Weekly round-up: 18 plate extravaganza, snow worries and Geneva previews cook up a different kind of storm

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Author: | Updated: 02 Mar 2018 11:53

Britain has been battening down the hatches in the face of the Beast from the East and Storm Emma this week. But fear not – ContractHireAndLeasing.com’s team battled the elements to ensure, regular as clockwork, our weekly round-up is ready.

Here’s what’s been going on in the car world over the last seven days …

Top left clockwise: a wintery ContractHireAndLeasing hq, new Jaguar I-Pace EV, 18 plate is released and new Audi A6.

Let it snow, let it snow, it snow – or not. We’re technically less than 20 days away from spring, but the dying throes of winter has brought us some treacherous weather conditions, and it’s fair to say driving in this kind of weather is less than ideal.

It's not spring just yet...

While we’d always advocate avoiding unnecessary journeys in these kind of conditions, for those of you that won’t be hibernating under a mound of duvets this weekend, we’ve put together some handy driving tips that should help you keep on the move.

What with the UK’s inability to deal with adverse weather, we’ve been a bit distracted from what is arguably the biggest car news of the week – the shiny new 18 plate! Registrations in the UK change twice a year – once in March and once in September.

The 18 plate is officially here.

But what do those letters and numbers mean? What about personal plates? Will 18 plates be affected by new diesel VED rates? Most importantly, which 18 plates have been banned?!

If you’ve already got your heart set on a certain car to grace with an 18 plate, you can find all our lease deals here. However, if you want a car that’s as new as the 18 plate itself, we’ve picked out five recent releases to tempt you…

Top five new cars for the new 18 plate

Talking of new releases, we’re now just days away from the Geneva Motor Show, but this week we’ve had our fair share of previews, and even a few full reveals…

First off, let us introduce the eagerly anticipated Jaguar I-Pace. We’ve known what the all-electric SUV will look like for a while now, but it’s now been unveiled in full production form.

This is the production version of the Jaguar I-Pace SUV, arriving in June.

Happily, it looks just as awesome now as the concept car did! With a sub-five second 0-60mph time and 298 miles of range, it’ll be going toe-to-toe with Tesla’s Model X when it arrives in the summer.

As attractive as the Jaguar is, with a £58,995 list price for entry-level versions, it won’t be this car that democratises electric vehicles. However, the Hyundai Kona Electric just might be.

Hyundai Kona Electric – could it democratise the EV market?

The Korean manufacturer has revealed it ahead of its Geneva launch and, with the most powerful version capable of 0-62mph in less than eight seconds and over 290 miles on a single charge, we can’t wait to see how it drives.

2018 Audi A6 front

Next up is the all-new Audi A6. Courtesy of its A8 styling cues and self-driving tech carryovers, this is set to be a serious contender for the 5 Series and E-Class. All engines get mild hybrid tech too, and would you just look at that interior…

First ever rear-wheel drive Audi R8 V10 arrives in UK next month

Another Audi next – the R8 V10. It’s been around for a while, but it remains one of the few supercars you can use on a truly day-to-day basis. Now Audi has concocted a driver-focused variant that, for the first time, features rear-wheel drive only.

Despite the overtly rearward bias in the drivetrain, performance off the line and beyond remains reassuringly breath-taking with the 0-62mph sprint being dispatched in just 3.7 seconds and the pace remaining furious until v-max at 198mph.

Lexus UX 2018 has been revealed ahead of the Genvea Motor Show.

There has been speculation that Lexus was building a rival for the new BMW X2, Volvo XC40 and Jaguar E-Pace since it revealed the original UX concept back in 2016. It’s finally revealed the production car – read all about it here

That’s just a small sample of the enormous amount of pre-Geneva news we’ve had over the last few weeks. If you want to see a more in-depth list of just what’ll be on the stands, here’s our full preview.

Geneva Motor Show 2018

Finally, to celebrate the arrival of the all-new plate, we’ve updated some of our most popular price-busting articles to show you what’s on offer with a new plate, no matter what your budget:

> Top cars for around £100 per month

> Top cars for less than £200 per month

> Top cars for less than £300 per month

> Top cars for less than £400 per month

> Best EVs and hybrids for less than £250 per month

Drive safe

Hopefully next week things will be looking a little more spring-like out there. Drive safe people.

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