Home / Alex Ward (page 10)

Alex Ward

New Toyota Yaris 2020 review

Image 1 of 23 Image 1 of 23 10 Feb, 2020 7:00am John McIlroy Toyota's new Yaris is the most impressive small Toyota in a while but is that enough to topple the Fiesta and Polo? For many, the Toyota Yaris is a supermini that has been a bit too anonymous for its own good. Never as affordable as a Vauxhall Corsa or a Ford Fiesta, frequently behind on in-car tech compared with a VW Polo, and almost always dowdy-looking beside a Peugeot 208 or a Renault Clio. And yet the Yaris is the fifth best-selling supermini across Europe and an enormously important car for Toyota, because it accounts for almost one in four of the cars the company sells in the region. So the stakes are high for the new, fourth-generation Yaris - and Auto Express has had the first chance to drive the car on public roads. • Best superminis to buy now Despite previous sales of more than four million units, this could be the first Yaris that ends up on many supermini buyers’ shortlists because, of course, it’s a..

Read More »

New 2021 Volkswagen Transporter T7 caught on camera

Luke Wilkinson 2020-02-07 15:00 Volkswagen will launch an all-new version of the Transporter van this year, just 12 months after revealing the facelifted version of the T6 Our spy photographers have caught the next-generation Volkswagen Transporter van during winter testing, spied here in Caravelle guise. The seventh-generation model is expected to make its debut in 2021, sporting a fresh range of powertrains, updated styling and technology lifted from the all-new, Mk8 Golf. • Best medium panel vans on sale now The styling of the new Transporter will be an evolution of the previous-generation model but with touches taken from the brand’s latest passenger car range. It now has slightly more rounded corners and a wider glasshouse. The front end styling also mimics that of the new Golf, sharing a similar radiator grille, bumper shape and LED headlamp design, with winglets that extended into the front quarter panel. Most importantly though, the proportions of this Transporter mule ha..

Read More »

Jeep Renegade and Compass 4xe PHEVs production delayed

Deliveries of both the Jeep Renegade 4xe and the larger Compass 4xe plug-in hybrids have been delayed due to the coronavirus. UK customers were originally set to take delivery from June, but due to the enforced closure of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Italian factories, the new launch date is set to be closer to September. According to reports in Automotive News Europe, FCA union workers have confirmed a phased re-opening of the group’s Melfi plant – where the Renegade, the Compass are built alongside the Fiat 500X – with roughly 500 of the full 7,400 workforce returning from 27 April. By the middle of the week, this number will increase to around 1,000. The move will allow Jeep to produce the final prototypes of the plug-in SUVs, before full manufacturing can commence, which is expected around July. Both 4xe versions of the Renegade and Compass are set to kick off with a pair of Launch Edition models. These will be offered in two specifications: a city-focussed “Urban” package or the ..

Read More »

‘Manufacturers need to cut the cost of electric cars FAST’

Mike Rutherford 2020-02-08 13:00 Electric cars need a sharp drop in price quickly if they are to overtake ICE cars before the 2035 Government ban, says Mike Rutherford I’m more convinced than ever that the shift from 100 per cent petrol or diesel (ICE) cars to their pure-electric counterparts (EVs) ain’t going to happen in one short, sharp, revolutionary burst. The transition will be more drip, drip than tidal wave – not least because of major problems within the UK’s entrepreneurial, sometimes iffy, EV- charging industry. Then there’s the separate disaster of inadequate Government investment; if the state is willing to seriously consider blowing £100billion-plus on the HS2 rail project, how about a tenth of that on EV infrastructure? • New petrol, diesel and hybrid-powered cars to be banned by 2035 On top of all this sits another tricky issue: the understandable and justifiable caution on the part of consumers expected to spend their hard-earned cash on EVs that remain considera..

Read More »

New Sports Series McLaren supercar spied testing

Luke Wilkinson 2020-02-07 11:30 McLaren will replace its entry-level Sport Series range later this year with hybrid power These spy shots reveal that McLaren is busy testing its replacement for the 570S. The British brand will overhaul its entry-level Sports Series range later this year, and the big news is that it’s going hybrid. The production model won’t look like this – our spy shots show a test mule wearing the bodywork of the outgoing McLaren 570S. The finished product will sport an all-new exterior and interior design, which is being kept under wraps for now. • Best supercars on sale now However, there are a few visible changes between this test car and the standard McLaren 570S, including a pair of extended side skirts and a rudimentary high-mount exhaust system. The latter adjustment suggests this mule is being powered by an all-new powertrain – along with the bright orange “hybrid” sticker fixed to this development vehicle’s rear window. It’s expected that McLaren’s n..

