Renault Arkana, a cut SUV

NEW – Mixed with a coupe, this new SUV should allow the diamond to regain color.


Should we already see the paw of Luca de Meo, the new boss of Renault? A few months ago, the manufacturer from Billancourt swore that his SUV crossed with a coupe, designed on a Duster platform and presented at the 2018 Moscow Motor Show, was not intended for Europe. Obviously, Renault has changed its mind. Unless, as some Renault employees half-heartedly acknowledge, there was no question of overshadowing the current range of Megane and Kadjar. SUV enthusiasts can rejoice: the Arkana will arrive in Europe in spring 2021 but without the base of the Duster replaced by the more modern one of the latest models of the French brand.


The CMF-B platform of the Clio 5 and the Captur offers all the largesse since this SUV coupe, with its 4.56 m, exceeds the Captur by 33 cm and the Kadjar by almost 8 cm. The allure of the Arkana lies in its fluidized silhouette and equipped with a receding roof inspired by that of a coupe. This will make all the difference, the Arkana is 3 cm lower than a Kadjar while having a ground clearance of 190 mm. As for the rear light units, they are largely inspired by those of the Talisman sedan. The range will be headed by an RS Line version, the only one to be available in orange color and incorporating mixed leather-suede upholstery.


To propel this SUV coupe, the engineers made their market in the organ bank of the CMF-B platform. This is how the Arkana will be able to receive the E-Tech hybrid engine inaugurated by the Clio 5. This is the 1.6 liter naturally aspirated 91 horsepower 4-cylinder from Nissan associated with two electric motors, an alternator. 15 kW starter motor and a 35 kW (48 hp) electric motor both installed in the clutchless multi-mode dog gearbox. The cumulative power comes out at 140 hp. Two other petrol engines associated with an EDC double-clutch transmission are on the program: the 1.3 TCe 140 and 160 hp. They are coupled with a micro-hybridization based on an alternator-starter and a 12 V battery. For the moment, the plug-in hybrid version of 160 hp which equips the Captur and the Mégane is not part of the launch program.


On board, the digital display dashboard, multimedia systems and equipment come mainly from its cousins ​​Clio 5 and Captur. This is how Arkana will be able to receive the level 2 automated driving system that manages progress in traffic and on the highway.

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Volkswagen ID.4, a silent SUV

Unlike some manufacturers, Volkswagen has decided to differentiate its 100% electric models from the existing range. This is how the second of six zero-emission vehicles that it will launch in the next eighteen months takes the form of a brand new SUV. 4.58 meters long and 1.61 m high, the ID.4 is unlike any other vehicle in the range. Closed grille, wave-shaped beltline, marked shoulder line and receding roof: this new model of the ID electric family overturns VW standards with its fluid and soft shapes.


From the ID.3 city car with which it shares the modular electric MEB platform, the ID.4 SUV inherits the main technologies. Symbol of a revolution in motion: the sleek dashboard has no physical buttons or switches. Access to the various functions is via a 10 or 12 inch screen, depending on the version. Ultraconnected, the ID.4 is equipped with the ultimate in high-tech technologies such as augmented reality head-up display, Front Assist emergency braking assistant coupled with the intersection emergency braking function and ACC cruise control. The latter system relies on navigation data and road signs to operate in a preventive manner. This is how this device can take control of the vehicle, automatically reducing speed before bends, roundabouts and entering into built-up areas. It also constantly adapts to regulations.


The electric platform allows record habitability for a vehicle of this size. As for cargo volume, the ID.4 promises 543 liters to 1,575 liters, rear seat folded down.

Placed under the floor between the axles, the 77 kWh lithium-ion battery powers a synchronous permanent magnet electric motor installed on the rear axle. As on the ID.3, it delivers a power of 204 hp and a torque of 310 Nm. On the performance side, 100 km / h are reached in 8.5 seconds while the top speed is limited to 160 km / h to preserve the autonomy announced at 520 km.


Provided that equipment providing a charging power of 125 kW is used, the ID.4 will be able to recover 320 km of range in 30 minutes. A more powerful version with all-wheel drive (two engines) is expected in the course of next year. The first ID.4s will take over the landscape at the end of the year. The price starts at 47,950 euros in the First version. The top-of-the-range 1st Max finish, equipped in particular with a panoramic glass roof and the electrically opening rear hatch, still appears at 58,950 euros.

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Mercedes E 300 from, when diesel fills up with watts

Arrived at the threshold of the middle of his career, the great road of the firm with the star complies with the traditional upgrade. No major upheavals, but a multitude of little attentions that help to enhance its standing and to establish its modernity. It starts with more tapered headlamps, a star proudly enthroned in the center of the grille and extensively redesigned shields.

