CHANDAN B MALLIK, Kolkata: For European carmakers, summer is a good time to introduce models or new variants. With some relaxation in lockdowns and improvements in the Covid-19 pandemic-led era, automakers have been scrambling to make key announcements live at events or through social media.
Here’s a look at the new and latest offerings.
Crewe, UK-based luxury automaker Bentley and its bespoke arm Mulliner have introduced the Collections portfolio for the Continental GT family models beginning with the new Continental GT Mulliner coupé. This sibling of the GT Mulliner Convertible celebrates modern craftsmanship and offers the client even wider possibilities to commission a unique Bentley to their individual specification.
The Continental GT Mulliner coupé makes its global debut at Salon Privé which is being staged in the grounds of Blenheim Palace, UK, from 22 September where it will be displayed alongside the Bentley Mulliner Bacalar, also making its public debut, and an as-yet-unannounced example of the Mulliner Classic portfolio.
A suite of exclusive exterior design features separate the Continental GT Mulliner from the rest of the family. At the front, the new ‘Double Diamond’ matrix grille defines the new Mulliner signature style, complemented by matching front fender vents echoing the same silver and black design and with chromed Mulliner branding. Approaching and opening either doors reveals the other Mulliner design features – Satin Silver mirror caps with Mulliner Welcome Lamps beneath, and illuminated outer door sills with Mulliner text.
The car sits on new and unique 22” Mulliner wheels, with a bespoke design of elegant beauty in a painted and polished finish. The centre badge of each wheel is self-levelling, keeping the iconic Bentley ‘B’ upright at all times.
The cabin of the Continental GT Mulliner is one defined by luxury, and showcases a level of choice and customisation that only Mulliner can provide. A unique colour split is exclusive to the car, with a new combination of primary and secondary hide joined by a third colour through a flowing design line.
The Portofino M is the first Ferrari to be presented in the wake of the company’s temporary closure due to the Covid-19 crisis.
Ferrari says the new model is the (re)starting point for Prancing Horse’s pursuit of innovation whilst fully respecting its heritage, passion and constant search for perfection. All of these values are reflected in the new Portofino M. In fact, the ‘M’ in its moniker stands for ‘Modificata’, which in Ferrari nomenclature refers to cars that have undergone an evolution that has significantly boosted their performance.
The Ferrari Portofino M’s 3855cc engine belongs to the V8 turbo family voted “International Engine of the Year” on four consecutive occasions (2016-2019). The power unit can punch out 620 cv at 7,500 rpm, 20 cv more than the stock Portofino.
The Swace is the second model to be supplied to Suzuki by Toyota Motor Corporation under a collaborative business agreement between the two companies for European markets.
Marketed as a Corolla estate model, it gets a 1.8-litre hybrid powertrain which combines a 97bhp four-cylinder petrol engine with a 71bhp electric motor via a CVT automatic transmission.
Designwise, the Swace bears resemblance to the Corolla but gets its own front end that includes the distinctive grille seen elsewhere in Suzuki’s line-up. The car can also be driven on pure battery power for short distances or stop-go traffic.
Kia Motors Corporation
Kia Motors Corporation has shared a glimpse of its global electric vehicle (EV) business strategy. The South Korean brand has revealed an early sketch of several of the brand’s future dedicated Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs). Details of Kia’s future EV product strategy were announced by Kia President and CEO Ho Sung Song during an event at the brand’s Hwasung plant in Korea.
“Kia has sold more than 100,000 BEVs worldwide since the introduction of our first mass-produced BEV in 2011, the Kia Ray EV, ” said CEO Song. “Since then, we have started to introduce a range of new BEVs for global markets and announced plans to accelerate this process in the years ahead. By refocusing our business on electrification, we are aiming for BEVs to account for 25 per cent of our total worldwide sales by 2029.”
Under Kia’s ‘Plan S’ strategy, announced at the start of 2020, the brand plans to expand its BEV line-up to 11 models by 2025. Over the same period, Kia is aiming for BEVs to account for 20 per cent of the brand’s total vehicle sales in advanced markets, including Korea, North America and Europe. Seven dedicated BEVs in the sketch revealed will be launched by 2027.
Hyundai Motor Corporation
Hyundai Motor has revealed the first details about the latest generation of i30 N hatchback. In a series of low-lit teaser images, the incoming car suggests it will have an updated design focused on dynamic performance, emotion and statement.
Hyundai has also revealed that the new i30 will be available with the company’s eight-speed dual clutch transmission (N DCT), including dedicated N performance shifting functions – the first Hyundai car in Europe to do so.
The second car Hyundai Motor has unveiled is the all-new Gen IV Tucson. The SUV is said to sport experimental design and state-of the-art technology including hybrid options.
Three electrified powertrain options include hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and 48-volt mild hybrid
Other electrified SUVs produced by Hyundai include the fully-electric and hybrid versions of the Kona, NEXO, its second-generation fuel cell electric vehicle, and the Santa Fe with hybrid and plug-in hybrid options on top of the line-up.
After a major branding rejig, Italian carmaker Maserati has introduced its MC20, a super sports car that it claims combines performance, sportiness and luxury.
The new MC20 (MC for Maserati Corse and 20 for 2020), the year of its world première represents the beginning brand’s new era, according to a press release.
Maserati describes the MC20 super sports as “a worthy successor to the MC12.” Both models are similar as two-seaters with mid-engine layout. The key difference is that the MC12 of 2004 used a Ferrari-derived V12-powertrain and only 62 units were made. The MC20 is gets a Maserati designed twin-turbo V6 called Nettuno which is tuned to 630hp with torque of 730 Nm. 0-100 km/h acceleration comes in under 2,9 seconds and a top speed over 325 km an hour.
Skoda has launched its new Rapid sedan for the Indian market.
The car is being offered with a TSI 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol BS VI engine offering 110 PS of peak power between 5,000- 5,500 rpm and 175 Nm of torque between 1,750-4,000 rpm when mated to six-speed automatic transmission.
Entry level pricing begins at Rs 9.49 lakh and various trims are being offered. Top variant is priced at Rs 13.29 lakh.