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  • Mustang Mach-E Updates

    Written by Justin Delaney, an Independent Reviewer, Journalist, and Motor expert. Although we covered a full review of the new Ford Mustang Mach-E earlier this year we have now spent some further time appraising the vehicle in our video review linked to the bottom of this article. If you didn’t get a chance to read our initial review please click here where we break down the vehicle in detail. Since penning this article a number or additions and revisions have been made to the Mustang Mach-E to make it even more of a compelling choice for drivers making the switch to electric. The Mustang Mach-E now delivers even more enhanced driver assistance technologies, comfort and styling features as standard. Take for example Ford’s Intelligent Automated Cruise Control 2.0, which can use information from the navigation system and forward-facing camera to automatically adjust vehicle speed not only according to speed limit signs but also to upcoming curves, turns and roundabouts on the journey ahead. Mustang Mach-E customers also from now can benefit from a wider model range and choice of personalisation options. Previously available only on all-wheel drive models, the Premium specification is now offered for rear-wheel drive models with the 91 kWh extended-range battery, adding standard 19-inch alloy wheels, Adaptive LED headlamps with Glare-Free Auto High Beam, eight-way powered driver and passenger seats, and red brake callipers combined with black exterior detailing. You can now also spec Vapor Blue and Carbonized Grey exterior colour options along with two additional alloy wheel designs, across the Mustang Mach-E line-up here in Ireland. Those who like to get away with a small caravan will also be delighted to know you can now tow larger trailers with ease, as Mustang Mach-E rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive models equipped with the 91 kWh extended-range battery are able to tow up to 1,500 kg which was just 1,000 kg at the point of testing the Mach-E earlier this year. Believe it or not around 80 per cent of Mustang Mach-E customers to-date have moved from other car brands to join Ford in its electric transformation and this trend looks set to continue thanks to the capabilities and good looks of this vehicle! The electric member of the Mustang family is currently outselling the petrol-powered Mustang by a factor eight-to-one in 2022 and its not hard to see why! For Styling Range Spec Against Gets pricey with spec! To check out Mustang Mach-E stock on DoneDeal, click here. To watch our video review of the Mustang Mach-E please click here. DoneDeal hosts the widest selection of cars for sale in Ireland, with 78,000 on sale today. The vast majority of those, over 60,000, are from over 1,000 trusted local dealerships that offer certainty in your purchase through warranties History checks. One car ad is placed every minute on DoneDeal, with about 600,000 cars advertised a year. DoneDeal is Ireland's No.1 Motor Website with over 70 million car searches taking place annually. To check out DoneDeal’s range of cars from all of Ireland’s trusted car dealerships, see here. #Motors

  • Volkswagen T-Roc

    Written by Justin Delaney, an Independent Reviewer, Journalist, and Motor expert. It’s a cool September morning and I need to be just outside Belfast from Kildare within a couple of hours. Normally this drive on the motorway isn’t particularly interesting but as I have just collected Volkswagen’s latest baby Crossover, I’m actually looking forward to the spin. The new T-Roc is a handsome little thing and buyers are spoilt for choices with so many colour combinations and various wheel choices. When you visit your local dealer you will find three trim levels available which kick off with the entry ‘Life’ trim powered by a 115np petrol for €31,705. This model is powered but the 1.0 litre TSI engine, which shouldn’t be frowned upon until you try it. Lets just say it punches well above its weight. In terms of spec you get climatronic two-zone air-con and a standard Digital Cockpit relaying all the information relevant to you on the 8-inch colour display with slick graphics. By using the multifunction steering wheel, you can therefore conveniently access functions such as audio, telephone or assist systems via the instrument cluster while driving. Features The next model on the pricing walk is the Style spec priced at €33,850 which comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, an 8-inch touchscreen ‘Composition Media’ head unit with voice activation and Apple CarPlay along with a good dose of chrome should that tickle your fancy. Our test vehicle was the super cool R-Line model, which comes with sports seats, 17-inch alloys wheels, LED headlights and privacy glass in the rear. We had the wonderful 2.0 litre diesel mated to a DSG gearbox which brings the price up to €41,385 but you can have the same spec with a manual 110hp 1.0TSI petrol for €34,705. With a 10.25-inch high-resolution display, it offers a wide range of options for individual configuration and additional displays, such as a navigation map display directly behind the steering wheel. Something else very noticeable is the quality from the new LED lighting. It doesn’t matter if you’re out and about during the day or night or in bad weather, the IQ.LIGHT LED matrix headlights, optionally available from the T-Roc Style equipment line upwards, give incredible visibility. While Dynamic Light Assist helps to predictively illuminate winding roads and ensures that oncoming traffic is not dazzled even when the main beam headlights are active, the individual LED segments of the high-tech light system ensure better light distribution by specific activation and deactivation depending on the driving situation. This not only increases your safety, but also that of other road users. We have seen and tested this technology on other vehicles but usually on cars twice the price! Power Aside from the engines powering the above models we should also mention the Volkswagen T-Roc R is also available on Irish shores. With 300 horsepower and 400Nm of torque from the 2.0-litre TSI engine, the T-Roc R accelerates from 0-100km/h in 4.8 seconds and on to a top speed of 250 km/h on the Autobahn of course!. The T-Roc R is every bit the R model, following on from the much-loved Golf R it features many of the styling cues of its performance sibling, with bumpers in R styling, air intakes with black fins and R logo in the black radiator grille. This is the full fat version and perhaps not for the vast majority! If you do like an odd track day coupled with the practicality the T-Roc offers then perhaps this is the beast for you! Safety The T-Roc performs well in the safety stakes earning a five-star crash safety rating from independent expert body Euro NCAP. With a generous list of crash-avoidance technologies you are in good hands in the unlikely event of an impact. All models have autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, emergency brake assist, lane assist and a plethora of airbags throughout. Now mandatory features such as anti-lock brakes and traction control are fitted along with a warning sound if any doors are left ajar when you take off or fail to put a seat belt on. Costs Aside from the outright purchase prices mentioned in the article already, VW also offer competitive PCP Finance from 5.9% APR. This allows you to ⁠⁠enjoy low monthly payments and good flexibility from Volkswagen Financial Services. The new T-Roc Life is available with PCP Finance from 5.9% APR.⁠⁠ Including a 3 Year Volkswagen Service Plan. This ensures all your routine servicing costs, for both parts and labour are fixed over a period of time. They include all the standard items recommended by Volkswagen such as mandatory service parts including oil filters, pollen filters, high quality lubricants and brake fluid changes. A 3 Year service plan is included as part of your monthly rate, at a reduced rate of €12.99 per month. Summary So what is the new T-Roc like to drive? Well the first thing I noticed when behind the wheel was the similarities to the Audi Q2, which is built on the same platform. In fact the (MQB) platform also spawns the Skoda Kodiaq and SEAT Ateca but I would argue that the T-Roc is the best looking in this Crossover family. Pulling out onto the motorway and sinking the go pedal gives you a feeling of quality as the gearbox seamlessly engages a gear to match your engine revs. As good as the two petrol options are, its hard to beat the diesel / DSG combination which can propel you to 100km/h in 10.4 seconds. On the motorway with the cruise control set, we found time to engage more with the interior and what it has to offer. The seating position is good with great visibility all round and the modern touch screen infotainment system is within easy reach. There is 445 litres of boot space and four adults can travel comfortable with ample headroom all round. Coming off the motorway and onto some more challenging B roads the T-Roc stacks up well with little of no body roll and a smooth ride over uneven surfaces even on the 17-inch alloys. Buyers for this particular car will no doubt be considering all the options. The Opel Mokka, Nissan Juke, Mini Countryman and BMW’s new X1 will all offer good alternative options to the T-Roc or its VW group siblings. The T-Roc is not the cheapest but nor is it the most expensive in this category and in our opinion you pay for what you get. In the looks department it has all but perhaps the BMW X1 beaten but to drive, it is second to none. As our journey to Belfast came to an end we couldn’t help but wonder what offers a better drive in this category at this price point? The choice is yours but be sure to have a test drive! For Build quality Space Drive Against Supply issues right now! To check out Volkswagen T-Roc stock on DoneDeal, click here. To see five things you need to know about the VW T-Roc click here. DoneDeal hosts the widest selection of cars for sale in Ireland, with 78,000 on sale today. The vast majority of those, over 60,000, are from over 1,000 trusted local dealerships that offer certainty in your purchase through warranties History checks. One car ad is placed every minute on DoneDeal, with about 600,000 cars advertised a year. DoneDeal is Ireland's No.1 Motor Website with over 70 million car searches taking place annually. To check out DoneDeal’s range of cars from all of Ireland’s trusted car dealerships, see here. #Motors

