Mégane Renaultsport 275 Cup-S Lowers Price

Renault are set to make their all-conquering Mégane Renaultsport even more irresistible by introducing a new entry-level model, slashing the price to under £24k.

Megane Renaultsport 275 Cup-S Preview 09

Megane Renaultsport 275 Cup-S

The Renaultsport 275 Cup-S distills the Mégane’s essence into its purest form, ditching creature comforts in favour of the Cup chassis (usually a £1,350 option) and the same 275hp turbocharged petrol engine as the limited-edition 275 Trophy-R, and it’s all yours for just £23,935.

Personally I wouldn’t be satisfied with that. Having driven a Trophy-spec Mégane I’d have to add the optional Ohlins dampers. They may be expensive at £2,000 but they transform the ride, improving both body control and the Mégane’s ability to handle bumps and compressions. You’ve then got the best handling chassis in its class for less than £26k, less than the price of a 227bhp Golf GTI.





The headline figures can be a bit misleading though. In ‘normal’ mode the Megane’s turbocharged 4-cylinder engine develops buy nexium 20 250hp at 5,500rpm. It’s only when you start playing around with the Renaultsport Dynamic Management system that you can unleash the full-fat 275hp. With peak power comes 360Nm of torque, covering the mid-range from 3,000 to 5,000rpm.

If the thought of a modern car without so much as air-conditioning puts you off then take a look at the other end of the Mégane spectrum. The new 275 Nav replaces the 265 Nav and represents the softer side of the Mégane’s character. For £25,935 you get the same engine and straight-line performance but sacrifice the Cup Chassis (still available as an option) for the slightly softer Sport setup and lots more toys in the cabin. It adds dual-zone climate, auto lights and wipers, R-Link V2 multimedia system with navigation, better sound system, keyless entry and tinted rear windows.

Both the 275 Nav and Cup-S are available to order now with deliveries starting in November.


Megane Renaultsport 275 Cup-S Preview 09

Performance & Economy 2015 Mégane Renaultsport 275 Cup-S 2015 Mégane Renaultsport 275 Nav
Engine 1,998cc turbocharged 4-cylinder, petrol 1,998cc turbocharged 4-cylinder, petrol
Transmission 6-speed manual, front-wheel drive 6-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Power (PS / bhp) 279 / 275 at 5,500rpm 279 / 275 at 5,500rpm
Torque (Nm / lb.ft) 360 / 265 at 3,000-5,000rpm 279 / 275 @ 5,500rpm
0 – 62 mph (seconds) 6.0 6.0
Top Speed (mph) 158 158
CO2 Emissions (g/km) 174 174
VED Band H H
Combined Economy (mpg) 37.7 37.7
Kerb Weight (kg) 1,376 1,376
Insurance Group 40E 40E
Price (OTR) £23,935 £25,935

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New Engine For SEAT Ibiza Cupra

With the 2015 Volkswagen Polo GTI switching to a new engine, it was only a question of time before the SEAT Ibiza Cupra followed suit. So now it’s the upcoming Ibiza’s turn to drop the venerable twin-charged 1.4 TSI and upgrade to the more powerful and cleaner turbocharged 1.8 TSI.

Seat Ibiza Cupra 2015 Preview 01

Seat Ibiza Cupra 2015

As you’d expect there are improvements in every area of the Cupra’s performance. Power is up from 180PS to 192PS while torque rises from 250Nm to 320Nm, and is available from 1,450 and 4,200rpm. 62mph arrives in 6.7 seconds and top speed goes up to 146mph.

There are no official figures yet for economy and CO2 emissions but expect to see slight improvements despite the increase in engine capacity. Another aspect that could affect those figures is the choice of transmission. The Ibiza Cupra is now available with a six-speed manual transmission, replacing the compulsory dual-clutch seven-speed automatic transmission. There is a DSG on the options list, this time with six ratios, and it’s emissions where to buy generic aciphex in the united states figures are likely to be lower than those of the manual.

