Ford’s 3D-printed wheel nuts could prevent theft

Ford locking wheel nuts stop thieves

Ford has patented a unique 3D-printed locking wheel nut designed to thwart alloy wheel thieves. So, could the days of finding your pride and joy up on bricks be coming to an end?

The 3D printing itself is clever, but even smarter is what it enables. By using the technique, you can create whatever pattern you want for the nuts, and for their key.

Ford locking wheel nuts stop thieves

As an example, Ford developed a way to record your voice, then convert the sound waves into the locking nut’s indentation. It’s unique, like a fingerprint for your car.

Using wax to clone the pattern is virtually impossible, too. Ford calls it a second-level security feature, using unevenly-spaced ribs inside the nut, plus indentations that widen the deeper they go.

It’s not only soundwaves that could be used to make the lock and key either. Any shape you like, from the Mustang logo to your favourite racetrack, can be adapted.

Ford locking wheel nuts stop thieves

“It’s one of the worst experiences for a driver, to find their car up on blocks with all four wheels gone,” said Raphael Koch, a research engineer at Ford.

“Some alloy wheels can cost thousands to replace, but these unique rim nuts will stop thieves in their tracks.

“Making wheels more secure and offering more product personalisation are further proof that 3D printing is a game-changer for car production.”

If you’ve got carbon fibre wheels on your Mustang GT350R or Ford GT, these unique items could be a worthwhile investment…

Most popular cars made in Britain

Most popular cars built in Britain revealed

Most popular cars made in Britain

Britain still builds a huge variety of cars, from the legendary Mini hatchback to the mighty Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV.

Although 2019 was a year of decline for the industry, with production falling to a nine-year low, we still make a multitude of motors in the UK.

Mini Plant Oxford 60 years

Indeed, 2019 saw a major landmark reached by Mini, with the 10 millionth model rolling off the Plant Oxford production line. Coinciding with the car’s 60th year, the factory celebrated by inviting 60 Mini owners for a memorable day out.

The Mini model is not the only British success story, though, as the top 10 most popular cars built here in 2019 reveals…

10: Land Rover Discovery Sport

Land Rover Discovery Sport

It may not look it, but the Land Rover Discovery Sport is all-new beneath the surface. It now drives with the sophistication you’d normally associate with the upmarket Range Rover, and seats up to seven, which the firm hopes should push it up the production charts in 2020.

9: Range Rover

Range Rover

This is first Range Rover in the top 10, but not the only one. The full-size Range Rover will surely have bean-counters at Jaguar Land Rover celebrating – selling so many of a vehicle that starts from more than £83,000 (many have price tags well into six figures) is great news for the bottom line.

8: Range Rover Velar

Range Rover Velar

After a shaky start where Land Rover struggled to position it in the market, the Velar is now growing in popularity as a bigger, posher alternative to the Evoque – without going full-fat Range Rover.

7: Vauxhall Astra

Vauxhall Astra

Surprise – it’s not a JLR product. The Vauxhall Astra is made at Ellesmere Port and production there slumped a worrying 20 percent in 2019, to less than 62,000 cars. Bosses are crossing their fingers that the UK government can strike a Brexit deal that pleases owners PSA. The plant’s future depends on it.

6: Range Rover Evoque

Range Rover Evoque

In previous years, the Evoque has been higher up the rankings, but it switched over to an all-new model in 2019, which did lead to a few delays. Expect it to move back up the chart in 2020.

5: Range Rover Sport

Range Rover Sport

The Range Rover Sport is a hugely profitable model for JLR, with the range pushed ever-higher thanks to the launch of premium-priced versions such as the SVR. Don’t expect it to beat the Evoque in the 2020 production charts, though.

4: Honda Civic

Honda Civic

Yes, Honda is closing the Swindon Civic factory in 2021, but it still has cars to build until then. While production was down 32 percent in 2019, it still made more than 108,000 cars, many of which were exported to the United States.

