16 cars worth waiting for in 2016 to suit all budgets and lifestyles
From Alfa to Lamborghini, it promises to be a bumper year and here are the most anticipated new models
Alfa Romeo Giulia: The big news for Alfa Romeo in 2016 is the new Giulia, its rival to the BMW 3 series, Mercedes C-Class and Audi A4. Due here towards the end of the year, it is one of the most anticipated Alfas in years. Top of the range will be the Giulia Quadrifoglio, powered by a 375kW turbocharged V6 that allegedly gets the super saloon from 0-100kph in 3.9 seconds. The New Giulia is one of eight new cars that are planned from the Italian car maker over the next three years.
Aston Martin DB11
Aston Martin may have revealed the name at the Frankfurt Motor Show, but it will be March before we see the car officially, when it will be the star of the Aston Martin stand at the Geneva Motor Show. Details of the power and performance of the new car have not yet been announced but a recent teaser video suggests that it will be powered by an all-new 5.2- litre twin turbo V12 engine. It is due to be launched in the summer.
Ferrari 488 Spider
The most powerful mid-engined Cabrio, the 488 Spider, is due here in spring. A rival to the likes of McLaren's 650S and the Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4, this stunning-looking car is as much about luxury as it is about performance. Powered by an all new 3.9-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine pumping out an impressive 662 bhp, which is 100 more than the standard Ferrari 458 Spider. Torque figures are equally impressive, with 760 Nm of torque at a 3,000 rpm. All this power means the 488 Spider will rocket to 100 kph in just three seconds.
Fiat 124 Spider
Based on Mazda's MX-5, Fiat has taken the chassis and interior of the classic roadster and added its own exterior design and engine. Powering this diminutive Fiat is a turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine that produces a very respectable 140bhp and is available with a six-speed manual transmission or automatic transmission. Fiat is tight lipped about the pricing but we would expect it to be priced a little higher than the
The 124 Spider is 11.43cm longer than the Mazda and the exterior pays homage to the Fiat original, with touches such as the style and position of the LED headlamps, and the hexagonal upper grille, both drawing heavily from the details of the classic roadster. A feature of the original Spider was the easy-to-operate soft top and Fiat promises that the retractable roof in this one "requires minimal force".
The original Fiat 124 Spider debuted at the Turin Motor Show in November 1966. Fiat Ireland says the 124 Spider will go on sale here in the second half of 2016.
Fiat's new, budget, small-family car arrives here at the end of the summer and is likely to be available in hatchback, estate and saloon versions. Diesel and petrol engines will be available. Dimension-wise, it measures 4.5m in length and is 178cm wide and 148cm high, so there is adequate room for five passengers and with a boot capacity of 510 litres there is room for luggage too.
Built in Turkey, the saloon and its upcoming hatchback and estate derivatives will target budget buyers and it is likely to be keenly priced. It is already on sale in Italy with a starting price of €12,500.
Ford Focus RS
The eagerly awaited third-generation Focus RS is the latest to join the line-up and is expected here before June, with a starting price of €51,600. The 345bhp Focus RS will sprint from 0-100kph in 4.7 seconds and go on to reach 266kph. The new, all-aluminium, 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine shares its fundamental structure with the four-cylinder engine in the all-new Ford Mustang, but has been upgraded for the Focus RS to deliver 10 per cent more power. The engine features a new, low-inertia twin-scroll turbocharger with larger compressor, enhanced air intake design and a large-bore, high-performance exhaust system. The RS also features a new Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive with Dynamic Torque Vectoring for improved traction and grip. In addition, it is the first Ford RS equipped with selectable drive modes - including an industry-first drift mode - and launch control.
Twenty-five years since it first launched and 10 years since it went out of production, the Honda rear-wheel-drive NSX supercar is due in the spring. Powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.5 litre V6 petrol engine with three electric motors, the NSX produces 550bhp and is fitted with a nine-speed DCT gearbox.
The combination of a twin-turbocharged engine with the electric motors promises to deliver instantaneous yet broad torque. Before you get too excited, Honda's eagerly awaited supercar has already sold out.
Almost every premium brand has a luxury crossover or is planning one for 2016. Jaguar is the latest to jump on that bandwagon, with the new 2016 F-Pace, the first sports-utility vehicle from the brand. It sports the now familiar Lightweight Aluminium Architecture, making it light, sporty and more fuel-efficient. Such is the demand for the new SUV that it is being reported in the UK that buyers are already facing a nine-month waiting list - and this is before the SUV even appears in showrooms.
To commemorate the 100th birthday of founder Ferruccio Lamborghini, the company is planning a new, limited-edition supercar that promises to be the most technologically advanced Lamborghini ever. Rumoured to be based on the Aventador and likely to be called 'Centenario', it has been suggested that this new supercar will have 770PS (759hp) produced from the 6.5-litre naturally aspirated V12 engine of the Aventador. Lamborghini will unveil this new limited-edition car at the Geneva Motor Show 2016. Such is the demand that the company has reportedly sold every last one before it has even made its public debut.
