Jaguar i-Pace electric SUV

The big news in the motoring world is the proposed mergers between the giant car makers.

Very recently Fiat-Chrysler, an already huge combine incorporating Alfa-Romeo, Fiat, Jeep, Lancia and Maserati made a bid for Renault. Then, just as this publication was going to press, Fiat-Chrysler announced its withdrawal from the venture. The reason is that the French Government, which partly owns Renault, decided the deal was not in its or Renault’s best interests. Had the negotiations been successful, the ensuing company comprising Fiat-Chrysler, Renault and Dacia along with strong connections with Nissan and Mitsubishi would have been a major force, of which Renault would take a subordinate role. Moreover, there would have been issues regarding the affiliation with Mercedes-Benz in terms of its sharing vehicle platforms and engine technology with Renault and Nissan.

All this comes when PSA, parent company of Peugeot, Citroën, Vauxhall and Opel is making overtures to Tata of India in a bid to take control of Jaguar and Land Rover. JLR’s sales to China have imploded over the last year, and at home its diesel-engined cars have dropped in demand. By the same token, PSA’s relationship with China’s car makers has hit a rocky patch and could lead to divorce. It’s no secret that Tata has been looking for a European partner with which to do business, and selling JLR to PSA would make sense since its chassis architecture is very highly regarded. To confuse the situation, BMW has just announced its collaboration with JLR


regarding electric vehicle technology. Might this be a cue for a JLR-PSA-BMW partnership, especially as all brands have been sharing engines?

There won’t be a motorist who is unaware of the big push towards electric vehicles. Tesla is about to invade Europe and the

Model 3 has been put to months of extensive testing, superfast charging points are in abundance, thus making for easy living with electric cars, even in remote regions.

With the Model 3’s arrival, it’s likely that Kia’s new e-Niro with its 282 mile range will appeal to customers choosing an electric car. Tesla prices start at £36,900 rising to nearly £50,000, while the Kia in top range First Edition specification commands £32,995. First glance at the e- Niro tells it as being comfortable, well built and at the cutting edge of technology, and like all Kias has a 7-year warranty. All will be revealed in a full road test – watch this space.

Just released KIA e-Niro

United Kingdom with its sleek and compact Model 3 four-door hatch boasting a range capacity of 348 miles from a fully- charged battery pack. Its dimensions being similar to those of a BMW 3 Series, it will in reality return nearer 300 miles. And here is the problem: in Europe, and particularly Scandinavia where the all-wheel drive

Jaguar, Nissan and Hyundai are also in the rapidly growing EV market. Hybrid cars offer a move towards accepting EV technology, hence the number of plug-in models and range-extenders available, the latter including the BMW i3 and i8 sports cars.

Malcolm Bobbitt

Photographs by JLR Press, Kia Press and Tesla Press.

Tesla Model 3 in the USA ISSUE 432 | 20 JUNE 2019 | 38

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