Vauxhall will embark on an electric-focused technology drive, which will transform its range over the next two years at a similar rate to its first heady days as a car manufacturer at the start of the last century.
Two all-new models – next-generation versions of the Mokka X SUV and Vivaro van – will be fully electrified, and go in to production in 2020. Both vehicles have been sales hits for the Luton company in their current generations, with the Mokka X still making regular appearances in the UK’s top-ten bestsellers lists, six years after it was launched.
In addition, Vauxhall has announced that two more electrified vehicles – the Grandland X PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) and the battery-electric, next-generation Corsa - will go on sale in the first half of 2019.
The Grandland X PHEV’s propulsion system will develop the equivalent of up to 300PS, and will come with e-All Wheel Drive technology. At the other end of the scale, the Corsa BEV will electrify what is arguably the UK’s best known automotive nameplate, with Vauxhall promising to bring the car to market at a competitive price.
As the UK’s oldest surviving British brand, Vauxhall is used to embracing new technology. It produced the world’s first sports car, and the UK’s first 100mph car. It made Britain’s first unitary construction car, and transformed the driving experience for thousands of motorists.
But only in its first seven years of car production – between 1903 and 1910 – did Vauxhall advance technologically at the same rate that it anticipates it will between now and 2025, thanks to electrification. In 1903, it produced the 5hp – a horseless carriage, steered by tiller, and driven by chain, from a single-cylinder, single-litre engine. By 1910, its new Prince Henry model, the world’s first sports car, could carry four adults in comfort and achieve a belting 65mph, thanks to its 3-litre engine, four-speed transmission – and it had a proper steering wheel. Progress of a different kind, for sure, but progress that has never been matched, until now…