Mercedes-AMG readies electric CLA 45 with 500bhp Car News

Mercedes-AMG is developing a hot version of the new third-generation CLA, due in 2025 as an electric alternative to the fearsome CLA 45. 

A disguised prototype of the new AMG model caught testing in northern Sweden this week reveals several changes over the standard car. 

As well as uprated brakes behind AMG sports wheels, this early prototype has a large ducktail-style rear spoiler that hints at a focus on boosting downforce. The production model could feature a fixed spoiler or possibly even a retractable spoiler similar to that used by the Mercedes-AMG GT.

The new CLA is the first model to be based on the Mercedes Modular Architecture – a hybrid platform structure supporting an 800V electric architecture and conceived for both full-electric and combustion-engine models.

Standard 2025 CLA models will feature either single-motor rear-wheel drive or dual-motor four-wheel drive. In the AMG model, the latter layout is claimed to provide up to 500bhp.

By comparison, the existing turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder CLA 45 develops 422bhp.

As with other recent new AMG-branded electric models, the motors are set to differ from those used in standard versions of the CLA, with unique windings and a more comprehensive cooling system.

The battery of the new AMG model is also claimed to differ from the lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) and lithium-nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) units offered on standard CLA models, with different cells and an altered anode.

Mercedes claims a range of “over 435 miles” and economy of “5.2 miles per kWh” for the upcoming single-motor rear-wheel-drive CLA model, although both figures will drop with the introduction of a second electric motor and power boost in the AMG model.  

As announced at the unveiling of the Concept CLA Class at last year’s Munich motor show, the new CLA will also offer charging at up to 250kW and it can be used as a power source itself thanks to bi-directional charging.

At this stage, it is unclear if AMG will offer two distinct versions of the new CLA, as it does today with the petrol-powered CLA 35 and CLA 45. 

Alongside the new CLA saloon, AMG is also planning powered-up versions of the next-generation CLA Shooting Brake, GLA crossover and GLB SUV – all of which are earmarked to receive the same drivetrain and battery architecture as the upcoming saloon. 

The division’s first bespoke electric car will be the production version of the striking Vision AMG concept it revealed in 2022, due on sale next year as a 1000bhp, axial-motored replacement for the V8-engined GT 63.


More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2024-01-19 13:22:39


Mercedes-Benz to launch electric-only ‘little G’ SUV in 2026 Car News

A smaller version of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class will be electric-only when it launches later in the decade.

The model will be developed by Mercedes’ new specialist G division as the third model in an expanded G range, after the upcoming Mercedes EQG.

Mercedes technical chief Markus Schäfer confirmed the powertrain plans to Autocar at the recent CES in Las Vegas, dismissing suggestions that the model could also be offered with hybridised internal combustion engines.

The model was first confirmed by company CEO Ola Källenius at the Munich motor show, where he referred to it as the “little G… a son or daughter of the iconic big G”.

Mercedes-Benz design chief Gorden Wagener told Autocar that the new machine will take strong design cues from the “iconic DNA” of the existing G-Class, saying: “It will have its own character, but it will be a G.”

The G-Class line-up will expand first later this year with the new electric Mercedes EQG, and Autocar understands the new ‘little G’ will follow in 2026.

Mercedes has launched a new Mercedes Modular Architecture (MMA) that will be used for a range of entry-level cars in the coming years, starting with the new Mercedes-Benz CLA, but Schäfer confirmed that the ‘little G’ will sit on a different platform, using modules from Mercedes’ larger rear-driven cars, due to its need to offer true off-roading ability.

That means the platform will be different – but likely to take learnings from – that of the full-sized EQG, which will use a reworked version of the existing ICE G-Class’s ladder-frame chassis and will be powered by four electric motors.

As well as giving Mercedes a foothold in the increasingly popular rugged crossover market, the baby G-Class will be crucial in establishing G as a Mercedes sub-brand in the same vein as Maybach and AMG, building on the success of its blocky Land Rover Defender rival. Indeed, G is now its own specialist division within Mercedes, just like Maybach and AMG

Källenius said last year: “Most luxury companies build their portfolio on the basis of one or two true icons. Mercedes-Benz has the good fortune to have multiple iconic products and brands at the upper end of its portfolio, such as the S-Class, the SL, the G-Class as well as the AMG and Maybach brands.

“We see great potential here to expand our top-end portfolio with even more fascinating products.”

