2019 Geneva Motor Show

  • Honda plans for electrification of Europe fleet by 2025

    Honda announced at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show that it aims to have some form of electrification across its entire European model line-up by 2025, a plan which builds upon its previous 2017 aim of two-thirds of its sales to be electrified by the same year.

    “Since we first made that pledge in March 2017, the shift towards electrification has gathered pace considerably. Environmental challenges continue to drive demand for cleaner mobility. Technology marches on unrelenting and people are starting to shift their view of the car itself,” said senior vice-president of Honda Motor Europe, Tom Gardner.

    To that end, the Japanese brand will be developing an energy management business for Europe, one which will see the building of an energy management portfolio of products and services offering solutions for both electric vehicle (EV) customers and service operators in Europe, it said.

    Honda has also announced an agreement with two external partners. One of which is with Moixa, a company specialising in ‘resource aggregator’ technology which will allow customers to benefit from sharing control and capacity of their EV battery, and the second is with Ubitricity, a supplier of charging solutions which entails on-street charging in urban areas.

    The next step in Honda’s quest for electrification growth is to undertake feasibility studies in the United Kingdom and in Germany; further developments on this front are expected to be announced later this year.

    GALLERY: Honda e Prototype at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show

  • Subaru Viziv Adrenaline concept – to inspire next XV?

    Following a teaser image released last month, Subaru has unveiled the Viziv Adrenaline concept at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. The latest concept car is the latest to adopt the Viziv prefix – here bearing the name Viziv Adrenaline – and follows last year’s Viziv Tourer Concept as well as the Visiv Performance concept of 2017; the former channeling a sort of Levorg successor, and the latter hinting at the next WRX sedan.

    The latest Viziv iteration adopts the now-commonplace SUV bodystyle, one which wears the ‘Bolder’ design philosophy as an evolution of the look that currently graces the automaker’s cars. Where the Viziv Tourer and Viziv Performance concepts indicated possible future directions for the Levorg and WRX respectively, the Viziv Adrenaline could be a sleeker-roofed interpretation of the XV crossover.

    A dotted-circle design of foglamps are present at both ends of the concept, which complement headlamps and tail lights that are of a slimmer design than on current Subarus. Brighter-coloured skid plate-style trim is also present in the lower central sections of both front and rear bumpers for added visual ruggedness.

    The black plastic protector shrouds around parts of the front bumper, rear bumper, lower sills and wheel-arches point towards its off-roading intent, as do its generous ride height and all-terrain tyres. Like prior concepts, the Viziv Adrenaline hasn’t come with much in terms of technical details, and appears to be more of a styling appetiser of Subaru things to come.

    Subaru says that the Viziv Adrenaline combines “utility that supports active lifestyles with off-road driving capability that delivers enjoyment to go anywhere,” presumably with the inclusion of the Japanese automaker’s Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive as seen it its production models. Elsewhere, models such as the XV and Forester employ the X-Mode function for better tractability on loose surfaces.

  • Audi Q4 e-tron concept debuts – 450 km driving range!

    This one has been a long time coming. We finally get to see the new Audi Q4 e-tron, albeit in its early concept stage. The compact four-door SUV has an exterior length of 4.59 metres, and design-wise it’s clear the Q4 shares some similarities with the original Audi e-tron.

    But first, let’s take a look at its electric propulsion system. The Q4 sits on Audi’s modular electrification platform (MEB), and both drive axles get an electric motor – the Q4 is a quattro. However, there is no mechanical connection between the axles. Instead, an electronic control continuously monitors torque distribution, helping the electric SUV achieve optimum traction in all weather conditions and road surfaces.

    In most cases, the Q4 e-tron is primarily rear-wheel driven for efficiency purposes. The front electric motor will only kick into action when the driver demands more performance, or when slip is detected.

