New car registrations down 6.8 percent in January

New car registrations down 6.8 percent in January 2018

New car registrations down 6.8 percent in January

Data released this morning reveals that the UK’s new car market fell by 6.8 percent in January compared to the same period last year.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reports that 163,615 cars were driven off forecourts in January – with diesel being the hardest hit.

Fewer than 59,000 diesels were registered last month compared to 78,905 in January 2017 – something the SMMT describes as ‘concerning’.

“The ongoing and substantial decline in new diesel car registrations is concerning, particularly since the evidence indicates consumers and businesses are not switching into alternative technologies, but keeping their older cars running,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes.

“Given fleet renewal is the fastest way to improve air quality and reduce CO2, we need government policy to encourage take up of the latest advanced low emission diesels as, for many drivers, they remain the right choice economically and environmentally.”

The organisation says the figures illustrate the importance of diesel cars and engines to the UK economy. Last year, more than two in five of the cars leaving British production lines were diesels, while manufacturers also produced more than 1 million engines – directly supporting some 3,350 jobs and, combined with the UK’s petrol engine output, delivering some £8.5 billion to the economy.

The sale of alternatively-fuelled cars, including hybrid and electric vehicles, increased by 23.9 percent from 7,279 to 9,020. They now account for a market of share of 5.5 percent.

Data of the best-selling cars in January reveals that the new Ford Fiesta is proving to be a hit with buyers – with nearly twice as many registered compared to the Volkswagen Golf, which sits in second place. Curiously, the once-popular Vauxhall Corsa has dropped to eighth place.

The best-selling cars in January 2018

Car modelNumber registered
Ford Fiesta8,335
Volkswagen Golf4,310
Ford Focus4,105
Nissan Qashqai3,851
Vauxhall Mokka X3,767
Mercedes-Benz A-Class3,358
Kia Sportage2,622
Vauxhall Corsa2,587
Ford Kuga2,580
Mercedes-Benz C-Class2,478

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MR week in review: 3 February 2018

New 2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class

From class-leading aerodynamics, to a multimedia system with artificial intelligence, and a construction centred on safety, Mercedes-Benz hopes the new A-Class will redefine the compact premium segment. Whilst the styling is clearly a safe evolution of the existing car, don’t be fooled into thinking Stuttgart has taken the easy route with this new car. Semi-autonomous driving technology, and optional extras taken from the S-Class saloon, are a long way from the quirky first-generation A-Class that first appeared back in 1997.

Mercedes has even been brave enough to reference the infamous “Elk test” incident, which defined the legacy of the first-generation A-Class. Hopefully this latest car will avoid suffering from a phobia of large mammals, and is packed with advanced safety technology just in case. With plans to sell the A-Class for the first time in North America, this could be a hugely important model for the brand.

This week we have also previewed the return of Top Gear, crunched the numbers on the cars most likely to be SORN, and reminisced about the classic Ford Escort.

News

New 2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class

With an all-new fourth-generation model Mercedes-Benz is promising much for the latest A-Class. These are the eleven key things to know about the premium hatch.

Features and opinion

Series 25 of Top Gear

The return of Top Gear to your screens
Already bored of The Grand Tour? Yearning for more Harris, Reid, and LeBlanc on TV instead? Fear not, as series 25 of ‘new’ Top Gear is coming in the near future.

European new car sales grew slightly in 2017

2017 European favourites
We’ve crunched the data from JATO Dynamics, and found which were the most popular new cars across Europe in 2017.

20 years of SORN

SORN stars revealed
With the SORN process now two decades old, we’ve done our research on which cars are most likely to be declared off the road.

Motorsport special editions: win on Sunday, sell on Monday

Renaultsport riches
A new quick Megane is here, but the history of fast Renaults is as deep as it is wide. These are just 40 of the greatest hot La Regie creations.

Retro MR

Volkswagen Corrado

Retro MR – The Volkswagen Corrado turns 30
Hailed as one of the greatest front-wheel drive performance cars, the Corrado is a VW scene favourite. Volkswagen Classic is helping to celebrate its big milestone.

Retro MR – In pictures – Ford Escort at 50
Once an established mainstay of the British High Street, the humble Ford Escort first made a debut some fifty years ago. This is the story of a true national treasure.

