Saturday, 31 January 2009

Ford of Europe makes $1bn (£700m) in Europe (EU)

Ford of Europe has reported a pre-tax profit of just over $1bn (£700m) for 2008.

Profits for the first half of the year soared to $1.37bn (£950m) but declined in the second half of the year, with the company recording a $261m (£182m) loss. Its record profit in Europe, up from $997m (approx. £700m) in 2007, is in stark contrast with Ford’s global loss for the fourth quarter of 2008. The company lost $5.9bn (£4.1bn) in the last quarter of 2008, and a total of $14.6bn (£10bn) for the whole year.

Ford now intends to draw on $10bn (£7bn) of additional credit, which is expected to reach the company by Tuesday 2nd February.

'09 Renault Clio uncovered

An amateur spy photographer spied the facelift Clio III free of disguising in a public car park with its bonnet wide open. Spy pictures of the revised Clio date back to September 2007 where the Clio's engineers were testing the newcomer in Spain and Italy.

New headlights, grille, intake, and front bumper assist in giving the car a more aggressive look. Body-coloured side mouldings gives the car a more appealing look, but this is not just an exterior redesign. The revised Clio is also expected to have higher quality materials inside with special attention being paid to the upholstery.

Expect to see the facelifted Renault Clio and the Clio Sport Tourer, at the Geneva motorshow for its debut. UK sales start in June, Clio Sports Tourer in October and Clio Renaultsport in December.

Via > Renault Clio III Phase 2 spied

Volvo XC60 pricing announced (U.S)

3 weeks ago, it was announced that the 2010 Volvo XC60 will start from under $40,000. Today, Volvo Cars of North America has revealed prices for the compact XC60 SUV. Starting from $37,200, the vehicle comes with a 3.0 litre turbocharged petrol T6 engine with AWD. It delivers 281bhp and maximum torque of 295 lb.-ft.

A host of features are included in the base price, such as a panoramic roof (limited time only), heated front and rear seats, HD Radio technology with USB and AUX ports, Bluetooth connectivity, leather seats and a SIRIUS satellite radio with a six month complimentary subscription.

For extra cash buyers can choose from a host of options that comprise a DVD-based navigation system with an integrated rear-view camera, a lane departure warning system and Volvo's Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) amongst others.

Press Release:

Anticipation is growing as Volvo Cars of North America, LLC, (VCNA) today announced pricing of the exciting new 2010 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD small premium utility. With a starting price of just $37,200* for the well-equipped XC60, buyers will have it all: Class-leading safety, stunning design and unrivaled driving dynamics. The new Volvo XC60 goes on sale this March.

The XC60 is Volvo's entry into the growing small premium utility segment. Features such as leather seating surfaces with a power driver's seat, SIRIUS satellite radio (with complimentary six-month subscription), hands-free Bluetooth connectivity, HD Radio technology with USB and AUX ports are all standard. As a special introductory offer, the unique Panorama moonroof will be offered at no charge. Customers may also opt for Volvo's DVD-based navigation system with integrated back-up camera and two new colors: Lime Grass Green or Terra Bronze.

Continuing Volvo's quest as a pioneer and leader in vehicle safety systems, the XC60 introduces a new world's first -- City Safety -- as standard equipment. City Safety is a driver-support system aimed at preventing or mitigating collisions occurring at speeds of 19 mph or less.

The new Volvo XC60 is the first production expression of Volvo's new design DNA. As a crossover, it artfully blends a dynamic mix of two car styles. Down below, the unmistakable, immensely capable XC pumps up its muscles creating a strong athletic body that is mated with high ground clearance and large wheels. Up top the flowing lines create the sporty charisma of a coupe.

The 3.0 litre turbocharged T6 engine is based on Volvo's naturally aspirated 3.2 litre inline all-aluminum six-cylinder that was introduced in the Volvo S80 in 2008. The T6 delivers 281 horsepower with torque of no less than 295 lb.-ft., combining for best-in-class performance. Maximum torque is available from just 1,500 rpm and remains on tap throughout the rev range. The result is swift acceleration and impressive passing performance. Volvo's all-wheel-drive system with Instant Traction is standard in the new XC60.