  • Ireland's Budget Implications For The Motor Industry

    Budget 2023, announced this afternoon by Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe, and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath contains some measures specific to motoring: VRT No VRT changes for cars or commercial vehicles VAT and Excise Extensions Extending the current excise reduction of 21 cent per litre in respect of petrol, 16 cent per litre in respect of diesel and 5.4 cent per litre in respect of Marked Gas Oil (MGO), and the 9 per cent VAT rate for electricity and gas until 28 February 2023. Carbon Tax The rate per tonne of carbon dioxide emitted for petrol and diesel will go up from €41 to €48.50 from 12 October as per the trajectory set out in the Finance Act 2020. This will mean that there will be an increase of just over two cent VAT inclusive per litre of petrol and diesel. Recognising the sharp cost of living challenges currently being faced by society, so the government is therefore proposing to offset this carbon tax increase with a reduction to zero of the National Oil Reserves Agency (NORA) levy. The NORA levy which is collected at a rate of 2 cent per litre (VAT exclusive) will help offset the carbon tax increase which means that the price at the pump will not go up as a result of taxes or levies. Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme To assist businesses with their energy cost over the winter months. Carbon Reduction Programmes €110m is being provided towards making the switch to electric vehicles. Specifically grant support is being provided for the: Continuation of the purchase grant scheme for electric passenger cars, with a gradual reduction in the grant from July 2023 Continuation and expansion of the home charging infrastructure scheme to include multi-unit dwellings Continuation of a grant scheme for taxi and hackney drivers with a gradual reduction in the grant from July 2023 Continuation of an alternatively fuelled heavy goods vehicles purchase grant scheme Continuation of the Low Emission Vehicle Toll Incentive Scheme Reviewing the scheme for public point charging Delivering a new Shared Island Scheme for destination charging at sports clubs Funding research to support the further decarbonisation of transport in Ireland Commenting on Budget 2023, SIMI Director General Brian Cooke: “SIMI is pleased that the Government listened to the Industry and did not increase VRT in Budget 2023. In addition, the extension of the EV car SEAI grant scheme for the first half of next year will bring more potential buyers into the Electric Vehicle project, although the signal that this grant will be reduced from July is a concern. We hope the Government can re-consider this closer to the time, as any reduction could undermine sales in what is still the early stages of the EV project. SIMI also welcomes the announcement of the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme for employers which we hope will mitigate against rising energy costs and help to protect employment.” The Automobile Association has also welcomed the extension of the reduction of excise duty on fuel and the continued support for public transport pricing as announced in Budget 2023. “There wasn’t much in the Budget for motorists specifically – the big question was whether or not there would be relief on petrol or diesel, well there was and there wasn’t in equal measures because while there was a reduction of the NORA (National Oil Reserves) Levy on fuel which amount to two cents, this was wiped out by an increase in Carbon Tax by the same amount,” said Paddy Comyn, Head of Communications for The AA. “However, there was a welcome extension of the excise relief on petrol (21 cents) and diesel (16 cents) until the 28th of February 2023. So while there are no increases, the average motorist is still paying around €2,000 per year now to fuel their car. The AA welcomes the extension of the reduction in public transport fares (of 20%) until the end of 2023, which will encourage more use of public transport, but there still remains too much variance in the quality of public transport services between urban and rural areas.”

