Hyundai is ramping up its Santa Fe publicity campaign ahead of the Geneva Motor Show, and these are the first official pictures. Sitting above the Tucson and Kona SUVs, the Santa Fe retains its flagship status for the South Korean brand, and will take on the Skoda Kodiaq, Kia Sorento and Nissan X-Trail. The most obvious design changes are to its nose, which now boasts Hyundai’s latest ‘cascading grille’ family face. It’s characterised by high-set strips of LED daytime running lights where you would usually expect to find the headlights, that are actually recessed in pods at either side of the grille. That has changed quite a bit too, because a chrome blade now spans across its top and out to the wheelarches, leaving the sides and bottom ‘frameless’.
As is the trend for SUVs, the Santa Fe also features acres of protective cladding around its wheelarches, with a swathe of chrome to separate the rugged door sills from the bodywork. The other big news is a push towards greater safety under Hyundai’s SmartSense umbrella. These active features include a new evolution of cross-traffic assist, which is active as you reverse out of a space, and can now stop the car if it detects traffic, rather than just warning the driver. If you’re about to get out of the Santa Fe and a car approaches, Safety Exit Assist temporarily locks the doors to keep you out of harm’s way. Luggage capacity has increased by 40 litres to 625 litres, with the third row of seats folded down.
Interior space should feel roomier, thanks to the Santa Fe being 70 millimetres longer and 10 millimetres wider than the current model, along with an increase in the wheelbase that is expected to boost rear knee room. Interior quality appears better too, with the single photo revealing a tablet-style infotainment screen mounted above the dashboard. Elsewhere there’s stitched leather covering the fascia and the instrument cluster blends a mixture of digital and analogue gauges.
As before, power will come from a 197bhp 2.2-litre R-Series diesel engine that develops 322lb ft of torque, mated to a sixspeed manual or newly developed eightspeed automatic transmission. All editions of the new Santa Fe will comply with the upcoming Euro-6c emissions regulations, ahead of the deadline, with the first examples of the SUV set to hit the showrooms later this year.


The Kia Optima saloon and Sportswagon estate will soon be available with an all-new 1.6-litre CRDi diesel engine, along with a raft of updates to keep the model at the top of its game, when it arrives in UK showrooms this summer. New design elements will improve its looks, while a drive mode selector will give more control over the driving experience. Codenamed ‘U3’, the common-rail direct injection engine will replace the ageing 1.7-litre CRDi unit and features Selective Catalytic Reduction to minimise NOx emissions. It produces 134bhp and 236lb ft of torque – a little down on the 139bhp and 251lb ft of the current model – and meets the latest Euro-6C emissions regulations. Official fuel economy and CO2 emissions figures have yet to be revealed.
The addition of a drive mode selector will let Optima drivers choose between Eco, Comfort, Sport and Smart modes, adjusting settings to help motorists save fuel or enjoy more immediate responses as they see fit. Smart mode has been designed to quickly switch between modes automatically, based on driving behaviour and the road conditions at the time. Ambient lighting will also glow green in Eco mode, red in Sport and blue in Smart, or owners can choose to set one of six different colours.
You’ll be able to spot the 2018 Optima by its re-profiled front bumper, chrome finish to its ‘tiger-nose’ grille and new LED rear light clusters, while its headlights and fog lights are also tweaked. The saloon also gets a new rear bumper and there’s a new ‘Runway Red’ paint finish and different designs for the 16-to-18-inch diameter alloy wheels.
Designers have also upgraded the steering wheel and there’s classy-looking satin chrome trim on the centre console and dashboard. Opt for the GT-Line model and two-tone black and red leather seats are available, or you can choose black leather with contrasting red stitching for a more subtle approach.


Ford has revealed a facelifted version of the Edge – its largest SUV – in sporty ST-Line trim. Not only does it look warmed over, with a new 235bhp 2.0-litre EcoBlue twin-turbocharged diesel engine, it should go pretty well too. To help keep owners out of trouble, there’s a suite of new cameras and sensors to help take the stress out of journeys and avoid collisions. Take a look around the 2018 Edge and the large grille has got even bigger, while the bumpers have all been reshaped to stay ‘on trend’. There’s standard LED headlights and rear lights, and a choice of Zetec, Titanium and luxurious Vignale trim levels will be offered. It’s the ST-Line model that could steal the limelight, though, with a sportier body kit, 20- or 21-inch alloy wheels, paddle shifters for the automatic gearbox and dual exhausts. The ST-Line model will feel different on the road too, but we’ll have to wait and see how well its sports suspension and variable-rate steering work on potholestrewn British roads.
There are improved materials inside, while the gearbox is now controlled by a rotary dial on the centre console, freeing up space for a wireless smartphone charging pad. The handbrake is electric, allowing space for cupholders and a storage area big enough for a tablet device. The instrument cluster is now fully digital, letting drivers choose between different layouts, and even scroll through seven colour schemes. Music lovers can opt for a new 1,000-watt B&O Play audio system with surround sound and a 10-channel digital processor.
The arrival of Ford’s EcoBlue 2.0- litre diesel engine signals big changes under the skin too. Designed to deliver ample performance while reducing emissions, the rangetopping 235bhp bi-turbo version has a smaller blower for improved response and torque, while a larger turbo takes over to give peak power. It’s fitted as standard with Ford’s eight-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive. The 188bhp version gets the latter but comes with a six-speed manual, while an entry-level 148bhp model has the new eight-speed automatic, but sending power only to the front wheels.
Bristling with safety technology, the Edge will debut post-collision braking, evasive steering assist and adaptive cruise control that can help steer the vehicle within its lane, bring the car to a halt in traffic, and set off again when it clears. There are too many features to list, but highlights are adaptive headlights, autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot warning and cross traffic alerts to warn you of passing traffic as you reverse. The Edge can also park itself and assist you to drive out of parking spaces.
Making its debut at the Geneva motor show in Switzerland, the updated Edge range will arrive in UK showrooms later this year.


