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In 2022 Mazda CX-5 arrives with greater refinement, new grade structure

A significantly updated version of Mazda’s stylish, spacious and dynamic SUV, the CX-5, goes on sale throughout Europe early next year. The 2022 Mazda CX-5 introduces Mi-Drive drive mode selection, enhanced driving dynamics, new styling and stronger grade differentiation, improvements to on-board packaging and practicality, and an expanded range of safety features.

The 2022 CX-5 introduces Mazda intelligent Drive Select (Mi-Drive), which enables the driver to select the most appropriate drive mode with one touch of a switch. Some model grades equipped with i-Activ AWD further benefit from an Off-Road Mode, which makes driving feel more natural on un-made and slippery surfaces.

Mazda’s next generation of Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture has now been applied to the 2022 CX-5, further evolving the bodyshell, suspension and seats to enhance ride comfort and reduce fatigue. Road noise has also been greatly reduced, particularly when driving on rough surfaces such as gravel.

The front of the 2022 CX-5 features a new, more three-dimensional grille and signature wing design. Both front and rear lamp clusters have also been restyled, and new exterior colour, Zircon Sand, added. Three new model grades incorporate subtle differences to define their distinctive characters.

The Newground features silver underguard-style treatment to the front and rear bumpers and door garnishes, black door mirrors, lime green accents to the front grille and 19” black machine-cut alloy wheels. The interior combines suede upholstery with lime green stitching and air-conditioning louvres.

The Homura boasts a sporting, gloss black finish to the front grille, signature wing, lower bumper sections, wheel arches, door garnishes and door mirrors, giving the body a taut, athletic look. 19” alloy wheels are finished in black metallic paint, and the front grille incorporates red accents. Red stitching trims the black leather seats, steering wheel, gear shift lever and door panels.

The High+ combines a unified, one-colour exterior which highlights the beauty of Kodo design’s dynamic forms. The brilliant gloss paint of the bright silver 19” alloy wheels enhances the solid metal appearance of the vehicle. The interior features the smooth tactility of Nappa leather and the luxurious textures of genuine woodgrain.

The interior of the 2022 CX-5 now benefits from a wireless Qi phone charging tray in the centre console. The two-piece, reversible loadspace floorboard and the tailgate sill are on the same level to aid loading. Newground models also feature a floorboard with a water-resistant side for wet or dirty items.

The updated CX-5’s range of i-Activsense safety systems now includes Cruising & Traffic Support (CTS), which helps reduce driver fatigue by assisting with accelerator, brake pedal and steering operations when stuck in traffic jams. Finally, the front Adaptive LED Headlights (ALH) have also evolved to give finer control over light distribution.

Successive updates and refinements to every aspect of the vehicle have led to the CX-5 growing into a core model accounting for about 21 per cent of the European annual sales.

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Ford reveals new Fiesta Van, with bold look, efficient powertrains

Ford has revealed the new Fiesta Van, featuring confident new styling, an enhanced technology package and an efficient mild hybrid powertrain option to make the compact van more distinctive and productive than ever.

New Fiesta Van’s bold, distinctive exterior takes the vehicle’s expressive design to a new level, with more road presence and greater visual differentiation between the Trend and Sport series using unique styling elements, all-new wheel designs and revised interior trim.

“Our stylish compact van is now even better looking and more streetwise than ever, helping customers promote their business and drive with confidence in and out of town,” said Brendan Lyne, director, Commercial Vehicles, Ford of Europe. “The new Fiesta Van’s advanced driver assistance systems can make work less demanding for our customers, while its electrified powertrains and Ford Pro’s aftersales expertise help their businesses to thrive.”

Customers specifying the SYNC 3 with Navigation system further benefit from an onboard FordPass Connect modem which enables a powerful suite of tools to boost their productivity and simplify the working day. These include remote unlocking and data-driven maintenance alerts.

New Fiesta Van exterior styling includes a bonnet design that increases the height of the nose, combined with larger upper grilles. The Ford blue oval badge is now displayed within the grille, rather than on the bonnet lip, contributing to greater road presence.

New standard LED headlights also contribute to the confident, modern design language of the new Fiesta Van, with sleek horizontal design. The taillights also receive new black surrounds for a more sophisticated appearance.

