Wednesday 25 April 2018

The cars on show and when they're due in Ireland . . . plus the concepts for tomorrow

All shapes and sizes on show at a pivotal moment for the motoring industry

Volkswagen T-Roc
Volkswagen T-Roc
SEAT Arona
Kia Stonic
VW Polo
Skoda Karoq
Citroen C3 Aircross crossover miniSUV
Mercedes AMG Project One
Opel Grandland X
Dacia Duster
Hyundai Kona
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

The cars come, as ever, in all shapes and sizes. Many we've known about for some time but it is always good to see new metal in the flesh.

Here's a sample of what's on show at Frankfurt this week.

Audi: They are revealing multiple concept cars with level four and five driving autonomy. A rear-wheel drive Audi R8 is interesting.

Bentley: Continental GT is brand's most advanced car yet. Has a hybrid too.

BMW: The i5 EV concept with a range of up to 696km is a big talking point and planned for 2021. BMW flooded the stage with electric vehicles for today, tomorrow and beyond - part of 25 plug-in hybrid/EVs announced by the company. One, the new i3s, can hit 100kmh in 6.9sec; updated regular version has 168bhp. The 6 Series GT is a replacement for the BMW 5 Series GT. The M5 has four-wheel drive. The X7 concept is drawing lots of attention. BMW's Scandinavian take on a large SUV.

M8 GTE racing car revealed; will compete in the World Endurance Championship.

Estimated arrival dates in Ireland for some of the above: M5 - November, 6 GT - November, i3/i3S - next month, X3 - November; X2 - January 2018, X4 - first quarter 2018, Z4 - production model late 2018, 8-series - late 2018/early 2019.

Chery: Reveals concept design of upcoming small SUV destined for Europe. Too soon to talk distributors etc for Ireland.

Citroen: The C3 Aircross compact SUV is Citroen's answer to the Nissan Juke. Looks smart.

Dacia: The Duster family crossover is upgraded to replace the current model. Lots of interest in a car we Irish love. Price will be critical. Here mid-2018.

Ferrari: New Portofino revealed as 592bhp California T replacement.

Ford: The revised EcoSport, which is now made in Europe, gets a new 1.5 litre diesel and 1.0 litre EcoBoost petrol engine. Due first quarter of 2018. Revised Mustang arrives in April.

Honda: Urban EV Concept points towards its electric vehicle Europe - no official launch dates yet. CR-V hybrid prototype previews the European version of the new crossover for 2019 (looks good). It's the first hybrid on CR-V for Europe. There will be no diesel when it gets here next August.

Hyundai: Their Kona small SUV is their star of the show. Models for Ireland will have a 1-litre turbodiesel engine, so will the i30 Wagon (as well as a 1.7 diesel). And so will the i30 Fastback. The hot i30 N is expected later in 2017/early 2018.

Jaguar: Its second SUV, the E-Pace, arrives soon for January buying - I expect it to come in under the €40,000 mark. And the electric i-PACE is here too.

KIA: They're having a busy show with lots of new and revised cars. The new small/compact Stonic SUV goes on sale in Ireland October 27: 1.2, 1.4 petrols + 1.6D. A 1-litre petrol turbo follows next year. It looks the part, has a nice cabin and will certainly compete with the likes of the Renault Captur.

Also here is the facelifted Sorento with GT-Line model (Q2 2018 arrival).

In a way the KIA show stopper is the concept that strongly hints at what next year's cee'd (Q4 arrival) will look like. If they retain even 20pc of this design then the next cee'd will be something special. It should be in Ireland by the end of 2018.

The Stinger saloon, on sale later in the autumn in Ireland and regarded as the company's flagship, is on display and I like the look of it. There's a new plug-in version of the Niro too.

Lexus: Facelifted NX (now has marque's Safety System Plus as standard) and the new LC 500 are here. LC due soon. Also due in Ireland is the new LS limousine - reckon on November and prices will start at €115,000 - a huge drop on the old one.

Mercedes: The Mercedes-AMG Project One hypercar could be the star of the show. It's poised to start a new generation of hypercars late next year.

Among a number of Mercedes EV concepts is the EQ hatchback, which previews entry-level model for an electric EQ range; due 2020. The X-Class is on show as are the revised S-Class Coupe and Cabriolet. Mercedes GLC F-Cell EQ Power showcased too.

Lamborghini: the drop-top version of the Aventador S has been added to V12's model range.

MINI: Their first fully electric model, a variant on the 3dr hatch concept, is attracting a lot of attention.

Opel: Their larger Grandland X crossover debuts as a rival to the Seat Ateca and Nissan Qashqai. Insignia Country Tourer, GSi also on show.

Porsche: It's Cayenne third generation.

Renault: Mégane Renault Sport is a hot, hot motor. Looks great. Symbioz concept designed to become part of your house as an extra living room or study. Seriously.

SEAT: Their small-Crossover Arona arrives in Ireland in November and I reckon it will (has to?) start at under the €20,000 mark.

Depending on arrival time there will be a 1.0TSI 115hp, 95hp; a 1.5TSI 150hp (FR) and a 1.6TDI 95hp, 115hp.

Cupra sub-brand showcases the new 306bhp Leon Cupra R.

SKODA: The KAROQ small crossover will be in every dealer from December 1. They will have a left-hand drive car for people to view from October.

Subaru: The new Impreza has Subaru's 2l BOXER engine, Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (SAWD) and EyeSight Driver Assist Technology as standard.

Suzuki: Their main debut is the Swift Sport pocket rocket.

SsangYong: Big, roomy 4x4 on show. Huge boot area.

Toyota: The 2018 Land Cruiser, arriving in November, gets a significant minor change (centre console with 8ins multi-media screen). The Yaris GRMN has a 1.8 litre petrol with 212 bhp. Gets here from January 2018. Expect €40k price. Their C-HR Hy-Power concept adds a more sporting element to its hybrid crossover.

Volkswagen: They have lots on show and we'll see all the following in Ireland in November: the new Polo (GTi March), T-Roc, Tiguan AllSpace 7-seater. New Touareg here early 2018. Also showing their next electric ID concept - a saloon variant on the theme - and a latest ID Crozz. And an extra-large XXL California.

* Additional reporting on this and Shortcuts by John Galvin

Indo Motoring

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