RUMOUR HAS IT...
BABY AMGs ON THE WAY
Mercedes-AMG has announced it will deliver a two-tier range of compact high performance cars starting from next year’s all-new A-Class.
The Mercedes-Benz high-performance brand, which this year celebrates its 50th birthday, will deliver two different performance and price points from its go-fast junior models.
The idea is similar to the two-tiered strategy it already uses on its larger cars, which use both the 3.0l V6 twin turbo power in the “43” models and 4.0l V8 twin turbo power in the “63” models.
“The compact car family is going to be extended,” AMG chairman Tobias Moers said. “The Concept A sedan (shown at the Shanghai Motor Show this year) has typical AMG features, so you can expect that from AMG as well. We will complement our successful ‘45’ models with new performance versions, with two versions, like we do with larger cars.”
The first AMG off the upgraded MFA front-drive architecture will be next year’s A45 AMG, followed by CLA and GLA versions spread across the next two years.
But while Moers initially resisted demands to build the “43” V6, the first AMG powerplant not to be built by hand by one craftsman in Affalterbach, he insisted that the push for 100,000 models a year hasn’t taken the edge off AMG’s independence.
“Future four-cylinder performance engines will also be built in Affalterbach. We have to ensure AMG is independent within a big group. We have our own strategy and we decide how our products are defined. We are part of the worldwide Daimler R&D network. We have new standalone AMG performance centres, with some coming to Dubai and Sydney, and we have the first one in Tokyo.”
ENER-G FOR G-CLASS?
Still with Mercedes-Benz and more details are emerging of the next generation of the famous G-Class. The Gelandewagen has remained largely unchanged in terms of its styling for 38 years but the new one, due in 2018, is expected to be slightly altered, although only slightly. The boxy design is set to remain, but our sources have told us that there could be some frontal design elements from the 2012 Ener-G-Force concept.
In addition the G will be more than 100mm longer and get a wider track. It will also get electro-mechanical steering which is vital for the latest driver assistance systems and new suspension up front. It will shed more than 200kg.
BRZ STi ON THE WAY?
Subaru has always refused to confirm an STi version of its BRZ coupe, but now our sources have spotted it testing in the US ahead of a 2018 debut. The car is unlikely to get
UPGRADES FOR MINIVAN
Kia will introduce an upgraded Sedona people carrier in 2018. Design changes are likely to be minimal but will probably include those introduced recently on the latest Sorento and Sportage. There will be new front and rear lights and wheels. Inside it will get new infotainment systems and the six-speed auto will be replaced by an eight-speed box.
VELOCITY FOR VELOSTER
Hyundai will debut the second generation of its Veloster coupe in 2018. The new model is unlikely to grow in size but will adopt new front and rear designs to give it a more dynamic, sporty look. The single rear passenger door will remain but the rear window will get longer to provide more interior light and better rear visibility.
The Veloster is to benefit
GOLF SALES BELOW PAR
The car that largely invented, defined and keeps redefining the hatchback body style looks like it’s finally in big trouble. European sales of Volkswagen’s Golf fell 28% in April, with Volkswagen insiders pointing to cannibalisation from its own new Tiguan SUV, which is on track to overtake it in global sales later this year.
The Golf, in hatch and wagon forms, suffered double digit sales drops in the five biggest European markets — Germany, the UK, France, Italy and Spain.
The Golf is losing ground despite a recent changeover to the upgraded Mark 7.5 version.
VW sold 209,764 Golfs worldwide to the end of April, according to Jato Dynamics, which was 7.6% fewer than in the first quarter of 2016.
By contrast, the Tiguan could pass the Golf’s volumes by the third quarter of the year. It screamed up the sales charts, growing by 47.9% over the first quarter of 2016 to post 172,623 sales.
The 2018 MercedesBenz G-Class could receive a few design items from the 2012 Ener-G-Force concept.
Subaru is busy testing an STi version of its existing BR-Z.
The VW Tiguan looks set to overtake the Golf in sales volumes later this year.