New Fiesta Van is offered in two attractive trim levels. Sport models boost visual appeal using a honeycomb grille with gloss black finish and wide, body-coloured side vents. New 17-inch metallic-finish alloy wheels and lower sports suspension give a more purposeful appearance, which can be enhanced with optional new 18-inch Pearl Grey machined alloy wheels. Sport models also benefit from two-tone red and ebony interior trim with contrast red stitching.

The Trend series features a broad upper grille with strong horizontal strakes and high-gloss chrome surround, as well as 15-inch steel wheels with a new wheel trim design. The revised cabin enhances the interior environment with new ebony trim and comfort seat foam. Two new exterior colours are also available – Boundless Blue and Beautiful Berry.

New Fiesta Van shares its bodyshell with the three-door Fiesta passenger car, adding a durable and grippy flat rear load floor, four tie-down points, and full-height bulkhead with steel mesh upper half for improved rearwards visibility.

The new Fiesta Van’s advanced driver assistance and lighting technologies are designed to support busy drivers. A Parking Pack includes Active Park Assist that can detect suitably-sized parking spaces and can control the steering for hands-free perpendicular and parallel parking, while the driver controls acceleration, braking and gear selection. A rear-view camera also supports when parking and reversing, 5 while puddle lamps in the door mirrors alongside door edge protectors deliver extra convenience and protection.

All models benefit from standard LED headlights, while optional Matrix LED headlights can adapt their beam patterns according to the driving scenario.

Manoeuvring Light and Bad‑Weather Light functions are triggered when sensors detect a low-speed manoeuvre or the activation of windscreen wipers, and automatically adjust the beam pattern to help the driver see more clearly. In addition, Glare-Free High Beam uses a front‑mounted camera to detect oncoming traffic and create a glare-free spot within the beam pattern by blocking rays that could otherwise dazzle other road users.

The new Fiesta Van delivers responsive, fuel-efficient performance with EcoBoost Hybrid 48‑volt mild hybrid and EcoBoost petrol powertrains. The 125 PS EcoBoost Hybrid models feature a belt-driven integrated starter/generator (BISG) in place of the standard alternator, enabling recovery and storage of energy usually lost during braking and coasting to charge a 48-volt lithium-ion air-cooled battery pack, run the vehicle’s electrical ancillaries and provide torque assistance during normal driving and acceleration.

The technology can restart the engine in just 350 milliseconds, enabling the auto start-stop system to turn off the engine in scenarios such as when coasting to a stop below 25km/h even when the vehicle is in gear with the clutch pedal depressed. Fiesta Van EcoBoost Hybrid offers fuel efficiency from 5.0 l/100 km and CO2 emissions from 113 g/km, representing a more than five per cent improvement in overall fuel efficiency compared with the equivalent non-hybrid engine, rising to 13 per cent in slow-speed driving.

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The new MG Maze concept has wild styling and gamifies urban adventuring

MG has revealed a wild new concept car designed for inner-city driving for the digital-first generation.

Called MG Maze, the compact two-seater is said to ‘explore a vision of future mobility’.

It has been designed by SAIC Design Advanced London, the UK-based design studio of MG’s Chinese owners. The Maze has the tagline ‘Get Out & Play’ and brings together the concepts of real world mobility and gaming.

The idea behind the Maze is a response to the global pandemic, which has forced many of us to stay at home for prolonged periods, rarely venturing further afield than our home regions.

To encourage people back out into their environments, it essentially gamifies urban travel, by creating achievements that can be unlocked by visiting ‘digital street art’ located at landmarks such as local structures and buildings.

The Maze is a fantasy concept rather than an actual window into the future of MG’s model line-up, so details about its powertrain and mechanical make-up are thin on the ground.

Photos: PA Media

However, it is said to be capable of ‘the utmost agility and functionality in busy urban environments’ while also featuring the latest technology.

The exterior body is a transparent shell, said to emulate the design of high-end gaming PCs that show off the intricate circuitry inside. In this instance, the shell exposes the cabin and mechanical aspects such as the suspension.

It’s inside where the fantastical features really take off, though, with floating seats and infotainment displays, while the car is controlled by the user’s smartphone rather than a wheel.

Carl Gotham, Advanced Design Director at SAIC London, said: “With Maze we wanted to consider what the future of a car community might look like, building from MG’s fan base and following. The move to digital is unstoppable, so we wanted to create a concept that connected this digital realm to the physical one that gives us the real joy in driving.

“Exploring the idea of ‘mobile gaming’, we used MAZE as a platform for people to get out and rediscover their environment in a new and relevant way, opening up new experiences with their city.”

