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.
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.
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.
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…)
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.
Audi’s stunning hybrid Sport quattro concept has caught lots of attention
The possibility of a production version hangs in the balance.
Shock V10 diesel 4×4 Audi nanuk was a surprise
Sport kitted 4 Series Coupe looks cool with M body stripe.
The gorgeous and eco friendly BMW i8 supercar
Sebastien Loeb’s ride for the World Touring Car Championship next year.
Setting the luxurious direction for the next Mondeo – shown in both saloon and estate form.
Infiniti’s A-Class sized hatchback. Due to be built at the Nissan plant in Sunderland by ESM’s mate Dave.
4×4 1.6 turbo crossover from Kia looks different.
Hmm. Challenging is probably the kindest word to describe this Lexus crossover concept.
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.
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.
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…)
A few weeks ago Audi teased us with a styling sketch of a concept quattro. Now we get to see the real deal ahead of the Frankfurt Motor Show – and it’s a hybrid!
4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 with hybrid electric motor,
0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds, 187 mph top speed and 113 mpg!
Styling of the Sport quattro concept clearly draws on the original “Ur-quattro” model which debuted in 1980. Whilst elements such as the squat stance, boxy rear ‘arches and bonnet vent may be inspired by the eighties original, Audi intends the Sport quattro concept to dictate future styling of its performance models. Expect it to influence the direction of the next generation A5 coupe. (more…)