Will there be a new Ibiza Cupra?
Seat's executive vice president for research and development, Matthias Rabe, says a Cupra version of the upcoming new Ibiza “isn’t a top priority”.
Ibiza Cupra R&D costs would be similar to those of the pricier Leon Cupra and it’s simply not profitable. Instead, look out for the upcoming Ateca Cupra (Autocar has already spied development cars) and the possibility of a more extreme Leon Cupra 300 R being readied for this year’s Frankfurt motor show.
Smart's line-up in North America
Daimler has decided to sell only electric variants of its Smart brand in North America, although there are currently no plans axe petrol versions in Europe.
North America is a very small market for Smart, but its electric models have had a better sales impact than the petrols. In Europe, the petrol-powered variants are still popular, so Daimler does not want to take them off the market.
Mini's growing line-up
There will be no Mini bigger than the Countryman in this third generation of new Minis – but it could still grow in the future. Boss Peter Schwarzenbauer said that “with this generation and architecture, the Countryman is the largest Mini you’ll see”, without elaborating on what that meant for the future.
Niro goes electric
An all-electric version of the Kia Niro crossover will go on sale in 2018, shortly after a plug-in hybrid version of the car arrives later this year.
The Niro, which will be crucial in helping the Korean brand to grow its portfolio of ecofriendly vehicles, shares its underpinnings with Hyundai’s Ioniq.