Cape Town: the South African city with incredible car culture

Retro MR – Exploring the car culture of Cape Town
Modified motors may seem to be a rarity in the UK, but South Africa is still very much in love with car customisation. We investigated the tuning culture in Cape Town.

 

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New 2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class

New 2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class: 11 things you need to know

New 2018 Mercedes-Benz A-ClassThe new fourth-generation Mercedes-Benz A-Class has been revealed. The firm is bullish, saying it redefines modern luxury and revolutionises interior design in the compact class; ordering opens in March and deliveries begin in the spring. 

The new A-Class is bigger than before, with a 370-litre boot now just 10 litres shy of a Volkswagen Golf. It’s easier to get in and out of – particularly in the rear – and easier to see out of as well. Naturally, it’s safer than ever, with S-Class-grade safety assist tech available, while comfort options include climate-controlled massaging front seats, 64-colour ambient lighting (including illuminated air vents) and semi-autonomous driving functionality.

Engines are all-new. The 1.4-litre (actually, 1,332cc…) M282 motor sounds the star of the show: it has cylinder deactivation, produces up to 167hp when they’re all activated, and should return diesel-like economy. The M260 2.0-litre puts out a handy-sounding 224hp and the OM608 1.5-litre turbodiesel produces a meagre-sounding 116hp but is bound to deliver good economy, low CO2 and, thanks to standard AdBlue NOx-reducing tech, ultra-low exhaust nasties. It will be a star of the new WLTP fuel economy rules. 

What else is standout about the new A-Class, though? Here are 11 things you need to know.  

1. The new Mercedes-Benz A-Class is the first Merc not to have a cowl atop the dash. Instead, the dash ‘wing’ stretches from side-to-side, with the freestanding screens sitting proud on top. 

 

2. Even the basic A-Class has twin 7-inch colour displays. The next one up has a 7-inch and a 10.25-inch display; the range-topper has dual 10.25-inch displays (that’s 26cm), housed under a single piece of glass. The central display is touchscreen, for the first time – you can pinch-zoom maps, like you do on a tablet device or smartphone. 

3. The choice of ambient lighting colours has increased fourfold, from 12 to 64. To help you find the perfect hue, Mercedes-Benz has preassigned 10 colour ‘worlds’, delivering “an avant-garde lighting display with spectacular colour changes”. 

4. The new MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) multimedia system has artificial intelligence (AI). If you always listen to PM on Radio 4, it will learn this, and suggest it to you at around 16.50 each weekday. It will learn who you regularly call and when, and pre-empt this for you. If you regularly drive a route, it will pop this up as a suggestion on the home screen: all you need to do is accept. It’s going to be quite uncanny.

5. It has voice control. Shout, “hey, Mercedes!” and you can fire instructions to your A-Class like you do your Amazon Alexa device. 

6. It has a Cd drag factor of just 0.25. This is very aerodynamically slippery indeed – the best in its sector, in fact. 

7. Even the smallest alloy wheel is 16-inches. The largest goes up to 19 inches. Will the future Mercedes-AMG A-Class nudge into the 20″s? 

New 2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class

8. Three engines will be offered at launch: the A 200 is a 1.33-litre, the A 250 is a 2.0-litre and the A 180 d is a 1.5-litre. The A200 does up to 55.3mpg when fitted with the 7G-DCT automatic, although only this auto version has cylinder deactivation functionality. It works on partial loads between 1,250rpm and 3,800rpm. 

9. Mercedes-Benz has built a new Technology Centre for Vehicle Safety (TFS). The new A-Class is the first Merc to be developed there. Findings from real-life accidents have gone into it, helping optimise “every single bodyshell component… according to the loads and stresses encountered”. 

10. Entry-level A 180 d and A 200, surprisingly, have basic (and cheaper) torsion beam rear suspension. Only A 250 and all 4MATIC models have a more advanced four-link independent rear suspension. You can get three types of dampers though: comfort, ‘sports comfort) lowered by 15mm, and active damping. 

11. Mercedes-Benz has spent four years developing the new A-Class. It’s covered 12 million test kilometres, with “a few hundred” test cars covering miles in 10 countries (the UK was, sadly, not one of them). 

