Rac­ing start to 2017

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - CRUISE CONTROL -

NEXT year the year starts off with a bang for the mo­tor in­dus­try.

The new Im­preza holds spe­cial sig­nif­i­cance for Subaru. Its ver­sa­tile plat­form will un­der­pin the rest of the Subaru range for years to come.

The Im­preza is new from the ground up, en­gines and trans­mis­sion in­cluded, but there’s no man­ual, just a con­stantly vari­able trans­mis­sion.

In line with the brand’s longstated strat­egy to go pre­mium, the Im­preza won’t be cheap. The start­ing price is $24,990 drive-away and the com­pe­ti­tion is cheaper. Spic­ing up the deal is the in­tro­duc­tory deal of fiveyear/un­lim­ited kilo­me­tre war­ranty and, for the first time, Ap­ple CarPlay/An­droid Auto. Ad­vanced safety gear is re­served for higher-priced vari­ants. De­liv­er­ies will start in earnest early next month.

Mazda is tak­ing or­ders for its new MX-5 re­tractable hard­tops, the RF and RF GT. The start­ing price is $38,550 ($4000 more than the soft-top).

The heav­ier RF is pow­ered by the larger MX-5 en­gine, the 2.0-litre four (118kW/200Nm), with six-speed man­ual or sixspeed au­to­matic trans­mis­sions.

The targa-like metal roof opens and closes at the touch of a but­ton at up to 10km/h. The RF pair gains a 4.6-inch colour info dis­play, LED head­lights (with adap­tive front light­ing) and leather-wrapped steer­ing wheel and gear-lever.

Ad­di­tional lux­u­ries on the RF in­clude nine-speaker Bose au­dio with in­te­grated head­rest speak­ers, LED tail-lights and heated seats. The GT gets a black painted roof and pre­mium Nappa leather trim. A new colour, Ma­chine Grey metal­lic, com­mands a $250 pre­mium as does Soul Red metal­lic. First de­liv­er­ies are ex­pected to start Fe­bru­ary 1.

Volk­swa­gen’s range-top­ping 162TSI Tiguan ar­rives next month.

The flag­ship ver­sion of our Cars­guide Car of the Year takes the Tiguan to a new level.

In High­line grade it’s priced from $48,490 and can be iden­ti­fied by 18in wheels, tinted side and rear win­dows, LED tail-lights and a chrome strip in the front lower air in­take.

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