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Volkswagen to unveil zero-emission Multivan T17 today



After a long teaser campaign, the new generation Volkswagen Transporter (T7) will be set loose on the Nurburgring, Germany, today, Thursday June 10, 2021.

Volkswagen says the all-new Multivan T7, built as 2022 model, will be more car-like than never by switching to the MQB platform.

The German automaker, according to Carscoops, has concentrated its efforts on hiding the Golf-like front end by making the headlamps look bigger than they are. The grille, logo and parts of the bumper are also under wraps, alongside the side window line, tailgate, roof-mounted spoiler and taillights

In its preview of the vehicle, the auto reviewer says, “In the Multivan – aka MPV – configuration, the 2021 T7 features three rows of seats and a clever table design on tracks that can be used in different ways. Things such as a modern infotainment system with a 10-inch display, shift-by-wire gear selector, and 360-degree cameras will be included.

“Built around the MQB platform that’s shared with a wide number of Volkswagen Group products, like the Golf Mk8, the T7 will launch with different powertrains. As usual, petrol and diesel units are understood to be part of the lineup.”

The all-new Multivan will get an eHybrid version from day one to denote its PHEV setup with an E-Mode that will offer zero-emissions driving for an unspecified range.

VW Commercial Vehicles doesn’t go too deep into details about the plug-in hybrid arrangement but we do know it will be linked to a dual-clutch automatic transmission as all T7 versions will come exclusively with the DSG. Another important detail revealed today is the Multivan’s front-wheel-drive configuration, which means the PHEV version lacks a rear-mounted electric motor.

The e-motor will work closely together with a turbocharged gasoline engine (TSI) for a plug-in hybrid setup likely adapted from the VW Golf eHybrid or the more powerful GTE. Expect the combustion engine to be a 1.4-liter unit since other VW Group products offered with a PHEV configuration have this four-cylinder engine. Relevant examples include the SEAT Leon e-Hybrid, Skoda Octavia iV, and the Audi A3 E-Tron.

VW Commercial Vehicles explains the lithium-ion battery pack sits within the van’s underbody to save up space inside the cabin and also to lower the center of gravity to improve handling. The charging port is located in the front fender on the right-hand side and owners will get a charging card to “fill up” the Multivan T7 at public charging points. In addition, wall boxes with fast-charging support are going to be available.

Based on the MQB platform, the T7 goes official sometime in June and will go on sale in Europe in the second half of 2021. Thankfully, the Multivan eHybrid will be available right away alongside conventional gasoline and most likely diesel powertrains. VW Commercial Vehicles will still offer the old T6.1-based Transporter as the workhorse is sticking around for a couple of years.

Sources: Volkswagen Commercial Services, Carscoops

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Photos: Kia dazzles Nigerian fans, unveils Sonet, Seltos compact SUVs



Lovers of compact sport utility vehicles built with sophistication in Nigeria have two new stunning products to celebrate, coming from Kia Motors. They are the all-new Sonet and the high-tech Seltos.

The two models assembled in Nigeria and unveiled in Lagos on Friday to the motoring journalists are expected to substantially raise the market share of Kia in the compact SUV segment, which is fast becoming the toast of many new car buyers globally including Nigeria, especially young trendy people.

Details later…





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Land Rover to expand Defender with eight-seater 130, showstopper models  



Land Rover is preparing to expand the Defender lineup, turning it into a family of vehicles similar to what it did with the Range Rover nameplate.

The expansion will specifically cover a long-wheelbase variant, an eight-seater 130, due next year to a posh, six-figure model in 2025, reports.

According to a report from Autocar, the first variant to arrive will be the 130, an extended-wheelbase version with eight seats and it is due in 2022.

An opulent range-topper is also expected by 2025, and will ride on the MLA platform that will also underpin the next generation Range Rover.

Land Rover already sells multiple versions of the Defender—the stubby but charming two-door 90, the standard four-door 110, and the burly supercharged V8 model.

The 130 should be at least 10 inches longer than the 110, with most of that length added to the rear overhang.

The Defender 130 is expected to only come in higher trim levels and should feature both the six and eight-cylinder engine options.

The US and China will be the stretched Defender’s primary markets, says the report.

The fancier model coming in 2025 will be based on the MLA platform that will underpin the next Range Rover. The MLA platform will support combustion engines, plug-in-hybrid setups, and electric powertrains, and will also form the basis for the next Range Rover Sport, Velar, and Discovery.

