Each year, the Jeux Internationaux de la Jeunesse (‘The International Youth Games’) brings together more than 350 high school students from around the world to honor fundamental values such as excellence, respect, friendship, solidarity and tolerance.
A truly popular phenomenon, the Citroën AMI will be the banner of this edition of the YOU and will be seen at each and every venue of the event.
This global event, whose growing success has not diminished over the past decade, will find a full international resonance thanks to the strength of the powerful network of 552 French secondary schools around the world and the prestigious school sports federation of the French national education system, the UNSS.
More about YOU…
For the past 11 years, YOU have brought together young people from French secondary schools around the world for a week of sporting and cultural activities. This year, and for the first time in its history, the YOU in Belgium will take place at the Lycée Français Jean Monnet in Brussels, in collaboration with the French Embassy in Belgium. Over five days and at various locations in Brussels, no fewer than 400 16 and 17 year olds from 33 countries (including Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal and the United Kingdom) will meet there.
Citroën Belux is one of the official sponsors of this important event and takes the opportunity to highlight the AMI model, a popular mobility phenomenon that is on the rise. The Citroën AMI will be at all the different venues of the events: amongst others at the Lycée Français in Brussels, at the Hotel Dolce La Hulpe where the participants stay, at the Golf D’Hulencourt where the closing ceremony will take place and on the official opening night of the YOU with the presence of some ambassadors from the different participating countries.
AMI: built for Youth…
Already a leader in the quadricycle segment, Citroën AMI is a highly valued mobility solution, especially for young people. With AMI, Citroën is responding to the challenges of urban mobility, which are more than ever at the heart of the concerns and expectations of city dwellers. AMI is an individual mobility solution that makes it possible to travel protected in a closed, 100% electrical object that is accessible to everyone.
TEN journalists from Women’s World Car of the Year travelled to Paris to present their ultimate accolade to Peugeot boss Linda Jackson in what WWCOTY Executive President Marta Garcia described as an ‘historic moment’.
Peugeot’s new 308 took top honors this year in WWCOTY when it fought off competition from 65 other cars worldwide to be named Supreme Winner. The culmination of a year of testing, assessing, and voting on scores of cars from across the globe came at an intimate awards ceremony in the French capital when Linda Jackson accepted the trophy on behalf of Peugeot. (See photo below).
WWCOTY Executive President, Marta Garcia said: “This is an historic moment because it is the first time in the thirteen years history of the WWCOTY that the Supreme Winner is awarded to a company led by a woman. But that’s not why the WWCOTY is in Paris. It’s because the 308 has been voted the best car in the world by women motoring journalists from five continents. The Peugeot 308 is a global and down-to-earth car – a vehicle that meets the needs of buyers from young people to families to somewhat older drivers.”
Linda Jackson replied: “This award is a source of great pride for the entire Peugeot team, and it nurtures our motivation for all our future endeavors: we see that our efforts pay off.
Indeed, it is a double honor to receive this award:
It is first and foremost the honor of having the brand Peugeot recognized by international journalists who are true, genuine automotive experts. And it is the honor of being recognized by a jury of all-female journalists. I am delighted to see that women play a more and more important role in our industry. Thanks to this type of award, we know that we are moving in the right direction.”
The ten were representing the jury of almost 60 women motoring writers from more than 40 countries who had taken part in the voting first on a long list and then on a shortlist from which the 308 ultimately snatched victory after having been judged on safety, quality, price design, ease of driving and environmental footprint. Cars eligible for this global award must be sold on at least two continents although they may have different names. All votes are verified by accountants Grant Thornton.
Following the ceremony the panel from WWCOTY were invited to Peugeot’s Design Studio at Velizy just outside Paris for a first glimpse of a new completely redesigned model that will be unveiled to the general public on June.
The WWCOTY Trophy: The distinctive trophy was designed by Spaniard Scarleth Martinez Garrido. It is made up of a wooden plinth with an inscription marking Peugeot’s win. The metal plaque above has been created by the artist to simulates an engine part and is stamped through with the WWCOTY logo.
Previous winners were:
2021 Land Rover Defender
2018 Volvo XC40
2017 Hyundai Ioniq
2016 Jaguar F-Pace
2015 Volvo XC90
2014 Mercedes-Benz S Class
2013 Ford Fiesta
2012 Range Rover Evoque
2011 BMW Series 5 and Citroen DS 3
About Women’s World Car of the Year
Women’s World Car of the Year is the only car awards group in the world comprised exclusively of women motoring journalists. It was created by New Zealand motoring journalist, Sandy Myhre, in 2009. She is currently Honorary President while Marta García performs as Executive President.