His comments hint at the possibility for each of those four brands to spawn more comprehensive line-ups.

Like the upcoming CLA, the new compact SUV is likely to have an 800V electrical architecture, allowing for 248 miles of range to be added in just 15 minutes via a 250kW charger.


More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2024-01-19 10:55:00


Lexus LBX wins What Car? Car of the Year Car News

The Lexus LBX has been crowned What Car? Car of the Year for 2024.

This year’s winner was announced at What Car?’s annual awards, dubbed the UK’s ‘Motoring Oscars’, held at the JW Marriott Grosvenor House in London

The 46th overall winner also took home the Small SUV category award, while Lexus won the Reliability Award for a record seventh consecutive year. Sister brand Toyota won Family Car of the Year (with the Corolla) and Estate Car of the Year (with the Corolla Touring Sports).

Other brands to win multiple awards included BMW and Kia, who took home three apiece, and Renault with two. 

What Car? editor Steve Huntingford, said: “The title of What Car? Car of the Year is reserved for the model that has moved things on the farthest in the past 12 months, and this year, that’s the Lexus LBX. 

“Despite competing in the hugely competitive small SUV market, it’s a better all-rounder than every rival, not least because it’s the first car in the class to combine hybrid efficiency with big-car luxury. And at a time when new car prices are going through the roof, it offers these strengths for an attractive price.” 

What Car? Car of the Year Awards 2024 in association with MotorEasy


Car of the Year: Lexus LBX 


Small Car, sponsored by MotorEasy: Renault Clio 1.0 TCe 90 Techno 

Family Car: Toyota Corolla 1.8 Hybrid Icon 

Hot Hatch: Mercedes-AMG A45 S Plus 

Small SUV, sponsored by Solera Cap HPI: Lexus LBX 1.5 Premium Plus 

Family SUV, sponsored by Quotezone: Kia Sportage 1.6 T-GDi 3 

Plug-in Hybrid: Mazda MX-30 R-EV Prime-Line 

Small Electric Car, sponsored by Myenergi: MG4 EV SE 

Executive Car: Tesla Model 3 RWD 

Estate Car: Toyota Corolla Touring Sports 1.8 Hybrid Icon 

Seven-seater: Land Rover Defender 110 D300 X-Dynamic S 

Luxury Car: BMW X7 40d M Sport (Ultimate Pack) 

Small Electric SUV, sponsored by Blackhorse Finance: Smart #1 Premium 

Family Electric SUV, sponsored by Blackhorse Finance: Kia EV6 


More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2024-01-18 23:00:00


Electric Ford F-150 spawns hardcore rally weapon Car News

The Ford F-150 Lightning Switchgear has been unveiled as an off-road demonstration of Ford’s electric powertrains that promises to “push the boundaries” of electric pick-ups.

The one-off truck, set to make its debut at next week’s King of Hammers off-road racing event in California, follows the Supervan 4 and Mustang Mach-E 1400 EV projects.

It’s said to provide a “playground for engineers” to experiment with and optimise Ford’s future electric cars.

It has been developed by Ford’s Demonstrator Programme in collaboration with specialist tuner RTR Vehicles.

Over the standard F-150 (Ford’s long-time best-seller), it gains a “significant” increase in track width to improve off-road stability, better ground clearance, double-wishbone suspension at the front, a multi-link arrangement at the rear and beefier dampers. 

It also gets bespoke front and rear bumpers and a stabiliser bar on the front axle for steeply undulating surfaces, as well as better approach and departure angles.

Its swollen wheel arches accommodate the wider tracks, 37in off-road tyres and more ventilation ducts to smooth airflow over its body and thus make it more stable off-road.

It also gets a Ford Performance livery, as seen on the Mustang GT3 race car.


More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2024-01-17 16:01:02


Land Rover Defender convertible enters production Car News

Dutch coachbuilder Heritage Customs has started production of its soft-top convertible Land Rover Defender, with the firm’s second example already under way at its Enter factory. 

Based on the L663-generation Defender 90, the Valiance Convertible has been heavily modified to feature a sixth seat, forged wheels, bespoke leather trim, sports seats and other changes to both its interior and exterior. 

The Valiance Defender has been finished with Sunbeam Yellow paint, with contrasting exterior features in black, including the vehicle’s roll cage, front bonnet plates and side air vents. Its fabric top is handmade and electronically controlled. 

