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All I want for Christmas is the BMW M Sport Gran Coupé 640d



BMW 6 Gran Coupe

By Gerry Murphy

Dear Santa,

Please, please can you bring me the BMW M Sport Gran Coupé 640d for Christmas. I may not have been quite as good as I should have been, but I haven’t clocked up any penalty points this year and I promise to be really, really good in 2016.

I have cleared out the garage and put all my other toys away to make space for it.

The nice people in BMW Ireland gave me a test drive in one this week and I have fallen in love with it. It should last for many years to come so, you will not have to bring anything next year at all.

As you know Santa, this car is what BMW are all about. It has a glorious 3.0-litre, straight six diesel 313hp engine is so responsive and powerful that it would bring me to the North Pole in no time, comfortably achieving the 0-100km/h sprint in 5.5 seconds. With ECO, Comfort, Sport and Sport + driving settings available you can be as planet friendly or as outrageously fast as you choose.

It’s probably not as quick as Ruldolf but, with CO2 emissions as low as 139g/km on the 640d SE Coupé, the annual road tax bill will be just €280. I don’t mind paying that and the hefty insurance bill myself but at €117,800 including some extras, most drivers probably cannot afford the price of the car. I know the base price of just over €105,000 is still a lot but I do like the extras that BMW had fitted in the test car.

Now, while that sounds like a whole lot of dosh, it is really worth it for what you get. And, I know too that it is a four-door coupe that will only carry four people but it does have a surprisingly big boot for a coupe so that I can deliver presents to the whole family in one go. Oh, and the electric, heated seats are all wrapped in scrumptious leather and lumbar support and are very supportive for an old guy with a dodgy back.

You can have 18” alloys in the standard package but the test car was fitted with 20” M Double spoke style alloys and while they might be too harsh on the road for some drivers, they do add to the handling and others can stick with the smaller wheels if they like.

Santa, you also get a heads-up display, surround sound speaker system, a heated steering wheel to keep you hands warm on these cold mornings and heated rear seats for passengers. When summer comes around there is an electric, glass sunroof to let in the fresh air. BMW have added a reversing camera and 360 degree surround view as part of the optional package.

So Santa, I haven’t written to you since I was about 11 and that’s not today or yesterday. I hope that I might have enough credit built up since then. I know you are a very busy Santa and the car is very expensive but, I have yet to win the Lotto and this is the car that would be top of my list if I ever do. There’s an idea, bring me the winning Lotto numbers instead!

Connacht Tribune

Western Motors to host EV information day



The Volkswagen ID.7.

Recent registration figures released at the end of last month show that the Volkswagen’s ID.4 is the best-selling electric car in Ireland. Since it arrived in 2021 there has been nearly 6,000 registered and it now leads the charge to electrification here making it officially Ireland’s number one electric EV.

Even more exciting for the brand is the arrival of their new ID.7, the brand’s first global electric model for the upper mid-size class. It was launched globally last month, and Volkswagen chiefs are promising a battery range of 700km. This is massive step up for Volkswagen and will be a game changer for the brand.

Volkswagen Ireland are saying that it will arrive here later this year, and prices will be announced closer to that Irish launch date.

“With the ID.7 we are taking the next step in our electric offensive,” said Thomas Schäfer, CEO of Volkswagen Passenger Cars.

“The saloon offers a high level of comfort and long ranges. Already by 2026, we will offer the widest electric range of all manufacturers in Europe. Our goal is to achieve an electric car share of 80% in Europe by 2030. As from 2033, Volkswagen will produce only electric vehicles in Europe.”

Galway Volkswagen dealers, Western Motors are holding an electric vehicles information event on Thursday May 25 where they will have information on hand for potential buyers of any of the Volkswagen EV range.

The Western Motors sales team and service team will be able to provide information on along with additional information on the grants available and application for same and electrician to talk about the EV Charging Boxes and so forth.

For more information, call Western Motors on (091) 709970.


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Connacht Tribune

Award-winning IONIQ 6 is set to rock the Irish market



The Hyundai IONIQ 6.

Following the success of the Hyundai IONIQ 5, we now have the IONIQ 6, a completely different kettle of fish with the same running gear but a completely different design.

Both have been lauded at world level as the IONIQ 6 follows the 5 by winning the 2023 World Car of the Year title.

Not only did it pick up this gong, but it also won the 2023 World Electric Vehicle as well as the 2023 World Car Design of the Year awards.

This is the second consecutive triple win for the Hyundai Motor Group – the Hyundai IONIQ 5 was last year’s winner in the same three categories. A jury of 100 international automotive journalists from 32 countries selected the winners by secret ballot based on their evaluation of each eligible vehicle as part of their on-going professional work.

Up to now, the majority of electric vehicles have been SUVs. It’s the most popular shape of our times as buyers go for taller features and practical family characteristics. It might be strange that Hyundai would bring out the IONIQ 6 which is more like a coupe styled sedan with a lower, striking silhouette that they describe as a ‘streamliner’.

It certainly looks pretty special and while it uses the same battery, motors and platform. There are indications however that it is somewhat offers better range than the IONIQ 5. It is lower to the ground and has a lower drag co efficiency meaning reduced resistance and hence, better distance from a charge.

Under WLPT measurement the car has been tested to return 614km on a full charge. And, it can be charged at a much faster speed than other cars on the market; 315km in just 15 minutes.

There’s also a host of clever technology on board. Of course, a lot of what’s on offer these day are just toys and are not needed for everyday driving but, it is what the customer wants and he/she is always right! You can even opt to have the door mirrors on screens inside the car with cameras outside taking the pictures.

Prices for the Signature version with a 53kW battery starts at €48,295 rising toe €71,250 for the top-of-the-range Finesse all-wheel drive model with a 77kW battery.

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Connacht Tribune

Alfa Romeo making a comeback with the stunning new Tonale Plug-In Hybrid Q4



The Alfa Romeo Tonale PHEV Q4.

By Gerry Murphy

There is always a flutter of expectancy when a car company like Alfa Romeo brings out a completely new car. Since the heady days of the Alfa 156, the fortunes of the manufacturer have been slowly eroding and they now need their new Tonale to be loved more than ever.

Launched a couple of weeks ago, the Tonale Plug-In Hybrid Q4 is truly a landmark for the Italian brand. In what they call the Alfa Romeo’s “zero to zero” process, which will take it from being a 0% electrified brand at the start of 2022 to being a zero-emissions, 100% electric brand by 2027 it will start off a complete conversion in just five years.

Indeed Alfa Romeo has positioned itself to be one of the fastest automotive brands to reach carbon neutrality.

Alfa bosses tell us that the Tonale Plug-In Hybrid Q4 combines maximum efficiency and Italian sportiness; the all-electric range (AER) is 56km, up to 80km all-electric range city, 600km in the total cycle and emissions reduced from 29g/km.

I have had the pleasure of taking the new Tonale for an extended test drive on the day of its official launch recently. The best compliment that I can give the car is that it is a ‘proper’ Alfa. Those who have history with the brand will fully understand what that means and why it is important that it lives up to its heritage.

The interior especially wraps itself around the driver just as in the days of old. It is a wonderful place to be, and you are completely at one with the vehicle. The quality is right up the in the premier league; dark and moody with clever details and the right amount of new technology.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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