Adrien Cortesi

The discovery continues indoors with the adoption of the latest generation of the MBUX multimedia system passing through a large digital panel – two 12.3-inch screens at best. The one in the center can be controlled by voice, hand gestures, touch or via the keypad installed on the center console. The new three-spoke steering wheel is equipped with captive keys for greater comfort, while the riot of electronic aids makes driving more and more assisted.

Improved pollution control devices

Adrien Cortesi

It changes life: as an option, the MBUX system can access augmented reality navigation. As you approach an intersection or a change in direction, the video camera zooms in on the area. Finally, the E-Class is taking advantage of its makeover to simplify the range of engines. Contrary to the current trend, the plug-in diesel hybrid version has been maintained. New, the 4-cylinder turbo diesel has seen its pollution control devices greatly improved thanks to a host of innovations. The 300 de is a proposal for heavy riders who need to circulate in urban centers. Behind the wheel, the kilometers fly by without realizing it. Count 700 km with a full and up to 45 km range of electric action charged battery. A major drawback: the 13.5 kWh battery reduces the trunk volume by 140 liters.

Engine: 4 cyl. turbo diesel, 1950 cc3, 194 hp, 400 Nm + electric motor 122 hp (cumulative power: 306 hp)

Transmission: propulsion, auto. 9 reports

Dimensions: L. 4.96, l. 1.85, h. 1.46 m

Consumption: 1.2 l / 100 km

CO emissions2: 31 g / km

Speed: 250 km / h

Price: 64 350 €

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Jaguar XE and XF, does the feline still have fangs?

NEW – Playing overtime, the two sedans of the English manufacturer are converted to diesel with mild hybridization.


What’s going on at Jaguar? The English brand has accustomed us to better, giving for a long time the the in the sports and luxury car market by pioneering new segments, from the E-Type to the XJ to the Mk2 sports sedan. She now appears to be numb. Unable to renew and find inspiration. An uninspired strategy would be at the origin of the current mistakes. The last XJ never found its audience. Despite recognized qualities, the sporty F-Type suffers from a position straddling two segments. A good student, the F-Pace SUV has to face particularly stiff competition. A new model completely renewed and equipped with a plug-in hybrid engine has just been presented but it will not arrive before next spring here. The E-Pace has escaped the radar of motorists since its launch.

The new Jaguar XF. Jaguar

As for the XE and XF, not content to suffer the disaffection of consumers for sedans, they are subject to the domination of German models. In the absence of a radical leap, Jaguar serves its enthusiasts refreshed versions of the XE and XF. After a mixed start to its career, the smallest Jaguar sedan had already offered itself a second chance in the spring of 2019 but without this being translated into reality. The success of German SUVs and sedans leaves so little room for other proposals. Jaguar felt that was not a sufficient reason to abandon it and the XE benefits from the latest man-machine interface developed by the manufacturer. It is based on the Pivi Pro multimedia system combining two touch screens. The first of 10 inches gives access to all the functions of the vehicle. The second manages the air conditioning system. In front of the driver, customizable 12.3-inch digital instrumentation and the head-up display complete the device.

The new Jaguar XF marks the return of the classic automatic shifter. Jaguar

For its part, the XF also converts to the same technology as the XE. Jaguar took the opportunity here to completely redesign the dashboard and adopt a large 11.4-inch curved tablet placed in the center of the console and integrated without any break in an elegant aluminum frame. Instead of the impractical rotary dial, we notice the return of the classic gear lever to control the 8-speed automatic transmission. The designers took the opportunity to retouch the body of this great road. The front is largely inspired by that of the i-Pace both in terms of the grille and the led lights adopting a light signature in the shape of a double J. Redesigned shields complete the picture.


When you open the engine hood of the XE and XF, you will discover that Jaguar is not abandoning diesel. The 180 hp 4-cylinder diesel is replaced by a 48 V light hybrid 4-cylinder diesel. Power increases by 24 hp to reach 204 hp and torque promises 430 Nm while consumption decreases. In the case of the XE, consumption is approved at 4.8 l / 100 km, which corresponds to CO emissions.2 of 127 g / km. For its part, the XF claims 0.1 l / 100 km more, that is to say CO emissions2 of 130 g / km. Compared to the old 180 hp version, the new electrified diesel engine reduces fuel consumption by 14% and emissions by 13%. The range of two Jaguar sedans also includes two 4-cylinder direct injection gasoline 250 and 300 hp. They benefit from twin-entry turbo technologies and continuously variable valve timing. Prices for these sedans start at € 45,810 for the XE and € 51,900 for the XF.