Inside, the Valiance Defender is fitted with black quilted upholstery, aluminium panelling and an additional passenger seat positioned in the centre of the front row. It also features yellow stitching to match the exterior paintwork. 

As reported by Autocar in 2022, Heritage Customs will build just five examples of this convertible Defender, each priced at more than £100,000. Around £58,000 of that figure is for the conversion itself, with the price of the base car making up the rest. 

However, this doesn’t include modifications to the powertrain, which will remain in factory specification as chosen by the customer. 


More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2024-01-17 15:36:36


Extended-range Vauxhall Mokka Electric priced from £36,610 Car News

The driver can configure the electric car using three driving modes: Eco, Normal, and Sport.

The long-range car has the same 54kWh battery as the facelifted Peugeot e-208. It works with an upgraded electric motor, providing 19bhp more than the standard one, at 154bhp, and 191lb ft.

This power increase also means a bump in performance over the standard car. The long-range car sprints to 62mph in 9.0sec, which is 0.2sec quicker than the standard 50kWh car.

Despite the extra performance, Vauxhall says it will achieve 4mpkWh on the combined cycle, which matches the Mazda MX-30.

The Mokka will, like the previous car, support 100kW rapid charging, which can take the battery from 0-80% in 30 minutes.

Vauxhall – which aims to become an all-electric brand by 2028 – currently has no plans to introduce a more powerful, larger-capacity electric Mokka variant, it told Autocar.

This, for now, closes the door on an electric GSe performance model joining the recently revealed Vauxhall Grandland GSe and Vauxhall Astra GSe.


More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2024-01-17 09:00:00


Rugged new Subaru Crosstrek replaces XV for £34,290 Car News

The new Subaru Crosstrek has arrived in the UK as a replacement for the XV, bringing a design overhaul and strong focus on off-road driving.

Designed for “utility and sportiness that lends itself to an active lifestyle”, the family SUV touts a series of drivetrain revisions to make it easier to drive off-road.

It gets a “class-leading” ground clearance of 220mm and a revised permanent four-wheel drive system over the old Subaru XV, allowing for more agile handling and better control both on and off-road.

There’s also X-Mode on top-end models, which gives the driver better control on slippery surfaces. 

Subaru also claims the Crosstrek is 10% stiffer than the XV, due to refined production techniques, resulting in a quieter cabin and better handling.

Subaru Crosstrek

The Crosstrek is the first UK-bound Subaru to wear the Japanese firm’s new frameless hexagonal grille, along with reshaped air ducts and channels that are said to improve improve fuel economy.

It also features slimmer headlights, new alloy wheels that are available in 17in or 18in sizes and black cladding on its wheel arches

It makes use of the same 2.0-litre four-cylinder boxer petrol engine as the XV. That means it produces 134bhp and an identical torque figure for a 0-62mph time of 10.7sec and a top speed of 123mph. Power is sent to both axles via a CVT.

Inside, the Crosstrek gets an 11.6in infotainment touchscreen with smartphone mirroring as standard.

It also gets Subaru’s Eyesight suite of active safety systems, which is said to operate more smoothly and quickly than before.


More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2024-01-16 15:30:28


New MG 3 to be unveiled at Geneva motor show Car News

MG has confirmed that it will unwrap the next-generation MG 3 at the Geneva motor show on 26 February.

The Chinese brand made the announcement on X, posting an undisguised image of the new supermini’s front end.

Trademark filings from September previously revealed the exterior design of the new 3, confirming that it has taken influence from both the larger MG 4 hatchback and the new MG Cyberster flagship sports car.

Unlike those cars, though, the new 3 is set to stay true to its affordable billing by sticking with petrol power rather than switching to a pricier electric drivetrain – a decision seemingly corroborated by the new car’s lengthy front overhang, sizeable grille and a filler cap at the rear that’s clearly too small to accommodate a CCS charging socket.

The petrol-engined supermini is an increasingly rare breed in the UK, following the exits of likes of the Ford Fiesta and Kia Rio, and the current 3 is one of just three such cars still on sale for less than £15,000. 



Its successor is tipped to adopt emissions-reducing mild-hybrid technology, which – together with wider inflationary pressures and the introduction of heavily updated interior and driver-assist technology – will make it a more expensive proposition, but bosses are keen that it remains one of the market’s most affordable new cars. 

