Good Oil: Another coupe SUV mooted
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They’re all at it; even normally sensible Volvo. Having been bitten by the SUV bug, the storied Scandi firm is riding high on the successes of zeitgeist-fulfilling XC60 and XC40 models. Now it says a curvy XC50 could be on the cards.
The revelation stems from an interview Volvo’s senior vice-president for Europe, the brilliantly named Lex Kerssemakers had with British motoring outlet Auto Express.
He reckons the company — which now has plenty of Geely manufacturing money sloshing around its coffers — could probably afford to take a more niche approach to its model line-up in the future.
Sorry, but here at The Good Oil offices, we remain a touch cynical about this whole coupe-like SUV thing.
BMW invented it with the X6 the better part of a decade ago, with rival manufacturer Mercedes-Benz pretending it was something it had planned to do all along a few years later. The GLC and GLE coupe pairing was unveiled in 2015.
No one has followed ze Chermin lead on the coupe-SUV (well, aside from Ssangyong in 2009 with the bulbous Actyon crossover thingy, which isn’t to be confused with the ute; Google it).
That hasn’t stopped plenty of people opting for slightly less rear headroom and luggage capacity than a conventional SUV though; BMW especially has sold plenty of X6s and they even introduced a smaller X4 fastback a few years later.
Kerssemakers did stress that such an addition to the model range wouldn’t be coming any time soon, though. Volvo is in the midst of ensuring everything it sells will be available with a PHEV or BEV electric motor option.
There’ll apparently be plenty of time for chin-stroking over blueprints of pointlessly impractical coupe-SUVs after 2020.
Volkswagen celebrates Kombi’s 70th in most half-hearted fashion ever
Wow guys, not even half a chocolate gateau from The Cheesecake Shop and some party balloons?
Volkswagen has chosen to mark the 70th anniversary of its iconic box-on-wheels, the Kombi, with ... a celebratory paint scheme on the current Volkswagen Multivan.
Rebadged the Kombi 70 for the occasion, the special edition Multivan people-mover features a two-tone colour scheme designed to mimic the classic Type 2 Kombi look.
While the cab-over style has long gone, the exterior hues pay tribute to the original van’s silhouette, bisecting the body like it’s still an oblong with a wheel at each corner.
Only 20 examples of the Kombi 70 are available in New Zealand, although we’re unsure if customers will get to choose between the handful of colourways available in overseas markets.
Aside from the celebratory paint, the Kombi 70 also features wood-look flooring and 18” disc alloys, designed to look a bit like the original Kombi’s deep-dish hubcaps.
But that’s it. No other styling nod would probably have been cost-effective or Ancap safety approved, so you can see why the manufacturer has stuck to cosmetics ... But still, what about a side barn door option?
A split front windscreen? An exhaust synthesiser to give the engine that familiar half-rattle, half-growl of a flat four? A dripping oil dispenser under the rear axle to replicate the feeling of despair as you take a rag and some mineral turpentine to your once-pristine concrete parking pad? Ah, the memories.
Happy birthday Kombi; we’re sorry your parent manufacturer couldn’t be bothered celebrating with more enthusiasm.
Rolls-Royce ropes in National Geographic
The Rolls-Royce Cullinan — the luxury brand’s first SUV, oh sorry, High-Riding Vehicle — is nearly ready for its international unveiling.
But first, the company is documenting the final stages of its durability testing with a National Geographic photographer along for the ride.
In a series of videos, adventure snapper Cory Richards will be using a camouflaged Cullinan to get into extreme locations to shoot photos (for a resulting heavily financed magazine advertorial, we can only imagine).
Richards says he is hoping to “break” the vehicle, such is the nature of where the company is taking the Cullinan, although unlike in the real world, we can assume there will be a man in a brown coat ready to fix things should he get a little too adventurous in his drive route-planning.
We’ll admit to being annoyingly intrigued by the web series though; the sight of something with the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy mascot on the grille fording a river remains rather diverting.
Richards speaks at length about his ambitions as a photographer being tied to the idea that all the people of the world are the same.
A nice sentiment, although the people who can afford a half-million-dollar SUV (sorry, sorry, High-Riding Vehicle) are probably a wee bit different though, right?
Search forRolls-Royce The Final Challenge on the YouTube; wince your way through the plugs for the car and marvel at the scenery.