The XC60 is also included in Volvo's recently announced Complimentary Factory Scheduled Maintenance program, which covers the first three years or 36,000 miles (whichever comes first). Complimentary Factory Scheduled Maintenance helps reduce the cost of ownership by providing customers the first four maintenance visits to their Volvo retailer as complimentary. A wide range of services are covered by the program, including oil and filter changes, cabin filter replacement, complete fluid level top-offs and a check of the vehicle's on-board diagnostic system.

VCNA, part of Volvo Car Corporation in Gothenburg, Sweden, provides marketing, sales, parts, service, technology and training support to Volvo automobile retailers in the United States, and oversees Volvo operations in Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico.

The 2009 Volvo Cars model lineup includes the award-winning S40 and its wagon counterpart the V50; the award-winning XC90; the sporty S60 sedan; the flagship S80 luxury sedan; versatile V70 wagon and rugged XC70 (Cross Country); the stunning C70 retractable hardtop convertible and the dynamic C30.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Hot Insignia caught at official Opel event

The Vauxhall/Opel Insignia has recently gone on sale across Europe with a sports variant due this year. Prototypes of the Insignia VXR/OPC have been lapping around Germany heavily disguised but a crafty photographer managed to leaked a pre-production ready model onto the net.

This prototype's model, a saloon rather than a hatchback, shows the vertical front air intakes that were a striking feature of the Opel GTC Concept coupé that previewed the Insignia's design language at the 2007 Geneva motorshow.

Running OPC Prototypes have lapped the Nürburgring in a little over 8 minutes, according to Opel managing director and engineering guru Hans Demant. With its Haldex 4WD and 255/35 R20 tyres, it's said to be very grippy, very stable and very benign in its handling. Wheels have five concave spokes, are painted in dark metallic grey and have polished rims and spoke outlines.

Power is not yet disclosed but the twin-turbo V6 is thought to produce around 320bhp. Expect to see this styling model at the Geneva show in March, with the production version making its debut at the Frankfurt show in September, if not before. A wagon variant is also expected.

Via > Vauxhall Insignia VXR

Jeep "WL" captured in U.S

These are the first ever spy photos of the upcoming Jeep Grand Cherokee, undergoing cold-weather testing in the U.S. The newcomer is due sometime next year. Codenamed "WL", the Grand Cherokee will sit on an all-new platform which will be shared with several other vehicles including the next-generation Dodge Durango and the next-generation Mercedes M-Class, unlike the Tailhawk concept which underpinned the Jeep Wrangler. The mule appears to be much curvier (thanks to the Jeep Trailhawk concept which was unveiled at the 2007 North American International Auto Show) all round compared to the outgoing model and looks shorter too. The interior will receive a huge revamp with upright air vents and curved dashboard to make it more European focused.

A long wheelbase '10 G.Cherokee is set to replace the slow-selling Commander SUV.

Chrysler’s new V6 Phoenix engine (reported in the last article) will be available in the Grand Cherokee in 3.3 litre and 3.6 litre displacements. A 4.7 litre V8 and 5.7 litre HEMI are likely as well the GM/Chrysler/BMW hybrid powertrain, used in the shortlived Chrysler Aspen & Dodge Durango Hybrids. The 3.0 CRD, sourced from Mercedes is expected to remain for the European market.

Watch for production of this new Jeep to start at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit in January 2010.

40 years since the Honda Accord arrived (AU)

To celebrate 40 years of the Honda Accord in Australia, Honda has released a limited edition 2.4 litre 4 cylinder i-VTEC petrol engine which produces 178bhp and 222Nm with a 5-speed automatic transmission.

Fog lights, rear parking sensors, Bluetooth, floor mats, illuminated door sill and 40th Anniversary badging are all included in this special edition.

The Accord has sold over 16 million units since 1976 in 160 countries and remains one of Honda’s most endearing and successful models for more than 30 years.

Press Release:

The limited edition four cylinder Accord showcases Honda’s commitment to producing passenger cars that feature the latest in technology and design quality.

The Accord V6 was recently named Drive’s 2008 Car of the Year and Large Car of the Year.

The original Accord was the first Japanese car to feature air conditioning, a digital clock, power steering, cloth seats, a tachometer, intermittent wipers and an AM/FM radio as standard. During its first year in Australia, the Honda Accord won ‘Wheels Car of the Year’, the first Japanese car to win the coveted award.

The Honda Accord has continued to receive accolades including Drive Car of the Year 2008 for the V6. In fact, the Accord remains the most highly decorated car in Honda’s history.

