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MERCEDES-BENZ EQV FULLY-ELECTRIC MPV ARRIVES

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Mercedes-Benz EQV

Mercedes-Benz’s embrace of all-electric motoring under its EQ brand is one that continues to expand with the arrival here of the ‘cross-application’ EQV – a quiet, spacious people carrier with an almost inaudible drive train which, at its introduction, was billed as the world’s first fully-electric luxury MPV.

Coming hot on the heels of the EQC – and ahead of the soon-to-arrive EQA, EQS and EQE – it is said by Mercedes-Benz to meet every expectation in terms of features and appointments whilst delivering ‘three-pointed star’ standards of passenger comfort and prestige. 

Owners are likely to include those with large and extended families for whom generous seating and ample carrying capacity will be key factors. High on the list also will be corporate clients, hotel and hospitality providers and the chauffeur-drive rental sector whose needs include airport transfers, guest transport and VIP fan groups and celebrities whose preference is for discreet transport. Used for group travel, six individual seats convert the EQV into a high-quality people carrier while, alternatively, easily installed individual or bench seats can convert it into a roomy 7 or 8-seater.

Said by Ciaran Allen, sales manager for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars in Ireland, to represent ‘a new milestone’ in the growing family of Mercedes-Benz electric vehicles, EQV matches what he terms “impressive driving characteristics, high functionality and aesthetic design with 21st century emissions-free mobility.” Models available here are EQV 300 with six seats as standard with prices from €95,955 (excluding SEAI grant). Seven and eight seat options are also available. 

Considering its shape, size, overall spaciousness and carrying capacity, designers have given the EQV a surprisingly dynamic appearance. Highlight features include EQ-specific interior and exterior elements, a black panel radiator grille with chrome fins and stylish 18-inch alloy wheels. Interior space is given over entirely to passenger and luggage carrying capacity thanks entirely to the positioning of its high-voltage battery beneath the floor for space-saving reasons – a low central location that has an additional benefit in terms of handling.

Available in two wheelbases, its technical features include a 150kW battery driving a 204hp motor with power consumption weighted of 27.6 – 32.2 kWh per 100 km, a top speed of up to 160 km/h, 0-100km of 12 seconds and zero C02 emissions. Range is of the order of 350kms. A rapid-charging facility can boost battery power from 10-80 per cent in circa 45 minutes. Available also is a Mercedes-Benz 400V 16A wall box home charger that delivers a 10-100 per cent home charge in around 10 hours. 

Standard features include electric sliding doors, MBUX infotainment system and voice activated ‘Hey Mercedes’ driver assistance feature. A high-resolution, 10-inch media display keeps the driver updated with information across a host of headings, many relating to energy flow, battery power and usage and others relating to driving modes, voice- activated features, infotainment, navigation and route planning.

Replacing tyres on an Electric Vehicle, always change like with like say the experts

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Premium German tyre manufacturer, Continental Tyres, is advising Electric Vehicle (EV) owners that when it comes to replacing tyres on their car, it is very important to choose carefully.  

According to Tom Dennigan of Continental Tyres Ireland: “Many early adopters who bought some of the first EV models in Ireland are reaching the point where they need to replace the tyres on their car. Those owners need to realise that tyres can have a significant impact on the efficiency of an EV and the wrong tyres can significantly reduce a vehicle’s driving range”.

Many EV manufacturers work with tyre companies to specially develop tyres for a particular model, with the aim of providing tyres that increase the comfort of the journey and help to maximise the driving range between vehicle charging.  EVs are generally fitted with low rolling resistance tyres that maximise energy usage. In addition, because EVs are generally silent, tyres are chosen for their low tyre / road noise characteristics so as to increase driver and passenger comfort, such as tyres with the ContiSilent technology as developed by Continental, which can reduce road noise by up to 9 decibels. All of these requirements are taken into account when tyres are specified or developed for a new EV model.

