Moneyshake Car Round-Up: Brand-New Toyota EV Now Available, Abarth Range Revamped And More!< Back to blog
Another two weeks has flown by and we’re now into spring – a season of renewal, hope and growth. So, we’re going to get straight into it in this week’s Moneyshake bi-weekly Car Round-Up, with plenty of fresh updates from the car industry for you to get your teeth stuck into!
Toyota launches new fully-electric SUV, available to lease now
It’s the first ever model to use a new e-TNGA electric car platform that has been developed in collaboration with Subaru. There’s a lot to like about the car too, starting with its striking modern design, which includes an LED ‘strip’ light at the back, 18in alloy wheels and an angular, sporty body.
Most importantly, though, is its EV performance. With a 71kWh battery as standard, the Toyota bZ4X has an official WLTP range of 280 miles between charges. Sure, in real world usage this is more likely to be around 250 miles, but it’s still a strong offering when you consider that the average UK driver travels no more than 100 miles per week.
Buyers will be pleased to know that everything abord the Toyota bZ4X is very tech-savvy too. A fully digital cockpit is standard, comprising an 8in touchscreen infotainment system and a 7in driver’s display behind the steering wheel. What’s more is that you’ll get a reversing camera, keyless entry and start, and climate control.
The most exciting news of all is that you can now get your hands on the brand-new Toyota bZ4X now, with orders open to buy or lease the vehicle.
Abarth revamps its 595 and 695 range for 2022
The Abarth range has always been a hot hatch favourite among UK drivers, with two models to choose from, the Abarth 595 and Abarth 695. The latter being a more performance-enhanced version of the 595.
Fans of the Fiat 500-based pocket rocket will be glad to hear the news that the Italian manufacturer is revamping the range one last time, before revealing its very own electric car in the summer.
So, what can you expect from a 2022 Abarth? Here’s what’s changing.
- An upgraded 1.4-litre T-Jet engine which has boosted power in the 595 to 163bhp, while torque has also increased to 170lb ft
- New trim range for the 595, including a comfort-focused 595 Turismo fitted with leather seats, and a more performance-focused F595, featuring a Record Monza Sovrapposto exhaust system
- New 695 range features more powerful T-Jet engine, producing 178bhp and 184lb ft torque
- Every new Abarth 695 comes with Koni FSD shock absorbers on both axles and four-piston Brembo brake calipers
- Buyers have the option of a Racing Style pack for the top Abarth 695 spec, which features a 12-position adjustable spoiler
- Turismo and Competizione versions of the Abarth 695 let you decide between luxury or performance
How the agency model is changing car retail
It’s no secret that physical car dealership sites aren’t what they used to be.
With new car buyers still having the same consumer needs of an honest, transparent and fair seller, dealerships are having to find new ways of meeting these demands. And this is increasingly becoming an opportunity for the manufacturers to speak to customers directly, meaning customers won’t need to haggle on the price of a car in a dealership.
Instead, the agency model puts dealerships in charge of looking after the customer (i.e. providing test drives, answering questions about the car, etc.), while the manufacturer then looks after the purchase. This allows buyers to all get the same fair deal, do all their research online and get the best deal at the end of it it all.
Online car retail is also booming, with the promise of fixed finance rates on brand-new cars covered by the manufacturer warranty a big selling point. This is especially true as it looks more likely that used car prices will remain at an all-time high, while manufacturers still play catch-up with new stock as a result of the chip shortage caused by the pandemic.
Businesses to benefit from extension to plug-in van and truck grants
The UK Government has committed to a two-year extension of the plug-in van and truck grants, which is expected to support the purchase of tens of thousands of greener vans and trucks.
From 1 April 2022, the threshold to claim the small truck grant of up to £16,000 will be increased from 3.5 tonnes to 4.25 tonnes, according to a government press release.
Vans up to 4.25 tonnes will be able to claim the large van grant of up to £5,000.
The change will ensure funding is focused on transforming more polluting trucks into greener vehicles.
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