The aim of this unique award is to recognize the best cars of the year and to give a voice to women in the automotive world. The voting criteria are based on the same principles that guide any driver when choosing a car. The selections are not ‘woman’s car’ because such categories do not exist. Aspects such as safety, quality, price, design, ease of driving, benefits and environmental footprint, among others, are taken into account when casting the votes.
However, beyond choosing the best cars of the year, the goal of WWCOTY is also to give visibility to women in the automotive world, to contribute to making women voices heard on all continents because mobility for a woman means access to many personal and professional possibilities. See also their website womensworldcoty.com. E-mail: email@example.com.
Kia announced its key targets to transform into Sustainable Mobility Solutions Provider. This corporate vision is supported by three key pillars – ‘people’, ‘planet’ and ‘profit’. It did this in presenting the roadmap to 2030 at the company’s 2022 CEO Investor Day virtual event.
Under these pillars, Kia will strive to enhance customer value and nurture talents, reduce carbon emissions in consideration for the environment, and generate profits while working as a responsible corporate citizen.
Kia also announced its four key business targets for 2030. These core business aims include: accelerating electrification and achieving annual sales of 1.2 million battery electric vehicle (BEV) units by 2030; reaching 4 million annual vehicle sales by 2030, including over 2 million eco-friendly models; expanding the application of connected car feature and autonomous driving technologies to all new vehicles; and become the number one brand in the global purpose-built vehicle (PBV) market by 2030.
Kia to establish a line-up of 14 BEV models by 2027. Indeed, starting in 2023, Kia plans to launch at least two BEVs per year. Compared to its previous plan to release 11 models by 2026, Kia will add two electric pickup trucks – a dedicated electric pickup truck and a strategic model for emerging markets – and an entry-level BEV model.
‘AutoMode’, Kia’s new autonomous driving technology, to be launched in 2023 with first application in EV9…
Kia’s range of autonomous driving technologies, branded ‘AutoMode’, will be rapidly expanded throughout the line-up starting with the EV9 in 2023.
Kia AutoMode supports performance optimization through wireless updates and will be improved as the technology develops. It will also include Highway Driving Pilot feature which would enable driving without driver intervention on highway sections. Kia aims to expand connected car features to all vehicle lineup by 2025
Aims to become No.1 global PBV brand by 2030···first dedicated PBV model in 2025.
Indeed, As a customer-centered company, Kia will provide flexible mobility services that reflect the diverse needs of people and businesses. A core part of Kia’s work in this area will focus on PBV. (Purpose Built Vehicle)
Kia is the one of the first movers in the global PBV market and plans to become a market leader. The demand for delivery and logistics services has increased significantly following the acceleration in e-commerce during the Covid-19 pandemic. In the mid-to long term, Kia will develop dedicated PBVs. The dedicated PBV will be developed as flexible structure that sits on a flat, skateboard EV platform, so that the size and shape can be adjusted according to the purpose and customer needs.
Kia will launch its first dedicated model in 2025 when the PBV market is expected to mature. The first dedicated PBV will be similar in size to a medium-sized vehicle, with inherent scalability.
Company announces financial targets for 2026···gross revenue of KRW 120 trillion; operating profit margin of 8.3%
The company plans to garner 39 percent of operating profit from BEVs in 2026 with the reduction of fixed costs through volume expansion and cost reduction from technology development.
Furthermore, Kia expects that by 2026, the contribution to operating profit from all eco-friendly models will reach 52 percent, exceeding that of internal combustion engine models.
To achieve these goals, Kia will not only expand sales of its eco-friendly models but also greatly improve profitability, securing additional sales and profit structures due to the commercialization of new businesses and technologies.
Kia will also actively participate in Hyundai Motor Group’s next-generation projects, such as Advanced Aviation Mobility (AAM), robotics. Specifically, Kia plans to focus on creating synergy between the Group’s AAM efforts and its own PBV business.
We keep you posted further on Kia soon as next week we will test the Kia EV6!
It is the International Women’s Day on March 8, and what date is more proper to announce the Best Car of the Year, chosen by the Women’s World Car of the Year jury. The overall winner in the six categories the jury established is the Peugeot 308, already the winner in its category Urban Model.
The winners in this year’s six categories represent excellence in their segments based on safety, driving, comfort, technology, design, efficiency, impact on the environment and value for money.
This is the twelfth year for WWCOTY, a team of fifty-six motoring journalists from 40 countries spanning five continents. It is the only jury in the automotive industry comprised exclusively of women. For our country Belgium, our colleague Sabrina Parant is a jury member. See also their interesting website womensworldcoty.com
In this first round of voting, sixty-five candidates were in the running for the Women’s World Car of the Year awards. All of them were launched between January 1 and December 31, 2021.