An all-new Volvo V60 estate is just around the corner and the Swedish manufacturer has officially released the first details of its new family model in Stockholm. Sitting between the V90 estate and V40 hatchback, it’s set to take on models like the Audi A4 Avant, BMW 3 Series Touring and Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate. To do so, the V60 boasts sharp lines and a neat interior, along with a suite of petrol, diesel or plug-in hybrid engines and the latest safety technology. It’s a hugely important model for the manufacturer, which its vice president describes as “the central point for the Volvo brand”. Based on the same Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA) underpinnings as the XC60 and V90, it will be launched with 2.0-litre diesel engines, front-wheel drive and manual or automatic gearboxes. The entrylevel V60 D3 Momentum will cost from £31,810 and has 148bhp, with company-car friendly CO2 emissions of 114g/km. Adding an automatic gearbox costs £1,550 extra, but also increases emissions to 121g/km, while both manage the same 9.9 seconds 0-62mph time. Step up to the V60 D4 Momentum manual with 188bhp and emissions only creep up to 117g/km, while its £32,810 asking price is also just £1,000 extra, but the 0-62mph time drops to 7.9 seconds. Standard kit is generous, with highlights like cruise control, LED headlights, a powered tailgate, 17-inch alloy wheels and dual-zone climate control. There’s also a 12.3-inch digital instrument display and 9-inch Sensus infotainment screen with navigation system. The Inscription trim adds luxury, boasting leather upholstery, powered front seats with memory functionality and lashings of chrome and wood trim. You can also upgrade Momentum and Inscription to Pro versions, adding items like a heated steering wheel and wiper blades, a head-up display, cornering headlights and a hands-free tailgate. There are some handy option packs, including a winter pack with the usual mix of heated everything, headlight washers and heated ‘Aqua Blade’ wipers for £1,275. Intellisafe Pro adds Volvo’s semiautonomous Pilot Assist system, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot warnings and rear cross traffic alerts for £1,400 and the convenience pack brings power folding rear seats, more charging points and luggage nets for £500.
Unlike the previous V60 that traded some practicality for style, the latest model has a large 529-litre boot, beating its closest rivals. Folding the rear seats down will see it grow to 1,364 litres. If you own a caravan or trailer, the D4 is probably the one to go for as it can pull 2,000kgs. The D3 manual is rated to tow a 1,600kg braked trailer, 200kg less than the automatic. Being a new Volvo, the V60 is positively bursting with safety features, both passive and active. There are too many to list, but City Safety (Volvo’s autonomous emergency braking system) can now detect pedestrians, cyclists and large animals, as well as cars, and help you steer around obstacles or perform an emergency stop.
While an exact date hasn’t been set, expect to see the Volvo V60 arriving in showrooms in September, with T6 petrol plug-in hybrid models coming a few months later. A rugged V60 Cross Country model is set to arrive before the end of the year, as are sporty R-Design editions of the V60. An S60 four-door saloon is set to be unveiled this year, too, completing Volvo’s ‘60’ series of cars.


It’s time to welcome MPV triplets: the Citroën Berlingo, Peugeot Rifter and Vauxhall Combo Life, all offering loads of space and low running costs to anyone looking for the most practicality for their money. Their commercial origins mean space is guaranteed, but creature comforts are offered too, with funky interior ambiences to choose from if you plump for the Citroën. While the Berlingo and Combo names are familiar, Peugeot has chosen a new tag for its edition of the MPV, replacing the Partner Tepee in the line-up.
All three have a similar high roofline and side windows, but it’s no surprise that it’s at the front where each manufacturer has put their own stamp on proceedings with each featuring a family grille and bespoke styling. The Berlingo is the most daring, featuring the wide chevron upper grille and LED daytime running lights from models like the Citroën C3, and protective Airbumps along its sides. The Peugeot and Vauxhall are more conservative, but still recognisable as being part of the trio. It’s a different story inside though, where it’s the Peugeot that is the most unconventional, thanks to its ‘i-Cockpit’ dashboard layout. This means there’s a compact steering wheel, dash-top mounted instruments and a large eight-inch tablet-style infotainment screen. You can even have upmarket materials covering the fascia and centre console, and there’s an upmarket GT-Line edition to add a touch of sportiness to the range. The Citroën and Vauxhall have a more conventional layout as far as the steering wheel and instruments are concerned, but share the same rising centre console and a large infotainment screen, on top-of-the-range versions at least.
Technology should impress prospective customers too, with adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and lanedeparture warnings all offered, along with a 180-degree bird’s-eye view reversing camera. You’ll also be able to add a colour head-up display and Grip Control, which helps find traction in slippery conditions.
It’s interior space you’ll pick one of this threesome for though, and Citroën says there’ll be 28 different storage cubbies in the Berlingo for you to misplace your sunglasses in. All three models will be offered with two wheelbases, and a choice of five- or seven-seats. Boot space measures up to 775 litres, while folding the rear seats down and loading to the ceiling opens up to a massive 4,000-litres in the lengthier version.
There’s plenty of choice of power outputs, too, with a 1.5-litre diesel engine expected in 74, 98 and 128bhp guises, with an eight-speed automatic transmission optional for the top version and a standard manual gearbox elsewhere. With the Berlingo Multispace and Rifter making their debut at the Geneva Motor Show (Vauxhall-Opel aren’t present at the Swiss show), prices and detailed specifications will be published over the next few months, ahead of their arrival in UK showrooms sometime in the autumn.


The BMW X4 SUV coupé is set to enjoy a substantial upgrade for its second outing, with a fresh look, improved engines and new technology. It’s not just a case of new bumpers either, with the new version becoming longer and wider, with a different design treatment at the rear. On sale now and making its debut at the Geneva Motor Show, it will cost from £42,900.
To steal back sales from the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class, BMW has stretched the X4 by 81 millimetres, made it 37 wider and even increased its wheelbase by 54 millimetres. BMW says this helps show off its 50:50 weight distribution, while its enlarged kidney grilles and new headlight designs clearly hint at its performance. Described as a Sports Activity Coupé, the windowline has an elongated version of the famous ‘Hofmeister kink’, but the biggest changes are reserved for the tailgate. Here there are stronger horizontal lines and wide LED rear lights, accentuating width far more than before.
Trim levels will include Sport, M Sport and M Sport X, with different 19-inch wheels to suit each equipment level, a more rugged look for M Sport X versions and the traditional sporty body kit for M Sport editions. There’s also a flagship M Performance M40d version priced at £55,315, packing 322bhp of punch, with acceleration to 62mph taking just 4.9 seconds, making it one of the quickest accelerating SUVs on the market. But despite the huge performance potential, it manages 44.1mpg on the combined cycle, with CO2 emissions of 170g/km.
Inside, the infotainment system will feature a 6.5-inch touchscreen and a navigation system as standard, upgradeable to 10.25 inches with the Professional version. There’s the option of a metallic finish for some of the controls, new ambient lighting and unique ‘Tacora Red’ leather seats. The panoramic sunroof is now bigger and you can specify three-zone climate control and heated or ventilated front seats. The windscreen benefits from acoustic glass as standard to reduce cabin noise, and this can also be added to the front side windows. BMW’s Display Key will also be offered, with a 2.2- inch touchscreen letting you see the fuel status and set the heating system from afar. Android and Apple phones and smart watches are supported, along with Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Being slightly larger than before, there are three seats in the back with 27 millimetres of extra legroom, the boot measures 525 litres and the 40:20:40 rear seats can fold down to increase load capacity to 1,430 litres. Choosing an extended storage pack adds additional storage spaces, USB ports, hooks and lashing rails in the boot.
A range of 2.0-litre and 3.0-litre diesel engines will also be offered – the latter arriving later – and all featuring xDrive four-wheel drive as standard. The xDrive20d kicks off proceedings with 188bhp and 295lb ft of torque, with the entry-level xDrive20d Sport model managing 52.3mpg and CO2 emissions of 142g/km. The more powerful 261bhp xDrive30d edition will offer fuel economy of 47.9mpg and CO2 emissions of 156g/km. The latest driving assistance features have also been intregrated, with standard autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection and optional active cruise control that can stop the X4 and set off again automatically in heavy traffic. The X4 will also be able to steer itself within a lane at speeds of up to 130mph and park itself in parallel and bay spaces.