The current 3 is a minor player compared with the MG ZS and MG HS compact SUVs, having taken just 2920 sales across Europe in the first half of 2023.

The figures don’t stack up to convert the MG 3 to electric power, hence its continuation as an ICE model, MG UK commercial director Guy Pigounakis told Autocar recently.

“Developing a small electric car is only marginally cheaper than developing a bigger car,” he said. “Then half the price is battery, so it becomes a £25,000 car, which is unaffordable.”

2024 Mg 3 patent filing right side


More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2024-01-15 15:30:00


Stellantis eyes cheaper EVs with sodium ion battery partnership Car News

Stellantis has taken a step towards drastically reducing the price of its future electric cars by partnering with a company that produces sodium ion batteries.

Sodium ion has been touted by several manufacturers as a more cost-effective battery chemistry that could pave the way for much cheaper EVs in the near future.

For example, Dacia boss Denis Le Vot has said the next-generation electric Sandero could use the technology and Chinese giant BYD recently signed a $1.2 billion contract to build the world’s largest sodium battery factory in Xuzhou, with an eye on specifically powering small cars and scooters.

Stellantis has invested in Amiens-based Tiamat, a spin-off of the French National Centre for Scientific Research, which is claimed to be the first company in the world to commercialise a sodium ion battery.

Tiamat will use the revenue generated in its latest funding round, which included Stellantis’s undisclosed investment, to build a new sodium ion battery factory in France.

This new factory will first build batteries for power tools and energy storage devices but will scale up to eventually produce “second-generation” cells for battery-electric cars. No timeframe has been given.

Stellantis said the implications of its new partnership will be significant for its future vehicles: “Sodium ion technology offers a lower cost per kilowatt-hour and is free of lithium and cobalt. Abundantly available sodium offers benefits in increased sustainability and material sovereignty.”

The multinational giant has previously vocalised a plan to cut battery weight in its EVs by 50% by introducing new lightweight technologies and more efficient cell packaging.

It also recently invested in American company Lytten, which is developing lithium-sulphur batteries.

Tiamat has said sodium ion is a “stable chemistry for simple, safe, fast and performing solutions”.

It’s aiming to achieve charging times of just five minutes and claims its batteries – with an impressive power density of 2-5kW per kilogram – retain up to 80% capacity after 5000 charge cycles.

Ned Curic, chief engineering and technology officer at Stellantis, said: “Exploring new options for more sustainable and affordable batteries that use widely available raw materials is a key part of our ambitions of the Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan that will see us reach carbon net-zero by 2038.

“Our customers are asking for emissions-free vehicles that offer a combination of robust driving range, performance and affordability. This is our North Star, as Stellantis and its partners work today to develop ground-breaking technologies for the future.”


More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2024-01-12 10:38:33


China’s Changan to launch Deepal off-roader in the UK Car News

Chinese manufacturer Changan will launch its Deepal brand in the UK with a new 4×4, company officials have confirmed.

The new Deepal G318 is the latest in a number of dedicated off-roaders from Chinese firms including BYD, Chery and Great Wall Motor.

Deepal has yet to provide any official technical information on the G318, although Changan officials confirmed that it stretches to almost five metres in length.

They also hinted that it’s based on a new ladder-frame chassis, aimed at providing it with greater wheel articulation and off-road ability than existing Deepal models, which are based on Changan’s EPA1 platform.

In line with the Chinese off-roader competition, it’s expected to be initially sold with a petrol-electric range-extender powertrain, similar to that available on the Deepal L07 saloon and S07 crossover on sale in China.

This consists of a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and two electric motors – one powering the front wheels and the other providing drive to the rear wheels.

The petrol engine acts purely as a generator to produce electric energy that’s then stored in a battery, without any direct drive to the wheels.

Deepal G318 side

Together, the two electric motors develop a combined 258bhp.

Buyers are offered the choice of either a 19.0kWh or a 28.4kWh lithium ion battery. Overall ranges are between 320 and 746 miles on China’s CLTC test.

Alternative drivetrains also available in the L07 and S07 include fully electric (BEV) and hydrogen fuel-cell (FCEV) systems.

Launched in 2022, the Deepal brand has global aspirations. Changan officials have confirmed to Autocar that it plans to enter the Asian and European markets and achieve annual sales of 450,000 by 2024.

This figure represents over 17% of Changan’s overall global sales of 2.55 million in 2023.


More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2024-01-12 13:06:01