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Car of the Year 2023: the seven finalists


NEWS – Two French models are among the seven cars qualified for the most renowned prize in the automotive industry.

Who will succeed the Kia EV6 voted “Car of the Year 2022”? One certainty: the sixtieth “Car of the Year” will be an electrified model. Among the twenty-three vehicles in the running for the final, the jury of sixty-one European journalists, who participated in this election, including a member of the editorial staff of Le Figaro, favored hybrid, rechargeable hybrid or electric vehicles. The results revealed at the Brussels Motor Show on January 13, 2023 will reward one of the seven finalists, which are the Jeep Avenger, the Kia Niro, the Nissan Ariya, the Peugeot 408, the Renault Austral, Volkswagen ID.Buzz and the duo Subaru Solterra-Toyota bZ4X.

Once again, the list is intended to be a snapshot of the market, favoring SUV architecture, apart from the Peugeot 408 which tries a new approach, halfway between the sedan and the leisure vehicle.

Renault Austral. @GREG

If the Renault Austral, the family SUV that succeeds the Kadjar, is the only model not to be offered with an electric powertrain, only with the French manufacturer’s E-Tech Hybrid technology apart from the conventional petrol versions, the Kia Niro is the only offer to be available with the three electrified technologies: hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric.

For its part, the Peugeot 408 marketed at the beginning of next year in a Pure tech 130 petrol version and in a rechargeable hybrid (180 and 225 hp) will be enriched in 2024 with a 100% electric version. Also from the Stellantis group, the Avenger is the first electric Jeep in history. It borrows its technology from the DS3 e-Tense but will also be available in a four-wheel drive version.

Volkswagen ID.Buzz. Volkswagen AG/Volkswagen AG

As for the Volkswagen ID.Buzz, it plays on the springs of nostalgia, wanting to be the Combi of the 21st century. Pending an extended version that can accommodate 7 or 8 people, this vehicle appears to be the first electric minivan on the market. Finally, the last two finalists are also electric vehicles. The Ariya is Nissan’s first electric crossover. It shares its Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance CMF-EV platform with the Renault Mégane E-Tech Electric. Its range is more extensive than that of the French compact.

Last model in the running: the Toyota bZ4X and its cousin Subaru Solterra. These two SUVs do not shine with their autonomy but can flatter themselves with real crossing capacities. The games are therefore open for this 60th election. Verdict on January 13 in Brussels.

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Our selection of frugal cars to drive without breaking the bank


THE FIGARO SELECTION – Faced with soaring fuel prices, motorists are tempted by more frugal vehicles. Here are some food for thought around the five most prominent categories on the market.

“At 10 francs a litre, we will leave the car in the garage”, prophesied the French at the very beginning of the 2000s. Not only has history shown that this was not the case, but this ceiling has been largely exceeded since. With the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the question resurfaces. The price of fuels has, in fact, flared up to a level that until now was believed to be inconceivable. Experts believe that a scenario comparable to the oil shock of 1973 is now possible. The rise in the price of a barrel of oil is already being felt at the pump. While the average price per liter of super unleaded observed at the start of the week is close to 2.05 euros and diesel is around 2.10 euros, the bill is soaring for many households.

Unless you live in the city, where there are many alternative mobility solutions, it is difficult to do without the car. In the countryside, where the public transport offer is almost non-existent, the car is not a luxury but a…

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Kia EV6, a family at ease


TEST – The Korean automaker’s first next-generation electric vehicle keeps its promises.

The philosophy of the Korean brand Kia, which could be summed up by the slogan “Pali pali” (quickly, quickly) and which inspired the title of the book by Jean-Charles Lievens, a former senior executive of the European subsidiary, is not is never better expressed than with the EV6. Inaugurating the modular platform developed for the new electric vehicles of the Hyundai-Kia group, this raised sedan, barely 20 mm lower than a Renault Captur, is the ambassador of the tenfold ambitions of a manufacturer who wants to settle on the roof of the world. Around a size of 4.68 m including 2.90 m for the wheelbase, this vehicle will disturb more than one with its rear evoking a cetacean, like the Mercedes EQXX. Forms recommended for aerodynamics and efficiency, the priorities of an electric vehicle.