Peugeot will launch a sleek new version of its Mondeo-rivalling 508 saloon at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. Like the Mondeo, the 508 has eschewed the traditional three-box saloon design in favour of a racier five-door ‘fastback’ style with a low roofline and a rakish rear window. Across the back, a thick rear light bar similar to the one found on the 3008 SUV spans the car’s width, drawing attention to Peugeot’s now-trademark triple-claw tail lights.
But while attention will rest largely on the rear of the latest 508, there are plenty of snazzy features further forward, including frameless side windows and recessed headlights, as well as sharply styled vertical daytime running lights. And as a nod to the past, the 508 model name is now emblazoned across the bonnet. The interior has been totally revamped too, with Peugeot’s now trademark i-Cockpit dominating proceedings. The concept has been developed somewhat since its introduction on the 208 in 2012, but the basics of a small steering wheel, minimalist dashboard and high-mounted instruments have remained. Joining those features, are a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system that is angled towards the driver and a 12-inch digital instrument display. The highspecification models shown in Peugeot’s images also gets a sportier, squared-off steering wheel, tactile wood trim and quilted leather with contrasting copper stitching.
And that’s not the only technology on show, with the French manufacturer promising a night vision camera as part of a suite of safety gizmos. Borrowed from the DS 7 Crossback, and using an infra-red camera, the system will produce a black-and-white display of the road ahead, giving the driver the chance to see further into the darkness than normal headlights allow. The system can pick out pedestrians and animals that would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye, then warn the driver of their presence.
The switch from four to five doors has made the newcomer even more practical than its roomy predecessor, despite shrinking in overall length to 4.75 metres, a reduction of 8 centimetres compared to its predecessor. The boot has swollen slightly, rising from 473 to 487 litres, while the large rear hatchback gives greater access to the space and allows bulkier objects to be loaded. A maximum cargo capacity of 1,537 litres is available with the rear chairs folded down. Peugeot has promised six petrol and diesel combinations with power outputs ranging from 129 to 222bhp, as well as a plug-in hybrid drivetrain arriving next year. Diesel engines will feature prominently in the range, with the 129bhp 1.5-litre BlueHDi unit to sit alongside 158bhp and 174bhp versions of its larger 2.0-litre sibling. The entrylevel engine is offered with a choice of six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission, with all other editions fitted with the self-shifting gearbox. Like other models in the Peugeot range, the line-up is expected to follow the established Allure and GT-Line trim level architecture.
Following its Geneva unveiling, the new 508 will go on sale in the summer, but UK deliveries aren’t expected until the end of the year. A more practical 508 SW estate variant will be revealed later this year, before arriving in Peugeot showrooms at the beginning of 2019.


Our first look at the BMW Concept iX3 in Beijing has revealed a show car bearing all the hallmarks of a design nearing production, signalling that BMW’s first electric SUV is getting closer. Based closely on the standard X3, the Jaguar I-Pace rival will be the first in a long line of electrified BMW models. In fact, the BMW Group announced that every new model from all of its brands will be designed to accommodate conventional combustion, plug-in hybrid or electric powertrains from the outset.
To achieve this, BMW eDrive technology has been developed, comprising of an electric motor, transmission and electronics fitted into a single module that’s light and compact, making it easier to fit into any new BMW, MINI or Rolls-Royce design. It’s also scalable, with the ability to add more power in models that require it, without any reliance on rare earth materials, making it more sustainable as a result.
Fitted in the iX3, eDrive delivers around 266bhp and features a 70kWh battery pack, providing a range of ‘more than 249 miles using the WLTP cycle.’ It will also be capable of using a new generation of fast-charging stations, providing up to 150kW, and charging the battery in 30 minutes. The most striking design change for the iX3 is its take on the iconic ‘double kidney’ grille, with both sides now joined to create one unit accentuated with blue highlights.
With no combustion engine requiring a constant feed of air, it’s also mostly closed off to reduce drag. The concept is finished in matt Moonstone Silver paintwork and sits on alloy wheels that have been aerodynamically optimised. It is, however, a far less radical design than BMW’s i8 and i3 models in a bid to showcase the electrification of more mainstream models in BMW’s line-up. BMW has already confirmed that the production iX3 will be built at its Shenyang plant in China, while eDrive components can not only be produced in Shenyang, but also in Dingolfing (Germany) and Spartanburg in the US. This could make the iX3 the first BMW that’s built exclusively in China and then sold in Europe and other markets.


