IS this something that is amazing, or is it political correctness gone mad?
Volvo Cars is taking an ethical stand for animal welfare in its fully electric cars. Starting with the new C40, all new fully electric Volvo models will be completely leather-free. In the coming years, Volvo Cars will launch a completely new family of pure electric cars. By 2030 it aims to offer only fully electric cars, all of them leather-free.

As part of its ambitions to go completely leather-free, Volvo Cars is working actively to find high-quality and sustainable sources for many materials currently used in the wider car industry. By 2025, the company is aiming for 25 per cent of the material in new Volvo cars to consist of recycled and bio-based content, as it looks to become a fully circular business by 2040. As part of its climate action plans, it also aims for all its immediate suppliers, including material suppliers, to use 100 per cent renewable energy by 2025.
The company’s move towards leather-free interiors is also driven by a concern about the negative environmental impacts of cattle farming, including deforestation. Livestock is estimated to be responsible for around 14 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions from human activity, with the majority coming from cattle farming. Instead of leather interior options, Volvo Cars will offer its customers alternatives such as high-quality sustainable materials made from bio-based and recycled sources.
For example, a new interior material created by Volvo Cars will consist of textiles made from recycled material such as plastic bottles, bio-attributed material from sustainable forests and corks recycled from the wine industry, setting a new standard for premium interior design. Volvo will also continue to offer wool blend options certified sourced responsibly, as the company looks to ensure full traceability and animal welfare in its supply chain.
Volvo Cars is also looking to reduce the use of residual products from livestock production commonly used within or in the production of plastics, rubber, lubricants and adhesives, either as part of the material or as a process chemical in the material’s production or treatment. The company says it’s taking this step because it believes that while going leather-free is a step in the right direction, doing so alone does not make a car interior vegan. I’m glad this is not the first of April.

Devine and Hoy pick of the crop in Donegal


LAST weekend was harvest time in the hills of Donegal and Callum Devine and co-driver Brian Hoy claimed their second rally win in two weeks winning last Sunday’s Donegal Harvest Rally. The Cork 20 winners won by countering an impressive comeback drive from Declan Boyle.
By the end of stage three of six Devine had built a nine-second, but Boyle raced back by winning stages four and five in his Ford Fiesta WRC to cut the margin to just 3.8 seconds with just one test left, so everything depended on that last stage. Boyle and Devine set incredible times over the 13-kilometre stage, more than 10 seconds quicker than anyone else. Devine held his nerve ,coming out on top by 5.9 seconds to win by 9.7.
Sam Moffett was third, 46 seconds back just ahead of a thrilling battle for fourth where just four seconds separated Donagh Kelly, Cathan McCourt and Sam’s brother Josh Moffett going into the final stage. McCourt eventually took fourth ahead of Josh with local man Donal Kelly relegated to sixth.
The slippery Donegal conditions made for a tough challenge throughout the event and the conditions proved too much for some. Garry Jennings was the biggest loser, sliding wide out of a square right corner and nosing through a fence on the opposite side of the road. He had been up there in the mix with Devine and Boyle until a first mistake cost him three minutes.
Desi Henry was another running in the top ten, but a mistake on Stage 3 cost him five minutes and put him out of the event. In claiming Group N honours, Michael Boyle ensured his family came home with a winner’s trophy. Meanwhile in Rally Sweden, Irish pair Craig Breen and Paul Nagle finished third behind Elfyn Evans and teammate Ott Tanak.

 Lots of bang for buck in new GT


SUZUKI Motorcycles have revealed their newest bike, the GSX-S1000GT, a sports-tourer designed to take riders further and faster without sacrificing comfort and practicality.

Following the mantra of performance and distance ,the new GT provides all-day riding ability in a package designed to cover distances effortlessly, thanks to its characterful yet smooth 150bhp engine, agile chassis, wind-cheating bodywork and a comprehensive suite of electronic rider aids.

A comfortable, upright riding position means the new bike can cover long distances with ease, while a plush pillion seat and optional hard luggage facility makes two-up touring a breeze, and the tall screen and aerodynamics reduce rider fatigue.
A striking new front end with horizontal LED headlights and position lights creates a radical new look for the GT, along with LED rear combination lights and indicators. The new style is complemented by a new seat design, slim tail section and short, compact muffler, embodying a sport touring machine built for both speed and comfort.
The whole package is powered by the inline four-cylinder engine found in the new GSX-S1000, which produces 150bhp spread evenly across the rev range, resulting in a smooth power delivery that builds to a strong top-end rush.
The GSX-S1000GT is a true sports tourer, combining the perfect blend of performance, agility, stability, control, comfort, connectivity and style to deliver a premium experience. The GT is equally at home crossing countries at speed on motorways and fast A-roads or carving through twisty mountain passes and winding B-roads. Designed to be able to cover distances quickly and comfortably, the GT’s upright riding position is cocooned by wind-deflecting bodywork and a screen capable of diverting the air flow without hampering vision when being ridden sportily.
All information from the electronic systems are displayed via a 6.5” colour TFT dash, meaning the rider can constantly monitor their chosen settings, and adjust on the move, in addition to showing other readouts such as speed, rpm, trip, range, selected gear and fuel level. The 6.5-inch TFT display is also designed to support smartphone connectivity. That’s lot of bike for what is in reality not an awful lot of money at £11,599.