Right on track for style and safety

The Jewish Chronicle - - MOTORING -

be the re­place­ment for the Mazda6, which first ap­peared in 2002.

Re­nault’s new small car, the Twingo went on sale in Septem­ber, with the more af­ford­able Dy­namique 1.2-litre ver­sion avail­able at £8,375.

There is also a GT with tur­bocharged 1.2-litre en­gine, which Re­nault claims is the most eco­nom­i­cal en­gine on the mar­ket to have a 100 bhp out­put. This model comes in at £9,995.

Safety fea­tures in the Twingo have achieved four stars (of a max­i­mum five) and 28 points out of 37 in the pas­sive safety tests car­ried out by EuroNCAP re­search. It has up to six airbags.

New mod­els pour out of the Audi fac­to­ries al­most faster than one can keep pace with de­vel­op­ments, and the im­por­tant re­lease for 2008 is the new A4, on sale from next spring, at prices from £22,590 to £30,290.

There will be a choice of five new or ex­ten­sively re­vised en­gines, in­clud­ing a 1.8 di­rect-in­jec­tion petrol en­gine, giv­ing 158 bhp, and a 3-litre diesel rated at 237 bhp.

I’m not sure that I like the new light­ing ar­range­ment us­ing LEDs (lightemit­ting diodes), but they do re­duce en­ergy con­sump­tion and elim­i­nate bulb fail­ures.

For those who like to get a bit of a move-on, Audi has also launched its latest RS flag­ship, which now has a V10 en­gine with twin tur­bocharg­ers and power out­put of 576 bhp. Top speed will be re­stricted to 155 mph and ac­cel­er­a­tion will leap from rest to 60 mph in only 4.5 sec­onds, and on to 124 mph only 10 sec­onds later.

The or­der book opens this month, for de­liv­er­ies in spring 2008, with the price ex­pected to be around £75,000. Later in 2008, a sa­loon ver­sion will be­come avail­able.

More off-road­ers — let’s not call them 4x4s, be­cause many or­di­nary road cars have 4x4 — are be­ing launched. Volk­swa­gen’s com­pact Tiguan can now be or­dered for de­liv­ery in Fe­bru­ary 2008 at prices from £19,370 for the 1.4-litre and SEAT’s first ad­ven­ture into this mar­ket is the Al­tea Free­track 4.

There is a choice of two 2-litre en- gines, the petrol one priced at £20,495 and giv­ing 198 bhp and the diesel 168 bhp for £21,395.

Also with four-wheel drive, but not an off-roader, is Subaru’s new WRX STI, which will go on sale next March.

Citroën has launched a 1.6-litre HDi diesel ver­sion of the C2, claimed to of­fer 62 mpg with a top speed of 120 mph. There was a spe­cial bar­gain price of £10,995 for this in Septem­ber, and you may still be able to find them at this price.

From Peu­geot come three-door and au­to­matic op­tions for the new 308 model, to be avail­able next month. The 308 with au­to­matic trans­mis­sion and 1.6-litre en­gine will cost £15,095.

Go­ing on sale this month is BMW’s 1Series Coupé with choice of two diesel en­gines or a 3-litre twin-turbo petrol unit giv­ing 306 bhp. A BMW 1-Se­ries Con­vert­ible will be launched soon.

Sub­tle styling changes have been made to Jaguar’s X-type, on sale in March 2008, with avail­abil­ity for the first time of a new six-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion for the 2.2-litre diesel. The new X-Type doesn’t look much dif­fer­ent from the old one ex­ter­nally — the head­lamps still seem too small for the car — but among the changes inside, I am pleased to note clearer in­stru­ments.

Af­ter we tested the Dodge Cal­iber in the July 20 is­sue, reader Mr Bear­man wrote to ex­press his con­cern that crit­i­cisms of the model, made in one of the mo­tor­ing mag­a­zines, would af­fect its value. (I hadn’t made any such com­ments in the JC test.) Mr Bear­man will be pleased to learn that this car is now achiev­ing higher resid­ual val­ues than most of its com­peti­tors.

As well as the new mod­els, there are plenty of at­trac­tive of­fers on ex­ist­ing cars to in­spire pur­chasers dur­ing the nor­mally quiet month of Novem­ber.

Left: Jaguar X-Type, restyled for March 2008. Right: the shapely new Mazda2 comes with choice of three en­gines, with diesel to fol­low

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