LAP UP THE LUX­URY

This year prom­ises ex­cit­ing new tech and good old-fash­ioned horse­power for pres­tige buy­ers

South Burnett Times - - MOTORING -

Whether you scored a gi­ant Christ­mas bonus or sim­ply want to blow the kids’ in­her­i­tance in 2019, there are plenty of pres­tige cars ar­riv­ing this year to lighten your wal­let.

Here’s out top 10 picks of pre­mium prod­ucts to look for­ward to in 2019.

BMW 3 SE­RIES SEDAN

BMW will launch the X7 SUV, Z4 sports car and re­birthed 8 Se­ries GT, but an all-new 3 Se­ries sedan is where the sales vol­ume is.

This sev­enth-gen­er­a­tion 3 Se­ries is longer, wider and stuffed with new tech­nol­ogy. Come Septem­ber, ex­pect a range of eco­nom­i­cal petrols and diesels plus a plug-in hy­brid. You’ll have to wait un­til 2020 for the rapid M3 mod­els.

MERCEDES-BENZ EQC

Benz will be busy with its new B-Class, A-Class sedan, A35, CLA, GLS and GLE ar­riv­ing, but its EQC SUV head­lines as the brand’s first pro­duc­tion elec­tric ve­hi­cle. Due by year’s end, it shares a plat­form with the GLC SUV and should cost from $100,000. The EQC has dual elec­tric mo­tors putting out 300kW and 765Nm, a 0-100km/h time of 5.1-sec­onds, all-wheeldrive and a claimed range of 450km.

AUDI Q3

No rest for Audi with the RS5 Sport­back, A6, A1 Sport­back, e-tron and facelifted TT and R8 due. In mid-2019 the sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion Q3 SUV will do the heavy sales lift­ing though.

The com­pact SUV will be big­ger, com­fier and flush with Audi’s ex­cel­lent lat­est tech and con­nec­tiv­ity. Styling is sportier and more mus­cled, with its gi­ant front grille mir­ror­ing the brand’s larger SUVs.

Four-cylin­der turbo petrols and diesels will be of­fered.

TESLA MODEL 3

Or­der books opened for Tesla’s “af­ford­able” elec­tric car in March 2016, and it looks like fi­nally the mid-size sedan will ar­rive by the mid­dle of the year. Ex­pect a rear-drive en­trylevel Model 3 with 350km range and sub-six sec­onds 0-100km/h, longer (500km) range ex­am­ples, and a hot Per­for­mance ver­sion with 0-100km/h time of about 3.6 sec­onds. Prices? Keep guess­ing.

JAGUAR F-PACE SVR

The el­e­gant F-Pace mid-size SUV scores proper per­for­mance in the $140,020 SVR model, its 405kW su­per­charged 5.0-litre V8 launch­ing it to 100km/h in 4.3 sec­onds and on to a top speed of 283km/h. Ex­pect big­ger brakes, be­spoke sus­pen­sion, SVR body kit and suit­ably ob­nox­ious ex­haust sound to suit.

ALFA ROMEO STELVIO Q

Ar­riv­ing this month, Alfa’s $150,000 Stelvio Q is an­other bal­lis­tic mid-size pre­mium SUV new­bie. Num­bers are epic — 375kW and 600Nm from its 2.9-litre bi-turbo V6 equals a physics-de­fy­ing 0-100km/h time of 3.8 sec­onds.

It’s pos­si­ble thanks to an eight-speed auto that shifts gears in less than 100 mil­lisec­onds, a rear-bias all-wheel-drive sys­tem plus Alfa’s ac­tive torque vec­tor­ing.

Leather, Al­can­tara, alu­minium and car­bon fi­bre are used in­side, while the body boasts mus­cled wheel arches, bon­net vents and red brake calipers be­hind 20-inch al­loys.

VOLVO V60

Volvo’s lauded XC40, XC60 and XC90 SUV line-up helped the Swedish brand’s sales grow by nearly 50 per cent last year, now comes a gor­geous new wagon, the V60.

Longer and lower than the old ver­sion, the new V60 adopts the XC60’s plat­form, good looks and pre­mium cabin but with a sleeker sports wagon shape.

Ex­pect a range of petrol en­gines, a T8 plugin hy­brid at some point and a start price of about $60k when it ar­rives in the third quar­ter.

LEXUS UX

Toy­ota’s lux­ury arm is hop­ping on the small SUV band­wagon with the new sub-$45k UX.

Front-drive petrols and hy­brids are joined by a flag­ship AWD hy­brid, each with a four­cylin­der petrol en­gine — 125kW or 131kW with hy­brid — and CVT gear­box.

Shar­ing the Toy­ota C-HR’s ar­chi­tec­ture, the UX is de­signed to at­tract younger buy­ers to the brand with rel­a­tively cheap en­try price and oo­dles of stan­dard in­clu­sions.

INFINITI QX50

A new QX50 mid-size SUV, due by mid-year, will look to re­verse a sales slide.

The first com­mer­cially avail­able car with a vari­able-com­pres­sion en­gine, it clev­erly ad­justs com­pres­sion ra­tio de­pend­ing on load, promis­ing ex­cel­lent fuel econ­omy.

Ex­pect semi-au­ton­o­mous tech, sump­tu­ous cabin, de­cent cargo room and a start price of about $60,000.

GE­N­E­SIS G70 AND G80

Hyundai’s stand-alone lux­ury brand Ge­n­e­sis will fi­nally launch in Aus­tralia with the Mercedes C-Class ri­valling G70 and BMW 5Series-sized G80.

Pric­ing is still un­known but count on lots of good­ies for your dol­lar as it tries to win buy­ers.

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