With the new engine comes options to tailor the Ibiza’s drive characteristics. Cupra Selective Suspension is an adaptive suspension control system that lets you choose between comfort or sport modes, with a different steering feel in each.

There’s also a host of electronic driver and safety aids; the latest XDS electronic differential lock, ESP electronic stability system, hill start assist, multi-collision brake and drowsiness warning are part of the standard safety package in the Ibiza Cupra.

There are improvements in the interior too. The detachable infotainment system and its horrible cradle are gone, replaced by a touchscreen system that’s been properly integrated into the dashboard. The infotainment system has a wide range of functions but it’s worth noting that it now supports both Apple Car Play and Android Auto, allowing you to control your phone through the Ibiza’s touchscreen.

No news on UK prices or availability yet, other than it’ll go on sale in early 2016.

Seat Ibiza Cupra 2015 Preview 02
Seat Ibiza Cupra 2015 Preview 05
Seat Ibiza Cupra 2015 Preview 03
Seat Ibiza Cupra 2015 Preview 09
Seat Ibiza Cupra 2015 Preview 07
Seat Ibiza Cupra 2015 Preview 04
Seat Ibiza Cupra 2015 Preview 08
Seat Ibiza Cupra 2015 Preview 06
Seat Ibiza Cupra 2015 Preview 10
Seat Ibiza Cupra 2015 Preview 01

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Ford S-Max – Don’t Be ‘Sports Dad’

Purchasing a new Ford S-Max should be regarded as a textbook example of refusing to stand out from the crowd. While being one of the herd is traditionally frowned upon, actually in the case of the new S-Max it’s highly beneficial. Unless that is, you’re ‘Sports Dad’.

Ford S-Max Static 03

Ford S-Max

‘Sports Dad’ wants to be the best. He wants to the best so much, that he’ll pick the biggest engine with the highest bhp output on his new car just so everybody knows he is the man. Basically, ‘Sports Dad’ is the guy you avoid like the plague when you go and watch your own kids football team playing because he abuses the referee and generally makes a monumental tit of himself. Fear not reader, I’m here to show you how to get the best S-Max for you, all while getting a better S-Max than ‘Sports Dad’ and saving a bit of money in the process.

The guy we all love to hate has already chosen his S-Max, and naturally it’s the one that sits at the very top of the S-Max pyramid – the 2.3 236bhp litre petrol powerhouse. Ford expects only 1% of all S-Max buyers to take this one up, but that’s ok because ‘Sports Dad’ has always thought of himself as being in the top 1% anyway. For us though, let’s think of that 1% as those people who are so keen to distance themselves from the herd, so keen to look special, that they’d go as far as to shoot themselves in the foot in a bid to impress others around them.

Ford S-Max Static 02
Ford S-Max Driving 02
Ford S-Max Driving 03
Ford S-Max Static 05
Ford S-Max Static 04
Ford S-Max Driving 01

Yes, as tempting as it may sound on paper, the ‘sporty’ variant of the new S-Max is certainly not the high point of the range. It’s an engine that just doesn’t feel at home in this car, lacking the torque needed to launch the heavy S-Max, and despite that high-ish power output, in reality it doesn’t feel anywhere near as quick as the spec sheet might have you believe. The 6-speed automatic Ford has attached to it doesn’t help either, a pure cruiser unit that’s clearly not been designed to deliver on the excitement front, and to be fair why would it? ‘Sports Dad’ will tell you all about the flappy paddles, but I’ll tell you that it’s so lacking in shift feel you wonder why they even attached them to the steering wheel in the first place. Ford hasn’t offered a manual option with this engine, but even with that option box open I still think it would be a poor choice. Despite the disappointment with this particular powertrain, this is where the problems with the new S-Max end.

