Weekly Wheelspin: Awesome Audis, baffling Brexit and another Tesla tantrum
It’s been a week of ups and downs on the World Cup front, with England’s hatful of goals against Panama followed by a down-to-Earth defeat against the Belgians. Is football coming home? Who knows … at least the Germans are out.
But, with no football on the TV tonight, let us turn your attention to this week’s automotive occurrences with our Weekly Wheelspin of news. Here’s what’s been going on…
In the news
The Germans are still top of the car game and Audi has revealed a facelifted version of its A4 2018, which is aiming to compete with the recently refreshed Mercedes C-Class. Unlike the Merc, however, its nip tuck is purely external. Don’t let that put you off though – the A4’s interior remains one of the best in the business.
Both the Saloon and Avant get the update, which ushers in sharper looks – particularly if you plump for S-Line trim, pictured here.
Not to be outdone by a lowlier sibling, it’s been confirmed the new A7 will be available with a new entry-level diesel engine this week, too. Called the TDI 45, it makes use of Audi’s new engine naming strategy.
Drawing on 231PS of power and 500Nm of torque, the new TDI quattro delivers the kind of exceptionally smooth, refined and powerful progress that elevates a six-cylinder unit above the norm but won’t destabilise the balance sheet for business users with its 50.4mpg capability.
If you’re in the market for a van, then making your mind up just got harder. Or not, depending on your prerogative. You see, Peugeot, Citroen and Vauxhall all revealed versions of their smallest commercial offerings this week.
Thing is, they’re all based on the same platform, have around the same amount of room and are likely to be very similarly priced too. If you want to find out more, then you can read about the identical-yet-not-at-all-the-same vans here, here and here.
As Theresa May returns from another summit in Brussels, Brexit is in the spotlight more than ever. But how will it affect the car industry? This week the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) called for swifter progress to reach a Brexit deal that will maintain customs union membership and deliver the same benefits as the single market. Why?
Because UK-based manufacturers including Honda and Nissan have previously issued warnings about the slowdown of growth, while BMW has gone as far as saying it will be forced to close UK production if components for its Mini and Rolls-Royce plants are caught up in customs delays post-Brexit.
What with the unseasonably hot weather, we recently brought you our top five convertibles to soak up the summer rays. One of them was the iconic Mazda MX-5. This got us thinking, is it the greatest roadster of all-time? With monthly rates from less than £160 per month, we think it just might be. Al Suttie investigates…
Whether you have a convertible or not, if the sun is shining it’s fair comment the majority of drivers will need a pair of sunglasses. But did you know that not all are suitable for driving? You might be surprised… and fined!
Most people don’t know that lenses are graded from 0 to 4 to show how dark the tint is, or more specifically, how much visible light they let through. The darkest lens (4) is not suitable for driving at ANY time. Read the full story here.
Not a week goes by without Tesla’s Elon Musk tweeting something that causes a media frenzy. week, it’s all about a farting unicorn. Yes, you read that right. Colorado potter Tom Edwards was amazed when Musk called his creation “maybe my favourite mug ever”.
— Lisa Prank (@lisaprank) June 26, 2018
However, a while later, Musk tweeted a copy of his cartoon to promote Tesla’s new “sketch pad” (above), which allows drivers (hopefully passengers) to draw accurately on his cars’ giant touchscreens. He then engaged in his latest twitter spat with Edwards’ daughter (below).
Edwards commented: “It’s part of their branding now. I love the fact it’s in the cars, but I just want them to do the right thing and pay me adequately for it.” Musk’s response? Well, he deleted his tweet, but he suggested it’d be “lame” to sue and that Edwards should be grateful for the attention. So much for any publicity is good publicity.
Leasing deal hunters
Our regularly updated price-busting listicles are among our most popular pages, but when it comes to outright bang for your buck, what cars really provide the most performance for your pound? If you fancy 300bhp for £300 per month or less, you should really check this one out…
Ever given your car a name? Well research from the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Authority (DVLA) reveals you aren’t alone, with more than a quarter of people (28%) saying they’d done the same thing.
Not Herbie though; the most popular names were found to be Doris, Dave, Henry, Betsy and Bumble, with the largest proportion of those who said they named their car coming from the East Midlands.