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Heathrow Airport plans £15 ULEZ pollution charge for drivers

Tristan Shale-Hester 2019-05-24 17:10 Drivers dropping off passengers or parking at Heathrow Airport will have to pay up to £15 per day from 2022 Heathrow Airport has announced a new Heathrow ULEZ (Heathrow Ultra Low Emission Zone) under which drivers dropping off passengers or parking at the airport will be charged up to £15 per day. Set to be implemented in 2022, the Heathrow ULEZ will see the introduction of minimum vehicle emissions standards identical to those of the London ULEZ for cars and private hire vehicles entering car parks and drop-off areas at any of the airport’s terminals 24 hours a day, seven days a week. • London ULEZ: the Ultra Low Emissions Zone explained Precise details of the charges and the levels at which they will be set have not yet been announced, but a preliminary figure of between £10 and £15 is being considered. Like the London ULEZ, the Heathrow ULEZ will target pre-Euro 4 petrols (typically those built before 2006) and pre-Euro 6 diesels (built befo..

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New Audi RS 3 Sportback 2019 review

Image 1 of 23 Image 1 of 23 24 May, 2019 4:00pm Alex Ingram After a short break, the Audi RS 3 Sportback is back on the scene. But have WLTP regulations dampened the fun? After a brief hiatus, the Audi RS 3 is back. New WLTP regulations meant that sales had to be put on hold while the car was re-homologated, but after some emissions-based tweaking, the hottest of hot hatchbacks is ready to hit the road again. The good news is that the necessary fettling to get it through tougher environmental standards - namely the fitment of an exhaust particulate filter - haven’t harmed the output: headline figures of 395bhp and 480nm of torque from the 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbocharged engine are the same as before. That’s well ahead of any other performance five-door – at least until the new Mercedes-AMG A 45 makes an appearance later this year. • Best hot hatches to buy As a result, the performance is staggering. Engage the launch control system, and 0-62mph takes just 4.1 seconds. That’..

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Car hire firms ripping off drivers with overpriced insurance excess waivers

Tristan Shale-Hester 2019-05-24 15:09 Rental companies’ theft and damage excess prices add as much as 90 per cent to the total cost of hiring a car, research shows Car hire companies are ripping off drivers with overpriced excess waivers, research has shown. Taking out an excess waiver for damage and theft when you hire a car can add as much as 90 per cent to the total rental cost, according to a study by TravelSupermarket. For example, an eight-day car hire at Paphos airport with Avis from 27 July would cost £195.16, while the excess waiver would add an extra £174.68. • Holiday car hire: scams, tips and how to get a cheap deal The study shows that some excess waivers are up to 579 per cent more expensive than they should be. An excess waiver for an eight-day hire with Hertz from Barcelona El Prat airport from 27 July would cost £189.93 – seven times more than the £27.96 fee for taking out an equivalent, standalone policy. Excess waivers are not compulsory, but if you don’t take o..

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Worst areas for car theft increases revealed

Tristan Shale-Hester 2019-05-24 15:00 Staffordshire saw a bigger increase in car thefts than any other area, followed by Bedfordshire and Thames Valley Staffordshire saw the biggest rise in car thefts last year, according to new figures. The Government data was analysed by car-selling site Motorway and shows which police force areas in the UK suffered the worst increases in car theft. Staffordshire saw the largest rise, with car thefts jumping by 37.5 per cent from 1,332 in 2017 to 1,831 in 2018. • Car crime rises again with 113,000 vehicles stolen last year Bedfordshire Police came second, seeing a 27.3 per cent year-on-year rise from 1,054 thefts to 1,342. The number of cars stolen in the Thames Valley area, meanwhile, increased 26.8 per cent from 2,574 to 3,625. Police force 2017 car thefts 2018 car thefts Percentage increase Staffordshire Police 1,332 1,831 37.5 per cent Bedfordshire Police 1,054 1,342 27.3 per cent Thames Valley Police 2,574 3,265 26.8 per cent..

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New Bentley Bentayga Bengala: posh SUV gets very, very angry

Jake Weaver 2019-05-24 12:10 Apocolypse-ready Bentley Bentayga Bengala is a Bentayga prepped for the end of the world with just 15 units set to be built There is no denying that the Bentley Bentayga is a vehicle with road presence as standard, thanks largely to its enormous size and imposing styling. However, Spanish design house and tuning company Bengala Automotive Design has taken the view that more aggression is needed and created the Bentley Bentayga Bengala. Developed in partnership with a former Spanish off-road champion and his team, the Bentayga Bengala is a Bentayga stripped of its luxurious facade with its off-road ability turned up to 11. • Best SUVs to buy 2019 There are obvious visual modifications over the standard Bentayga, which include a bespoke bull bar incorporated into the front end, a large steel horizontal bar running across the width of the nose for added protection and an integrated LED light strip. Image 3 of 6 Image 3 of 6 Big chunky off-road tyres a..