The limited edition Honda Accord is packed with extra features including fog lights, rear parking sensors, Bluetooth, floor mats, illuminated door sill garnishes and 40th Anniversary badging.
Honda Australia’s Senior Director, Mr. Lindsay Smalley, is proud of the Accord’s success in Australia.

“The Accord was one of the first models Honda introduced to Australia 40 years ago and has been a popular choice ever since. The name ‘Accord’ was chosen to symbolise Honda’s efforts to achieve an accord between people, society and motor vehicles through advanced technology.

“The Accord was ahead of its time when the first model was released and it continues to evolve to this day. Last year we launched the 8th generation Accord, offering buyers the choice of either a 2.4 litre four cylinder engine or a powerful 3.5 litre V6 featuring revolutionary Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) technology that seamlessly switches between six, four and even three cylinders as required,” Mr. Smalley said.

The Accord has sold over 16 million units since 1976 in 160 countries and remains one of Honda’s most endearing and successful models for more than 30 years.

The 40th Anniversary Limited Edition Accord has a 2.4 litre four cylinder i-VTEC engine which produces 133kW and 222Nm with a 5-speed automatic transmission as standard.

Its impressive performance is matched by equally impressive fuel consumption – just 8.8 litres/100km – and very low emissions.

And even more impressive is the price - A$31,440 plus on road costs. For the month of January, customers will also receive free registration and CTP insurance, a 5 year warranty and free 5 year 24hr Premium Roadside Assist.

Renault Megane sedan spied in Sweden

Alongside the Megane GrandTour, Renault engineers are hard at work testing the forthcoming Megane Sports Saloon in Northern Sweden.

Like the regular Megane, the new sedan will be lighter and more fuel efficient than the outgoing model. Both petrol and diesel engines will be taken from the recently launched Megane.

Rivalling the Ford Focus, Volkswagen Jetta, Nissan Tiida, Opel Astra, Chevrolet Cruze and Citroen C-Triomphe, the new Megane sedan is likely to debut at October's Paris motorshow. After this model is launched in early 2010, the coupe-cabriolet and a possible crossover will arrive.

Via > Renault Megane spied winter testing & > 2010 Renault Megane sedan

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Nissan 370Z pricing announced (UK)

Nissan UK has announced pricing on the all-new 370Z coupe. Available in three different trim levels, the sports car will start at £26,895.

Three trim levels are available for customers, including the base model, the GT Pack, and the GT Ultimate. The lowest level car still comes with equipment like push button ignition, power seats, and xenon lights. In addition to the standard 18-inch aluminum alloys, the car also has side curtain airbags, and an alarm. Other features include an audio system with an auxiliary input, and Bluetooth connectivity.

Step up a grade to the GT Pack, and you get 19-inch RAYS alloys, as well as suede and leather trimmed heated seats, six-CD eight-speaker Bose system and automatic rev control system. All this comes at a price: £30,195.

Finally, the £31,895 GT Ultimate package upgrades the interior to Persimmon suede, adds a DVD/Sat-Nav system covering most of Europe, and a voice recognition system added in to the MP3 audio system.

Other options include a seven-speed automatic with rev matching for £1,400, and metallic paint for £450 which is self-healing.

The 370Z can be ordered online beginning 2nd February. Delivery of the car should begin July.

Press Release:

Prices start at £26,895

On-line ordering commences 2nd February

Three trim levels – 370Z, GT Pack and GT Ultimate

Customer deliveries expected in July

As with its predecessor, the 370Z will be available in an uncomplicated grade structure to simplify the ordering process which commences online from Monday 2nd February. First customer deliveries are due in July.

The entry level 370Z, priced at £26,895, comes equipped with Intelligent Key, engine stop/start button, power adjustable seats, climate controlled air-conditioning, 18” alloy wheels, automatic xenon headlamps, curtain airbag, alarm, audio with auxiliary input and Bluetooth hands free phone connection.

GT Pack priced at £30195 gets 19” forged RAYS alloy wheels, heated seats trimmed in black suede and leather, a six-CD Bose audio system with eight speakers, cruise control, speed limiter and Synchro Rev Control; a new innovation that automatically matches the revs, during up and down-shifts, with the manual gearbox, making gear changes faster and smoother.

Topping the range and priced at £31895 is the GT Ultimate which includes Persimmon suede leather along with a DVD satellite navigation system with full European mapping covering 33 countries and voice guidance in seven languages. Hands free operation is possible with voice recognition which also integrates with the MP3 compatible audio system.