Toyota has taken the wraps of a sharp new RAV4 SUV at the New York International Auto Show. It’s based on the same petrol-hybrid platform as the latest Prius, CH-R and upcoming Lexus UX, bringing big changes for the fifth-generation model, including news that no diesel version will be offered this time around.
Despite the move to the Toyota New Generation Architecture (TNGA) platform, the RAV4 hasn’t lost its SUV proportions. It’s almost identical in length to the outgoing model, but it’s now 10mm wider, resulting in “a more comfortable and spacious cabin for the occupants”, according to Toyota. That’s also thanks to front and rear axles that have been pushed 30mm further apart, liberating more space inside and creating shorter nose and tail overhangs.
Particular attention has been paid to the cargo area too, with an adjustable boot floor, side netting and folding rear seats to improve flexibility. While few details have been released, teaser pictures show improved materials for front passengers, with metallic trim surrounding a centre console that’s also bathed in blue ambient lighting.
The dashboard features only essential buttons and two large dials to alter the climate control, while a large infotainment and navigation system screen sits perched above the middle air vents. A blue theme runs through the interior, with the new soft-touch dashtop featuring blue stitching that matches the colour of the start button, and a new rotary driving mode selector found next to the gear selector.
Power will come from a 2.5-litre petrol engine mated with Toyota’s hybrid system. All-wheel drive versions of the RAV4 will also get a smaller electric motor for the rear axle. This will be able to drive the rear wheels at lower speeds, providing improved traction in poor conditions, and allow for some light off-roading. Toyota is also developing a non-hybrid 2.0-litre petrol engine, but it’s not yet know if this will be sold in the UK. The hybrid edition is set to arrive in early 2019, with more details and official figures released in the run up to its launch.


Mercedes-Maybach has revealed a luxurious SUV concept that’s set to evolve into a future Bentley Bentayga, Audi Q8, Aston Martin DBX and RollsRoyce Cullinan contender. The Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury, to give it its full title, was unwrapped at the Beijing Motor Show, with a battery electric powertrain featuring four compact permanent-magnet synchronous electric motors.
Its arresting exterior design is said to combine the “DNA of an SUV with that of a saloon to produce an ultramodern SUV of three-box design” according to Gorden Wagener, chief designer. It’s essentially a raised luxury saloon, aimed first and foremost at Far Eastern markets where sales of big saloons are still booming, but with enough SUV traits to satisfy a global appetite for taller models. In typical Mercedes-Maybach style, it’s no shrinking violet, with a chrome strip running back from the front emblem to create a split panoramic roof and rear windscreen and meet the rear roundel. There’s a huge chrome-plated grille (inspired by a pinstripe suit) that we’ve already seen adorning the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 coupé concept and MercedesMaybach S-Class. The bonnet is far longer and the roofline lower than a Range Rover, and is fused with a notchback tail. Lashings of polished chrome adorn the window frames and even the 24-inch turbine alloy wheels, while the machined aluminium side steps boast an illuminated Maybach logo.
Designed with a chauffeur in mind, the dashboard is neat but simple, featuring Mercedes-Benz’s twin 12.3- inch displays, but with new graphics specifically for Maybach. The centre console stretches throughout the cabin, and is home to a tea set for rear passengers. Attention to detail includes air vents that echo the exterior grille design, and the use of new materials like rose gold and ebony, along with a full programme of seat massages and diffused fragrances to relax occupants.
An underfloor 80kWh battery pack powers four electric motors with a combined power output of 740bhp. This should be good for a predicted range of around 311 miles (NEDC) and a limited 155mph top speed. DC fast charging is also planned to meet the Combined Charging Standard (CCS), allowing an additional 62 miles of driving range to be added with just a five-minute top up.


The Lexus ES has gone on display at the Beijing Motor Show, with the first details announced about Japan’s competitor to the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Jaguar XF and Audi A6. The executive saloon will replace the GS when it arrives at the start of 2019. Despite the new model being the seventh-generation of ES, it has never been sold in the UK before.
Unlike most rivals, the ES will be frontwheel drive and and badged ES 300h in the UK, fitted with a ‘self-charging’ hybrid system. This uses a 2.5-litre Atkinson cycle petrol engine and electric motor, providing a total of 215bhp and returning up to 60.1mpg on the combined cycle. The combustion engine is said to be one of the most thermally efficient in any production vehicle. A nickel metal hydride battery is hidden beneath the back seat to avoid robbing the boot of luggage space.
Sitting on the all-new Global Architecture-K platform, the ES is 65mm longer, 45mm wider and 5mm lower than the sixth generation car, with a 50mm longer wheelbase. It’s claimed to be close to the LC Coupé in terms of torsional rigidity, with ‘V-brace’ structures behind the rear seats to add stiffness and boost handling precision, along with fitment of multi-link rear suspension.
Every ES sold here will feature the Lexus Safety System Plus, combining active and passive safety kit that includes pedestrian and cyclist detection. An array of 24 individual LED headlight bulbs provide better forward visibility and adapt automatically to avoid blinding oncoming traffic.
New gold and green colours will be included in the 12 paint choices and F Sport models will be offered with exclusive Heat Blue and F White hues. F Sport will also bring a rear spoiler, dark trim and 19-inch alloy wheels inspired by the LC Coupé. Standard ES models will be fitted with 17- or 18-inch items.
A large spindle front grille gives the ES its trademark Lexus family identity, and it’s clearly been inspired by the larger LS saloon. It features a similarly stretched silhouette and sharp creases, with a gradually tapering roofline. LED rear lights wrap around the rear of the car to provide a consistent horizontal line when viewed from all angles. The interior is more driver-focussed than before, with the instruments, 12.3- inch central display and head-up display all tightly placed within their field of view. This also gives the front passenger a ‘more open, spacious and relaxing environment’ according to Lexus.


Honda has revealed exclusively to Diesel Car & Eco Car magazine that it’s poised to launch a four-door saloon version of its Civic model in the UK, setting it apart from most hatchback rivals like the five-door Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf and Vauxhall Astra. The Civic saloon will be available with the same impressive 1.6-litre i-DTEC engine fitted in the hatchback, along with a 1.0-litre petrol unit, and will be fitted with either a six-speed manual or nine-speed automatic gearbox. It shares the same distinctive front design and pronounced wheelarches as the hatchback, with an overall shape honed in the wind tunnel to reduce drag as far as possible. Sharing Honda’s wider and longer new platform with the standard car, the saloon is said to offer ‘class-leading interior space’. A common criticism of the old Civic was a high-set driver’s seat, but you now sit much lower, ensconced between the centre console and door. While full measurements haven’t yet been released, the interior offers ‘unrivalled passenger and luggage space, with versatile, practical usability’ according to Honda.
With a four-decade heritage, the Civic is a key model for the Japanese brand, and the tenth-generation model has been the result of the largest development programme in Honda’s history. The four-door version has been designed from the ground up to sit alongside the hatchback, but with UK sales of saloon cars dwindling as buyers switch to crossovers and SUVs, Honda’s move will surprise some.
Phil Webb, head of cars at Honda UK, commented: “The Civic is a core model for Honda in Europe and has been at the heart of the brand’s strong sales and manufacturing heritage, with the hatchback built in Swindon. The arrival of the saloon to the UK market compliments the Civic family and will be a great addition to our showrooms, alongside what is already a very successful model range for Honda.”
The four-door Civic will be manufactured in Turkey, unlike the Swindon-built hatchback, with further details on its price, specification and fuel-efficiency to be revealed closer to the car’s launch this August. The diesel hatchback currently costs from £20,145 and Honda is rumoured to be looking at charging an additional £500 for the saloon bodystyle.