3: Toyota Corolla

Toyota Corolla

Toyota’s Burnaston, Derbyshire factory was a rare bright spot for UK automotive production in 2019. The plant made almost 15 percent more cars, thanks to the positive response for the stylish new Corolla hybrid. Will it top the 150,000 mark in 2020, we wonder?

2: Mini

Mini

The mighty Mini has been a stalwart of best-selling British-built cars for years. It is a regular in the UK top 10 registrations and exports are also high. Production at Plant Oxford dipped by just over five percent in 2019, but this is seen as a manageable figure in the context of huge losses elsewhere.

1: Nissan Qashqai

Nissan-Qashqai

The Nissan Qashqai remains a stalwart of UK car production, even in the runout years of this ageing current model. The firm has committed to making the stylish new model in Sunderland, so hopefully this run will continue: expect 2020’s production figures to also include the Qashqai’s Sunderland-built sister car, the Juke. A painful switchover to an all-new model saw it drop off the top 10 in 2019 for the first time in years. 

 

1990 Mercedes Benz 190E Evo II

Buy this extreme 1990 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16 Evolution II now

1990 Mercedes Benz 190E Evo II

Mercedes-Benz might today produce an entire range of aggressive performance cars, but things were a little different three decades ago. 

The rare 1990 190E Evolution II sedan currently advertised on auction website Bring a Trailer bucked the trend, shocking Mercedes fans at the 1990 Geneva Motor Show.  

But this retro Benz is about more than just the looks, being a true road-going version of a successful racing car. 

Raddest Touring Car Master

1990 Mercedes Benz 190E Evo II

The 190E was chosen by Mercedes-Benz as the basis for the firm’s entry into the Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft (DTM) in the 1980s.

FIA Group A regulations meant that Mercedes-Benz had to produce a street version of the race car, starting with the 190E 2.3-16 model. These cars used a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine, modified by British tuning company, Cosworth. 

Cosworth would go on to develop a larger 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, fixing reliability issues with the 2.3-liter unit and extracting more horsepower. 

German Winged Warrior

1990 Mercedes Benz 190E Evo II

Mercedes-Benz entered into an arms race against DTM competitors, using the FIA’s Evolution rules to develop the 190E further. Modifications could be made to the basic car, but manufacturers had to offer 500 examples to customers to use on the road. 

The 2.5-16 Evolution II model shown here was the ultimate expression of the 190E, wearing a giant adjustable rear spoiler, widened fenders, and jutting front splitter. Unique 17-inch alloy wheels were also fitted. 

Having been developed in a wind tunnel, all of these modifications were made solely to help the car perform on track. It makes the 190E Evolution II similar to the Dodge Charger Daytona and Plymouth Superbird in ruthless single-mindedness.

1990 Mercedes Benz 190E Evo II

An AMG Power Pack was fitted to the 2.5-liter engine, taking total output from the naturally aspirated unit to 232 horsepower at a high-revving 7,200 rpm. Torque was more limited at 181 lb-ft. 

A dogleg five-speed manual transmission sends power to the rear wheels, with a standard limited-slip differential. Top speed was rated at 155 mph.

Adjustable self-levelling suspension was standard, allowing the car to be lowered from a dashboard button. A wider track, stiffer suspension springs, and larger brakes also helped with the performance makeover. 

Still a Mercedes-Benz on the inside

1990 Mercedes Benz 190E Evo II

Despite the race track refugee look on the outside, Mercedes-Benz maintained usability inside. Heated leather Recaro seats, wood trim, climate control, and even a sunroof can all be found in this example. 

Of the 502 examples made, according to the plaque mounted by the gear shifter this is the 130th. The short production run took place between 1990 and 1991, with all cars expect two painted in Blue-Black metallic. 

Demonstrating the success of the modifications, the 190E Evolution II won the DTM Manufacturers’ title for Mercedes-Benz in 1992. Klaus Ludwig also took the Drivers’ championship behind the wheel of an Evo II

1990 Mercedes Benz 190E Evo II

This car was delivered to a Swiss buyer from new, and remained with the original owner until October 2019. Having covered a total of 84,000 miles, the car is now currently for sale in the Netherlands.

