Weekly Wheelspin: a calamitous car transporter, a glimmer of hope for diesel and A-Class gets the boot…

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Author: | Updated: 27 Apr 2018 03:35

We tried a new format for our weekly round-up last week, and it went down quite well. We thought it’d be appropriate to give it a new name, too. So, hello and welcome to our inaugural Weekly Wheelspin!

Top right clockwise: Weekly Wheelspin, Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon, roofless Range Rover and VW Golf diesel tests...

It’s not that we’re a massive advocate of wheelspins – you’ll wear your tyres out very quickly and the practice is considered quite an antisocial activity in general. It was however, the catchiest suggestion for our new and improved bite-sized breakdown of all the week’s automotive events, car calamities and much more to boot…

Bish bash… Bosch?

Breakthrough: new Bosch diesel technology provides solution to NOx problem

Will diesel’s decline ever end? If you look at the latest stats from across the UK and Europe, it would seem not. To be honest, it’s gotten a little bit depressing and repetitive reporting on the fuel’s demise over the last few weeks, months, years… This week however, there was an opportunity to deliver some good news vis-a-vis the much-maligned fossil fuel AND come up with the catchiest headline in quite a while.

Breakthrough: new Bosch diesel technology provides solution to NOx problem

German technology giant Bosch has announced a development breakthrough for diesel vehicles that radically cuts nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by almost 90%.

The new technology can achieve as little as 13 milligrams of NOx in standard legally-compliant RDE cycles. In Lehman’s terms, the drastic reduction means that any diesel in the future will comply to any emission limits. Too good to be true? We’ll have to wait and see.

Mercedes E 53 AMG 2018 Saloon – now featuring mild-hybrid tech.

A sign that German OEMs may already be admitting defeat in the diesel regard is the introduction of mild-hybrid tech. It’s been confirmed that the upcoming 8th gen Golf will feature the emission-lowering tech, as will the soon-to-be-released AMG E 53.

If you’re still an advocate of diesel though, there are still plenty of fantastic choices on offer. Take Jaguar’s XJ. It might be getting a bit long in the tooth, but it offers menacing looks and a potent 3.0-litre turbodiesel option. To celebrate 50 years of the XJ, Jag has uncovered a special edition – the aptly named XJ50.

Jaguar XJ50 – a special edition celebrating 50 years of, you guessed it... the XJ.

New Range Rover convertible … Fake news?!

Having a tough week? Accidentally forgot to lower the top deck of your car transporter before hitting – in both senses of the word – the motorway? Thought not. Unregistered Range Rover Velar, meet overhead gantry. Overhead gantry, meet Range Rover Velar.

Range Rover Velar crash overhead gantry

It might have a lower roofline than the full-size RR, but not low enough, it would seem. While no one was injured, it’s still not a pretty sight. We can only hope it wasn’t a factory order, or there’ll be one very disappointed customer…

One or two of our Facebook fans weren’t convinced though, insisting that the photo had somehow been edited. Feeling duty-bound not to contribute to the fake news phenomenon, we did some research, and… oh wait, it’s on Greater Manchester Police’s twitter feed. And the MEN. And the Mirror. Seems real enough to us…

From Birmingham to Beijing

The Ford Fiesta Sport Van, with flowers

If you can drag your gaze away from the magnificent Ford Fiesta Sport Van that was revealed at the Birmingham-based Commercial Vehicle Show this week, there’s been another automotive event going down in China – the Beijing Motor Show.

BMW iX3 concept 2018

Despite the arrival of an all-electric BMW iX3 SUV concept and an SUV-saloon from Maybach (the world’s first?) it was the booted A-Class that stole the show. We recently got behind the wheel of the hatchback, but this Saloon should prove just as popular.

With a sleek look and tech-filled cabin, it really does give off a mini-AMG GT four-door kind of vibe.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class saloon.

The pics you see here, however, are of the slightly longer Chinese-bound variant. The European version will be shorter, but it should look pretty much identical. We can’t wait to see it in the flesh and find out if it’s any more practical than the regular hatch.

Bringing you the best lease deals

With hundreds of thousands of personal lease deals on site, we appreciate the sheer amount of choice might seem overwhelming. At the end of the day, most people want to know what’s on offer for what price. As ever, our price-busting listicles are here to help.

Best hybrid lease deals.

They’re regularly updated, and this week we’ve been checking out the increasingly popular hybrid and EV sector. Check out which are on offer for up to £250 per month or, if you’ve got a loftier budget of £350 per month, we’ve catered for you, too.

At the other end of the scale, we’ve scanned the cheaper end of the market to see what’s currently on offer for around £125 per month, although it’ll be a while before hybrids hit that kind of price. See what’s available for around £125 a month here.

China… the next South Korea?

It was not too long ago we considered South Korean car makers such as Kia and Hyundai with disdain. Much has changed in the last decade or so though, and with cars like the Kona on offer, the turnaround in the general public’s opinion of such brands has been immense. But can Chinese manufacturers do the same?

Lynk Co 01 PHEV

To find out, we’ve been investigating Lynk&Co. No, it’s not a knock-off shop in Cheetham Hill – it’s one of China’s up and coming car makers. Smothered in the latest tech and wrapped up in an attractive crossover-style package, could they be the next big thing? Set to hit the UK in 2020, we’ll find out in due course…

It was never going to end well…

We don’t need to tell you what a stupid idea it is to get behind the wheel after a tipple. We recently gave our reasons for the drink-drive limit to be lowered, following Ant McPartlin’s highly publicised conviction.

However, we can go one further this week. The footage above shows a drink-driver who, on her OWN dashcam, recorded a nail-biting drive that ended in the only way that it could.

Time trip

We like to offer you a bit of variety, so we’ll end our Wheelspin with a trip down memory lane.

Alfa 156 20th anniversary

Twenty years ago this week, Alfa Romeo launched its fabulous 156 saloon. While its sharp looks still inspire today, things have come a long way. The Giulia saloon is a world apart. It does, however, share one thing with the 156 – disappointing sales.

Alfa Romeo

Both cars were highly praised by the press from launch, but neither the 156 nor Giulia have been a hit in the sales stakes. Interest in the 156 did pick up eventually though, with production finally ending in 2006. We can only hope the same thing happens in the case of the gorgeous Giulia.

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