A revolution in the reduction of diesel emissions has been announced, with the promise that vehicles equipped with the new technology will be capable of emitting 10 times less NOx than stricter limits planned for 2020. The development is significant enough to ‘fix’ the current negative atmosphere around diesels and curb tumbling sales, according to Bosch, its pioneers.
“There’s a future for diesel. Today, we want to put a stop, once and for all, to the debate about the demise of diesel technology” commented Bosch CEO Dr. Volkmar Denner. Real Driving Emissions (RDE) testing that measures more realistic emissions over a mix of urban, extra-urban and motorway driving, requires new models to emit less than 168mg of NOx per kilometre, a figure set to be reduced to 120mg in 2020. Prototype cars fitted with the emission-reducing Bosch technology can already emit as little as 13mg during the same test, and just 40mg in ‘particularly challenging urban conditions, where test parameters are well in excess of legal requirements’.
Crucially, the new breakthrough in technology doesn’t rely on expensive new hardware or the need for radical new engine designs, but can be added to existing diesel powerplants using a combination of advanced fuel-injection, air management and intelligent temperature control measures.
“Equipped with the Bosch technology, diesel vehicles will be classed as lowemission vehicles and yet remain affordable” Denner commented. An optimised turbocharger and exhaust gas recirculation system works to keep exhaust temperatures much closer to an optimum 200 degrees Celsius than a conventional engine, where this temperature dips as soon as the car coasts or sits in traffic. Advanced thermal management means NOx reduction is far more effective, even during periods of acceleration or urban driving, when the system is ‘actively regulating the exhaust gas temperature.’ “Diesel will remain an option in urban traffic, whether drivers are tradespeople or commuters,” Denner said, continuing “We firmly believe that the diesel engine will continue to play an important role in the options for future mobility. Until electro-mobility breaks through to the mass market, we will still need these highly efficient combustion engines.”


At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be many changes to the latest CX-3 as it made its debut on the Mazda stand at the New York motor show, but delve under the skin and alterations have been made to the car’s SkyActiv-D engine so that it passes the upcoming Euro-6d-Temp emissions regulations.
It’s the second update for the baby SUV, with the most noticeable changes made to the front grille, together with the addition of Matrix LED headlights, new 18-inch alloy wheels and a deeper shade of Soul Red. Inside, the CX-3 gains an electric park brake with auto-hold functionality, a central armrest and new safety systems, including traffic jam assist when combined with an automatic transmission.
Available this summer, the CX-3 features a revised diesel engine for 2018, featuring numerous enhancements so that it passes the Euro-6d-Temp emissions standards and (RDE) Real-Driving Emissions tests. A lower combustion temperature has been achieved by an increased displacement for the four-cylinder unit, which in turn leads to lower NOx raw emissions. A NOx storage catalyst reduces the nitrogen oxide components in the exhaust gases even further, so that it passes the much tougher emissions tests.


The Hyundai Tucson will enjoy refreshed looks, updated engines and improved technology when an enhanced version arrives this summer. Unveiled at the New York Motor Show, the Tucson is Hyundai’s best-selling car in the UK and across Europe, but it faces serious competition from newcomers like the Skoda Karoq and Vauxhall Grandland X and stalwarts including the updated Nissan Qashqai. From outside, the Tucson gets a new ‘uplifted’ front bumper and Hyundai’s latest style of cascading grille, topped off by LED headlight clusters with a new daytime running light design. There are new alloy wheels designs, and the tail treatment gets a makeover in the shape of tweaked rear light clusters, a reprofiled bumper and new tailpipe finishers.
Occupants will be able to charge their smartphone wirelessly and connect it to the seven-inch infotainment screen via Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Top versions will get an eight-inch display with 3D mapping and a seven-year subscription to Live services, including traffic information. A premium sound system by Krell is available and an extra USB port in the back will let back seat passengers charge devices.
Safety will be boosted with Hyundai SmartSense, with features including autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist, driver drowsiness detection and a speed limit indicator. Other technology will include a 360-degree camera system, automatically dipping headlights and adaptive cruise control.
Every engine meets Euro-6c emissions standards and the range kicks off with a new 1.6-litre diesel unit with 114bhp or 131bhp. Both are front-wheel drive and come with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, but the more powerful version can additionally be fitted with a seven-speed twin-clutch automatic transmission and optional four-wheel drive. The range-topping 2.0-litre powerplant develops 184bhp, comes fitted with four-wheel-drive and is paired to either a six-speed manual or brand new eight-speed automatic gearbox. We’ll have to wait until closer to the on-sale date for official figures, but Hyundai is promising improved fuel-efficiency and lower CO2 emissions across the revised range.