Swiss-specification cars were delivered with a smaller Evo I rear spoiler from the factory. This car has had the correct larger main wing fitted, but not the lower trunk element. 

A repaint of the bodywork, excluding the roof, was commissioned by the former owner. Servicing records detail maintenance work done from 1990 through to 2016, with the most recent service undertaken then.

A (three-pointed) rising star

1990 Mercedes Benz 190E Evo II

Made in such low numbers, and with a prestigious motorsport pedigree, 190E Evolution II models are becoming seriously collectible. Just this month, Gooding & Company’s Scottsdale 2020 auction saw a low-mileage example sell for an incredible $434,000.

Commenters on Bring a Trailer have noted that the selling dealer has previously supplied cars to North America, meaning importing this rare Benz should not be a hassle. 

Bidding has already pushed the price high, with several days still left to run before the auction ends on Thursday, February 6th.

Speeders get 1-minute grace period on smart motorways

smart motorway speed cameras one minute grace period

New research reveals that when a speed limit changes on a smart motorway, drivers have a one-minute ‘grace period’ before speed cameras will flash them.

A Freedom Of Information (FOI) request to Highways England, made by Auto Express, revealed that the cameras do not begin enforcement of the new speed limit until one minute after it has changed.

smart motorway speed cameras one minute grace period

‘Following a change in the speed displayed by signals there is a 60-second ‘grace period’ before HADECS3 cameras start enforcement, giving time for drivers to adapt to the new mandatory speed limit, especially when speed limits are reduced due to slow-moving or queuing traffic up ahead,’ the organisation told Auto Express.

‘This gives drivers time to slow down and reduces the need for braking sharply.’

What does this mean for motorists? Well, if the speed limit has changed on a smart motorway, and you aren’t able to slow down in time, as long as you’re within a minute of the change, you shouldn’t be flashed.

smart motorway speed cameras one minute grace period

“This discovery will reassure drivers passing under motorway gantries just as they’ve reduced the limit that a nasty letter won’t be in the post to them,” said Jack Cousens, head of roads policy at the AA.

“A 60-second grace period seems sensible and allows more than enough time for drivers further back to slow down safely.”

By default, the national speed limit of 70mph applies on smart motorways. And there is the ‘margin of error’ that we’ve reported on previously to consider, too – so you shouldn’t be flashed at 73mph, for example.

Tyre emissions 1,000 times WORSE than exhausts

Tyre emissions can be 1,000 times those allowed from exhausts

With modern diesel exhaust emissions lower than ever, attention is turning to other forms of pollution. More specifically, tyre wear.

According to Emissions Analytics, tyres are a major contributor to arguably the biggest source of pollutant emissions from cars today: non-exhaust sources.

This is dust and particulates that are emitted from our tyres constantly – and our brakes when we use them. This currently unregulated source of pollution contributes to particulates in the air, as well as microplastics in the ocean.

Excessive tyre emissions: theory and testingTyre emissions can be 1,000 times those allowed from exhausts

The UK Government’s Air Quality Expert Group recently concluded that “non-exhaust emissions are recognised as a source of ambient concentrations of airborne particulate matter, even for vehicles with zero exhaust emissions of particles”.

Emissions Analytics theorised that, based on 1.5kgs of mass being lost per tyre over a 30,000-mile life, a car emits 200 milligrams of tyre particulate matter every kilometre. At that level, tyre emissions would be 22 times higher than the permitted levels in current exhaust gas regulations, which are 4.5mg/km.

In testing, it stacked the odds up in case practice yielded immeasurably low results. Low quality tyres, high speeds, intense cornering, high load in the car and a poor surface quality, were intended to help produce a measurable result. The results were shocking – 5.8 grams per kilometre lost. That’s 29 times the hypothesised result, and more than 1,000-times the allowed particulate emissions from an exhaust pipe. 

Tyre emissions can be 1,000 times those allowed from exhausts

This is a worst-case scenario, though many real-world factors weren’t influencers. The tyres were appropriately inflated, whereas many aren’t in the ‘real world’. Surface quality varies from good to bad. Speed limits are often broken and, of course, budget tyres are a commonplace cost-saving measure made by motorists, against expert recommendations. 