TA / ACE Team

The third car to rely on an 800-volt system for recharging, this crossover-style sedan recovers 80% of the capacity of its 77.4 kWh battery installed in the floor in 18 minutes …

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Car of the Year 2022, the seven finalists


NEWS – Sign of a paradigm shift, six finalists run on electric power. France is represented by two models.

A phenomenon that was still unthinkable a few years ago but which testifies to the paradigm shift that the European Commission wants to impose on us, six of the seven vehicles qualified for the final of the Car of the Year election are electrically powered. As for the seventh, the Peugeot 308, it will be available in a 100% electric version in 2024. In the meantime, the compact Lion sedan produced in Mulhouse is available in thermal (petrol and diesel) and plug-in hybrid versions.

Who will succeed the fourth generation of the Toyota Yaris awarded this year?

»SURVEY – What do you think will be the car of the year 2022?

The 61 European journalists taking part in this election, including a member of the editorial staff of Le Figaro, have, for the 59th selection of this institution that is the Car of the Year (Coty), overwhelmingly gave their votes to electric vehicles. If one of the six EVs in the field wins, it won’t be the first time the Coty has recognized this technology. It was in 2011 that the Coty awarded its trophy, for the first time in its history, to a zero-emission model, the Nissan Leaf. It will take eight years for a second vehicle, which runs on electric power (Jaguar i-Pace), wins the election. For the past two years, the Coty has rewarded vehicles that offer electrified versions – Peugeot 208 and Toyota Yaris. Can history repeat itself in 2022 and once again reward an electric model?

The supreme reward will not escape an electrified vehicle anyway, the Peugeot 308 having in its catalog of plug-in hybrid versions. Usually giving pride of place to city cars, the 2022 selection has only one vehicle in this category, the Cupra Born, the cousin of the Volkswagen ID.3. This is the second time that the young brand from Seat has reached the final of the election. Among the finalists, the Skoda Enyaq is based, like the Born, on the VW group’s MEB platform. Korean brands, who dream of winning the cup, present two vehicles in the final, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and the Kia EV6. As for Ford, which has not been on the podium since the 2012 Focus, it hopes to chase away bad luck by hoisting the Mustang Mach-E on the top step of the podium, an electric SUV that has no Mustang other than the name.

Unless the surprise comes from the Renault Mégane E-Tech Electric which will be launched next year and whose price is already announced around 36,000 euros at the entry level.

The seven finalists will be the subject of a (last) confrontation during the month of February, before the final vote. The results will be delivered on Monday February 28 in Geneva.

SEE ALSO – Renault: Luca de Meo unveils the new electric R5 to straighten out Renault

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Kia Concept EV9, an electric family SUV on the way


NEW – This adventurous vehicle announces the Korean manufacturer’s next zero-emission 7-seater SUV.

After the EV6 electric crossover which presents original lines, the Korean manufacturer Kia continues to surprise. At the Los Angeles show, Kia presented the EV9 styling study which heralds a future 7-seater electrically powered SUV. Based on the E-GMP modular platform developed for zero-emission vehicles, this vehicle with an imposing silhouette has square lines of great originality. Result of the reflections of the team of Karim Habib, this vehicle continues the stylistic theme of “the alliance of opposites” of the manufacturer. Around a wheelbase of 3,100 mm, the EV9 announces a length of 4,930 mm, a width of 2,055 mm and a height of 1,790 mm. The closed grille, angular fenders, marked wheel arches and 22-inch wheels reinforce the massive appearance of the vehicle, which will be able to accommodate passengers in three rows.

Kia

For the needs of the concept, the designers have developed a modular cabin. Three development methods have been devised. Two of them are only available when stationary. With Pause Mode, the interior transforms into a living room by rotating the first row seats and folding the second row seats to form a table. As for the Enjoy mode, it transforms the cockpit into a relaxation area. The seats in all three rows are turned and the tailgate opens to offer a new experience to the occupants. The very futuristic dashboard is based on a single-spoke steering wheel and digital instrumentation based on a 27-inch panel. Kia has not yet communicated on the powertrains but they should take over part of the EV6 program.

