The Volkswagen Caravelle and the other light commercial vehicles are now being offered with a more extensive array of gasoline engines. The most important of the bunch is a four-cylinder, 2.0-liter derived from the Golf GTI which will be offered for the passenger van version of the Caravelle. Customers will have to pick between the 150 hp (110 kW) and a 204 hp (150 kW) version and these work with a 6-speed manual and a 7-speed DSG, respectively. You will be able to get this engine for the short wheelbase Caravelle SE model as well.
In related news, The Caddy Life and Caddy Panel Van are getting a trio of engines: 1.2 with 84 hp (62 kW) and 5-speed manual, a 1.0 with 102 hp (75 kW) and 5-speed manual, along with a larger 1.4 with 125 hp (92 kW) that can be mated to either a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed DSG. Volkswagen is selling the Caddy in Startline, Trendline and Highline trims and you get to choose between a short or a maxi wheelbase.
In United Kingdom, the Caddy panel van costs £13,610, followed by the Caddy Life at £15,110 and the Volkswagen Caravelle SE at £28,950.
Mercedes-AMG has taken the wraps off the S65 Cabriolet that comes with a V12 6.0-liter bi-turbo gasoline engine. Just like the other 65-badged models, the luxurious open-top model has 621 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque to offer and in this car it’s enough for a 0-62 mph run in 4.1 seconds. As standard, the top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph (250 km/h), but if you go for the optional AMG Driver’s Package the limiter is going to be raised to 186 mph (300 km/h). The massive twelve cylinder engine is teamed up with a seven-speed automatic transmission sending power to the exclusive 20-inch rims that have a high-sheen ceramic finish.
The Mercedes-AMG S65 Cabriolet is going to come as standard with the AIRSCARF neck-level heating and AIRCAP wind protection systems that you will find on all of the other cabriolets sold by the company. This particular model also boasts heated armrests and you can choose from one of the four colors available for the three-layered acoustic fabric roof.
Mercedes-AMG says the S65 Cabriolet will go on sale from April 4, 2016 and it will start arriving at dealerships a month later. Deliveries will likely commence just in time for the summer.
The 2018 Ford Focus Electric is making its online debut courtesy of an official teaser image prior to next year’s launch. It will feature a newly developed fast-charge DC system allowing owners to recharge the battery pack to an 80% capacity in around 30 minutes. This will be enough battery juice to grant a range of around 100 miles which should be more than enough for a day. In addition, the all-electric compact hatchback will employ a SmartGauge featuring an EcoGuide LCD instrument cluster which will be highly customizable and will allow the drive monitor the car’s energy usage.
The 2018 Ford Focus Electric will receive a bespoke Brake Coach that will teach the driver how to maximize the energy obtained via the vehicle’s built-in Regenerative Braking system. Other details about the model are scarce at the moment, but the Blue Oval company mentions it will feature agile handling and steering along with a “fun-to-drive character.”
Production of the model will kick off towards the end of next year which means it will effectively go on sale as a 2018 model year. Ford goes on to specify they plan on selling the zero-emission Focus in North America as well as in Europe. There’s no word about pricing yet, but we will find it out in the months to come.
The Renault Trafic Sport+ is now available in United Kingdom and it costs an extra £995 over the standard model. For the additional money you’ll be paying, the van brings a sporty body kit with new front and rear spoilers, modified front fog light surrounds, new side running boards and a striped decal body kit. The package is available for all the versions of the Trafic and it also includes a set of LED daytime running lights mounted in the lower grille. Customers are able to select from one of the ten paints available along with three hues for the side decals. Regardless of choice, silver is applied onto the side running boards, fog light surrounds and the front spoiler, while the rear spoiler is black.
The Renault Trafic Sport+ can be ordered as a Panel Van, Crew Van or Passenger, with prices kicking off at £18,245, without VAT. Clients can pick from one of the four turbodiesel engines available and there are numerous optional goodies on offer, but obviously these come at an extra cost. The model is already available on order in United Kingdom and Renault’s local division will probably start deliveries in the first months of next year.
The 2016 Toyota Verso has made its debut in Europe and has gained standard Safety Sense across the entire range. Now safer than ever, the revised Verso benefits from a variety of safety and assistance systems like Lane Departure Alert, Automatic High Beam and Pre-Collision. It’s also got an updated Touch 2 infotainment system packing a seven-inch touchscreen display and support for Go Plus navigation. Toyota mentions the multimedia system now has a more user-friendly interface and has gained several new functions. Other novelties include graphite color inserts inside the cabin, along with a fresh steering wheel wrapped in leather, while the gear level has metallic accents and has also been covered in leather.
Those who go for the mid-range trim should know that Toyota is now offering a better upholstery featuring embossed inserts. The compact MPV developed in Europe is also offered with light grey & dark grey seats with leather-covered side bolsters. As for the body, it can be painted in a new Platinum Bronze color and you can opt for one of the new 16- or 17-inch alloy wheel designs featuring a machined-faced look.
The 2016 Toyota Verso is scheduled to hit European dealerships in February and is going to be offered with the same array of engines: 1.6 D-4D, 1.6 Valvematic, and 1.8 Valvematic.
