The BMW i8 marks a revolution. Not just for hybrid cars but for sports cars in general. The technology may be incredibly advanced but the principle is really very simple. A small 1.5-litre engine, borrowed from the MINI, powers the rear wheels while an electric motor drives the front wheels. In between are the lithium ion batteries which means a low centre of gravity and perfect weight distribution.
Citroen is sticking to the friendly and cheeky look for the second generation model as it aims to differentiate its C1 from the now more aggressive Toyota Aygo and the Peugeot 108. As before, all three are part of a joint venture, but this C1 is a significant improvement on the original model.
In the A3, Audi has a car that sits at the top of the premium hatchback tree, owing largely to its very effective blend of imperious build quality, low running costs, useful practicality and gimmick-free styling.
Suzuki GB has confirmed pricing for the new GSX-S1000 model ahead of its launch to the world’s motorcycling press later this month, with the GSX-R1000-powered street bike available with an RRP of £8,999.
City cars are perfect for those living in large towns and urban areas. However, buying a small hatchback doesn’t mean making sacrifices when it comes to comfort or quality. The current crop of small cars are not only ideal for driving in the city but also perform well out of town.
It’s hardly a bike for the commuting in the City, but Kawasaki’s Supercharged Ninja H2 is one of the most anticipated machines of 2015, and it will be making its London debut on the Kawasaki stand at the Carole Nash MCN London Show between February 13th and 15th.
As before, compactness is the defining feature of the ForFour which measures just 3.49 metres, making it fractionally shorter than a Volkswagen Up. It has been designed with the evolutionary spirit you’d expect, retaining the quirky minimalism of their predecessors, while improving quality, safety, space and efficiency.
The fuel warning light has been flashing on the J300 for 15 miles. I can’t risk passing the next petrol station – it’s time to top up. I’ve travelled 191 miles since I last filled the tank; a mixture of commuting in central London, A-road trips and a couple of short stints on the motorway.
You could very well be looking at the future of electric motoring. Or at least the beginning of the future. While BMW may not be first manufacturer to launch an electric car - we’ve already had the likes of the Nissan Leaf and the Renault ZOE - the i3 represents a big change in the world of alternatively powered vehicles. If ever there was a car that could convince the sceptical about electric vehicles, this is it.
Working in the global communications industry means Campbell MacFarlane is more used to high tech than most, but he says it doesn’t stop most people asking the same first question about the Renault ZOE. Campbell laughs: ‘Everyone wants to know about the range and how far the ZOE will travel on a single charge.’
Retired accountant Eddie Dewson knows how to crunch numbers and make them add up, which is why he was first attracted to the Renault ZOE. A £5000 Plug-IN Car Grant from the government means the ZOE is more affordable than many of its petrol- and diesel-powered rivals, so the cost of the ZOE was already appealing to Eddie.
As a busy mother of three children, Jessie is one of the world’s most demanding drivers. Not only does a car have to be affordable to run and easy to drive, it has to be as safe as possible and very practical. It was these qualities that attracted Jessie to the Renault ZOE, as well as its stylish looks.
Six years after it was introduced, a facelift for the current Polo has been somewhat overdue. However, if you’re expecting a revamped look you’ll be disappointed, the revisions are best described as ‘subtle’ with new lines on the front bumper to give it a squarer look while at the back there are redesigned lights and a new bumper.
MINI can’t be accused of not knowing what it’s doing. Nor can you say that the company doesn’t know its customer base - so when you see that the latest incarnation of the Cooper S has a rather evolutionary look, you can be sure it’s for a very good reason. But for 2014, the Cooper S is all-new, even if it doesn’t look that way. Why change a winning formula?
If you own a classic car and live in London then you probably enjoy an occasional drive on the capital’s roads. After all, where’s the harm in pottering through the city on a Sunday morning with your Austin Mini?
When it comes to buying a new car, fuel economy is king. Forget horsepower, metallic paint and fancy sat navs, it is miles per gallon that matters these days and everyone wants more miles for their buck.
As London’s population continues to grow, using the increasingly overcrowded Underground can feel a bit like a daily battle. And with the annual cost of a Zone 1-4 travel card at an eye watering £2,288 (or £219 per month) lots of Londoners are looking for alternatives.
The congestion charging system is forever changing, with the rules for exemption tightening as car manufacturers work hard to produce cleaner vehicles. The latest round of congestion charge exemption rules are particularly fierce, meaning just a handful of new cars are eligible for a full discount.
If you live in London and are searching for a new car then it's quite likely that you’ll be considering a diesel-powered vehicle. After all, a diesel engine ticks a lot of boxes when it comes to buying a new car, with good fuel economy and performance being among its two chief attributes.
Buying a new SUV for under £10,000 is possible thanks to the Dacia Duster, but for those who want more creature comforts or who need genuine off-road ability with all-wheel drive the only way to get something in budget is to look at the used car market.
The world’s leading motorcycle manufacturers, including BMW, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Triumph and Yamaha are gearing up for the 2014 Carole Nash MCN London Motorcycle Show at the ExCel Centre from February 14 to 16.