THE A-LIST

With the UK the big­gest mar­ket for Mercedes-benz’s A- Class, this new hi-tech, hi-spec fourth-gen­er­a­tion hatch­back’s more grown-up feel is set to make it an even big­ger hit Cheshire Life: Novem­ber 2018 Cheshire Life: Novem­ber 2018 299

Cheshire Life - - Arts & Events -

We love the baby Mercedes-benz A-class in the UK – its largest mar­ket glob­ally with 43,717 reg­is­tered here last year, nearly a quar­ter of to­tal sales. This fourth-gen­er­a­tion model gets a more grown-up feel and equip­ment in­clud­ing au­to­matic trans­mis­sion across the board for launch mod­els – man­u­als will fol­low – and sat-nav, more safety kit and de­buts the Mercedes-benz User Ex­pe­ri­ence (MBUX) touch­screen in­ter­face and ex­cel­lent ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice recog­ni­tion. Hence, there­fore, the price hike... LOOKS AND IM­AGE It’s an evo­lu­tion­ary look out­side, but the in­te­rior is more up­mar­ket with a hi-tech fas­cia, work-ofart air vents and twin seven and 10.25in in­stru­ment and in­fo­tain­ment dis­plays op­er­ated via re­spon­sive touch­pads on the steer­ing wheel. This is the fu­ture of fas­cias.

UN­DER THE BON­NET Ef­fi­cient new en­gines are 116hp 1.5-litre turbo diesel A 180d, de­vel­oped with Re­nault and Nis­san, 224hp 2.0-litre turbo petrol A 250, but the star is the 163hp, 1.3-litre turbo petrol A 200. The lit­tle cracker’s 250Nm of torque is al­most as strong as the diesel, but peaks lower at 1,620rpm. It spins freely at high revs for perky per­for­mance, the seven-speed au­to­matic box re­sponds read­ily and re­turned 47mpg.

HOW IT DRIVES De­signed to be bet­ter to drive and more com­fort­able, the petrol A 200 feels crisper turn­ing into cor­ners with bet­ter steer­ing feel than the heav­ier diesel. Petrol AMG Line mod­els, with mul­ti­link rear sus­pen­sion rather than tor­sion beam, feel even live­lier.

With ei­ther set-up the new A-class is more of a driver’s car with­out sac­ri­fic­ing com­fort, but AMG Line’s big­ger 18in wheels cre­ate more tyre noise.

SPACE AND COM­FORT The new A-class is wider and longer and you feel the ben­e­fit in­side with more shoul­der, el­bow and head­room, and rear legroom is ad­e­quate for tall pas­sen­gers.

Boot space has grown to 370 litres, with a wider open­ing, and 40/20/40 split rear seat backs fold flat. TECH­NOL­OGY HIGH­LIGHT The A-class de­buts MBUX with in­tel­li­gent voice con­trol – wake up your ‘ vir­tual valet’ with the key­words ‘Hey Mercedes’ and sim­ply say where you want to go, who you want to phone, mu­sic choice, weather fore­casts, writ­ing and hear­ing mes­sages and con­ve­nience func­tions such as cli­mate con­trol and light­ing. It’s enough just to say ‘Hey Mercedes I am cold’ to change the tem­per­a­ture. Ac­tive lane keep­ing as­sist is stan­dard to steer the car back if drift­ing off course.

FI­NAL SAY The lat­est A-class is even more de­sir­able – more grown up with in­no­va­tive big-car tech­nol­ogy that will ap­peal to driv­ers down­siz­ing. The higher price is one many will pay, es­pe­cially on monthly fi­nance pack­ages.

SPEC AND TECH Mercedes-benz A 200 PRICE: A 200 Sport £27,500, AMG Line £28,700 EN­GINE: 1,332cc, 163hp, four­cylin­der turbo petrol with sev­en­speed au­to­matic gear­box PER­FOR­MANCE: 0-62mph 8.0 sec­onds; top speed 139mph MPG: 51.4 to 53.3 com­bined CO2 emis­sions: 123g/km

Porsche Cen­tre Ch­ester’s an­nual road trip to Cologne, Ger­many is some­thing many of our cus­tomers look for­ward to. With an un­ri­valled itin­er­ary for fans and en­thu­si­asts of mo­tor­sport, it isn’t hard to see why our event is con­tin­u­ing to be­come more of a suc­cess year on year. Now into its fifth con­sec­u­tive year, the event wel­comed 16 guests and nine cars. This year’s event was held over six days and has been the most an­tic­i­pated trip to date, and with good rea­son; this time we were tak­ing part in a very spe­cial full track day at Spa Fran­cor­champs cir­cuit. This track is home to the For­mula One Bel­gian Grand Prix and is a firm favourite for rac­ing driv­ers and fans.

The trip be­gan with a ferry cross­ing from Hull, where guests met on board for din­ner and wel­come drinks be­fore sail­ing overnight across the North Sea. Un­be­known to ev­ery­one be­fore­hand, the cross­ing co­in­cided with the ar­rival of Storm Bron­agh, which made for an ag­gres­sive yet mem­o­rable cross­ing for ev­ery­one.

