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Miss France 2021, Amandine Petit, goes electric blue with her Peugeot e-208

Filed by Lucire staff/July 14, 2021/8.44



Miss France 2021, Amandine Petit, has taken delivery of a Peugeot e-208 GT from the company’s dealership in Caen in Normandie, with Victor Mary, marketing director of the Mary group, handing her the keys.
   Petit has chosen a blue e-208, the all-electric B-segment hatchback from the French car maker.
   Since its launch in 2019, the P21 generation of 208 has sold c. 630,000 units worldwide, and is France’s top seller in the first half of 2021.
   The e-208 is equipped with Peugeot’s I-cockpit with a three-dimensional head-up display and driving aids that are usually the province of more upmarket models. Battery capacity is at 50 kWh, which gives the car a 340 km per charge range on the WLTP combined cycle.


 


DS to ferry journalists in plug-in hybrid models during Paris Fashion Week

Filed by Lucire staff/June 22, 2021/22.22


Much like Renault has done for the Festival de Cannes, DS wants to show off its luxury credentials by being the official transport for Paris Fashion Week’s men’s shows this week.
   The fleet comprises 25 cars, with both the DS 9 E-Tense 225 saloon and the DS 7 Crossback E-Tense 4×4 300 crossover present. Both are plug-in hybrids with electric-only modes, ferrying journalists and influencers around Paris.
   The saloon is the French brand’s latest attempt to capture the innovative spirit of the Citroën DS, stylistically one of the most avant-garde production cars ever made.
   The six-day event runs from June 22 through 27.
   DS began working with Paris Fashion Week in 2019.

 


Unique Aston Martin DB5 Vantage collection for sale, including one-off Shooting Brake

Filed by Lucire staff/June 7, 2021/11.52




Fluid Images

The most iconic Aston Martin is arguably the DB5, the one piloted by Sean Connery as James Bond in Goldfinger. Aston Martin made 1,021 DB5s, including 60-odd in Vantage tune, and 123 convertibles. Getting a DB5 is hard enough, but getting three Vantages—a coupé, a convertible, and a one-off Shooting Brake—would qualify as a very special, unique situation. Aston Martin specialist Nicholas Mee & Co. is offering this very special trio for sale, with a price tag of £4 million.
   The DB5, developed from the DB4 Series V with the slanted headlights first seen on the DB4 GT, was incredibly desirable from its launch in July 1963. The engine was enlarged from 3·7 to 4 litres, increasing the power to 282 hp. Vantages saw the power increased further, to 314 hp, giving a 0–60 mph time of 6·5 s.
   The Shooting Brake is unique, and when some sources cite that only 65 DB5 Vantages were built, they omit this very special car. It would be fair to say it was not a production model: the first was produced for Aston Martin chairman David Brown, to accommodate his gundog and polo equipment. Eleven were ordered by customers, with hand-made bodies by Radford. Only one Shooting Brake was ordered in Vantage tune, commissioned by dealer Cyril Williams of Wolverhampton. It is the only one to have left the factory and was delivered to its first owner in 1966. This one-off is finished in California sage over red hides.
   The DB5 Vantage convertible—the Volante tag had not been coined at this point—is in Caribbean pearl blue with white gold hide interior, and is one of five in this specification. Finally, the coupé is finished in silver birch with a black hide interior—the same colour combination as the cinematic James Bond’s.
   The trio have been collected over a 12-year period and were subject to full restorations by Aston Martin specialists. Each car comes with a detailed history with original build details, BMIHT certificates, maintenance records, ownership documentation, and restoration particulars.
   They are being shown at a concours event at the Honourable Artillery Company’s HQ in London, over three days from June 8. Find out more from Nicholas Mee & Co. at www.nicholasmee.co.uk.












Fluid Images

 


Coupé crossovers are the latest fad, as Ford Evos and Roewe Jing appear at Auto Shanghai

Filed by Lucire staff/April 19, 2021/21.45



It seems coupé crossovers, low-slung fastbacks riding on big wheels, are the trendy shape for cars now, after a decade dominated by the boxier variety, if Auto Shanghai’s débutantes today are any indication.
   Ford showed its Evos crossover, with hints of the Mustang Mach-E—a car, based on its development code, that started off as a Focus crossover. The new car looks more substantial, and Ford has been clear that it isn’t the model that will replace the Fusion and Mondeo.
   Inside is a “coast-to-coast” screen spanning the entire cockpit width, from the driver’s to the passenger’s sides. All up, the display measures 27 inches, with 4K definition, comprising digital instrumentation, infotainment, and an additional screen for the passenger. AI and a hands-free driving assistance program complete the high-tech package.
   SAIC’s Roewe brand, meanwhile, showed a coupé crossover of its own—with the same colour scheme of white with a black roof, which must be the other automotive trend presently. The Jing (鯨), the Chinese word for whale, has a large grille that is supposed to recall the mammal. It’s part of Roewe’s ‘emotional rhythm’ design philosophy, and the Jing is supposed to ‘accelerating the process of brand rejuvenation, personalization and promoting brand upgrading,’ says SAIC. The shape isn’t as sleek as Ford’s, and the company says it is a concept.

