New Renault Clio breaks cover ahead of Geneva 2019 debut

The new Renault Clio’s interior was revealed yesterday (28 January) and now, just 24 hours later, the exterior has been shown for the first time, ahead of the car’s public debut at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. 

We can see Renault’s logic: the revolution with this car comes inside, as the exterior is very much evolutionary. Intentionally so, says designer Laurens van den Acker, pointing to sales figures that have increased year-on-year since the outgoing car was launched in 2012.

“The exterior design of Clio IV won over our customers and continues to do so today, so we chose to keep that DNA, while bringing modernity and elegance to the new model.”

Renault adds that the new car really is 100 percent new. 

All-new 2019 Renault Clio

So while the curves and bulges of the old car are still present within an evolutionary profile, the details have been honed and refined. Look at the ribs on the bonnet, says Renault; the bigger grille, the more pronounced front bumper. 

The headlights are now 100 percent LED across the range, and more like jewellery than ever before. There are also LED lights at the rear, and both have a C-shaped light signature. 

At the side, fancy chrome window surrounds offset gloss black pillars, and the hidden rear door handle remains. There are premium-style creases in the body surface and tiny little chrome-plated ‘Clio’ logos on the lower body sides.

Renault says everything has been reworked for much higher perceived quality.

Oh, and the new Clio is actually smaller than the old model, by 14mm in length and up to 30mm in height. Despite this, it’s bigger inside, with the boot now holding 391 litres: a new record for the supermini sector.

Renault is also proud of the new Clio’s paint. Ten colours are available, including new Celadon Blue and this vivid Valencia Orange. It uses a special new paint varnish that offers “unprecedented depth and radiance,” apparently. It’s an automotive industry first for this new paint tech.

All-new 2019 Renault Clio

A new trim level has already been confirmed by Renault for the new Clio. Called RS Line, it replaces the old GT-Line and matches Renault Sport trimmings with a more efficient range of engines. 

Key features include 17-inch alloys, an F1-blade front bumper, honeycomb grille and, inside, sports seats, aluminium pedals and carbon-style dash inserts.

Win a 2019 Volvo S60 with Super Bowl stare off

American Football fans: go long this Super Bowl and you could win a new Volvo S60

Win a 2019 Volvo S60 with Super Bowl stare offSports fans in the United States could find themselves behind the wheel of a brand-new Volvo S60, just for keeping their eyes fixed on their mobile device.

Created to promote Care by Volvo, the premium Swedish brand’s car subscription service, the fiendish challenge will mean no peeking at the TV during the Super Bowl this coming Sunday.

It certainly makes for an interesting alternative to a special television advertisement, and is a clever way of dissuading viewers from watching rival commercials!

Eyes down, look in!

Win a 2019 Volvo S60 with Super Bowl stare offThe S60 Longest Drive challenge will be available from 6pm EST, and require competitors to visit the www.S60LongestDrive.com website from a compatible mobile device.

All they have to do next is keep their eyes on the screen, watching the virtual Volvo S60 as it drives along. Watch for the longest, and let the S60 cover the most ground, and you’ll be in with a shot at driving a real Volvo for a year.

Players keep their eyes on the car, as the game will detect when if they look away. Grabbing a drink, making a snack, or watching something on TV will all result in game over. Even receiving a phone call will terminate the drive, so warn your friends in advance.

“I drove all night”

Win a 2019 Volvo S60 with Super Bowl stare offThere are no limits on how many times players can enter, but it all ends when the final whistle blows in the Super Bowl. This might be a good time to hope the game goes to overtime.

Although it may mean missing the entirety of what could be a thrilling battle on the field, the use of a new American-built S60 in T6 AWD Momentum form seems a good pay off.

Volvo has already used smartphones to promote cars, with the hot T8 Polestar Engineered version of the S60 offered first to those with the Care by Volvo app.

In the UK, Volvo successfully partnered with Amazon to offer test drives of the V40 hatchback.

The Chris Evans car collection

The Chris Evans car collection

The Chris Evans car collection

After nine years fronting the BBC Radio 2 breakfast show, car-mad Chris Evans has launched his new Virgin Radio show. “I say, this is very exciting,” Evans said as he greeted his new listeners.