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Special edition Aston Martin DB5 Junior celebrates arrival of new Bond film

A limited-edition version of The Little Car Company’s Aston Martin DB5 Junior has been created to commemorate the arrival of the new James Bond movie No Time To Die in cinemas.

Built in collaboration with EON Productions, the DB5 Junior incorporates all manner of accurate features, such as Smiths instruments, individually numbered chassis plates and iconic ‘Silver Birch’ paint.

Limited to just 125 cars, the accurate recreation was made thanks to a 3D scan of an original Aston Martin DB5, allowing for the scale model to be faithful to the full-size car. Some elements, however, were brought up to date for the Junior version; the fuel gauge, for instance, shows how much battery the electric powertrain has left, while the oil temperature now monitors the motor temperature. It features a range of up to 80 miles, too.

Though the DB5 used by James Bond is a hard top, the Junior has been designed as a convertible in order to allow adults and children to sit beside one another. The DB5 also features a quick-release steering wheel for easy entry and exit, while high-performance Brembo brakes provide plenty of stopping power. It also uses Bilstein dampers and coilover springs to ensure a smooth ride.

Photos: PA Media

However, any Bond car isn’t ready to go unless it has been fitted with gadgets. And, fittingly, the DB5 Junior has been kitted out with an array of features – all designed in miniature. Oscar-winning special effects supervisor Chris Corbould OBE – who has worked on 15 James Bond films since the 1980s – consulted with The Little Car Company on the creation of the car’s gadgets, which are all operated by control hidden in a secret panel in the passenger door.

A twin set of simulated Gatling guns – including imitation barrel blasts and flashes – can be activated at the push of a button, while a smoke screen can be deployed through the rear exhaust. A supplied tank provides an hour of safe smoke before requiring a top-up.

Though not road legal, the purchase of a DB5 Junior includes an automatic membership into the Aston Martin Owners Club. Existing Aston Martin DB5 Junior owners will be given first refusal of this Bond version, with the remaining build slots given on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Maserati MC20 wins 2021 Product Design of the Year

The Maserati MC20 has taken the overall win in the European Product Design Award 2021, being crowned Product Design of the Year.

The Italian supercar also took top honours in the Transportation/Auto/Truck/Mobile Home and Transportation/Other Transportation Design categories.

Sporting a sleek silhouette with sweeping curves from front to rear, coupled with sharper lines up front in the lower bumper, where air flow is directed through the car to cool mechanical parts.

At the rear it has narrow tail lights that extend past the edges of the car and a prominent rear diffuser. Its party piece is the butterfly door design that commands attention whenever opened, but is also said to be functional as it allows for more cabin space.

The awards receive thousands of submissions with a jury panel selecting ‘the most aesthetically exciting, functional, and innovative products’.

Photos: PA Media

Klaus Busse, Maserati head of design, said: “Our mission was to design a car that would be remembered in the future as the model that launched the Maserati New Era. And I think we’ve achieved our goal with MC20.

“We are honoured to receive this coveted accolade, which recognises the work of an entire team, who have made a whole-hearted commitment to this unique project.”

The MC20 is powered by a V6 engine that makes 621bhp and can catapult the car from 0-60mph in about 2.7 seconds and on to a top speed of over 200mph.

There is a huge number of categories in the European Product Design Awards, with other winners this year including the Waldwiesel, the world’s first 3D-printed e-bike, a machine that improves the efficiency of solar panel parks, and a communication device for ‘locked-in patients’ that lets them convert eye movements to voice.

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Lotus confirms specs for Emira V6 First Edition

The Lotus Emira First Edition showcases the new model in one of its most potent forms.

It uses a supercharged 3.5-litre V7 engine with 397bhp, driven through a standard-fit six-speed manual gearbox or an optional six-speed automatic. The Emira is capable of going from 0-60mph in 4.3 seconds before reaching a top speed of 180mph.

First Edition cars also boast a high level of standard equipment, including 20-inch forged alloy wheels with a diamond-cut finish and two-piece brake discs with branded calipers. A range of exterior colours – from ‘Seneca Blue’ to ‘Nimbus Grey’ – are there to choose from as well, though more will be made available next year, according to Lotus.

Matt Windle, managing director, Lotus Cars, commented: “The Emira is the most accomplished Lotus we’ve ever made, and to celebrate and reward our keenest early customers, we want to make the first cars extra special to own. The features have been carefully selected by our design team to make for a truly special and distinct First Edition.”