Despite the challenges of living and working during a global pandemic, jurors made an extra effort to get behind the wheel of these vehicles to evaluate them.
Some jury members had the following comments on their choice of the overall winning car:
“The Peugeot 308 is an automobile that offers just about everything you could want in a car. It drives very well and it’s hard to believe there’s only a 1.2-litre engine under the bonnet of most versions,” Sandy Myhre, New Zealand.
“It is a car in which the driver feels very comfortable. It offers a very pleasant atmosphere inside,” Mélina Priam, France.
“The most important thing for me is that it has a good mid-range performance and that its automatic gearbox is very smooth,” Hoa Hguyen, Vietnam.
“The 308 is not content with simply maintaining and consolidating its success, but is committed to surpassing itself, and it succeeds in doing so,” Jimena Olazar, Argentina.
“It is easy to drive even in the narrow streets of Japan. Its turbo engine is extraordinary and quiet,” Etsuko Kusuda, Japan.
“Peugeot has been able to seduce families with a well-thought-out proposition and a very striking image, but also to win over those looking for different powertrains: petrol, diesel, plug-in hybrid and an EV coming next year,” Carla B. Ribeiro, Portugal.
“It is not an expensive dream car for the lucky few, but a car that most families can afford,” Malene Raith, Denmark.
“All in all, the 308 is a reliable and predictable car, without being boring. It steers directly and has a very short turning circle, which is ideal for the city. PEUGEOT has thought about the best driving position for the driver,” Rowan Peperkamp, Netherlands.
Here are the 2022 Women’s World Car of the Year Category Winners, chosen in the first round:
The French automakers have a unique tradition of building “Grandes Routières”, distinctive in style, comfort and performance. DS Automobiles takes this custom to new heights in this electronic times and age, putting also their vast experience gained over recent years in E-formula racing into their automobiles.
The result is the E-TENSE 4×4 360. A 4-cylinder 200 horsepower engine and two electric motors, one 110 horsepower (integrated with the gearbox at the front) and the other 113 horsepower (linked to the rear axle), are aided by intelligent four-wheel drive transmission. The 11.9 kWh battery features advanced management to save energy so as to handle different applications, says DS Automobiles.
The result is of course breathtaking performance, not in the least thanks to the ample torque developed by the two electric motors. 0-100 km/h takes only 5.6 seconds, top speed is electronically limited to 250km/h, with the capability of reaching 140 km/h on electric power alone. Total torque, engine and E-motors combined is an impressive 520 Nm.
But there is more than just sophisticated power. It means also that the DS9 is designed to combine the virtues of E-power with combustion power to achieve the environmentally responsible footprint of a modern, electrified high end performance limousine.
At the morning press briefing before we took the cars on the road on a well chosen 148 course around Nice, Christophe Château of Product Communication DS Automobiles explained us a unique feature of the DS9, which put us in the footsteps of the E-formula racing pilots: the “Energy Coach”, an exclusive app installed on the DS9.
Developed with DS Performance and double Formula E champion Jean-Éric Vergne, the DS ENERGY COACH app helps drivers to maximize energy regeneration during deceleration. Scores are shown on the central screen. The trick is to fine tune your pressure on the brake pedal, so that the brakes are not activated and all the kinetic energy is transformed again into E-energy. It takes clever anticipation to achieve this in all traffic situations. The Formula E-drivers have to do this too, to enable them to have sufficient battery power for these last extra fast laps in the final stages of the race…
Your servant decided to have a go at this, and indeed, while being totally unfamiliar with a very mixed course comprising sharp bends on the corniches in the beautiful Estérel, the autoroutes and the city streets in Cannes and Nice, I managed a score of 92 %, meaning that 92 % of the kinetic energy in all my decelerations was transformed into E-energy. By doing this, we still maintained a rather brisk pace, as we had to respect the “moyenne” or average speed because we had to be back at the starting point of the course at 12.00 h to have lunch and attend the second press conference in the afternoon. I had to hurry even slightly more as I had to allow also some time to take some photos you see here.
So the DS9 was driven with verve over the winding roads on the cornices, and here I discovered again how well the comfortable suspension behaves in these conditions. We already applauded in our previous test of the DS9 225 the merits of the DS ACTIVE SCAN SUSPENSION, which scans the road ahead of you to fine tune the suspension to an ideal setting to cope with the road surface irregularities immediately in front of you. You can see a 1 minute You Tube film by DS automobiles on this system with the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZE-1MolcvAI
Indeed, remaining stable and predictable as on rails with virtually no body roll in corners, the DS9 remained utterly comfortable.