Over the years, he has owned a tremendous collection of cars, with many of his multi-million-pound purchases ranking among the rarest cars in the world. Here, we look at some of the cars Chris Evans can list on his CV.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

The Chris Evans car collection

Evan’s most unusual acquisition was the only working car built for the original Chitty Chitty Bang Bang film. It features a Ford Racing 3.0-litre V6, a dashboard plate from a first world war British fighter plane, a polished aluminium bonnet, a red and white cedar boat deck and brass fittings lifted from Edwardian motor vehicles.

Shortly after buying it, Evans explained how the purchase came about. “My pal had bought the car on his birthday before he went skiing, not realising she is over 17 feet long. Garage problem. No money lost or gained.

“Chitty is now officially part of the Berkshire Automotive Massive. She is indeed Truly Scrumptious. She’s also gone into the workshop for some much-needed road legalisation.”

Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider

The Chris Evans car collection

Chris Evans clearly has no intention of scaling back his car collection. In 2014, he spent £2.27 million on a 1971 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spyder – believed to be a world-record price. It looks stunning in black – a marked contrast to the yellow paint worn by the 1969 Frankfurt Motor show car.

Mk1 Ford Escort Mexico

The Chris Evans car collection

Chris may have a taste for rare and exotic Ferraris, but that doesn’t mean he can’t mix it with the rest of us. Here we see him about to set off from Radio 2 at the wheel of a Ford Escort Mexico. Values of good MK1 Escorts are on the rise, but there’s still a way to go before they catch up with expensive Fezzas.

Bentley

The Chris Evans car collection

And here’s Chris Evans leaving Radio 2 again, this time at the wheel of a Bentley. Looks a bit tight there, Chris. You may want to consider driving something a little smaller.

Daimler SP250 Dart

The Chris Evans car collection

In 2014, Chris Evans had a run in with the law and paid a high price. He bought one of the very last Daimler SP250 ‘Dart’ police cars for a little over £50,000 at auction. The ex-Scotland Yard Dart came complete with all law-enforcing accoutrements, with Chris adding ‘the kids love it; the big kids love it even more.’ Well quite.

James Hunt’s Hesketh 308

The Chris Evans car collection

£230,000 doesn’t seem like a lot of money for one of F1’s most famous cars. But that’s the price Chris Evans paid for the Works Hesketh 308, driven by James Hunt before his title winning season in 1976.

LaFerrari

The Chris Evans car collection

You have to be invited to purchase cars like the LaFerrari. Fortunately for this chap, he’s owned enough Ferraris in his time to be considered a key client. We’re talking about Chris Evans, not Pudsey Bear.

Ferrari 328 GTS

The Chris Evans car collection

This Ferrari 328 GTS was formerly owned by Chris Evans. In 1985, the 308 GTB and GTS were updated with a new V8 engine, hence the new 328 GTB and GTS denominations. Over 6,000 GTS roadsters were built, far more than the 1,345 hardtops.

Ferrari 458 ItaliaThe Chris Evans car collection

This is the 2010 Ferrari 458 Italia that, a few years ago, Chris Evans put up for sale at £189,950 via Auto Trader. It had covered only 5,559 miles since new.

Bentley Turbo R

The Chris Evans car collection

Powered by a 6.75-litre turbocharged mill, a late-90s Turbo R like Evans’ British racing green model can be picked up for less than £20,000. In the past the Radio 2 presenter has also splashed out on a Bentley Brooklands for £102,000 (nearly wiping out his bank balance at the time of £103,000).

1972 Volkswagen Beetle

The Chris Evans car collection

A somewhat impulsive buy, Evans saw this slightly beaten up 1972 sky blue VW Beetle with a for sale note stuck in its window on his way home from work. After a quick telephone conversation the owner met Evans at the car 10 minutes later and the deal was sealed.

Ferrari GTO

The Chris Evans car collection

Evans lusted after a Ferrari 250 GTO for years before he finally bought one similar to this for a staggering £12 million in 2010. One of only 36,250 GTOs ever manufactured, this Ferrari has been called the Leonardo da Vinci of motoring. Evans describes it as the beauty and the beast rolled into one.