    The rear-mounted motor is more powerful, deploying 150 kW (204 PS) and 310 Nm of torque, whereas the front unit makes up to 75 kW (102 PS) and 150 Nm of torque. The combined system output is 225 kW (306 PS), and both motors are juiced by an 82 kWh battery (weighs 510 kg in total) that’s stored under the floor. Audi says this enables a driving range of over 450 km (WLTP standard), and DC fast-charging (via CCS connector) is capped at 125 kW. It takes around 30 minutes to get an 80% charge.

    For outright acceleration, the Q4 e-tron sprints from zero to 100 km/h in 6.3 seconds before reaching an electronically limited top speed of 180 km/h. Axle load distribution is said to be perfectly balanced at almost 50:50. For suspension, the front gets MacPherson struts while the rear gets a multi-link setup with separate springs. All four corners get adaptive dampers as standard.

    On the design side of things, there’s no mistaking this Audi for anything else but an e-tron. The front fascia is dominated by the closed Singleframe grille, and cool air is supplied via large inlets that extend from below the two matrix LED headlights all the way down to the front apron.

    The prominent fenders are classic Audi styling, while the accentuated rocker panel area between the axles – where the battery rests – is a typical feature of the e-tron. Here, the Q4 concept sits on huge 22-inch wheels, and the profile view is completed with the muscular rear haunches and slanting roofline. All this contribute to a slick body – the Q4 e-tron claims to have a drag coefficient value of 0.28 Cd.

    Behind, in typical modern Audi fashion, the tail lights are conjoined with graphics that are reminiscent of its older brother (the e-tron). To finish off the exterior, the model you see here is painted in “Solar Sky.”

    It’s a shade of blue that changes depending on the angle of the light, and it’s developed specifically for the Audi Q4 e-tron concept and produced under environmentally friendly conditions. Another function of the paint is that it helps reduce heat build-up on the surface of the body and the interior.

    Inside, again, the cabin looks familiar, albeit less cluttered compared to the original e-tron. This may change as it gets closer to production, but in concept form the Q4 e-tron gets the Audi virtual cockpit, large head-up display with augmented reality function, as well as a hexagonal steering wheel.

    In the middle rests a 12.3-inch touchscreen unit that’s slightly angled towards the driver for greater ease of operation. A row of buttons for HVAC controls is located below it. Notice the rather bare centre console? Well, the lack of need for a gear lever or hand brake gives more room for stowage compartments, including a cell phone charging cradle.

    The gear selectors now take the form of buttons on top of a piano black panel, and it appears to “float” just below the air-conditioning controls. The specially moulded lower door section also boast the ability to store water bottles, and it’s designed in a way that’s easy to reach. So, what do you think?

  • Alfa Romeo Tonale concept – new midsize, PHEV SUV

    One of the many concepts on display at the Geneva International Motor Show is the Alfa Romeo Tonale. This CUV (Coupe Utility Vehicle) is the first by the Italian automaker, and it slots underneath the Stelvio as a mid-size crossover offering.

    The Tonale is a historic product for the brand, because it’s its first CUV and first plug-in hybrid model. Alfa Romeo plans a dual-engine setup (like Volvo’s Twin Engine system) – the internal combustion engine will be positioned up front, whereas an electric motor will be mounted behind, presumably making it an electric all-wheel drive crossover.

    With the Tonale, the usual Dynamic mode evolves into “Dual Power” mode, which guarantees maximum output from the two propulsion sources. A new E-mozione button will be present, offering specific throttle settings, sharper braking and more direct steering response. Other drive modes include Natural (runs as regular hybrid) and Advance Efficiency (full electric mode).

    For Alfa Romeo, the Tonale concept will reinterpret the brand’s DNA to capture the new idea of beauty, energy, harmony, efficiency and driving user-friendliness. The car will adhere to its “Mechanics of Emotions” philosophy, and the final product will get Alfa logo in hybrid optics, just to distinguish the electrified models from the rest.