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Ford Focus is the UK’s most frequently stolen car

Tristan Shale-Hester 2019-05-24 14:50 The Ford Focus proved to be the most stolen car in 2018, while Staffordshire had the street with the highest number of thefts New data has revealed the Ford Focus as the UK’s most frequently stolen car in 2018. Last year, 1,952 Fords were stolen in the UK – more than any other brand. Of these, 530 were Focuses and 508 were Fiestas, making them the two most-stolen models in the country. • Car crime rises again with 113,000 vehicles stolen last year The data – which came from Freedom of Information requests sent to police forces by GoCompare – showed Vauxhall was the second-most frequently stolen brand in the UK last year, with 909 being taken, while Volkswagen was third, with 466 thefts. This is reflected in the fact that Vauxhall’s Astra and Corsa models were the third and fifth-most stolen models – 344 and 306 respectively – while the Volkswagen Golf was fourth, with 340 thefts being reported. It’s likely that one of the factors in these par..

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BMW launches hot M50i versions of X5 and X7 SUVs

Steve Walker 2019-05-23 17:50 X5 M50i and X7 M50i M Performance models revealed by BMW BMW has announced a new M Performance M50i powertrain based on its 4.4-litre V8 petrol engine that will power performance versions of its X5 and X7 SUVs. The X5 and X7 M50i models will top their respective ranges (alongside the M50d diesel in the X5's case) until the full-blown M Division products, the X5 M and X7 M models arrive sometime in 2020. Prices for the M50i SUVs have yet to be announced. The M50i models use an updated version of the 4.4-litre BMW unit found in the existing X5 and X7 xDrive50i models. The revisions made by BMW yield a power boost to the tune of 67bhp that takes the total output to 523bhp and torque is also increased by 100Nm for a prodigious maximum output of 750Nm. • Best SUVs on sale now The 8-speed torque-converter automatic gearbox has also been modified in the M50i models with, new mapping designed to make the most of the extra performance on offer. A launch c..

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2020 Jaguar F-Type facelift spied: Huge overhaul planned for Jag’s 911

James Brodie 2019-05-23 15:29 Jaguar's flagship F-Type performance car is in for a rethink that could be more than just skin deep It’s been just over a year since Jaguar last furnished the F-Type sports car with a facelift, but a far bolder mid-life update is in the pipeline according to these brand new spy shots. Caught on test in the UK, Jaguar’s Porsche 911 rival looks set for a big refresh in 2020, which will see the car’s overall design moved on significantly for the first time since launch in 2013. However, new technology, both in the cabin and under the bonnet, will also differentiate old from new. • Best sports cars on sale 2019 The car spied here is still masked fairly heavily, but it’s possible to spot new bodywork hinting at a redesign. The bonnet, for instance, now runs further down the car’s front wings, and appears to cut through the placement of the current car’s headlights. It would appear that a brand new set of lights - horizontally longer and flanking the gr..

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2020 Jaguar F-Type facelift spied: Major overhaul planned for Jag’s 911

James Brodie 2019-05-23 15:29 Jaguar's flagship performance car is in for a rethink that could be more than just skin deep It’s been just over a year since Jaguar last furnished the F-Type sports car with a facelift, but a far bolder mid-life update is in the pipeline according to these brand new spy shots. Caught on test in the UK, Jaguar’s Porsche 911 rival looks set for a big refresh in 2020, which will see the car’s overall design moved on significantly for the first time since launch in 2013. However, new technology, both in the cabin and under the bonnet, will also differentiate old from new. • Best sports cars on sale 2019 The car spied here is still masked fairly heavily, but it’s possible to spot new panel gaps hinting at a redesign. The bonnet, for instance, now runs further down the car’s front wings, and appears to cut through the placement of the current car’s headlights. It would appear that a brand new set of lights, horizontally shaped and flanking the grille w..

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New Ford Focus ST 2019 ride review

Image 1 of 13 Image 1 of 13 23 May, 2019 10:15am Sean Carson We get the lowdown on the tech behind Ford’s new Focus ST hot hatch and get to sample it – but only from the passenger seat for now Given the illustrious history of fast Fords, the brand has a big challenge on its hand with the new Focus ST. Since the last-generation Focus ST launched in 2012 the class has moved on dramatically, with these fast family machines, such as the Honda Civic Type R and Hyundai i30 N, offering an incredible level of technology for the money. • Full details on the new Ford Focus ST Ford hasn’t approached this challenge lightly, though, and has thrown everything at the new hot Focus. And now we’ve been given an overview from the man behind its development, Ford Performance Europe director, Leo Roeks. Image 2 of 13 Image 2 of 13 There’s tech such as an electronic limited-slip differential (eLSD), adaptive dampers, sticky dual-compound tyres, anti-lag for the turbo engine, launch control and r..

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