Wheels and deals
The new Volkswagen Passat will be launched in the UK without petrol engines for the first time in its eight-generation history.
Only diesel options, including a new 2.0-litre bi-turbocharged unit at the top of the range, will be sold on these shores.
A petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show and is expected to join the range some time in late 2015.
A Volkswagen spokesman said the decision to exclude a petrol option was because of recent poor sales of its TSI engines in the Passat range, with its TDI diesels being preferred by almost all buyers in recent years.
The Passat is expected to sell in large numbers to fleet operators and company car user-choosers who cover high mileage. These buyers are likely to want low CO2 output for tax reasons along with high fuel economy to extend their cruising range.
There are four diesel engines in the new line-up, with a 1.6-litre 118bhp unit offering an entry point, two closely-related single-turbo 2.0-litre options upping the ante to 148bhp and 187bhp respectively, and the new bi-turbo topping the tree with 236bhp.
The bi-turbo is linked exclusively to 4Motion four-wheel drive and a new wet-clutch seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox, which is much stronger than previous versions and can handle more stress.
A price jump in excess of £5,000 from the 187bhp version means the bi-turbo is likely to account for less than 1% of both saloon and estate sales in Britain, but Volkswagen confirmed that it is necessary for them to have a flagship engine.
The Passat will arrive in the UK in January 2015.
French car maker Renault has introduced a new top-of-the-range trim level to its popular Captur compact-crossover — Captur Signature.
The firm says it builds on the existing Dynamique S MediaNav version and adds numerous extras, including some exclusive ones, as standard. Order books have now opened with prices for the car starting from £17,495.
On the exterior, 17-inch alloy wheels with black inserts and chrome exterior details on the side strips, boot lid, front grille and fog lights set the Signature trim level apart.
On the inside, the car receives upgrades in the form of part-leather upholstery, Signature door sill plates and mats and the Red Touch Pack — adding bright red detail to the centre console, speakers and air vents.
In terms of technology, the Captur Signature Renault’s R-Link infotainment system includes a seven-inch touchscreen, satellite navigation, USB connectivity and an uprated audio package plus a rear parking camera combined with rear parking sensors.
Renault has also added its Grip Xtend traction control system, which provides maximum grip on the road in difficult driving conditions through the use of a thumbwheel on the centre console.
Mercedes has announced pricing details for its latest high performance mode, the AMG-tuned C 63. Based on the recently launched C-Class saloon and estate models, the hot AMG variants will be priced from £59,795.
Arriving in spring 2015, the C 63 boasts an all-new 4.0-litre bi-turbo engine promising improved fuel economy, yet also delivers 476 horsepower and the ability to sprint to 62mph in a rapid 4.1 seconds.
Moving up to the ‘S’ models, power increase to a considerable 510 horsepower, while the other number worth noting is the car’s economy figure: 34.5mpg in saloon form.
Key to the car’s performance is its new V8 engine, which is shared with the newly launched AMG GT. Also new for this latest C 63 is a revised version of AMG’s now familiar seven-speed gearbox, tweaked to deliver faster gearshifts.
Estate model prices start at £60,995, with the more powerful S models start from £66,545 for the upgraded saloon.