Our reporters empty their notebooks to round up this week's gossip from across the automotive industry
3 January 2019

This week's snippets of automotive news include proposed changes for BMW's future engine line-up, how Mazda's designs are set to evolve, and Audi's introduction of a hire scheme for the UK.

BMW’s plans for combustion

BMW R&D boss Klaus Fröhlich predicts that 80-85% of the car maker’s line-up in 2030 will still be fitted with internal combustion engines, albeit making use of 48V mild hybrid technology. By 2025, every petrol or diesel from BMW will have a second-generation 48V mild hybrid system that will feature an e-motor in the transmission, offering greater electric assistance and efficiency. 

Distinct designs for future Mazdas

Despite the recently revealed Mazda 3 showcasing a new design language for the Japanese maker, forthcoming new models will not adopt a ‘Russian doll’ styling approach, said European design boss Jo Stenuit. He said: “Every car that comes will clearly be a Mazda, but the way we execute the reflection of surfaces will be different in each car.”

Audi launches UK hire scheme

Audi On Demand, the firm’s short-term car-hire service, has officially launched in the UK after a small-scale pilot scheme. Beyond running through dealerships, the service will also become available at premium apartment blocks in future, according to UK boss Andrew Boyle. Eleven models can be hired on a one-to three-day basis from eight locations across England and Scotland. 

Porsche considers rally-inspired 911

Porsche could consider building a 911 ‘SUV’, reviving the spirit of the 953 Paris-Dakar Rally car of the 1980s, according to sales boss Detlev von Platen. Speaking to Autocar India at last month’s LA motor show, he said: “Taking the 911 and making an SUV out of it? Taking it higher? That could be a good idea, and of course it won’t be a model range but it will be a limited, very niche product.”

Our Verdict

Mazda 3
The SkyActiv platform used in the 3 features more high and ultra-high-strength steel, offering greater strength and less weight

Mazda's SkyActiv revolution hits the family hatchback class with a desirable blend of brisk performance and energetic handling

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Comments
4

3 January 2019

Couldn't find it at first but a A3 is FROM £80 a day (so it sounds nearer to a £100 in the real world), sounds twice as much as anyone else but it is a good way of getting an extended test drive without talking to a car salesman.

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

FMS

3 January 2019
xxxx wrote:

Couldn't find it at first but a A3 is FROM £80 a day (so it sounds nearer to a £100 in the real world), sounds twice as much as anyone else but it is a good way of getting an extended test drive without talking to a car salesman.

 

Not that you have any reason to go near a car showroom, most if not all salesmen, would delight in not having to put up with you wasting their time. What could you get by way of part-ex, on your decrepit sofa?. Is that a go-faster stripe, or just another mucky stain?. TwIT, the w is silent, as you should be.

3 January 2019

Glad to hear that future Mazdas won't all look the same, the back end of the new 3 looks awful. Mazda is known for lightweight engineering, its cars shouldn't look as leaden as this.

3 January 2019

Back in the days when VW and Audi shared the same showrooms most large dealerships offered daily rental for both brands. Cars were on a specific rental stocking plan and had to be kept for a minimum period before being sold in the same way as demos.

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