Autocar May 5, 2021

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United Kingdom
Haymarket Media Group Ltd
R 71,92
R 1 799,69
51 Issues

in this issue

1 min
‘driverless’ blunder makes the task harder

IF THE HEADLINES were to be believed last week, driverless cars would imminently be on our roads after a change in the legislation. Joe Public sounded the alarm, given recent high-profile fatal accidents in the US involving cars equipped with self-driving technology – cars labelled wrongly as being driverless. And, of course, there’s a crucial difference. What the Department for Transport (DfT) has actually done is paved the way for automated lane-keeping systems (ALKS) to be legalised, allowing a car to be operated hands-off – but not eyes-o. or brain-o. – in stop-start traffic below 37mph. So a particular system working in limited conditions – rush hour on the motorway, for example. It’s a positive step towards improving road safety and reducing accidents. Yet the reaction showed how few people understand the…

5 min
new disco sport, evoque to spearhead jlr’s revival bid

Land Rover has drawn up plans to revolutionise the next-generation Evoque and Discovery Sport by building them on an all-new EV-focused platform with a petrol-fuelled range-extender unit. Called the Electrified Modular Architecture (EMA), the new platform will be designed from the outset to accommodate advanced driver assistance systems and extensive cloud connectivity. The EMA’s inherent simplicity should also address Jaguar Land Rover’s problems with quality, which, JLR boss Thierry Bolloré admitted recently, might be costing the company “100,000 sales per year”. The huge EMA project will be part of a £10 billion investment programme running until 2026. JLR’s wider plans include the launches of the all-new Range Rover Sport 3, Velar 2 and Discovery 6 models, all based on the upcoming MLA platform. The Discovery 6 is now expected to be built at…

1 min
second platform to underpin bigger models

As part of the bold ‘Reimagine’ transformation plan, Land Rover will swap all of its models onto one of two platforms: the ‘EV-native’ EMA platform (see main story) and the mixed-powertrain Modular Longitudinal Architecture. The MLA platform will arrive first, underpinning the full-sized Range Rover flagship in 2022 before being rolled out to the Range Rover Sport. The flagship XJ EV from sibling brand Jaguar was due to share the MLA but was axed earlier this year from the brand’s future line-up. The predominantly aluminium platform can accommodate pure-electric, mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains and will be used for cars built at Land Rover’s Solihull factory. It remains unclear what the future holds for the Velar. Land Rover has committed to launching an EV-only model within the next five years, and an…

1 min
two vital things jlr must do

Across the wider reinvention of the JLR business, the biggest hurdle for the company to overcome is probably achieving its ambition to take much larger shares of the two most profitable market segments around the globe. Of note is JLR’s intention to increase its EU share of the most profitable market segment (represented by the Range Rover luxury SUV) from 14% to 27% by 2026. In the next most profitable sector, in which it fields the Velar, JLR is looking to boost its EU market share from 11% to 26% in 2026 and from 36% of the UK market to a huge 58%. It’s an aim that really would take the fight to BMW and Mercedes, and one that could represent JLR’s acknowledgement of Volvo’s success in driving upmarket. The other big industrial…

4 min
major upgrades for skoda fabia

“We’ve deliberately not changed the essence of the Fabia: it’s a functional and practical everyday companion” The new fourth-generation Skoda Fabia is said to be the most spacious car in the supermini segment, thanks to significant increases in dimensions across the board compared with its predecessor. The new Fabia makes the landmark shift onto the Volkswagen Group’s MQB-A0 supermini platform, as used by the Audi A1 Sportback, Seat Ibiza and Volkswagen Polo, ditching the PQ architecture used in various iterations since the Mk1 Fabia arrived in 1999. These much more modern underpinnings accommodate “improved comfort features and numerous advanced safety and [driver] assistance systems,” as well as a range of more efficient powertrains. The hatchback is due to be launched in the UK early next year, priced from around £13,500, plus Skoda has confirmed…

1 min

WHY DID TOYOTA partner with Subaru to develop the new e-TNGA EV platform? “From a purely strategic perspective, this is a world in which to go it alone with new development is fundamentally wrong,” explained product and marketing boss Andrea Carlucci. “We’re looking for scale, and we’re not the only one. We can develop, of course, but the benefits of joining forces are obvious.” He cited Subaru’s affinity with four-wheel drive as one of several reasons the firm was an obvious EV partner. HYUNDAI’S NEW KONA N promises rapid pace and precise cornering, but R&D boss Albert Biermann was keen for the performance crossover to retain a focus on practicality. “When the engineers presented the first prototype to me, they had already lowered the body almost 30mm,” he recalled. “I said:…