  • Polestar 2

    Written by Justin Delaney, an Independent Reviewer, Journalist, and Motor expert. This is vehicle we had all looked forward to for some time. Those of you familiar with the Polestar brand will know it acted as the performance arm of Volvo with a highly intelligent batch of boffin’s making fast Volvo’s even faster! Now a standalone brand, Polestar have been tasked with leading the electric car transition with a range of exciting machinery now filtering around the world. Polestar 2 is the first model to reach Irish shores and as expected, it retains the high quality, premium components and solid driving experience that Volvo are already famed for. With futuristic vegan upholstery, Android Automotive OS-powered infotainment system with Google built-in, along with a striking interior and exterior design, the Polestar 2 has rocked the EV market with a strong first Irish offering. Polestar are commited to constant development also meaning that improvements and new features can be deployed via over-the-air updates, without the need to visit a garage. This means the car you buy today could be even better in the coming year as the software uopdates progress! Features So what choices do Irish punters have when they log on to make a purchase? Yes you read that right there will be no large showrooms with pushy sales people down your throat at the point of entry! Instead you will spec your car online and it will be delivered to you door. Can you take a test drive prior? Certainly but you must book a slot online with the test drive centre based in Sandyford Dublin 18. Entry into Polestar 2 ownership starts with the 231hp single motor standard range car, which will allow you to do up to 478km on a full charge. A long range variant of the same single motor 231hp car is also available allowing you to cover up to 551km of range. The 408hp Long Range Dual Motor variant is also an option, which actually drops range back down to 487km but gives you all wheel drive and supercar performance with a 0 to 100km time of just 4.7 seconds. Our test car was the Dual Motor that had actually been fitted with the Performance Pack. This software upgrade gives you 476hp and 680 Nm of torque, which is quiet simply staggering! The 100km sprint comes up in just 4.4 seconds and it can stop on a dime thanks to Gold Brembo four piston aluminium front calipers with oversized drilled and ventilated discs. The fully adjustable Öhlins Dual Flow Valve shock absorbers make the ride a little firmer but by no means teeth shattering. In fact it disguises its 2188kg of weight better through the twisties with minimal body roll. Inside you get high-level premium equipment like the full-length panoramic glass roof, premium Harman Kardon audio system with 13 speakers, WeaveTech upholstery, Black Ash deco panels, fully-electric heated front seats with memory, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel and heated wiper nozzles. It really is a nice place to do some decent mileage in. Power Our press car once again was fitted with the dual electric motors with performance pack software upgrade to 476 bhp. The 78 kWh Lithium-ion battery has 27 modules and charging times vary from 35 minutes (public fast charger, DC, 10-80%) to 8 hours (home wallbox, AC, 3-phase, 16A) You can also tow up 1500kg with the Polestar 2. Safety Thanks to Volvo DNA, the Polestar 2 was always going to fair out well in the safety stakes. Our test car had the Pilot Pack which includes enhanced safety and driver assistance features, like Pixel LED headlights with LED front fog lights, Driver Assistance with Adaptive Cruise Control, a 360-degree surround view camera, all-round parking sensors, and Driver Awareness including Blind Spot Information System with steering support, Cross Traffic Alert with brake support, and Rear Collision Warning. With a 5-star safety rating received back in 2021 the Polestar 2 was the best-performing EV ever tested by the Euro NCAP organisation according to the latest protocols. Since then, it has only been marginally surpassed by the much larger and more expensive Mercedes-Benz EQS. Further software updates have since been sent to all Polestar cars to aid the ADAS functionality. It’s a vehicle that will continue to get safer as the technology improves annually! Costs At the time of writing the standard range single motor Polestar 2 is coming in at €51,135. The Long range is priced at €59,990 and the dual motor is €63,850. Our Performance Pack variant adds and additional €6420 to the overall price. Various finance and PCP options are available from as little as €449 per month, Summary Well what can we say really, after spending a week with the Polestar 2 it was everything that we expected. Good quality throughout, refined, decent looking and comfortable to live with. Do you need the all singing, all dancing Performance Pack variant? Probably not, if truth were told. As cool as the forged 20-inch alloy wheels and signature ‘Swedish gold’ details inside and out are, the smart money would probably be spent on a long range single motor version which will still out perform 80% of machinery on Irish roads. The tech works decent also with a built-in Android-powered operating system, making life much easier on the road. Using Google Automotive Services you can ask for directions and the navigation will kick in to not only give you the directions, but also plan your journey based on the most efficient route with access to chargers should you need. It’s all very clever stuff and hard not to enjoy when you are behind the wheel. During my time with the car I was naturally asked what is it? who makes it etc? Which are all standard and to be expected questions but one particular gent asked when the Polestar 3 will be out? It turns out that he has been following progress of the brand and is currently driving an XC60 with the ambition to own Polestars first performance based SUV. The good news is that the 3 will officially be unveiled October 12th with cars destined for Ireland in the New Year. Watch this space! For Handling Drive Styling Against Centre console a little big! To see our YouTube video review of the Polestar 2 please click here. DoneDeal hosts the widest selection of cars for sale in Ireland, with 78,000 on sale today. The vast majority of those, over 60,000, are from over 1,000 trusted local dealerships that offer certainty in your purchase through warranties History checks. One car ad is placed every minute on DoneDeal, with about 600,000 cars advertised a year. DoneDeal is Ireland's No.1 Motor Website with over 70 million car searches taking place annually. To check out DoneDeal’s range of cars from all of Ireland’s trusted car dealerships, see here. #Motors

