May 31 2013

Mercedes-Benz 2014 S-Class

When Mercedes Benz launch a new S Class it’s always very interesting as this car tends to offer a crystal ball view of what specification will be found on our main stream family hatchbacks within five years. Many features now common place in our everyday mass produced cars first appeared on an S Class. Have a look at this short video and see some of what the next generation benz offers. We will aim to test the new car on Irish roads later this year.

May 27 2013

Volvo V40 R-Design Tested In Ireland

The V40 on test with

The V40 on test with

If you’re one of those people that like to be noticed than the Volvo V40 R-Design is the car for you, especially if it’s finished, like our test car, in a very striking rebel blue. Now you may be thinking that Volvo’s are not exactly the car of boyhood dreams so no need to get excited. Well maybe not but their latest designs certainly do turn heads so if it’s a while since you ventured into your local Volvo showroom and your in the market for a new car we’d suggest you put them on your list.
We have tested a number of models in the V40 range of late and have never failed to be surprised at how many complete strangers take advantage of any opportunity to discuss the car we’re testing. Currently we’re behind the wheel of the V40 D2 R-Design which battles it out in the compact premium market alongside the likes of BMW’s 1 series and the Audi A3.
Our test car looks stunning sitting 10mm lower than the standard car with vertical LED running lights complimenting this lower stance. 17 Inch two tone ixon alloys fill the arches nicely and give the car a mean sporty look. Despite the lower suspension and low profile tyres we were pleasantly surprised at how well the car dealt with uneven surfaces.
Externally the R-Design package means the car has a lower front grill, silver matt door mirrors and around the back a diffuser sits between twin exhaust pipes. On the boot lid a colour coded spoiler to completes the V40’s transformation into a ‘hot hatch’.
The interior has a premium feel that’s immediately apparent as you sink into the half leather/half suede R-Design seats. Press the ignition button and the engine bursts into life while the dash-display dances creating a sense of occasion. The driver can choose different dash-display settings – Performance Elegance and Eco. The fit, finish and quality of the materials used don’t let the brand down in anyway and engine noise is in no way intrusive in what is a very well insulated cabin.
The multi-function steering wheel is chunky and like the seats, marked with the R Design logo. The wheel is adjustable for reach as well as height and this combined with a multi adjustable drivers seat means getting the perfect fit behind the wheel is easy.
Think Volvo and of course you think safety. The V40 is one of the safest cars on the road. Standard kit includes Advanced Traction Control and Torque Vectoring, whiplash protection system, multiple airbags including driver’s knee, inflatable curtains and there’s the pedestrian airbag which is a first on any production car. The car also comes with ‘city safety’ which means the car can actually choose to brake for the driver at speeds below 31km per hour. This may occur if the sensors detect an object within 20 feet ahead and the driver is not reacting.
In an era when we are all watching what we spend it’s nice to have a car that looks and drives like this one but isn’t hard on the pocket. The 1.6 diesel unit fitted to our test car has incredibly low CO2 levels of just 94g/km. Meaning fuel consumption of around 60mpg and annual road tax of just €180. Just a few short years ago it would have been impossible to imagine a car that looks like this could be so frugal.
The D2 model on test produces 115BHP and while you can opt for a D3 producing closer to 150BHP we would certainly recommend testing the D2 as it will have more than enough performance in real world driving conditions for most people.
Over all a very attractive package that stands out from the crowd and well worth considering.

