Autocar confidential: Hot Volkswagens, 'SUV' goes high-end, M Performance BMW Z4
2018 BMW Z4 Concept
Our reporters empty their notebooks to round up this week’s gossip from across the automotive industry
Hot Volkswagens will continue to get the ‘Benny touch’ to ensure they are more fun to drive. Racer Benny Leuchter was pivotal in the Golf GTI Clubsport S and Polo GTI’s development. “I’ve helped to make the cars more agile, more adjustable at the rear,” he said.
Jeep Wrangler customers:
Some 98% of Jeep Wrangler customers modify their car with at least one optional part, according to Mopar boss Pietro Gorlier. The Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ performance parts division has developed more than 200 components and accessories for the new Wrangler. According to Gorlier, the best-selling parts for it are side steps and a noise-reducing headliner. “People like the options that make the car more practical, or that offer more off-road protection,” said Gorlier.
‘SUV’ has turned high-end:
The letters ‘SUV’ are the hottest property in the car market, according to Kia UK boss Paul Philpott – so much so that the meaning has almost completely changed. “Ten years ago, an SUV was a 4×4 diesel Shogun. Today, the term means a sportier, raised model,” he said.
M Performance BMW Z4:
Although reports suggest an M variant of the upcoming BMW Z4 has been ruled out, the division’s vice president, Dirk Hacker, says the door hasn’t been fully closed, even if an M Performance version is more likely. “We have been very pleasantly surprised by the feedback for the concept,” he said. “The appetite for an emotional driving experience is very strong. There is no announcement on a Z4 M yet but fast versions of the car look interesting.”
Source: Autocar Online