Weekly round-up: X-Class video review, increasing electric intentions and an all-new Touareg

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Author: | Updated: 23 Mar 2018 14:24

The Geneva Motor Show might be over, but we’ve been kept as busy as ever this week courtesy of some X-cellent video content and a host of electric-based intentions from a number of manufacturers.

Top left clockwise: Audi e-tron, Mercedes X-Class video review, all-new Volkswagen Touareg and upcoming BMW i4.

We’ll kick things off with a film or two…

Always one to bring you the latest and greatest models, Howard Ritchie has been out and about in two very different vehicles. First up, he sampled the Kia Stinger. Specifically the Stinger GTS, which comes kitted out with a 3.3-litre V6 and rear-wheel drive. What could possibly go wrong?

Luckily, his next test vehicle was something a little more sedate in the form of a pick-up truck. But we’re not talking about an everyday builder’s hack, we’re talking about the all-new Mercedes X-Class. Here’s how he got on when he took Merc’s new mud-plugger to task at Whitecliffe’s 4X4 track…

Arguably the most significant new car story of the week is that Lotus has confirmed its intentions to build an SUV. Yes, you read that right – the maker of some of the world’s smallest, lightest and agile sports cars is set to cash in on the SUV boom.

Leaked images show what Norfolk-based Lotus has planned for its upcoming SUV.

You can’t really blame them, considering it’s the fastest growing new car sector across the globe. Details are to be confirmed, but some patent sketches give us a good idea what this Macan rival will look like. Check it all out here.

After the flurry of futuristic EVs that debuted at Geneva, we were expecting a bit of a lull in that department this week. How wrong we were.

The outline of the BMW iVision Dynamics represents a further evolution of the classical BMW proportions

First up, BMW has confirmed its i4 saloon is headed for production and, although details are low on the ground, you can expect this upcoming addition to the ‘i’ family to have a range of 435 miles when it hits the road in 2020.

If that seems a little bit too far away, then you might want to consider an iX3 instead. This all-electric variant of its popular SUV is set to be revealed at the upcoming Beijing Motor Show in April.

Seat announce EV intentions with all-electric hatchback due in 2020

As if that wasn’t enough EV news, Seat has confirmed that it will release an EV – probably based on the next generation of Leon – in 2020. With a range of up to 311 miles, it’ll utilise Volkswagen Group’s MEB platform that’s set to underpin its own I.D. range too.

Initial orders for the Audi e-tron SUV are now being taken and, while deliveries aren’t expected to commence until 2019, a £1,000 deposit will reserve you Ingolstadt’s answer to the Jaguar I-Pace.

Audi e-tron SUV is set to launch next year, although you can reserve one now.

It sits on Audi’s new MEB platform – an electrified version of the MLB platform that underpins the Q5 and Q7. It’s the first of a new generation of e-tron models that form Audi’s electric ambitions over the next decade or so.

Back to the present day however, and on to the updated C-Class. We took at look at the tweaked saloon and estate at Geneva, and now Mercedes has given the same treatment to the Cabriolet and Coupe.

Refreshed C-Class Cabriolet and Coupe have been revealed this week, with AMG C43 topping the line-up.

The C200 entry-level petrol gets mild-hybrid tech, but there’s little doubt the model that’ll get the most attention is the C43 pictured above.

The new Touareg has been a long-time coming and, considering the stiff competition from its fellow German brands and the launch of the Tiguan Allspace, we were beginning to wonder whether it was worth the bother.

All-new third-gen VW Touareg – but would you choose one over a Q7?

As the picture above can attest, it looks to have been worth the wait. If the Touareg’s a little too big for you, then you could also consider a Fiesta. Yes, Ford has launched a pseudo-crossover variation of the most popular car in the UK, and we can say with some certainty it’ll be a big hit.

With chunky off-road looks, it admittedly doesn’t have the same capabilities as the Touareg, but then again, how many times have you seen a luxurious SUV off the tarmac?

Ford Fiesta Active – a pseudo-crossover based on the popular supermini.

As this week’s electric intentions demonstrate, by the time the government’s 2040 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars rolls around, it’s likely most personal cars will be petrol or hybrid anyway.

But now some politicians want to move that deadline forward to 2030! Is it necessary considering the ever-growing demand for hybrids and EVs? Al Suttie investigates

Moving the ban on petrol and diesel vehicles to 2030 helps nobody

If you’re considering a hybrid yourself, you aren’t alone; they’re becoming increasingly popular on the leasing scene, and to show you just what’s on offer we’ve picked five of the best you can lease for less than £350 per month. Which one would you choose?

There’s been a lot of talk about autonomous cars this week, and not for the right reasons. Of course, as they develop, autonomous cars will make mistakes just like humans, but they won’t fail as spectacularly as one young American learner driver…


As reported by The Week: “A 17-year-old Minneapolis girl has failed her first attempt at a driving test, after she crashed through the wall of the licence centre. Officials say the girl, who was just beginning the test, had the car in drive instead of reverse. The 60-year-old licence examiner also in the car was hospitalised with non-life threatening injuries.”

Who says automatics are idiot-proof?

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