Mercedes-Benz S-Class

The Chris Evans car collection

Evans drove and was chauffeur-driven in his W220 S600 in equal measure. This was also the car he chose for his entrance at the Staines magistrates’ court in 2001, where Evans was banned from driving for 56 days for clocking 105mph in a 70mph zone with his Ferrari 550 Maranello.

1961 Ferrari California Spyder

The Chris Evans car collection

In 2010 Evans made history when he bought the most expensive car sold in Britain – paying a cool £12 million for a 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO. This 1961 California Spyder, once owned by Hollywood hard man James Coburn, is the convertible cousin of that car and set the DJ back a not insignificant £5.6 million in 2008.

1965 Mercedes-Benz 230SL

09_Chris_Evans_car_collection

Keen to capitalise on the massive success of the 1950s 300SL, Mercedes-Benz launched the more affordable but equally beautiful 190SL in 1955. Evans sold his classic 1965 Merc in 2004 and it went under the hammer again four years later, fetching its owner at the time a handsome £32,347.

1964 Daimler V8 Vicarage Convertible

The Chris Evans car collection

This is Chris Evans’ 1964 Daimler V8 Vicarage Convertible. The car is rumoured to have cost Chris £135,000 but it sold for just £73,500 when he auctioned it at the Bonhams Goodwood Festival of Speed sale in 2007.

One in five drivers admit to poor eyesight

Driving eyesight

New research has uncovered the worrying eyesight of Britain’s drivers. More than a fifth (21 percent) say road signs appear blurry when driving.

The research, by specialist eye hospital group Optegra, also revealed that 27 percent find it hard to see when driving at night. That may sound obvious, but our ability to deal with varying levels of light, such as when cars and streetlights pass through our field of vision, is vitally important. Four in 10 said they experience distracting levels of glare from other cars’ lights in the dark.

In addition, 28 percent of the drivers admitted they wished they could see better when driving. And 17 percent said they did not feel safe driving because of the quality of their eyesight.

Short-sighted youth

Driving eyesight

Interestingly, it’s a major issue with young drivers. One in five British drivers had to buy glasses or contact lenses in order to pass their test.

Incredibly, as many as 44 percent of 16-24 year-olds say road signs appear blurry. Over half said they are majorly affected by light glare at night – and 39 percent said they don’t feel safe driving because of their eyesight.

“This concerning data really worries me – that so many drivers are citing problems with their vision when driving,” said Optegra eye surgeon, Shafiq Rehman.

“It is so, so vital that all drivers see well. As we have heard in the news recently, accidents can so easily happen”.

What are the DVLA ‘standards of vision for driving’?

Driving eyesight

As quoted directly from the DVLA site, ‘you must be able to read (with glasses or contact lenses, if necessary) a car number plate made after 1 September 2001 from 20 metres’.

‘You must also meet the minimum eyesight standard for driving by having a visual acuity of at least decimal 0.5 (6/12) measured on the Snellen scale (with glasses or contact lenses, if necessary) using both eyes together or, if you have sight in one eye only, in that eye.

‘You must also have an adequate field of vision – your optician can tell you about this and do a test.

‘At the start of your practical driving test you have to correctly read a number plate on a parked vehicle. If you can’t, you’ll fail your driving test and the test won’t continue. The DVLA will be told and your licence will be revoked.’

Keyless theft shock: most popular cars are the easiest to steal

Ford Fiesta keyless theft

Four of the top five best-selling new cars on sale today are among the most susceptible to keyless car theft. That’s according to a new report by consumer group, Which?.

The big four are the Ford Fiesta, Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf and Nissan Qashqai. All are highly vulnerable to keyless theft.

The Which? research covered 237 car models equipped with keyless technology. Among these, all but seven could be opened and started using relay boxes. A further four models could either be accessed or started using this tech.

It’s worth noting from the off, however, that keyless theft is not impossible to prevent.

The safest keyless cars on sale

2019 Jaguar I-Pace keyless theft

It seems Jaguar Land Rover has upped its security game in recent years, after a spate of Range Rover thefts involving key cloning. According to the Which?, the latest Discovery, Range Rover and new Jaguar I-Pace aren’t currently susceptible to relay-style attacks.

Which was the odd one out of the top five best-sellers? Why, the humble Vauxhall Corsa, of course, given its lack of a keyless option.

What is a relay attack?

