Just in time for 161, the convertible version of Alfa Romeo's 4C arrives in showrooms. Pricing is yet to be confirmed but we expect a €10,000 premium over the hard-top version. The new Giuila, Alfa's 3 series and A4 rival, is expected towards the end of the year.
The fifth-generation Audi A4 has just arrived and disappointingly, despite promising an all-new look, it doesn't look that different at all. But appearances can be deceiving and a lot has changed, including a new engine line-up with a newly developed chassis.
Crucially, it is now lighter, reduced by up to 120kg. Six engine variants underpin the range, two petrol and four diesels, with outputs ranging from 150bhp to 272bhp. Audi claims fuel consumption has been reduced by up to 21pc and the most frugal of the bunch is the 2.0-litre TDI ultra that promises to return 3.7 litres per 100 km (76mpg) with CO2 emissions of 95g/km.
Those waiting on Audi to attach the 'R' badge to the S4 model have a long wait as it is unlikely that we will see the car until late 2017. Elsewhere in the range, a new Audi R8 Coupe has just arrived. Completely redesigned, the R8 arrives with a choice of V10 options, a V10 with 540bhp or a V10 Plus with 610bhp and a 0-100kph time of just 3.2 seconds. Priced from €231,500, it is now available to order and arrives in January.
In 2016, Audi will roll out another long litany of new models, including a Q7 E-Tron. Audi's first diesel-electric hybrid arrives in Q1 2016. Combined, the TDI engine and electric motor produce 373bhp and 700NM of torque. Priced from €84,475 OTR, it arrives in March 2016. We also expect to see an all-new Q2 in the spring.
The BMW 3 series has always enjoyed an army of devoted fans. With the new version, BMW has added super fuel economy to tempt even the more practical drivers. Revised engines include 316d, 318d, 320d diesels and the petrols all have the famous efficient dynamics for even greater economy.
Of particular interest also is the new three-cylinder 318i. The big news for 2016 is its new range of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.
Joining the range in March is a 2 Series Active Tourer PHEV and a 3 Series Saloon PHEV. Later in the year, we'll see a 7 Series and 7 Series PHEV and by the end of 2016 and X5 PHEV will be available. In April, BMW unleashes the new M2. With a new six-cylinder in-line engine with M TwinPower turbo technology, it boasts 370bhp and goes from zero to 100km in just 4.3 seconds.
It looks like 2016 will be a quiet year for Citroen in terms of new models, but the same cannot be said for the new DS brand. Launched earlier this year, the DS5 is the true successor to the original 1950s icon, with head-turning looks and futuristic design and was the first car to launch under the new brand. A new DS4 and DS4 Crossback arrive in showrooms in January.
The new Fiat 500 has over 40pc new components and offers more advanced technologies, improved engines, even more colours and customisation possibilities and has arrived in showrooms around the country. Later in the year, a Focus and Golf rival, the Fiat Tipo, is due along with the 124 Spider, a convertible based on the Mazda MX-5. Powering this diminutive Fiat is a turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine that produces a very respectable 140 bhp and is available with a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic transmission.
The wait is finally over for the Mustang. With a starting price of €47,000, powering the range is a choice of a 2.3 litre EcoBoost or 5.0 litre V8. From the legendary RS2000s, the Sierra Cosworths and the XR range of Escorts and Fiestas, there have been some stunning road-going racers from Ford. 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.
An all-new Ford Edge is to join the Ford SUV line-up next year. This is the first time the Edge has been sold in Europe. It will be offered with a choice of 180bhp 2.0-litre TDCi diesel engine, with six-speed manual transmission or 210bhp bi-turbo 2.0 litre TDCi diesel, with six-speed PowerShift automatic transmission.
Both powertrains will return 5.8 l/100 km (49mpg) and 149 g/km CO2, supported by Auto-Start-Stop technology. The Edge also will feature Ford's Intelligent All-Wheel Drive (AWD) technology as standard.
With almost its entire range refreshed or revised, 2015 has been a busy one for Honda. Two new models joined the range in the last few months: their compact crossover the HR-V and the third-generation Jazz, Honda's Supermini.
Much more than just a mere facelift, the new Jazz has been completely revised from bumper to bumper, inside and out. The HR-V plugs the gap in the range between the Jazz and CR-V. Inside the versatile 'magic seats' offer the ability to carry long, tall, or wide items in numerous configurations.
The HR-V also has the largest boot in its class, with 453-litre capacity and 1,026 litres with the rear seats folded away. Buyers have two engine choices, a 130 bhp 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol or a 120 bhp 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel.
The big news for Hyundai is the IX35's replacement, the Tucson. The name is actually an old one and refers to the compact SUV sold between 2004 and 2009 that was replaced by the IX35.
The interior has been given premium treatment and is an improvement in terms of quality and equipment. Boot space has also been increased to 513 litres, making it one of the largest in its segment, even more than the IX35, space throughout has improved.