As well as the introduction of the Synchro Rev Control to the six-speed manual gearbox, the 370Z is now offered with a new 7-speed automatic priced at £1400. It is equipped with Downshift Rev Matching (DRM) and is designed to offer quick, manual-like shifting when operated in manual mode, using either the gear selector or paddles behind the steering wheel. In automatic mode, the driver can relax and let the gearbox change gear, reacting to the driving style to choose the most appropriate shift-mapping.

Metallic paint is the only other option available for £450 and with this you also get Nissan’s Scratch Shield Paint*, which, thanks to its advanced resin coat, automatically repairs the light scratches and blemishes which are typically collected by light stone chips.

Customers and enthusiasts are also encouraged to visit Nissan’s dedicated new micro-site for the car, where they can register their interest in the car, see images and films and download the 370Z Widget to their desktop, which will automatically update them with news and developments. The website can be found at

Compared with the outgoing 350Z, the new 370Z now sports a shorter wheelbase, greater use of lightweight body materials resulting in a weight reduction of 32kg, updated engine with more horsepower, all of which combine to improve its agility and responsiveness.

As its new moniker suggests, the new 370Z is now powered by a 3.7-litre VQ37VHR engine with VVEL (Variable Valve Event and Lift). Power is rated at 331PS, while torque is 366Nm. Along with its larger displacement, the new engine gives better power delivery all the way to the 7,500 rpm redline, improved low-end power and more high-end torque.

Inside, buyers will welcome the removal of the rear strut brace (replaced with less intrusive structural reinforcements) and the addition of a new “shelf” area behind the seats, creating an ideal storage area. A retractable cover is standard on the 370Z and a locking glove compartment has also been added.

Life on board has been improved thanks to the addition of an engine start and stop button, larger diameter dials and the use of soft touch materials on the instrument panel, stitching on the centre console, leather and suede on the seats and doors, as well as a black roof lining (depending on grade).

UK deliveries will begin in July 2009.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

2010 Hyundai Equus leaked

Updated: 29/01/09

Until recently, some have forgetten that Hyundai is planning to replace it's flagship sedan. Our latest spy photos show the forthcoming Equus loaded on a tow truck running towards Hyundai's R&D base located in Namyang, South Korea. The current Equus sedan has been on sale in South Korea for over 8 years and is looking dated and aged compared to newer rivals like the Mercedes S-Class, Lexus LS, Audi A8 and BMW 7 Series. According to sources, the Equus will be available in LWB varaint aswell. Considering the regular Equus will measure at 5,160mm, is there really a need for a LWB model?

Known intrenally as the "BHL", the newcomer will be based off the popular Genesis sedan. Regular Equus' will be driven by a 290bhp 3.8 litre V6 and a 375bhp 4.6 litre Tau V8, while the LWB will get the latter engine and a 5.0 litre Tau V8 with about 400bhp, which will follow later. The latter engines (4.6 & 5.0 V8) will likely to feature direct-injection technology which comes from Hyundai's new Theta engine line.

Hyundai will also be loading the Equus with cabin technologies such as Lane Departure Warning System and a Pre-Safety Seatbelt System which can tighten a belt split-seconds before an impact.

Unveiling of the new sedan is expected next month with the Equus arriving in South Korean dealerships in February 2010. Prices should start at 130 million KRW ($94,800 - $96,000/£69,800 - at current exchange rates) for the LWB 400bhp 5.0 litre. No overseas sales have been planned.

Via > Hyundai IV undergoing more testing

Cadillac CTS launch cancelled (AU)

The launch of the Cadillac CTS has been postponed thanks to the global downturn. Originally, the CTS was suppose to go on sale late last year but the challenging market conditions, the global financial crisis and worsening exchange rates were all cited as contributing to the decision to delay the Australian debut of the CTS planned for later this year.

Chairman and Managing Director Mark Reuss said: "GM Holden was faced with making a significant investment to launch a new, niche brand into a tough market. There is only one chance to properly launch this brand in Australia and in these challenging times, we believe we couldn't give it the best chance of success.

"At GM Holden, we will devote our energies towards our core operations that include a range of alternative-fuel technologies, a second car line at Elizabeth to build a new fuel-efficient four-cylinder small car and future-generation Commodores for Holden," he added.

