Our reporters empty their notebooks to round up this week's gossip from across the automotive industry
27 November 2018

In this week's round-up of automotive insider information, we hear how much Toyota spent converting the new Corolla hatchback into an estate, why Lexus is ready for the shift to pure electric power, and what plans Volkswagen has for future performance models. 

An electric Land Rover is still a Land Rover:

Jaguar Land Rover engineering boss Nick Rogers says electrification “absolutely fits” with Land Rover models and their characteristics. He said that electronics allow for minute control over rough terrain and surfaces, as well as the extra power and torque needed in those situations. 

Bigger is better (but not cheaper) for Toyota:

Ever wondered about the cost of converting a hatch to an estate? According to Toyota, modifying the Corolla Touring Sports cost an estimated £53 million and took 400,000 man-hours. For the first time at Toyota, all of the work, including design, was done in Europe. 

Our Verdict

Toyota Corolla Touring Sports 2019 road test review - hero front

Toyota’s Brit-built crack at the Golf class is also a new-groove performance hybrid

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Lexus is ready for the end of the combustion engine:

Lexus is perfectly placed to lead the push for electrification, with 98% of its European sales being hybrids last year, European boss Pascal Ruch says. “There are issues around the cost – cost of owning and charging network for electric cars – plus how they fit into lives,” he said. “For now, the best solution is hybrid. In two, three – maybe five – years maybe that will change to full electric, but for now we have the perfect solution.” 

Volkswagen hints at performance-spec ID models:

Performance-oriented versions of Volkswagen’s upcoming ID electric cars are a possibility, according to UK managing director Alison Jones. She said: “We’ve publicly spoken about two levels of battery in there and that you could add increased battery power, so by default you could get to a higher-performing car. That’s what we’re known for, so you could envisage that will come.”

Read more

Toyota Corolla Touring Sports 2.0 hybrid 2019 review​

Updated Land Rover Discovery Sport to get plug-in hybrid

Lexus boss on EVs, autonomy and radical design

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Comments
9

27 November 2018

The reason Lexus sell 98% hybrids is that they wont sell non hybrids to people (apart from a few V8s). If they offered more choice they might sell more cars. I drove the new LS recently. Its a really lovely car with a gearbox thats not great, and an engine that feels like its doing what ever if felt like, without any driver control. I am sure the non hybrid they get everywhere else would be much better (as would a full EV, at a price).

27 November 2018
Of course its 98% , that's pretty much all they offer. Interersed in what artill had to say re test drive. I am interested in looking at hybrids but just reading all the reviews, anything with a lexus/toyota hybrid power source appears to sound like it's got a slipping clutch .That's awful to me. I do love the reliability and potential economy however , anyone with a different experience when driving them ?

27 November 2018

I’ve driven a ct200h and Nx300h. Yep diffent but quickly felt entirely normal. The characteristics described are not as bad as road tests seem to emphasise in my opinion. Pet your foot right down and engine hits top revs but in reality you don’t do it that often and it’s only for a few seconds. It’s mostly about quality and refinement and decent mpg easily achievable. Admittedly won’t be to everyone’s taste but try one and make your own mind up I guess

27 November 2018

Last year 98% of Lexus European sales were hybrids because they have nothing else to make more volume other than 2%! They have full electric versions? How many cars Tesla was able to sell in Europe? What issues are on cost of owning a Tesla? Same way as in any other leasing. How Lexus cars fit into lives? Do anyone takes them into bed? Do anyone run along with them? For now, the best solution is plug-in electric or full electric if you want to forgo petrol or diesel. Running costs are cheaper, less wear & tear and end of lease is as simple as with any other. Bonus: no congestion charge too.

Regarding the Toyota Corolla Touring Sports, not a substantial part was done in full in Europe: Research & Development, Engineering, Styling, Prototype Building and Testing. Almost 90% of benchmarking, teardown & spying of competitors (Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf, Renault Megane) was done. Lies, damn lies.

27 November 2018

About 10-20 years ago people were saying that Lexus couldn't compete as they were underequipped with diesel options.

Now with petrol and hybrid making a surge in sales this should play right into Lexus' court.

27 November 2018

Lexus sales in Europe have remained steady at .3% for 4 years now and they've been dropping for the last 4 years in the states.

They might have Hybirds but then so do the other premium brands. Then there's the problem of tax breaks gradually being removed for the plug-in hybrid type.

 

27 November 2018
Lexus Hybrids are as good as dead if they dont develop them further in the next 3 years. Mercedes says the next plug-in Hybrid GLE has 100kms of full electric autonomy already, that will make it a viable option as the grant still stands for the car (70kms of electric autonomy minimum).

27 November 2018
Ubberfrancis44 wrote:

Lexus Hybrids are as good as dead if they dont develop them further in the next 3 years. Mercedes says the next plug-in Hybrid GLE has 100kms of full electric autonomy already, that will make it a viable option as the grant still stands for the car (70kms of electric autonomy minimum).

In fairness to lexus/toyota, people know what they are getting , ie not great to drive but superb quality and superb reliability over massive mileages . With anything complex and German you also know what your getting, you'll have very very expensive bills once you are just out of warranty ...

27 November 2018

I am finding this type of car finally i found from here thanks for share i will gift to my junior brother on his i think he will be rock with this car and 

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