We’ve seen the new saloon and now Audi has unveiled the next iteration of the popular A6 Avant estate, with sharper looks and even more technology. It will be Audi’s main contender against the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class well into the next decade. Its design includes all the latest Audi hallmarks, from a large ‘Singleframe’ grille to sharp bodywork creases and slim LED headlights that pulse when you lock and unlock the car. All four wheelarches are flared to hint at the quattro four-wheel drive system beneath, and at the rear there’s now a strip of chrome connecting the rear lights. Above this sits a heavily raked rear screen, surrounded by top and side spoilers to help achieve its low 0.27 drag coefficient.
The outgoing A6 Avant is hardly small, but the new model is 20mm wider, 10mm longer and 6mm taller. Its stretched wheelbase is more important, though, because Audi claims elbow room and rear knee room and are all classleading. Boot capacity stays the same at 565 litres, increasing to 1,680 litres with the rear seats folded down. An electric tailgate is standard, with optional handsfree opening.
Think downsized Audi A8 for the interior, because lots of features like the dual-screen infotainment system are present too. Unlike the E-Class (where they sit side-by-side), these are arranged vertically in a similar way to the Range Rover Velar, with the bottom 8.6-inch screen taking care of most of the car’s settings, including climate control. The upper 8.8 or 10.1-inch display takes care of navigation and infotainment, while Audi’s 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit instrument panel and a colour head-up display are also available for the ultimate experience. Other new features are haptic feedback for the touchscreens and improved voice control that works more like Apple’s Siri assistant.
Six-cylinder diesels will be offered at launch, paired with Audi’s new 48-volt mild hybrid technology. This is based around a belt alternator and lithium-ion battery that’s potent enough to switch off and restart the engine as you coast at speeds of between 34 and 99mph to save fuel, as well as extending the operating range of start-stop at speeds of up to 13mph. The 50 TDI 3.0-litre V6 unit produces 282bhp and comes with a standard automatic gearbox and quattro four-wheel drive. Additional powerplants, including 2.0-litre four-cylinder iterations will be announced at a later date. Four suspension setups will be offered, from a standard comfort chassis to a sport offering, followed by suspension with adjustable dampers and then range-topping adaptive air suspension. Progressive steering is now standard, so the front wheels turn more quickly as you increase steering input, and there’s optional all-wheel steering that shaves just over a metre off the turning circle.
The Audi A6 Avant goes on sale this summer, with the first cars arriving in UK showrooms just a few months later.


Two decades on from the arrival of the game-changing Ford Focus, and an all-new Mk4 model has been unveiled to steal back its top sales spot from the Volkswagen Golf. Rebuilt from the ground up, it has an upmarket design, new technology and efficient EcoBlue diesel engines. It also sets out to right many of the failings of the outgoing Focus, with more room for backseat passengers, a bigger boot and a stylish decluttered dashboard. All this while trying to preserve the qualities that have seen the Focus fly high as Britain’s favourite family hatchback – including its rewarding driving experience. More choice is promised too, with familiar trim levels joined by a sportier ST-Line and a rugged Active version with crossover styling; a luxurious Vignale and an Estate with more luggage space than its closest rivals. Hot ST performance models are expected to arrive in 2019 to satisfy Ford’s driving enthusiasts.
Designed “from a clean sheet of paper”, the Focus moves away from the Kinetic design language of old and is set to influence Ford’s European models well into the next decade. Its grille is a familiar shape, firmly establishing the Focus above the Fiesta, but it has a longer bonnet and the A-pillars have been pushed back. A greater proportion of the car’s visual weight now sits over the rear wheels, with flared arches giving the Focus a more athletic stance, particularly when viewed from the rear three-quarters. This planted aesthetic with short overhangs has been penned for a “more premium, sporting silhouette” according to Amko Leenarts, Ford’s European design director, and there’s a hint of Mercedes-Benz A-Class in its execution. Some of the design elements are bound to divide opinion, too, including the spaced out Focus lettering on the boot that wouldn’t look out of place on a Range Rover Evoque.
The new shape is functional too, improving aerodynamics to give a classleading 0.27 Cd drag co-efficient. Ford has thrown all its know-how into the mix here, fitting its Active Grille Shutter as standard to reduce drag when less cooling is required. Air curtains guide air around the front wheels and the rear spoiler, bumper and lights have been designed so that air separates more cleanly from the rear of the car. The headlights and rear light clusters have been pushed to the extremities of the car and full-LED lights are available, with adaptive functionality to adjust automatically for traffic.
Choose the ST-Line or ST-Line X trim levels and the suspension is 10mm lower and there’s more aggressive bumpers, air intakes and spoilers. The Active version takes a different approach with a 30mm height increase, protective cladding around the bottom of the car and silver bumper inserts.
Based on the new C2 platform, the Focus has a longer wheelbase that provides 50mm extra knee room in the back and 60mm more shoulder room. Ford has clearly listened to customer feedback too, even increasing the size of the rear windows to make it less claustrophobic for passengers and designing the car so that dropping one window at speed shouldn’t result in an uncomfortable pulsing sensation. There are no cargo figures for the hatchback yet, but the Focus Estate can haul 1,650 litres with the seats folded down – slightly more than a Golf Estate and Astra Sports Tourer. You can drop the seats with a lever in the boot, and there’s space for the parcel shelf under the floor.
Often derided for being too busy, the dashboard in the latest Focus is a minimalist affair with a much slimmer profile. This is largely because the infotainment display now teeters above the fascia, taking up less room and closer to your eye line. Ford’s Sync3 infotainment software is standard from Zetec upwards, with a 6.5-inch touchscreen growing to eight inches in the upper versions. New safety features include ‘Evasive Steering Assist’, so not only can the Focus brake autonomously to help prevent a crash, it can also aid your steering to help avoid a collision. A head-up display will be offered for the first time in a European Ford, and Active Park Assist can allow fully automated parking.
The entry-level Style trim is aimed at the fleet market, but gets air-conditioning and DAB radio, while Zetec adds niceties like a heated windscreen, cruise control, front fog lights and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone connectivity. Titanium versions include luxuries like dual-zone climate control, heated seats, keyless entry and start, a rain sensor, a navigation system and parking sensors front and rear, as well as a chrome front grille, LED rear lights and power folding mirrors. Titanium X editions add larger 17-inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, part-leather upholstery and electric adjustment for the driver’s seat. ST-Line will appeal to keen drivers who might otherwise opt for an Astra SRi or Golf R-Line and features graphite-coloured 17-inch alloy wheels, sportier bumpers, a large rear spoiler, sports suspension, aluminium pedals and gear knob, a flatbottomed steering wheel and keyless start, while ST-Line X iterations include 18-inch matt black alloy wheels, red brake calipers, front and rear parking sensors, part-leather upholstery, a navigation system, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control and rear privacy glass. A new addition to the Focus line-up is a flagship Vignale edition that boasts a 675- watt B&O Play premium audio system, leather upholstery, LED headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels, a head-up display, heated steering wheel and an automated parking system. Estate versions arrive in November alongside the Vignale models, while the SUV-inspired Active editions arrive in UK showrooms early next year. The engine range kicks off with the new 1.5-litre EcoBlue diesel powerplant producing 94 or 118bhp, with CO2 emissions as low as 94g/km on the lower powered version. The manufacturer claims the high-tech new unit boasts “rocket engine materials” designed to deal with extreme temperatures. A 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel unit will also be offered with 148bhp and emissions from around 110g/km of CO2 when it arrives later in the year.
It’s the first Ford diesel to feature steel pistons. Both engines will get a sixspeed manual transmission as standard, but a new eight-speed automatic will be optional, with a rotary shift controller instead of a traditional gear lever. Thanks to its new platform, and experience from the development of the Ford Focus RS, body stiffness is up by 20 per cent and the Focus is up to 88kg lighter than the current Focus. 1.5-litre EcoBlue models get a twistbeam rear suspension setup, while the 2.0-litre gets an independent rear arrangement. The latter also comes with Continuously Controlled Damping that takes readings from around the car every two milliseconds, and can even prepare the rear wheels when the front tyres hit a bump or pothole. You’ll be able to choose Normal, Sport and Eco modes for the first time on a Focus, altering the character of the car.
Already available to order, with the first cars arriving in showrooms in September, prices start from £19,270 for the 94bhp 1.5 EcoBlue engine in Style trim, while a mid-range 118bhp 1.5 EcoBlue Zetec costs from £20,770 for the hatchback and £21,850 for an Estate. Sporty ST-Line models start from £22,500, while the luxury diesel Vignale range is priced from £26,400.


