Editorial | Volvo – fully switched on from 2019?

If you’ve read the news lately, you could be forgiven for thinking that Volvo has killed the combustion engine. No, not quite, but you can’t blame the company for blowing its own trumpet a little. 

Volvo T8 Twin Engine Range

Given the past year, and the risk of being labelled a traitor or enemy of the people, we’d wonder if any organisation would be truly happy about making the front cover of the Daily Mail. But that’s exactly what Volvo got on Thursday, along with sizeable coverage in the The Times and The Guardian. The reaction on social media was slightly more mixed, with many pointing out that the newspapers and other had massively misunderstood the announcement by Volvo. This wasn’t ‘pure electric cars only’ as a strategy, and manufacturers like Lexus already offer hybrids across their model range.

Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine

Perhaps there was a, justifiable, element of resentment from other brands, that Volvo has stolen so much of the headlines with this announcement. For a carmaker to be on the front page of multiple newspapers and not to have done something wrong – Volkswagen – is rather rare. But that is exactly what Volvo achieved yesterday. Granted many mainstream journalists got completely the wrong end of the stick, and believed Volvo would banish the internal combustion engine completely by 2019. However, we imagine Volvo’s PR department were still rather pleased with the coverage all the same.

Volvo S90 T8 Twin-Engine

The truth is virtually all major manufacturers are going to need to further embrace hybrid and electric vehicles, in order to meet the EU’s 2021 target of fleet CO2 emissions averaging no more than 95g/km. That’s quite a tall order, and therefore the more ultra-low and zero-emissions cars a manufacturer has, the lower their overall fleet CO2 average. This is why Volvo is not dispensing with internal combustion in 2019, but merely ensuring it becomes a smaller part of their model range and, where still offered, includes some form of hybrid system to further reduce CO2 outputs. (more…)

Tame Geek Review | Volkswagen Golf GTE

He’s back. Regular contributor, and good friend of EngageSportMode, The Tame Geek is here again with a new review. This time he’s given us the exclusive on his test drive of Volkswagen’s new electric hybrid Golf GTE. Read his detailed thoughts below, to find out whether it hit the mark with our tech guru. 

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTE

After driving the MQB based Seat Leon when it launched and soon after, it’s posh sister the Audi A3, there was one more car in that group I needed to drive, the Golf. Well, the Tame Geek can never be accused of doing things by halves, I have now, not only gotten my hands on two of the latest generation Golfs but most importantly, on the most interesting Golf since the GTI W12-650. The Golf GTE.

Ok, so quick note, from the line above there. Yes, I’ve driven two Golfs recently, the GTD and the GTE. Why no review on the GTD? Well, honestly, It’s a great car and the engine gives a spirited level of performance for something that is designed to give people with company cars a bit of fun.

The GTE however is a car I’ve wanted to get my hands on since it was announced last year and since it’s posh sister, the A3 e-tron hit the road. The Golf GTE is a bit of a big deal for VW, being the first sub £100,000 hybrid they have realised and the car that will lead the way in an electrification of the entire range of models.

Being both a car and a technology showcase means that this review is going to get split in to some different sections than usual. Firstly, We’re going to cover how it works and then we’re going to cover how you use it.

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTE

Looks complicated? It is.

How it works
The Golf GTE has two forms of propulsion, a 1.4 litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine developing 148 bhp and an electric motor putting out 103 bhp. When these two work together, they have a peak output of 201 horsepower and an 258 lb-ft of torque. Speaking of that peak power, it delivers a car that can get to 62 mph in 7.6 seconds and a top speed of 138 mph. (more…)

BMW i8 – Tame Geek First Drive and Review

How does he do it? We’re not quite sure, but our good friend The Tame Geek managed to get himself behind the wheel of the BMW i8 electric supercar for a test drive. We bring you his full thoughts that first premiered on his own website

BMW i8 Review 03

After having a great time in BMW’s electric (and somewhat eclectic) i3 I have been waiting for my turn in the full flavour behaviour i8. That day has come.

With the i8 receiving its formal UK launch, demo units of this £99,000 supercar have started arriving at dealerships and the good people at Cooper BMW Teesside were very kind to keep me in the loop.

It’s a busy time for BMW, with the i8 launched and the new M3 and M4 showing up on forecourts at the same time, it seems that BMW are tailoring to us speed freaks for the summer.

Back to the i8. Let’s cover this like we do with most Tame Geek reviews, in sections.

First up, technology and toys!

Let’s just take a second to have a look at another picture of the i8.


On considerably closer inspection, you discover that the i8 looks good from every angle. The folds and creases make the body of the i8 seem like it’s what happens when a Transformer gets some alone time with spaceship.

The i8 is not subtle. Sat with a McLaren MP4-12C in front of it, these equally striking cars couldn’t look any more different. Both looking beautiful but with the i8 doing what the 12C could never do. Show you the future.

The i8 is the new halo model for BMW. In being so, the styling had to be extreme, yet efficient and aerodynamic. As you look at the i8, you can tell that the heart and soul of the designers has gone in to this car.

SONY DSC (more…)

2013 Frankfurt Motor Show Photo Highlights

EngageSportMode couldn’t be at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show but, fortunately, it knows some people who are. So with the press days now out of the way, what are some of the highlights from the 2013 Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung?

Below are some of the stand out new cars announced at this year’s show. Some are purely concept cars to set new directions and garner interest, whilst others are production ready. Click the photo for bigger images.


BMW i8 – Plug-In Hybrid Supercar Officially Revealed

The second piece in BMW’s hybrid strategy has been fully unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show, with prices and specifications for the futuristic i8 now confirmed. So just what do you get for almost £100,000?

  • Hybrid plug-in electric and petrol turbo power,
  • 0-62 mph in 4.4 seconds, 155 mph top speed,
  • Official 113 mpg, 59g/km CO2, and up to 310 mile range.

BMW i8 - 001

EngageSportMode is already a fan of the coupe’s little brother, the i3, praising its futuristic design and cleverly designed ownership experience. But, whilst the i3 is intended to be an everyday hatchback, the i8 aims to be a pure sportscar – just one with a conscience.

BMW i8 - 002

Unlike the i3, which polarised opinion with its ‘challenging’ aesthetics, there’s no denying the i8 is a real looker. The basic form has been known for a while in various prototypes and test-mules spotted around the world, but it is the little details which make the i8 truly stunning.  (more…)

Why the Volkswagen XL1 is better than a Le Mans racer

Volkswagen is currently making a lot of noise about this:


If you didn’t already know, that’s the Volkswagen XL1, currently the world’s most fuel-efficient hybrid car in regular production. EngageSportMode isn’t usually a fan of eco-cars, but the design details of the XL1 mean that it feels less hair shirt and more Nomex overalls than most.