Range Rover Evoque Convertible
Four years after the Evoque first went on sale, Land Rover revealed the ultimate go-anywhere luxury convertible, the Range Rover Evoque convertible. Due here in spring, its roof is a five-layer fabric structure known as 'Z-fold' for the way it retracts. Crucially, it stows away in just 18 seconds and for those sudden downpours it can be operated at speeds of up to 50kph.
Pricing for the Evoque Convertible has not been confirmed for Ireland yet, but we estimate a starting price of circa €68,000.
In the quest to add even more sales volume, Italy's Maserati is jumping into the small luxury crossover segment with the 2016 Levante. Based on the same platform as the Ghibli and Quattroporte, the Levante will be powered by the same range of V-6 and V-8 engines. Instead of a four-wheel-drive system, it will come with all-wheel drive. The Porsche Cayenne and Range Rover Sport rival will be unveiled at the Geneva motor show in March. The new SUV is key to Maserati's plan to expand its global sales to 75,000 cars a year by 2018.
Launched in 1995, the Renault Mégane found plenty of converts to its blend of quirky styling and comfort. And even when the "shakin' that ass" second generation gave way to the somewhat bland third version, the hatchback continued to attract buyers and was the best selling car in Europe and Ireland in 2010.
The latest incarnation stands out with its dynamic styling and distinctive lighting signature at the front, while the rear lights use Edge Light technology to create a horizontal 3D-effect with a deep, red glow that is particularly eye-catching.
The new model is longer, lower and wider than the outgoing car and, as a result, has more interior space. Passengers, in particular, benefit from a 2cm increase in rear knee space and the boot volume is a very generous 434 litres. Details of engines, trim levels and pricing have yet to be confirmed as the Megane will not come to Ireland until June of next year, but prices are expected to be in line with those across the current range. A Grand Mégane will follow the arrival of the hatch in October.
Rolls Royce Dawn
Rolls Royce doesn't unveil a new model that often and the Dawn is only the fourth to be added to a range that includes the Phantom, Ghost and Wraith; it is also the first Rolls to feature a non-ghostly name. The name refers to the Silver Dawn that Rolls-Royce made in the 1950s. Designed to appeal to women and younger drivers the Dawn is more than just a roofless Rolls Royce Wraith and almost 70pc of its body panels are new. The engine is borrowed from the Ghost ,so under the bonnet is a 6.6-litre V12 is good for 563bhp, while the fabric roof retracts in just 22 seconds, silently and at speeds of up to 50kph. Inside, you will find Rolls-Royce's Bespoke Audio, featuring 16 individually tuned speakers. Fuel efficiency is not one of its strong points and average consumption is likely to be 14.9 litres per 100 or 19 mpg. Should you decide to splurge on a Dawn you are not likely to see too many others as it is estimated to cost in the region of £250,000!
Suzuki plans to revive the Baleno name from June and its new model will be powered by a fuel-sipping 1-litre BOOSTERJET direct-injection turbocharged petrol engine. It is built on a new-generation platform that promises increased rigidity and reduced weight, enhances fuel efficiency, handling and stability, while still achieving high levels of safety and performance. The new car is 3,999mm in length and 1,745mm width, so it is larger than a Ford Fiesta but smaller than the Opel Corsa. Inside there is room for five passengers and luggage space of 355 litres is class-leading.
Sales of the Baleno will start in Europe in the spring of 2016 and it is expected in Ireland in time for 162 registrations.
Toyota's hybrid range continues to grow and a brand-new version of the car that started it all, the Prius arrives here in February. It has emissions of just 70g/km and combined fuel economy from 3.0 l/100km (93.8mpg). Prices start from €31,450. Power for the new hybrid comes from 1,797cc 98bhp four-cylinder in-line petrol engine with putting out 142Nm of torque @ 3,2000rpm. This is combined with a 72hp electric motor.
In a new attempt to make some kind of headway against the top-selling German brands, the new Volvo S90, which is a successor to the outgoing S80 will be joined by a V90 estate version. Following in the footsteps of the XC90, the grille and those signature headlights are all familiar but the S90 is a much more sleek and elegant package. The large saloon will be front-wheel drive but will be also offered in four-wheel drive. Engine choices available include a plug-in hybrid. Inside, the minimalist interior has familiar touches from the XC90 including the large, vertically oriented touch screen.
Safety is key in the S90 and Volvo introduces a world-first function to City Safety - large animal detection - a system capable of detecting large animals such as cattle or horses, night or day. The S90 was officially unveiled at the Detroit motor show but the estate version, the V90, will debut in March at Geneva. As expected of a Volvo, it comes loaded with technology, including a Pilot Assist system, that will steer the car to keep it properly aligned within lane markings at up to speeds of 130kph.
Full details of Irish pricing and specification are not likely to be revealed until later in the year but we expect the S90 to be similarly priced to rivals such as Audi's A6, the BMW 5-series and the new Mercedes E-Class.
With a combination of beauty, brains and brawn the S90 could be a serious game changer for Volvo.