Tuesday 25 April 2017

Why this show matters to you: many of these cars will soon be with your dealer

Eddie Cunningham

The LS 500h arrives in December
The LS 500h arrives in December
Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace
Mazda CX-5
SEAT Ibiza
Coupe looks: the new Swift
Opel Crossland X
Volkswagen Areton
Ssangyong XAVL
Mercedes-AMG GT Concept
Ford Fiesta ST
Lane Rover Velar
Volvo XC60
Land Rover/Range Rover Velar
Jaguar iPace
Mitsubishi Eclipse
Mercedes AMG GT Concept

Fantasy filters down into reality much faster these days.

Time was we'd look on in awe at concepts of vertiginous virtuosity, but of little real practicality when it came to ferrying us and our families.

Now technology has paved the way for concepts of audacious design to be transformed into everyday modes of transport almost as the curtains come down on the exhibits.

And that is why this report is coming to you a bit differently this year, because I think it would be much more helpful to let you know, where possible, when cars on show here will be in showrooms in Ireland.

I was surprised by how many will make it for 172-reg, while quite a number will arrive in time for 181-reg.

I hope this will be of help to you in deciding on or planning for your next change.

So come with me in a trawl through this great motoring arena:

Alfa

The Stelvio SUV is expected in Ireland from September. Initially two engine choices; a 2.0-litre turbo petrol (276bhp) and a 2.2-litre diesel with 207bhp. Both will have an 8spd automatic gearbox as standard and both are all-wheel-drive. This car looks great inside and out.

Lower powered engines are due next year and there will be rear-wheel-drive versions.

Alpine

Renault's Alpine A120 mid-engined model sports car is not planned for Ireland. Looks fabulous though.

Aston Martin

It announced a new service from its Q customisation arm that lets you order a completely individual spec.

Audi

RS3 Sportback: First look at the new 400-horsepower Audi hot hatch. Here later. And RS5 Coupe, with us later on the year.

The Q8 Sport Concept with 600bhp-plus is a huge machine. Watch out BMW X6 M; next year.

Bentley

Continental Supersports - the most powerful Bentley to date.

BMW

The 5-series Touring is a June arrival; the 4-series gets a minor facelift. Don't know if the 5-series Touring looks really smart or a tad disproportionate. I think the current one looks better.

Citroen

The C-Aircross Concept will replace the C3 Picasso - a baby crossover. We'll see it early next year. Shares platform and engines with Opel Crossland X. These are first fruits of the new collaboration. Next up is the Opel Grandland X which shares its platform with the Peugeot 3008 and 5008 SUVs.

Dacia

The Logan MCV Stepway - an off-road styled estate with raised ride height and new equipment - will be here in time for 172 registration.

DS

The 7 Crossback: rival to the Audi Q5. No time on arrival as yet.

Ferrari

Replacement for the F12 Berlinetta, the 812 Superfast (789bhp V12 2dr) is the most powerful series production the company has produced.

FIAT

The Fullback Cross pickup was its main new offering.

Ford

The new Fiesta is expected around August but so much of the focus at the show has been on the sizzling ST version (new 1.5-litre 3cly turbo, 200PS EcoBoost). It has drive modes that adjust engine, steering, stability controls and SYNC 3 connectivity with 8ins touchscreen.

It is the first Ford Performance model to be powered by a 3cyl engine. It won't come until early next year, in both 3dr and 5dr guise. The new cylinder deactivation technology, to save fuel when cruising, can disengage or re-engage one cylinder in 14 milliseconds.

They are also showing the GT in limited edition GT '66 Heritage Edition livery in honour of 1966 Le Mans victory.

Honda

The Civic Type R hot hatch looks great. In Ireland early 2018. The Clarity Fuel cell is not yet listed for Ireland, unsurprisingly, and the NeuV fully electric concept was first shown at CES.

Hyundai

The i30 estate on show here arrives in Ireland in October with a 1.6-litre diesel. Plug-in hybrid IONIQ planned for October. Hybrid and electric already on sale in Ireland. Fuel Cell Concept will be produced next year.

Jaguar

The electric I-Pace concept heralds the outline of Jaguar's first electric car; expected to be on sale in 2018 as a rival to the Tesla Model X. With room for five, AWD and sharp performance, no wonder thousands of pre-production orders are flooding in.

Meanwhile, the XE, XF and F-PACE (updated) all get new Ingenium engines from April. The F-PACE also gets a new E-Performance diesel derivative (126g/kmh).

A couple of 4cyl petrols come in alongside a new high-output 240PS diesel - the 200PS (XE and XF) and 250PS 2-litre. The XF Sportbrake is also coming this year and shares engines with the standard XF.

Jeep

The new Compass is expected from November. Still working on engine/spec/line-up and prices. They expect it will become the brand's best seller here.

KIA

The new Picanto city car is due May 1. I really like this roomy little number. The compelling performance 5dr hatch Stinger is due by the end of October as a V6, followed by a 200hp 2.2D early in 2018. Prices will be around those of Audi A6.

