This week’s gossip from the automotive industry has news of a new Fiat ‘Supermini’, upgrades to the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, future Skoda Kodiaq models and the possibility of hybrid models from Seat.
Upgraded Punto in the works
Fiat’s Luca Napolitano says the company is “working day and night" to have a new Punto supermini.
Fiat’s Europe, Middle East and Asia region boss said: “There are six brands in Fiat Chrysler and they are all fighting for investment.”
He was hinting that making the investment case for a new European supermini is very difficult. Although that segment is one of the largest in Europe, Napolitano said the new Volkswagen Golf-sized Tipo range has similar pricing to most current superminis.
Upgraded C-Class in 2019
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class will get an all-new 2.0-litre diesel engine during its mid-life facelift, according to Michael Kelz, chief engineer for the E-Class, GLC and CLS.
It’s due in 2019 and will replace the 2.1-litre unit.
New Skoda Kodiaq options
Skoda's Kodiaq SUV will be offered with a Sportline trim option but no more power, at least initially.
However, insiders say Skoda’s new boss, Bernard Maier, who previously worked at Porsche, has been talking about more powerful models.
That could lead to more potent versions of several models besides the Kodiaq, but the firm is keen not to undermine its reputation for practical, affordable and convenient family cars.
Development costs may also stall the plans.
Read more: Skoda Kodiaq officially revealed
Possibility of Seat hybrid models dampened
The youth-orientated nature of the Seat brand is holding it back from putting hybrid or electric-powered models into production.
A Seat spokesman said: “The architecture and tech is there, but it would be out of reach for the younger buyers we’re catering to. Once the price comes down, we’ll already have a lot of what we need in place to make that step.”