The latest Audi A6 executive car has made its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show, showing the world what the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class will need to contend with. Its sharp design might not hold too many surprises, but Audi has loaded the model with impressive technology, including many features from the luxurious A8.
In a growing trend kicked off by models like the Range Rover Velar, there are two screens stacked on the centre console, with the upper display measuring between 8.8 and 10.1 inches if you specify a Navigation Plus upgrade. The lower 8.6-inch screen takes care of the climate control, vehicle settings and enables the MMI (MultiMedia Interface) system’s touch functionality. To make inputs feel more natural, audible and physical, haptic feedback is included. If two displays don’t quite cut it, Audi’s Virtual Cockpit instruments are available for the full digital experience, along with a colour head-up display.
An intelligent navigation system can learn your common routes, and can communicate traffic and roadworks information in real-time as part of a ‘Car-to-X’ network. There will also be software to help find a parking space and as an optional extra, Android smartphone users will be able to lock, unlock and start the car using their device with near-field communications (NFC) technology. The owner can also provide up to five people or devices with the access data. There’ll be a host of driver assistance features too, for “even more comfort, poise and safety on long and short journeys”. These will include advanced parking features like Garage Pilot, whereby the A6 can autonomously drive in or out of a space while you hold down a button within the myAudi smartphone app. Rather like the A8, the design remains true to its predecessor, while squaring off edges with sharp creases and adding the latest evolution of Audi’s broad ‘singleframe’ grille. As we’ve come to expect from recent Audis, lighting also plays a big role. LEDs are standard front and rear, with adaptive matrix and laser headlights offered as upgrades. Range-topping versions also have lights that perform a welcoming dance as you approach the car and unlock it.
So far, just one diesel engine has been announced – a 3.0-litre TDI unit coupled with an eight-speed tiptronic automatic gearbox and standard quattro four-wheel drive. It is endowed with 282bhp and 457lb ft of torque, gets the A6 from 0-62mph in just over five seconds and returns 48.7 to 51.3mpg depending on equipment level. Meanwhile, CO2 emissions of 142 to 150g/km will result in affordable Benefit-in-Kind rates for company car drivers. It’s fitted with mildhybrid technology than can allow the A6 to coast at speeds between 34 and 99mph, and for stop-start to function below 13mph, with predictive restarts when the traffic ahead moves off. Handling is said to be “noticeably sharper” than the old model and four suspension types will be offered, ranging from comfort steel springs and dampers, a firmer Sport option, adjustable dampers and air suspension.
The Audi A6 will be built at Audi’s Neckarsulm plant that’s home to the A7, A8 and various RS models, including the RS 7 and R8 Coupé. It’s set to arrive this summer, with pricing and full specifications expected nearer to its arrival. A6 Avant variants will be unveiled later, and a range of 2.0- and 3.0-litre TDI engines will fill out the A6 line-up. Finally, an off-road focussed A6 Allroad will complete the line-up to fend off the challenge from the MercedesBenz E-Class All-Terrain.


Volkswagen has unveiled its flagship Touareg SUV to the world’s media in China. It’s an all-new design that aims to showcase the brand’s latest powertrain, safety and infotainment know-how and take on the premium SUV market at the same time. It’s the first time Volkswagen has held a world debut in China, a market that’s rapidly become its biggest. The third-generation Touareg has moved upmarket and is now Volkswagen’s most complex car, so prices are expected to be in excess of £50,000 when it arrives in showrooms this summer. Volkswagen has repositioned it to sit at the top of an expanded SUV range, above the sevenseat Tiguan Allspace, Tiguan, T-Roc and upcoming baby T-Cross.
Amongst its new features comes the debut of Volkswagen’s Innovision Cockpit, with a 12-inch digital instrument display and 15-inch infotainment system screen.
As a result, there are no buttons on the dashboard, and just a few on the central console, with everything instead configured to the taste of the user and controlled via touch, speech or the steering wheel. In this way Volkswagen likens the interface to a smartphone, which you set up to meet your personal needs, and adapts whenever a new ‘user’ sits in the car. This approach has also allowed the designers freedom to cover the interior with unbroken swathes of leather and metal trim and take on classy rivals like the Volvo XC90 and even the forward-looking Tesla Model X. You’ll also be able to enjoy a massage while you drive, and there are 30 shades of ambient lighting to add a further soothing touch.
Based on the MLB platform shared with the Audi Q7 and Bentley Bentayga, you do get more Touareg for your money, thanks to 44mm extra width and a 77mm increase in length. It’s also marginally lower, so looks stocky as a result. The boot has also grown usefully, from 697 to 810 litres behind the rear seats. Luggage is hidden by an electric retracting luggage cover.
Despite its extra bulk, the SUV actually tips the scales around 106kg lighter, thanks to a construction that’s approximately half aluminium and half high-tech steel. The chassis will feature standard 4Motion four-wheel drive, active allwheel steering to make the Touareg more agile in town, and active electromechanical anti-roll bars to reduce body roll. Customers should also expect an unprecedented level of driver assistance for Volkswagen, from night vision that can detect pedestrians and animals in the dark, to steering that can help you change lane, accelerate and brake at speeds of up to 37mph in roadworks.
At its launch later this year, there’ll be two 3.0-litre V6 diesel engines with 228 and 282bhp, followed by a hugely powerful 415bhp V8 diesel, that all come with an eight-speed automatic gearbox. A petrol plug-in hybrid is also expected with 362bhp, but the date for its European launch hasn’t been confirmed yet.


