Currently reading: Autocar confidential: Volkswagen's R SUVs, no ST for Ka+ and Toyota's fuel cell bus
Our reporters empty their notebooks to round up this week's gossip from across the automotive industry

This week's snippets of automotive news include news on Volkswagen's performance SUVs, Ford 's Ka+ micro-SUV, Toyota's fuel cell bus and Skoda's product management boss sounding off on the Tesla Model 3. 

Volkswagen's R SUVs

Volkswagen ruled out GTI versions of its SUVs, according to UK managing director Alison Jones, but she said SUVs would fi t in with the company’s R performance range. Jones noted that R-badged models “have always been four-wheeldrive and in essence that’s what SUVs are all about, so it makes more sense to lead with that one.” A VW T-Roc R has been seen testing, although the firm has said nothing about it in public.

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Ford: No Ka+ ST

Ford will not make a performance-focused ST variant of its Ka+ supermini, according to sources at the manufacturer, despite the popularity of the Volkswagen Up GTI. The Ka+ line-up will not even get the sporty ST-Line trim available in other Ford models, such as the Fiesta and Ecosport.

Ford ka

Toyota's hydrogen bus

Toyota will launch a hydrogen-fuel-cellpowered bus in Tokyo next year using an upscaled version of the powertrain in the Toyota Mirai. Around 100 hydrogen buses will be on the roads in Tokyo in time for the 2020 Olympics, each with capacity to carry 78 passengers and a 125-mile range. Toyota aims for all new buses in Japan to be hydrogen-powered by 2030.


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The T-Roc has been with us since 2017 - can it still turn heads in a congested segment?

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Toyota mirai rt 2016 ac 724

Skoda vs Tesla

Skoda's head of product management, Guido Haak, reckons Tesla is the number-one risk taker in the industry – but the Model 3 is too expensive to be a car for everybody. Haak said an electric Skoda would have a less ‘vanilla’ list of attributes, including price, range, fun-to-drive characteristics and other desirable features.


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Riley 1.5 4 September 2018

KA+ ST, or UP GTI, tough choice,huh?

The KA+, or as I prefer to call it, the "pensioners special" must really cause UP GTI customers to stop and think if they're making the right choice, or whether they should plead with Ford to make an ST version of their KA+, to meet their need for a small sporty car.

Every time I see a KA+, particularly in base yellow, I can't help but feel that it's one car I could never, ever, consider buying.