News round up

First we start with VW news. The new Passat has been unvailed at the Paris motor show, now in it’s seventh generation it will arrive on our shores in December, there’s to be two diesel engines with both the 1.6TDI 105bhp and 2.0TDI 140bhp engines in VRT band A attracting only €104 annual road tax, there’s also a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine producing 122bhp with emissions of only 138g/km qualifies for VRT band B attracting only €156 annual road tax.

Looks like it’s following the Phaeton for the looks department, if the engines are as good as the sound on paper this will sell like hot cakes. no pricing yet but expect the base model to be under €25,000

Fiat is the most environmentally friendly brand in Europe

Of the ten best-selling automotive brands in Europe, Fiat Automobiles has registered the lowest average CO2 emissions for the first half of 2010, just 123.5 g/km, which represents a 4.3g/km improvement on its 2009 figure. This remarkable achievement, corroborated by JATO (a world leader in automotive advisory and research services), puts Fiat ahead of Toyota (128.0 g/km), Peugeot (132.3 g/km), Citroen (133.4 g/km), Renault (134.6 g/km), Ford (137.0 g/km), Opel/Vauxhall (141.0 g/km), Volkswagen (142.2 g/km), Audi (154.2 g/km) and BMW (154.5 g/km).

If you own a 500, 500C, Grande Punto, Punto Evo, Bravo, Qubo or the New Doblò you can download a little program that keeps an eye on your driving style, Fiat Ecodrive is a great little application that I’ve been using in the brilliant 500c that I have on test this week, you can download it from www.fiat.com/ecodrive install it and the application will tell you what to do from there, its amazing how much info the car gathers about your driving, if you follow what ecodrive says you can save fuel and CO2, its free too.

Fiat are also at the Paris motor show showing off the Giulietta . The safest compact car in the world (according to Euro NCAP, which awarded the Giulietta a score of 87/100) is fitted with a new 140hp 2.0JTDM-2 diesel engine.

The 2011 Alfa Romeo 159 will also be on display. The revised model benefits from a revamped interior and a new 136HP, 350Nm 2.0 JTDM engine with CO2 emissions of 134g/km and a combined-cycle fuel economy figure of 6.6L/100km. The benchmark 0-100km/h takes just 9.9 seconds and its top speed is 202km/h (All figures relate to the saloon model). The car on show will be a Sportwagon TI in exclusive “Rosso Competizione” livery. There’s more detail to follow on the show and Smokerspack gets to drive the Giulietta in December, expect lots of coolness.