Mercedes-Benz recently unveiled the facelifted C-Class saloon and estate, and now it’s the turn of the Coupé and Cabriolet models to follow suit. A subtle makeover inside and out keeps things fresh, while technology has been given a boost to keep it up-to-date, and the big news is a new 2.0- litre diesel engine, as seen in the E-Class. Badged C 220 d, this takes the models efficiency up a notch and is clean enough to hit the very latest Euro 6d-Temp emissions standards, although we’re still awaiting exact figures. The new engine might be smaller, but the 2.0-litre unit doesn’t lack punch, with its 192bhp power output giving a sizeable 24bhp increase over the outgoing model. Its 295lb ft of torque is evenly spread between 1,600 and 2,800rpm and the 0-62mph dash takes 7.0 seconds in the Coupé and 7.5 seconds in the slightly heavier Cabriolet.
Mercedes-Benz has installed all of the hardware for emissions-reducing exhaust gas treatment on to the engine itself rather than the exhaust, allowing it to get up to a working temperature more quickly, even when driving in cold weather.
Coupé and Cabriolet models will come fitted as standard with sports suspension in the UK, but Dynamic Body Control will also be an optional extra, adding adjustable dampers. Each unit is controlled individually and responds to suit how you’re driving, the vehicle’s speed and the road surface. Drivers can also choose a softer ride in Comfort mode, or make it feel more responsive by opting for either the Sport or Sport+ setting. Choosing the adjustable suspension also adds Sports Direct-Steer, with a steering ratio that acts more quickly as you turn the wheel further, resulting in less arm waving when attempting sharper corners.
From the outside, both models now benefit from standard LED headlights and there’s a new set of bumpers and grille, now featuring a diamond pattern. You can still upgrade the headlights, but this means a switch to Multibeam LED technology with an ‘Ultra Range’ main beam that shines further down the road. The photographs featured here depict European versions in Avantgarde trim, with UK specification AMG Line models gaining chrome pins for the front grille, along with sportier bumpers, gloss-black mirror caps, different LED rear lights and AMG-style wheels, along with a new graphite grey colour added to the suite of hues available.
Inside, the C-Class does without the single-span screens of the E-Class and new A-Class, but you can add an alldigital 12.3-inch instrument display that sits in the binnacle behind the steering wheel. The dash-top infotainment display is 7-inches as standard, but a highdefinition 10.25-inch screen is available optionally, with a choice of Classic, Sport or Progressive graphics.
Both the C-Class Coupé and Cabriolet go on sale in April, available exclusively in AMG Line trim. The first deliveries are expected as soon as July, just in time to enjoy some summer sun.


Kia has taken the covers off its stylish new Ceed Sportswagon family estate, revealing its rival to the SEAT Leon ST and Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer.
Designed and built in Europe, the freshfaced wagon is said to boast better comfort, convenience and safety. It should prove popular with Ceed buyers too, with over a third opting for the estate version of the outgoing model. It’s based on a new ‘K2’ platform, with some slightly different dimensions – a 20mm increase in width and 20mm lower roofline – while the wheelbase remains the same. Its proportions have shifted backwards slightly too, with 20mm lopped off the front overhang and 115mm added to the tail, for a more rearward stance. There’s also a 600-litre boot that’s a massive 72-litres (14 per cent) bigger than before, putting the Ceed in contention with models like the Golf Estate. The boot lip is lower too, so it should be easier to get items in and out, all helped by a Smart Power Tailgate that can open when it senses the key fob. Luggage rails, nets and a barrier between the rear seats and boot will all be available to boost practicality too.
With design touches inspired by the Stinger, the Ceed Sportswagon is said to have a “mature athleticism in its overall design”, with more rounded edges and a widened ‘tiger-nose’ grille. The Ceed has also adopted the ‘ice-cube’ LED daytime running lights from the previous GT-Line versions across the entire range. Like the Leon FR, the Ceed now has LED rear daytime running lights for improved visibility and an added dash of style. Wheels from 15- to 17-inches and 11 paint colours will be offered.
Interior quality has been improved and there’s a minimalist approach to the horizontal dashboard, with a ‘floating’ infotainment system housed between the air vents. The Ceed will feature TomTom navigation and you’ll be able to use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto with your smartphone when on the move. Other new features include a heated front windscreen and automatic LED headlights, while adaptive cruise control and a lane-keeping assistant will allow the Ceed to follow the car ahead and stay within its lane.
The Cee’d Sportwagon will be one of the first models to be fitted with Kia’s new ‘U3’ 1.6-litre CRDi diesel engine, designed to adhere to the latest Euro 6d-Temp emissions standards. It’s fitted with Selective Catalyst Reduction and CO2, particulate and NOx emissions are all reduced according to Kia. It will be available with 114 or 134bhp and either a standard six-speed manual or optional seven-speed twin-clutch automatic.
You’ll also be able to specify an Eco Pack, adding an active air flap behind the front grille, smooth underbody cladding, lower suspension and low-rolling resistance Michelin tyres to improve fuel-efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions.
Order books are set to open this autumn, and while prices haven’t been released, we expect it to stick close to the current model, with prices starting from under £20,000.


Unveiled in Geneva, Hyundai’s Le Fil Rouge concept car signals a shift in design direction for the successful Korean manufacturer. Said to be a “new beginning”, it will still pay tribute to past designs and its name translates as ‘common thread’, signifying its connection between Hyundai’s past and its future. Its proportions have been based on the golden-ratio principal that’s a common mathematical ratio found in nature. It has a particularly long wheelbase, with very short overhangs and a dominant single crease that flows from the wheelarches to the tailgate. While it’s quite unlike any Hyundai on sale, and there are no immediate plans to put the concept car into production in its current guise. The next-generation ‘Cascading Grille’ is said to make the concept “instantly recognisable as a Hyundai from a distance”, but now features an exaggerated three-dimensional shape. The overall design approach is referred to as ‘Light Architecture’ and is intended to make the Le Fil Rouge look as though it’s moving forwards even when stationary.
Inside, there’s a focus on leg room for the front passengers, and the seats have been designed to be exceptionally comfortable for long-distance driving. The driver’s seat is also intended to reflect the sporty nature of the concept, with ‘optimised ergonomics’. The wrap-around cabin is minimalist in its approach, promoting space and relaxation and using organic materials. A large panoramic display sits in front of the driver, with haptic feedback for the climate control and vehicle settings.