Sunday 25 August 2019

The 181 shape of things to come

From hybrids to supercars, here's the A to Z of new models heading our way in 2018, writes Geraldine Herbert

Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupé
Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupé

Alfa: Alfa Romeo has finally entered the growing SUV market with its newest arrival, the Stelvio.

Prices start from €47,295 and, according to the Italian car maker, it is the lightest mid-size SUV in the sector thanks to its lightweight body structure and carbon fibre driveshaft, coming in at just 1,604kg for the 2.2-litre diesel 180hp RWD and up to 1,660kg for the 2.0-litre petrol 280hp Q4 AWD, only adding an extra 56kg for the all-wheel-drive system (AWD).

Ford Mustang
Ford Mustang


Ireland's first level-three autonomous car arrives with the launch of the Audi A8. Brimming with technology, highlights of the new car include cutting-edge design, adaptive air suspension and an innovative touchscreen operating concept. The A8 is also the first Audi model to offer a mild hybrid engine technology as standard. Pricing starts from €99,950 OTR and powering the range are two V6 turbo engines: a 3.0 TDI 286hp and a 3.0 TFSI 340hp. An eight-cylinder version - a 4.0 TDI with 435hp will follow in the coming months.

The latest A7 gets smart new looks and the very latest technology including an all-digital control system, comprehensive connectivity and mild hybrid technology. Available to order from December, it will be in dealerships from February 2018. Audi's fastest small saloon and the first to bear the RS label, the RS3 saloon is available to order and features a five-cylinder engine and produces 400hp. Prices start from €69,550 OTR. January sees the arrival of the RS4 Avant, powered by a newly developed 2.9 TFSI engine, it accelerates from zero to 100km/h in just 4.1 seconds. The brand's first all-electric volume model, the Audi e-tron, joins the line-up in 2018.


Hyundai Kona
Hyundai Kona

Just arrived in showrooms is the new X3. Some of the key updates to the car include a new infotainment system; a 2.0-litre petrol engine alongside the familiar diesel offering; plus a performance flagship, the M40i - the first ever M Performance vehicle in the X3 line-up. Prices start from €55,856. Replacing the 5 series GT is the all new 6 Series GT. Arriving this month in Ireland, the new 6 Series GT is offered with a choice of three engines, while the BMW xDrive all-wheel-drive system will be available in two of the three variants in the model line-up. The 6 Series is longer and sleeker and offers more headroom and boot capacity. There is also a weight reduction of up to 115kg and improved aerodynamics. Prices start from €66,494. Also joining the BMW line-up is the new X2. More coupé than crossover, it is two centimetres shorter and more than seven centimetres lower than the BMW X1. OTR prices start at €50,320 for the X2 xDrive20d SE and it is expected to arrive early in 2018.


CitroËn's quirky C4 Cactus has been revamped and for 2018 replaces both the current Cactus and the C4 hatchback. In true Citroën fashion, it promises to be most comfortable compact hatch on the market. A new addition to the existing engine range is likely to be a 130bhp version of the 1.2-litre three-cylinder PureTech petrol.

Eight new core models are due from Citroën including the C5 Aircross, which has already gone on sale in China but won't launch in Ireland until the end of next year. Looking further ahead, a hybrid version is likely in early 2020 while we can expect Citroën's first all-electric offering around that time also.

Nissan Leaf
Nissan Leaf


Revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show last September, an all-new Dacia Duster is on the way. The new model will be offered with both petrol and diesel engines and promises to be more comfortable and stylish than ever. It is likely to reach our shores late next year.


2018 looks like a quiet year for the French Brand DS. The new DS7 Crossback - an Audi Q5 and BMW X3 rival - is not due to launch in Ireland until 2019.


