New year’s revolution
Luxury car buyers will again be spoiled for choice this year, with a new arrival to suit every budget
THE cream of the crop just got richer for 2016. Prestige buyers won’t be short of choice in any segment from sports cars to big sedans this year as the premium players push down-market to grab a bigger pool of buyers. The cheapest car in this pack will be a very unluxurious $35,000, illustrating the increasingly intense competition between mainstream and boutique brands. range opens with a 1.4-litre turbo paired with a sevenspeed dual-clutch automatic, turning the front wheels. Topspec models are all-wheel drive. Depending on how heavily you work the options list, Audi says the A4 will be the most technologically advanced vehicle it has sold in Australia. Pricing will start at about $55,000 when the A4 lands in dealerships in February.
The first tangible result of Infiniti’s alliance with MercedesBenz is a much-needed compact hatch. Think of it as a stretched A-Class and you won’t be too far wrong. Powertrains are also from Benz — though the transmission lever moves off the steering column — but the bodywork is Infiniti’s own take on the premium hatch look. The Q30 is due in the latter part of the year with an expected price of $35,000. It will be followed by the Q60 coupe to compete against the BMW M4 and Audi A5.
Jaguar’s first SUV has the Porsche Macan in its sights for the rights to be called the nimblest sports-oriented SUV. The crossover is based on the lightweight XE sedan and Australian versions will have a 2.0-litre turbo diesel and 3.0litre V6 diesel options, along with the supercharged V6 petrol engine found in the F- Type. F-Pace sales start in February with pricing estimated to start at about $70,000.
RANGE ROVER EVOQUE CONVERTIBLE
The stylish Evoque revitalised Land Rover and led to the emergence of the first drop-top SUV. The Evoque’s fabric roof imitates the regular model’s signature tapering profile without, Land Rover says, compromising the car’s offroad capability. Not that many will take this jacked-up boulevard cruiser off-road but if you do, the Terrain Response and wade depth sensing should keep the occupants secure. Pricing starts at about $85,000 when the car goes on local sale in September.
When Italian sports car makers sell SUVs, the world as we know it has changed. Maserati is joining Lamborghini in launching a crossover this year, having seen Porsche’s resurgence via the move into soft-roaders. Based on the Ghibli sedan, the Levante will borrow drivetrains from that line-up, including the 3.0-litre petrol and diesel V6s. Expect a V8 in the not-too-distant future. The high-riding Maserati will arrive in the last quarter of this year at about $150,000.
The mid-sized Mercedes mainstay will be shown officially at the Detroit motor show this month. Benz has already shown the massive dual-screen digital dash display from the high-end variants and will supplement the new interior with a range of fresh and overhauled engines. The sedan will be followed by a coupe, wagon and cabrio versions. Prices haven’t been announced, but expect low$80,000s for the base model when the car arrives in the third quarter.
TESLA MODEL X
MERCEDES-BENZ E-CLASS BMW M2