The Jaguar XE receives a new 48V mild hybrid diesel. Jaguar



Matthias Hossann: “Our silhouettes must stand out from the crowd”

In the torpor of the summer, the transfer of Gilles Vidal from Peugeot to Renault resulted in the appointment of Matthias Hossann as Peugeot styling head. Gladly compared to an electric battery, this quadra is a pure PSA product. Spotted by Jean-Pierre Ploué when he was finishing his studies at the Strate school of industrial design and applied arts, Matthias Hossann joined the Citroën style in 2002 as a junior exterior designer. He participated in particular in the design of the second generation of the C3 before heading to China in 2008 to open the Citroën-DS styling office in Shanghai. Since October 2013, he was responsible for Peugeot concept cars and advanced design.

LE FIGARO. – What did the Chinese adventure bring you?

Matthias HOSSANN. – Of the three French people sent to Shanghai, I was the only designer. It was very formative to go to meet another culture. It was an exciting time. It was just after the Beijing Olympics and before the Shanghai World Expo. Everything had to be done: recruiting, finding premises, buying furniture. Then, in a start-up mode, I created the Metropolis concept. Due to lack of time and budget, I even took the photos for the press kit!

Are you a car enthusiast?

I can’t say I’m the little boy who drew cars in the corner of his school notebook. I was more drawn to the visual arts. My attraction to the automobile is based on the fact that it is the most complex object in the world. The equation is exciting to note: how a designer will be able to generate an aesthetic experience on an object manufactured for the greatest number.

Do you still have time to draw?

Not really anymore. I’m lucky to have a team that draws really well. Sometimes I make a sketch to explain an idea.

Where were you when you learned of your appointment?

I was in the middle of a monthly review with Jean-Philippe Imparato (the CEO of Peugeot) and his teams when Jean-Pierre Ploué asked me to come and see him urgently. It is a confidence that honors me and at the same time I am aware of the work that was carried out by my predecessors, Gilles, Jean-Pierre but also Gérard Welter. I am aware of the challenge that awaits me.

What changes your appointment?

In addition to the medium and long term which I dealt with before, I now have responsibility for the styling of the Peugeot cars that you will see in the streets tomorrow. This forces us to have a broader vision, but we are not starting from a blank sheet of paper. I am fortunate to be able to rely on an exceptional team which already has great successes to its credit.

Matthias hossann Peugeot

Do you fit into some form of continuity?

It is not about change just for the sake of change. There is a phenomenal foundation: Peugeot is celebrating its 210th anniversary this year. The challenge for us is how the brand will mutate and evolve in the coming years. How will it meet the new challenges linked to the environment, new regulations, new uses? These changes are quite conducive to moving the lines. We will by force of circumstances create new products that will influence the brand’s imagination.

How do you define a Peugeot?

We have keywords that define our values ​​and that are expressed through style, shapes, materials, colors. A Peugeot is based on three pillars: high standards and rigor, quality and emotion. For several years, our products have been characterized by an increase in quality. The shapes must exude a certain presence. We try to have silhouettes that stand out. Finally, emotion is a value that will last at Peugeot. It is not because we are going to inject more technologies into our products that we have to be in an aseptic, cold experience. A brand like Peugeot will always remain legitimate to offer aesthetically and emotionally hypervaluing products that are highly desirable.

The rear lights of the Peugeot e-Legend concept from 2018. Peugeot

What are the style elements that should emit the most emotion?

It starts with the view from afar, the general attitude. By posture and morphology, we should be able to recognize a Peugeot at 200 meters. When you approach, the light signature is an inspiring element. Ours is based on the famous three claws inspired by the 504 coupe. These are historical codes that we want to cultivate and bring to life. And the i-cockpit which is our interior signature.

Despite the i-cockpit, you get the impression that the interior is not moving fast enough?

Peugeot was one of the first to speak so loudly about the interior world. It is true that it evolves rather slowly in the automotive sense.

But Peugeot attaches great importance to the interior atmosphere. And we will continue to devote a lot of resources to developing this space where we spend a lot of time. The group has just announced a new electric platform. With this architecture, we can expect to live new experiences.

Which models of the brand are you most sensitive to?

This will not surprise you too much. I have a special affection for the 504 coupe, one of the most elegant models. Hence the nod to the e-Legend concept.

But there is not just one. Peugeot is such an iconic brand. I am also thinking of the 205. Without falling into retro design, the new 208 takes us into the 205 universe with the small hood and the rear quarter window.


Does the absence of the Auto Show condemn concept cars?

