Lap up the lux­ury

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Sport - Iain Curry

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.


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.


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 0100km/h time of 5.1-sec­onds, all-wheel-drive and a claimed range of 450km.


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.


Or­der books opened for Tesla’s “af­ford­able” elec- tric 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.

JAGUAR F-PACE SVR The el­e­gant F-pace mid­size SUV scores proper per­for­mance in the $140,020 SVR model, its 405kw su- per­charged 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.


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 2.9litre bi-turbo V6 equals a physics-de­fy­ing 0-100km/h time of 3.8 sec­onds. It’s pos­si­ble thanks to an eight­speed auto that shifts gears in less than 100 mil­lisec­onds, a rear-bias all-wheeldrive sys­tem plus Alfa’s ac­tive torque vec­tor­ing.


Volvo’s lauded XC40, XC60 and XC90 SUV lineup 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.


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.


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.


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

The Jaguar F-pace SVR

BMW 3 Se­ries

Audi Q3

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