Product Eye

Product Eye

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


Can SEAT top 500,000 sales in 2018 with new Ibiza?

11 Jan 2018 | Glenn Brooks

Volkswagen recently said that it had produced 14 million Polos since the first model was introduced in 1975. SEAT, an infinitely smaller company, introduced its similarly sized Ibiza in 1984. As it ramps up production of the fifth generation model, the total built at Martorell has just reached 5.6 million. The new car is more than good enough to push that total above 6 million within four years, maybe even three.


Britain's new Volkswagen Polo - out of Africa

10 Jan 2018 | Glenn Brooks

Volkswagen Group South Africa still builds the fourth and fifth generation Polos at its Uitenhage factory near P.E. in the Eastern Cape. Following a major investment in the MQB A0 architecture, the plant is now also producing the new, sixth generation model for export to other RHD countries. The made-in-Africa Polo is now available in Britain.


ANALYSIS - New Renault Kadjar TCe 165

8 Jan 2018 | Glenn Brooks

The Kadjar, a big seller across Europe, has always had one major weakness in its powertrain choices. The 1.2-litre petrol engine has a great CO2 number but lacks the torque that people switching from diesel are used to. So, supporting the TCe 130, in comes a new 1.6-litre unit, the TCe 165.


Can newly updated Lexus CT 200h still compete?

21 Dec 2017 | Glenn Brooks

Sometimes, Toyota Motor Corporation does curious things. The new Lexus LC and LS are clearly money no object designs. Why then has it chosen to extend the life of the seven-year old CT 200h with another facelift, when the car was, to be polite, not exactly state of the art?


Why FCA was right to tap Mitsubishi for Fiat Fullback pick-up

19 Dec 2017 | Glenn Brooks

FCA turned to Mazda when it wanted RWD roadsters for its Fiat and Abarth brands. Then, when it sought expertise in one-tonne pick-ups, the company signed a deal to have Mitsubishi Motors supply Fiat and Fiat Professional with an L200-based model. We know how great the two 124 Spiders turned out to be, but just how good is the Fullback?


ANALYSIS - Audi ditches the V8 in new RS 5

8 Dec 2017 | Glenn Brooks

The old RS 5 Coupé sounded so much better than its BMW M4 rival, so why has Audi dropped the sonorous 4.2-litre V8 and replaced it with a muted turbo V6 in the new model?


ANALYSIS - Can B479 Fiesta keep Ford as UK number 1?

1 Dec 2017 | Glenn Brooks

You have to hand it to Ford of Europe's engineers: the Fiesta might use a less than fresh Mazda-based platform, but the new car again sits at the top of its class for driving dynamics. Will that be enough to keep it as the UK's number one model in 2018?


ANALYSIS - Renault Twingo GT

28 Nov 2017 | Glenn Brooks

Is any manufacturer making money in Europe's A segment? Surprisingly, some probably are. The key to success is either selling old cars at aggressive prices or collaboration in R&D and manufacturing. Renault chose the latter route for the Twingo.


ANALYSIS - Peugeot 308 SW and GTI

17 Nov 2017 | Glenn Brooks

Has the long-awaited recovery of the Peugeot brand finally begun? Even if things remain terrible in China with a year-to-date collapse of 30 per cent in a rising market, October was a good month for the brand across Europe. The 3008 and 5008 are major factors in the improvement but so too is the updated 308 range.


ANALYSIS - Volkswagen e-Golf gains 50% range boost

6 Nov 2017 | Glenn Brooks

Volkswagen has given the e-Golf a new battery pack and made other changes, all of which add up to a range that has been extended by a claimed 50 per cent. For anyone who wants an electric vehicle that doesn't make a bold design statement, this could be their car.


ANALYSIS - New 570S Spider and future McLaren cars

1 Nov 2017 | Glenn Brooks

The Sports Series is McLaren Automotive's best selling model line, with some 2,500 units of its 540 and 570 cars due to be built this year. The latest, the 570S Spider, expands the range to three body styles.


Octavia vRS 245 - is Skoda now a premium brand?

30 Oct 2017 | Glenn Brooks

How do you make a 10 per cent return selling mass-market cars? One way is to create and then continue to dominate a segment. Plus it helps if every rival ignores that same segment.


ANALYSIS - Volkswagen Arteon 280PS 4MOTION

27 Oct 2017 | Glenn Brooks

The CC was a good seller, especially in Germany, the UK and the US. Why then did Volkswagen decide to change the name, the body style and the size when planning a replacement for its four-door coupé?


ANALYSIS - FCA gets lucky with Abarth as sales soar

25 Oct 2017 | Glenn Brooks

Has FCA found the secret recipe for turning small cars into big profits? It would seem so, with sales of the premium priced Abarth 500 range climbing ever higher, even though the basic Fiat model is more than a decade old.


ANALYSIS - Civic Type R leads export boom for Honda UK

16 Oct 2017 | Glenn Brooks

It's fast, high-priced and not exactly subtle in appearance. Honda is hoping that the Type R version of its built-in-England Civic five-door will be shocking enough to change how people across Europe mainly see the brand - a maker of ultra-reliable cars for the elderly.



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