Certainly, we are living in a rather special period, but I do not think so. A concept is not a gratuitous act. It helps build the brand’s strategy. Internally, we need this object. Externally, it helps communicate a vision. The salon concept is a fabulous tool that allows for a moment T to crystallize a vision that we could have of the brand in the long term. It is a laboratory for different trades. A sort of manifesto. There is still room for emotion.

Can you tell us about the concept you created for Le Figaro?

The idea is to offer a vision of what the journey, once again emotional, of tomorrow could be. By 2030-2035. The electric platform makes it possible to imagine a new interior architecture.

Designers are often compared to sponges. What are the sectors that grab your attention?

I am quite greedy of all universes. I am fond of everything that leads to a global and physical experience: fashion, photography, painting, cooking.



Kennedy’s Lincoln Convertible up for auction

AUCTION – Among a collection of presidential items sold on October 14 in New York by Bonhams is the Lincoln convertible which carried John F. Kennedy a few hours before his death.


Bonhams chose his date well. On October 14 in New York, on the eve of the American presidential election under high tension, the Anglo-Saxon auction house disperses the collection of Jim Warlick dedicated to the American presidency. Through a host of objects, this collection tells the story of America and its presidents. Among this collection is a white Lincoln Continental Convertible from 1963. Designated as “Limo One”, this convertible is of particular importance. This is the car made available to President of the United States John Fitzgerald Kennedy during his two-day stay – November 21 and 22, 1963 – in Fort Worth, Texas. Identical to the one Kennedy used to use on public trips, the white Lincoln is loaned out by local dealer Bill Golightly.


On the morning of November 22, this vehicle accompanied him to deliver his final speech, along with his wife Jackie and Texas Governor John Connally. Then, the President of the United States crosses the city of Fort Worth before joining the military air base of Carswell where Air Force One awaits him. The rest is in all history textbooks. The Kennedy couple fly to Dallas where they have a meeting with their destiny. A few hours later, installed in the back of another Limo One with his wife, John F. Kennedy was the target of an attack. He died at Parkland Memorial Hospital.


While the mechanics and bodywork have been restored, the interior of the “Limo One” on sale is in its original condition. This is the last vehicle in which the 35th President of the United States was seen alive. Experts from the auction house Bonhams estimated it between 250,000 and 420,000 euros.



When tablets invade our vehicles

Having become ceremonial pieces, this equipment is playing an increasingly important role in the interiors of our vehicles. But for how long?

The man-machine interface is specific to each manufacturer.  Mercedes prefers to install up to five screens on the S-Class.
The man-machine interface is specific to each manufacturer. Mercedes prefers to install up to five screens on the S-Class. Mercedes-Benz AG – Global Communications Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans / http: //

Who would’ve believed that? Consumers now seem to attach less importance to the number of cylinders and engine power of vehicles than to the size of multimedia displays and their number.

Casually, we owe the American Tesla for shaking up a sleeping automobile industry. By grouping all the functions of the vehicle within a huge 15-inch touchscreen tablet positioned vertically in the center of the dashboard, the firm of Elon Musk has imposed a new standard. The entire auto industry followed suit. This new man-machine interface has become such a symbol of modernity that the race for screens does not seem to have to stop. Manufacturers and OEMs spend insane amounts of money to be at the cutting edge of technology. Because the tablet is only the physical medium of a completely redesigned relationship between the driver and the car. Most often tactile, the pilot screen is a revolution, all

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Suzuki Swift 1.2 Dualjet, the lightweight hybrid

In the city car category, the Suzuki Swift ticks almost all the boxes. Barely restyled – the thinner grille is now barred with a chrome ring – the little Japanese woman reinforces her power of seduction. Inside, we can certainly blame it for a monotonous atmosphere and cheap plastics, but, from 15,340 € for the entry-level version, we can not ask for the impossible. When it comes to equipment, the Swift has it all. From the Privilege level, the driver is spoiled: adaptive cruise control, speed limiter, blind spot detector, heated front seats, reading of road signs, lane change and lane departure warning. As for the Pack finish (+ € 1,250), it gives access to the adjustable steering wheel in two planes, automatic air conditioning and keyless starting.

Four-wheel drive on demand


It’s in tune with the times and the Swift is no exception: its 1.2-liter double-injection 4-cylinder offers a dose of electricity. This is a micro-hybridization comprising an alternator-starter acting as an electric motor and a 12 V battery whose capacity has been increased from 3 to 10 Ah. Charts on the dashboard allow you to follow the energy exchange. The battery recharges during deceleration and braking. This energy is restored at start-up and during acceleration, thus relieving the 4 cylinders. In town, below 15 km / h, the system cuts the engine, on condition of putting itself in neutral. Under these conditions, consumption is less than 5 liters per 100 kilometers. The very quiet mechanics participate in the approval, but the lengthened reports oblige to race the engine on fire. If the road is not its privileged terrain, the Swift can count on its AllGrip all-wheel drive to move with confidence on slippery roads.

