Product Eye

Product Eye

Our team bring you informed analysis of selected new vehicle models and put them in automotive industry perspective

Mini goes after Qashqai with new F60 Countryman

18 Jan 2017 | Glenn Brooks

A second Mini model in the C segment goes on sale in Britain and other European nations from February. The new, bigger Countryman leaves the B-C size class, there is no successor for the Paceman and all build this time is by VDL in the Netherlands instead of by Magna Steyr in Austria.

ANALYSIS - The four-cylinder Porsche Cayman S

13 Jan 2017 | Glenn Brooks

Emissions. Reading that word surely makes executives at Volkswagen Group divisions shudder. But sometimes its use is benign: the new 2.5-litre flat-four turbo in the Porsche 718 Cayman S is low on CO2, returns more than 35mpg in the real world and sounds like no other previous Porsche engine.

Refreshed Clio helps Renault UK to five-year sales high

5 Jan 2017 | Glenn Brooks

The changes are subtle but a facelift and a new 110hp diesel engine have played a role in giving the revised Clio a major sales boost in Britain.

ANALYSIS - The CFRP & aluminium Audi R8 V10 plus

19 Dec 2016 | Glenn Brooks

It might have a 449kW (610PS) V10 engine but without its lightweight hybrid platform, the Audi R8 V10 plus wouldn't have such devastating performance. How devastating? Top speed is 330km/h (205mph) and zero to 100km/h takes just 3.2 seconds.

Toyota launches C-HR crossover for Europe sales boost

15 Dec 2016 | Dave Leggett

Toyota is hoping that its new C-HR crossover will bring an incremental sales boost of around 100,000 units a year in Europe. The ambitious target equates to an 11% segment share and reflects the company's assessment that the tech-heavy car will straddle market segments and attract new buyers from premium brands as well as mainstream ones.

Why the Mazda6 is outselling some D-premium models

12 Dec 2016 | Glenn Brooks

Mazda sells more cars in Europe than either JLR, Suzuki or Honda, but has no factory in the region. Now its models are becoming increasingly premium, with the 2017 model year Mazda6 a good example of that. What is the company’s secret recipe for this success?

Hyundai i20 Turbo - are three cylinders enough?

9 Dec 2016 | Glenn Brooks

You could be excused for overlooking the Hyundai i20. The styling isn’t memorable, but a new three-cylinder turbo petrol engine gives this two-year old car fresh appeal in what is a crowded B-hatchback segment.

Audi finds another niche with RS Q3 performance

6 Dec 2016 | Glenn Brooks

The 367PS RS Q3 performance might seem like a model which no-one asked for. Small sales numbers but big margins from high-priced niche vehicles such as this one are, however, what have helped to keep Audi ahead of BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

Innovative Faurecia seats for new Renault Scénic

5 Dec 2016 | Glenn Brooks

Designed with the capability to have 48V electrics for next year's Hybrid Assist variants, the new Renault Scénic and Grand Scénic also have the ingenious one-touch folding seats which Faurecia invented for the Espace.

ANALYSIS - Can the new Ateca SUV make SEAT self-funding?

29 Nov 2016 | Glenn Brooks

Profitable at last, could SEAT one day become self-funding? That’s what it has to do but to get there, higher-margin models are needed. The new Ateca is the first of these.

ANALYSIS - Porsche Macan GTS

25 Nov 2016 | Glenn Brooks

The F-PACE is now Jaguar’s best seller, a new Audi Q5 will soon be in showrooms and Alfa Romeo has just revealed the Stelvio with claims that it has better handling than Porsche’s smallest SUV. Can the Macan maintain its segment leadership?

ANALYSIS - Maserati Levante biturbo diesel

23 Nov 2016 | Glenn Brooks

It's been a long time coming but Maserati's first SUV is now being rolled out across global markets. Right-hand drive production started recently with vehicles for the UK headed to showrooms in the coming days. Here, with 96% of the car's segment being diesel, there will be only one engine, a VM Motori 3.0-litre V6.

Captur sales plunge as Peugeot refreshes 2008

8 Nov 2016 | Glenn Brooks

It might have lost its title of top selling B-SUV to the Captur earlier this year but Peugeot’s newly updated 2008 is suddenly outselling its rival in France.

Audi's Q2 makes the case for petrol

7 Nov 2016 | Calum MacRae

The new Audi Q2 begins deliveries to UK customers next weekend (12th November), but before then the UK motoring press were invited to a first drive in the Suffolk countryside in early November.

New Optima PHEV & estate help Kia UK outsell Hyundai

4 Nov 2016 | Glenn Brooks

While other car makers are scaling down their model ranges in Europe’s non-premium D segment, Kia is doing the opposite. A new estate and a PHEV saloon are new additions to the Optima range. Last month, they even helped Kia to outsell Hyundai in the UK.

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