  • DoneDeal Agri at the 2022 National Ploughing Championships

    DoneDeal Agri, Ireland’s largest farming marketplace, are delighted to announce that our expert team will be at the 2022 National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska, Co.Laois. The championships will take place between the 20th and 22nd of September and expects to attract approximately 80,000 people per day. This year provides an extra sense of excitement as the 67th World Ploughing Contest will also be hosted by Ireland. The 2022 National Ploughing Championships will provide the perfect opportunity to catch up with our expert team and we are really looking forward to chatting to our customers across the 3 days. What does DoneDeal Agri have planned for the Ploughing? Chance to Win a brand new Honda 420FM Quad: We are super excited to share that we will be giving away a brand new quad bike worth €10,000 to one lucky winner! To enter, you will need to scan the QR Code at our stand so be sure to pop in to us. Win DoneDeal Agri Merchandise: We will also be running a series of mini-games throughout the Ploughing Championships and we will be giving away DoneDeal Agri Merchandise. Meet the Team: The 3 day event is the perfect time to meet our expert team. We are passionate about what we do and we love talking to our valued customers and hearing your feedback. If you need any advice or help, don't hesitate to ask! Make sure to visit our stand to be in with a chance of winning this brand new Honda 420FM quad worth €10,000! If you’re attending this year's ploughing make sure to visit our stand. See where we’re located below: Block 2 Row 23 Stand 381 We are giving non ploughing goers a chance to win this brand new quad worth €10,000 also! Scan the QR code below to enter (you must be 17 years+ to enter): FAQs: How much are the tickets for the event? (Prices are day specific) Adults - €25 Senior Citizens - €20 (ID may be required at the gate) Secondary School Students - €20 (through group bookings only)) Family Ticket (2 Adults & 2 Secondary School Students only) - €80 College Students - €25 Children under 12 go free once accompanied by an adult. When does it all start? Exhibition Arena Opens: 09.00 - 18.00 Ploughing Competitions: 10.30 - 14.30 Entertainment Programme: 10.00 - 18.00 Fashion Shows: 11.30/13.30/15.30 For all other information visit: https://www.npa.ie/

  • New Landini and McCormick tractors to make their debut at Irish and World Ploughing 2022

    Major presence for ARGO brands at the country’s leading farm event and the world pinnacle of ploughing follows further investments in the Irish market Enhanced display in Ireland of new tractors including Landini 4 and 5 series, plus McCormick X7 SWB and X6 HD Importance of brand loyalty among customers, operators and enthusiasts recognised with new merchandise shop This content is brought to you by AgriArgo UK AgriArgo UK, the UK and Ireland branch of McCormick and Landini tractor manufacturer ARGO Tractors, is stepping up its presence at Ireland’s National Ploughing Championships this year, following further recent investment in its Irish business. A number of new Landini and McCormick products will make their national debut on ARGO Tractors’ stand, while visitors will also be able obtain the latest model tractors and other merchandise. The Sept 20-22 event, which also plays host to the World Ploughing Championships, takes place at Ratheniska, County Laois. Landini 4 and 5 Series Landini has a strong following in Ireland, and taking a key role at this year’s Ploughing will be the latest four-cylinder 4 and 5 series. Suited to livestock work and light handling, they are well-matched to the all-new Landini loaders. The 4 series consists of three models with power outputs of 61, 68 and 75hp, all with a 2.11m wheelbase. Specification includes a 3,000kg mechanical rear linkage, 52 l/min hydraulic system and optional front linkage and PTO. The 5 series comprises 95, 102 and 114hp models, with the flagship 5-120 Dynamic a finalist in the Best Utility category of Tractor of the Year 2022. Landini 6RS Robo-Six tractors. It is also hoped that an example of the new Landini 6RS Robo-Six tractor range will be on display. Designed for versatility, performance and comfort, a 2.56m wheelbase and 55-degree steering angle mean these new models are particularly stable and manoeuvrable. Power comes from 4.5 litres, 16-valve, four-cylinder Stage V FPT NEF 45 engines. Maximum horsepower complete with engine power management is equivalent to the last three numbers in the 6-135 RS, 6-145 RS and 6-155 RS model designations. The 24F/24R Robo-Six transmission features six powershift steps and four ranges, with a further 16 creep speeds in each direction optional. Pre-programmed Eco and Power modes minimise fuel consumption or maximise performance and work rates. A new Landini High Vision cab features a panoramic roof and ventilation hatch. Further specification includes four-speed rear PTO, closed-centre hydraulics with 123 l/min pumps capable of supplying up to seven electronic spool valves, and a 7.2t electronic rear hitch, plus optional 3.2t front hitch. The maximum rear tyre size is 650/60 R38, and maximum gross weight 9.5t. New from McCormick McCormick highlights will include the new X7 SWB models launched globally at EIMA in Italy last November. There are four semi-powershift P6-Drive transmission models and two VT-Drive CVT tractors, with four-cylinder powerplants in the X7.417 P6-Drive (165hp max) and X7.418 P6-Drive (175hp), and six-cylinder engines in the X7.617 and X7.618, whichhave the same power ratings. The two VT-Drive CVT tractors are the165hp/four-cyl X7.418 and 175hp/six-cyl X7.618. With both transmissions, a Stop & Action’ clutch/brake system allows drive disengagement via the brakes. Stage V FPT turbocharged/intercooler engines feature common rail electronic fuel injection, cutting fuel consumption and emissions and boosting response. Utilising the turbocharger’s throttle valve, deceleration can be aided through use of the engine brake as well as the rear brakes. The 3.5t front linkage redesign boosts visibility, while rear lift capacity is 9.3t, and up to eight rear spool valves can be specified, as can 123 or 160l/min closed-centre hydraulics and mechanical or semi-active electronic cab suspension. Wheelbase is 2.65m on four-cylinder and 2.76m on six-cylinder tractors. Also on show will be new Stage V McCormick X6.4HD P6-Drive tractors: the 135/145/155hp X6.413, X6.414 and X6.415 (max power)- recently announced as a finalist in the coveted Tractor of the Year 2023 competition. With 4.5-litre FPT NEF 45 four cylinder/four valve engines, a compact powertrain and transmission layout creates a wheelbase of 2.56m, aiding stability and manoeuvrability. The four-range/six-step P6-Drive semi-powershift provides 24F/24R speeds, extendable to 40R/40R with the creep option. Implement attachment specification includes a four-speed rear PTO, rear lift capacity of up to 7.1t and optional 2.5t front linkage. Closed-centre hydraulics feature a 123 l/min pump capable of supplying up to seven spool valves. “Ireland is particularly important for our Landini brand, and also for McCormick, underlined by recent investments including a dedicated service manager and dealer roll-out of the ARGO 4.0 suite of digital tools,” says Ben Agar, business development director at ARGO Tractors UK & Ireland. “We’re looking forward to a major presence at the Ploughing, with not only a full line of machines, but also something for every enthusiast with our full range of new and classic models, clothing and merchandise – and we’ll be offering some special merchandise promotions in advance of the show. That coupled with our latest Finance promotions means there is a warm welcome for every farmer on the ARGO Tractors stand.” AgriArgo UK distributes Argo Tractors products in the UK and Ireland. Landini and McCormick machines are supplied through independent dealer networks. Both also supply specialist Valpadana tractors. Argo Tractors is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of tractors for agricultural and groundscare use, producing Landini, McCormick and Valpadana products in a multi-factory industrial complex in Italy. Source: AgriArgo UK

