Our reporters empty their notebooks to round up a week in gossip from across the automotive industry
No PHEV on the horizon for Qashqai
Nissan won’t join the race to launch ultra-efficient but pricey plug-in hybrids with the next Qashqai, insisting that its new range-extender hybrid powertrain is a strong prospect for buyers. “I can’t guarantee it will be the best in terms of CO2, but it is the best in terms of affordability, drivability, performance and economy as a balance,” said product planning boss Marco Fioravanti.
BRM restorations must be raced
The first of the three remakes of BRM’s 1950 V16- engined Formula 1 car will go to the son of former team principal Sir Alfred Owen, but the allocation of the other two will be “discussed very closely” with the Owen family, who stipulate that the cars must be used. “They want the legacy of BRM to be defined by its amazing sound, which won’t happen if it goes to some sheikh who puts it in a shed and it’s never seen again,” a spokesman told Autocar.
China makes sense for mini
The main reason for Mini centring production of its future electric models in China under a joint venture with Great Wall Motors is to ensure “very competitive pricing”, according to Mini’s head of production, Milan Nedeljkovic. However, the eventual “electrical drive” at Plant Oxford depends on “the volume and how fast the market will develop”.
Next on the horizon for Gordon Murray Automotive
Little is known about how Gordon Murray plans to follow up his sub-900kg, 650bhp V12-powered T50 supercar, but he maintains that any future GMA model will prioritise driver engagement. He said: “Our USP statement is ‘whatever segment we’re in, it will be the best driving experience, the lightest car and the best engine in that segment’.”