Much of what comes off our tyres are comparatively large chunks, compared with the ultrafine ‘soot’ that comes from exhausts. PM10 or above, up to 10,000nm in size, is however joined by particles down to 10nm, due to the heat generated by tyres when in use. For reference, tailpipe emissions are described as ‘mostly below 100nm’. Regardless, even including larger chunks, the resulting pollution is both ground and watercourse-based microplastics (the larger bits) and fine particles that comprise air quality.

These results are worrying, in a world where heavy SUVs are proliferating on ever-more aggressively-worked tyres that are growing in size by the year. It’s Emissions Analytics’ belief that tyres won’t be unregulated for too much longer.

Insurance companies refuse cover for using the wrong fuel

insurers don't always cover misfuelling

In the past, if you made the mistake of putting the wrong fuel into your car, your insurance company would usually cover it. In recent years, however, many are declining to pick up the bill.

According to new research by Defaqto, payouts for putting the wrong fuel into a car have been declining since 2016. Using the wrong fuel can potentially destroy your engine, and cost thousands to put right. This has lead insurers to back away from covering it under ‘accidental damage’ in their policies.

In 2016, 49 percent of insurance products on the market excluded misfuelling damage, although 51 percent would have covered the claims. In 2020, nearly two thirds (59 percent) exclude it.

insurers don't always cover misfuelling

As insurance providers ditch misfuelling, breakdown providers are more likely to cover costs of recovery. In 2016, 49 percent excluded cover for this, compared with just 36 percent who exclude it today. 

Running an engine with the wrong feel can be catastrophic. However, just because you’ve filled up, that doesn’t mean the damage is already done. If you realise before you fire the car up, the fuel can be drained and the cost mitigated.

insurers don't always cover misfuelling

“It is easy to put the wrong fuel in your car by mistake, particularly if you are driving one that you’re not used to,” said Michael Powell, consumer motor expert at Defaqto.

“If you do have breakdown cover, call your provider and ask if they can help. Otherwise, you may need to call a repairer and pay for the costs involved. Either way, it is essential that you do not start your car’s engine as the potential damage could be very expensive to repair.”

Misfuelled your car? Here’s what to do:

  • Push, don’t start. Save your engine by not firing up
  • Call your breakdown provider. They may be able to recover you
  • Check if your recovery also covers draining the fuel
  • Check if the repairer will be able to get you the right fuel

What’s worse? Diesel in a petrol, or vice versa?

insurers don't always cover misfuelling

Petrol in a diesel car is generally worse news, and unfortunately is more common. Diesel acts as a lubricant in a diesel engine system. Petrol, however, causes more friction. It can be especially damaging to high-pressure common-rail diesel systems.

Diesel in a petrol, while inconvenient, shouldn’t be as bad. It’ll clog the spark plugs and the fuel system, but the AA says petrol engines shouldn’t sustain permanent damage: the engine simply won’t start when fed diesel. It’s also harder to put diesel in a petrol car, as the fuel nozzles usually don’t fit.

Farewell to Frankfurt: highlights of Europe’s biggest motor show

For now, the Frankfurt Motor Show is no more. We’ve got used to walking the huge halls of the IAA every two years, but the biggest motor show on the calendar won’t be held there in 2021.

Home of the greats

Which is a shame. It’s the show where some of the all-time great cars were seen for the first time. Where will the icons of the future be revealed? The internet, probably. From the BMW M3 to the Ferrari F40 – we look back on some of the biggest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts of the past 50 years.

Porsche 914 – 1969

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Like the other German marques, Porsche makes a big effort for Frankfurt. In 1969, it brought along the mid-engined 914 sports car. Much derided for many years, the 914 is now a leftfield classic, and popular in the historic racing scene.

BMW 2002 Turbo – 1973

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Can you imagine being stand-side as BMW revealed the mad little 2002 Turbo? Even outside the context of pre-M performance cars, the 2002 was important. It was BMW’s first turbocharged production model.