Keyless car theft

This type of theft usually takes place at the car owner’s home, due to how it works. One of two thieves stands as close to the house as possible, while the other waits by the car.

The box relays the signal from the key inside the house to the car. This fools the car into thinking the key is closer and unlocks it, ready to start. 

What are the latest car theft numbers?

New taskforce to tackle vehicle theft

Between March 2017 and March 2018, there were 106,000 car thefts reported to the police in England and Wales. Thats the highest number since 2009. Figures from the West Midlands Police reveal that car theft almost doubled in 2017 compared to 2015, with 9,451 incidents versus 5,344.

Earlier in January 2019, a new task force was called for by the policing minister Nick Hurd to combat the ‘epidemic’ of car theft. Vehicle crime has increased by seven percent over the past 12 months, ‘leaving no community unaffected’.

Numbers are still lower than they were in the 1990s, but it’s plain to see they’re on the rise. 

SMMT: “New cars are more secure than ever”

Vauxhall tops Scottish car sales

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) is eager to calm hysteria around keyless theft.

“New cars are more secure than ever, and the latest technology has helped bring down theft dramatically with, on average, less than 0.3 percent of the cars on our roads stolen,” said Mike Hawes, head of the SMMT.

Hawes went on to say that motor manufacturers need to keep on top of their game, but added that the technology thieves use needs to be regulated and taken off-sale.

“We continue to call for action to stop the open sale of equipment with no legal purpose that helps criminals steal cars.”

Ferrari is now the strongest brand in the world

Ferrari fans with the Scuderia logo

The Global 500 – the annual report on the world’s most valuable brands – has been revealed for 2019 by Brand Finance. Who holds the top spot, then? Apple? Google? Wrong. It’s a brand from the automotive industry: Ferrari.

That’s right, Ferrari is officially as the world’s strongest brand, period. It scored a 94.8 out of 100, with an AAA+ rating. That’s an increase of 3.3 points from 91.5 last year, allowing it to overtake McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Lego and Disney.  It previously held first place in 2014.

How do you work out the strength of a brand?

A multitude of factors play into the strength of a brand. Brand Finance looked at marketing investment, stakeholder equity and business performance. By these measures, Ferrari joins just 14 other brands in this year’s Global 500 that receive an AAA+ rating.

It’s not just Ferrari’s cars that reinforce its status. A global brand of merchandise, theme parks and a hotel fortify the marque’s presence and public awareness of it, without damaging its appeal as a luxury motor manufacturer.

Ferrari’s brand strength has strengthened its value, too. This year, the company is 27 percent up, with an $8.3 billion valuation.

Ferrari Portofino road trip

“As the world’s foremost luxury carmaker, Ferrari has an unparalleled level of brand recognition, upholding excellence for design and innovation,” said David Haigh CEO, Brand Finance.

“The prancing horse logo is a perfect symbol of the brand’s strength and vitality as it plans new models and reaches outside the auto industry.”

Other luxury automotive brands also carry major consumer appeal. Both BMW and Porsche get AAA brand strength ratings.

The Bull Market: experts reveal the best classics to buy now

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

Anyone with one eye on the classic car market will know that business seems to be booming. Whether it’s restomods, continuation models or modern classics, it’s as though a desirable car is a passport to riches. Of course, that’s not strictly true and, as the political landscape demonstrates, anything can happen. However, you can lessen the risk by seeking the advice of the experts, which is where the Hagerty Bull Market comes in. According to the valuation team, these are 10 modern classics that should go up in value in 2019.

A lot of bull?

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

‘Is the Hagerty Bull Market a load of bull?’, you may ask. It’s a valid question, and as the Hagerty report admits, ‘to be honest, we don’t know, as we’re only in the second year of doing it’. But, a year on from the first Bull Market, the evidence is rather compelling. Of the nine cars selected for growth, all were up in the Hagerty Price Guide for cars in excellent condition. Values of the BMW M3 rose by 22 percent. We should point out that this a US-centric report, but the cars and the supporting explanations are interesting nevertheless.

BMW 3.0 CSL

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

CSL. How can three letters stir up such emotion and make the hairs on the back of your neck stand to attention? In isolation, the BMW 3.0 CSL is a thoroughbred: a devastatingly effective racer and a formidable road car. Tales of a rear wing not homologated for road use and the ‘Batmobile’ nickname give the 3.0 CSL near-mythical status. But it represents so much more than that. This was the birth of BMW’s M motorsport division and the beginning of its total dominance of the European Touring Car Championship.

