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Monthly Newsletter - October

The Facelifted Range Rover Sport

The facelifted Range Rover Sport has been officially revealed. A tweaked design and updated interior tech have been introduced as part of the 2018 model year, plus there’s the option of an all-new plug-in hybrid powertrain, making it Jaguar Land Rover’s first PHEV.

The plug-in Range Rover Sport receives the P400e badge, and combines a 296bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with an 85kW electric motor for a total system output of 398bhp and 640Nm of torque. Land Rover claims it’s capable of 0-62mph in 6.7 seconds with a top speed of 137mph, so it’s only outgunned by its two 5.0-litre V8 powered stablemates.

It claims 101mpg economy and emits 64g/km of CO2, attracting a 16 per cent Benefit in Kind rating. But boot capacity drops by 77 litres to 703 due to the PHEV powertrain.

The New Volvo XC40

Volvo has finally revealed official pictures and details of its new XC40. The carmaker’s smallest SUV is aiming to pinch a slice of market share from the BMW X1 and upcoming Jaguar E-Pace.

The XC40’s design takes a host of cues from its larger XC60 and XC90 siblings, but packages them in a more compact and athletic shape. The imposing front-end, with the trademark grille design and ‘Thor’s Hammer’ LED lights, features, as does a clamshell bonnet. The C-shaped rear lights and shapely tailgate translate over, but the coupe-like roofline, cut-outs in the doors and steeply rising rear window line are unique to this car.

The XC40 is the first car to utilise Volvo’s CMA (Compact Modular Architecture) platform developed in conjunction with the Swedish firm’s Chinese owner, Geely. No dimensions have been revealed yet, but as Volvo says the baby SUV has been “designed primarily for the city” we would expect it to be considerably shorter and narrower than an XC60.

New Audi RS 7

Audi’s next-generation RS 7 will get an optional 700bhp plug-in powertrain from the Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid.

The RS 7 will be Audi Sport’s first plug-in hybrid when it goes on sale towards the end of 2018. By further developing the lithium-ion drive battery pack and electric motor power system, Audi will be able to extract an extra 150bhp from the combustion engine, resulting in a total power output in the region of 700bhp. 

New SEAT Ateca Cupra

The new SEAT Ateca is likely to get the same turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine as the Leon Cupra, tuned to offer more than 300bhp. That means a 0-62mph time of less than six seconds.

The Ateca Cupra is likely to boost SEAT’s strong tech reputation with numerous electronic driver aids, plus class-leading connectivity through a standard eight-inch touchscreen. There will be a host of Cupra touches, such as a flat-bottomed steering wheel, leather, aluminium pedals and splashes of red trim to liven things up. Also, there will be the same decent levels of practicality as in the standard car, with comfortable space for three in the back and a 485-litre boot.

Skoda Karoq vRS SUV

Skoda is lining up a high-performance version of its latest small SUV, the Karoq – and it could use an electrified powertrain to give it the potential to match SEAT’s forthcoming Ateca Cupra.

The Karoq is an indirect, slightly larger replacement for the Yeti – a car that was never offered as a vRS. But speaking at the recent Frankfurt Motor Show, the Czech brand’s research and development boss Christian Strube revealed that he is already pushing for a high-performance variant of the new arrival.

When asked if there was potential for a Karoq vRS, he replied: “Yes, of course. I’m fighting for it. Just as I was fighting for the Kodiaq vRS. Sometimes I’m successful, and sometimes I’m not. But yes, we are in discussions about it. It would fit absolutely perfectly to this car, I believe. Even more than Kodiaq, I would say, because it’s compact, it’s agile. It would be perfect.”