Fiat's Tipo gets a new sporty look with the launch of the S Design family and for 2018 will only be available as a hatchback. Designed to compete with rivals such as the Peugeot 308 GT Line and Renault's Megane GT Line, it will be priced from €22,995. December sees the arrival of the new 500L. The range and engine line-up will remain the same but it now comes with a more user-friendly and stylish interior and a high level of standard equipment. Prices are expected to start in the region of €20,695. A new limited edition 500X will launch in spring 2018. Offering all the latest in-car infotainment, it will be available with a unique 'Blue Jeans' interior and pricing is expected to be in the region of €20,995.


Ford start the year with the launch of a new EcoSport. Not the most successful car for the brand, the new upgraded version is looking to increase sales in the competitive compact SUV segment. Key improvements include all-wheel drive, available for the first time, and a new 1.5-litre EcoBlue diesel engine delivering 125PS that will be offered along with the 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine in three outputs up to 140PS.

Sporting more power, a new transmission and more refinement, a revised Mustang arrives mid-year. Both the 5.0-litre V8 and 290PS 2.3 litre EcoBoost are available with an advanced new 10-speed automatic transmission that uses real-time adaptive shift-scheduling to offer improved fuel efficiency and acceleration. A new optional MagneRide Damping System and two new selectable drive modes - Drag Strip Mode and customisable My Mode - join the Normal, Sport, Track and Snow/Wet modes. Other highlights from Ford for 2018 include a revised Ka+ launching in April and an all-new Focus in August.


New to the Honda range for 2018 is a revised 1.6 i-DTEC engine arriving in January, offering an improved combination of performance and efficiency. January also sees the arrival of the updated Civic Type R in showrooms. September sees the arrival of the new 1.5-litre VTEC Turbo CR-V, followed by the CR-V Hybrid in October. A Civic four-door saloon is also expected in the autumn, with details to be confirmed later in the year.


Following on from the success of the Tucson, Hyundai has expanded their SUV line-up to include the new crossover Kona. Powered by two petrol options, a 1.0-litre and 1.6-litre T-GDI, prices start from €20,995. The i30 Tourer has also just been launched and a i30 Fastback will be in dealer showrooms nationwide by December 1.


By far the biggest story for Jaguar in 2018 is the arrival of two SUVs. In time for 181, the new E-Pace is due in showrooms in early December with a launch price of €36,000 for the 2.0D i4 150PS manual model. The E-Pace and E-Pace R-Dynamic are available with Standard, S, SE and HSE specification packs and a choice of five engines, with three diesel and two petrol engines. The 2.0-litre four-cylinder Ingenium diesel power plant is available in 150PS, 180PS and 240PS outputs, while the pair of 2.0-litre four-cylinder Ingenium petrol turbo units deliver 249PS or 300PS.

The I-Pace SUV will be Jaguar's very first electric car and is expected to launch in July 2018. At this time there are no details on the pricing or specifications.


2018 heralds the introduction of the newest member to the Jeep family - the all-new Compass. Due in showrooms in January, the new mid-size SUV promises off-road capability with user-friendly technology and a full array of driving assistance systems. Full Irish pricing and specification for the Compass will be announced in the coming weeks.


It's been a busy year for the Korean car maker, who launched the Stonic and Stinger earlier this month. The Picanto and the Rio were launched earlier this year and this month a plug-in hybrid Niro arrives. The new Cee'd, which was unveiled at the Geneva Show, will be on sale in Ireland in July 2018.


For 2018 the Range Rover Sport P400e, the first plug-in hybrid model, will be available from Land Rover. With a 300hp 2.0-litre four-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine combined with a 116hp electric motor, the new hybrid has an electric-only range of 51km. All new Land Rover vehicles will be available with electric options by 2020.


Launching just in time for 181 sales, Lexus flagship saloon, the LS, arrives next month and features a radical new design. The CT and NX models have also both benefited from a revamp, with some interior and exterior design changes as well as Lexus Safety System now standard.


It is a distinctly quiet year for Mazda, which will see the arrival of a refreshed CX-3 and a revised Mazda6 along with some enhancements for the MX-5.