  • Cannonball Ireland

    This year’s Cannonball returned in fine fashion and our features writer Justin Delaney was on hand to soak up the atmosphere. On the 9th of September the action-packed supercar spectacle, kicked off from Malahide Castle in an effort to raise much needed funds for The HOPE Foundation. Cannonball, fuelled by milesPLUS from Circle K, is the largest organised road trip in Europe and this year the event had some 215 car entries including cars from Lamborghini, Ferrari, McLaren, Aston Martin Porsche, Rolls Royce, Bentley and Maserati. Novelty cars play a big part in Cannonball also and this years event had the first ever Ecto-1 Ghostbusters car built in Ireland proudly presented by Galway Bay Brewery. The build commenced with a 1960 Cadillac and took 5 years to transform into Ecto-1 including the iconic roof rack, Proton Packs, Ecto Goggles, P.K.E. Meters, and a slew of Ghost Traps. The car is 23 ft long with a straight piped 6.4 litre short block V8 motor. For Cannonball it was fitted with a jaw dropping laser light show, smoke machines and full PA system to keep viewers entertained. Shadowing the Ghostbusters Ecto-1 was a Bespoke Land Rover Defender support vehicle complete with Slimer mounted to the front and the famous Delorean from Back To The Future. Aside from the various and many Circle K fuel stops the rally stopped for lunch in The Blue Haven Kinsale in Co Cork before moving on to the Brehon Hotel in Killarney in Co Kerry for its first overnight stay. On Saturday September 10th the convoy left Killarney and stopped for lunch at The Oslo Bar in Salthill Co Galway before travelling onwards to Sligo town for the second finish line and overnight stay. On Sunday September 11th Rosses Point Sligo was to be the start line before a lunch stop at Kilronan Castle and dramatic final finish line in Trim Co. Meath. The event has already raised €1,298,779 for Irish charities and, this year, the official charity of Cannonball was once again The HOPE Foundation who are doing incredible work with the street children of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) in India. HOPE funds and operates over 60 projects including 11 child protection homes, a hospital, an ambulance, counselling, food and nutrition, education, healthcare and the restoration of childhoods to children. See https://www.hopefoundation.ie/cannonball/ By way of a little background Cannonball was founded by Kildare businessman Alan Bannon and the benefit to the host towns for this event is estimated at €2,567,000 per year. Cannonball was fuelled by milesPLUS from Circle K as the main headline Sponsor for 2022. The Tour Sponsor this year is Apache Pizza and Cannonball official partners include Galway Bay Brewery, Manhattan Popcorn, Bonavox, Karl Goodwin Motors, AB Signs, and BMW Ireland. After the three day drive, Cannonball raised close on €150,000 for the HOPE Foundation meaning in just two years Cannonball has raised over a quarter of million euro for this charity. Cannonball remains the at the pinnacle of Irish supercar events with people who share the same passion for cars, business and raising money for a great causes.

  • For the First Time Ever, Ireland's Most in Demand New Car is Electric

    DoneDeal, Ireland's largest car website, has released the latest figures on the demand amongst Irish car buyers for new cars. The country's most in demand new car is electric, the Volkswagen ID.4. This is the first year that an EV has been the most in demand new car across all fuel types on DoneDeal. DoneDeal looked at all new car (2022) ad view data on site for the period from January - August 2022 and found that, for the first time, new car buyers on DoneDeal rank an electric car above all other cars and fuel types. The Hyundai IONIQ 5 and Kia EV6 also represented EVs in the top 10 most popular new cars amongst DoneDeal car buyers so far this year. These historic observations cement the shifting attitudes of buyers towards EVs and provide a notable signal of Ireland’s electric evolution racing into 2023. August 2022 saw a 30% year on year growth in the demand for new EVs on DoneDeal, while demand for new diesel cars fell by 26% in the same period. Shifting perceptions of EVs amongst Irish drivers and favourable government grants has led to 12,661 new electric cars on our roads since the beginning of 2022, an 80% increase compared with January to August last year (SIMI). While petrol and diesel still dominate overall market share, electric vehicles now account for 13.31% (SIMI). The proposed ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars coupled with unprecedented rising fuel costs has placed an impetus on buyers to switch to electric cars. Car manufacturers now offering longer ranges on EVs presents further optimism for the future of EVs in this country, so long as charging infrastructure, stock levels and energy prices keep pace with appetite. Begin your electric car journey today with the home of Ireland's most trusted car dealerships. DoneDeal is Ireland's No.1 motor website with over 70 million car searches taking place annually. One car ad is placed every minute on DoneDeal, with over 600,000 cars advertised each year. DoneDeal has the largest range of new & used cars for sale in Ireland, with over 68,000 on sale today. Over 90% of Ireland's car dealerships are on DoneDeal.

