UK debut for MINI Electric Pacesetter

Home / Auto News / UK debut for MINI Electric Pacesetter

Gareth Herincx

4 days ago
Auto News

An extreme version of MINI’s 100% electric hatchback will be seen on UK tarmac for the first time at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2021.

The awesome MINI Electric Pacesetter has been designed and developed as the new Safety Car in the Formula E.

It will take to the infamous Goodwood Hill Climb during the racing weekend with MINI ambassador Charlie Cooper, grandson of John Cooper who inspired the John Cooper Works division of MINI, at the wheel.

MINI ambassador and rally legend Paddy Hopkirk, who famously won the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally in the classic Morris Mini Cooper S Mk1, will be available to meet the public and sign autographs on Saturday 10th July. It can also be seen in the First Glance Paddock.

The Goodwood Festival of Speed runs from Thursday 8th to Sunday 11th July 2021.

Tags Electric Car electric vehicle EV FIA Formula E Championship Formula E Goodwood Festival of Speed MINI Electric MINI Electric Pacesetter

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who’s worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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Lexus UX 300e review

Lexus UX 300e review

Lexus was a part-electrification pioneer when it launched the RX400h self-charging hybrid SUV way back in 2004.

However, it’s taken until now for the premium car maker to bring its first all-electric vehicle – the UX 300e – to market.

Consequently, it’s a little late to the party, joining the likes of the similarly sized Kia e-Niro, Hyundai Kona Electric and Peugeot e-2008, to name but a few.

Lexus UX 300e review

Starting at £41,745, the Lexus has an official range just shy of 200 miles (190-196 miles, depending on the wheel size) and looks much the same as its hybrid sibling (priced from £29,955).

“Compact, classy, comfortable and economical, it’s engaging to drive, distinctive and oozes badge appeal,” was our conclusion when we reviewed the regular UX (Urban Crossover) in 2019.

In fact, our only gripes were the CVT gearbox (short doses of uncomfortably high revs on hard acceleration) and the infotainment screen which is accessed via a fiddly touchpad down beside the gear selector.

Lexus UX 300e review

The infotainment system is much the same in the UX 300e, but going all electric means there’s no need for a CVT because it’s a one-speed like all EVs, so the new model is a smoother operator.

For now there’s just one power option and three trims levels. A 201bhp e-motor and 54.3kW battery pack combine to power the front wheels and it’s good for a 0-62mph sprint time of 7.5 seconds.

The UX 300e can be fully charged at home in just over eight hours or via a 50KW public charger (up to 80%) in as little as 50 minutes.

Lexus UX 300e review

Naturally, it’s also (modestly) charged on the move via regenerative braking (the levels are controlled via steering wheel paddle shifters) which converts much of the energy lost while decelerating back into stored energy in the car’s battery.

Talking of charge, we found the UX’s real world range to be closer to 170 miles, though this figure will always depend on driving style, terrain, whether you use items such as the heater and the outside temperature.

To look at, the sleek electric UX is definitely one of the most stylish compact SUVs available.

Lexus UX 300e review

In fact, it looks like no other car in its class with bold, sculpted lines, a full-width rear lightbar, roof spoiler and that unmistakable Lexus mesh front grille.

Slightly lower than most competitors and sporting a coupe-like profile, it’s full of innovative features including wheel arch mouldings which not only protect the bodywork, but also have a secondary aerodynamic function, just like the rear lights and the special alloy wheels.

Inside, it oozes class. There’s plenty of room up front, though it’s not as spacious in the rear as some rivals, no is there much space to stick your feet under the front seats, thanks to the batteries below.

Lexus UX 300e review

Luggage capacity is a useful 367 litres (more than the hybrid UX) expanding to 1,278 litres with the rear seats folded.

The cabin itself is stylish, beautifully finished and very Lexus with superb attention to detail. Up front it’s very driver-centric with the instrument panel, switchgear and infotainment screen subtly angled away from the passenger.

Despite its batteries, the UX 300e feels light on the road and even swifter than the official acceleration figures suggest. In fact, in the wet, the traction control system struggles to stop the front wheels spinning if you really go for it.

Lexus UX 300e review

There is a Sport mode, but the difference isn’t that dramatic, and while body control in faster corners is fairly good, the overwhelming sensation is one of comfort and refinement, which again, is very Lexus.

Like many electric cars, the brakes aren’t massively responsive, though the steering is light, making it easy to drive around town.

The 300e is packed with safety and driver assistance systems, and when the hybrid UX was tested by Euro NCAP in 2019 it achieved a maximum score of five stars.

Lexus UX 300e review

And for extra peace of mind, it comes with the standard Lexus three-year/60,000 mile manufacturer warranty for the car, plus an eight-year/100,000-mile battery warranty.

Perhaps the 300e’s biggest challenge is its price point and range. For instance, it costs significantly more than the e-Niro and Kona Electric (which both have a range closer to 300 miles) and is even nudging the bigger Ford Mustang Mach-E and Tesla Model 3.