    Design-wise, the Tonale concept screams familiarity – it sits on 21-inch telephone dial wheels (a trait it embraced since the 1960s) shod with exclusive Pirelli tyres, bold body styling that harks back to the stylistic qualities of the Duetto and Disco Volante Spider, as well as the “three plus three” headlights that evoke the gaze of the SZ and Brera. The rear gets a unique enveloping windscreen, complemented by a continuous LED strip that also forms the tail lights.

    For the cabin, the Tonale concept will get a very driver-oriented cockpit, although Alfa Romeo says the car will be designed to fit four passengers comfortably. Materials such as leather and Alcantara will be used generously, while gadgetries include a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel for the driver and a 10.25-inch windscreen infotainment system.

    The new system is said to feature a “seamless and fluid multitasking interface that allows the driver to have all the latest features and functionality readily available at their fingertips.” What’s more, the car will allow the driver to be fully connected to the Alfa Romeo lifestyle and social communities via two new infotainment features – Alfista and Paddock.

    Alfista provides a fully connected interface with select Alfa Romeo clubs and community events, whereas Paddock allows real-time viewing and purchasing of the latest interior and exterior performance upgrades. The Paddock app also enables customers to scroll through the brand’s merchandise and apparel collection, which can be ordered directly.

    So there you have it, the Alfa Romeo Tonale concept. It’s still in the early developmental stages, so expect more changes to the car as it nears production. For Alfa Romeo Design, it is an “opera d’arte,” or piece of art, otherwise expressed as the Alfa Romeo Tonale.

  • Ginetta Akula debuts – 600 hp, 1,150 kg; 20 units only!

    Ginetta, having recently confirmed its return to the lucrative game of producing exclusive high-performance cars, has taken the veils off its latest creation at the Geneva International Motor Show. The supercar is called Akula, which means shark in Russian, otherwise also known as a term for nuclear-powered attack submarines.

    The show unit is finished in Typhoon Black and features some truly wild LMP-derived aero styling (Ginetta claims market-leading downforce). The extensive use of carbon-fibre and lightweight metals help contribute to the car’s low kerb weight of 1,150 kg, and its mid-mounted 6.0 litre V8 engine (five-axis billet-machined engine block) is designed in-house.

    Performance-wise, the rear-wheel drive monster packs slightly over 600 hp, allowing it to reach a top speed of 200 mph (322 km/h). Details are scarce for the time being, but the Akula gets a six-speed gearbox with paddle shifters, torque-sensing limited slip differential, as well as carbon ceramic matrix brakes that give up to 1.2G of deceleration.

    Inside, the racing seats with harness are integrated to the chassis, and assortments include LMP1-inspired steering wheel, as well as a touchscreen infotainment system. Only 20 units of the Akula will be built, and its on-the-road price in the UK starts from £340,000 (RM1.8 million). Of the 20 available units, 60% have been snapped up prior to its unveiling.

    Company chairman Lawrence Tomlinson said: “The concept behind the Akula was to build something truly individual, something that other brands cannot do due to corporate constraints. Designed to cut through the air like a shark through water, the car unquestionably means business, and I’m proud to be manufacturing a car of such significance in the UK.”

    As a bonus, owners of the Akula will also be given a full introduction to the Ginetta brand with a customer experience day culminating in track time in the G58 racer. “The G58 is the closest thing to strapping into an endurance racer as non-professionals are likely to achieve,” Ginetta says. The G58 is powered by a 575-hp V8 engine, weighs just 940 kg and showcases some of the race-derived technology utilised in the Akula.

    With a Ginetta factory driver, full pit crew and a range of Ginetta vehicles from G40 up to G58 at their disposal, this exclusive ownership experience will be an induction into the Ginetta family for Akula owners and the start of a supercar ownership experience like no other.

    “We’re a small company but we pack a punch, and our customers should be the ones who truly benefit from that. We compete with other manufacturers on the race track, but with our supercar we’re offering something different and aimed at those who want a true connection with the brand that built their car. Whether it be taking to the track in a G58 or making your bespoke specification choices with us at the factory, Akula owners will be truly involved in all things Ginetta,” said Tomlinson.

