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Rags to riches story for Skoda



Skoda Superb Irish Car

The final chapter of the triumphant rise from rags to riches has been written with the arrival of the new ŠKODA Superb this week.

No other car brand in the history of motoring has come so far in recent years and the book is now closed as far as derisory comments and pathetic slagging is concerned forever.

This new car is more outstanding than ever and with its renowned space thrown in, Skoda is on to a winner in every way. Take it from me, there are premium cars that are made look quite ordinary by what ŠKODA have on offer here. A

nyone in the market for a D-Segment car should and must take the Superb into account and those who have been scornful in the past about the Czech brand should pack their bags and head in to the sunset. And, even better, the Combi version will be here in September.

Being a product of the Volkswagen group, the Superb has taken many of the positive traits from the German giant. However, there is something going on here that make this car more likened to the Audi badge.

The shape, styling and the stance is really handsome. The lines have been straightened and the whole package has a sleeker look than before.

From the front view alone you can see the difference. The grille defines the look and the front lights extend the image giving it a wider, more graceful posture.

Inside the detailing is classic and the levels of equipment, especially in the Style and Laurin&Klement (L&K) versions form a long list.

Five new petrol and three TDI common-rail diesel engines have been added. The volume seller in Ireland is expected to be the new 1.6 TDI 120bhp, that boasts 14% more power and 13% improved fuel economy when compared with the outgoing unit.

They promise a 15% improvement in fuel economy on two new 2.0 TDI units that have been introduced with 150bhp and 190bhp. New transmissions have also been introduced including a new 7-speed DSG for the smaller diesel derivative and 6-speed DSG that can also be combined with 4×4 transmissions if one desires.

A high performance 2.0 TSI, 4×4 with 6-speed DSG replaces the normally aspirated 3.6, V6 that was offered previously.

There are three specifications from launch; Active, Ambition and Style. The L&K model has also been added to the mix which includes a host of additional equipment such as 19” alloy wheels, Canton sound system and adaptive suspension as well as numerous L&K design elements.

Prices for this specification start from €39,745. Diesel entry prices start from €27,795 with standard equipment including Dual Zone Climate Control, 7-Airbags, Bluetooth, Front Assist, Electric Handbrake with Auto Hold. The Ambition model receives Colour Touch Screen Sound System, Bi-Xenon Lights with front and rear LEDs, 16” Alloy Wheels, Front Heated Seats and Rain Sensing Wipers. The top Style model receives Columbus Sat Nav unit, 3 Zone Climate Control, 17” Alloys, Full Leather interior and Reversing Camera.

“The new Superb is arriving just in time for the 152 plate,” said John Donegan, Brand Director at ŠKODA Ireland.

“The car is exceptional in every way and really needs to be test-driven to be appreciated. The car is 75kg lighter than the previous version and when combined with improved aerodynamics ensures the new Superb has superior acceleration, fuel efficiency and emissions than the outgoing car.”

After a brief drive in the car this week it is clear that ŠKODA has a car that gives you an enormous amount of driving pleasure too. Although it is big in size, the feedback, road holding and cornering give you the feeling of a more compact vehicle.

That makes it a joy to drive and with its unmatched passenger space and gigantic boot space it surpasses anything else in the market at this level. For me, the new ŠKODA Superb now moves to pole position in the hunt for the Car of the Year title.

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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