CAR (UK)

Still the SUV rises – plus 2022’s Aventador

Think again. From an X3 able to keep an M3 honest to a next-gen hybrid Qashqai, here are four of the freshest

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BMW X3/X4 M Competitio­n

Who’d have thought BMW’s most powerful straight-six turbo would end up in an SUV first rather than the next M3? M’s potent six generates 503bhp, making these SUV siblings capable of a mind-bending 4.1sec sprint to 62mph and an optional 174mph top speed. The transmissi­on is all-wheel drive with M5-inspired power-swapping wizardry, albeit without the ability to entirely cut power to the front wheels. Hardcore Competitio­n versions get lightweigh­t wheels and an even fiercer bodykit.

NEED TO KNOW

What is it? Munich’s rivals for AMG’s GLC 63 SUV/Coupe pair Tech specs Most powerful BMW straight-six turbo yet, M5-spec performanc­e aids Aimed at? Dropping hints about the next M3 Chances of making production? September 2019 deliveries, £77k for the Competitio­n models

Cupra Formentor

This will be the first proper standalone model for Seat’s performanc­e spin-off brand, and is designed to sit above the spicy Cupra Ateca. It’s just a concept for now, but looks almost ready to go, with a 242bhp plug-in hybrid powertrain mated to a seven-speed DSG twin-clutch transmissi­on and a trendy coupe-SUV shape that blends bits of Ateca and Tarraco. The cockpit has serious, leather-clad bucket seats and a ‘floating’ 10-inch infotainme­nt system.

NEED TO KNOW

What is it? Cupra’s first standalone car Tech specs Petrol-electric plug-in hybrid powertrain with not enough power, 31 zero-emissions miles Aimed at? Finally di erentiatin­g the sporty spin-o brand properly Chances of making production? Real one comes in 2020

Audi Q4 e-Tron concept

A new baby e-Tron SUV is previewed by this concept car, due towards the end of 2020. Believe it or not it’s larger than a Q3 yet smaller than a Q5… The twin e-motors (one per axle) generate 310bhp and 339lb ft, while allwheel-drive traction makes for a 6.3sec 0-62mph sprint time. New ‘Solar Sky’ paint disperses heat from the body, reducing the energy required by the air-con and theoretica­lly increasing range, which Audi claims could be as much as 280 miles.

NEED TO KNOW

What is it? Audi’s fifth planned all-electric model Tech specs Heat-reducing paint, a hot-hatch sprint time, normal door mirrors Aimed at? Giving the Jaguar -Pace a bloody nose Chances of making production? Showroom version is expected at the end of 2020

Nissan IMQ concept

Not to be confused with the Lexus NX, this is a hint at the next Qashqai. So the real focus isn’t the concept’s 516lb ft EV-plus-range-extender powertrain, nor the full-length glass roof and the four bucket seats divided by a copper-coloured spar running the length of the cabin. Instead it’s about the shape; Nissan knows the original Qashqai was a pioneer but the current car is just a face in the crowd. Expect the production car to have big clean body sides and elaborate front- and rear-end designs.

NEED TO KNOW

What is it? Absolutely not a Lexus knock-o Tech specs 1.5-litre range-extender, with 335bhp, 516lb ft and an electric motor on each axle Aimed at? The 50,000 of you who buy a Qashqai each year in the UK Chances of making production? 100 per cent, but in diluted form

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