    GALLERY: Ginetta Akula

    GALLERY: Ginetta G58

  • 2019 Volkswagen Passat Variant R-Line Edition debuts

    Making its debut at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show is this, the updated Volkswagen Passat Variant R-Line Edition. Production of this sporty-looking wagon is limited to just 2,000 units, and every single unit is finished in the new Moonstone Grey paint.

    The special Passat Variant is based on the new Passat facelift, and it features a number of black elements to provide contrast, such as the roof, roof rails, spoiler and side mirror caps. The side window frames, rear diffuser, headlight surrounds, radiator grille and other exterior trimmings are also painted black. Completing the look are smoked LED tail lights and black 19-inch Pretoria alloys.

    Inside, the cabin is also similarly appointed with the stealthy touch. There are R-Line sports seats – the centre panels are wrapped with Nappa leather, whereas the side bolsters get carbon-fibre-printed leather. Foot pedals are finished in brushed stainless steel, and the side sills (with R-Line logo) also come in stainless steel. Also in the mix is a new ambient lighting system with a range of colours.

    Other notable equipment includes the Digital Cockpit, glass-covered 9.2-inch Discover Pro navigation system with integrated SIM card (eSIM), as well as R-Line start screen. App Connect is also available, enabling Apple CarPlay functionalities via Bluetooth wireless connection.

    For powertrain, the Passat Variant R-Line Edition can be had with two engine choices – a 2.0 litre four-cylinder TDI engine making 240 PS and 500 Nm of torque, or the 2.0 litre TSI petrol unit that offers 272 PS and 350 Nm of torque. In the century sprint, the diesel reaches the 100 km/h mark in 6.1 seconds, whereas the petrol completes the dash in 5.7 seconds. Both models get the automaker’s fast-shifting DSG gearbox and 4Motion all-wheel drive system.

    For safety, the special edition Passat Variant gets Travel Assist as standard. This means it’s one of the first cars globally to feature partially assisted driving at up to 210 km/h. When activated, the car takes over steering, braking and acceleration. All the driver needs to do is keep their hands on the steering wheel – the Passat checks for inputs via the brand’s first capacitive multifunction leather steering wheel.

    Essentially, Travel Assist is a fusion of the front camera, Front Assist pedestrian monitoring system, Park Assist parking manoeuvre system, Side Assist lane changing system, and the Adaptive Cruise Control with automatic distance control system, into a new, intelligent assistance system.

    Other kit includes the new IQ.Light LED Matrix headlight system, Area View camera system, and the updated adaptive damper control system (Dynamic Chassis Control). As an extra, drivers can choose to manually disable ESC, which Volkswagen claims will allow free reign of vehicular control when driving on race tracks.

  • Mitsubishi Engelberg Tourer – PHEV SUV concept with 20 kWh battery, 70 km EV range, 700 km combined

    Mitsubishi has introduced the Engelberg Tourer concept at the Geneva Motor Show. According to the manufacturer, the study is an all-wheel drive plug-in hybrid SUV which allows its driver to ‘enjoy driving in all weather conditions and on any road surface with confidence.’

    Powertrain for the Engelberg Tourer comes courtesy of a 2.4 litre petrol engine, mated to a pair of electric motors powered by a 20 kWh lithium-ion battery pack located beneath the vehicle’s floor. The internal combustion engine acts as a high-output generator when used in series hybrid mode, and the SUV has a total cruising range of more than 700 km, based on the WLTP cycle. Pure electric cruising range, meanwhile, is more than 70 km.

    The electric drive motors are mounted one on each axle for all-wheel-drive operation, which is harnessed by Mitsubishi’s Super-All Wheel Control (S-AWC) and Active Yaw Control, which the company says is developed from knowledge acquired from the brand’s famed Lancer Evolution series of performance sedans. This effects torque vectoring for optimum drive on unmade and snow-covered roads.