The total RRP in Ireland of our test car is €30865

May 24 2013


Launch of 2013 Dublin MarathonThe 2013 Dublin Marathon and Race Series was officially launched this week by Maria McCambridge, the Irish National Marathon champion in 2012, and Joe Sweeney, who is expected to make his marathon debut in 2013. At the launch, Race Director Jim Aughney announced a new partnership with Renault Ireland, which will see both the male and female winners in 2013 receive a brand new Renault Fluence Z.E. electric car. In addition, everyone who enters a race in the Race Series or Marathon will be entered into a draw to win a third Fluence Z.E. Aughney welcomed Renault’s support “We are without an overall title sponsor for the second year now, which is very challenging for us as organisers. It is brilliant to have the support of Renault Ireland this year, who are providing a total of three top of the range electric cars to lead our prize fund” Speaking at the announcement, Duncan Minto, Managing Director, Renault Ireland, said that the Dublin Marathon was a good fit for Renault who are busy opening new dealerships in the Dublin area and will soon be announcing a new Northside location. Minto commented: “The Fluence Z.E. is one of our range of 100% electric vehicles and its clean, silent engine and automatic transmission gives you the maximum torque from the off, with smooth and responsive acceleration, a lot like many of the participants who will be participating in the Marathon!” Aughney also confirmed that for the first time since 1994, the Dublin Marathon will not have an invited elite field: “We are in a position now where we will not have an invited elite field, so we believe it is very likely that the 2013 winners will be Irish. The last Irish winner was Sonia O’Sullivan in 2000, and you to go back to 1993 and John Treacy for the last time an Irish man won the race. So while we are naturally very disappointed that we are in a position not to have an invited elite field, as we have worked long and hard to put Dublin on the international map of elite Marathons, there is the flip side of making Dublin potentially very competitive for Irish long distance runners.” The 2012 Dublin Marathon and Race Series enjoyed another record entry level, with over 14,200 entering the Marathon, and a combined total of over 22,000 runners, joggers and walkers entering the race series. The Fingal 10km, which was a new addition to the Race Series in 2012, and the only one which takes place outside of the Phoenix Park, will again take place this year after a phenomenal interest last year. “We know there are numerous race events now every week around the country, but we are confident that the Race Series will still be as strongly supported as ever.” Said Aughney. “We are fully committed to ensuring they remain the safe, well organised and fun events they have proved to be over the years.” “We have received huge support and commitment from our running family on Facebook, and it has been very positive for all on our organising committee, to know we have such a large group of people who are behind the Dublin Marathon and committed to helping us make it a success.” The Dublin Marathon takes places in Dublin on Monday 28th October 2013. The first event in the Race Series, the Irish Runner 5 mile, is on Saturday 29th June. To register for the event, visit and stay in touch on Facebook/dublinmarathon Note to Editors:Dublin Races Series events:Sat 29th June – Irish Runner 5 mile, Phoenix Park Sun 21st July – Fingal 10km, SwordsSat 24th Aug – Frank Duffy 10 mile, Phoenix Park Sat 21st Sep – Half Marathon, Phoenix Park Dublin Marathon Mon 28th Oct – Dublin Marathon, Fitzwilliam Square start line