Dennigan continued: “We work with vehicle manufacturers all the time in the development of new hybrid and fully electric vehicles.  For example, our teams in Germany worked with VW on developing tyres tailored to the specific requirements of the company’s latest EV, the ID.3. As well as providing quieter, low rolling resistance tyres, our designers sought to provide tyres that have a more aerodynamic sidewall design that will help to minimise the vehicle’s aerodynamic drag – all with the aim of increasing potential driving range.”

“When you consider the far-reaching effects tyres can have on the performance of an EV, when it comes to replacing tyres, the best advice to an EV owner is to replace like with like.  If they opt for a different tyre, they may be negating the benefit that the originally approved tyres would bring and may find that their vehicle’s usual range is compromised by choosing an ‘unapproved’ tyre”.

Kia Sorento wins Best Large SUV at Women’s World Car of the Year

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The new Kia Sorento has dominated its category at the 2021 ‘Women’s World Car of the Year’ (WWCOTY) awards, beating the competition to win Best Large SUV. This accolade marks the second year of success for Kia in the WWCOTY awards following category wins for XCeed (Best Urban Car) and Soul EV (Best Green Car) last year.

The all-female panel of experts will examine each of the nine category winners further and take a final vote to determine a single overall winner, which will be announced on March 8. 

WWCOTY is composed of a jury of 50 female motoring journalists spanning 38 countries and five continents. Founded by journalist Sandy Myhre in New Zealand 11 years ago, the awards aim to identify the best cars of the year based on set principles that guide consumer choice. Sorento was one of three vehicles shortlisted for the Best SUV category and ultimately achieved the windue to outstanding credentials, including safety, quality, price, design, driving dynamics and environmental impact.

Sorento is the first vehicle based on Kia’s new mid-size SUV architecture and accommodates state-of-the-art electrified powertrains for greater fuel efficiency, lower emissions and better performance than its predecessors and rivals. The new platform also allows for a larger vehicle body to maximise cargo and luggage space and makes the Sorento one of the most versatile and spacious three-row SUVs on the road.

“We are honoured to receive another award from the expert jury at Women’s World Car of the Year”, commented Jason Jeong, President at Kia Europe. “This is a welcome accolade for one of Kia’s most important cars; which our design, engineering and product teams have worked hard to ensure is a leader in the SUV segment. This latest award underpins our strong position in the European Market.”

NEW MERCEDES-BENZ C-CLASS – NEW BENCHMARK IN THE LUXURY SEGMENT

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Three decades since its original introduction – as successor to the old 190 model – the Mercedes-Benz C-Class has proven its success with just under 11million units sold worldwide – the majority to owners attracted by its status as the entry model to the luxury car segment. 

In its latest version, set to launch here next September, C-Class has taken another leap forward in terms of its importance to Mercedes-Benz – evident by the presence in it of features just recently introduced in their flagship S-Class range. Items falling under that umbrella include the latest generation MBUX infotainment system, optional rear-axle steering and the comprehensive electrification that powers its various elements.

Redefining its significance also is the claim by Mercedes-Benz that, in its new form, C-Class is ‘the most stylish and exclusive ever’ thanks to its aesthetics, sporty proportions, and extraordinary interior ambience – characteristics seen in its rear spaciousness, interior ambience and high-quality workmanship.

In Saloon and Estate models, its short front overhang, long wheelbase and rear overhang reflect its dynamic proportions, accentuated by a sporty bonnet with power domes.  In what Mercedes calls its ‘cab-backward’ design, windscreen and passenger cell have moved gently towards the rear. From the side, its sculptured surfaces – with lines reduced to a minimum – light effects accentuate its shoulder line. In Estate models, its roofline combines with an inclined rear window to give it an added sporty appeal, seen also in its wide track and flush 17”–19” wheels.

In front, all models have a central star with louvers whose design varies slightly from base model to the AMG Line version diamond pattern grille. Rear design is typically Mercedes-Benz with redesigned lights. Three new colours – spectral blue, high-tech silver and opalite white have been added.