    The powertrain setup somewhat recalls that of the Outlander PHEV, which also mates a 2.4 litre petrol mill to electric drive for both front and rear axles, albeit with a greater battery capacity than the Outlander’s 13.8 kWh. No output figures were provided for each of the electric drive motors, though these should exceed the 137 Nm and 195 Nm output figures (front and rear, respectively) of the Outlander PHEV.

    In terms of styling, the concept adopts a bold design which appears to be a development of the marque’s Dynamic Shield design language for its face, bringing it in line with the latest models to emerge such as the Triton and the Expander.

    Inside, a tall centre console separates the front occupants, while monitor screens display rear-view camera feeds in place of conventional side mirrors. The second row continues the theme of light-coloured leather against gloss black trim, while seating here is comprised of individual chairs.

    Alongside the Engelberg Tourer concept, Mitsubishi also displayed the Dendo Drive House (DDH), a packaged system which comprises an EV or PHEV, a bi-directional charger, solar panels and a home battery that is designed for home use.

    In essence, instead of the residential home structure functioning purely as charging point for the electrified vehicles, this setup enables the EV/PHEV to give electricity back to the building and thus contribute to electricity costs savings as well as provide an emergency power source in the event of an outage.

    The company added that the packaged service will be made available via Mitsubishi dealerships in select markets, which will take care of the sale, installation and service of the components.

  • Petronas launches new iona e-fluids for EVs in Geneva

    Petronas Lubricants has launched its iona range of e-fluids for the electric vehicle market at the Geneva Motor Show, and is part of the company’s pledge to reduce carbon dioxide emissions with its fluid technology.

    The range of fluids includes Petronas iona Thermal battery fluid for optimised and efficient delivery of electrical energy, iona Integra for friction management (lubes) of integrated driveline systems and iona Glide bearing greases.

    Petronas Lubricants International’s (PLI) managing director and group CEO, Giuseppe D’Arrigo said: “The global shift towards cleaner energy is an opportunity for us to work collaboratively to reduce CO2 emissions with fluid solutions that are accessible to all.

    “In the automotive sector, original equipment manufacturers now have to adhere to increasing regulations on carbon emissions reduction. At Petronas, we are prepared and constantly evolving our fluid technology solutions to meet the challenges of the future together with our partners,” he added.

    Last year, the company had pledged 75% of its research and technology investment towards innovations aimed at reducing CO2 emissions. Part of that included the launch of the new and improved Syntium with CoolTech range of lubricants which includes an offering for hybrid vehicles, a range of driveline fluids under the Tutela range, as well as ETRO+ which is a unique group III+ base oil.

    An industry-wide study would be commissioned to identify the challenges and future opportunities towards advancing electric vehicle performance, and the findings will be share with its key partners at a fluid symposium hosting by PLI later this year.

  • Koenigsegg Jesko debuts in Geneva – 5.0L twin-turbo V8; 1,600 hp, 1,500 Nm; Light Speed Transmission

    This crazy looking thing is the new Koenigsegg Jesko, and it is the latest megacar from the Swedish carmaker that serves as a direct successor to the Agera. If the name sounds a little curious, that’s because the Jesko is named after Jesko von Koenigsegg, the father of company founder and CEO, Christian von Koenigsegg.

    Why? Well, Jesko (the human) was instrumental in the formative years of Koenigsegg Automotive, as his business acumen helped to guide the company through many early challenges. The namesake vehicle therefore serves as a tribute to the man’s contributions, and is another initiative in which Christian shows his appreciation.

    Fun fact: Koenigsegg relocated to its present location and headquarters following a fire in the company’s original premises in 2003. Its current 4,000 square metre facility was once home to the Swedish Air Force’s Fighter Jet Squadron No. 1 before the squadron was retired from service. As a tribute to the Squadron, the squadron’s insignia, a flying ghost, now adorns the engine bay of all Koenigsegg cars built at the facility, including the Jesko.

    The overall design has echoes of the Agera but with modern revisions to give it an identity of its own. For instance, the headlamps are slimmer and bear semblance to those on the Regera, while the dip between the taillights appears more elegant and fluid compared to the Agera.