 


Citroën redefines the large family car with the C5 X

Filed by Jack Yan/April 13, 2021/22.02





William Crozes/Continental Productions

Is this the future of the CD- and D-segment family car? Citroën has unveiled its C5 X, the third generation (if you don’t count the C5 Aircross) of the C5 line, blending saloon, estate and SUV ideas.
   Sales of conventional saloons and estates in this segment have been dropping for some time. Ford has already said it will not replace the Mondeo after 2022, bringing to an end a line that could be traced back to the Consul Cortina of 1962. There have been suggestions that Opel, Citroën’s sister brand, will replace the Insignia with a crossover, possibly a car closely related to this one.
   The lines are certainly more blurred with the C5 X. Traditionally, a crossover would have meant something like a Subaru Forester, a station wagon format more raised than a traditional car, but lower than an SUV. Here Citroën takes influences from numerous genres. It is a sleek, two-box shape, that if viewed without the 19-inch wheels, could be taken to be a shooting brake, an estate car with less loading capacity because of a sloping rear—think Mercedes-Benz CLS or even the Audi Q8. The six-light glasshouse even recalls Robert Opron’s Citroën CX (and specifically the CXperience concept of 2016), which no doubt will please Citroënistas. Up front are thin LED headlights that give a V shape when lit, a Citroën design signature that started with the 2020 C4. The bespoilered rear deck emphasizes that this isn’t a regular estate; curiously, when viewed from some front three-quarter angles, the D-pillar looks upright, and even recalls the outgoing C5 break.
   Happily, the C5 X has an airy glasshouse, doing away with the massive C-pillars that have plagued car design for a decade. This helps with bringing light in, while also aiding visibility. One can only hope that it is the beginning of the end of the cocoon, which may have emerged in times of great uncertainty, where people wanted to feel enveloped and secure. If Citroën’s trend-watchers have it right, we might come to feel more open and embracing of the outside world again.
   Those 19-inch wheels raise the car’s stance, but in an age where the crossover and the SUV are not niche vehicles, but mainstream ones, they do not look oversized. Interestingly, Citroën’s French rival Renault may have contributed to that, with intentionally large wheels for the Scénic and Espace, with a similar philosophy of blending genres with an eye to courting mainstream SUV buyers who want a more commanding driving position. More opportunity, then, for a future designer to claim a successor is ‘lower, wider, longer’, the romance of postwar US design.
   Its sleekness is perhaps only compromised by the transverse front-wheel-drive layout, which necessitates the position of the front wheels, a design compromise evident on the Citroën C6 in China, but better hidden here. One might think that Citroën has gone adventurous here—though not to the level of the DS—because of its recent poor sales in China. When in doubt, design your way out—it worked for Chrysler and its LH sedans in the 1990s.
   Under the skin is active suspension, with Citroën claiming (not for the first time in its history) a “magic carpet” ride. There are what the company calls its Progressive Hydraulic Cushions that relax the suspension more. Handling isn’t the top priority here, having an interior that’s lounge-like and floating is.
   The interior emphasizes width (externally the car measures 1,865 mm in this respect, which is probably typical for a grand routier of this age). Citroën says its Advanced Comfort seats are particularly capacious in the second row, while the boot has a 545 l capacity. There’s more refinement, the company points out, with the plug-in hybrid version running in pure-electric mode, which it can do for 50 km, up to 135 km/h. Acoustic-laminated front and rear windows keep things insulated further.
   There is a head-up display that Citroën says is a step toward augmented reality, driving assistance features, a new infotainment interface powered through a 12-inch central touchscreen, voice recognition, and a customizable display. Safety systems use the radar, cameras and sensors. There is level 2 autonomous driving, with Highway Driver Assist, using the adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go and lane-keep assistance. And as one would expect in 2021, rear cross-traffic alert, a 360-vision display that plots the area around the car on the touchscreen to aid man, and hands-free access.—Jack Yan, Founder and Publisher





William Crozes/Continental Productions

 


Kia launches flagship Sorento model with plug-in hybrid powertrain in New Zealand

Filed by Jack Yan/April 7, 2021/0.33

It seems to be the trajectory of brands such as Hyundai and Kia: offering ever more stylish, premium models on the basis that even people who indulge in luxury like value for money.
   Kia’s rise has been particularly marked after its appointment of Peter Schreyer as head of design, before being named one of the company’s three presidents. Schreyer worked his magic on the Audi TT, and he has been behind such hits as the original K5 (Optima in New Zealand) and Stinger.
   The latest Sorento benefits from similar design philosophies: whereas Japanese marques often veer toward either a domestic (e.g. Honda Civic) feel or a mid-Atlantic one, Kia looks west and bridges the gap between Korea and the occident. The Sorento is no exception and its latest entry, the Sorento PHEV Premium, blends the luxury appointments of the range’s flagship with a plug-in hybrid powertrain—not to mention all-wheel drive, seven-seat capacity, and 1,988 ℓ load space when the second and third rows are folded down.
   Its all-electric range is 57 km, and carbon emissions are at a low 36 g/km—thanks to its 13·8 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack mated to a 1·6-litre turbocharged engine, developing 265 PS (195 kW) and 350 Nm of torque.
   There’s the trade-mark “tiger nose”, 19-inch machine-finished alloys, and a premium cabin that’s marked by two digital displays (12·3 inches ahead of the driver, 10¼ inches for the central infotainment screen), and includes a panoramic sunroof, a wireless smartphone charger and a Bose 12-speaker surround-sound system. The power leather seats are 14-way for the driver, with four-way lumbar support and cushion extension, while the front passenger gets a 10-way. You can expect the usual conveniences for a premium model: lane-keep and lane-follow assist, smart cruise control, sat-nav and life traffic updates, and seven USB charging ports.
   Warranty is for four years’ or 40,000 km scheduled servicing for the hybrid and plug-in hybrid models, complementing a standard five-year warranty and five-year roadside assistance (unlimited kilometres) plan.
   This premium machine retails in New Zealand for NZ$89,990 plus on-road costs.—Jack Yan, Founder and Publisher

 


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