- The latest generation BMW 3 Series Touring has been revealed, with a sleeker design, more interior space and improved practicality over the previous model.
Now in its sixth generation, the premium midsize estate uses a range of petrol and diesel engines with either four or six cylinders and for the first time in the 3 Series Touring lineup, a plug-in hybrid variant will be available – the 330e Touring.
The 320d Touring and 318d Touring models come with BMW’s latest six-speed manual gearbox as standard, with the most recent version of the eight-speed Steptronic transmission (standard on the other model variants) available as an option. BMW’s intelligent all-wheel-drive system (xDrive) is also standard on the range-topping BMW M340i xDrive Touring and available as an option on the 330d xDrive and 320d xDrive models.
Boot space is up by 5 litres over its predecessor when all the seats are in use and can be expanded up to a maximum capacity of 1,500 litres when the seats are folded down.
The New BMW 3 Series Touring will be available to order this month, with pricing still to be confirmed. Deliveries are then expected from 28th The plug-in hybrid 330e Touring will join the lineup in Summer 2020.
- Toyota has outlined its plans to popularise battery electric vehicles (BEVs). Speaking at a media briefing presentation, the company reminded people of its previous goal of selling 5.5. million electrified vehicles (EVs) by 2030 and that it will be bringing this ambition forward to 2025. These electrified vehicles include petrol-electric hybrids, plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs). Vice President of Toyota, Shigeki Terashi, explained that ‘progress has surpassed the target’ and that ‘we have entered a new age’.
Whilst Toyota does not currently sell any battery electric vehicles, they plan to unveil a solid-state battery for electrified vehicles before the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Solid-state batteries are expected to be a huge leap forward for EVs and moves away from the current ‘wet’ lithium-ion batteries. Solid-state batteries can charge at a much higher rate and will be able to cut charging times down to just minutes for a full charge, as well being safer to use than current batteries. Using solid electrolytes rather than liquid gels or polymer electrolytes, the space required by solid-state batteries store energy is also smaller in comparison, resulting in the cars which use these batteries to be able offer a much greater electric driving range.
- Under Volkswagen Group’s electrification strategy, the company is set to invest €900 million in Northvolt AB, a Swedish battery cell producer. Founded in 2016, Northvolt’s mission has been to deliver the world’s greenest lithium-ion battery with a minimal CO2 footprint and the highest ambitions for recycling.
Part of the sum is intended for a joint venture with the company, with a further share going directly to Northvolt AB. In return, Volkswagen will acquire about 20% of the shares in Northvolt AB and will have one seat on the Board of Directors. Furthermore, a 50/50 joint venture to build a 16 GWh battery cell factory in Europe is planned during the course of this year.
Under its electrification strategy, VW’s annual capacity requirements in Europe alone from 2025 are in excess of 150 GWh – demand on a similar scale is expected in Asia.
- Bentley has announced details of its all-new Flying Spur. Described by Bentley as “the world’s most advanced luxury Grand Touring sports sedan”, the new car is set to offer a combination of limousine luxury and sports sedan performance.
The new Flying Spur features Electronic All-Wheel Steering for the first time on a Bentley, which is coupled with Active All-Wheel Drive and Bentley Dynamic Ride, delivering ‘phenomenal’ handling and ride. A host of new Driver Assistance Systems are also fitted to the new Flying Spur as standard, including Traffic Assist, City Assist and Blind Spot Warning.
An enhanced version of Bentley’s 6.0-litre, twin-turbocharged W12 sits in the Flying Spur, delivering 626hp and is able to reach 0-60mph in 3.7 seconds with a top speed of 207mph.
Available to order this Autumn, prices are yet to be confirmed but are expected to lean towards the sum of £200,000.
- Ultima Sports Ltd has revealed their new Ultima RS, a road-legal supercar which combines a Chevrolet V8 engine with a six-speed manual gearbox from a Porsche.
Available in LT1, LT4 and LT5 models, the ‘base’ LT1 develops 430hp and goes up to 800hp in the flagship LT5, which can then jump up to 1200hp when tuned.
Weighing 930kg, Ultima says the tuned RS LT5 has “the potential to outrun every other road-going hypercar on the planet” and can get from 0-60mph in 2.3sec, with a top speed in excess of 250mph.
Pricing has not yet been confirmed, but the Ultima say “You can build your own new Ultima RS supercar from our tailored self-assembly package of parts for around the same ballpark price as a mundane new BMW M3, depending on options selected.”
A ‘prompt’ quotation can be obtained from emailing the company directly, with a 2 year waiting list for customers seeking a ‘turnkey’ model. Those who wish to order the parts for a self-assembly model can have the kit delivered within 5 months.