Some drivers will naturally prefer some of the more conceptual design flair seen in some of France’s latest offerings, but it can’t be said that the S-Max isn’t a handsome looking beast. The strong, angular buy nolvadex no prescription lines make this one of the best efforts at putting together an attractive people carrier that I can remember, it looks like a car with real class and that continues inside. From the moment you step in you can see and feel the improvements in the interior, with plenty of quality materials applied to make the cabin a genuinely pleasurable place to spend time. The seating is particularly excellent, providing a hugely comfortable and supportive place to park the posteriors of you and your family. The S-Max now feels more premium than ever before and – through these eyes at least – is a nose ahead of the interior environments found in some of its rivals.

Ford S-Max Technology Safety
Ford S-Max Interior 06
Ford S-Max Interior 01
Ford S-Max Technology Sensors
Ford S-Max Interior 02
Ford S-Max Interior 05
Ford S-Max Interior 04

As it’s the modern age, the class and comfort of the interior would be nothing without decent technology to back it up, and there is some very tasty tech to examine. The SYNC2 system is a must have, and while the interface and arrangement of the software is good, the touchscreen it’s wrapped in can occasionally be unresponsive. Other useful features include split view cameras to assist in pulling out of parking spaces and junctions (not something obnoxious yet genetically superior ‘Sports Dads’ will ever feel the need to use), a variable ratio steering setup that Ford has even managed to squeeze the mechanism of inside the steering wheel, and a system to monitor road signs and adapt the speed limiter to match them, theoretically preventing you exceeding the speed limits. For those show offs who always have something new to stick in the garden, boot space starts at 700 litres in 5 seater mode, but the 2 seated van-like layout will bump that up to a cavernous 2000 litres, perfect for that gazebo hauling, faux-brick BBQ buying dad who always calls you ‘mate’.

So, how do you stick it to ‘Sports Dad’? By knowing the following important information; those who love to drive will ultimately gain more pleasure from one of the more powerful diesel manual options than the petrol powered brute discussed earlier. The new S-Max is a brilliant cruiser, being both remarkably quiet and hugely comfortable and when driven as such it’s a joy, even if as the driver you do feel a little detached from what’s happening outside. With one of the more grunty diesel engines, the excellent manual gearbox, and ‘Titanium’ spec, you’ll have a truly excellent car on your hands. This might be about as good as a people carrier gets. Refined, comfortable, practical, and perhaps most crucially it’s actually quite desirable. It’s also cheaper to buy and will depreciate less than the flash git’s top spec model. That means when you lift lazy waves from the steering wheel of your S-Max outside the school gates, you get the satisfaction of knowing you’re in the better car.

So, who’s winning now ‘mate’?

2015 Ford Galaxy

Performance & Economy 2.0 TDCi Titanium X 2.0 EcoBoost Titanium X
Engine 1,997cc tubocharged diesel 1,999cc turbocharged petrol
Transmission 6-speed manual, front engine, front-wheel drive 6-speed automatic, front engine, front-wheel drive
Power (PS / bhp) 180 / 177 240 / 236
Torque (Nm / lb.ft) 400 / 295 345 / 254
0 – 62 mph (seconds) 9.5 8.3
Top Speed (mph) 131 140
CO2 Emissions (g/km) 129 180
VED Band D I
Combined Economy (mpg) 56 35
Price (OTR) £33,845 £35,205

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Tesla Model S – Driven

It’s fair to say our first drive of the Tesla Model S is not entirely going to plan. Fellow scribe Phil Huff is peering through the rear window with a slightly quizzical expression. “You’ve broken it,” he jokes.

Tesla Model S85

Tesla Model S85

It later transpires this assessment might not be so far from the truth. Right now, however, we’re locked outside what could well be the future of motoring, stranded at our photo location just above the Milbrook Hill Route (famously the road on which 007 totalled his Aston Martin in Casino Royale). There are worse places to be marooned, admittedly, and it provides a good opportunity to reflect on what we have gleaned about the car so far.

