SKODA will present a strong hint to its future design direction with a world premier concept car called MissionL at this month’s Frankfurt Motor Show.

The concept, which is close to the final production-ready design, reveals the look of Skoda’s upcoming model line.

The new compact liftback five-door vehicle will be launched in Europe, Russia and China as the Czech manufacturer launches a model offensive that is aimed at increasing sales to 1.5 million vehicles by 2018.



ELECTRIC vehicle manufacturers need to cut prices if they want to energise the market, the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association has warned.


New figures show that just 812 buyers have taken up the Government’s £5000 Plug-In-Car Grant so far this year, suggesting that electric vehicles are still too expensive for most consumer and fleet buyers.


“More than a dozen new electric and hybrid vehicles are set to hit the UK market over the next year, but most of them will be decorating showrooms unless manufacturers are more realistic on pricing,” said BVRLA chief executive John Lewis.


“Ultra-low carbon transport is a necessity and electric vehicles have a big part to play in getting us there, but these vehicles are simply too expensive for most fleets at the moment.”


A simple calculation of ownership costs by the BVRLA suggests that a Nissan Leaf would cost £5,000 more to run than an equivalent diesel car over the typical three-year, 36,000-mile lifecycle of a company car.




CHAUFFEURS just love the BMW 7 Series.


That’s the message following the Professional Driver Car of the Year awards in which the 730Ld model won back the crown it took in 2009.


As well as being overall Car of the Year, the BMW also won the Chauffeur Car of the year category, fighting off competition from the new Audi A8L, as well as from last year’s car of the year, the Jaguar XJL.


Professional Driver editor Mark Bursa said: “The BMW 730Ld offers an exceptional mix of comfort, rear-seat luxury, driveability and now has fuel economy above 40mpg combined.


“And crucially, it’s part of a beefed-up manufacturer-backed chauffeur programme that makes it much more affordable for chauffeurs on a lease basis than either the Jaguar XJL or the Mercedes S-class.”




LAND ROVER ambassador Zara Phillips is the first person to take delivery of a new Liverpool-built Rover Evoque.


The Queen’s grand-daughter drove away the five-door Stornaway Grey Evoque from the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, where she was competing last weekend.


Zara said: “I’ve grown up around Land Rovers and have been an ambassador for the brand for several years – I am really looking forward to getting behind the wheel of my new Evoque. It looks absolutely fantastic and I am delighted to be the first person in the UK to take delivery of one.”


The Evoque officially enters UK showrooms this week but is already proving a hit with customers, Land Rover having received more than 20,000 pre-orders worldwide with 6,000 of these in the UK.