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Vauxhall has given the hybrid Grandland X a black bonnet

Abarth rally cars, Mr Bean’s Mini, and now this 300bhp Vauxhall PHEV

Numerous cars have utilised a contrasting black bonnet over the years. For the Abarth 124 rally car, it was to reduce glare in the driver’s eyes. With the ‘Ring-bashing Porsche GT2 RS and Renault Megane R26.R, it’s because their bonnets are lightweight carbon. When it comes to Mr Bean’s Mini, it’s because… well, we’ve no idea.

And the Vauxhall Grandland X? Perhaps it’s to raise excitement when the rest of the car’s design is so plain. Because, beneath the skin, this one genuinely is quite interesting.

It has nearly 300bhp, for starters. That’s from a combination of petrol and electric power that makes this Vauxhall’s first plug-in hybrid, one that’s come about thanks to the company joining the PSA Group and being able to nab technology from Peugeot. The Grandland is effectively a 3008 beneath the skin, after all.

Hot hatch-matching power comes from a combination of a 197bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine and two electric motors, operating through a four-wheel-drive system. Vauxhall claims 128mpg and 49g/km of CO2, figures that are probably significantly less achievable in the real world than its 30 miles of electric-only range when fully charged.

This is just the start of plug-in Vauxhalls, too, with a fully electric Corsa due by the end of the year and a Mokka EV following in due course. Expect the 134bhp Peugeot e-208 to give a huge clue to the performance they’ll both offer. Whether they’ll borrow the Grandland’s bizarrely black bonnet remains to be seen…

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