Currently reading: Autocar confidential: why family saloons won't die, how Seat turned things around and more
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 the importance of bespoke electric platforms for car design, the survival of family saloon sales and Renault's Mad Max Symbioz autonomous concept, plus, Seat’s boss explains the reasons for his brand's growing success.

Why EVs must have bespoke platforms:

Electric cars always need to have a bespoke architecture, or all of the packaging efficiencies will not be realised, according to Aston Martin Lagonda’s strategy director, Gerhard Fourie. “With adaptations, you’re always trying to marry EV with an ICE [internal combustion engine] design. It’s always going to be a compromise,” he said.

Family saloons won't die:

Sales of family saloons are falling in Europe but they remain stable globally, hence Peugeot’s decision to launch a new 508, according to CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato. More than half of all sales for the 508 will be outside Europe, and the car is important for Peugeot because it is in the company’s “DNA – we must be [in that segment]”, according to Imparato.

Renault's Mad Max:

Ask most people about Mad Max and cars, and they’ll mention a Ford Falcon XB GT Coupé. But for Renault, Mad Max is a Talisman saloon fitted with a raft of extra sensors. That’s because it’s the name of the final test hack for the Symbioz autonomous concept car revealed last year. Before Mad Max came an earlier Talisman hack named Road Runner and an autonomous Espace mule called Ghost Rider.

Seat’s going up:

Seat boss Luca de Meo attributes his firm’s recent success to “a favourable product cycle” – plenty of new models – and the economic recovery of key markets such as Spain. He added that the introduction of the Audi Q3 on to the production line at Seat’s Martorell plant in Spain in 2011 has also meant Seat had to “raise the quality” of its processes and finish.

Read more 

Seat Arona review 

First drive: Renault Symbioz 

BMW 5 Series review

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xxxx 10 July 2018


"Electric cars always need to have a bespoke architecture" got in an 'comments' exchange argument last week about this regarding Land Rover and the Jag I-Pace. It's been proved by way of the best EV's are bespoke, e.g. Golf-e or Focus-e Versus Leaf or Bolt. Obvious really