This week's gossip from the automotive industry brings news of Hyundai's 'halo' model, Nissan Qashqai's rocketing sales, the amount of testing needed for an autonomous car and Audi's predictions for plug-in hybrids.
Hyundai's 'halo' model
Most car makers speak of a sports car or supercar as their brand’s ‘halo’ model; for Hyundai, it is the Kona, according to design boss Peter Schreyer. “It’s a halo car for us, because it will build interest in our brand and our other cars when you see it on the street,” he said. Schreyer thinks the small SUV will attract buyers “with a younger mindset”.
Read more: Hyundai Kona 1.6 T-GDi prototype review 2017
Nissan Qashqai's rocketing sales
Almost twice as many Nissan Qashqais were sold in Europe in 2016 compared with the original model’s debut year in 2007, despite increased competition in the crossover segment. At the recent launch of the facelifted secondgeneration Qashqai, Nissan UK boss Alex Smith said: “The freshening of the exterior design, the big lift in cabin material quality, ergonomics and perceived quality are going to give us further impetus to maintain the [segmentleading] position that it has held for so long.”
The amount of testing needed for an autonomous car
The amount of testing needed to develop an autonomous car to a production-ready standard is about 31 million miles, according to BMW’s development boss Klaus Fröhlich. That’s roughly 10 times the distance covered during development of the latest 5 Series.
Audi's predictions for plug-in hybrids
Growing driving ranges from electric vehicles and quicker battery charging will reduce demand for plug-in hybrids that offer limited electriconly driving, predicts Audi’s R&D boss, Peter Mertens. “People might not need more than 30-40 miles of driving range in a day, but they want a bigger number.”