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Alex Ward

UK road conditions are worse than last year say motorists

Tristan Shale-Hester 2019-11-22 00:01 Half of drivers say local road conditions have become worse since last year, while only 11 per cent believe they’ve become better Around half of drivers think the state of local roads in the UK has deteriorated in the last 12 months, according to new data. Of the 1,753 drivers surveyed for the 2019 RAC Report on Motoring, 49 per cent said the condition of local roads - not motorways or major A roads - has deteriorated since 2018, primarily due to potholes and other road surface issues. • Road funding cuts could have paid for 8 million pothole repairs A mere 11 per cent of respondents said they thought local road conditions had improved in the last year, while 40 per cent said they hadn’t noticed any real change. Drivers living in rural locations were shown to be 10 per cent more likely to be dissatisfied with their local road conditions than residents of urban areas. In line with this trend, 25 per cent of motorists living in London said local..

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LDV EV80 review

Our Rating 2.5 Model: LDV EV80 Price: From £54,000 (incl Govt grant) Electric motor: 123bhp/320Nm Battery: 56kWh li-ion Range: Up to 119 miles Charging: 1.5hrs (30kWh DC)/7hrs (6.6kWh AC) Top speed: 62mph (limited) Image 1 of 10 Image 1 of 10 2019 The LDV EV80 offers zero emissions and a one-tonne payload, but at a cost If you need a large electric van sooner rather than later, then the LDV EV80 is one choice for sale in the UK today. It's on the market at the same time as the Renault Master Z.E., but both are available ahead of similar models such as the VW e-Crafter and Mercedes eSprinter, which are a little while away. List prices for the LDV EV80 start at around £60,000, but add the Government's Plug-in Van Grant, and this drops nearer to £50k. That's still a lot more than electric vans such as the Renault Kangoo Z.E. and Nissan e-NV200, but these are two classes smaller and can't match the EV80 for cargo volume or payload weight. As already mentioned, the o..

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Hyundai Kona Hybrid vs Kia Niro Hybrid

2019-11-21 12:00 The Hyundai Kona Hybrid and Kia Niro Hybrid battle it out in the lucrative hybrid SUV sector Hybrids are huge business. Every manufacturer needs one in its range to succeed in 2019 and beyond – and when it comes to sales success, at the minute there’s no better way to combine this powertrain tech than with an SUV body. With the excellent Kona Electric under its belt, Hyundai has released a standard hybrid version of its small SUV. • Best hybrid SUVs on sale Sister firm Kia did the reverse. It started with a hybrid version of the Niro, then added the brilliant e-Niro to the range. So while the two brands have ended up at the same point (this Niro Hybrid is also new, having received a facelift earlier this year) they’ve done it in different ways. This doesn’t matter all that much, though; what does is the efficiency, practicality, tech and general all-round usability for these frugal family cars. Head-to-head Model: Hyundai Kona Hybrid Premium Kia Niro Self-Chargi..

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Mysterious mid-engined Maserati prototype teased

Luke Wilkinson 2019-11-21 12:00 A new Maserati’s test mule has been undergoing development on the streets of Modena, testing the firm’s new all-electric powertrain Maserati has teased a heavily camouflaged, mid-engined prototype undergoing testing on the streets of Modena. The Italian manufacturer says the prototype vehicle is being used to develop its latest powertrain, which will feature in its forthcoming production vehicles from May 2020. The tets mule appears to be a modified version of the Alfa Romeo 4C, sporting a wider front and rear track, enormous engine intakes and oversized alloy wheels squeezed under a set of flared wheel arches. However, the prototype doesn’t preview the styling of any of Maserati’s future products and is being used purely as a testing bed for the new drivetrain. • Best sports cars on sale now Maserati hasn’t confirmed any details on the mule’s powertrain, but it’s expected to be testing a version of the firm’s new “Maserati Blue” hybrid-electric powe..

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What does the future hold for last-mile delivery?

2019-11-21 11:28 Renault's new concept vehicles tackle the challenges associated with urban delivery driving The rise of e-commerce and growth in package deliveries has had a ripple effect on UK roads. One in every £5 spent with UK retailers is now online, and while that has had a knock-on effect by shrinking the high street, it has also increased the requirement for light commercial vehicles to deliver products to suit individuals – be it a convenient time or location. According to a Government Office for Science report on the future of mobility, the increasing number of light goods vehicles (LGVs) on UK roads is driving growth in the freight transport industry (between 2000 and 2015 there was a 48 per cent increase in the number of LGVs licenced). Furthermore, recent studies have shown that last-mile deliveries now make up as much as 30 per cent of traffic in cities. The last mile is the shortest and quickest part of the entire logistics journey, but it’s also the one with th..

