Seat Mii, Monday newsbriefs

October 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

And here’s the Spanish version of the Volkswagen Up! – the Seat Mii. The three-door goes on sale in Spain before the end of the year, with sales elsewhere in Europe in spring 2012; five-door versions follow later next year. As with the Skoda Citigo and the Up! itself (ha – just noticed that unfortunate connotation) it gets the new VW Group three-cylinder, 1.0-litre petrol engine (60hp and 75hp); economy-optimised Ecomotive versions will emit just 97g/km. Kit on offer will include stability control, side airbags, a portable sat nav/phone device, and City Safety Assist auto braking; on a practical note, its 251-litre boot expands to 951 litres with the rear seat folded, despite an overal length of just 3.55m. More figures: the 60hp version is good for 99mph and the 75hp model 106mph; they’ll return 62.8mpg and 60.1mpg respectively; the Ecomotive models will do 67.2mpg; a CNG-fuelled model (to be offered in mainland Europe) emits just 86g/km. An automated manual gearbox is optional. No word on UK pricing as yet.

  • Mazda’s second Skyactiv model – featuring extensive detail-changes and technologies to bring down fuel consumption and emissions – has gone on sale in Japan. The latest Axela (aka Mazda3) follows the Mazda5 in being lighter-weight, and it also gets Mazda’s new direct-injection 2.0-litre petrol engine and six-speed auto gearbox. Press release posted at Autoblog Green.
  • Nissan’s expecting the Leaf’s battery pack to have a lifespan of at least five years/60,000 miles before it dips below 80% of its original charge capacity, and is planning a cost-saving system of individual cell module swap-outs after than if necessary. Full story at AM-Online.
  • Tesla will unveil the Model X crossover at the Detroit Motor Show next January. It’s based on the same platform as the Model S saloon; a hot M5-rivalling version of the saloon has just been announced, doing 0-60 in 4.5 seconds and, with optional high-spec battery pack, good for a range of up to 300 miles. The Model S, even in its saloon form, seats up to seven (there are two fold-out, rear-facing child seats in the back) and has “the largest panoramic roof in a production car”, according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk. More at Autocar. Musk also noted that Tesla’s Toyota RAV4 EV conversion is ready to go on sale next year.
  • Renault Sport F1 is to source KERS from Red Bull Technology for next year.  Team Lotus and Renault Sport F1 are to continue to collaborate, with the V8 engine deal extending to the end of 2013, and aim to carry on under the new engine regulations. “KERS is now an essential part of a competitive performance in F1”, says Jean-Francois Caubet,Renault Sport F1 MD, “and we hope this supply will help the team continue its evolution. Furthermore, a wider experience of using the KERS system at this point in time will help in the development of the powerful energy recovery systems that will be introduced under the future engine regulations.”
  • First installment of the 12.grn.hrs story – a design-an-eco-car-in-a-day workshop, part of London Design Week – is at Green Car Design.
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