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New Jaguar XE shows what Jaguar do best as it targets prestige sector



The Jaguar XE.

By Gerry Murphy

The progression in the Jaguar camp these days with Ian Callum in charge of the design department means that they are now producing some the best cars that they have ever built.

Jaguar Land Rover Ireland launched the new D-segment Jaguar XE earlier this year, a car that is built take on the Audi A4, BMW 3-Series and the Mercedes C-Class in the most competitive premium segment of all.

Jaguar chiefs here in Ireland are adamant that this is the most important car that Jaguar has launched in recent times. It is aimed squarely at the premium business market where the sales of cars are growing and they are bullish about the prospects of their new XE. The price has got to be keen too and Jaguar has pitched their latest creation just under the competition at €37,995, or €399 a month with Jaguar PCP.

The aluminium-intensive Jaguar XE is the first model developed from Jaguar Land Rover’s new modular vehicle architecture. It has been given a long 2,835mm wheelbase and a low seating position and a streamlined profile. It is also the first Jaguar to feature their new Ingenium engines.

While there is a certain amount of road noise in the cabin – nothing overly intrusive but still noticeable – the i4 Ingenium 163hp Diesel engine with 8-speed automatic gearbox is rather smooth and promises efficient achieving less than 4 litres/100km.

After a week in the car where I put up almost 1,000 kilometres and my fuel consumption return came in at 6.2L/100km, Jaguar say that it is capable of producing 106g/km of CO2 which means that your road tax bill will be €190 annually.

There are five variations: SE, Prestige, Portfolio, R-Sport and S. The entry-level to the XE range, the SE model features high-quality cloth seats and a glossy black treatment for the door trim finishers and the signature ‘Riva Hoop’ sweeping above the instrument panel. Standard equipment includes Satellite Navigation, cruise control, 17” alloy wheels, DAB digital radio and multi-function soft-grain leather steering wheel.

I have been driving the Prestige version, which adds Taurus leather upholstery with contrasting stitching with Phosphor Blue ambient lighting and a host of features that give the XE a head start. This is likely to be the best seller for Jaguar in Ireland and it can be had with a 180hp engine also.

The cabin offers outstanding levels of comfort and decent space compared to the others in this class. However, space for rear-seat passengers is a bit tight, but they use exquisite materials and finishes combined with Jaguar craftsmanship that makes it unlike anything else in the segment. Jaguar’s new infotainment system takes centre stage: its innovative 8-inch touchscreen brings fast, intuitive access to all features and functions.

Overall the XE proved to be a confident companion that reacts well to both cruising and short sharp driving. In particular, the steering feel is supreme and the feedback; cornering and urban accuracy is outstanding. That makes it a real drivers’ car because, if you think about it, the steering is the only part of a car that touches you skin and the Jaguar XE has got it just right. It comes through from a new electric power steering system and coupled with the stiffness of the body and chassis, the XE is a joy to drive.

Now that the economy is on the up and the business and prestige car buyers are spending again, the new Jaguar XE is a proper competitor for the big German brands and when you add the overall specification to the equation then, this is both an attractive and competent alternative. It is a car that shows off what Jaguar do best, and that good enough for me.


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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