Starting with the serious off-road segment, Land Rover will be introducing the rather suave next-gen Discovery. The seven-seater is likely to set plenty of benchmarks in areas of all-terrain capability and luxury finesse. Under the bonnet there’s going to be a big range of engine options, with outputs spanning from 132kW up to 190kW. Suffice to say, it is tipped to become one of Land Rover’s most popular models, especially as it wears a stylish new body which draws inspiration from Range Rover. It arrives in July.
For the SUV lovers, the most popular SUV in Australia last year, the Mazda CX-5, will be getting a big update this year. The new model wears Mazda’s latest ‘Kodo’ design language, also seen on the recently introduced CX-9. Mazda is yet to confirm engine options, but the existing line-up is expected to carry over largely unchanged. For now, we’ll have to keep our fingers crossed in regards to the new 2.5-litre turbo from the CX-9 becoming available. It arrives before the middle of the year.
With the practical everyday stuff, Hyundai will be launching the vastly-updated, next-generation i30 hatch. It’s going to bring a fresh exterior design and a stronger body construction. There’s also some new, more efficient engines in store, and a suave interior packing in the latest technologies including a big touch-screen interface with comprehensive smart phone connectivity. It arrives in the second half of this year.
For the high-end sports car fans, Mercedes-Benz will be launching the insane GT R version of the AMG GT. This is the kind of car you need if your driveway is made like a racetrack. With active aero features and a mind-bending 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 churning out 430kW, the GT R will be like an instant coffee hit, just driving to work. Acceleration from 0-100km/h takes just 3.6 seconds, and your heart rate is sure to accelerate just as quick when you read the price tag. Mercedes Australia will be launching the new model in July with a starting price of $349,000 (excluding on-road costs).
If you’re not prepared to re-mortgage your house, Kia has something up its sleeve that might be right down your alley. It’s called the Stinger, and as the name suggests, this will be a feisty little number. Actually, it won’t be little. The Stinger will compete in the mid-to-large sedan segment, swooping in on what the Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore leave behind. Yes, the Stinger is a rear-wheel drive sports sedan. Power, at the top of the range, comes from a new 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 belting out 272kW. You better get in line, as this is set to be a very popular one.
BMW’s iPerformance sub-brand has helped add a new plug-in hybrid model of the latest G30 5 Series that will debut in Australia in the second quarter of 2017.
The 530e iPerformance combines a 9.2kWh lithium-ion battery pack with a 70kW/250Nm electric motor, plus a 2.0-litre turbo four that churns out 135kW and 320Nm. The system offers a combined nominal output of 185kW and 420Nm.
This results in 1.9L/100km average fuel consumption on the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle), while 0-100 km/h takes a respectable 6.2 seconds. Top whack is 235km/h.
Driving modes include Auto eDrive, Max eDrive and Battery Control, with Max eDrive providing electric power only at speeds of up to 140km/h. Battery control allows drivers to customise the level of battery charging that occurs during driving, including regenerative braking.
Pricing will be revealed closer to Australian launch. As a guide, the BMW 320d starts from $63,800 while the 330e plug-in hybrid is $71,990. The 520d will start from $93,900.
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