Chris Evans to be new Top Gear presenter

Chris Evans to be new Top Gear presenter

Chris Evans
Chris Evans is known to be passionate about cars

TV and radio personality Chris Evans will replace Jeremy Clarkson as the lead presenter of an all-new Top Gear line-up, the BBC has announced.

Evans said he was “thrilled” to get the job, describing the motoring show as his “favourite programme of all time”.

“I promise I will do everything I possibly can to respect what has gone on before and take the show forward,” he added.

Clarkson was dropped in March after punching a producer while on location.

Car enthusiast Evans, who has signed a three-year deal with the BBC Two show, had been tipped to replace his good friend Clarkson but had previously insisted he was not interested.

An “all-new” line-up means Clarkson’s co-hosts Richard Hammond and James May will not be involved.

New VW Passat BlueMotion emits just 95g/km CO2

VW Passat BlueMotion

15 Jun, 2015 11:55am Lawrence Allan

Volkswagen’s new ultra-efficient 1.6-litre diesel Passat BlueMotion returns 76.3mpg and 95g/km

Volkswagen has set its sights on fleet buyers with thenew Passat BlueMotion. Kicking off at £23,200 for the four-door saloon and £24,750 for the estate, both variants claim 76.3mpg combined and emit just 95g/km of CO2.

Those headline figures are made possible by a modified version of the standard entry-level 118bhp 1.6 TDI diesel engine, with 250Nm of torque and a six-speed manual gearbox. Performance is unaffected, with a 0-62mph time of 10.8 seconds – and the top speed of 130mph is actually slightly faster than the normal model (thanks to tweaks to aerodynamics and gearing). The estate does the same sprint in 11 seconds, and manages 129mph.

Those efficiency figures are almost class-leading, but the Passat’s chief rival, the Ford Mondeo Econetic, just pips it with 78.5mpg and 94g/km of CO2. It isn’t as fast, however, losing out over a second in the 0-62mph sprint.

The equipment is taken from the base ‘S’ model, which gets a Post-Collision Braking System, Driver Alert and a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Stop-start and battery regeneration are also standard, but BlueMotion additions include a new 17-inch alloy wheel design that optimises airflow, low rolling-resistance tyres, suspension lowered by 15mm and revised front and rear bumpers.

BlueMotion badging is the only other distinguishing exterior feature, while the interior is completely identical to the standard car. It’s available to order now, with first customer deliveries set for August.

Lane hogging and tailgating on-the-spot fines in force

Careless drivers across Britain who hog lanes or tailgate can now be punished with on-the-spot police fines.

Under the new measures, officers can issue £100 fines and three points rather than taking drivers to court.

Ministers said it would make tackling problem motorists easier. The AA said a third of drivers risked facing a fine.

Fixed penalties for a number of offences, including using a phone or not wearing a seatbelt while driving, have also risen from £60 to £100.

More serious driving offences will still go through the courts and could result in much higher fines and penalties.

‘Lives at risk’

But people caught carrying out offences subject to the new penalties, which were first announced in June, will be able to choose between an on-the-spot fine or the chance to go on a driving course.

The move, which does not apply in Northern Ireland, brings careless or inconsiderate driving offences into line with the penalties for similar non-motoring fixed penalties. Drivers can still appeal against any decision through the courts.

Among the offences police are expected to focus on are:

•Driving too close to the vehicle in front

•Failing to give way at a junction (not requiring evasive action by another driver)

•Overtaking and pushing into a queue of traffic

•Being in the wrong lane and pushing into a queue on a roundabout

•Lane discipline, such as needlessly hogging the middle or outside lanes

•Inappropriate speed

•Wheel-spins, handbrake turns and other careless manoeuvres

Many such offences currently go unpunished because of the bureaucracy involved in taking a case to court.

Not only does a motorist have to be stopped by the police, but a summons has to be issued and evidence presented in court.

Road safety minister Stephen Hammond told BBC Breakfast that the fines had been increased to “reflect the severity and the seriousness of offences”.

He added: “I think it’s the right level to choose, and I’m convinced that it will be a deterrent for a number of people.”

‘Numbers game’

The AA said responsible drivers would welcome the changes but added that a survey of 20,000 motorists suggested one in three could be caught out hogging the middle lane.

“We are pleased to see that at long last new powers and fines will be given to the police to tackle the top three pet hates of drivers – tailgaters, mobile phone abusers and middle-lane hogs,” said AA president Edmund King.

The vice-chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, Steve White, said the group was “broadly supportive” of the new fines.

He said: “In theory this is a positive initiative. In practice this will wholly rely on having an adequately resourced police service to enforce.

“Officer numbers are at an all-time low, the number of traffic officers alone has reduced from 7,000 to approximately 3,500.”

Road safety charities welcomed the government’s attempt to crack down on careless driving but expressed concerns about the way the fines would be implemented.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents said a “robust monitoring system” was needed to enforce the changes, with more training on the new powers needed for police officers.

Brake said that while it backed the introduction of fixed penalties, the level of fines should be increased to between £500 and £1,000 so they were “high enough to deter all bad drivers”.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) said driver retraining courses would be more effective at improving driving than just issuing thousands of fines.

 

Hot Peugeot 308 in world debut at Goodwood

June 1, 2015

Peugeot 308 R HYbridPeugeot has confirmed it will host the global debut of the new ‘308 Performance’ hot hatch at the 2015 Goodwood Moving Motor Show on 25 June.

The hot new 308, expected to be the 308 GTi, will be the centrepiece of the firm’s Moving Motor Show stand, sitting alongside an European debutant, the 500hp 308 R Hybrid (pictured above).

A suitably delighted Lord March said: “Since we launched the Moving Motor Show in 2010, it has gone from strength to strength and the fact that major manufacturers like Peugeot are now using it to host global reveals is testament to how far the event has already come.

“The Moving Motor Show is all about giving our visitors the chance to see concepts and premieres ahead of anyone else and it will be marvellous to have the world debut of its new Peugeot 308 Performance here at Goodwood this month.”

Visitors lured by the hot Peugeot allure will be able to act it out on the Goodwood Hill Climb, as the firm’s offering drives of the 208 GTi by Peugeot Sport, plus the ‘warm hatch’ 308 GT 205 THP.

Those of a milder disposition can try out the 308 GT PureTech 1.2.

The sixth annual Moving Motor Show, which was visited by 34,000 people in 2014, will also exhibit some Peugeot racers, to round off the feast Peugeot Sport metal. These will include:

  • 206 T16
  • 208 WRX
  • 2008 DKR

Peugeot will line up alongside 19 other car manufacturers on Thursday 25 June; Goodwood Moving Motor Show tickets are on sale now, priced from £30.