  • Avian Influenza remains a threat to Irish poultry and wild birds

    Ordinarily, the end of spring signals the end of the Bird Flu season, as wild migratory birds which are the natural hosts of avian influenza viruses return to their usual breeding sites after overwintering in Ireland. This content is brought to you by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Unusually, this year the avian influenza H5N1 virus has persisted in wild birds in Europe throughout the summer months, leading to a need for appropriate biosecurity and heightened vigilance for spread of the disease into poultry flocks. The disease is highly contagious amongst birds, but the risk of transmission to humans is considered low. As with all influenza A viruses, however, there is a potential for zoonotic spread (spread from animals to humans) and so it is wise to take appropriate precautions, by avoiding handling sick and dead wild birds. The disease poses no food safety risk for consumers. Properly cooked poultry products, including eggs are safe to eat. The presence of avian influenza viruses in wild birds presents a risk to both Irish wild birds and poultry as the disease continues to be reported in wild birds including sea bird species across many European countries including Ireland. Avian influenza can be spread through direct contact between birds and the droppings of infected birds. As the virus is known to be circulating in wild birds at present, any contact between wild birds or their droppings and poultry could spread the disease. Biosecurity is the best protection against avian influenza for Irish poultry Poultry owners and those working with poultry should be aware when returning from areas, both at home and abroad where sick or dead wild birds have been present. Biosecurity precautions should always be taken before coming in contact with poultry. This helps to protect poultry from many infectious diseases, not just avian influenza. Ideally, dedicated footwear and clothing, as well as disinfection points, should be used on all poultry holdings - irrespective of the number of birds on site. Clothing and footwear worn in areas where sick or dead wild birds have been present should never be brought into contact with poultry without proper cleaning and disinfection. Biosecurity advice to help both commercial and non-commercial poultry owners protect their birds from avian influenza for can be found on www.gov.ie/birdflu Public health advice The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine reminds members of the public not to touch or pick up any dead or visibly sick birds. If dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey are found, they should be reported through the Avian Check App or the Avian Influenza Hotline 01 607 2512 (during office hours) or 01 492 8026 (outside office hours). Pets should be kept away from sick and dead wild birds. Dogs should be kept on a leash where sick or dead wild birds are present. Source: Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine

  • Audi Q3 Sportback PHEV

    Written by Justin Delaney, an Independent Reviewer, Journalist, and Motor expert. There’s no mistaking the Q3 visually as an Audi SUV and now thankfully it looks much better than it’s predecessor. For some reason the Q3 of old looked a little like a shrunk Q5 and it struggled to have its own identity. Mind you that didn’t stop them selling, and the Q3 has always been a strong performer for Audi here in Ireland. Now the company has decided to move the new generation Q3 inline with their electrification program by introducing two plug-in hybrid variants. The Q3 45 TFSI e and the Q3 Sportback 45 TFSI e will mark the first step into the world of electrified Q models for many. With the ability to cover a distance of 51 km for the Q3 45 TFSI e and 50 km for the Q3 Sportback 45 TFSI e this is a chance for many new Audi customers to experience what it might be like to live with an EV before making the final commitment to loose combustion power. Our test vehicle was the Sportback S-Line variant and it looks fantastic! Depending on the trim level chosen between SE or S-Line there are various wheels sizes to choose from but if you can stretch to the bigger 19 or 20-inch wheel, I think you will agree it suits the car better. Features As expected inside, the Q3 has the perfect mix of style and function! The now familiar MMI touch with a 10.1-inch screen takes up a central position in the instrument panel and displays a plethora of information including energy flows of the hybrid drive system in real time. Together with the air conditioning controls underneath, it is tilted ten degrees toward the driver, with all displays, buttons and controls designed to be within easy view and reach. There seams to be so much more space also even if our test car was the slope backed Sportback! Compared to the model of old the Q3 has grown in size all over. It’s now 4.485 metres long, 1.856 metres wide and 1.585 metres high. Its wheelbase has been stretched by 77 millimetres, offering buyers more knee room, headroom and elbow room. Even the boot has increased 70 litres over the old Q3 to 530. The feel of the materials used is premium as expected and the sports seats in S-Line offer incredible comfort and support. Buyers of the SE spec wont be disappointed either because the seats are arguably even more comfortable with softer bolsters. Power Powering the two Q3 models is the latest generation 1.4 TFSI four-cylinder engine delivering 150 HP. The high-voltage battery is located under the vehicle floor in front of the rear axle. It has 13.0 kWh of energy and features its own cooling circuit, which can be coupled to the air conditioning system’s circuit to ensure effective cooling even when the vehicle is under pressure. Together the powertrains make 245 HP with 400 Nm of torque. Both the Q3 45 TFSI e and the Sportback can do the 0 to 100-km/h sprint in 7.3 seconds and reach a top speed of 210 km/h. We never got to empty a full tank of juice in our week long test drive but Audi claim a range of approximately 710 km in normal everyday use. From a charging perspective the new Q3 hybrid can be charged using a regular three pin home charger in just 3 h 45 min. For faster charging buyers can make use of the e-tron Charging Service, with over 1000 locations in Ireland alone and many more across Europe. With a single card, the customer has access to more than 155,000 charging points! There is free phone app for easy management and station locations. Safety Like the Q2 we tested earlier this year the driver assist systems include, Audi pre sense basic, Audi pre sense front, Audi side assist, and lane departure warning as standard with the optional adaptive cruise assist which can give you semi autonomous driving. As cool as this feature is we still struggle to give the car control of the steering wheel on any sort of a journey. Yes you must still have your hands on the wheel but it’s still slightly disconcerting but perhaps that’s just me! As expected a multitude of airbags are also fitted to keep you and your little ones safe. Costs Costs vary across the Q3 range depending on spec. Entry into a new combustion powered Q3 kicks off at roughly €43,000. The plug-in hybrid variants start at €48,000 but, be careful with the spec options! The Sportback adds about €1000 to the price and our S-Line test car dripping in spec was a whopping €62,000. Audi naturally have a suite of PCP and finance options available through their trusted dealer network. Summary The new Audi Q3 is a vast improvement over the outgoing model. It looks so much better on the road and drives exceptionally well. In a way it has grown up not just in style, drive, usability but appeal and asking people of various ages what they thought about it was interesting. Some couldn’t justify the price, others felt there was no need for it to be hybrid, but all loved the styling both inside and out. On a personal level it would be a difficult decision for me if I had to choose. I think at the prices mentioned above for a combustion powered version makes more sense because when you get up towards the €60k mark, you could also get into the fully electric Q4 etron with a 500km range and be totally future proof! It all depends on your needs really but Audi continue to dish out some delightful cars and we are happy to give you our bit of feedback. Your task now should you choose to accept it is to go take a test drive and tell us what you think? For Looks fantastic Interior comfort Against Gets a little pricey! To see our YouTube video review of this Audi, please click here. To check out Audi Q3 stock on DoneDeal, click here. DoneDeal hosts the widest selection of cars for sale in Ireland, with 78,000 on sale today. The vast majority of those, over 60,000, are from over 1,000 trusted local dealerships that offer certainty in your purchase through warranties History checks. One car ad is placed every minute on DoneDeal, with about 600,000 cars advertised a year. DoneDeal is Ireland's No.1 Motor Website with over 70 million car searches taking place annually. To check out DoneDeal’s range of cars from all of Ireland’s trusted car dealerships, see here. #Motors