Lancia Delta – 1979

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

As modern classics go, the Lancia Delta is well up there. On its debut at Frankfurt in 1979, it was far from the blister-arched, flame-spitting rally monster that evolved over the coming decades. Back then, the Delta was merely a stylish, Giugiaro-penned family hatchback.

Porsche 944 – 1981

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

At the start of the 80s, Porsche wanted to move away from the rear-engined 911, which wasn’t even 20 years old at the time. The 944 was a fine front-engined coupe, but the fact that the 911 lives on today, while a 944 successor is nowhere to be seen, seems telling.

Mercedes-Benz 190E – 1983

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Mercedes is a marque made famous by executive saloons, and the 190 is one of its greatest. The original 190 debuted at the 1983 Frankfurt Motor Show. It would be replaced by the C-Class in the 1990s, which remains in production today.

Volkswagen Golf Mk2 – 1983

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

The sophomore Golf is a fan favourite today, for some even more so than the Mk1. It grew up and grew bigger, but designer Herbert Schafer maintained a lot of the original Giugiaro style. The Mk2 GTI is among the best of the hot hatch breed, too.

BMW M3 – 1985

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

At this point, you might think Frankfurt is the place to reveal your future motoring icon, and you’d be right. Without the first BMW M3, there’d be no CSL, no M4, no C63 AMG, no RS4. Bahnstormers the world over owe their existence to this mid-80s homologation special.

Porsche 959 – 1985

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Some consider the 959 a bit of a white elephant, especially alongside Ferrari’s contemporary rival, the F40. Regardless, this incredibly sophisticated four-wheel-drive supercar could walk the walk, hitting 60mph in 3.6 seconds on the way to nearly 200mph flat-out.

Ferrari F40 – 1987

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

The last road car to get sign-off from Enzo himself, the F40 is considered one of the greatest Ferraris ever made. It had visible carbon you could see through the paintwork, plus turbo lag measured in calendar days rather than seconds. A gloriously single-minded supercar and a Ferrari great, first seen at Frankfurt.

Vauxhall Calibra – 1989

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

The Calibra is one of the Griffin’s modern greats: handsome when new, and even cooler today. Especially now all the cars that were extravagantly modified in the 90s have made their way to the scrapheap in the sky.

Land Rover Discovery – 1989

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Land Rover’s bridge between the utilitarian Defender and luxurious Range Rover came in 1989, and was an instant hit. Its high-sided silhouette would endure for 24 years, before the Disco got a full overhaul for its third generation in 2004.

BMW 8 Series – 1989

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Yep, 1989 was a cracking year for new car debuts. Joining the Disco and the Calibra at Frankfurt was BMW’s soft-focus supercar, the lavish 8 Series. Overnight, night club owners needing transport had the answer to their prayers.

BMW 5 Series – 1995

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Another Beemer, and the 1995 Frankfurt debut of what some argue remains the best car ever made. The E39 5 Series is still very highly regarded, but it all started at Frankfurt in 1995. The M5 it spawned is also one of the greatest sports saloons ever.

Land Rover Freelander – 1997

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

The last proper Land Rover? Well, it was the last developed by the Rover Group, as we knew it then. Test mules were even disguised as Austin Montegos. The Freelander arguably invented the crossover back in 1997.

Mercedes-Benz A Class – 1997

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Some revolutionary cars don’t have staying power. Merc’s clever compact was yet to face the infamous rollover ‘elk test’ when revealed at Frankfurt in 1997.

Audi A2 – 1999

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Unfortunately Audi drank the same Kool Aid as Mercedes for the A2. Its lightweight, alloy-bodied eco hatch was brilliant but expensive. Indeed, it was clear from the beginning that this car wouldn’t be a commercial success. A brilliant machine that was ahead of its time.

BMW X5 – 1999

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Say what you like about the X5, but BMW rewrote the rules back in 1999, showing Mercedes that a German-badged SUV could be a success. The X5 was part of BMW’s three-pronged assault on Frankfurt that year.

