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

This week's gossip from the automotive industry has news of Kia's tech future, Mitsubishi's Ground Tourer designer, Renault's competition tactics and the Seat Leon Cupra facelift.

The future of tech in Kia's cars

Younger buyers now expect smartphone integration systems such as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to be standard, according to Kia Europe’s marketing chief, Artur Martins.

“That technology is now really important,” he said. “Buyers, particularly younger ones, expect to find tech in their cars that is the same as their phones.”

Read more: Kia set for alternative-fuel onslaught2016 Kia Optima Sportswagon 1.7 CRDi GT-Line S DCT review

Mitsubishi Ground Tourer's design

Mitsubishi's Ground Tourer concept was created by design chief Tsunehiro Kunimoto, who joined the company from Infiniti two years ago. He has has also designed the XR PHEV II concept, eX concept, XM concept as well as the facelifted Outlander and ASX.  

Our Verdict

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Top-selling plug-in SUV gets major revisions to styling and suspension as Mitsubishi bids to keep its market advantage

Find an Autocar car review

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Details such as the grille, narrow LED headlights and fl oating roof will shape the next wave of new models, due after Mitsubishi launches two new softroaders in 2017/2018. The new soft-roaders have been previewed by the Nissan Juke-sized EX and Nissan Qashqai-sized XR concepts.

Kunimoto describes the distinctive C-shaped front-end decoration as a “dynamic shield”. The design element was first seen at Paris in 2014, and has been used on a number of cars, including the Outlander and ASX facelifts.

Read more: Mitsubishi GT PHEV concept revealed

Renault's design tactics

Renault design boss Laurens van den Ackers said the new Renault Scenic had to “innovate or die” in the face of competition from crossovers. He suggested that although Renault has made serious leaps in terms of the exterior design of its cars, the interiors have lagged behind and will be the next big focus.

Read more: 2017 Renault Zoe: UK pricing and specs2016 Renault Clio RS 220 Trophy UK review

Seat Leon Cupra facelift

Despite the subtlety of its recent facelift, the next Seat Leon Cupra will get even more power and be launched separately some time after the arrival of the standard Leon. The range-topping hot hatchback is expected to have more than 300bhp.

Read more: Seat Arona X-Perience on the way, Seat's first electric vehicle coming in 2019

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Our Verdict

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Top-selling plug-in SUV gets major revisions to styling and suspension as Mitsubishi bids to keep its market advantage

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week