Kia

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Our list of the best electric cars under 40,000 euros


EXCLUSIVE – We have ranked the 34 most affordable 100% electric models available on the French market, according to their performance.

Driven by the ecological transition, 100% electric vehicles are sweeping the French market. Difficult to navigate in the kilowatt-hour jungle. However, fans of the thermal car will have to take an interest in it sooner or later. The sale of diesel, gasoline and hybrid cars is scheduled for 2035, but some large cities want to take the plunge long before.

SUVs, family cars, city cars or road cars … Manufacturers are offering models at increasingly lower prices. They also promise wonders when it comes to their engines: more range, charging speed, more performance and energy savings. To find out who are the good (and bad) students of this new generation of vehicles, Le Figaro decided to compare

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Kia EV6, a style manifesto


NEW – Kia’s first new generation electric vehicle, the EV6 sedan opens a new stylistic chapter.

An entire program! In the wake of the appearance of a new logo and a new brand signature, the Korean brand Kia continues its transformation by opening a new stylistic chapter. Supervised by Karim Habib, recently bombed Kia design boss, this revolution claims to be “the alliance of opposites”. A philosophy that draws its inspiration, according to the manufacturer’s press release, “from the contrasts observed between nature and humanity.” And to continue: “At the heart of this design philosophy is a new visual identity evocative of positive forces and natural energy, playing on the opposition between sharp stylistic traits and sculptural forms.”

Kia

The new stylistic approach is based on five pillars: boldness by nature, joy for the purpose, the power to progress, technology for life and tension as a guarantee of serenity. To put it simply, the next Kia will benefit from simpler and more refined lines, less aggressive but not without personality. The EV6 is the first expression of this new path. Based on the E-GMP electric platform from the Korean group Hyundai-Kia, this vehicle mixes the attributes of the crossover, sedan and coupe. The dynamism of the silhouette is reinforced by the very inclined windshield and the floating roof. The treatment of the rear with its truncated stern and its pronounced spoiler incorporating the light strip underlines the importance of aerodynamics. The EV6 sedan is the result of collaboration between the three American, Korean and European style offices of the manufacturer.

Kia

The interior extends Kia’s desire to move upmarket through a clean design and perceived quality worthy of premium models. The designers offer a new approach in terms of ergonomics. It is based on two digital tiles. The first incorporates the instrument cluster. The second in its extension and oriented towards the driver conceals the multimedia system. The fabric upholstery is made from recycled materials.

Kia has yet to disclose the technical characteristics of its first new generation electric model but they will be close to those of the Hyundai Ioniq 5.

Kia

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Hyundai and Kia, electric cars in Porsche’s footsteps


NEWS – The Korean group has developed a new electric platform offering services similar to the most efficient models on the market.

The performance of the Porsche Taycan and Tesla will soon be available to electric models from Hyundai and Kia. This is the ambition displayed by the cousin brands of the Korean giant Hyundai. To place itself at the top of the electrical hierarchy, the Korean group has developed the new E-GMP platform. Dedicated to electric cars, this structure is able to adapt to all vehicle architectures, from sedans to SUVs. Its design also allows the presence of a rear axle with five links, a guarantee of comfort and balance.

Hyundai

Designed around a battery placed under the floor and operating at a voltage of 800 V, the platform would allow record charging times on an ultra-fast charging station type Ionity network. According to Korean engineers, it would take 18 minutes to restore 80% of the energy of the batteries. It is not yet as fast as a full tank of gas, but we are gradually getting closer. With its technology, the group envisions a range of 500 km and, above all, a level of performance similar to that of the Porsche Taycan and the Tesla. In their high-performance execution allowing to reach 100 km / h in less than 3.5 seconds, the sportiest models of Hyundai and Kia will be able to display a power of 600 hp. In this case, the E-GMP platform will no longer rely solely on the rear wheels to distribute the cavalry but on four wheels. The Korean platform is also equipped with a bi-directional loader. If necessary, vehicles thus become a source of energy in order to be able to power a house, electrical devices or charge another electric car.

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 launched next year will be the first model to benefit from the new technological architecture. The group announced a vast plan to have 23 electric vehicles by 2025.

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