HYUNDAI IONIQ

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - Cover Story - BU­GATTI CH­I­RON RIN­SPEED ETOS TOY­OTA C-HR

HR (compact high-rider) is still an edgy de­sign for a con­ser­va­tive brand.

Aimed at Mazda’s CX-3 and Honda’s HR-V, the lit­tle SUV will ar­rive in Aus­tralia early next year. The Toy­ota is longer and wider than those ri­vals, which are both based on smaller city cars. The C-HR is big­ger than a Corolla and only 4cm shorter than the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion RAV4.

It will be pow­ered by a 1.2litre, 85kW turbo petrol en­gine, with six-speed man­ual or CVT auto with two- and four-wheeldrive. A hy­brid may fol­low. Civic hits dou­ble fig­ures; the hatch un­veiled at Geneva will be the 10th to wear the badge. Honda’s lower, wider and longer five-door goes on sale in Europe, where it’s man­u­fac­tured, in April next year. It will reach Aus­tralian show­rooms later, af­ter the launch of the Asian-made sedan.

Honda Aus­tralia boss Stephen Collins con­firms a Type-R ver­sion will join the new hatch line-up. Aus­tralia chose not to im­port the red-hot 228kW 2.0-litre turbo ver­sion of the present Civic hatch launched last year.

Reg­u­lar ver­sions of the 2017 Civic hatch will have down­sized turbo en­gines. Honda Aus­tralia is likely to opt for a more pow­er­ful 1.5-litre turbo four to re­place the cur­rent 1.8. Subaru was a pi­o­neer of the baby SUV with its XV, a high­rid­ing ver­sion of the Im­preza.

The next gen­er­a­tion XV should ar­rive in lo­cal show­rooms in the first quar­ter of next year, based on the global plat­form that un­der­pins the new Im­preza, which is due in De­cem­ber.

De­sign boss Mamoru Ishii says the XV con­cept is “pretty close” to the pro­duc­tion ver­sion and has greater em­pha­sis on a “go-any­where stance”.

As with the Im­preza, the XV is likely to have a re­vised ver­sion of Subaru’s cur­rent 2.0litre en­gine and a more at­trac­tive, well ap­pointed in­te­rior. Au­to­mated emer­gency brak­ing and blind spot mon­i­tor­ing should be avail­able. Look­ing like a homage to Land Rover’s Evoque con­vert­ible, the T-Cross Breeze will gain a roof and be­come a new baby SUV to sit be­neath the Tiguan.

Volk­swa­gen says the Tiguan and Touareg even­tu­ally will be joined by three more SUV mod­els but the pri­or­ity is likely to be the Polo-based cross­over.

The con­cept’s 1.0-litre turbo en­gine puts out 81kW.

VW chair­man Her­bert Diess says VW can “well imag­ine putting such a con­vert­ible on the mar­ket as a pro­duc­tion model” that would be fun and af­ford­able — “a gen­uine ‘peo­ple’s car’.” The Korean gi­ant’s an­swer to Toy­ota’s Prius, the Ioniq will ar­rive in Aus­tralia early next year af­ter global pro­duc­tion was de­layed. Un­like the Prius, the Ioniq could be avail­able here in plug-in hy­brid and full elec­tric guise. Hyundai Aus­tralia boss Scott Grant says the brand is in­ter­ested in all vari­ants, al­though it is be­lieved the full EV ver­sion is least likely to get the nod. The Ioniq hy­brid uses a more ad­vanced bat­tery than the Prius — lithi­u­mion poly­mer in­stead of nickel-metal hy­dride — and Hyundai claims it can pro­vide short bursts of all-elec­tric driv­ing at up to 120km/h. The plug-in claims 50km of elec­tric range, the EV more than 250km.

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