Inside, more front and rear space is provided with greater elbow space and added rear head and knee room. Features and focal points include a dashboard covered with man-made leather with nappa-look beltlines and new veneers in brown and black tones. Most evident is the latest -generation MBUX and ‘Hey Mercedes’ multimedia and voice-activated assistance systems with touch screen functions. Bringing even more digital and intelligent support to driver and passengers, information is conveyed on a split wing-like section with screens that can be individualised in Navigation, Assistance and Service modes and in three display styles, Discreet, Sporty and Classic.

Longer and wider, Saloon and Estate models are considerably larger than before. A 25 mm longer wheelbase increases comfort for front and rear passengers. The drag coefficient of its predecessor is retained despite its larger dimensions. Beneath the retractable cover in Estate versions, height and length of the load compartment have been increased with an extra 30 litres boosting capacity to 1510 litres – helped by 40:20:40 split folding rear backrests with push button operation. Electronic tailgate operation is also standard on estates.

Five petrol and three diesels are available at launch, all with four-cylinder, turbo charged engines and 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission. Petrol models are: C 180 (1496cc/Nm 250 torque), C 200 andC 200 4MATIC (1496cc /Nm 300), C 300 and C 300 4MATIC (1999cc/Nm 400). Diesel models are: C 200 d (1951cc/Nm 380) C 220 d (1992cc/Nm 440) and C 300 d (1992cc/Nm 550). Plug-in hybrid versions with an electric range of around 100 kilometres will follow. Plug-in hybrid versions with an electric range of around 100 kilometres will follow.

In Ireland, models most likely to appeal to owners are C 180 and C 200 d. Prices will be announced closer to its arrival date in September. Comparing it to its predecessor, Ciaran Allen, sales manager for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars, said: “in all but name, the new C-Class is pure S-Class in so many respects”.  “Coming immediately behind the flagship model, it raises the bar beyond what owners might have expected from a first-tier offering in the luxury segment. In that regard, it sets a new benchmark for Mercedes-Benz itself and others,” Allen added.

A new suspension delivers agile handling and high ride and noise comfort. Optional rear-axle steering, operative at speeds below 60 km/h, means fewer turns are required to reduce the turning circle. Sport suspension with continuously adjustable damping is also optionally available.

Latest generation driving assistance features deliver more comfortable and safer driving with functions that include distance assist, steering assist, lane keeping assist, and a feature that can detect and raise the body height in anticipation of an impending collision.

Improved surround sensors give the driver even better support when parking and manoeuvring at low speed while emergency braking functions protect other road users.  An optional trailer-driving feature delivers precise and safer usage on Estate models. High Performance LED headlamps are standard while the optional items catalogue includes a host of passenger comfort, safety and wellness features already familiar in the S-Class and other Mercedes-Benz models.

Renault Celebrates 10 years of The Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show Sponsorship

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A lot has changed in 10 years – fashion, hairstyles, technology –  but one thing that has remained the same is the popularity of The Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show on Today FM, which remains the biggest breakfast show on commercial radio.

Renault celebrates 10 years of its partnership with The Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show and also its status as the No. 1 Electric Vehicle Manufacturer in Ireland.

Despite new working from home habits and later commuting times, Ian, ‘The King of Breakfast Radio’ continues to wake up the nation entertaining an audience of almost *180,000 each morning from 7-9am on Today FM. Over 10,000 new listeners have tuned into the award winning Breakfast Show since the pandemic hit in March 2020.

Ian is pictured with the 100% electric New Renault ZOE which is availablefrom Renault Bank at 0% APR saving customers up to €3,000 compared to high street banks. Renault’s Green Bonus means you get an extra €1,000 off your ZOE (on top of the SEAI grant of €5,000) and 3 months deferred payments. Renault dealerships are open for business virtually and for safeClick & Deliver. 

With a 395km range and the most flexible charging capability of any electric vehicle in Ireland, New ZOE sets the benchmark for range, versatility & efficiency in its category. ZOE remains the number one most sold electric passenger car in Europe. More than 268,000 ZOEs have been sold in Europe since its launch. Listen out for New ZOE stings on the Today FM this month.