Technical sheet

Engine: 4-cylinder petrol, 1,197 cm3, 83 hp, 107 Nm

Transmission: all-wheel, 5-speed manual

Dimensions: L. 3.84, l. 1.73, h. 1.49 m

Consumption: 5.5 l / 100 km

CO emissions2: 123 g / km

Speed: 170 km / h

Price (AllGrip): from 18,540 €




Mercedes C 300 wagon, the star continues to shine the diesel

We shouldn’t let diesel die. Especially if it is associated with plug-in hybrid technology. This is the first thought that comes to mind after a trip of nearly 3,200 km on the roads of France at the wheel of the Mercedes C 300de station wagon.

In the context of diesel bashing, the star firm is certainly sailing against the grain by being the only manufacturer to market a plug-in hybrid diesel engine on the market, but in use, the solution has many advantages. Meeting the next emission standards, the new 194 hp 2-liter turbo diesel 4-cylinder is cleaner than a gasoline engine. The injection pressure is increased to 2,050 bars and the cylinder wall is covered with a special material reducing friction by 25%. The vehicle always starts with the 122 hp electric motor installed in the 9-speed automatic transmission. Unless the outside temperature is too low or the battery is discharged. We experienced it during our journey: by charging the 13.5 kWh battery as often as possible, all city crossings and daily journeys were made without emitting a single pollutant. It takes 5 hours to recover all of the energy on a household outlet.

Sylvain Reisser

If the really successful system guarantees good performance in electric mode, we have never managed to exceed the 39 km of autonomy while the manufacturer claims 11 more. The interest of this diesel vehicle is evident on long journeys. On the secondary network, consumption has never exceeded 4.2 l per 100 km. The highway requires about 1.2 l / 100 km more. This is how the range of this break exceeds 1000 km. And at the pump, the bill is moderate. By using all the resources of the programs which make it possible in particular to recharge the battery while driving and to save energy in anticipation of a city crossing, we drove 36% of the time on electric.

Daimler AG – Global Communications Mercedes-Benz Cars / Daimler AG

Another advantage of this diesel which is full of watts: the times are those of a GT, past the engine latency. Alternative to the C 300d (245 hp), the C 300de suffers from two black spots: a suspension subject to ripples and a trunk amputated of 170 liters and handicapped by an imposing formwork nearly 12 cm high to house the battery.

Technical sheet


Displacement: 1,950 cc

Type: 4-cyl. turbo diesel (194 hp) + electric motor (122 hp), Power: 306 hp (cumulative), Torque 700 Nm (cumulative)

Transmission: Propulsion, Auto Gearbox. 9 reports

Dimensions (L / W / H): 4,702 x 1,832 x 1,465 mm

Safe: 315 liters

Weight: 1955 kg

Performance (0-100 km / h): 5.7 seconds

Speed: 250 km / h

Consumption (Mixed EU): 1.2 l / 100 km

CO emissions2: 32 g / km

Price: 59 800 €



Audi A3 Sportback 40 TFSI e, up to 67 km in electric

NEW – The new generation of the plug-in hybrid A3 has a fuel consumption of 1.4 liters per 100 km.


The first compact sedan to have benefited from the plug-in hybrid powertrain in 2014, the Audi A3 takes advantage of the change of generation to return in a revised version. The denomination E-Tron has given way to the vowel “e” for electrified. On paper, the technical characteristics and performance are very similar between the two generations: the cumulative power comes out at 204 hp and 100 km / h are reached in 7.6 seconds. Going into detail, we can see that the system has been optimized. The power of the electric machine has increased slightly to 107 hp (80 kW) instead of 102 hp while the lithium-ion battery remains the same, still showing a capacity of 13 kWh. The progress results from the use of a new chemistry for the cells of the batteries.


Result: the new A3 Sportback 40 TFSI e would be able according to the homologation standard to cover up to 67 km in electric. The old version could not exceed 50 km according to the old NEDC standard, which is 28 km less than the new model with the same protocol. This is how the latter claims a standardized official consumption of 1.4 liters per 100 km, which is equivalent to CO emissions.2 of only 30 g / km. That’s five grams saved compared to the old E-Tron model.


The A3 Sportback 40 TFSI e is not immune to the loss of a few precious liters of cargo. According to the manufacturer’s file, the trunk would still be reduced by nearly 100 liters of volume.