Porsche has disclosed plans to introduce the 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman next year as a replacement for the company’s current entry-level models. The decision to rename these two cars has been taken as a throwback to the Porsche 718 that debuted back in 1957 and also as a connection to the company’s history of flat-four engines. Porsche reminds us the 718 RSK triumphed in its class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race in 1958 thanks to its 4-cylinder engine that generated 142 hp (105 kW). In addition, the firm’s 919 Hybrid LMP1 racecar is motivated by a 4-cylinder, 2.0-liter motor and as you know it allowed Porsche to take the driver’s and manufacturer’s titles this year in WEC.
Porsche isn’t providing any exact details about the 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman, but we do know both are due in 2016 and the Boxster will be a tad more expensive than the Cayman. From what we have heard so far, there are going to be new 1.6 and 2.0 4-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engines developing as much as 286 hp (213 kW) for the range-topping version.
Porsche could show the cars in Geneva in March 2016 or they’ll wait until Paris in October the same year.
The 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid is going to carry a base price of $28,645 once it will go on sale in the spring of next year. That makes it $2,750 more expensive than a regular Malibu LT, but in return for the extra money you get a high-tech powertrain derived from the one used in the latest Volt. It encompasses a 4-cylinder, 1.8-liter EcoTec engine teamed up with a two-motor electric drive unit. The combustion engine is capable of developing 122 hp (91 kW) whereas the electric motors are good enough for 73 hp (55 kW) and 101 hp (76 kW). Thanks to this hardware arrangement, the combined output stands at 182 hp (136 kW).
Also part of the hardware is a lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 1.5 kWh. Chevrolet says the model can hit a top speed of 55 mph (88 km/h) when running solely on electric power. In terms of fuel efficiency, the model is going to do 48 mpg in the city, 45 mpg on the highway and 47 mpg in the combined cycle, according to GM’s estimations.
In terms of equipment, the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid will get as standard numerous goodies such as a push-button ignition, cruise control, passive entry system and a 7-inch MyLink infotainment system.
McLaren has revealed P1 production has come to an end after the assembly of the 375th and final car. When production of the model started in the summer of 2013, all the units were already pre-sold and according to company no two cars are the same as each was tailored to the customer’s specifications. Assembling one car required 17 days of work from 105 people and the build time stood at around 800 hours. In the paint shop, the P1 required from 5 to 8 liters of base coat color along with about 8 to 9 liters of lacquer. In some cases, completing the paint job required as much as 5 days.
Besides the 375 production cars, McLaren also made 3 pre-production units, 5 validation prototypes and 13 experimental prototypes. The company did 385,250 miles during development and more than a third was conducted on racetracks from all over the globe.
McLaren mentions they are about to finalize production of the track-only P1 GTR in the coming weeks, but they don’t say how many will be made. From what we have heard, around 50 units have been acquired by wealthy customers.
Getting back to the road-going P1, 34% of the cars were sold to customers from The Americas, another 26% to Europeans, along with 13% to clients from the Middle East and Africa, while the remaining 27% are from the Asia Pacific area.
The Mercedes S400 4MATIC Coupe is joining the S-Class Coupe range and it’s the only one to be offered with a V6 engine. The motor in question is a 3.0-liter turbocharged unit pushing out 362 hp (270 kW) and 369 lb-ft (500 Nm) of torque sent to both axles with help from a 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic gearbox. Thanks to this setup, the stylish coupe will need just 5.6 seconds to complete the 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) task and it will top out at an electronically-governed 155 mph (250 km/h). Mercedes says the model has a fuel consumption in the combined cycle of 8.3 liters / 100 km which equates to 193 g/km of CO2 emissions.
As standard, the 2016 Mercedes S400 4MATIC Coupe comes with the AIRMATIC air suspension and adaptive LED headlights, but you also get the THERMOTRONIC automatic climate control system, latest COMAND infotainment system and the Active Parking Assist system.
At home in Germany, the model carries a starting price of €99,960 and sits in the S-Class Coupe lineup alongside the S500, S500 4MATIC, S63, S63 4MATIC and the range-topping S65 Mercedes mentions deliveries of the S400 4MATIC Coupe will commence at the beginning of 2016 and you can already place an order.
Lotus has taken the wraps off the Exige Sport 350 that comes with a substantial weight loss. It’s 51 kg lighter than the previous Exige S which means that it now tips the scales at just 1,125 kg thanks to several weight-saving measures. Some of these include a lighter battery, optimized sound insulation, lightweight engine mounts, louvered tailgate panel and a lighter HVAC pipework. In addition, the vehicle now comes with a lightweight center console that contains an exposed gearshift mechanism which is a thing of beauty. Besides the weight loss, the engineers also revised the suspension by installing firmer dampers and a revised geometry and they also lowered the center of gravity.
The Lotus Exige Sport 350 is powered by a supercharged 3.5-liter V6 engine pushing out 345 hp (258 kW) and a maximum torque of 295 lb-ft (400 Nm). The manual gearbox has been revised and it now changes gears faster, allowing the car to hit 62 mph (100 km/h) from a standstill in 3.9 seconds before topping out at 170 mph (274 km/h). If you would rather have the automatic, you should know the sprint is done 0.1s quicker, but the top speed drops to 162 mph (261 km/h).