Fiat Chrysler promises to deliver some models here – likely rebadged – that have enjoyed success in Europe.
London, England – Driveway travels the world to bring you the latest auto news and this week finds your correspondent in the UK.
First up is an extended drive though North Wales and the mountains of Snowdonia in a 2016 Fiat 500X crossover vehicles.
Once the mountaineering is over, it’s off to the new London Motor Show, now staged in the Battersea Park Evolution exhibition centre, after an eight year absence from the capital. More than 35 car brands will display more than 130 different models, some to be seen for the very first time.
The prime reason for our visit is to view cars that could be destined for our shores during the next couple of years.
The emergence of Fiat Chrysler as a combined operation in North America, promises to deliver some models here – likely rebadged – that have enjoyed success in Europe. Peugeot-Citroen, makers of some of Europe’s most attractive vehicles, are also eyeing a return to North America so special attention will be paid to their displays.
We’re looking forward to some safety demonstrations, one involving the latest road safety initiative, Stop the Crash. Principally this will feature Automated Emergency Braking (AEB), a significant lifesaving safety technology, and there are growing calls to make this standard on all cars, as was Electronic Stability Program (ESP).
Also, on display will be an innovative, two-seater hydrogen cell powered car, developed and built in Wales called the Riversimple RASA.
The Mexican designed and produced VUHL 05 lightweight supercar newcomer was first seen in the UK at the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed. It has been on general sale in the UK since late last year via specialist dealer Bespoke Performance (www.bespokeperformance.co.uk). Its attendance will kick-start a global expansion for the new marque.
The VUHL 05 (VUHL stands for vehicles of ultra-lightweight and high performance) is powered by Ford’s award-winning turbocharged 2-litre EcoBoost engine, which is sufficiently potent to endow the two-seater with an impressive power-to-weight ratio of 410 bhp/ton. Forty percent of the car’s components are sourced in the UK, where the car is priced from the equivalent of around $100,000.