By Gerry Murphy
Renault held the Irish launch of its new Mégane last week, a car that is full of surprises and a very competitiive price range. The fourth generation Mégane will be available in the 26 Irish dealerships from July, priced from €19,490.
Initially available as a five-door hatchback, which has received a 5 star Euro NCAP rating, it will be available in Expression, Dynamique Nav, Dynamique S Nav, GT Line Nav and GT Nav trims. Later there will be an estate and a saloon model that Renault chiefs will be a big hit to with Irish customers.
Distinctive from every angle, the front and rear lighting signatures are permanently lit when the engine is switched on. The car itself is lower, with a longer wheelbase and that give it even more balanced proportions.
There are two Energy TCe turbocharged petrol options of 1.2 litres/130hp and 1.6 litres/205hp (GT). The turbodiesel alternatives are the 1.5-litre 110hp unit, with manual or EDC transmission, and a 1.6-litre dCi unit developing 130hp. The CO2 of the manual dCi 110 is just 96g/km, while at the other end of the scale the TCe 205 GT will be capable of 0-100km/h in 7.1 seconds and a top speed of more than 230km/h
The first drive of the Mégane in GT-Line NAV specification proved that Renault have a car that can match anything in the segment with confidence. It is taut, precise and at home on the twisty terrain that the test route in Wicklow threw at us.
Highlights include superbly comfortable and supportive seats, decent legroom, a beautifully weighted and tactile steering, an impressive build quality and a clear, uncomplicated dash.
The only drawback to note at this early stage is rather poor visibility, especially in the rear because of oversized rear head rests and a small rear screen.
In 2017 a Hybrid Assist diesel-electric version will be added to the range, based on the Energy dCi 110 unit. Renault is targeting a class-leading CO2 figure of 76g/km, with fuel economy in the NEDC combined cycle below 2.9 l/100km. The GT range will be extended in 2017 with the addition of a new 1.6-litre dCi 165 unit, with a new 7-speed EDC transmission.
The new 1.2 petrol will have a starting price of just €19,490 and now that petrol cars are having a revival in Ireland, this price is markedly lower than many of its opponents. Diesels kick-off at €21,490 with the highly impressive GT-Line NAV version (as tested) coming in at €25,990.
Renault have their own bank that provides financial packages starting from €155 per month with Renault Finance with 3% APR, 3 years servicing and 5 years warranty. This offer is available on cars ordered and registered before August 31.
Western Motors to host EV information day
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.
Award-winning IONIQ 6 is set to rock the Irish market
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.
Alfa Romeo making a comeback with the stunning new Tonale Plug-In Hybrid 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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