  • KIA Sportage PHEV

    Written by Justin Delaney, an Independent Reviewer, Journalist, and Motor expert. Irish roads are already awash with the good looking Kia Sportage but Kia Ireland have now completed the range with the arrival of the PHEV variant. Since its launch early this year the Sportage has been Kia Irelands best-selling car with sales to date of over 2300 units. Now with the addition of the PHEV they expect this number to grow as Irish punters not ready to make the switch to completely electric, get to take their first steps into the future with a plug-in hybrid. Kia are confident that with a home charger most of the daily commute can be done on EV power thanks to the 70 kilometers electric range. Then you also have the flexibility of making anxiety free longer weekend drives when needed thanks to the combustion engine. If you have yet to see the new Sportage on the road you are in for a real treat. From the sweeping bonnet, detailed black front grille, iconic boomerang-shaped LED daylight running lights, plus the all-new matrix headlights it looks sublime. Walking around the side it sits fantastic on large diamond cut alloy wheels giving it a strong silhouette. Towards the rear you notice the spoiler and razor-style signature LED taillights. It just looks modern and classy without being too fussy. Cars that are over-designed can sometimes age very fast but we anticipate this will stand the test of time! Features I think ever since the KIA EV6 came out we all took a little more interest in Kia design both inside and out. Opening the door on the all-new Sportage GT-line and you get to immerse yourself in an interior that has been designed to deliver comfort and quality with cutting-edge technology just like the EV6 or new Niro. This new driver-centric experience is what all brands are going for and Kia has nailed it with the Sportage. Sitting at the centre of the cabin is a stunning curved display housing the 12.3-inch driver instrument cluster and a second 12.3-inch high-tech multimedia touchscreen. This feels more akin to a vehicle of twice the price if truth were told. The leather D-cut steering wheel feels premium and the roof lining, door panels are trimmed using lovely materials with a touch of suede. On the tech side expect triple-zone climate control for front and rear passengers heated rear seats and ventilated front seats, a power operated tailgate, electric sunroof, an uprated Harman Kardon premium sound system, driver’s side memory seating, and front passenger lumbar support. Additional technologies include Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA), and Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist (PCA) to aid you getting into that tight space. Spending time in the new Sportage is not difficult regardless of your commute. Choose between Apple CarPlay or Android Auto connectivity to flick on your favourite podcast and enjoy the journey! Power This new Sportage PHEV features Kia’s award-winning 1.6-liter T-GDI engine. Along with being nippy, the advanced four-cylinder unit also features Continuous Variable Valve Duration, a sophisticated technology that controls the duration of a valve lift timing to dramatically improve performance, fuel economy and emissions. Both motor and engine are married to the latest-generation six-speed automatic transmission. The state-of-the-art 13.8kWh lithium-ion battery pack features a high-tech battery management unit that constantly monitors the state of the battery, including factors such as current, voltage, isolation and fault diagnosis. The pack also has an advanced cell-monitoring unit that measures cell voltage and temperature. This combination of electric and combustion power delivers a total system power output of 265hp, with 180hp originating from the T-GDI engine alone. The PHEV also gives you all-wheel drive should we experience a cold winter snap! Safety All new Kia’s come with standard driver assistance technologies to include Forward Collision Avoidance with car, pedestrian and cyclist recognition, junction crossing and Smart Cruise Control but the K3 cars coming to Ireland also have Motorway Driving Assist and Blind Spot Collision Avoidance for the rear. The K4 version adds Highway Driver Assist 2 and Forward Collision Avoidance 2 with additional functionality. Further driver aids include Remote Smart Parking Assist and Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist to make life with a Sportage even easier! Costs The Sportage PHEV comes on the market in two trims K3 at €46,000 and a K4 model at €48,000. The most popular right now is the K3 which comes with 19-inch alloys, dual zone climate control, smart cruise control, highway driving assist, heated front and rear seats, power adjustable front seats and a 12.3-inch infotainment screen with Kia Connect. The K4 model adds full leather trim, drivers’ memory seat, ventilated as well as heated front seats, 12.3-inch driver cluster and a phone charger. Naturally the demand for the Sportage is high but dealers still have some great finance/PCP deals currently available. Summary So at this point you know and understand what you are getting for your money with the new Kia Sportage. We spent a 7 days pottering around in both electric only and using the hybrid system to unleash the power of both power sources. Although the claimed range of 70 kilometers was difficult to achieve we did get close to 60km, which is pretty impressive. Overall it’s a very nice vehicle to live with, so much so, that we acquired one for a member of staff in the office directly after the test drive. The 7-year or 150,000km warranty gives you great piece of mind and there isn’t a lot at this price point with the amount of tech on offer that we would rather have on the driveway right now. Space is plentiful for occupants and although the boot swallows 540 litres, rather than the 591 litres you get in the non-plug in variants, you still have ample space with the option to drop the seats for more. Although new to the market the Sportage has already picked up numerous awards and we have no doubt it will do well at this years Irish Car Of The Year awards. If you would like a test drive be sure to visit one of Kia’s strong dealer network branches dotted all around Ireland. You wont be disappointed! For Styling Interior Range Against PHEV Boot Space Slightly Smaller To see our video review of the Kia Sportage please visit our YouTube channel here. To check out KIA Sportage stock on DoneDeal, click here. DoneDeal hosts the widest selection of cars for sale in Ireland, with 78,000 on sale today. The vast majority of those, over 60,000, are from over 1,000 trusted local dealerships that offer certainty in your purchase through warranties History checks. One car ad is placed every minute on DoneDeal, with about 600,000 cars advertised a year. DoneDeal is Ireland's No.1 Motor Website with over 70 million car searches taking place annually. To check out DoneDeal’s range of cars from all of Ireland’s trusted car dealerships, see here. #Motors