The Model S has been around for a couple of years now, but recent months have seen a growing number taking to our roads. It’s a discretely handsome sports saloon with a generous luggage capacity and enough room to seat five adults. There’s even the option of two additional rear-facing seats in the boot, should you need them. Outwardly, there are almost no clues to the fact that this is an all-electric vehicle, but as such it’s exempt from road tax and the Congestion Charge. Perhaps more importantly, it also falls into the lowest bracket for company car tax.

Things are a little more radical on the inside. The massive 17-inch touch screen display is not only the largest, but also the cleverest that we’ve encountered, controlling everything from the sat nav to the sunroof. It’s like sitting inside Google.

Tesla Model S85 Interior

Tesla Model S85 Interior

The dashboard itself is a strikingly simple design, clad – in the case of our test car – in Alcantara and carbon fibre. The quality of the materials is first rate and they lend the cabin a bespoke feel that distinguishes the Tesla from its more mainstream competitors.

But enough of the pleasantries, what’s it like to drive? Really rather good, in short. You can feel the mass when pressing on – it weighs a not-inconsiderably 2.1 tons – but the combination of prodigious thrust and near-total silence from the electric powertrain is quite surreal.

Right now the internet is awash with videos of this car’s twin-engined evil twin, the P85D, demolishing supercars from a standing start. Our test car is ‘only’ the single-engined carisoprodol buy rear-wheel drive S85 model, but even this comparatively mild example of the breed feels good for its claimed 5.4 second nought-to-sixty time.

Where the Model S really scores, though, is response. With 440 Nm of torque available instantly, right from a standing start, overtaking urge is never more than a twitch of the toe away. There’s no shortage of grip either, with decent chassis balance and chunky, if somewhat lifeless, steering.

A small confession here: in the brief time we had with the car, I didn’t think to check which of the two braking modes had been selected. As sampled, lifting off the accelerator resulted in something not unlike conventional engine braking, while the middle pedal had a pleasingly natural feel. It certainly wasn’t the alien experience you might expect from a regenerative braking system.

Tesla Model S85

Tesla Model S85

All of this, of course, means little if you can’t get in to drive it. Having soaked up the Bedfordshire sunshine for 20 minutes a support car is dispatched to recover us and the stricken Tesla. The central locking issue is eventually traced to a slightly unlikely culprit, in the form of the dictaphone I’d brought along to record my notes. Apparently this had interfered with the keyless entry fob lying next to it in the centre cupholder. We’ll let you decide whether that constitutes a teething issue or (as one of Tesla’s European representatives insisted) user error.

But the fact is, the fundamentals of this car are superb. The Model S is reassuringly conventional when you want it to be and yet a genuine game-changer in other respects. It’s more than capable of competing with its internal combustion powered competitors in terms of comfort and performance, with anecdotal evidence suggesting there’s enough real-world range to get you from, say, London to Birmingham.

Throw in ultra-low running costs, plus more pioneering technology than you can shake a stick at, and it also starts to look like good value, starting at £59,380 on the road. This not a car reserved for hair shirt environmentalists, nor is it a low-volume concept like Volkswagen’s plug-in hybrid XL1. The electric car, it seems, is very much a reality.

2015 Model S 85

Performance & Economy 2015 Tesla Model S 85
Engine 85 kWh Battery
Transmission Automatic gearbox, rear electric-powered motor, all-wheel drive
Power (PS / bhp) 366 / 362
Torque (Nm / lb.ft) 440 / 324
0 – 60 mph (seconds) 5.4
Top Speed (mph) 140
CO2 Emissions (g/km) 0
VED Band A
Combined Economy (mpg) n/a (310 mile range)
Price (OTR) £54,000

Tesla Model S85
Tesla Model S85
Tesla Model S85
Tesla Model S85 Luggage Compartment
Tesla Model S85 Seats In Boot
Tesla Model S85 Interior
Tesla Model S85
Tesla Model S85
Tesla Model S85

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