All eyes on Europe

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - News - CRAIG DUFF

THE top end of town has snubbed next week’s Paris mo­tor show but the big­gest auto event on the Euro­pean cal­en­dar will have plenty of new sheet metal. In the ab­sence of Bent­ley, Rolls Royce, As­ton Martin, Lam­borgh­ini, Ford and Volvo, ri­vals are pick­ing up the slack. Mit­subishi will show off its lat­est plug-in hy­brid SUV con­cept while Lexus will de­but its edgy mini-crossover con­cept, the UX. Here’s a quick pre­view of some key mod­els. The Q5 SUV and A5 Sport­back will make their de­buts. The Q5 is ex­pected to be up to 100kg lighter than its pre­de­ces­sor de­spite a big­ger body and plusher cabin. The S5 now takes just 4.7 sec­onds to hit 100km/h. Ex­pect lo­cal sales mid-2017. The new 3 Se­ries Gran Turismo will launch three new petrol en­gines to be used across the model range. The re­vised i3 elec­tric car has an up­graded bat­tery that can be retrofitted to ex­ist­ing ve­hi­cles. The maker is claim­ing 200km of real-world driv­ing range. The C3 picks up the air­bump side strips from the C4 Cac­tus and more tech­nol­ogy, in­clud­ing a “Con­nect­edCam” to let driv­ers take pho­tos and videos of the road ahead. The Cx­pe­ri­ence Con­cept pack­ages a 200kW hy­brid driv­e­train in a fu­tur­is­tic two-box sedan. En­gines and prices for the Civic hatch are likely to mir­ror the sedan, start­ing at $20,000. Honda says it has con­cen­trated on the han­dling, which bodes well for the Type-R hot hatch that ar­rives late next year. The i30 will de­but a 1.4-litre four-cylin­der turbo. De­liv­er­ies start from the sec­ond quar­ter of next year. Hyundai will re­veal its first gen­uine hot hatch. The Rio light hatch is now longer, lower, wider and pro­pelled by a 1.0-litre three­cylin­der turbo. The maker says the Rio is the first in its class to use au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing with pedes­trian recog­ni­tion. The fifth-gen­er­a­tion Dis­cov­ery takes styling cues from the Disco Sport and bor­rows a Range Rover al­loy chas­sis. The cabin has nine USB ports and stor­age for four iPads, plus a smart­phone app for re­motely re­con­fig­ur­ing the sec­ond and third-row seats. The Mercedes-AMG GT road­sters break cover. The twoseater soft-tops are loaded with tech from the GT R coupe — in­clud­ing a bi-turbo V8 tuned to 350kW and 410kW. Join­ing them will be the new GLC 43 Coupe and E-Class All Ter­rain ri­val for Audi’s A6 Allroad. New SUVs make their de­but. The 3008 is con­firmed for lo­cal sale from early next year while the larger seven-seat 5008 could ar­rive midyear. The Alaskan, a lightly worke­dover Nis­san Navara, will ar­rive next year in rear and four­wheel-drive guises. The Czech brand’s Kluger ri­val, the Ko­diaq, will land here next Au­gust.

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