Commenting on the long-running partnership, Ian Dempsey said: “It’s a perfect fit – but is it really 10 years? Time flies when you find the right match. Renault ZOE is just like The Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show – full of energy first thing every morning, puts a smile on your face and is about as smooth as it gets!”

All-new Nissan Qashqai – now electrified – breaks cover

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Nissan has reinvented the crossover segment that it created in 2007 with the unveiling of the all-new Nissan Qashqai which has been electrified to help families to make the switch to hybrid and electric driving.

The launch of the all-new, third generation Qashqai is a game-changer for Irish families who want to drive electric and to reduce their CO2 emissions while enjoying the comforts and familiarity of Ireland’s best-selling crossover.

50,000 Irish motorists drive a Nissan Qashqai and Nissan has sold over 3 million units of the car in Europe since its launch 13 years ago. The all-new Qashqai is a key part of the company’s strategy to achieve 50% electrified sales in Europe by 2024. 

“The new Nissan Qashqai combines the best of Nissan’s pioneering crossover and EV expertise. It allows new and existing Qashqai drivers to experience hybrid and electric driving without range or charging concerns in an unmistakably stylish crossover that continues to deliver everything they would expect from a family car,” said Seamus Morgan, Managing Director of Nissan Ireland.

The new Nissan Qashqai will not only be available with a 1.3 DiG-T petrol engine equipped with mild hybrid technology, but it also represents the European debut of e-POWER, Nissan’s innovative and award winning powertrain, that draws technologies from the company’s 100% electric Nissan LEAF.

The 12V mild hybrid system available on new Qashqai is a more affordable hybrid technology that provides torque assist, extended idle stop, quick restart and coasting stop [Xtronic only], with improvements to both fuel economy and CO2 output (-4g/km). It’s mated to the refined 1.3 Dig-T petrol engine that was introduced to Qashqai in 2018. 

The 1.3-petrol motor will be offered with two power outputs – 138hp and 156hp – with either a 6-speed manual transmission, or new Xtronic gearbox (156hp only). Max engine power arrives at 5500rpm, with maximum available torque of 270Nm at a convenient 1750rpm on 156hp Xtronic and high power MT variants.

On manual versions the gearbox has been enhanced for a quicker, more direct and sportier shift feeling. The new generation Xtronic transmission offers better fuel economy and acceleration feel thanks to improvements including a twin oil pump system with new electrical oil pump.

2WD is available on both 138hp and 156hp versions, whilst 4WD will only be available on 156hp Xtronic models. A new 4WD control system and driving selection mode is more intuitive and intelligent, adapting itself to external conditions with five driving modes – Standard, ECO, Sport, Snow and Off-Road. In case of any wheel slip, the time which the 4WD system acts has been reduced by a factor of five to around 0.2 seconds.

e-POWER

The new Qashqai’s e-POWER system is a unique solution which provides the enjoyment of driving electric without having to worry about range or charging. The unique element of the e-POWER is that the petrol engine is used solely to generate electricity, while the wheels are completely driven by the electric motor.

The new Qashqai’s e-POWER system is comprised of a high-output battery and powertrain integrated with a category-leading variable compression ratio 154hp petrol engine, power generator, inverter and 140kW electric motor of similar size and power output to that found in Nissan’s electric vehicles.

The e-POWER installation has been significantly upgraded for the new Qashqai in order to meet the demands of European consumers and their daily drive. The 1.5 litre petrol engine has a final power output of 140 kW (187hp).

Although unmistakably Qashqai in its styling, the third generation is more muscular, sharp and modern. On the exterior, the Qashqai’s enhanced body stance is more purposeful, with prominent shoulder lines, an extended wheelbase and imposing 20-inch alloy wheels introduced to Qashqai for the first time.