And finally…

Mercedes-Benz surprisingly mentions the “Elk test” in its launch information for the new A-Class. The car “soon attracted criticism” following its 1997 launch, it says: “because an A-Class overturned… and Mercedes-Benz responded: the A-Class was given a revised suspension system and ESP as standard”. The firm, it says, duly raised the safety of compact cars and “put its stamp on the whole industry. It started the success story that is the A-Class.”

In pictures: 2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class

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20 years of SORN

Revealed: the cars most likely to be off the road

20 years of SORN

While crunching the numbers for our recent feature on popular cars vanishing from our roads, our heads were turned by the sheer number of vehicles listed by the DVLA as off the road. In other words, cars declared SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) by their owners.

The government introduced SORN 20 years ago this week, with owners required to let the authorities know when a vehicle has been taken off the road and is no longer taxed or insured. With this in mind, we’ve braved the spreadsheet once again with the aim of compiling the top 20 cars listed as SORN in the UK.

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20. Audi A4:

Audi A4

On sale in the UK: 1995 – present

Number listed as SORN: 21,000

Firstly, it’s important to point out that SORNs aren’t the preserve of rare exotics and classic cars. The vast majority of cars registered as being off the road will be sat in a compound waiting for a new owner, or vehicles pre-registered by dealers in an effort to boost monthly sales figures. Which will explain why there are 21,000 Audi A4s registered as SORN in the UK. In all cases, we’ve rounded the number up or down to the nearest thousand.

19. Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Mercedes-Benz C-Class

On sale in the UK: 1993 – present

Number listed as SORN: 23,000

Other reasons for declaring a car SORN include large companies having a surplus of fleet vehicles, rental firms with too many vehicles, and the classic example of keeping a classic for summer use. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is a popular fleet favourite and was the UK’s ninth best-selling car in 2017.

18. Volkswagen Passat

Volkswagen Passat

On sale in the UK: 1973 – present

Number listed as SORN: 23,000

The Volkswagen Passat is another fleet favourite, which is reflected in the specification of the cars listed as SORN. The SE TDI and Sport TDI are two of the most popular versions, both of which are recent models that might be coming to the end of a lease agreement. At the opposite end of the spectrum, it’s pleasing to know that there are 48 Passat W8s declared SORN.

17. Fiat Punto/Grande Punto

Fiat Punto/Grande Punto

On sale in the UK: 1993 – present

Number listed as SORN: 24,000

The Fiat Punto made the headlines in 2017 when it became the first car to be given a zero-star safety rating by Euro NCAP. In its current guise, the Punto has been on sale since 2005, so a replacement is long overdue. There are 24,000 listed as SORN, all trying hard to avoid a run-in with a lamppost or a pedestrian.

16. Honda Civic

Honda Civic

On sale in the UK: 1973 – present

Number listed as SORN: 26,000

Of the 26,000 Honda Civics listed as SORN, we wonder how many are parked in and around Swindon. Interestingly, at around 2,300, the Type-R is the most common Civic listed as being off the road. Nine percent is a large proportion for the most enthusiast-led car in the range.

15. Ford Ka/Ka+

Ford Ka/Ka+

On sale in the UK: 1996 – present

Number listed as SORN: 29,000

Rust is the enemy of the original Ford Ka, but it remains one of the best designs of the 1990s and can still teach modern city cars a thing or two about dynamics. There are around 29,000 Kas languishing in garages, compounds and forecourts.

14. Vauxhall Vectra

Vauxhall Vectra

On sale in the UK: 1995 – 2008

Number listed as SORN: 30,000

This is an interesting one. The Vauxhall Vectra has been gone a decade – and lease agreements have long since expired – and yet there are 30,000 of them sat doing nothing in the UK. Is somebody storing them in a huge warehouse, ready to launch a one-make banger racing series? To provide some context, there are just 3,300 Insignias registered as SORN.

13. Renault Megane/Megane Scenic

Renault Megane/Megane Scenic

On sale in the UK: 1996 – present

Number listed as SORN: 30,000

Aside from the Renault Sport versions and the Coupe and Cabriolet models, the Megane is largely a disposable product. That’s to say that there’s little love for them once the cost of maintenance begins to outweigh the purchase cost. And yet, there are 30,000 of them listed as SORN.

