Monday, 23 July 2012

The new Mazda MX 5 coming to UK

Mazda is hard at work designing its new MX 5, which promises a design and feel that harks back to the original MX 5 from the 1980s. The new model, which is expected on UK shores towards the end of 2012, has undergone an impressive redesign that’s intended to improve performance and handling, as well as offering drivers a thoroughly modern vehicle that’s at the top of the style stakes.

One of the standout changes of the new MX 5 will be the front bonnet design, which is designed not only to improve aerodynamic performance, but also to keep pedestrians safer. The innovative ‘active bonnet’ design automatically raises the trailing edge of the bonnet when impact with a pedestrian is detected. Also included is enhanced leg protection to make sure that any pedestrians hit by the new MX 5 will stand the best chance of walking away as unscathed as possible.

The new MX 5 will feature an exciting vacuum brake-booster, designed to optimise brake return control – particularly useful when braking upon entering a curve. The brake-booster is complemented by the new acceleration control, which kicks in when the driver accelerates after using the brake on a corner. The two features work in harmony to make braking more controllable, faster and smoother, giving drivers the most comfortable and enjoyable ride possible.

Inside, the new Mazda MX 5 will be a paragon of style and excellence, offering owners a sophisticated interior experience that they’ll love to be seen in. In addition, the steering wheel spokes have been redesigned to give the cabin a coordinated and uniquely chic feel. There’ll still be all the interactivity and easy-to-use controls that you’d expect from a Mazda, with an overall interior and exterior style finish that’s not unlike the car’s immediate coupĂ© competitor models from MINI, Fiat and Chrysler.

The new MX 5 promises to be the top choice for drivers who want iconic style and fantastic handling when coasting down country lanes or navigating urban streets – although it’s still adept at tackling longer journeys and main roads. Get your hands on a new Mazda MX 5 when it hits the Essex Mazda forecourt at the end of this year.  

Thursday, 5 July 2012

The Vauxhall Astra VXR

The new Vauxhall Astra VXR, Vauxhall’s latest contender into the performance hatchback arena, is set to take on many of its biggest rivals, including the all-new Ford Focus ST, the Renaultsport Megane 265 and the Volkswagen Golf GTI Edition 35. The Astra VXR appears to be the most promising of all of these models, boasting more power, more torque and more performance-boosting technology.

The base of the car is from the curvy three door Astra GTC, and the VXR adds a colour coded front grille, a more aggressive front spoiler, LED tail-lights and 19 inch alloy wheels as standard, making it sure to be a head turner. An additional option is the VXR Aero Pack, which adds 20 inch alloy wheels, a biplane rear spoiler and muscular side skirts for £995. Vauxhall predicts that eighty five per cent of customers will opt for the attention-seeking Aero Pack.

In addition to looks, the Astra VXR certainly packs a punch as well. The 2.0 litre turbocharged engine is capable of producing 276bhp and can accelerate from 0-62 miles per hour in 5.9 seconds, faster than the Focus ST, Golf GTI Edition 35 and the Megane 265. In terms of performance, the Astra VXR has a clever front suspension set up borrowed from the Insignia VXR, which makes the performance more accessible than ever. Plus, the VXR’s electro-hydraulic set-up on the steering helps the driver really feel the steering, which then feeds back exactly what is on the road, something that is becoming less common as manufacturers switch to less talkative electric power-steering systems. This can only be a good thing when it is considered how capable the VXR is in taking corners. It takes a lot of speed in bendy roads before the VXR will start to feel flustered. Despite the high performance, the VXR still manages to return 34.9 miles per gallon and 189g/km of CO2 emissions.

Prices start from £26,996 and Vauxhall aims to sell 1,200 Astra VXRs each year, a reachable goal?

Monday, 2 July 2012

UK new car market outgrows rest of Europe

I’m not normally the kind of person who keeps an eye on the economy, but the recent recession and economic downturn has got me interested. It is in my best interest for the economy to start growing again and the news of a double dip recession was not good. But, there is encouraging news coming from the Prime Minister and I hope he is right.

A good way to measure the UK Economy is by evaluating the property market and the automotive market. The property market is currently in a stalemate, where people don’t want to sell and buyers can’t get mortgages. Finance wise I suppose the automotive market is in a similar place, but according to reports fleet and businesses are not reselling their old stock as eagerly as they use to.
For most UK families buying a house is the largest financial commitment, buying a car is a close second. According to JATA Dynamics (automotive intelligence provider) the UK car market is outperforming much of Europe for new car sales. Total European sales were down 6.1% in April and 7.1% year-to-date.

JATA Dynamics breaks down Europe and indentifies five large markets, Germany, UK, France, Italy and Spain. Out of these five only the UK and Germany recorded increases, France recorded a small decrease, while Italy and Spain recorded significant declines in sales.

Although the UK automotive market is still down compared to 2011, April showed the lowest drop in month-on-month sales so far this year. The Volkswagen Golf and Ford Fiesta maintained their positions as Europe's top selling models. A Ford dealership and VW car dealers are a good place to be right now!
Here is the list of the top 10 brands for April 2012:

1.    Volkswagen
2.    Ford
3.    Renault
4.    Peugeot
5.    Vauxhall
6.    Citroen
7.    Audi
8.    BMW
9.    Fiat
10.    Mercedes-Benz