanwhile, the Captur E-TECH will feature a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) engine and a battery capacity of 9.8 kWh, allowing it to travel up to 30 miles (WLPT) in all-electric mode and reach a top speed of 85mph.

    The new Renault E-TECH models will go in sale in June this year, with a Renault Mégane E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid set to join the line-up shortly afterwards.