Inside, the Emira boasts a central 10.25-inch display with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, backed by a secondary 12.3-inch driver’s display.

Production of the V6-powered First Edition is expected to start in the spring, with a four-cylinder version – utilising a Mercedes-AMG-sourced 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine – expected to arrive in the autumn.

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Fiat introduces soft-top 500X

Fiat has revealed the 500X Dolcevita – a soft-top version of the firm’s compact crossover.

The 500X Dolcevita incorporates a canvas soft top that can open in 15 seconds at speeds of up to 62mph. The canvas is available in black, grey and red, too, while there are ten exterior body colours to choose from as well.

The 500X was updated earlier this year, bringing three distinct trim levels with different levels of equipment and features.

The Connect trim brings a seven-inch infotainment system with DAB radio and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as 17-inch alloys and blacked-out windows.

Photos: PA Media

The Cross trim, meanwhile, has more of an off-road style appearance, with new seats finished with a camouflage-patterned centre section, while the exterior boasts 19-inch wheels. Automatic air conditioning and parking sensors are both included as standard, too.

Sport sits at the top of the 500X’s trims and brings black 19-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler and black fabric sports seats. Automatic air conditioning and a matte titanium dashboard are included too. 

There are two petrol engines available – a 1.0-litre and a larger 1.3-litre.

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The Fering Pioneer is a British-designed electrified off-roader

A British company has created an off-road vehicle designed for ‘the most extreme adventures’.

Fering has designed the Pioneer for use by adventurers, explorers and emergency services and, as a result, it’s being built to be able to tackle even the most treacherous of conditions.

Despite being no larger in any direction than a conventional delivery van – and shorter than a Ford Mondeo Estate – the Pioneer can carry up to 1,500kg thanks to an aluminium spaceframe with composite elements. The exterior panels are made from tough fabric which as well as helping to lower the car’s weight, are easily replaceable if damaged.

Photos: PA Media

It uses an electrified powertrain, too. Two electric motors – one on each axle – deliver up to 600Nm of torque to the wheels, while the car’s battery provides an electric-only range of 50 miles. However, a range-extender biodiesel-powered generator is then called into action once the battery is depleted and even when the batteries are out of charge the Pioneer is expected to deliver up to 50mpg. It can also be fitted with long-range fuel tanks, giving the car a range of up to 5,000km (3,106 miles) of range, according to Fering.

The Pioneer can be adapted to suit a variety of different uses too. Larger batteries can be fitted, for instance, or different range extenders can be used in order for the car to run on different types of fuel.

The brainchild of ex-Ferrari and McLaren engineer Ben Scott-Geddes, the Pioneer is currently undergoing testing and assessment by early customers and organisations.

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Mazda updates CX-5 for greater refinement and comfort

Mazda has revealed a ‘significantly’ revised version of its largest SUV in Europe, the CX-5.

Due to go on sale early next year, the new CX-5 introduces a new Intelligent Drive select system which allows drivers to tailor the car’s settings for the conditions. Models equipped with all-wheel-drive also get off-road mode, which helps when driving on loose or slippery surfaces.

Mazda has worked to reduce road noise, too, while refinements to the bodyshell, suspension and seats have boosted comfort levels.

The outside of the CX-5 has been given an updated grille, while both front and rear lamp clusters have been restyled for a sharper look. A new exterior colour – Zircon Sand – is also available.

Photos: PA Media

Three new model grades feature on the CX-5. The first, ‘Newground’, incorporates underguard-style trim pieces at the front and rear, as well as black door mirrors and lime green accents to the front grille. There’s the option of either 17-inch silver or 19-inch black alloy wheels, too. Inside, there’s suede upholstery with lime green stitching.

The next trim level – Sport Black – brings a gloss black finish on the grille, lower bumper sections and wheel arches to give the car a more purposeful stance on the road. Inside, it’s given a sportier appearance thanks to red stitching on the black leather seats, door panels, gear shift lever and steering wheel.

Finally, GT Sport adds a one-colour exterior and silver 19-inch alloy wheels, while the cabin features high-quality Nappa leather and genuine wood trim.

The CX-5 now benefits from wireless phone charging, too, while the reversible boot floor and tailgate sill are at the same level to help with loading. Newground models also benefit from a boot floor with a water-resistant side for wet or dirty items.

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