Vauxhall launches new Cascada convertible
24 October 2012
Vauxhall is targeting the convertible market with its new Cascada model. The car will see Vauxhall enter its fourth new sector in around a year, following on from the Ampera range-extender, Mokka crossover and Adam small car.
A full four-seat convertible, the Cascada has a fabric roof measuring up at almost 4.7 metres in length. This makes it longer than an Audi A5 Convertible. The roof may be a soft top, but the Cascada’s creators say it will keep occupants suitably warmed due to a layer of polyester fleece between outer and inner linings. The roof is powered, activated by either a button on the dash or on the key fob. It raises or lowers in 17 seconds, at speeds up to 30mph.
Body measures necessitated by the removal of the roof have produced a level of torsional stiffness in the shell that according to Vauxhall is improved by some 43 per cent over the brand’s last convertible based on the Astra. The Cascada will be offered with three engine options, topped by an all-new 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol unit of 167bhp and 207lbft of torque. This is the first of Vauxhall’s new Mid-Size Gasoline Engine(MGE) range.
According to Vauxhall’s Chairman and Managing Director Duncan Aldred the Cascada will again change the perception of Vauxhall amongst buyers. “The full-size convertible sector tends only to be occupied by very high-priced cars from premium manufacturers – with Cascada, we’re offering customers high levels of equipment, technology and luxury but at an affordable price”.
Ford launches EcoBoost engine
24 October 2012
Ford’s 1-litre EcoBoost engine is being added to the C-Max and Grand C-Max people-carrier line-up.
Ford Motor Company claims that with the new unit the two will lead all rivals on fuel economy and CO2 emissions. The engine – named International Engine of the Year in 2012 – comes in either 99 or 123bhp power outputs. With both versions the C-Max offers official combined cycle fuel economy of 55.4mpg and 117g/km in CO2 emissions. In its larger sister the figures are 54.3mpg and 119g/km CO2.
The three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol unit is turbocharged, with direct fuel injection and variable valve timing on both intake and exhaust. Ford says the result is the power of a larger engine but the fuel efficiency of a downsized unit. The unit has already proven a big success in other Ford models – more than 7,500 Focus 1.0-litre EcoBoosts have been sold since launch, around 25 per cent of total orders. Ford now expects that by 2015 more than half of its European sales will be EcoBoost units, whether in 1-litre or the also available 1.6 and 2.0 versions.
C-Max and Grand C-Max models now also have a new trim level – Titanium X. Standard equipment includes a panoramic roof, xenon headlamps with jet wash, partial leather seats, heated front seats, power driver seat and new style 17-inch alloy wheels. The five-seat C-Max also gets a comfort rear seat system – able to be altered to offer extra rear space and leg room.
AA says removing tax insurance check is absurd
24 October 2012
The AA has suggested that the proposal by the DVLA to remove the insurance check when car owners apply for a tax disc is ‘absurd’.
Simon Douglas, director of broker AA Insurance, suggests it could undo much the work carried out by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau, the Government and the insurance industry to tighten up enforcement of the law
He said: “To knock out a simple and almost fool-proof check that insurance is in place, once every year or six months, is madness. It’s telling the public that it’s OK to delay or even avoid taking out cover. It’s simply not good enough to rely on Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) legislation which was introduced last year; and the police using automatic number plate recognition technology to identify uninsured vehicles after the event. Surely it is better to ensure that vehicles are insured from the outset.”
Currently, application of a tax disc online confirms that both insurance and MoT are valid. If either has expired it is tangible reminder to the motorist to act promptly and alerts them if an error has been made. Those buying their tax disc at a Post Office currently need to produce a paper insurance certificate and Douglas said: “It would be far better for Post Office counter staff to make an electronic check against the Motor Insurance Database, given that a paper insurance certificate is no longer a compulsory requirement."
Mr Douglas added: “One out of every 25 motorists on Britain’s roads is driving without cover, a significant improvement over five years ago. Even so, this is still one of the poorest uninsured driving records in Europe and now is not the time to knock out a legislative pillar that will take us back to square one.”
Hyundai i30 Tourer gains five NCAP stars
24 October 2012
The Hyundai i30 Tourer has been awarded the maximum five-star safety rating by independent vehicle assessment organisation, Euro NCAP, giving it the same safety rating as the five-door hatchback.
Nissan steer-by-wire cars set for launch in 2013
18 October 2012
Nissan plans to sell cars controlled by steer-by-wire technology within a year.