12. Nissan Micra

Nissan Micra

On sale in the UK: 1983 – present

Number listed as SORN: 32,000

The Nissan Micra has enjoyed 35 years of uninterrupted sales in the UK, which goes a little way to explaining the 32,000 cars deemed surplus to requirements. Just think of all those driving school adventures you could have in one of these spare Micras.

11. Volkswagen Polo

Volkswagen Polo

On sale in the UK: 1975 – present

Number listed as SORN: 34,000

Another old-timer in terms of length of service, the Volkswagen Polo has been on sale in the UK since the mid-70s. Two of the most popular models listed as SORN include the Polo E (4,738 units) and Polo S (2,633 units). The rarest? That’ll be the Polo LX Formel E, with just one unit.

10. Ford Mondeo

Ford Mondeo

On sale in the UK: 1993 – present

Number listed as SORN: 40,000

The Ford Mondeo is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2018, having been a mainstay of Travelodge and Little Chef car parks since 1993. True to repdom form, the LX is the most common model listed as SORN.

9. Ford Escort

Ford Escort

On sale in the UK: 1968 – 2000

Number listed as SORN: 43,000

It’s 50 years since the Escort first hit the streets, making this another anniversary for Ford. But while the Mondeo continues to press on to face the rise of crossovers and SUVs, the Escort died out at the turn of the millennium, so it’s surprising to discover that there are 43,000 units registered as SORN.

8. Peugeot 206

Peugeot 206

On sale in the UK: 1998 – 2006

Number listed as SORN: 43,000

The 206 is Peugeot’s best-selling car of all-time, so it’s no surprise to see a large number of cars listed as SORN. But let’s not forget that the last 206 was sold in the UK back in 2006, so all the cars will be at least 12-years-old.

7. Renault Clio

Renault Clio

On sale in the UK: 1991 – present

Number listed as SORN: 48,000

The Renault Clio was the second best-selling car in Europe in 2017, and yet it couldn’t even manage a top 20 slot in the UK. However, there are around 48,000 Clios listed as SORN.

6. Ford Focus

Ford Focus

On sale in the UK: 1998 – present

Number listed as SORN: 62,000

SORN was introduced on 31 January 1998, the same year in which the Ford Focus made its debut. It immediately struck a chord with UK buyers, with its New Edge styling representing a radical departure from the tired and lacklustre Escort.

5. BMW 3 Series

BMW 3 Series

On sale in the UK: 1975 – present

Number listed as SORN: 67,000

Into top five, where we find the only premium car to finish in the top half of the table. Introduced in 1975, the BMW 3 Series soon became the benchmark for premium compact saloon cars, and while the Mercedes C-Class sells in greater numbers, the 3er remains the dynamic leader in its class.

4. Vauxhall Corsa/Corsavan

Vauxhall Corsa/Corsavan

On sale in the UK: 1993 – present

Number listed as SORN: 73,000

Still with us? OK, well you’ll be amazed to discover that there are 73,000 Vauxhall Corsas listed as being off the road in the UK. If not amazed, you’ll be enthralled. Tell you friends. Amaze people at your next dinner party.

3. Vauxhall Astra/Astramax/Astravan

Vauxhall Astra/Astramax/Astravan

On sale in the UK: 1980 – present

Number listed as SORN: 74,000

If you were expecting to find a treasure trove of exotics and rarities at the end of this rainbow, prepare to be disappointed. The cars featured here reflect the UK market place, particularly the stock of fleet, used, rental and pre-registered vehicles. Which is why the Vauxhall Astra finishes third.

2. Ford Fiesta

Ford Fiesta

On sale in the UK: 1976 – present

Number listed as SORN: 75,000

Predictably, there’s some correlation between the two best-selling cars in the UK and the number of vehicles listed as SORN. Which is why there are 75,000 Fiestas registered as off the road.

1. Volkswagen Golf/Golf Plus

Volkswagen Golf/Golf Plus

On sale in the UK: 1974 – present

Number listed as SORN: 81,000

And a further 81,000 Volkswagen Golf and Golf Plus models are registered as SORN. That’s a Golf for every person in Harlow. Or one between two for every resident of Oxford. Or half a Golf for every person in Barrow-in-Furness. In other words, there are a lot of unused Golfs in the UK.