BMW Z8 – 1999

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Remember the BMW Z8? Henrik Fisker’s forgotten roadster borrowed the M5’s heart and mated it with a retro-futuristic body. It was as expensive as it was pretty, but the drive didn’t live up to expectations.

BMW M3 – 1999

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Quite the opposite is true for the E46 M3, which also debuted in 1999. Alongside the E39 M5, it’s considered one of the M car sweet-spots. A singing six and perfect coupe proportions made for an very desirable sports coupe. That it drove like a dream only added to its allure.

Vauxhall VX220 – 1999

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Some non-BMW madness from 1999’s Frankfurt show comes in the form of the Vauxhall VX220. It’s what happens when you restyle and re-body a Lotus Elise. A firecracker of a car.

Lamborghini Murcielago – 2001

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Lamborghini came out swinging at the first Frankfurt show of the new millennium, launching the long-awaited successor to the Diablo. With new-found Audi money and razor sharp looks, the Murcielago became an instant pin-up. If you’re a top-level Lambo, that’s job done.

Mercedes-Benz SL – 2001

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

The year 2001 was important for Mercedes, too, with the launch of the svelte ‘R230’ SL roadster. AMG versions came with a 493hp supercharged V8, while monstrous turbocharged V12 models had more than 600hp. The former was famously championed by Jeremy Clarkson in the early years of ‘new’ Top Gear.

Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren – 2003

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Of course, the SL, with help from McLaren, spawned Mercedes’ split-personality supercar: the SLR. Not sure whether it wanted to be the ultimate GT or a successor to the F1 hypercar of the 90s, the SLR caught a lot of grief from critics. We happen to think this droop-snoot supercharged savage is one of the best-looking cars of its era.

Aston Martin DB9 – 2003

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Aston Martin was making waves in 2003, too. If the Vanquish was a bit of a non-starter, the DB9 was a breakout success. So revolutionary was it in comparison with its DB7 predecessor, it skipped a number in the naming system.

Maserati Quattroporte – 2003

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

The reborn Maserati Quattroporte came with Ferrari V8 power and oodles of desirability. Another modern classic in the making, once the numbers begin to dwindle.

Porsche Carrera GT – 2003

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Can you tell the economy was booming around 2003? The Porsche Carrera GT was the second German hypercar to launch at Frankfurt 2003, and had a starting price over £300,000. With a manual gearbox, screaming V10 and engineering that’s as artful as it is functional, it’s one of the last great analogue supercars.

BMW 6 Series – 2003

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Arriving to fight the Mercedes SL at Frankfurt in 2003 was the reborn BMW 6 Series. Jeremy Clarkson famously said it looked like the stylist died while designing it, with BMW finishing it the job by dumping a duvet on the back.

Porsche Cayman – 2005

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Returning to the show in 2005 was Porsche, with a hard-top version of its Boxster roadster. The Cayman quietly became the best sports car Porsche makes. Sshhh, don’t tell the 911!

Jaguar XF – 2007

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

The triumphant return of a Jaguar for the mainstream, the sleek XF is the seed out of which today’s brand grew. And it all started at Frankfurt in 2007.

Ferrari 430 Scuderia – 2007

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

About time we featured a Ferrari, right? Normally frequenting Geneva’s hallowed halls with its new models, Ferrari chose Frankfurt in 2007 to debut its hardcore F430, the Scuderia. It’s one of the most beloved driver’s cars to come out of Maranello.

Ferrari 458 Italia – 2009

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

But it didn’t shake up the supercar world like the 458. This thing was an absolute revelation. Indeed, much of the 458 lives on in the new F8 Tributo. It was the last non-track-focused mid-engined Ferrari with a naturally-aspirated V8.

Bentley Mulsanne – 2009

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

An old-school Bentley for the modern era, Frankfurt was chosen to debut the Arnage successor in 2009. Rumours were it would borrow the W16 engine from the Bugatti Veyron. In spite of that not being true, the Mulsanne was every bit as imperious as we’d hoped. It soldiers on even today, selling fewer than 1,000 units a year.