The DS 9 E-TENSE 4×4 360 uses special front and rear axles with a wider track. The braking system is uprated with four-piston calipers for better power distribution under heavy braking with 380 x 32 mm discs at the front (up by 50 x 2 mm compared with DS 9 E-TENSE 225) and 290 x 12 mm at the rear. 20 inch MUNICH alloys are used and the suspension is lowered.
We could not measure exactly due to time pressure our consumption on the trip, but suffice to say here that after 148 kilometers, only a quarter of the small 41 litre petrol tank was emptied…boiling down probably to a fuel consumption of some 7 litres/100 km, with also a good 15 % of the battery still remaining charged.
In zero emissions mode, the DS 9 E-TENSE 4×4 360 covers 52 kilometres on the WLTP urban cycle or 47 kilometres on the WLTP combined cycle.
According to the WLTP Cycle, fuel consumption is restricted to 1.8 litre / 100km with homologated CO2 emissions of 41 g/km.
During our trip, we (re)discovered what an excellent GT this car really is, indeed a totally relaxing and an undisturbed joy to drive. The 1598 cm3 engine remains quiet, subdued and refined, aided by the smooth 8 speed automatic transmission. Last but not least we tell you here that the 360 is available in PERFORMANCE LINE + and RIVOLI + specifications.
The DS9 250…
With this car, we rediscovered the DS9 we tested earlier (see our report on https://autoprova.be/2022/01/29/we-drove-the-ds9-e-tense-225-french-elegance-and-panache/) with the total system power now raised to 250 HP. This DS has only front wheel drive, and somewhat lesser performance: 0 to 100 km/h (62mph) in 8.2 seconds, a maximum top speed of 149 mph (240 km/h). But it still remains a superb car, and in daily driving practice, apart from the delightful out-of-corner accelerations of the most powerful 360, driving impressions on the sunny dry road course at the Côte d’Azur were not radically different. Suffice to say that total torque, engine and electric motor combined, is here still some 360 Nm.
According to WLTP, fuel consumption is 1,5 l/100 km, the electric range on its 15.6 kWh (total capacity) battery is up to 61 kilometers on the WLTP combined cycle with an unchanged vehicle weight.
The DNA of DS…
At the lunch, your servant had a very interesting conversation with Alexandre Stricher, (communication Brand and Prototype DS Performance), who applauded me on my achieved results on the ENERGY COACH app. “I wish every owner of the DS9 would adopt your driving style”, he complimented. Our conversation then drifted to the unique styling language which defines DS Automobiles, being a crucial element of their DNA. I remarked that the angular styling touches in the interior and instrumentation layout are reminiscent of the “art deco” styling language and rakish shapes found amongst others in Voisin automobiles.
Alexandre Stricher, (communication Brand and Prototype DS Performance), speaking at the afternoon press conference…
My conversation partner agreed. “A refined, elegant styling language and the use of unique materials and (stitching) patterns is what we are aiming for. We want to differentiate ourselves from the competition as a young, up market brand, combining a sense for refinement in styling and used materials with superb electrified technology,” he told me.
“But there is more, much more, he said with a smile in his eyes. “What to think of 800 hp? an acceleration of 0 to 100 km/h in less than 2 seconds?
And during the press conference, he revealed the E-Tense Supercar, of which much more in a separate report…
Last but not least, seen here on the photo above, Dominique Fontignies, PR & Communications director – Stellantis Belux, briefed us about the situation for DS Automobiles on the Belgian market.
We show you here the slide with the sales figures, which speak for themselves…
News from Stellantis comes thick and fast: Today, during Stellantis’ Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan presentation, Carlos Tavares, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Stellantis, revealed images of the first-ever 100% battery-electric Jeep SUV, as the brand continues its global initiatives toward the full electrification of its SUV portfolio.
This new fully electric Jeep vehicle will be launched early next year, expanding the brand reach and taking the next step to the achievement of Jeep brand’s vision of Zero Emission Freedom. More information on the Jeep BEV will be released in the coming months.
We will also bring a full report on the Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan presentation soon. Stay tuned!
The Rally of Haspengouw last Saturday proved a magnificent opener of the Kroon-Oil Belgian Rally Championship in Sint-Truiden and the fruit region.
The iconic “classic” was dominated from start to finish by Frenchman Stéphane Lefebvre in his Citroen C3 Rally2. Gino Bux, the revelation of the match, and winner of the 2021 Stellantis Motorsport Rally Cup came in second.