Following a very busy 2017, Mercedes' ever expanding range continues. The facelifted S-Class, launched earlier this year, is joined by the Coupé and Cabrio models in March. Spy shots of the new A-Class are already appearing online but it will be May 2018 before it arrives in Ireland. Summer sees the arrival of the new CLS and the all-important C-Class range gets a comprehensive facelift. Due to be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show next March, a new estate, saloon, coupé and cabriolet will arrive here by August. A first ever A-Class saloon is expected to launch in December 2018.


The latest special edition to join the MINI line-up celebrates the brand's rich heritage with a nod to one of the best-known sporty classic Minis of all time, the 1275 GT. Available to order now, the 1499 GT promises the low running costs of the 1969 original, which was one of the most affordable performance cars of its day. The new car will be built in a limited production run of just 1,499 cars between November 2017 and February 2018.


A welcome boost to the Mitsubishi range is the launch of the all new Eclipse Cross. Priced from €27,900, Mitsubishi's new mid-sized SUV will be available in three trim levels: Eclipse Cross Invite, Eclipse Cross Intense and Eclipse Cross Instyle. All models come with iSmartphone Link Audio Display supporting Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, touchpad controller, reversing camera, Bluetooth and USB connectivity.


The big news for Nissan in 2018 is the arrival of the second-generation Leaf. Due here in February, the Leaf is the world's best-selling electric car, with more than 300,000 vehicles sold worldwide and 2,000 of those in Ireland. Thanks to a bigger 40 kilowatt hour (kWh) battery, the range has been extended to an official 378km which probably represents a realistic 280km on a single electric charge. New to the Leaf is the e-Pedal, allowing the car to be driven with just one pedal. The e-Pedal handles starting, accelerating, decelerating and stopping. It also features the Propilot Park system for full autonomous parking with no steering, pedals or gear selection required. Pricing and specification features for the new car will be announced next month. Also joining the Nissan range is the new e-NV200 with an improved range of up to 280km. On sale in Ireland from next April, no pricing or specification details are available yet.


The Grandland X is Opel's stylish but late entrant into the compact SUV parade. At 4.48m long it is also the largest SUV in Opel's range, with seating for five people, generous luggage space and a host of safety features and technologies. Under the bonnet, two engine variants are offered: a 1.2-litre 130hp petrol unit with emissions of 127-117/km; and a 1.6-litres, 120bhp diesel engine with emissions of 118-104/km. Both are offered with optional seven-speed automatic transmission or six-speed manual. Next spring two new diesel engines will be available, as well as an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Prices start from €27,995 for the 1.2-litre petrol version, with the 1.6-litre diesel from €28,995.


The new Mk3 Porsche Cayenne is a key car for Porsche in 2018. Available as a Cayenne, Cayenne S or the range-topping Cayenne Turbo it is powered by a new 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged V-8 engine that produces 550hp.


The new generation 308 will be the big news for Peugeot in 2018. With a smart look, new technology and improved levels of standard specification, it comes with a range of petrol and diesel engines. The PureTech petrol engine has undergone a major upgrade to improve fuel consumption and even more efficient pollution reduction. The new 308 is the first PSA group model to get the new BlueHDi 130 S&S Diesel engine and has just arrived in showrooms around the country.


A new Koleos and updated Captur joined the Renault SUV range and before the end of 2017 a new all-electric Kangoo Z.E. 33 van will be available with an NEDC range of 270km. In March 2018, a new Alaskan pick-up truck with a sophisticated five-link rear suspension and a twin-turbo dCi 190 engine launches. The Renault Megane RS will be unleashed early in 2018.


The Arona is the latest newcomer from the Spanish car maker Seat and is a significant model as it marks its first foray into the ultra-competitive B-SUV sector. There are three petrol engines to choose from: a three-cylinder, 95PS 1.0-litre TSI, which is linked to a five-speed manual gearbox; also available is a more powerful 115PS version; and a new four-cylinder, 150PS TSI mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. A diesel 1.6-litre TDI will be available with 95 and 115PS. The 95PS version can be paired with a five-speed manual transmission or the seven-speed DSG, and the 115 PS with a six-speed gearbox. There are four trims to choose from and prices start for each trim at: S - €17,995; SE - €20,715; Xcellence - €22,815; and FR - €22,815. A larger SUV is to follow in 2018 but no details on pricing or specification are available.


