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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: March 6, 2012 @ 12:35 pm

    Geneva Motor show: Peugeot, Volvo, Ford and Mitsubishi

    Michael McAleer

    Ford has unveiled its new B-Max, a five-seater rival to the Opel Meriva, only with a sliding rear door rather than the Opel’s reverse opening one.

    Ford's new B-Max

    A smart looking car based on the current Fiesta platform, it measures in at 31cm longer than the regular supermini so there is significantly more interior space. It will arrive in Ireland in September with a 1.4-litre diesel or the remarkably powerful but frugal 1-litre EcoBoost petrol engine that Ford has developed. On the Focus this engine manages either 95bhp or 125bhp with emissions of just 109g/km or 119g/km respectively. Yet from behind the wheel it feels like it has the power o a 1.6-litre or 1.8-litre petrol. Prices still not confirmed for the B-Max, but expect them to start around €19,000.
    The blue oval brand also unveiled its new Kuga, based largely on the smart looking Escape model launched earlier this year in the US. It’s an evolution on the already smart looking SUV crossover from Ford and this time boasts the various safety equipment options you find on the new Focus. The main seller in Ireland will be the 2-litre diesel currently offered in the Focus range, but don’t expect it to hit Irish showrooms until the start of 2013, when the stonking new Focus ST and Fiesta ST will also make their Irish debuts.

    Peugeot's new 208

    Peugeot has pulled off one of the coups of the Geneva Motor show with the 208. It’s a real surprise. The rather lumpy look of Peugeot’s current crop of supermini and hatchbacks has been replaced with a far neater package in the form of this new 208. In a way it harks back to the glory days for the brand’s superminis, a halfway house between the glorious 205 and the softer 206.
    Arriving in Irish showrooms on June 30th, it will be launched with a 1.4-litre HDi diesel engine with emissions of 104g/km, with five-speed manual transmission. A 1.2-litre petrol will follow, but for now there are no plans to bring the new 1-litre petrol to Ireland, even though it manages a very impressive 99g/km. While the car is smaller than the 207, its actually more spacious inside, with an extra 20cm of legroom. The controls have also been redesigned and are more driver-orientated than in the past.

    Mitsubishi's new Outlander: plug-in hybrid on the way to Ireland in 2013

    Mitsubishi debuted its new Outlander with promises that this time it’s a proper seven-seater SUV. The new car, due in Ireland in October, will feature the firm’s revised 2.2-litre diesel engine with emissions between 130g/km and 150g/km in either 6-speed manual or automatic.
    However the big news from Outlander is that by 2013 there will be a four-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid version on offer with emissions of just 50 g/km and the ability to run solely on the electric motor for up to 50kms.
    Meanwhile work is already underway on the new Lancer, which rumours suggest is going to get a radically more sporty – and stylish – exterior look. “Maserati front styling” is a term that has been mentioned in passing: we’ll wait and see.
    Building on the work done on the development of the all-electric i-Miev, the new Lancer will also be offered with an all-electric version and a hybrid.
    Volvo has confirmed Irish prices for its new V40 family hatchback. Aimed at taking on the likes of the new Audi A3 – yes another car with the Audi in its sights – the Volvo will start at €26,995 for the 1.6-litre diesel. This engine – for the same price – comes with either 150bhp and emissions of 134g/km, or 115bhp with emissions of just 94g/km. Standard features are pretty high and include the firm’s new city safety system that will stop the car automatically up to speeds of 50km/h if it senses that a collision is imminent.

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