This would make a Defender EV possible, but the Range Rover and Velar are expected to have priority for all-electric versions.

The high-end Defender’s interior will be the major distinction, and Autocar says it will feature more vibrant colours and upscale materials.

Although the powertrain landscape will have shifted even further towards EVs by 2025, the luxe-Defender will likely still be powered by the six-cylinder engine.

A plug-in hybrid is also currently sold in Europe, and an evolution of this setup could come to the US as well.

An entry-level Defender 80 had also been rumoured to debut by 2025. It would have been based on the EMA (Electric Modular Architecture) platform, but Autocar reports that this model has been cancelled. That platform will be found in the next Evoque and Discovery Sport, but Land Rover has apparently decided to not move the Defender name down market, as a baby Defender likely wouldn’t have the higher profit margins that should make the 130 and luxury Defender worth the investment.




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Toyota launches 2022 Corolla Cross, offering more luxury, SUV excitement



After months of speculations with unconfirmed leaked images, Toyota on Tuesday September 14 officially unveiled the 2022 edition of Corolla Cross in Japan, the birthplace of the leading brand.

The Corolla Cross is a compact crossover SUV produced as a more practical and larger alternative to the C-HR and positioned between the C-HR and RAV4 within Toyota crossover SUV lineup.

Toyota dropped the news of the launch of the new model on its website on Tuesday, saying the vehicle combines urban luxury with SUV excitement.

According to the automaker, the all-new Corolla Cross combines superb visibility with ample head clearance, ensuring that passengers in every seat can spend every journey―from urban rides to long drives―in comfort.

The Corolla Cross was first unveiled in July 2020. Although most global models retain a similar look, the Japanese-spec Corolla Cross appears to differ from the others, thanks to a redesigned front bumper.

The coming of Toyota Corolla is considered the most popular car in the world, having racked up more than 50 million sales to date, and the number is expected to rapidly grow now that there is a shiny new crossover carrying this moniker.

The latest Corolla Cross comes with front seats providing a high viewpoint expected of an SUV, while slender front pillars and an uncluttered instrument panel result in a cockpit with a full field of view and easily accessible controls; the rear seats are conveniently accessed through large rear side doors and, since they can be reclined, they promise superb comfort and convenience.

Its panorama roof is said to help realize an outstanding sense of spaciousness: its large glass surface provides views of the sky to passengers in every seat, expanding their scope of vision, while the motorized retractable shade allows control over the amount of sunlight entering the vehicle.

Toyota says the vehicle has a commanding and powerful exterior, having been designed to be “urbane and active,” with the dynamism and sophistication of an SUV.

Its commanding, urban proportions are said to be rooted in a contrast between its relaxed upper body – including glass surfaces, and front and rear lights―and its wide, stable bumpers.

It is also said to have some of the best luggage capacity in its class, with 487 litre even when seating five.

Toyota says folding the rear seats further expands the luggage area, providing sufficient space even for carrying road bicycles.

Its highly functional Luggage Active Box has been specially designed and it allows users to store luggage out of sight, while its lid can be shut flat to open up more luggage space.

The luxury and ample space is also experienced inside the vehicle. From the instrument panel to the door trim, the interior is said to exude a sense of continuity contributing to an expansive interior space.

LEDs are used for all cabin illumination, helping to achieve an interior that is luxurious and sophisticated.

Its sporty front seats feature slim backs and provide outstanding support.

It comes with powertrains that deliver a pleasing and intuitive ride. The car is said to respond reliably to accelerator operation, and gains speed in a smooth, pleasing manner.

The hybrid versions deliver class-leading fuel efficiency of 26.2 km/L; their E-Four electric 4WD systems not only contribute to superb fuel efficiency, but also ensure consistent behaviour both when accelerating and driving on any slippery surface.

The vehicle is built with advanced safety package. For instance, Toyota says all grades of the all-new Corolla Cross come equipped as standard with the latest edition of Toyota Safety Sense, providing driving support in all aspects of everyday usage scenarios.

Parking Support Brake and Back Guide Monitor are also fitted as standard to all grades except the G “X,” enabling users to drive with peace of mind even in narrow spaces such as car parks.

Plus Support is said to be available, to control sudden acceleration due to misapplication of the accelerator pedal.

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