Skoda's Nissan Qashqai and Hyundai Tucson rival, the Karoq, arrives in dealerships next month with a starting price of €27,715. New technologies including a digital information display and a new 1.5-litre TSI petrol engine will be featured for the first time. Powering the range is a choice of four engines, ranging from 116PS to 150PS, with three DSG offerings as well as a 150hp 4X4. The Kodiaq is now available with two new trims - Sportline and Scout - while the Octavia will be offered with a 1.5-litre TSI ACT engine from January.


A new version of the Rexton will arrive in Ssangyong dealerships around the country and offers genuine off-road ability, space for seven and an improved interior. Due in early February, it will be available with just one engine, a 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel with 178bhp and 420Nm of torque. Prices and trim details will be announced later this year. A new Korando Sports is expected to arrive at the end of 2018.


Subaru's new XV crossover has just gone on sale and prices start from €33,495. Built on their new global platform, Subaru are promising significant improvements to the suspension's performance. The new SUV comes with a host of safety features including EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, a driving support system the can anticipate an imminent collision and react by initiating a series of warnings and avoidance measures. With smart looks, this capable off roader is a promising addition to the Subaru line-up.


On sale in June 2018, the new Suzuki Swift Sport will join the range powered by a 1.4-litre Boosterjet engine.


No new additions have been confirmed for Tesla in 2018 as the eagerly awaited Model 3 is not due here until 2019.


It may be 65 years since the launch of the first Land Cruiser model but it shows no signs of retiring. New to the Toyota range is a refreshed version with exterior and interior upgrades as well as increased levels of specification. A new sports grade is offered on the Corolla and Auris for 181.


Big news for Volkswagen is the arrival of the new T-Roc, a mid-size SUV that slots under the Tiguan in the Volkswagen SUV range. The T-Roc comes to Ireland just before Christmas and will feature a range of petrol and diesel engines, with most buyers expected to opt for one of the new 1.0-litre and 1.5-litre petrol engines with 115bhp and 150bhp. There will also be the option of the familiar 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre diesel engines and prices start for the T-Roc from €24,750.

The new Polo has grown dramatically compared to the car it replaces and the new model is longer and lower in height than the previous generation and also larger inside. The new model is 81mm longer, the wheelbase is 92mm longer and there is a larger luggage capacity with 71 litres more than the previous generation. There will be a raft of new technology available for the car too, and Active Info Display debuts in the new Polo. The engine line-up for Ireland consists mainly of petrol engines: 1.0-litre units ranging from 65-95hp and at the top of the range, a new 200hp GTI version. Prices start at €16,795.

Volkswagen is expanding the Tiguan range in time for the 181 plate with the Tiguan Allspace, which is an extended version of the Tiguan, allowing space for an extra row of seats. Luggage space is 700 litres with the third row of seats folded flat and 230 litres with the seats in place. Pricing starts at €34,050 as a five-seat model and €34,820 as a seven-seat model. Other news for 2018 includes a new version of the Touareg that will arrive in Ireland in the summer and a smaller SUV T-Cross that will launch towards the end of 2018.


Hoping to emulate the success of the XC90 and XC60, a new scaled-down SUV, the XC40 is to join the Volvo range in 2018. The closest competitor will be the Audi Q2, MINI Countryman and BMW X1. The new XC40 is the first model on Volvo's new modular vehicle architecture (CMA), which will underpin all other upcoming cars in the 40 Series including fully electrified vehicles.

As expected from Volvo, the compact SUV comes with a raft of safety features including Volvo Cars' Pilot Assist system, City Safety, Run-off Road protection and mitigation, Cross Traffic alert with brake support and the 360° Camera that helps drivers manoeuvre their car into tight parking spaces.  From launch it will be available with their D4 AWD Automatic engine with prices starting from €47,450. 

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