Volkswagen Up! – 2011

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Volkswagen’s clever supermini was a long time coming, but worth the wait. It’s still one of the most satisfying small cars on sale, especially now it comes in pokey GTI guise.

BMW i8 – 2013

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

It’s amazing to think this car is six years old. Alas, we’re now less than a year away from the i8 ceasing production. When it debuted at Frankfurt in 2013, it offered a brave new world of eco-conscious performance. No-one saw the barrage of 2,000hp electric hypercars coming back then.

Porsche 918 Spyder – 2013

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Ten years on from the Carrera GT’s arrival at Frankfurt 2003, the production version of Porsche’s all-wheel-drive hybrid hypercar was revealed. A Nurburgring lap-record holder, it also started the journey to the all-electric Taycan.

Jaguar F-Pace – 2015

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Jaguar really got into its stride with the F-Pace SUV, revealed at Frankfurt in 2015. It seemed to achieve the impossible by making an SUV look sleek and sexy.

Bentley Bentayga – 2015

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Jag wasn’t the only British luxury marque to jump on the SUV bandwagon in 2015. Bentley was also at Frankfurt with its own 4×4, although it was the opposite of sleek and sexy. Still, the Bentayga was a slam-dunk in terms of sales.

Volkswagen T-Roc – 2017

Greatest Frankfurt Motor Show debuts

Finally, we arrive at the previous Frankfurt Motor Show in 2017. Our pick of the bunch when it came to new reveals? The T-Roc – Volkswagen’s replacement for the beloved Scirocco coupe. Blasphemic though it may seem to replace a coupe with a crossover, the T-Roc is a cool looking thing. Ford is taking a similar direction with the new Puma, which debuts at Frankfurt 2019.

Land Rover Defender – 2019

It’s fair to say Frankfurt went out on a high, with 2019 one of the biggest years in recent memory for hot debuts. None more so than the all-new Land Rover Defender, which was finally revealed after a five-year wait.

Volkswagen ID.3

Volkswagen chose Frankfurt to unveil the third chapter for the people’s car. First Beetle, then Golf, now the all-electric ID.3. Deliveries of the dedicated all-electric hatchback begin this year.

Porsche Taycan

We began this gallery with a Porsche and we followed the marque through its history of Frankfurt debuts, from the 914 to the Carrera GT. It’s fitting, then, that perhaps one of the most important Porsches in history should arrive at the final Frankfurt show. An electric super saloon, the Taycan is here to show Tesla just what ‘legacy’ manufacturers are capable of. It’s a brave new world, now, sadly, bereft of the Frankfurt Motor Show.

New electric Volkswagen e-Up priced from £19,695

Volkswagen e-Up pricing revealed

The updated version of the electric Volkswagen e-Up is here, and it’s one of the most affordable EVs on sale. Prices start at £19,695 on the road, including the government’s plug-in car grant.

For that, you get an electric car with real usable range. The updated e-Up is WLTP-rated for a range of 159 miles – a huge improvement on the 2014 model’s 83-mile rating.

A larger 32.3kWh lithium-ion battery pack offers close to twice the original’s 18.7kWh capacity.

Volkswagen e-Up pricing revealed

The e-Up also comes with a host of updates common to the rest of the Up range. This includes a multi-function camera with lane-assist, curtain airbags and a smartphone integration cradle.

Standard on the range-topping e-Up will be heated front seats, a heated windscreen, climate control, rain-sensing wipers, heated door mirrors and cruise control.

Of course, there’s also Volkswagen’s new badge, along with 15-inch ‘Tezzle’ alloy wheels – exclusive to the e-Up. The electric Up can also be identified by its bespoke bumpers and C-shaped daytime running lights. Blue stripes across the grille and boot lid are also a giveaway. 

Volkswagen e-Up pricing revealed

“We are very pleased to have secured limited stock in the UK for this latest electric version of our popular city car,” said Tim O’Donovan, EV marketing manager at Volkswagen UK.

“With a proven electric powertrain, impressive range, and excellent value-for-money the e-Up is a zero-emissions city car that can venture far beyond the city limits.”