BMW 3.0 CSL

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

Hagerty’s verdict: “These cars aren’t common, and their values are up 10 percent in the past 12 months. Even though [excellent] cars are valued at $250,000 (£190,000), we think there is room to grow. BMWs saw the second-highest insurance-quote increase over the past year (after Jeep), and many of the quotes are for people under 55 years old. BMW and Porsche draw many of the same buyers, and as Porsche values grow and price people out, BMWs get more attractive.”

Porsche Boxster

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

In the early 1990s, it was clear that Porsche was in search of a hero. While the 911 remained popular, it wasn’t going to sell in anywhere close to the numbers required for the German manufacturer to see out the recession. Enter the Porsche Boxster concept of 1993 and, three years later, the production version. To say the Boxster rescued Porsche from bankruptcy would be to downplay the significance of the Cayenne, but it delivered the shot in the arm the company urgently required.

Porsche Boxster

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

Hagerty’s verdict: “Why this car got cheap: it has the early ugly headlights, the intermediate shaft bearing problem, and a reputation for poor build quality. But, 15 years after production ended, there’s a fix for the bearing, and most survivors will have had it done. Many people who could buy a $50,000 (£40,000) car new are the kind who do the maintenance and keep records.”

Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

Built to mark the end of C4 Corvette production in 1996, the Grand Sport was limited to 1,000 examples – 810 coupes and 190 convertibles. Only one colour was available: Admiral Blue with an Arctic White stripe down the centre. The Grand Sport cost $37,225 when new – a $3,250 premium over the regular coupe – but Hagerty’s guide price says that’s the minimum you’ll pay for an excellent example in 2019.

Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

Hagerty’s verdict: “Just 1,000 examples built in one year means these cars are rare, fast, and distinctive. In a Corvette – in fact, most cars – these factors add value. Plus, most Grand Sports were treated as collector cars from new, which means lots of low-mileage choices out there.”

Saleen Mustang

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

In 1984, Steve Saleen took the Fox-body Mustang and created a formidable race car. By focusing on the chassis, suspension and brakes, Saleen secured victories at North American races throughout the mid- to late-80s. The 5.0-litre V8 might not be quick by today’s standards, but the Saleen’s stock is rising.

Saleen Mustang

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

Hagerty’s verdict: “Fox-body Saleen Mustangs are the early Shelby GT350s of the 1980s. Similarities include being created for SCCA competition by a famous driver and incredibly low production numbers. Bone-jarringly stiff, unapologetic, absolute race cars for the street, these early Saleens are still trading for not much more than a garden-variety Fox-body Mustang GT. For now. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.”

Subaru Impreza WRX STI

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

Far too many Subaru Tecnica International (STI) products were like forbidden fruit – performance icons restricted to their home market. Which is why those that escaped to Europe and North America are held in such high regard. For years, Subaru and Mitsubishi were engaged in a power struggle, which created some performance icons. For Hagerty, the second-generation WRX STI gets the nod, in post-facelift guise.

Subaru Impreza WRX STI

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

Hagerty’s verdict: “The real-life versions of the cars we played in Need for Speed were too expensive for the kids who wanted them. But as those kids became adults and made money, the cars got older and cheaper. Good examples are hard to find today, but they are that much more valuable.”

Toyota MR2

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

Toyota started working on a mid-engined sports car in 1976, but the plans were shelved in the wake of the fuel crisis. By 1979, however, the MR2, as it would be known, was back on the agenda, with the sports car making its debut at the 1983 Tokyo Motor Show. A year later, it made its production debut in Japan, but it wasn’t long before it made its way to export markets. In 1985, the MR2 was awarded the Import Car of the Year Award by Motor Trend magazine.

Toyota MR2

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

Hagerty’s verdict: “A car magazine favourite when new that represents all the cool design things about the 1980s. Clean [excellent] cars are still less than $5k (£4k), but values are up 25 percent. Millennials make up 45 percent of our quotes, which is insane; they were toddlers when the MR2 was introduced. These are people just getting into the hobby, so there’s room to grow.”