  • Volkswagen ID.4 GTX

    Written by Justin Delaney, an Independent Reviewer, Journalist, and Motor expert. At this point we have seen plenty of ID.3 and ID.4’s on Irish roads. Sales have been particularly good for Volkswagen since they entered the EV market and although supply issues have plagued the world, VW somehow are still performing very well and getting bums on seats. So what’s next for the brand and where does this weeks test car sit in the range? Well that’s a good question and its one that caught us by surprise! This is the new ID.4 GTX, which we suppose is similar to GTI and GTE in the sense that it stands for its own product brand within the current range. Lets call it the more sporty or performance arm of the electrified vehicles from VW. In looking at the GTX you can most certainly tell it has been geared more towards performance with a slightly more aggressive look. An additional electric motor on the front axle brings not just all-wheel drive into the ID.4 family but also more power! The additional motor switches on intelligently within a few milliseconds when high performance or maximum traction is required. This is a very different beast to the regular ID.4 and one we enjoyed spending time with. Features So what’s different and what catches your eye first with the new ID.4 GTX? Well on approach its hard not to be dazzled with the futuristic 20-inch alloy wheels in the exclusive GTX design. The black roof, railings and high-gloss air intake grille give it a more aggressive look. The elegant strip light between the headlights and the Volkswagen logo looks cool whilst the “GTX” lettering up front on the wings and on the boot leaves you under no illusions that this is something a bit different. Opening the driver’s door reveals a spacious cabin with some sporty details not found on the regular ID.4. Red decorative highlights accentuate various parts of the dash and GTX branding can be found on the seat covers, dash panel and in the front doors. Other areas to adorn the GTX logo include the front sill panel trim and the steering wheel. Like the regular ID.4 your GTX can also communicate directly with you to get you through traffic more calmly. When armed, the car greets you and translates the notices of your infotainment and assistance systems into light signals that aid you through traffic. As soon as you use the voice control, you receive a response to your voice via ID. Light. It sounds rather complex but its quiet intuitive to use and when you leave the vehicle, the ID. Light will see you off with a farewell in the form of light signals. Our test car also had the optional augmented-reality head-up-display which projects important information directly into your field of view on the windscreen. It’s basically relaying the upcoming turning direction etc from the navigation directly into your eye-line. It’s a futuristic and pleasant place to spend time and getting back into a normal combustion powered vehicle afterwards feels somewhat archaic! Power Getting down to the business end now and like the regular ID.4, you wont be left looking for more power. With 299hp and 474Nm of torque the ID.4 GTX makes all electric driving even more fun with an acceleration of 0 to 60 km/h in just 3.2 seconds and of 0 to 100 km/h in only 6.2 seconds. No shifting, zero delay, just sink the go pedal and feel a bolt of excitement. With its 77kWh battery and a range of up to 464 km, you can also easily get through the day or get away to the country without suffering from the dreaded range anxiety. Top speeds of 180 km/h are achievable also but it’s having the dual motor all wheel drive system that will appeal to most. Should we be unlucky enough to have a harsh winter here in Ireland, the GTX will deal with snow or ice with ease. Safety Like the regular ID.4 as standard the GTX has an automatic emergency braking (AEB) system that is capable of averting collisions in a range of situations, including when the ID.4 is approaching other cars or turning across the path of an oncoming vehicle. It also helps drivers to avoid pedestrians and cyclists, both to the front and side of the vehicle. The ID.4 received the maximum five-star rating in Euro NCAP crash testing, scoring over 93% for adult occupants and 89% for children. You and your passengers are in safe hands! Costs Ahh yes the good old elephant in the room. There are two ID.4 GTX models available here in Ireland. You can opt for the Business or Max variant, which we had on test. The Business version naturally has a little less spec and costs €64,530 whilst the Max will set you back €74,950. This is not cheap by any means considering the regular ID.4 can be bought from roughly €53k. It also puts it over the €60k SEAI grant cut off point which could make it hard to justify for some. Naturally there are various PCP and finance offers available through your local VW agent but do your due diligence, and make sure you spec the car that best fits your needs. Summary Driving or living with the ID.4 GTX for a week was fun and it does drive different to the regular ID.4. Volkswagen have reworked the springs, shock absorbers and electronic stabilisers to improve driving dynamics. Is it harsher on the road? Not really to be honest and rolling on twenty inch wheels with the added motor weight, we sort of expected the ride to be a little more teeth chattering but the boffins at VW have done well. They have also optimised steering behaviour to give you a sportier feel on curvy stretches but we didn’t notice it was much different over the regular ID.4. Naturally the power surge from the get go is addictive and like other members of the ID family, it manages battery consumption well even with some spirited driving. Our biggest gripe really is does it warrant the extra price tag over the regular ID.4? Probably not! The GTX badge puts a little too much onto the bottom line for us to warrant. Yes it looks marginally better inside and out but some people couldn’t even tell the difference when we spent a week with it. We understand the cult following the GTI badge has enjoyed for many years on the combustion powered cars but will GTX create the same in the electric powered world? Only time will tell. For Tech Space Drive Against Price a little steep! To watch our YouTube video review please click here. To check out VW ID.4 stock on DoneDeal, click here. DoneDeal hosts the widest selection of cars for sale in Ireland, with 78,000 on sale today. The vast majority of those, over 60,000, are from over 1,000 trusted local dealerships that offer certainty in your purchase through warranties History checks. One car ad is placed every minute on DoneDeal, with about 600,000 cars advertised a year. DoneDeal is Ireland's No.1 Motor Website with over 70 million car searches taking place annually. To check out DoneDeal’s range of cars from all of Ireland’s trusted car dealerships, see here. #Motors