Good Oil: VW Scirocco to return as EV
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According to overseas media, Volkswagen looks set to bring back the sporty three-door Scirocco -- as a dedicated electric vehicle.
Volkswagen R&D boss, Dr Frank Welsch, told UK magazine Auto Express that the revitalised and electrified Scirocco will be based on the manufacturer's all-electric MEB platform architecture and will sit alongside the soon-to-debut Volkswagen I.D. range of dedicated EV models.
The petrol-powered Scirocco of old, which has been absent from the local Volkswagen line-up for a few years after its late-2000s reinvention as a swoopy, low-slung alternative to a Golf, was always a niche proposition in a sea of more conventionally-proportioned hatchbacks.
But anyway, an electric Scirocco is actually something we can get behind. It's probably a shrewd move on the carmaker's part; introduce an all-new sub-brand of EVs, but make sure one of these new-fangled plug-ins sports a familiar nameplate.
When you consider the I.D. BUZZ Microbus 'leccy transporter van performs the opposite chore (a distinctly retro-minded Kombi-esque vehicle with an all-new name), it's clear Volkswagen is looking to hedge its bets in winning the popular vote for its incoming EV offerings.
It's also nice to see Volkswagen isn't intent on producing a mix of battery-powered compact SUVs and city cars and leaving it at that (the first I.D. vehicle, due in 2020, will be a Golf-sized hatchback). To win over the purists, a sports car -- or at least a car that can do a good impression of a sports car -- is needed. And that's where a Scirocco EV makes perfect sense.
It's even better than that, because with high-powered modular battery technology, Dr Welsch has stated that maximum output of up to 300bhp (223kW) could be generated in a Scirocco EV. The MEB platform is also engineered to ensure electric motors can be sited at both front and rear, meaning that a 4MOTION (four-wheel drive) drivetrain may also be a possibility.
It all sounds like good news.
Next Jimny a bit of a Renegade
When all's said and done, Suzuki's diminutive Jimny remains our absolute favourite model from the Japanese carmaker.
Sure, the Vitara is a capable family-sized SUV and the Swift remains a byword for budget-minded mass-market motoring. But, despite the diminutive Jimny's decidedly basic offering, the wee off-roader remains the sort of plucky car we love, regardless of whether it's a city street or a farm track being tackled.
Dismiss its wheelbase at your peril; the Jimny is a no-nonsense 4x4, its lack of heft allowing it to skip over rocky obstacles. And there's a new one due in 2019. We know this because the spy shots have already started circulating.
What does the early evidence suggest? The Jimny looks set to retain its upright, boxy stance, but with what can only be described as distinctly Jeep-esque attributes bolted on; namely oversized wheel-arch panels that give it a decidedly Renegade-ish look.
So far Suzuki doesn't appear to have been tempted to muck around with the Jimny formula too much; it's still a three-door with a spare wheel mounted to the tailgate. Intel received from abroad suggests that, a new touchscreen infotainment system aside, not much will change in the off-roader's cabin either.
The Jimny could do with a few more horses under the bonnet in some circumstances but we'll generally put up with a lack of street performance to get every other box ticked.
Thank you, thank you very much
It's a BMW under all that custom white bodywork. More than that, the Kingston Custom "White Phantom" actually started life as a 1980s-era BMW tourer.
But pared down to the slender silhouette you see here, then attacked with a Bedazzler, this is what a drag bike would look like as designed by Elvis' jumpsuit tailor.
Officially it's a BMW R80RT and, somehow, the custom shop that created it has retained a 798cc engine inside its slim proportions.
One thing's for sure; it looks far too pretty to actually take down the quarter mile.
And we can't find any evidence it ever has done so.