Read More »

Future of electric car grant in doubt as 2035 ban looms into view

Hugo Griffiths 2020-02-07 10:50 Ministers warn incentives must offer “value for money for the taxpayer”, and “we think there’s a better way of doing it” The future of the UK Plug in Car Grant (PiCG) - which sees Government subsidies knock £3,500 off the price of a new electric car - looks increasingly shaky, following statements from two Government ministers casting doubt on the scheme, which is due to end in March 2020 by default. This is despite the ban on sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles being brought forward from 2040 to 2035, and the expansion of the ban to take in hybrids and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs). • What is the plug-in car grant The Department for Transport’s Future of Transport Minister, George Freeman, told Auto Express the grant was only ever intended "to kick-start the early market for electric vehicles, and funded over 200,000 electric vehicles including pure electrics and plug-in hybrids." Freeman highlighted figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and..

Read More »

You’ll soon be able to use your iPhone as a car key

Tristan Shale-Hester 2020-02-07 10:34 The beta version of iOS 13.4 references an Apple ‘CarKey’ feature, allowing drivers to unlock their cars with an iPhone or Apple Watch Drivers could soon be able to use their iPhones to unlock their cars, if a reference in the beta version of Apple’s latest mobile software is to be believed. Apple released the first beta version of its iOS 13.4 software this week, which contains reference to a ‘CarKey’ feature that allows drivers to use their iPhone or Apple Watch to lock, unlock or start their car. • What is Apple Carplay and how does it work? The feature would only work with cars fitted with NFC (near-field communication), according to 9to5Mac, and will not require the use of FaceID or a password - drivers will simply need to hold their phone near the car for it to unlock, similar to how they would with a keyless fob. The phone will be paired with the car via the Wallet app, and will require the installation of a manufacturer-approved app in..

Read More »

New 2021 Dacia Sandero spied for the first time

Luke Wilkinson 2020-02-07 09:30 Third-generation Dacia Sandero prototype has been spotted for the first time, but in heavy camo This is our first look at the next-generation Dacia Sandero. We expect it’ll be revealed in early 2021 with a new look, an updated engine range and - potentially - a new platform. Most of this mule's styling is still hidden under heavy camouflage, but the shape of its headlamps, flanks and rump suggest the next-generation model will bear a strong resemblance to the outgoing car. The new Sandero will also be slightly longer than its predecessor if these shots are anything to go by - it’s visibly stretched in comparison to the stubby proportions of the current budget favourite. • Best hatchbacks to buy The current Sandero is based on an ageing Clio platform in production since 2002, and there’s not much to suggest that this setup has much life left in it. Dacia could be poised to switch the Sandero to the same CMF-B underpinnings as the latest Clio and..

Read More »

Ford GT updated for 2020 with 651bhp and new soundtrack

Luke Wilkinson 2020-02-06 15:20 New updated Ford GT now boasts more power, an improved cooling system and a lighter exhaust This is the updated 2020 Ford GT. To keep it competitive with rivals such as the Lamborghini Aventador S and the McLaren 720S, the American company has updated its supercar with a handful of mechanical and cosmetic upgrades - but not for the UK market. It’s powered by a reworked version of the outgoing Ford GT’s twin-turbocharged 3.5-litre V6 engine, which features new gallery-cooled pistons, larger intercoolers, higher-output ignition coils and a standard-fitment Akrapovič titanium exhaust system. Ford says the revisions have brought an extra 13bhp, taking the car’s maximum output to 651bhp. • Best supercars on sale now Ford has also fiddled with the GT’s ECU to broaden its torque band, while new exterior ducting has increased air flow into the supercar’s engine bay by a claimed 50 percent. The new Akrapovič exhaust also offers a 4kg weight-saving over the o..

Read More »

Limited-edition BAC Mono One launched

Luke Wilkinson 2020-02-06 12:09 BAC has unveiled a trio of uniquely specced Monos to mark the end of track car’s production Briggs Automotive Company (BAC) has launched a trio of bespoke Monos to mark the end of the single-seat track car’s production run. Each limited-edition model is priced at £158,950 and features a unique livery, a tweaked chassis and a handful of cosmetic upgrades. Each limited-edition Mono is finished in one BAC’s corporate colours – either white, black or red. All three vehicles also feature unique carbon-hybrid wheels, a range of special-edition badging and exposed carbon-fibre panelling from the waistline down. • Best track day cars on sale now The BAC Mono One Iconic White edition is the least lairy of the three, being finished simply in the British firm’s trademark white paint. The Carbon Black variant sports black paint with contrasting red stitching and rear wheels, while the Neon Red model bears a unique red paint scheme with white body decals. A uniq..

Read More »