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BMW M boss confirms standalone M model

Steve Fowler 2019-11-21 07:00 A new super-advanced halo BMW M model could arrive by 2021, and it's likely to feature some form of electrification Speaking exclusively to Auto Express at the Los Angeles Motor Show, BMW M boss Markus Flasch said, “I can think of doing standalone M-cars – I like the idea and I think we’re going to do something in this direction.” BMW wowed show goers at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September when it showed the plug-in hybrid Vision M Next concept, but Flasch wouldn’t commit to the new standalone model following that car’s mid-engined layout. “It doesn’t necessarily have to be a mid-engined supercar, but definitely it has to stand out from the crowd.” • All the latest from the 2019 LA Motor Show Flasch wouldn’t rule out a different shape of halo car for the M division – when asked if it could be an SUV, he simply replied, “I don’t know… Well I do know, but I’m not saying yet!” Sources within BMW have suggested that the new car could be seen by 202..

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New Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S arrives to take on BMW X5 M

Luke Wilkinson 2019-11-20 19:00 The new Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S sports a twin-turbocharged mild-hybrid V8 engine, which develops 603bhp and 850Nm of torque This is the new Mercedes-AMG GLE 63. It’s a performance version of the standard SUV which has been designed to rival the BMW X5 M Competition and Range Rover Sport SVR. When it goes on sale in the UK next year, it will only be available in Mercedes’s most potent S specification. Like all of Mercedes-AMG’s top-tier models, the GLE 63 S is powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine, which develops 603bhp and 850Nm of torque in GLE. The engine sends its power to all four wheels via a nine-speed automatic gearbox, and offers a 0–62mph time of 3.8 seconds and a top speed of 174mph. • New Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe ride review The GLE 63’s combustion engine is supported by Mercedes’s EQ Boost belt-driven starter/generator and 48-volt mild-hybrid architecture for the first time, which is capable of delivering an extra 22bhp and 2..

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New Volkswagen e-up! 2020 review

Image 1 of 12 Image 1 of 12 20 Nov, 2019 5:30pm James Brodie The new e-up! will be the cheapest all-electric car from Volkswagen, but is it any good? Far from being on its way out, the little Volkswagen up! has been given an important task as it charges towards its ninth year on sale. Next year Volkswagen will begin to roll out its family of ID. badged all-electric cars, all built using a purpose made electric platform and designed to become genuine alternatives to conventionally powered models like the evergreen Golf. However, the entry-point and cheapest way into VW’s new-look electric line-up will be this: the latest incarnation of the battery powered e-up! • Best electric cars to buy now It doesn’t receive a new identity under the ID. umbrella as it’s not based on the group’s MEB platform. Instead, this is a facelift that showcases just how fast battery technology is developing. It’s still based on a modified combustion engine platform, but within the same space as the prev..

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New Hyundai RM19 review

Image 1 of 30 Image 1 of 30 20 Nov, 2019 5:45pm Steve Sutcliffe The 390bhp Hyundai RM19 is a test bed for tech that will appear on future Hyundais. We try it out on the Nurburgring Let’s get one thing clear straight away: the Hyundai RM19 you see here is not a prototype of a production car that will appear in a year or so’s time. Instead it is, according to the Hyundai engineers who have built it, just a rolling test bed for various systems and technologies that will appear on various Hyundais in years to come. So that’s the PR side of things out of the way. Because what I can also tell you is that the RM19 is very much the Mk1 prototype of a Hyundai that will enter production in Mk2 form costing a lot less than £100k, possibly as soon as 2021. • Hyundai reveals Racing Midship prototype RM stands for “Racing Midship” which means it has a mid-engined chassis. Much like a Porsche 718 Cayman. It’s currently powered by a 390bhp 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine mated to a six-speed seque..

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New Hyundai RM19 Racing Midship prototype uncovered at LA

Jonathan Burn 2019-11-21 07:35 Hyundai reveals intention for performance-based halo model with RM19, and we've already exclusively driven it Hyundai has signalled its intentions to launch a performance-based, halo model with the reveal of the RM19 concept. Shown for the first time at the LA Motor Show, the running mid-engined prototype packs 390bhp and previews the future direction for Hyundai's N brand. The name, RM19, refers to the prototype’s ‘Racing Midship’ configuration, something which Hyundai claims will give the vehicle “supercar-level handling balance.” The RM project has been in the works at Hyundai since 2012 and resulted in three different concept cars. The difference with the RM19 is that it’s a running prototype and Auto Express has had an exclusive first drive. • New Hyundai RM19 review The prototype is driven by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo taken from Hyundai’s TCR racer and also carries over that car’s six-speed sequential gearbox and rear-wheel-drive..

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