- Audi has expanded its latest Audi A3 lineup with the New Audi A3 Saloon. Joining its five-door Sportback counterpart, the new compact class saloon features the same ‘ground-up’ redesign, along with a host of new infotainment, assistance and efficiency technologies. Highlights include a fully digital cockpit, along with a touch-screen MMI infotainment system and the integration of mild hybrid MHEV drivetrains for selected models. The new A3 also introduces advanced new lighting configurations that give each variant a specific light ‘signature’.
The New A3 Saloon is available with a choice of three engines at launch - two 1.5-litre TFSI units and one 2.0-litre TDI. The automatic ‘S tronic’ equipped version of the 35 TFSI, a 1.5-litre direct injection engine, combines cylinder-on-demand efficiency with a 48-volt mild hybrid system capable of recovering energy during deceleration, supporting the engine with up to 50 Nm of additional torque under acceleration from low engine speeds and allows the A3 Saloon to coast with the engine switched off in many situations. The fuel savings it affords help to increase the WLTP-ratified economy potential of the A3 Saloon 35 TFSI Sport S tronic to up to 50.4 MPG while paring back CO2 to 128g/km, despite an identical power output to the ‘standard’ 1.5 TFSI. A 1.0 TFSI three-cylinder engine with 110PS will be included in the next phase of engine introductions, and will be available with either manual transmission or as a 48-volt mild hybrid version with S tronic dual-clutch transmission.
The new A3 Saloon is available to order now, with prices starting from £26,870 for the 35 TFSI Sport with manual transmission, rising to £40,810 for the 35 TDI Vorsprung S tronic. Deliveries will begin in the summer.
- The new Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport compact SUVs are now available with plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) technology.
Badged P300e, both the new Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport plug-in hybrids are based on Land Rover’s Premium Transverse architecture, which was designed to support electrification while maintaining Land Rover’s off-road capability. The new plug-in hybrid P300e models join the existing 48-volt mild-hybrid SUVs and offer an electric-only range of up 41 miles and CO2 emissions as low as 32g/km for the Evoque and 38 miles and 38g/km for the Discovery Sport.
The new models offer sustainable performance by combining a 200hp 1.5-litre three-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine with a 109hp (80kW) electric motor integrated into the rear axle and powered by a 15kWh lithium-ion battery located below the rear seats. Performance and capability are uncompromised, with acceleration of 0-60mph in 6.1 in the Range Rover Evoque. Meanwhile, the Discovery Sport offers 0-60mph in 6.2 seconds. Both can reach speeds of up to 84mph using electric power alone.
The Range Rover Evoque PHEV and Land Rover Discovery Sport PHEV are available to order now, with prices starting at £43,850 and £45,370, respectively.
- Toyota has revealed the All-New Yaris Cross compact SUV this week. Designed and developed for Europe as an ‘authentic’ SUV, the Yaris Cross has raised ride height, high driving position and the option of an intelligent all-wheel drive system (AWD-i).
The Yaris Cross is built on Toyota’s new GA-B compact car platform, which is also being used for the new Yaris hatchback, due for launch later this year, ensuring a high level of body rigidity and a well-balanced chassis, making the car responsive and agile to drive.
The compact SUV will be powered by Toyota’s new, fourth generation self-charging hybrid electric system. This has a maximum output of 114bhp, with CO2 emissions starting from below 120g/km for the front-wheel drive model (WLTP provisional data, subject to homologation).
AWD-i provides extra stability and traction in everyday driving, in poor conditions and on low-grip surfaces. An electric system, it is more compact and weighs less than mechanical AWD units, helping the Yaris Cross Hybrid achieve better fuel consumption and CO2 emissions than any of its all-wheel drive B-SUV competitors.
The All-New Toyota Yaris Cross will launch across the UK and Europe in 2021.
- Another compact SUV set to launch next year is the New Vauxhall Mokka.
Still heavily disguised, Vauxhall has released first images of the car, which has now started initial testing with engineering teams. Notably, the teaser image confirms the change of name to simply ‘Mokka’, losing the previous model’s ‘X’ suffix.
Production will start in the fourth quarter of this year, with first cars - including the electric model - due to arrive with customers in early 2021.
The new Vauxhall Mokka will change people’s perception of our brand,’ said Stephen Norman, Vauxhall’s Managing Director. ‘Not only does it show that we’re serious about electrification, but also that we’re not afraid to innovate with design, both inside and out of the car. The Mokka is still in its development phase now, but it is set to be one of Vauxhall’s most important models when it arrives with customers at the start of next year.’