The fol­low­ing day we ar­rived in Rot­ter­dam where we jour­neyed in con­voy through the Nether­lands to Cologne; Ger­many’s fourth largest city which sits ei­ther side of the River Rhine. The line-up of Porsche mod­els this year was a sight to see, with mod­els in­clud­ing the Porsche GT2 RS, 911 Car­rera 4 GTS, 911 GT3, Boxster S, Panam­era 4 E-hy­brid and Cay­man GT4 to name just a few. The Porsche Cen­tre Ch­ester road trip brings to­gether Porsche driv­ers for a rare op­por­tu­nity where they can be in the com­pany of like­minded peo­ple and ex­pe­ri­ence their cars in a man­ner they are rarely able to find in Eng­land.

The road trip is a fan­tas­tic ex­pe­ri­ence for cus­tomers and in­cludes an ex­cit­ing mix of road driv­ing, track driv­ing and so­cial­is­ing. Each day brought a new ad­ven­ture and there was al­ways a group din­ner each evening where guests could re­flect on their day and en­joy a drink or two in a re­laxed and friendly en­vi­ron­ment.

A ma­jor talk­ing point on each Porsche Cen­tre Ch­ester Cologne road trip is the go kart­ing com­pe­ti­tion. Tak­ing place at the Michael Schu­macher go kart cen­tre, this ac­tiv­ity never fails to bring out the com­pet­i­tive streak in all driv­ers, in­clud­ing the hosts from Porsche Cen­tre Ch­ester. The kart­ing is in­deed a high­light on the trip and with each year that passes, more friendly con­tro­versy is in­tro­duced as each driver bat­tles for a podium po­si­tion. This year Carl Hazel­ton, Cen­tre Prin­ci­pal at Porsche Cen­tre Ch­ester fin­ished in first place, fol­lowed by James Pritchard and John Ed­wards in sec­ond and third place. That evening, ev­ery­one dined at Pon­chos Steak­house in the cen­tre of Cologne which is a renowned favourite on the trip.

The next day we be­gan our jour­ney down to Spa, Bel­gium. Spa is a beau­ti­ful town in the Ar­dennes re­gion of East­ern Bel­gium and is the home to the F1 Spa Fran­cor­champs cir­cuit. The drive down to Spa was stun­ning and the changes in ar­chi­tec­ture go­ing from Ger­many and into Bel­gium made for an in­ter­est­ing drive.

The fol­low­ing day was the event that ev­ery­one had been wait­ing for. The Spa cir­cuit was peace­ful in the early morn­ing mist, which left us with thoughts of the great driv­ers that had driven this his­toric race track. We had a fan­tas­tic view of the fa­mous ‘Eau Rouge’, stretch­ing out into the dis­tance and marked by the dis­tinc­tive red and yel­low kerbs.

We parked all nine cars neatly in our own F1 garages and they sat ma­jes­ti­cally poised. The driv­ers brief­ing only added to first timer nerves, with sto­ries of track re­cov­er­ies and ex­pen­sive bar­ri­ers, but three sight­ing laps helped to calm any anx­i­eties. The green light in­di­cated the start of a full day where our cus­tomers would push their cars to their lim­it­less abil­ity. The day was, for many, a dream come true.

As with our pre­vi­ous road trips, this year was an­other un­for­get­table ex­pe­ri­ence and we are al­ready look­ing for­ward to next year!

De­vel­op­ments are well un­der­way at Guy Sal­mon Land Rover Knutsford who are pleased to an­nounce the open­ing of their re­fur­bished show­room in Oc­to­ber with their new state-ofthe-art show­room, bring­ing cus­tomers more con­ve­nience, lux­ury and space...

The new re­fur­bish­ment of the Guy Sal­mon Land Rover re­tail­ers will mean cus­tomers will ben­e­fit from more dis­play cars, more cus­tomer park­ing, lounge style wait­ing ar­eas, in­ter­ac­tive colour and trim dis­play, free WI-FI and even a cof­fee bar!

The new Land Rover show­room de­sign is be­ing rolled out glob­ally, char­ac­terised by a time­less de­sign and a host of lux­u­ri­ous ma­te­ri­als. New han­dover bays are also be­ing cre­ated, where cus­tomers can have their ve­hi­cles re­vealed to them be­fore driv­ing out of the show­room doors.

The new show­room con­cepts were de­signed and are be­ing built around Land Rovers cor­po­rate iden­tity, which puts cus­tomers at the heart of the re­tail ex­pe­ri­ence with ex­cit­ing ar­chi­tec­tural in­no­va­tion and a stylish, eye-catch­ing scheme.

To find out more about the new spa­cious show­rooms for both Guy Sal­mon Jaguar and Land Rover re­tail­ers watch the video at

https://www.syt­ner.co.uk/lan­drover/news/ land-rover-arch/

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