Weekly round-up: New Ford Focus and Audi A6 Avant revealed, plus a bunch of reviews to suit everyone
It would appear everyone in the automotive community is still in a sugar coma from the Easter break, with news a little light on the ground this week.
The biggest stories came from Audi and Ford with the announcement of the A6 Avant and new Focus respectively.
Whereas the A6 saloon had its big reveal at the Geneva Motor Show, the Avant model is the premium estate equivalent offering the same sleek looks and tech-filled interior.
Though it retains the same styling as the saloon at the front, at the rear it features a swooping roof line and some very flat C-pillars – an unusual feature for an estate car.
The boot remains the same size as the outgoing model at 565 litres, while upfront sees big changes thanks to the inclusion of Audi’s new MMI Touch Control infotainment system. This combines an 8in touchscreen for media and entertainment and an 8.6in touchscreen that controls the climate settings.
The engine line-up is set to match the saloons featuring three diesels and a petrol. All of them feature Audi’s new mild-hybrid tech as standard, which allows the car to ‘coast’ between 34 and 99mph. In real-world driving, this tech can save up to 4g/km of CO2.
On the smaller end of the scale, the new Ford Focus enters its fourth generation and gets a sharp new look, a roomier and more premium cabin as well as an updated engine line-up.
On the outside, the new Focus has been thoroughly reworked and borrows its styling cues from the new Ford Fiesta. Changes at the sides and rear are more comprehensive, with Ford aiming for a much more athletic appearance while the patented vertical tail lights have been ditched in favour of a wide, horizontal set too – a big styling departure from previous Focuses.
Two petrols and two diesels will be on offer from launch, with the petrol offerings both made up of Ford’s latest three cylinder EcoBoost engines. A 1.0-litre version will be available with 84bhp, 99bhp and 123bhp respectively, while a 1.5-litre produces 148bhp and 179bhp.
None of these will be much good if you’re living up in the hills of a rural community though, and if this is you then you may be more interested to hear about the new Subaru Outback.
Subaru’s rugged crossover estate has undergone extensive updates for 2018 including increased cabin quality and a plethora of safety offerings including a new front view camera and side view camera mounted at the base of the passenger door mirror.
Even better, despite these upgrades across the board the changes come at no extra cost as pricing remains the same as the previous model starting from £29,995 for the SE Model and £33,010 for the SE Premium.
Away from upcoming cars, we’ve been busy over the Easter break to bring you a whole host of reviews of the latest cars.
Perhaps the most exciting was taking the new BMW M5 on track and on the roads of North Wales.
For this sixth-generation model, BMW has eschewed the possibility of returning to a V10 engine and installed a modified version of the last car’s 4.4-litre V8 with a couple of turbochargers bolted on for good measure.
That means it’s practical, fast, focussed, refined and luxurious and there really is nothing out there with the breadth of capabilities that the M5 has.
Too much car for you? Maybe you’ll be interested in leasing a fastback? We’ve collected five of our favourites currently on the market including the Volkswagen Arteon and Audi A5.
If you’re looking to improve your green credentials though, you might want to look at the new Kia Niro PHEV.
With a 1.6-litre petrol unit joined by an electric motor, with a full charge the Niro can travel up to 36 miles without starting the engine as the onboard computer plots the most efficient way of making progress.
An eco-friendly throttle pedal even discourages anything too enthusiastic, with a lethargic response to any harsh input which makes you feel guilty about wanting to make swift progress.
These all might be a bit big for your tastes though, which is why we also got in Volkswagen’s new Up GTI recently.
Whereas the warm hatch is a rare breed these days, the Up GTI has been marketed as a modern-day nod to the original Golf GTI, what with the similar power and pace, as well as a cabin decked out in plaid.
Taking 8.8 seconds to get from rest to 62mph and top speed is all done at 122mph. Still, that’s enough to keep the like of the Abarth 500 and Vauxhall Adam S on their mettle.
And that’s it from us. Wow, for a Friday the 13th we managed to make it through this entire round-up without an accident or mistkae. We’re off camping at Crystal Lake for the weekend now, so see you Monday…