Dodge Ram SRT-10

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

Hagerty labels the Dodge Ram SRT-10 as a kind of ‘American Lamborghini LM002’, arguing that both vehicles featured a “ridiculously overcompensating” engine that made people giggle. It’s a charming analogy, not least because the automotive world isn’t exactly littered with 8.3-litre V10 pick-ups.

Dodge Ram SRT-10

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

Hagerty’s verdict: “Our insurance quotes are up 40 percent, and 61 percent of those are from Gen X and millennials, meaning the interested parties are under 55. Auction sale prices are up 15 percent. At the Mecum sale in Monterey, a 1,500-mile truck went for $56,000 (£43,000), 10 grand over the original MSRP. They’re really hot right now, they’re moving, and there really isn’t a substitute. A pick-up with a V10 and six-speed is an uncommon combination.”

Ford Bronco

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

The Ford Bronco dates back to 1965, when the 1966 model year ‘All-Purpose-Vehicle’ made its debut. The first-generation vehicles command serious money, while the second-gen Bronco was only in production for two years. Which is why Hagerty reckons the third-generation Bronco is the one to opt for, not least because the launch of a new Ford Bronco should renew interest in this go-anywhere, simple and practical SUV.

Ford Bronco

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

Hagerty’s verdict: “Just as with later Benz SLs, there’s a strong substitution effect by people priced out of the first-generation vehicles. There wasn’t a big performance difference between all the model years, so there isn’t a big falloff in values from the 70s to the 80s. Millennials are twice as likely to quote a third-gen as a first-gen because they’re cheaper; [an excellent] value of $15k (£11.5k) is a lot more accessible. The fact that they are bringing the Bronco back stands to help long-term values.”

Pontiac G8 GXP

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

Oh, this is a good one. Whether you view it as an ‘American BMW M5’ or a ‘four-door Corvette’, the Pontiac G8 GXP is a nailed-on future classic. OK, it was essentially a rebadged Holden Commodore, but the 6.2-litre V8 engine was as American as mom’s apple pie. It was the fastest Pontiac ever built and one of the last cars to wear the famous badge, before GM pulled the plug. Just 1,829 were built and values are already on the up.

Pontiac G8 GXP

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

Hagerty’s verdict: “The last hurrah of the Pontiac brand, the GXP was the only G8 available with a manual transmission. Members of the Pontiac fan club are crazy excited about their cars in general and when the brand was discontinued, they went nuts and became even more enthusiastic. Values are up 10 percent over last year’s. There’s no downside to this car, and it will never get any cheaper.”

Buick Roadmaster Estate

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

In the days before the American suburbs fell for the ‘charms’ of the SUV, a hulking great station wagon was the default choice for families on the move. There’s more than a hint of the ‘Family Truckster’ in the styling of the Buick Roadmaster Estate, but this softly-sprung V8 will get you to Walley World in record time. For the last word in chuckles, opt for the later version with the 260hp LT1 V8 engine from the Corvette.

Buick Roadmaster Estate

The Hagerty Bull Market 2019

Hagerty’s verdict: “Is this the AMC Pacer of the 90s? The number of insurance quotes we give on this car leads the overall market by 14 points. The quoted values have pretty much bottomed out, which means they are done depreciating. We don’t see them at the auctions yet, but they have a big cult following on social media, and there’s nowhere for Roadmasters to go but up.”

All-new 2019 Renault Clio will have ‘Tesla screen’

2019 Renault Clio interiorRenault will reveal an all-new Clio at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show this March, and has today pulled the covers off its interior – complete with large ‘Tesla-style’ central infotainment screen.

Described as a true revolution by design boss Laurens van den Acker, Renault has equipped the new Clio with its biggest ever touchscreen. Called ‘Smart Cockpit’, the 9.3-inch screen is gently curved and modelled on a tablet computer. New electronics mean it will easily link to smartphones via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 

2019 Renault Clio interior

For the first time, Renault is offering a digital screen instead of regular analogue speedo and other gauges. Two sizes are offered, 7.0 inches and 10 inches. The larger one will display sat nav mapping, as on the Audi TT and other premium cars.

2019 Renault Clio interior

No other supermini offer screens as large as this, says Renault.