Lamborghini

The lightweight Huracán Performante has obliterated the Nürburgring lap record. Stunning looking car. Aventador S V12 here too.

Land Rover/Range Rover

Huge interest in the new Velar SUV which slots between the Evoque and Range Rover Sport. Claimed to be the most radical-looking Range Rover in history. Don't know about that but it is a big rival for the Porsche Macan, BMW X6 and Mercedes GLE Coupé. Powertrains for Ireland include: 2.0D 180PS; 2.0D 240PS; 3.0 V6 D 300PS; 2-litre 250PS petrol; 3.0 litre V6 380PS SC petrol; 22ins wheels. It's expected in Irish showrooms around August.

Lexus

The LS 500h arrives in December. Shares powertrain with the LC 500h and develops more than 350bhp. Is there a more dramatic front to a large car? Seriously gaping design. All for it. In contrast to ordinary rear. Watch for keen, keen price.

Mazda

European debut for the big-selling family crossover CX-5 - I like the front a lot. Expected in Ireland for 172-reg.

Mercedes

What a lineup of power: the AMG GT C 'Edition 50' roadster is limited to 500 worldwide. The AMG C 63 cabriolet 'Ocean Blue' - limited to 150 worldwide.

The E-Class Cabriolet arrives in Ireland around July/August. The fastest estate to date, AMG E63 S, gets here by June while the E-Class Coupé arrives early next month. Also due in April is the facelifted GLA. The X-Class pick-up concept is pencilled in for the fourth quarter.

The Mercedes-AMG GT Concept 4dr and 4-seater is a stunner and one of the cars of the show - visually at least. It is due in 2019.

McLaren

Gaining a lot of attention is the McLaren 720S - the striking 650S successor gets a new look and 710bhp.

Mitsubishi

The Eclipse Cross SUV (slots between ASX and Outlander) is a January 2018 arrival with a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol; there will be a 2.2-litre diesel model later in '181'. Options will include a 6spd manual, 7spd CVT and an 8spd auto.

Nissan

The new Micra will be here next month with all engines, including a diesel on sale - except the CVT versions. Some changes to the Qashqai but they are not sure when it arrives in Ireland. It will have Nissan's single-lane autonomous tech, named Propilot.

Opel

The new Insignia is expected by summer with the Sports Tourer estate due around then too. The new Crossland X small SUV is also planned for the summer.

Peugeot

Their Instinct concept is typical shooting brake styling. Quite a buzz around the stand, especially with 3008 SUV being voted European Car of the Year. The 5008 SUV, in Ireland for July, was among the more notable recent debuts.

Porsche

The Panamera E-Hybrid gets a hot 500bhp variant and the 911 GT3 gets a facelift as well as the option of a manual gearbox. Keeps the current GT3's 3.8-litre engine - without a turbocharger.

Renault

The revised Captur will be here late summer - and will have a dCi 110 engine for the first time. Also here the new longer-range ZOE electric car.

SEAT

The fifth generation Ibiza is coming in June and will be followed by the Arona small SUV later in the year. Beats the new Polo to its own platform. Like the interior.

Skoda

The most potent Octavia yet, the RS 245, and Octavia Scout with its off-road orientation are on show. The latter arrives in Ireland in May but the RS 245 (its 2.0TSI 245hp engine is up 15hp) arrives in July. Also on show are the upgraded Rapid, Rapid Spaceback and Citigo - all landing in Ireland for the 172 plate.

SsangYong

The Korando Facelift 2.2-litre diesel hits our market by May. The XAVL concept previews new seven-seat SUV but they are not sure when it gets to Ireland. The new 2.2-litre Rexton (LIV-2) is due the end of the year.

Subaru

Debuts their new XV; on a new platform.

Suzuki

The new Swift has coupe looks (rear-handles on top of doors) and should be on sale in Ireland by June.

Toyota

Latest Yaris arrives in May with a fresh design, new engine and trim levels. The hot hatch version is sparking a lot of interest too (1.8-litre supercharged engine). The company's i-TRIL electric city car is the latest version of their vision of a motoring future.

Volkswagen

The Tiguan LWB All-Space has the option of 7 seats; there's a different bonnet/styling. It is 215mm longer and has a 109mm longer wheelbase, allowing for option of a third row. Choice of six engines - from 150PS to 240PS. Due in October. Expect it to cost a few grand more than current model. The 2-litre 150bhp diesel will be the main driver. The new 4dr fastback Arteon (CC successor) is one of the better looking cars at the show.

Volvo

The new XC60 will be here in time for the 172-reg period. It majors on a crash-preventing steering support system and three new driver assist programmes. Looks the part too. The XC60 D4 (190hp) AWD Momentum Geartronic (139g/km) will cost from €53,950. Powertains include D4 AWD Geartronic, D5 AWD Geartronic and T8 AWD Geartronic.

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