Similar to the LEAF, the new Qashqai e-POWER benefits from the entirely new ‘one-pedal’ driving experience called e-Pedal. Drivers can start, accelerate and decelerate using only the accelerator pedal.

The new Qashqai continues to give drivers a commanding sense of their environment with improved visibility. The longer wheelbase has created more room for users and overall luggage capacity has increased by over 50 litres from the previous generation. A powered hands-free tailgate makes accessing the boot effortless when hands are anything but free.

Refinements to the ergonomic design of the doorways means that it is also easier to step in and out of the car, particularly in restricted spaces such as a multi-storey car parks. Where space allows, parents will appreciate that the rear doors now open to 90 degrees, allowing easier access to babies and toddlers in child-seats.

The new Qashqai also offers an advanced infotainment system with a broad portfolio of connected devices including effortless integration of smartphones, in-car Wi-Fi for up to seven devices and NissanConnect Services, a dedicated app with which to interact with and monitor the vehicle.

An innovative new 10.8-inch Head-Up Display (HUD) provides the biggest-in-segment image size. Key navigation, driver assistance and road information are projected onto the windscreen within the driver’s line of vision. Home-to-Car features are compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa devices.

The order books for the new Qashqai open today with first customers being offered a special launch version called the Premiere Edition which will offer an extended palette of two-tone colour options and advanced technology convenience features.   Pricing will be announced this summer. Further information and details about the Nissan Qashqai are available by contacting your local Nissan dealer or by visiting www.nissan.ie

Applegreen welcomes ‘forecourt baby’ Ellie with years’ worth of free fuel for proud parents!

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NO FEE PIC PIC JULIEN BEHAL PHOTOGRAPHY Applegreen welcomes ‘forecourt baby’ Ellie with year’s worth of free fuel for proud parents! Thursday, 11th February: Applegreen, Ireland’s leading fuel retailer, has offered a year’s worth of free fuel to the parents of a baby girl who made an ‘unexpected’ arrival on the forecourt of the company’s outlet in Caragh, Co. Kildare, just over a week ago. Expectant parents John Feane and Naomi Galvin got the surprise of their lives last Tuesday night (3rd February) when, en route home from a check-up at the Coombe Hospital in Dublin, they realised that baby Ellie was in more of a rush than they had realised! The quick-thinking parents immediately parked on the forecourt of their local Applegreen in Caragh and called for an ambulance. To mark an eventful night, Applegreen has given John and Naomi an additional reason to celebrate with free fuel for a year – plus some birthday treats for baby Ellie. Picture shows proud parents John and Naomi with Baby Ellie and their children Lorcan (1 yr) ,Phillip (8) Rory (5) and Molly (3) along with staff member Claire Smullen at Applegreen,Caragh Co.Kildare. For more information, please contact Aoife McDonald, Cullen Communications, amcdonald@cullencommunications.ie or 087 4100777

Applegreen, Ireland’s leading fuel retailer, has offered a year’s worth of free fuel to the parents of a baby girl who made an ‘unexpected’ arrival on the forecourt of the company’s outlet in Caragh, Co. Kildare, just over a week ago.

Expectant parents John Feane and Naomi Galvin got the surprise of their lives last Tuesday night (3rd February) when, en route to the Coombe Hospital in Dublin, they realised that baby Ellie was in more of a rush than they had realised! The quick-thinking parents immediately parked on the forecourt of their local Applegreen in Caragh and called for an ambulance.

Once the ambulance arrived, little Ellie was delivered safely and continued on her journey to the Coombe hospital. She is now back home with Mum and Dad, blissfully unaware of the excitement she caused.

Proud dad John Feane had nothing but praise for the emergency services, and for his wife Naomi. “The ambulance crew was just brilliant, they were so calm and reassuring throughout, and everything went incredibly smoothly,” he said. “They’re a credit to our frontline workers and we’ll always be grateful to them.

“It wasn’t the birth we were expecting but Naomi took everything in her stride, and we couldn’t be happier with our new baby girl,” John added. “We now have a great story to tell Ellie when she grows up and I don’t think we’ll ever drive past that Applegreen station without remembering that night.”