    Elsewhere, the wrapround windscreen has more of a “fighter jet” stance as a result of the dimensional changes – the Jesko is actually 30 mm taller and 40 mm longer than the Agera. The increased footprint is said to allow for better ingress and egress, as well as more spacious cabin and better visibility.

    It’s impossible not to miss the numerous aerodynamic features that are present on the Jesko, which include a new front splitter, rear diffuser and rear wing derived from the One:1. These primary areas form the core of an active aerodynamics and airflow package that aims to maximise downforce while minimising drag.

    Finer details include integrated active flaps underneath the front splitter, vented areas over the front wheels and side mirrors that generate up to 20 kg of downforce. In its most aggressive aerodynamic setting, the Jesko can generate 40% more downforce compared to the Agera RS – 800 kg at 250 km/h or 1,000 kg at 275 km/h, before reaching a maximum of 1,400 kg.

    Moving inside using the dihedral synchro-helix doors, you’ll find premium materials like leather, Alcantara, carbon-fibre, aluminium and glass. It isn’t as performance-focused as you might expect, as things like powered seats, a nine-inch SmartCenter infotainment system, five-inch SmartCluster digital display instrument cluster and SmartWheel steering wheel – the last item has context sensitive touch displays on the spokes.

    While the exterior and interior designs are a highlight on their own, it is the Jesko’s powertrain that really commands your attention. A redesigned 5.0 litre twin-turbo V8 now utilises a lightweight (12.5 kg) flat-plane 180-degree crankshaft, along with new connecting rods and pistons to counter the greater vibration that comes with a flat-plane design.

    Koenigsegg then focused on reducing turbo lag by fitting an air injection system that consists of a small electric compressor driving air from a 20-litre carbon-fibre tank linked directly to the two turbos.

    The system essentially uses a timed, 20-bar burst of air strategically aimed within the turbo housing to pre-spool the two large turbos, eliminating turbo lag while providing instant response before the exhaust gases take over to power the turbos. This air injection system is also useful to quickly get the car’s catalytic converters up to operating temperature on vehicle start-up, as an emissions reduction measure.

    There’s more too, as the fuel injection system now boasts an additional fuel injector per cylinder, making the Jesko the first to adopt this setup. The third injector is found on the intake plenum, which injects fuel directly above the intake trumpets for each cylinder for added aeration. This makes for a much cooler cylinder, cleaner combustion and less strain on the engine at higher speeds.

    All these technologies result in a V8 that revs up to 8,500 rpm, and will generate 1280 hp on regular petrol, or 1600 hp with E85 fuel. Maximum torque has also increased to 1,500 Nm at 5,100 rpm, with over 1,000 Nm available anywhere between 2,700 to 6,170 rpm.

    If the nerdy details about the engine still isn’t enough to get you excited, maybe the Jesko’s Light Speed Transmission (LST) will do the trick. Designed completely in-house at Koenigsegg, it is a nine-speed unit that uses seven clutches to allow you to make changes between any gear almost instantly.

    As the company explains, typical dual-clutch transmissions (DCT) have one clutch for even numbered gears and another for odd numbered gears. When driving, one clutch is engaged while the control unit preselects what is anticipates either a higher or lower gear. Unfortunately, this means you can only change to adjacent gears, following a sequential format.

    With Koenigsegg’s LST, you can change to any gear you fancy regardless of the gear’s relationship to the current one, which the company is calling Ultimate Power on Demand. For example, let’s say you’re driving only in seventh and would like fourth. The LST will allow you to shift directly from the current to the desired gear at “lightning speed.” A traditional DCT would need the driver to shift through sixth and fifth gears before reaching fourth.

    Operating the transmission is done via steering wheel paddles or the gear lever, both featuring a double-notch shifting mechanism. The first notch shifts one gear up or down, while the second notch engages Ultimate Power on Demand. If that isn’t enough benefits for you, the LST weighs just 90 kg compared to DCTs that weight up to 140 kg.