May 18 2013


Following the unveiling of its first crossover, Captur, which arrives in Ireland in July, Renault has redesigned the popular Scénic as a crossover and unveils the New Scénic XMOD which will arrive in Irish showrooms from this month. We expect to get our hands on one very shortly for a full review on Irish roads. Sporty and elegant, New Scénic Xmod combines the outdoor cues of a crossover with the refined world of an MPV. With raised ground clearance and exclusive alloy wheels, the car features an expressive crossover-inspired design: special front and rear bumpers, sill guards and chrome-finish roof bars across the range. The new front radiator grille is also more expressive, incorporating Renault’s new design identity and signature LED daytime running lights. First hitting European roads in 1996 over 4.3 million Scénics were manufactured and the Scénic became an iconic MPV, the first choice of many Irish families.To mark the launch of New Scénic Xmod, New Scénic and New Grand Scénic have also been restyled to take on Renault’s new design identity. The Renault logo at the front is now bigger and set against a gloss black background that emphasises the new grille. Elegant lines and high-quality materials also help to enhance the MPV’s dynamic, family-oriented feel.New Scénic Xmod retains the genetic make-up and practicalities of the benchmark MPV, but has a more sporty and exciting look. In Ireland, the Scénic Xmod will be available in two diesel Stop & Start engines, acknowledged as being the most fuel-efficient in their categories, the Energy dCi 110 and dCi 130 engine.The Energy dCi 110 engine with a fuel consumption of 4.1 litres/100 km and a CO2 emission rating of 105 g/km: simply the best ratings on the market in the category. The Energy dCi 130 engine with a fuel consumption of 4.4 litres/100 km and a CO2 emission rating of 114 g/km: here again the record holder in its category.The dCi 110 engine will also come in EDC version. Also available in the new Energy TCe 115 Stop & Start petrol engine with a fuel consumption of 6.1 litres/100 km and CO2 emissions of 140 g/km. Scenic Xmod will come in two editions in Ireland: Dynamique and BOSE®. New Scénic Xmod is the first vehicle in the Renault range to feature the all-new Extended Grip system. This advanced traction control system enables the vehicle to grip the road confidently under difficult driving conditions (mud, sand and fresh snow etc.). Manually activating the rotary control positioned on the centre console, the driver can choose from three types of assistance. In ‘Expert’ mode, Extended Grip manages the braking system, while leaving the driver in full control of the engine torque. The ‘Road’ mode offers conventional traction control settings, and this mode automatically reconnects at speeds of over 40kph. The ‘Loose Ground’ mode optimises braking control and engine torque control as a function of available grip. The Scénic Xmod is instantly recognisable by its chrome-plated longitudinal roof bars and side protection mouldings, and 16″ mud + snow tyres. Combined with the Extended Grip control system,these tyres, with their special tyre tread, provide the driving wheels with maximum traction on loose ground. Satin chrome front and rear skid plates help to increase the effectiveness of the bumpers. Inside New Scénic Xmod, the driver enjoys carefully thought out ergonomics. The rotary control for the all-new Extended Grip traction control system and the multi-directional joystick control for the navigational system are both easy to reach. The Scénic Xmod BOSE® edition features the TomTom® Navigation system which brings together a complete range of high-performing functions. The TFT screens feature a customisable TFT (Thin Film Transistor) digital display. The top-of-the-range version of the Scénic Xmod includes a flat-bottomed steering wheel, aluminium-capped pedals and gear lever knob and new interior appointments. Rounding out the offer is new stitched upholstery. Depending on the version, New Scénic Xmod includes BOSE® tailor-engineered sounds with class-leading acoustic performance. The BOSE® Energy Efficient Series sound system is custom-made for the Scénic Xmod and it provides drivers with a unique acoustic experience close to a live performance thanks to its eight speakers, its subwoofer and its digital receiver. The Scénic Xmod cockpit has been specially designed to allow you to better feel the road and features a flat-bottomed steering wheel to allow you to venture off the beaten track or simply to provide you with precision steering and handling. NEW SCÉNIC XMOD: ALL THE DNA OF RENAULT SCÉNICNew Scénic Xmod retains the key features which have made Scénic the benchmark in the compact MPV segment. Its boot capacity is up to 555 litres, one of the biggest in its class. No less than 71 litres of additional stowage space are cleverly spread around the cabin. New Scénic Xmod offers simple, effective and fast modularity: the seats are independent, folding and removable to provide a host of seating configurations for the occupants. Pricing for Scénic Xmod: SCÉNIC XMOD CO2 Tax Road RRP Band Tax
1197 ccTCe 115 S&SDYNAMIQUE5 DR140B2280€26,090
1461 cc dCi 110 S&SDYNAMIQUE5 DR105A3190€27,490
1461 cc dCi 110 S&SBOSE ED5 DR105A3190€29,390
1461 cc dCi 110 EDCBOSE ED5 DR124B1270€30,890
1598 cc dCi 130 S&SBOSE ED5 DR114A4200€31,190

May 15 2013

Porsche 911