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Mercedes-AMG Super Bowl

Mercedes-Benz to give away luxury sports car during 2018 Super Bowl

Mercedes-AMG Super BowlMercedes-Benz will be giving away one of its luxury sports cars to the winner of its “Last Fan Standing” contest during the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 4.

Beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET, contestants will follow a virtual Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe with their fingers as it moves across their smartphone screens. The game will become more difficult as play continues and distractions are added. Players will be eliminated if their fingers lose contact with the car for any reason, except during a time out in the football game.

Mercedes-AMG Super Bowl

In a digital twist on an old marketing favorite, the last person still touching the virtual vehicle will win a real one, valued at $55,900.

The two-door prize is a performance-oriented version of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. In-house supertuner AMG has installed a twin-turbo V6 under the hood, with 362 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque routed to all four wheels. Drivers can enjoy the zero-60 sprint in just 4.4 seconds from the plush comfort of 14-way heated seats, surrounded by sporting cabin accents and the latest in tech gadgetry.

Super Bowl ad time costs about $5 million per spot this year. Many manufacturers traditionally use the spots to debut or highlight new models. With the Last Man Standing game, Mercedes has used almost guerilla-like marketing tactics to ensure that no matter what happens on the screen during The Big Game, no matter how hilarious or tear-jerking the commercials, a large swath of fans will be thinking only of Mercedes-Benz.

Contestants can register for the contest on the Last Fan Standing website beginning Sunday February 4 at 12:01 a.m. ET. Registration closes the same day at 6:25 p.m. ET.

Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe: in pictures

2018 Seat Leon Cupra 300

Seat Leon Cupra prices cut by nearly £2,000

2018 Seat Leon Cupra 300Seat has cut up to £1,945 from the list price of its Leon Cupra range, taking the entry-level SC three-door and five-door models below £30,000 – for both manual and DSG automatics.

The reductions comprise £555 off the manual cars, and a heftier £1,905 off the DSG autos. It means manual and automatic Leon Cupras now cost exactly the same: an auto is effectively a no-cost option.

Seat Leon Cupra: 2018 prices

  • Seat Leon SC Cupra 300 manual: £29,600
  • Seat Leon SC Cupra 300 DSG auto: £29,600
  • Seat Leon Cupra 300 5dr manual: £29,900
  • Seat Leon Cupra 300 5dr DSG: £29,900
  • Seat Leon ST Cupra 300 manual: £30,895
  • Seat Leon ST Cupra 300 4Drive DSG: £32,580

There’s been no cut in standard equipment despite the lower prices, either. Indeed, Seat’s now added as standard its Digital Cockpit electronic instrument binnacle as standard, along with 19-inch alloys, Dynamic Chassis Control, and both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity.

Of course, even sub-£30k prices are too much for most of us to stump up outright. So Seat’s pulled together a PCP finance package that offers a five-door Leon Cupra DGS, with metallic paint, for £349 a month.

It requires a £5,099 customer deposit, but the dealer adds £1,500 to this, and the £349 a month finance plan is spread over four years at 5.8 percent APR. the final payment is £11,538 and the total amount payable is £33,050 (compared to the list price of £30,480).

Oh, and if you’ve already ordered a Leon Cupra at the higher prices, don’t worry. So long as it’s not already been registered, Seat will update your order to the better-equipped and cheaper cars. Effectively giving you cashback without lifting a finger!

2018 Seat Leon Cupra vs rivals

So how does the new Leon Cupra compare in terms of price to its key rivals? Here are the starter list prices for some of its direct competitors…

  • Ford Focus ST-3 (250hp): £27,965
  • Peugeot 308 GTI 270: £28,590
  • Seat Leon Cupra 300 5dr manual/DSG: £29,900
  • Volkswagen Golf GTI Performance (245hp): £30,475
  • Honda Civic Type R (320hp): £30,995
  • Ford Focus RS (350hp): £32,765
  • Volkswagen Golf R (310hp): £33,505

Related stories

What the new MOT test changes mean for you and your car

What the new MOT test changes mean for you and your car

What the new MOT test changes mean for you and your car

The current MOT system is to be scrapped from May 2018 – with a new, more challenging test taking its place.