Power is from 1.6 2WD petrol and a 1.7 2WD diesel. Five trims are offered, giving customers a wide choice; Comfort, Comfort Plus, Executive, Premium and Premium Plus.
A new Jaguar XF has just been launched and 83pc of it is all new.
Outside, it now has a familiar Jaguar-style grille and very distinctive coupe-like profile. The new XF has also gone on a diet and weighs 190kg less than before, so that means not only better fuel economy but also improved handling.
Much of this weight loss is due to the use of aluminium. Inside, there is very clever use of space and the 540-litre boot is also a reasonable size.
Engine options include the 163bhp (from 104g/km and 70mpg) and 180bhp versions of the company's two-litre Ingenium diesel. Families will love the roomy and versatile interior and Jaguar reckon the new XF has more leg room than its main rival the BMW 5 series. April sees the arrival of Jaguar's new F-Pace crossover, the first sports utility vehicle from the brand.
No new additions have been confirmed for the Jeep line-up in 2016, so we expect it to be a quiet year.
Following the launch of the refreshed Kia cee'd, the all-new Sportage arrives just in time for January sales. It will initially be launched with the 1.7D engine in 2WD, with the 4WD version available in March. The 1.7 engine has been refined for extra efficiency and with the addition of Idle Stop and Go technology, the new Sportage moves from Band B2 to A4 with annual road tax now at €200pa. Three trims are offered - LX EX and GS - and prices start from €27,495. Delivering all the versatility of the standard Sportage, it is designed to appeal to those seeking an even sportier appearance and driving experience.
Kia's new Optima will also be in showrooms from January and an estate version will be added in September.
The Range Rover Evoque has been a runaway success for Land Rover worldwide and has received a similar reception in the Irish market. But it faced criticism for its fuel-economy figures, so to enhance its appeal further, Land Rover has now equipped the car with a nine-speed gearbox and a new two-litre ingenium diesel.
The Ingenium 2.0 Diesel engine also now available on Discovery Sport. Four years after the Evoque first went on sale, Land Rover reveals 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 at speeds of up to 50km/h.
Pricing for the Evoque Convertible has not been confirmed for Ireland yet, but we would estimate a starting price of circa €68,000.
In December, the new Lexus RX450h arrives in show rooms, with prices starting at €69,650. Arriving in January is the RC300h, a 2.5-litre hybrid with 223bhp priced from €49,950.
Following the launch of the all-new 2, CX-3, MX-5 and the upgraded 6 and CX-5, next year will be an all-round quieter time for Mazda. For 2016, Mazda has introduced a 1.5 diesel engine into the Mazda3 range, as well as expanded its 1.5 petrol offering.
There is no stopping Mercedes this year and 2016 looks set to be even busier, with 10 new models on the way. The most important of these will be a new E-Class saloon but other early arrivals include the new C-Class Coupé; a GLS luxury SUV (replacing the GL); plus a new SL, SLC (which replaces the SLK) and S-Class Cabriolet. Arriving towards mid-year will be an up-styled CLA, a new C-Class Cabriolet, and a new CLC Coupé, followed in the second six months by an all-new E-Class Estate.
While MINI purists may still consider the new MINI far too big for its name plate, for some it was still simply too small, with cramped space and a tiny boot. The solution was the Clubman, launched in 2008, and a brand-new version has just arrived in Ireland.
Engines in the line-up include 192bhp and 148bhp 2.0 litre four-cylinder diesel and a 134bhp 1.5 litre three-cylinder petrol. While it is not as sharp as the Hatchback and the extra weight is apparent, any fears that the go-kart handling would be diminished are soon laid to rest and it negotiates twists and bends with reassuring ease.
Priced from €29,560, it may not be the most practical estate, but for a two-child family it certainly makes buying a MINI a viable, if somewhat pricey, option. Also new to the MINI range is the new Convertible that arrives in time for spring.
Mitsubishi Motors continues to expand its model range in November 2015 and early 2016 with the arrival of new models in both passenger and light commercial segments.
The New Outlander arrived in August 2015 and has been re-designed and re-engineered. Pricing for the New Outlander 2.2 DI-D 4WD 7-seater is €38,450 manual and €41,950 automatic. This month sees the arrival of both a passenger Outlander 2.2 DI-D 2WD 6MT 5-Seater and the Outlander Business 2.2 DI-D 4WD 6MT 2-Seater for commercial customers.
Also launched this year was the New L200, with the introduction of the New L200 Double Cab 2.4 DI-D 4WD Intense 5 Seater in both manual and automatic versions, priced at €33,250 and €36,450 respectively, including VAT and VRT.
For 2016, a refreshed Outlander PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) will come with new design features on both interior and exterior, new functionality such as multi-around monitoring system, new design leather seating and 18" alloys. Full details and pricing to be announced closer to the launch dates.