DPD targets 1 in 10 electric van mix with new Nissan deal

DPD to take delivery of 300 electric Nissan vans

Nissan will deliver 300 e-NV200 electric vans to logistics firm, DPD. The deal will see the company’s electric fleet expand to 450 vehicles by May 2020.

This is part of DPD’s aim to make 10 percent of the vehicles at its 68 UK depots electric by the year’s end.

DPD to take delivery of 300 electric Nissan vans

“This is a real landmark day in the move to a more sustainable future for the parcel industry,” said Dwain McDonald, DPD’s CEO.

“These vehicles are changing the way we work. It isn’t just a case of plugging them in and saying, ‘job done’. We are rethinking and re-engineering how we deliver parcels now and in the future with different route networks and new types of depots. It is an all-encompassing revolution for our industry and electric, emission-free vehicles are at the heart of that vision.”

DPD to take delivery of 300 electric Nissan vans

DPD already has 91 e-NV200s on its fleet, which have been making their rounds for the last year and a half. The new batch of Nissans will be put to work performing local multi-drop deliveries, driving 100 miles per day.

The e-NV200 is WLTP-rated to travel between 124 and 187 miles on a full charge. It’ll recharge in eight hours with a wall box, and can be rapid-charged to 80 percent capacity in about an hour. 

The vans will be topped up overnight at DPD depots, and will have their routes for the next day sorted by the company’s route calculation and vehicle optimisation systems. Drivers have apparently given positive feedback so far.

DPD to take delivery of 300 electric Nissan vans

“It’s exciting to see a company built on delivering on time and to schedule proving that an electric vehicle can work for them, while also making such a large commitment to reducing their carbon footprint,” said Peter McDonald, fleet director at Nissan Motor GB.

“We’re seeing increased demand for the e-NV200 as more businesses look for an all-electric alternative. Nissan is able to deliver a fantastic product for them, and fast.”

Companies can claim 20 percent off the price of an electric commercial vehicle, up to a maximum of £8,000.

Half of drivers want to buy an electrified car

Volkswagen electric car production

Almost half of Britain’s used car buyers would buy an electric, hybrid or plug-in hybrid car if they could.

That’s according to a new study, which suggests that the desire to buy a petrol or diesel car is diminishing.

Indeed, while 49 percent of buyers fancy going green, just 32 percent would like a petrol car. There’s worse news for the diesel car, with just 19 percent of those surveyed claiming they want an oil-burner.

Price remains the biggest barrier to entry, with buyers claiming the high cost of electric cars stops them from taking the plunge. Running costs and style are the other considerations.

CarFinance 247 CEO Louis Rix said: “Drivers definitely want to be more green because they care about the planet. Electric and hybrid cars will undoubtedly be a huge area of growth in future. 

“But price is still the main consideration for most customers, so eco-friendly cars need to become cheaper and more plentiful before they really take off in the second-hand market.” 

Electrified avenue

Audi Q5 plug-in hybrid

Being more specific, what’s the UK’s most desirable used car, according to the survey? It’s a metallic black Audi plug-in hybrid, which suggests there could be strong demand for the Q5 TFSI e. The Q5 plug-in hybrid offers up to 26 miles of all-electric range.

The family SUV will soon be joined by plug-in hybrid versions of the A6, A7 and A8.

As for equipment, the most desired feature is satellite navigation, followed by self-parking, a rear-view camera, in-car wi-fi and heated seats.

Top 10 most desired used cars

  1. Audi
  2. BMW
  3. Ford
  4. Mercedes-Benz
  5. Range Rover
  6. Volkswagen
  7. Aston Martin
  8. Jaguar
  9. Toyota
  10. Tesla

Top 10 most desired colours

  1. Black
  2. Silver
  3. Blue
  4. Red
  5. White
  6. Dark blue
  7. Gold
  8. Green
  9. Yellow
  10. Brown

We’ll leave you with the thought that one in five motorists have had sex in their car. Might be worth considering that when you’re choosing your next used car…