DG Sport Compétition proved that the Citroëns C3 Rally2 were more than up to the competition…
Not only did Stéphane Lefebvre and Xavier Portier storm to an outright win, team mates Jos Verstappen and Kris Botson, Maxime Potty and Renaud Herman, and Richard Pex and Johan Findhammer also made quite an impression. Four cars on the start, four at the finish, with excellent results.
“Last Saturday DG Sport Compétition had a wonderful team day”, stated team principal Alain Georges. “Not only did we perform well, but each one fulfilled his or her role impeccably.”
Stephane Lefebvre came to win and succeeded. But also his teammates with less – and sometimes no – experience contributed to this success. Besides the actual results, we are also very pleased with the magnificent team spirit.”
Team presentation in Brussels in the old premises of Von Thurn und Taxis, now “Maison de la Poste”: from left to right: Andy Malfroy (co-pilot), Xavier Portier (co-pilot) and Stéphane Lefebvre (Pilot)
This week in the “Maison de la Poste” the team was introduced that will use the colors van Citroën Racing will defend this year in the Kroon Oil Belgian Rally Championship 2022. The experienced Stéphane Lefebvre will be at the wheel of the C3 Rally2 from DG Sport, taking up the challenge against the fierce competition. This weekend he is already participating in the Rally of Haspengouw. He never drove in this event, but that only makes the challenge only bigger and more exciting.
The C3 Rally2 is in shape, more than ever…
Since 2017, Citroën Racing has put its many years of experience in rallying at the service of customers and has put in more than 15,000 test kilometers to increase performance, add more reliability and still better handling to the C3 Rally2 drivers and teams.
Jean-François Grandclaudon of Citroën Racing explains: «Since its introduction in 2017, we have worked hard to offer our customers ever faster cars, suitable for all types of pilots and always with a view to reducing operating costs.
In the past two years, the car has changed a lot and our efforts have paid off with national and world titles claimed in recent years in major championships.”
DG Sport is on high alert at home and abroad.
DG Sport has been a loyal partner of Citroën Racing for years and is looking forward to participate in the international WRC2 and the Belgian BRC championship with the Citroën C3 Rally2.
“Thanks to the support of Citroën Racing, we will start with the duo Stéphane Lefebvre – Xavier Portier in the BRC this season. This is a perfect complement to his involvement with Andy Malfoy in the WRC2 Championship.
By participating in both championships, Stéphane will be able to keep up his rhythm and build up even more experience.
Although we are currently only confirming our presence on the first two meetings of the BRC, we aim to be at the starting grid of at least seven rallies to be there and to take home the championship title,” said Alain Georges from DG Sports.
From left to right: Andy Malfroy (co-pilot), Stéphane Lefebvre (pilot), Xavier Portier (co-pilot) and Jonathan Vercellino (Director Marketing Citroën, Belux)
Stéphane Lefebvre is looking forward to the Belgian season.
“I am looking forward to the start of the Kroon Oil Belgian Rally Championship 2022 this weekend. I like to come to Belgium, all the more because I have already won both the Rally of the Condroz and of Ypres. With a slight handicap in terms of terrain knowledge in Sint-Truiden, I know I will have to drive a perfect first loop and I will be forced to take some more risks than my opponents. But this won’t stop me from approaching this rally in the same way as everyone else: we intend to make our mark from the very beginning in the race,” warns Stéphane.
He admitted to us that in the meantime he has a great love for the Belgian rallying scene and their iconic rallies.
Stay tuned for the Rally of Haspengouw this weekend!
We reported to you already, dear readers, about Alfa’s new Tonale, the brand’s first compact electrified SUV.
As the entire Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN gathered in La Thuile, Italy, for a break to build up maximum concentration and recharge the batteries ahead of pre-season testing in Barcelona, something was bound to happen with this Tonale.
Indeed the two new Alfa Romeo drivers – Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu – made a stint behind the wheel of this well proportioned and timelessly styled Tonale. The 275-hp Plug-in Hybrid Q4 version with all-wheel drive must have proven certainly entertaining for them!
Impressed as they were about the good road qualities of this Alfa, so significant for the iconic brand, the team had come to La Thuile to focus on their strategies and objectives for the upcoming world championship. La Thuile, known as the Wild Side of Mont Blanc, maintains and preserves its characteristics as a mountain resort far away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
An ideal setting for the CEO of Alfa Romeo Jean-Philippe Imparato and the Team Principal of the Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN, Frédéric Vasseur, flanked by the entire management and communications team, to prepare the next F1 season…with the Tonale setting the tune!