    In terms of suspension and handling, the Jesko is built around a carbon-fibre monocoque, with a tub that is 40 mm and 20 mm longer than before, while retaining its industry-best torsional rigidity of 65,000 Nm per degree. Assembled in Angelholm, Sweden, the monocoque employs a carbon-fibre and aluminium sandwich construction with integrated fuel tanks, rollover bars and reinforcement using Dyneema – the strongest fibre in the world.

    To cope with the 1,420 kg curb weight and the downforce generated, the car rides on Koenigsegg’s Triplex Suspension system that was first developed for the Agera. The setup employs a third, horizontal damper at the rear so the car is able to capable of countering the effects of squat under hard acceleration. On the Jesko, a second Triplex unit is used in the front suspension to keep the front of the car level.

    Other technologies include active rear steering, active engine mounts and the ability to fit carbon-fibre wheels in place of forged aluminium ones. The new carbon wheels are larger than those on the Agera, measuring 20 inches at the front and 21 inches at the rear, while weighing 5.9 and 7.4 kg respectively. Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres come as standard, with the new Pilot Sport Cup 2 R being optional.

    Koenigsegg hasn’t provided a list of performance figures but we reckon it’ll be rather quick compared to the competition. If not, Christian has already said during his presentation in Geneva that an even faster version of the Jesko is on its way, one with less focus on downforce and more on top speed. He’s calling it the Jesko 300, which points to a car that’ll break the 300 mph, or 483 km/h barrier. What a world we live in.

  • X118 Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake – second-gen unveiled in Geneva, market entry in September

    The list of Mercedes-Benz vehicle debuts in Geneva includes the X118 CLA Shooting Brake, the latest iteration of which is based on the C118 CLA Coupe that was introduced at the start of this year.

    The second-gen car has grown slightly – at 4,688 mm long, 1,830 mm wide and 1,442 mm tall, the new car is longer (+48 mm), wider (+53 mm) and lower (-2 mm) than its predecessor. Like the coupe, it also features a wider track compared to the outgoing car.

    It also looks cleaner, the styling largely mirroring that of the coupe up to the B-pillar, but it’s the sides and rear end that improve the most over the old car. The reduction in the number of character lines – with the shoulder line having been completely dispensed with – means that the new shape looks far better resolved, more so when viewed in the metal.

    The interior follows on that as seen in the CLA, with design highlights including turbine-styled air-conditioning vents and a wide free-standing flatscreen display, along with a Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system. Also on, a 64-colour ambient lighting system.

    There’s also ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice control functionality, and the equipment list also includes Energising comfort control, with a new Energising Coach function.

    Like the coupe, the new Shooting Brake offers improved interior space – front headroom has been increased by nine mm, while that for the rear is up by eight mm.

    Other areas that have been improved on is that of elbow and shoulder room, the former up by 35 mm in front and 44 mm at the back, while shoulder room has been increased by nine mm in front and by 22 mm at the back.

    Boot capacity is also up – the new car has 505 litres of cargo space, a 10 litre increase over the first-gen, which isn’t that much to shout about. However, the accessibility to that is, because ingress and egress aspects have become much better – the width of the load compartment opening now measures 871 mm, a 236 mm increase over the old car.

    Driving assistance systems – with functions adopted from the S-Class – as seen on the CLA are to be found on the Shooting Brake. Items include Active Distance Assist Distronic, Active Steer Assist and Active Lane Change Assist.

    The range-topping CLA Shooting Brake model announced at point of introduction is a CLA 250, which is equipped with a 224 hp and 350 Nm four-cylinder M260 petrol engine, the mill being paired with a 7G-DCT dual-clutch transmission.

    Although not detailed, the automaker says that by the time of the Shooting Brake’s market launch in September, there will be a wide range of diesel and petrol engines – with manual or dual-clutch transmissions and front-wheel or 4Matic all-wheel configurations – to pick from.


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Last Updated 06 Oct 2022