From 20 May, all cars being put forward for their annual test of roadworthiness will be examined under strict new rules. These will see faults graded depending on how dangerous they are, and greater emphasis placed on diesel car emissions.  

Currently, all cars on UK roads between three- and 40-years-old must be MOTed annually by an approved garage. Any major faults will result in a fail: these include things like tyres below the minimum tread depth, or CO2 emissions above a certain level.

Other faults, classed as ‘advisories’ include things like worn tyres (but not below the 1.6mm minimum tread depth) or rust that doesn’t affect the structural integrity of the vehicle. The idea is that car owners should consider fixing these issues – especially as they may get worse over time – but they don’t prevent the vehicle being roadworthy at the time of the test.

The new rules essentially rename ‘advisories’ as ‘minor faults’. They work in the same manner – issues that they owner needs to be aware of, but things the tester has no qualms over allowing the car’s owner to drive away with.

However, other faults will now be split between ‘dangerous’ and ‘major’ faults. The former will include things that make the car dangerous to drive away from the garage – even if it’s to be repaired or if the existing MOT is still valid. Major faults, meanwhile, will trigger an MOT fail but won’t be flagged up as dangerous.

What the new MOT test changes mean for you and your car

The changes, which are being brought in to meet a new EU directive, have attracted criticism from motoring organisation the RAC.

“While on the surface this change seems like a sensible move, we fear many motorists could end up being confused by the new categories which give an indication as to the seriousness of vehicle defects identified in an MOT test,” said RAC spokesman Simon Williams.

“Rather than MOT failures simply being black and white, the new system creates the potential for confusion as testers will have to make a judgement as to whether faults are ‘Dangerous’, ‘Major’ or ‘Minor’. This will surely be open to interpretation which may lead to greater inconsistency from one test centre to another.

“Motorists may also struggle to understand the difference between ‘Dangerous’ and ‘Major’ failures. The current system ensures that any vehicle with a fault that doesn’t meet the MOT requirements is repaired appropriately before being allowed back on the road.”

There will also be new rules for diesel cars which could make it more difficult to pass the MOT test. Vehicles emitting ‘visible smoke of any colour’ will be issued with a major fault and therefore an instant fail, while cars with diesel particulate filters that have been removed or tampered with will also fail. That’s unless the owner can prove that amendments have been made to clean the filter.

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2018 Skoda Vision X concept

Skoda has teased its new small SUV

2018 Skoda Vision X conceptSkoda is readying a new small SUV that’s derived from the same underpinnings as the Seat Arona and upcoming Volkswagen T-Cross, and plans to reveal it in concept form at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show next month.

The Skoda Vision X is our first look at the firm’s small SUV that’s set to debut in 2019, sitting below the Yeti-replacing Karoq and larger seven-seat Kodiaq. It’s another new sector for the Czech manufacturer.

The front evolves the Skoda SUV look first seen in those larger models; because it’s smaller, and targeting a more youthful audience, the designers have been able to be a bit more expressive, and Skoda itself says the design “advances the brand’s SUV design language”.

2018 Skoda Vision X concept

The concept wears 20-inch alloys, chunky bumpers and a panoramic glass roof set within an Anthracite-finished panel. It’s all apparently inspired by Czech glasswork and the vivid FlexGreen paint of the concept will also ensure there’s no missing it…

2018 Skoda Vision X concept

Skoda’s hinting the interior will mark a step on over today’s models. The “fundamentally new design language” has a freestanding central infotainment screen, rather than today’s integrated setups, suggesting the dashboard itself will be lower and more contoured.

The concept will showcase more cut crystal glass features, which Skoda says will incorporate some fancy atmospheric lighting effects: whether, like Volvo, it brings these to production in 2019 remains to be seen.

Skoda’s describing the Urban X as a “hybrid study”, although it’s not revealed any details about what’s powering it, other than promising that every fourth Skoda by 2025 will have a plug-in hybrid or fully electric drivetrain. Will the Urban X be the firm’s first plug-in hybrid?

As for the name, speculation continues. A while back, Skoda apparently trademarked the name ‘Polar’, although this would clash with its current two SUVs’ ‘K’ names. The Motoring Research starter for 10 is thus ‘Kolar’; expect more guesses in the build-up to the Geneva Motor Show in early March.

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