Autocar confidential: Ferrari SUV, Bentley diesels, Citroen Airbumps, LEVC TX

Our reporters empty their notebooks to round up this week’s gossip from across the automotive industry

This week’s snippets of automotive news cover the entire industry, from Citroën’s refusal to do the predictable thing with its divisive Airbump door cladding, to Ferrari’s ever-rumoured SUV, to diesel Bentley SUVs, to the new electric London cab. 

Citroën’s Airbumpy ride

Citroën will not be “a prisoner” to Airbumps and roll them out across the range, according to company boss Linda Jackson. “They were a fantastic way to start talking about the car and the brand, and added something no one else has got,” she said, but highlighted the C3 Aircross as a car with enough character not to need them.

Bentley’s only diesel

Despite the diesel variant of the Bentayga being Bentley’s biggest seller in the UK, Germany and Austria, boss Wolfgang Dürheimer has said the SUV will be the only Bentley to get a diesel powertrain. He believes diesel sales across the car market have peaked.

London taxi licence holder ‘cannot be further improved’

The new LEVC TX taxi is an entirely fresh design, but the rear windscreen washer and the driver’s taxi licence holder are carried over from the old TX4. “We haven’t found a way to improve the licence holder,” said project technical chief Ian Collins. “We could have made it lighter using carbonfi bre, but that seemed excessive…”

FUV? SUV? Maybe not…

It was 20 minutes into the Ferrari press conference at the Frankfurt show before someone asked about a Ferrari SUV, which resulted in a collective groan from Ferrari’s top brass. How they must have wished that president Sergio Marchionne – notable only for his absence – had not recently said Ferrari could “reinvent the concept of a vehicle that has some utilitarian features”. For the avoidance of doubt, tech boss Michael Leiters said: “We have many projects, many concepts, but there is no programme and nothing has been confirmed.”

Source: Autocar Online

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