Mercedes-Benz unveils new small van
19 April 2012
Mercedes-Benz has finally taken the covers off its new small van, the Citan, which will go on sale in the second half of 2012.
The Citan will be the first small van for Mercedes-Benz, giving it a rival to the Citroen Berlingo and Fiat Doblo, and will be offered in a choice of three lengths. A result of a partnership with Renault, the Citan is derived from the Renault Kangoo, and shares its range of engines. But there are styling changes to ensure it looks part of the Mercedes-Benz family of vans, as well as a few changes to the interior.
Standard equipment includes adaptive electronic stability control (which takes account of vehicle load), and the Citan will be offered with three diesel engines with power ranging from 75bhp to 110bhp. A supercharged petrol version producing 115bhp will also be produced, although full UK specifications will be confirmed nearer the van's launch.
The petrol-engined Citan comes with a BlueEfficiency package as standard, which is optional for the diesel versions. Among other features this includes a start/stop function, battery and generator management, plus optimised low rolling resistance tyres depending on the variant which reduce fuel consumption.
New cars 18% more fuel efficient than the average
19 April 2012
New cars registered in the UK last year were, on average, 18.0% more fuel efficient than the average car on the road, according to figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders in its 11th annual New Car CO2 report.
Data analysing the emissions of all new cars registered in the UK showed a continued trend in falling emissions and improving fuel efficiency. 2011 emissions fell by 4.2% year on year to 138.1g/km CO2 (equivalent to 52.5mpg), down by more than 23% since reporting began in 2000.
The Report shows that in 2011, almost half of new cars (46.8%) had emissions below the 2015 European legislative target of 130g/km CO2. Additionally, over 65,000 vehicles were exempt from Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) with sub-100g/km cars (equivalent to about 70mpg,) almost doubling their market share to 3.4%.
Reductions in average emissions were made across all segments (car sizes) versus 2010, contributing to the significant drop over the past decade. Executive and Specialist Sports made the biggest reduction over the past year, falling 9.5% and 7.0% respectively on 2010 figures while the Executive (-34.9%) and Mini (-29.9%) segments recorded the biggest improvements against the 2000 levels.
Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive, said, "Industry can be proud of the progress it has made in reducing CO2 emissions and improving fuel efficiency, 23 per cent since 2000. The UK motor industry recognises its responsibilities and the industrial opportunities from the transition to ultra-low carbon vehicles. Future environmental and economic success will be determined by sustained investment in new technology, R&D, infrastructure and consumer incentives. We are seeing steady improvement in conventional technologies and the emergence of a range of alternative technologies, creating one of the most innovative periods for the global automotive industry."
Achieving record market shares, diesel and alternatively-fuelled vehicles (AFVs) continued their rise in popularity, taking 50.6% and 1.3% of the 2011 market respectively. Petrol-electric hybrids accounted for 92% of all AFV volumes in 2011 with an average CO2 output of 104g/km, some 25% below the UK average. Though market development is in its earliest stages, EV registrations rose by 557% in 2011 to 1,098 units, aided by the introduction of new models and the Plug-In Car Grant.
UK automotive is a global leader for low carbon R&D, productivity and quality, exporting its products around the world. To retain this position and meet the stringent EU legislative target of 95g/km CO2 by 2020, successive governments must commit to a strong long-term industrial policy that provides the certainty required by international firms to sustain investments in low carbon R&D in the UK. Government needs to provide consistency on taxation and maintain and expand incentives like the Plug-In Car Grant, which encourage consumers to move towards low carbon and more fuel-efficient technologies.
Government urges early intervention ..
11 April 2012
.... to tackle pothole problem
Leap year bug causes sat nav failure
11 April 2012
TomTom has blamed a ‘leap year’ bug for causing some of its devices to fail and has released a new software update in an effort to solve the problem.
The firm said that a problem with its global positioning system firmware - code embedded into the devices - had caused models worldwide to fail to identify their location. Users affected with the bug have been presented with a grey screen and a message saying the machine lacked a GPS signal. The issue first emerged on March 31.
A TomTom spokesman said: “Please accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience. We are fully focused on getting our impacted customers back on the road.” Several models are affected including both new and discontinued products.
TomTom suggests that owners of the following devices should install the new code:
Start 20/25, Via 110/120/125, Via LIVE 120/125, VIA 1400/1405/1430/1435, VIA 1500/1505/1530/1535, GO LIVE 820/825, GO 1000/1005/1005 World, GO 1535, GO 2405/2505, GO 2435/2535, GO 2535 LIVE, GO 2535 WTE (World Traveler Edition) Blue & Me TomTom 2, TomTom Connect.
Instructions on how to update devices can be found at www.tomtom.com/386.
Motorists question proposed fine increase
11 April 2012
Half of motorists disagree with a Government proposal to increase fixed penalty notices from £60 to £90, according to research by the IAM.