WHAT'S AHEAD IN 2010
THIS year, about 100 new models will hit the showrooms. NEIL McDONALD and NEIL DOWLING take a look at the main contenders ARGAIN basement cars will make ever greater inroads this year with the arrival of the first Chinese sedans.
The budget Geely brand — pronounced jeelee — is the headline act with a range that will shake up the sub-$15,000 market.
First up are the Corolla-sized 1.5-litre MK sedan and hatch, which will be priced from $13,000. More budget Chinese models are arriving in the first quarter in the shape of Great Wall Motors passenger cars and Chery cars and commercial vans later this year.
About 100 new models will hit showrooms this year, including a new wave of full-electric and hybrid cars. Here’s a sample of what’s around the corner.
Following a stellar 2009, the success will continue this year with the A5 Sportback next month, S5 Sportback in July, A8 in the second half, and R8 Spyder around October.
The new Giulietta arrives in November. There are two petrol engines (a 90kW 1.4-litre turbo and an upgraded MultiAir version at 127kW) and two diesel engines (a 78kW 1.6-litre and a 127kW 2.0-litre). Expect Volkswagen Golf pricing.
We’ve seen them overseas and now they will roll out locally. First the 5 Series Grand Turismo arrives in March, then the X1 soft-roader in the second quarter. The new 5 Series sedan arrives around June, to be followed by the wagon around October.
The baby Fiat 500 gets its electric two-stage convertible roof this month. Based on the hardtop version, the Fiat 500C has a 74kW 1.4-litre petrol engine with a claimed fuel figure of 6.3 litres/100km. Priced from $28,990.
The Kuga — pronounced cougar — is big on the radar, as one of the best SUVs in its class. The VW Tiguan rival has a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel but may later add the 2.5-litre turbo-petrol fivecylinder engine seen in the Focus ST. The allwheel-drive is expected to be joined by a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel Mondeo wagon.
Holden already builds an E85 Commodore for Brazil. Now it’s Australia’s turn. The ethanolcompatible engines are a first for an Australian carmaker and operate on anything from E10 (10 per cent ethanol, 90 per cent petrol) to E85 (85 per cent ethanol).
Honda’s Insight hybrid arrives around July with a budget sub-$30,000 price and the ability to sip only 4.4 litres/100km. The five-door Insight joins the Civic Hybrid and CR-Z hybrid coupe. The Insight uses a 1.3-litre petrol engine and electric drivetrain.
The ix35 offroader is here in March to replace the Tucson, and the mini i20 hatch arrives around June. The all-new mid-size sedan, codenamed the YF, should also be here in June to replace the Sonata.
The eagerly awaited XJ hits showrooms in May but before that the XK and XKR will be upgraded this month.
The iMIEV electric hatch could beat Nissan to become Australia’s first full electric production car. Based on the ‘‘i’’ mini-car, it has a lithium-ion drive battery under the floor and a 47kW power unit under the luggage compartment. It has a single-charge range of 160km. Little change from $60,000.
The 370Z Roadster arrives in March with the Dualis facelift mid-year.
The RCZ is Peugeot’s answer to the Audi TT. The 2+2 coupe — which may also later come as a convertible — is based on the 308. Despite being smaller than the TT, it has a bigger cargo area because it forgoes all-wheel-drive. Engines include the GTI’s 147kW turbo 1.6-litre shared with the Mini Cooper JCW.
The GT3 is here this month, to be followed by the 911 Turbo Coupe and cabrio from midFebruary. The GT3 RS should be here in May but the big news is the all-new Cayenne offroader, which arrives mid-year.
In June the trusty Forester gets the same 2.0-litre turbo-diesel as the Outback — a flat four cylinder pumping out 110kW/350Nm delivering sub-7.0 litre/100km fuel economy.
The Kizashi is Suzuki’s first big car. The Camry-sized sedan will be the company flagship when it arrives in May. It will be powered by a 2.4-litre four driving the front wheels. The SX4 gets a facelift and more power in February.
The big news is the Camry hybrid. The Australian-built model goes on sale next month. The 2.4-litre petrol engine and electric motor combine for 140kW yet produce less than 150gm of CO2 per kilometre.
The S60 is back and adopts most of the styling features shown in the concept version at the Detroit motor show. Australia gets a range of petrol and diesel engines which may include the European-spec 1.6-litre direct-injection turbo-petrol.
CarsGuide’s car of the year Golf hatch is joined by the wagon next month, then the new T5 commercials and Caravelle arrive in March. The Polo hatch arrives in April. Performance buyers will be able to slide behind the wheel of the Golf R in June.
The company’s mid-engined sportscar, the Evora, arrives this month. The 3.5-litre V6 is roomy, fast and safe. The Evora 2+0 will cost $149,990 and the 2+2 will be $156,990.
HI THERE: Hyundai’s ix35 offroader is here in March
HOWDY AUDI: The R8 Spyder is due about October