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Opel Karl will prove a nifty character around the town



Opel Karl: coming our way.

By Gerry Murphy

Looking around the streets of Amsterdam this week, it is not surprising that Opel chose the Dutch capital and the surrounding countryside to host the European launch of their latest new car, the Opel Karl.

Sitting alongside the Opel Adam, the Karl, called after the eldest son of Adam Opel founder of the company, this car is aimed at the smallest car segment without the flamboyance of the Adam.

Described by Peter Vos, Opel’s Communcations Manager as a “good-looking chap without the bling-bling and the ostentation of the Adam” this new Karl will take on the likes of the Volkswagen Up, the Skoda Citigo, the Toyota Aygo and the Hyundai i10 in a market that is slowly growing in Ireland and huge in cities like Amsterdam, Rome or even London.

Available to order now and arriving in Ireland in August, the 3.68-metre long, 1.48-metre high KARL comes with its own new all-aluminium, 1.0 ECOTEC petrol engine with 75hp and a host of safety features that are not always available in its segment.

According to Opel’s techies, this three-cylinder engine can reduce consumption to 4.3litres per 100Km in the combined cycle and CO2 emissions to 104g/km. Later Stop/Start will be added and that is expected to reduce the CO2 levels to 99g/km.

With just enough room for five people at a squeeze, the Karl is a car that will suit the young and the elderly in different ways. For the first-time driver, it is simple to drive and has enough punch to satisfy the youngsters.

At the other end of the scale, more senior drivers will welcome the wide-opening doors and the slightly higher seating position. Both will welcome the silent nature of the new engine that is specially designed for this car and the overall stability of a vehicle of its size.

Designed from the ground up, it has a more mature look than the Adam and yet, it has a real character to its styling. They say that its dashboard displays a playful friendly but witty attitude. It is certainly pretty smart and makes you feel at home instantly.

Externally, the Opel signature styling is there for all to see. Sometimes it is difficult to carry similar cues from bigger models but, with the Karl, Opel have managed the task well with the side blade design, common on Opel models and the stylish front end come from the same manual. At the back, the design is particularly impressive and it makes the car look wider and more substantial than many of the others in this bracket.

Space in the boot is rather limited but no worse than any of the competition. You can generate up to 1,310 litres of space by knocking the 60:40 split rear seat. It is a light car overall weighing in at 639kg.

This adds to the reduced costs of ownership and gives it that nifty character around town. It is no slouch out in the country either but, the Dutch countryside is much flatter than we have at home and while there is nothing to suggest that the Karl won’t cope with the hills and the changing terrain, a week in the car later this year will test it fully.

Three versions are coming to Ireland; S, SC and SE. All are high on features and well priced, starting at €11,995 for the basic S, €13,695 for the SC that has Cruise Control, City Mode steering, 15” Alloys, Lane Departure warning, Fog Lamps and Electric, Heated door mirrors among other items. For the top-of-the-range SE you can add leather features, Bluetooth, USB connection, Electronic Climate Control with air-conditioning, two-toned facia and tinted glass for €14,695.

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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