Our reporters empty their notebooks to round up this week's gossip from across the automotive industry
30 August 2016

This week's gossip from the automotive industry has news of a possible sea change in the designing of cars, the Seat Ateca First Edition's launch success, possible hybridisation of the Toyota Hilux and Ferrari's weekly meetings.

Sea change in car design possible

Peugeot's head of design, Gilles Vidal, has backed the assertion made by Jaguar design boss Ian Callum that the electrification of cars offers an opportunity for a sea change in the look of cars.

“The biggest story of the automotive revolution is still to come, of that I have no doubt,” said Vidal. “The past 130 years hasn’t seen any revolutions on this scale.”

Read more: Peugeot 2008 and 3008 GTi variants consideredJaguar Land Rover to open Rockar digital store

Catching inspiration from the Seat Ateca First Edition

The sales success of the Seat Ateca First Edition, a limited-run version of a Nissan Qashqai rival shaped by the input of a public vote, is likely to prompt the firm to launch future new cars the same way in the UK.

As a result of a public vote in which 12,706 people took part, the car majors on tech and exterior style upgrades. “It’s been fascinating seeing first-hand what customers want on their cars,” said Steve Catlin, Seat’s head of sales operations. “That has helped guide us for future specs.” 

Read more: Seat Ateca review, Hot Seat Ateca Cupra under consideration

Toyota's plans for the Hilux

Hybrid technology is likely to feature in the next Toyota Hilux pickup, company insiders have suggested.

Although nothing is confirmed, a source said: “Hybrid technology will come to light commercial vehicles” because of tightening emissions regulations.

However, the next-generation Hilux could be as many as eight years away.

Read more: 2016 Toyota Hilux Invincible Double Cab review2016 Toyota Aygo X-clusiv review

Ferrari's weekly meetings

Ferrari's road and Formula 1 powertrain engineers meet once a week to share ideas, technology, development and testing feedback.

They also use the same suppliers to ensure tech can transfer from race to road easily.

Read more: 2016 Ferrari GTC4 Lusso review and videoHow to own a special edition Ferrari

Our Verdict

Seat Ateca

Seat's first attempt at building an SUV is a cracker and knocked the Nissan Qashqai off its perch in the process, so we discover what makes the Ateca our class leader

Join the debate


30 August 2016
Maybe it should be the other way round? Right now their road cars seem to be more advanced than their racers. I think too much is made of racing improving the breed. What possible use is it having sophisticated aerodynamics generating tons of downforce - and drag to go with it - on a road car? On the other hand, a road car's low cost and reliability might just be a benefit for the racing team!

30 August 2016
In terms of design, I would like to see a Qashqai that isn't shaped like a van, lower, bit longer with a fastback hatch. Possibly call it something like "Primera".

30 August 2016
sirwiggum wrote:

In terms of design, I would like to see a Qashqai that isn't shaped like a van, lower, bit longer with a fastback hatch. Possibly call it something like "Primera".



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