The rest of the new Clio’s cabin is going upmarket, too. Most of the surfaces have been given a soft-touch coating, which the French firm says is more like the sort of quality you get from larger car sectors. 

The dashboard has also been designed to free up space and bring in more room to stow items such as electronic devices; wireless smartphone charging will be available. Renault’s shortened the gearlever, reduced the number of buttons and simplified the air-con unit.

2019 Renault Clio interior

Even the steering wheel has been recrafted, with a more compact airbag and reconfigured buttons (that now light up at night so drivers can see what they’re pressing). 

Continuing the high-end theme, Renault’s given the Clio new seats normally seen in larger models. They are comfier and more supportive, while a thinner backrest improves space for those in the back. Door panels can be fitted with soft inserts and optional ambient lighting will be available. 

2019 Renault Clio interior

Oh, and like many new cars, the new Clio’s interior is customisable. Choose from eight different interior design schemes, eight different ambient lighting colours and seven colours of trim line for the panel stretching across the air vents. 

Laurens van den Acker said the new Clio is “the best yet… the interior has undergone a true revolution, with a considerable improvement in perceived quality, greater sophistication and technology”. 

2019 Renault Clio interior

We’ll see it in detail at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show; ahead of that, we’re expected to see the outside of the new Clio too. Watch this space…

London taxi firm buys 1,200 diesel Volkswagen Sharans

Volkswagen Sharan Addison LeeLondon private hire firm Addison Lee has bought 1,200 Volkswagen Sharans – a deal so large, it instantly means more than 1 in 5 of the firm’s taxis will now be a Sharan.

The first deliveries will begin this week; they’re all Sharan SE 2.0 TDI Bluemotion 150 models, with traffic-friendly DSG automatic gearboxes.

They’re also all painted in Addison Lee’s trademark black, joining the firm’s thousands of black Ford Galaxy people carriers.

Volkswagen Sharan Addison Lee

Bosses at the firm are impressed by the Sharan’s electric sliding rear doors, which they reckon will boost safety for passengers. The full-size MPV is a seven-seater, ticking the practicality box.

As for Volkswagen UK, its head of fleet Michael O’Shea said it was “very pleased to be working with such a prominent name as Addison Lee Group”. He also stressed the significance of the “multi-million pound deal”.

Volkswagen Sharan Addison Lee

Addison Lee has bought the Sharans now ahead of Transport for London’s new Ultra-Low Emission Zone, which goes live on 8 April.

Although the VW people carriers are diesels, rather than plug-in hybrids, they meet the latest Euro 6 emissions standards, so will comply with the new rules (although still be banned from Tottenham Court Road from March).

Lisa Burger, Addison Lee Group’s COO, said the deal “will make our entire fleet compliant with TfL’s low emission standards and start the process of moving towards a zero-emissions capable fleet”.

It remains to be seen if, in the future, looming inner-city diesel bans could see Addison Lee-branded versions of the new all-electric Volkswagen ID Buzz

1967 Chevrolet C10 Series Half Ton Pickup

7 hot classic cars for under $10K

1967 Chevrolet C10 Series Half Ton PickupWe love classic cars. Even more so when we find a good one for a low price, enjoy it for a year or two, and then realize a tidy profit on resale.

That’s the purpose of this list: to spot old cars that have a higher rate of appreciation than those around them. The wonks at Hagerty study auction sales results and insurance activity to reckon the demand for a car in relation to the market overall.

These are the ones that won’t remain affordable for long.

1990–96 Nissan 300ZX

1990 Nissan 300ZX

Average value: $7,000 – $9,600

The second generation Nissan 300ZX was all-new except for its inherited 3.0-liter V6, but even that was updated with dual overhead cams and variable valve timing. The car’s 222 horsepower and rear-wheel drive meant that fun was at the forefront of the driving experience.

Today, the 300ZX is still a bit young to be a coveted classic, but it has an excellent reputation and has created endless diehard enthusiasts out of those lucky enough to own one.

Because of the relatively modern electrical systems, buyers are encouraged to seek examples with well-documented histories. Repairs can be depressingly expensive to fix.

Turbo and convertible versions are available, but demand a premium.

