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motoring news

Volkswagen's plug-in hybrid Passat can travel up to 50km on pure electric power

All the car-related news you need to know – including the Mazda MX-5 RF, Volkswagen Passat GTE, Nissan xStorage and more 162 sale events.

EVERY WEEK, WE bring you all the latest news you need to know from the motoring world. The big car news this past week involves a hardtop, a hybrid and a home storage solution.

New Volkswagen Passat GTE goes on sale

Volkswagen Media Volkswagen Media

The Volkswagen Passat GTE hybrid is powered by a 1.4-litre TSI engine delivering 153hp and an electric motor producing 113hp. Together, the two units generate 215hp. In all-electric mode, the Passat GTE has a range of up to 50km and a range of more than 1,100km when the tank is full and battery fully charged. Many of the Passat GTE’s functions, including charging the battery, activating the air-conditioning functions or seeing where the car was last parked, can optionally be controlled and monitored via the ‘Car-Net e-Remote’ app. The prices for the Passat GTE start at €41,450 for the saloon and €43,715 for the estate and this includes an SEAI grant and VRT rebate.

Mazda MX-5 RF at Goodwood Festival of Speed

The latest incarnation of the iconic Mazda MX-5 makes its European debut at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed (June 23-26). The MX-5 RF (Retractable Fastback) features an electrically-folding hardtop roof which opens at the touch of a button in 12 seconds. The RF features Mazda’s KODO: Soul of Motion design, incorporating new elements of bodywork to give the car a different side and rear profile to the standard MX-5. Visitors to the Goodwood Festival of Speed can see the MX-5 RF on display at Mazda’s main stand as well as get a chance to see the one millionth MX-5 off the production line.

Nissan’s vision for a greener, cleaner, more sustainable future

Malcolm Griffiths Malcolm Griffiths

During this month’s Nissan Futures event in London, Nissan unveiled some interesting initiatives in energy management and announced it has joined forces with power management leader Eaton to develop a new residential energy storage unit, which will be available to pre-order from September 2016. The ‘xStorage’ solution is said to give consumers the power to control how and when they use energy in their own homes. When connected to a residential power supply or renewable energy source such as solar panels, the xStorage unit can save customers money on their utility bills by charging up when renewable energy is available or energy is cheaper (e.g. during the night) and releasing that stored energy when demand and costs are high.

Malcolm Griffiths Malcolm Griffiths

If a home is equipped with solar technology, this means that consumers can power their homes using clean energy stored in their xStorage unit and be rewarded financially for doing so by avoiding expensive daytime energy tariffs. The xStorage unit also provides a sustainable ‘second life’ for Nissan’s electric vehicle (EV) batteries. After their first life in cars is over, the batteries are re-used in the xStorage, which is currently powered by twelve Nissan EV battery modules. By using old EV batteries in its xStorage units, Nissan is differentiating itself from competitors by making its energy storage unit as environmentally friendly as possible. Those competitors include Tesla and its Powerwall and Mercedes-Benz and its energy storage module. Speaking at the Nissan Futures event, Cyrille Brisson, Vice President Marketing, Eaton Electrical EMEA said:

Our system will be provided to end-users completely ready to use, with all required elements including cabling and installation by a certified professional, at a starting price of €4,000 for 4.2KWh nominal. Our policy is to avoid hidden extra costs and achieve a lower total cost of ownership than other major offers already announced.

162 sales to tempt you

Mazda is offering a combination of spec upgrades, reduced APR and complimentary accessories for its 162-reg sale event.

Here’s what’s on offer:

Mazda2 Complimentary activity style pack on Mazda2 Executive PCP of €173 per month 5.9% APR

Mazda3 Complimentary spec upgrade worth up to €1600 PCP of €234 per month 6.9% APR

Mazda6 Complimentary spec upgrade worth up to €2000 PCP of €318 per month 6.9% APR

CX-3 PCP of €229 per month 5.9% APR

CX-5 PCP of €304 per month 6.9% APR

MX-5 €500 worth of complementary accessories PCP of €304 per month 6.9% APR All these offers are now live and will be running until the end of July.

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