Irish Daily Mirror - - ON THE ROAD -

Alfa romeo has added a new trim level to its Gi­uli­etta range. It’s called, not very imag­i­na­tively, the sport.

The spec in­cludes 17in wheels, side skirts, tinted rear win­dows, a front split­ter and new rear dif­fuser with red de­tail­ing. It’s a styling job in other words.

The new Gi­uli­etta sport is avail­able with petrol and diesel en­gines both pro­duc­ing 120bhp.

The Gi­uli­etta looks stylish but it’s get­ting pretty long in the tooth now. I’ve not heard that any re­place­ment is on its way. Ford has a new-gen­er­a­tion Ka+ on the way which will be joined by a to­tally new ver­sion called the Ka+ Ac­tive. As you can prob­a­bly guess from its name, it’s a cross­over ver­sion of the Ka+ that fea­tures off-road styling fea­tures and a raised ride height. The Ka+ Ac­tive will join the Fi­esta Ac­tive which is also be­ing launched this year and which will ful­fil the same cross­over role. The Ka+ range will go on sale later this year.

road safety char­i­ties in­clud­ing Brake and IAM road­s­mart have wel­comed moves by the Depart­ment of Trans­port to look into a grad­u­ated li­cens­ing scheme for young driv­ers. It would in­clude post-test checks and con­tin­ued learn­ing.

Very laud­able, but young peo­ple might rightly ask why older driv­ers’ skills are not checked, de­spite driv­ing con­di­tions and the en­vi­ron­ment chang­ing dra­mat­i­cally since many of us passed our tests.

Fig­ures from the So­ci­ety of Mo­tor Man­u­fac­tur­ers and Traders re­veal that car sales fell by 6.3% last month com­pared to Jan­u­ary 2017. I have a feel­ing that this trend is go­ing to con­tinue all year, a feel­ing backed by con­ver­sa­tions with peo­ple in car com­pa­nies who are rather wor­ried about the year ahead. In­ter­est rates ris­ing, con­tin­ued wor­ries over Brexit and in­fla­tion are all go­ing to be rea­sons not to buy.

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