Verdict: Refined, comfortable and offering a premium experience, the all-electric Lexus UX 300e is a class act. With a range best suited to urban ownership, it’s easy to drive and stands out from the crowd, but it’s also up against some serious competition.

Jaguar I-Pace crowned “best new car”

Home / Auto News / Jaguar I-Pace crowned “best new car”

Gareth Herincx

1 day ago
Auto News

The all-electric Jaguar I-Pace has been named New Car of the Year at the Auto Trader New Car Awards 2021.

The awards are decided by real car owners, (148,000 voted) and trophies went to more than 20 new cars .

Owners were asked to rate their cars according to 16 different criteria, from reliability and performance to appearance and running costs, as well as their overall satisfaction and how likely they would be to recommend it to others. Auto Trader used this data to determine the finalists and the ultimate winners of each category.

Auto Trader New Car Awards 2021 – the winners

  • New Car of the Year – Jaguar I-Pace
  • Best Car for Families – Tesla Model 3
  • Best Car for New Drivers – Renault Zoe
  • Best Value New Car – MG ZS
  • Best Car for Long Distances – Hyundai Tucson
  • Most Fun to Drive – MINI Hatch
  • Best Car for City Drivers – Renault Captur
  • Best Car for Dog Owners – MG ZS
  • Best 7-Seater Car – Mercedes-Benz GLE Class
  • Best Car for Towing – Volkswagen Touareg
  • Most Loved Car – Ford Puma
  • Best Hybrid – BMW 3 Series
  • Best Value Electric Car – Kia Soul
  • Best Premium Electric Car – Polestar 2
  • Most Loved Brand – Porsche
  • Most Reliable Brand – Toyota
  • Car brand with the best tech – BMW
  • Best Value Brand – Dacia
  • Best Luxury Car – Mercedes-Benz G Class
  • The Rory Reid Award – Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo
  • The Erin Baker Award – Peugeot e-208

“With nearly 150,000 genuine car buyers contributing to this year’s judging process, our awards provide the industry with a very accurate measure of consumer satisfaction,” said Auto Trader’s commercial director Ian Plummer.

“They also reflect changing consumer attitudes and trends, not least with a record number of electric vehicles making it on to this year’s winners’ list.”

Tags auto trader Auto Trader New Car Awards Electric Car electric vehicle EV Jaguar Jaguar I-Pace

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who’s worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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Leading the charge: Energy Superhub Oxford

“Europe’s most powerful electric vehicle charging superhub” has been announced and it’s heading to Oxford.

UK-based Pivot Power, part of EDF Renewables, and Oxford City Council have joined up with Fastned, the European electric vehicle (EV) fast charging company, Tesla Superchargers and Wenea, one of the largest EV charging services providers in Europe, have teamed up to deliver Energy Superhub Oxford (ESO).

It will be the first of up to 40 superhubs, helping to ensure the UK has enough charging infrastructure for the estimated 36 million EVs on the road by 2040.

The superhub will initially feature 38 fast and ultra-rapid chargers (the most powerful in a single site) with around 10MW of power on site.

Unlike any other UK charging hub, the site, at Redbridge Park & Ride, is directly connected to the high voltage national electricity grid, to provide the power needed to charge hundreds of EVs at the same time quickly, without putting strain on the local electricity network or requiring costly upgrades.

This innovative network, developed by Pivot Power, has capacity to expand to key locations throughout Oxford to meet mass EV charging needs, from buses and taxis to commercial fleets.

Fastned will initially install 10 chargers at the superhub with 300kW of power, capable of adding 300 miles of range in just 20 minutes for up to hundreds of EVs per day.

The station will be powered by 100% renewable energy, partly generated by the company’s trademark solar roof, and all makes and models of EVs will be able to charge at the highest rates possible simultaneously.

The announcement comes as Oxford is set to launch the UK’s first Zero Emission Zone this August, where vehicles are charged based on their emissions, with EVs able to use the zone for free.

The £41m world-first project, led by Pivot Power, integrates EV charging, battery storage, low carbon heating and smart energy management technologies to support Oxford to be zero carbon by 2040 or earlier.

“Our goal is to help the UK accelerate net zero by delivering power where it is needed to support the EV and renewable energy revolution,” said Matt Allen, CEO at Pivot Power.

“Oxford is one of 40 sites we are developing across the UK, combining up to 2GW of battery storage with high volume power connections for mass EV charging.

“Energy Superhub Oxford supports EDF’s plan to become Europe’s leading e-mobility energy company by 2023, and is a blueprint we want to replicate right across the country, working hand in hand with local communities to create cleaner, more sustainable cities where people want to live and work.”

Ice cool I-Pace leads Jaguar’s electric charge

Jaguar’s first all-electric performance car has been undergoing testing in Arctic conditions at -40°C. The I-Pace SUV and its all-wheel drive system tamed sub-zero conditions at Jaguar Land Rover’s cold weather test facility in Arjeplog, Sweden. Due to receive its global premiere on March 6 at the Geneva Motor Show, Jaguar claims the I-Pace will …

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