"There is only one chance to launch this brand in Australia and in these challenging times, we believe we couldn't give it the best chance of success"

"This was a difficult decision but the only viable decision."

"There is no doubt the Cadillac CTS is a magnificent vehicle and the response since it was revealed at the Australian International Motor Show in October has been very positive. But obviously since then the market for new cars has continued to deteriorate, the broader economic environment difficulties remain largely unchanged and the exchange rate has worsened for imports," Reuss added.

2011 Mercedes CLS spied in Sweden

The next Mercedes CLS has been spied undergoing cold-weather testing in the harsh Artic alongside the C-Class sedan. Hidden under heavy black disguise, the CLS only shows itself through the headlights, rear lights, side mirrors, tyres and the roof. Bits of the tailpipes can be seen sticking out through two rectangular tips on either side -similar to the new E-Class sedan. In fact, most of the CLS' styling cues will be taken of the new E-Class.

The CLS was the pioneer of the 2+2-seater four-door coupe when it launched in 2004. More and more motor manufacturers are either presenting or working to finalise their own interpretations of this sporting sedan layout. Rivals include the Aston Martin Rapide, Porsche Panamera, BMW CS and the Audi A7 which was previewed in Detroit as the Audi Sportback Concept.

Engines are expected to come from a wide range of sources among which are petrol, turbo petrol and turbo diesel engines, as well as a BlueHybrid model that will use the same engine system as the S400 BlueHybrid. An AMG model should top the range and produce about 517bhp. Even a 4-cylinder engine could be offered. Mercedes 7 speed semi-automatic gearbox will be offered with these powerplants.

The new sports coupe will be available from 2011.

FIAT announces 21% drop in pre-tax profits for 2008

Fiat S.p.A. released the group's 2008 figures and revealed its gloomy outlook for 2009.

The Fiat Group's total revenues for 2008 totaled €59.4 billion, up 1.5% from 2007, with the firm's record first-half performance (+10.9%) being offset in the second-half (-7.7%) and especially in the fourth quarter (-17.2% vs 2007). However, the group's pre-tax net profits for 2008 plunged 21% to €2.2bn while the Italian company announced a significant increase (+36% vs 2007) in net industrial debt to €5.9bn.

Fiat also revealed that at 31st December 2008, the Group's liquidity stood at €3.9 billion, which is significantly lower than last year's €6.9 billion. As a result, the company said that it would not pay a dividend this year. "In order to preserve liquidity, the Board will not propose a dividend for 2008, except for dividends on savings shares (€25 million as mandated in the company's by-laws). The buy-back programme has been placed on hold," said the company in a statement.

In what concerns Fiat's automotive sector, the company delivered a total of 2,152,500 cars and light commercial vehicles in 2008 - down 3.6% from the prior year. Despite the decrease in volumes, Fiat Group Automobile's revenues for 2008 were essentially flat (+0.5%) compared to 2007, at €26.9 billion. Fiat said that it was able to offset the lower vehicle sales by improving pricing and product mix, in addition to increased sales to joint ventures.

For 2009, Fiat said that it foresees a 20% decline in global demand for its products compared to 2008, and that it expects the Group's net industrial cash flow to be in excess of €1 billion, with industrial debt of €6 billion.

Related links:

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Cadillac CTS-V pricing announced (UK)

The new Cadillac CTS-V, the most powerful Cadillac ever built, will cost £56,495 when it goes on sale next month.

The 556bhp Cadillac CTS-V saloon will be available in one trim level, called V-Series, with the choice of an automatic gearbox (which costs an extra £2500).

All cars will be left-hand drive only, as the configuration of the Cadillac CTS-V’s engine and exhaust systems would need extensive re-engineering to convert to right-hand drive which would push prices up considerably.

The Cadillac CTS-V’s 550lb ft 6.2-litre V8, derived from the Corvette’s engine, gets a supercharger and enables the car to hit 60mph in 3.9sec with a top-speed of 191mph (manual) and 175mph for the automatic.

Standard kit includes a 40Gb music-storage hard drive, magnetic ride control and Recaro seats.

With the regular Cadillac CTS selling very slowly, how will the CTS-V fare?

Press Release:

Most powerful Cadillac ever starts at £56,495 OTR
Supercharged 6.2-litre V8 delivers 564 ps (415 kW) and 747 Nm
0-60 mph achieved in 3.9 seconds with a top speed of 191 mph
Holds the production saloon car lap record at the Nürburgring
Single luxuriously equipped ‘V-Series’ specification

The all-new CTS-V ‘super saloon’ – the most powerful Cadillac ever – is available from February 2009 and will be priced from £56,495 on-the-road (£58,995 for the automatic transmission model).