To mark an eventful night, Applegreen has given John and Naomi an additional reason to celebrate with free fuel for a year – plus some birthday treats for baby Ellie.

Trevor McBride, Applegreen Regional Manager, said: “This is the first time we’ve had an ‘Applegreen baby’ and we couldn’t be prouder! We’re thrilled for John and Naomi and thankful that everything went so smoothly, with the help of our magnificent ambulance service of course.

“To help the Feane family celebrate, we’re delighted to offer them a year’s worth of free fuel plus some extra treats and gifts for baby Ellie and her four proud siblings,” he added. “Hopefully, our gift will help John and Naomi to show off their new arrival to friends and family, when it’s safe to do so.”

Exclusive offers and discounts

In the past week, Applegreen has also given 125 lucky winners from around Ireland free fuel for a year for downloading the Applegreen Rewards App. Anyone who downloads the Rewards App will have a chance to win a year’s worth of free fuel, as well as being entitled to a huge range of exclusive offers and discounts.

The app is available to download on the App Store and Google Play.

New BMW M5 CS

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Searingly fast yet eminently usable, the BMW M5 CS is the ultimate incarnation of the BMW M5 and it is the first time there has been a special edition of the iconic model. It blends the kind of performance you might expect of a supercar – 0-100km/h achieved in only 3.0 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 189mph – with everyday usability. It is a luxury saloon equally at home on the road as it is on the racetrack.

The BMW M5 CS builds on the established presence of the BMW M3 CS, BMW M4 CS and BMW M2 CS. As the flagship model in the range, the BMW M5 CS represents the highest rung of the BMW M ladder and sets new standards, combining standout performance attributes with an exclusive and luxurious appearance. 

Power is provided by a 4.4-litre V8 engine with BMW M TwinPower Turbo technology that develops 635hp – 10hp more than in the BMW M5 Competition. 

Its track suitability is elevated by its lightweight design, bespoke chassis tuning and the M xDrive system, with its centralised intelligent control approach for the Active M Differential.

The M5 CS is priced at €241,415 on-the-road. Deliveries will begin in spring 2021.

Bigster Concept

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In true Dacia style, the Bigster Concept is roomy, robust, and meant for open air and dusty roads while exploring new horizons. A 4.6-metre-long SUV with no more or no less than the essential, the Bigster is the Dacia way of making the C-segment accessible, delivering a larger, more capable vehicle at the cost buyers would expect from the segment below. 

Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos, Dacia Design Director, said: “Dacia Bigster Concept epitomises the evolution of the brand. Essential, with a touch of cool and an outdoor spirit. It proves that accessible is not opposed by any meanings to attractiveness. At Dacia we believe so, and this car is the proof.”

The Bigster Concept’s DNA is aligned with the brand’s core values, those which have developed and maintained a sturdy, long-standing relationship with its customers over the years: simplicity, honesty, and authenticity. 

Proportions of the Bigster Concept are contemporary yet timeless – what you see is what you get. They send a clear message of robustness with simple and reassuring lines. 

Its generous exterior dimensions promise a very spacious interior. The Y-shaped lighting signature is now larger, highlighting the SUV’s bold and assertive style, while the dark green paint underpins the adventurous nature of the vehicle and the owner. 

No bells and whistles, no chrome trim or imitation-aluminium, the Bigster Concept is a genuine vehicle made with genuine principles, shown in the use of raw recycled plastics for all protective exterior panels.

As the possible future figurehead of the Dacia range, both alternative-energy and hybrid engines are possible, reinforcing that the brand is always perfectly in sync with changing regulation and customers’ expectations.

Dacia is a way to escape, giving its customers a unique, genuine, no-frills experience – shown by the Bigster Concept. More than ever before, Dacia embodies freedom of movement and has become a statement piece that focuses on its customers’ needs and fundamental aspirations. A purchase with meaning.