1987–91 Ford Bronco

1987 Ford Bronco

Average value: $8,000 – $9,400

First generation Broncos are now stratospherically expensive and dragging second and third generation prices up, too. Fourth gen models can still be had at affordable prices and offer plenty of fun for the buck.

Three engines were offered, a 145-horsepower straight-six, a 185-horsepower 5.0-liter, and a high-output 210-horsepower 5.8-liter. Fuel injection was introduced across the range in 1988.

Base Custom, middle XLT Lariat, and premium Eddie Bauer versions were offered and reflect pricing variations today. A Silver Anniversary edition was offered for 1991 but sees no significant pricing differences from the other models.

1984–93 Mercedes-Benz 190

1984–93 Mercedes-Benz 190

Average value: $3,200 – $4,000

Looking for something completely different? Mercedes’ first foray into the compact segment offers vintage buyers a taste of luxury in a stylishly reliable package.

The 190E and 190D (diesel) are old and handsome enough to be interesting, and collectors are starting to take note. Rust and neglect are the biggest gremlins; a thorough inspection before buying can avoid unwanted trips to pricy aftermarket parts dealer.

Two variants are highly prized and will be much more expensive, the  2.3 16v and 2.5 16v. These performance models featured a Cosworth 16-valve head, revised suspension, and racy bodywork. While prized, they are not included in our average pricing. A 190D might fetch $4,000 in average condition; a 2.3 16v could easily go for four times that amount.

1997–2004 Porsche Boxster

1997–2004 Porsche Boxster

Average value: $8,000 – $10,000

Porsche was in a bit of trouble in the mid-1990s and decided to release an entry-level model: the Boxster. To save on development costs, the new model used many of the same front end components as the 911.

The Boxster is pure roadster fun and, because of a reputation soiled by a few catastrophic bearing failures, just about the cheapest way to get into a Porsche.

But about that catastrophic failure: the bearing in question is on the intermediate shaft between the crankshaft and the camshafts. If it failed, it would have been necessary to rebuild the engine. The preventative repairs are very expensive compared to the cost of the car, but most examples with high mileage are unlikely to experience the issue. Boxsters with rebuilt engines can also be found.

Year by year updates and improvements add a bit to the price, but base models should hover on the low side of the 10 grand mark.

1985–89 Merkur XR4Ti

1985–89 Merkur XR4Ti

Average value: $2,200 – $2,400

The 1980s were the Age of the Yuppie and German cars like BMW flew off the shelves. Ford shot back with a European model from its German plant. Called the Ford Sierra in Europe, it was rebadged the Merkur XR4Ti here.

Critics loved it, but American buyers couldn’t quite wrap their heads around buying a German car from the Lincoln-Mercury dealership down the street. Few were sold, and even fewer survived.

Build quality is good and performance interesting enough from the 2.3-liter turbo four. The XR4 deserves a second look, and especially at such a ridiculously low price.

Assuming you can find one.

[Editor’s note: 1987 UK version shown]

1986–92 Mazda RX-7

1986–92 Mazda RX-7

Average value: $6,000 – $8,000

Rotary enthusiasts like the second-gen RX-7 for its performance potential, and general lack of interest in the model kept prices low for a long time. That looks to be changing.

Collectors will find the highest gain potential in convertible versions, but most hardcore RX-7 fans like the 182-horsepower turbo models.

A tenth anniversary edition was released in 1987 with a white-on-white exterior and black leather upholstery. Production was limited to 1,500 examples.

The Miata stole much of the RX-7’s thunder beginning in 1989 and the model’s popularity dwindled. Late in the model year, horsepower was upped to 160 for base models and 200 in turbo versions.

1967-72 GMC Chevrolet CK Series Pickups

1967-72 GMC CK-Series Pickups

Average value: $8,000 – $10,000

The second generation C/K trucks brought comfort and convenience to the pickup world. Padded dashboards, safer steering wheels and braking systems made an appearance.

A wide variety of engines were offered, various six-cylinders, small- and big-block V8s. Coil springs continued from the previous generation, and the crisp new appearance was thoroughly modern.

Second gen C/K production was huge and build quality good, so collectors have a wide variety to choose from. Parts are readily available and maintenance simple.

Vintage pickup prices are heating up, and the C/K is easy to love. Chevy versions are slightly more expensive, but virtually identical to their GMC counterparts except for badging and trim choices.