This year’s buy­ers are spoilt for choice

2015 looks set to be yet an­other bumper year as far as prod­uct launches are con­cerned, writes Ler­ato Matebese

Business Day - Motor News - - MOTOR NEWS -

LOOK­ING into the au­to­mo­tive crys­tal ball, 2015 will bring yet an­other raft of new cars that will leave the buyer sim­ply spoilt for choice. With ev­ery­thing from en­try level mod­els right up to the most lux­u­ri­ous and pre­mium of­fer­ings, there seems to be some­thing to ap­pease most tastes this year.

The in­dus­try started off with a mul­ti­tude of si­mul­ta­ne­ous launches tak­ing place, set­ting the scene for a busy year.

Alfa Romeo will up­date its Gi­uli­etta in the first quar­ter, while the gor­geous 4C Spi­der will be avail­able some­time in the year.

Audi will kick things off with the launch of the TT later this month, while both the A6 and A7 mod­els will re­ceive some botox treat­ment around March or April. Both the A1 and Q3 will re­ceive the once over in May, while the all- new Q7 SUV will make its de­but in Septem­ber. July will usher in the sportier TT-S vari­ant of the TT. The fire-breath­ing RS3 hot hatch will blast into the mar­ket in the fourth quar­ter of the year.

BMW has launched its first front-wheel drive model, the 2 Se­ries Ac­tive Tourer, to take on the likes of the Mercedes-Benz BClass in the pre­mium mini MPV mar­ket. Both the i3 and i8 elec­tric mod­els will be made avail­able later this month and the team is def- initely ea­ger to sam­ple both, but per­haps more so the lat­ter.

This week Mo­tor News is in the US driv­ing the dy­namic duo of the X5M and X6M which will make their South African de­but in April, while the 2 Se­ries con­vert­ible will also be made avail­able about the same time. The 1 Se­ries will re­ceive an up­date in July, which will give it a much ti­dier look, while at the same time the en­tire 6 Se­ries range will re­ceive a midlife up­date too.

Citroen will have a rel­a­tively quiet pe­riod with only the C4 Cac­tus its ma­jor launch this year. It will be cru­cial for the com­pany and could de­cide its fu­ture here.

Ford, mean­while, has a bevy of mod­els to launch, not least the Fu­sion sedan launched last month. It will also launch its Tran­sit Connect van and MPV this month, while the up­dated Fo­cus will reach our shores in the sec­ond quar­ter. The high-per­for­mance ST ver­sion will make its de­but in the third quar­ter. The fourth quar­ter will be busy in­deed for the marque with the new Ranger and Ever­est due, fol­lowed near the end of the year by the highly an­tic­i­pated Mus­tang.

Fiat will in­tro­duce its 500X cross­over in July, while the 500L Trekking will be avail­able on the mar­ket as you read this.

Honda’s third gen­er­a­tion Jazz al­ready joined the fray last month while the Civic Type-R will be here by the third quar­ter. Be­cause we know it is the burning ques­tion for Honda fans, the sec­ond gen­er­a­tion NSX su­per­car is only likely to ar­rive here in 2016.

Hyundai’s new i20 makes its de­but this week, while both the new Sonata and Ge­n­e­sis sedans are now un­der con­sid­er­a­tion for SA. The grossly de­layed Veloster turbo is also un­der con­sid­er­a­tion, but per­haps the man­u­fac­turer

BMW i3

Volvo XC90

Ford Mus­tang

Mercedes-Benz AMG GT

Lexus NX

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