CTS-V’s supercharged 6.2-litre V8 engine delivers 564PS (415 kW) and 747 Nm, launching the car to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds and on to 191 mph where legal (175 mph for the automatic transmission). Its incredible performance capabilities enabled the CTS-V to claim the unofficial lap record for a production saloon (7 mins 59.32 secs) around the Nürburgring’s legendary Nordschleife circuit in October 2008.

“The CTS-V represents the extreme extension of Cadillac’s current design language and its performance technology capabilities,” said Jonathan Nash, director in charge of Cadillac UK. “The V-Series developments take the highly accomplished CTS launched last summer and elevate it to a position within the club of the world’s high-performance super saloons.”

Working in harmony with the extraordinary power unit is the latest generation of the world’s fastest-reacting suspension technology, Magnetic Ride Control (MRC), which uses shock absorbers controlled by electro-magnets, rather than mechanical valves, greatly accelerating response time. CTS-V is also equipped with powerful Brembo brakes; mighty six-piston callipers act on colossal 380 mm discs at the front, and four-piston callipers on 373 mm discs at the rear. These impressive features, along with four-channel ABS, hydraulic brake assist and dynamic rear brake proportioning, ensure that the immense performance capability of Cadillac’s most powerful model in history is delivered within a package of equally advanced vehicle dynamics technologies.

Complementing its incredible performance, the left-hand drive CTS-V also delivers the refinement of a fully appointed prestige saloon. New, 14-way adjustable Recaro® performance driving seats, high quality ‘hand cut-and-sewn’ double stitched leather and sueded material, and a distinctive new high-gloss black Obsidian surface finish, all combine to deliver an exceptionally luxurious, comfortable cabin. Other features include a premium voice activated infotainment package featuring intelligent iPod® integration, 40GB hard drive and an advanced hard-disk navigation system.

The CTS-V’s single luxurious specification combined with astonishing performance capabilities and technologies delivers an exceptional driving experience for even the most demanding motorist.

2009 Fiat 500 C spotted nearly undisguised

The last time spy photographers spied the Fiat 500 C, it was undergoing high-speed testing at the famous Nurburgring racetrack. Now, spies have caught a fleet of 500 C's being loaded onto a transporter in Italy.

The newcomer will be a semi-convertible that has a retractable fabric roof. Fiat is developing this semi-convertible for two reasons - to save costs (engineers did not have to redesign the body as it is needed on full convertibles) and secondly, to distance the 500 C from competitors like the Mini or VW Beetle convertibles.

Prices should kick-off at £10,000 for the basic 1.2 litre Pop with when it arrives in late April '09. The UK market will be the first market in Europe to receive the 500 C since more drop-tops are sold here than anywhere else in Europe, despite Summer's in recent years.

Via > Fiat 500 C spied

Monday, 19 January 2009

Renault Megane wagon spied in snow

Updated: 24/01/09

The Renault Megane hatchback and coupe are about to have a new member of their family.

Spy photographers who trekked to Northern Sweden have caught the newcomer undergoing some winter testing for the very first time. The Megane GrandTour was leaked onto the web afew months back. The Megane estate, dubbed Grand Tour will lose it's nameplate of Sports Tourer and some of it's praticality. Despite thick disguise, it is clear to see the lowered roofline and up-swept window line to give the Grand Tour a sporty look, similar to the 5dr Megane and 3dr Megane Coupe. This means that it will be less pratical too which is vital in the small-family car segment. Rivals include the Kia Cee'd SW, Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf Estate, Chevrolet Lacetti, Vauxhall/Opel Astra, Hyundai i30 CW and Peugeot 308 SW.

Like the hatchback and coupe, the Grand Tour will be lighter than before as well as more fuel efficent. Powering the Megane will be a few engines found in the 5dr hatch, including the 1.5 litre dCi turbo diesel. That particular unit could be the most popular of the range since it's quite torquey, compact as well as economical. C02 emissions slot below the 120g/km mark too.

Look out for a Geneva motorshow launch in March with sales starting sometime in August.

Via > Renault Megane GrandTour spy photos & > Renault Megane GrandTour spied

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