New to the Nissan range for 2016 is the revamped Leaf, now with a 26pc increase in driving range - up to 250km on a single charge and the first time Nissan uses 30kWh battery technology. Outside, the look has been updated with new colour options.
Also new to the range is the 2016 Navara. Equipped with a 2.3-litre dCi engine, it promises improved performance, fuel economy and lower emissions and is backed by a class-leading five-year or 160,000km manufacturer warranty. The Double Cab will be arriving in Ireland in January, followed by the King Cab in May 2016. Four Grades - XE, SV, SVE and LE will be available but pricing will be announced closer to the launch in January.
The fifth-generation Astra has just arrived in Ireland and is lighter and smaller than its predecessor, yet inside its cabin is actually bigger. A good choice of petrol and diesel engines is available, including Opel's excellent 1.0- litre three-cylinder petrol, currently available in both the Corsa and Adam.
A Sports Tourer estate will join the range in March and will be available to order from January. A new Adam S features a 1.4 Turbo engine, developing 150PS and 220Nm torque, and is mated to a 6-speed gearbox. It puts the power to the road via a set of 18" bi-colour alloy wheels.
Upgraded sports suspension and brakes from the Corsa OPC means the Adam S has a top speed of 210kmh, with 0-100km in just 8.5 seconds. New also for 2016 is the SRi trim on the Mokka. This will have the same equipment as the SE except: no leather upholstery or winter pack; SRi will come in white (GAZ) only, with a black (GAR) roof and door mirrors, and 19" alloy wheels (RT7) and is only available with the 1.4T 140PS FWD manual and 1.6CDTi 136PS FWD manual powertrains.
For 2016, both the Peugeot 3008 and 5008 MPV get new engines and more equipment. The 5008 active family version now comes with full leather upholstery for easier maintenance to suit family needs. New petrol and diesel Euro 6 engines have been introduced for 2016. The 308 GTi 270hp is here early next year.
Both the 911 and the Boxster have been refreshed for 2016 and a second-generation Panamera will be launched in the spring.
The big news from Renault is the Kadjar, the bigger brother of the Captur; it blends a family hatchback and a compact 4X4, like the Qashqai but with a unique Renault look.
There are three engines available - 1.2 petrol 130bhp, 1.5 diesel 110bhp and 1.6 diesel 130bhp. The Kadjar is available as both two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive and in four trim levels, Expression +, Dynamique Nav, Dynamique S Nav and Signature Nav. The Qashqai has been a huge success for Nissan and since the Kadjar is built on the same platform, it is ideal for someone who loves the practicality of a family-sized crossover but wants to be a little different.
Due here in summer 2016 is the fourth-generation Mégane, recently unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show. It will be available with a range of efficient petrol and diesel engines and is topped by a GT version.
A welcome boost to the 2016 SEAT line-up comes from the arrival of the revised Ibiza and Alhambra.
Prices for the new Ibiza start at €13,080 and from €38,595 for the Alhambra.
New from Skoda is the Octavia RS 4x4 with a 2.0-litre TDI engine 184bhp and a DSG transmission. Prices start from €39,395 for the hatch and €40,395 for the estate.
Joining the SsangYong line-up for 2016 is the Long Body model Tivoli platform (XLV-Air) available with a 1.6 Euro6 diesel and petrol engine which will compete in the compact MPV segment of the market.
Automatic and AWD options are available from January on the regular Tivoli and prices start from €24,995 for the AWD manual diesel and €25,995 for the 2WD automatic diesel.
A new Impreza is on the way for 2016 that promises to be lighter with new engines.
In the new year, Suzuki revives the Baleno name - available from June - and will be powered by the new 1-litre Boosterjet petrol. Also joining the range is the facelifted S-Cross, that will feature design tweaks to the exterior and inside. It has a new dash with a new touchscreen information display system.
The Vitara gets an automatic gearbox in January and a limited edition Vitara S - Limited, with a new front grill, alloys, interior display and red stitching goes on Sale in April. May sees the arrival of a special-edition Swift priced at €16,495; the new version gains a spoiler, black alloys, Pioneer sat nav, sports steering wheel and sports seats.
In January, the refreshed RAV4 arrives in showrooms. Powered by a BMW-sourced 2-litre diesel, it is priced from €29,950. 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. A new urban crossover, the C-HR crossover is expected to be premiered at the Geneva motor show in March.
The long overdue XC90 joined the range this year and just recently introduced a new two-wheel-drive version priced at €63,450. A new S90 saloon will be launched later in the year and a facelifted V40.
New to the Volkswagen range for January is the Touran. With a starting price of €29,725 engine options include a 1.2 TSI, 1.6 TDI, 2.0 TDi. February sees the arrival of two new models, the 286bhp Golf GTI Clubsport and the Passat GTE plug-in hybrid.
In time for 162 sales, the new Tiguan will be launched, powered by a choice of a 1.6-litre diesel (115bhp) and 2.0-litre diesel (150bhp, 180bhp, 220bhp).