There’s been plenty of car news in the past two weeks, with both Auto Shanghai 2011 and the New York Auto Show showcasing a bounty of new models and concepts.
Listed below are the top ten unveilings that have caught our eye from the two shows this year. The list includes some cars that will be available in 2011, and some that have yet to be confirmed.
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Volkswagen has pushed cute looks to one side to make the Beetle a beefier performance machine. It’s both longer and wider than the old model, and has a bigger boot and more interior space. VW has also made sure it won’t be taken lightly, with the most powerful of the four engine options available being the 197bhp TSI engine from the VW Golf GTI. The new VW Beetle is due for UK launch in spring 2012.
The German carmaker has entered into the compact crossover market with the new Q3, looking to take on the Nissan Juke, Mini Countryman, BMW X1 and Range Rover Evoque. Prices are claimed to be starting from around £25k and there’s a multitude of engines and specifications, which could make it a real contender against the £3,000-more-expensive Evoque. It goes on sale in the UK in November.
Another debut at Auto Shanghai 2011 was the Citroen DS5, the latest addition to the French manufacturer’s DS range. It’s based on the Citroen C5, but uses a Hybrid4 diesel-electric hybrid engine developed alongside partner Peugeot, which uses the same system in the RCZ coupé. Like the DS3 and DS4, the styling is anything but subtle. Prices are expected to be between £25k and £30k, with sales starting in spring 2012.
Lexus chose the New York Auto Show to reveal a new concept – the LF-Gh. It might only be a show car for now, but it is expected to form the basis for the next Lexus GS. The Lexus LF-Gh concept features a more saloon-like profile and has a number of practical additions, like the spindle front grille that improves cooling to the radiator and brake ducts. As the ‘h’ suffix denotes, it’s a hybrid concept; a potential production car could appear at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.
Okay, so it’s not necessarily a new model, but the Jaguar XF update is a welcome one, with changes to the styling being for the better in our opinion. Jaguar also confirmed a new entry-level 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel engine. Producing a healthy 187bhp, the 2.2-litre diesel Jaguar XF will be good news for businesses and private buyers as it will return a claimed 52.3mpg – and go from 0-62mph in 8.5 seconds. The entry-level diesel XF will be available for a smidge over £30k and goes on sale in September.
Audi A3 e-tron Concept
Audi opted for Auto Shanghai 2011 to unveil its second Audi A3 saloon concept in as many months (the first was the 2.5-litre five-cylinder TSI petrol engine powered model showcased at the Geneva Motor Show). This second concept, the A3 e-tron, uses a petrol engine combined with an electric motor powered by lithium-ion batteries. Impressively, the 1.4-litre petrol will produce a whopping 208bhp – that’s equal to the power produced by the current Volkswagen Golf GTI.
Peugeot SXC Concept
This is Peugeot’s latest concept concoction – a crossover that offers similar size and presence to the Range Rover Sport and Porsche Cayenne. It has been designed and developed in Shanghai, the location of its unveiling, and uses a 218bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine powering the front wheels and a 95bhp electric motor powering the rear – meaning a total of 313bhp. Demand in the Chinese market could see the SXC come to fruition, but we are awaiting any news on a UK release.
Mercedes-Benz Concept A
Mercedes is looking to enter the premium supermini market with a rival to the Mini, Audi A1 and Citroen DS3 in the shape of the Concept A, shown for the first time at Shanghai. The car will be available with a range of engines, including a Renault-derived 1.6-litre diesel. The concept has a 2.0-litre four cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, pumping out a claimed 210bhp and using a dual-clutch automatic gearbox. No on-sale dates have been announced just yet.
Volvo Concept Universe
It may not have the catchiest of names, but the Concept Universe signals a new direction for classically-inspired luxury Volvos. There have been no details about which chassis or platform makes up the Concept Universe, with the concept focussed on design only. The looks won’t be to all tastes, and Volvo looks set to discover that by parading the car around Europe and the US to assess customer reaction.
Subaru XV Concept
Subaru unveiled this XV Concept at Auto Shanghai 2011 – a crossover that is set to take on the likes of the Nissan Qashqai and Ford Kuga. Based on the Impreza, it will be available with the 2.0-litre petrol or diesel boxer engine, plus Subaru all-wheel-drive as standard. Details are fairly thin on the ground other than that, with no mention of a hot version of the XV yet. The car is expected to go on sale near the beginning of 2012.
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