From Europe’s biggest motor show, Tim Rose takes a look at some of the new models, refreshes and concept cars that will excite UK dealers
Jaguar has finally taken the covers off the finished version of its F-Pace SUV, ready for its arrival in the UK next spring, priced from £34,170.
It is the first SUV in Jaguar’s 70-year history and will be crucial, along with the XE saloon, in driving the brand’s UK sales towards its 2018 goal of 50,000.
Based on the same modular aluminium platform as the XE and new XF saloon, the five-seater F-Pace will go up against the BMW X3, Audi Q5, Porsche Macan and Range Rover Sport in the premium mid-size SUV segment.
From launch, the F-Pace will offer one petrol and two diesel engines, rear and all-wheel drive and five trim levels. The entry-level 178bhp turbodiesel is the 2.0-litre unit already seen in the XE and XF, coupled to a six-speed manual gearbox driving the rear wheels. Jaguar claims this F-Pace is the most frugal car in its class, with 57.7mpg combined fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions of 129g/km, yet capable of 0-62mph in under nine seconds. This engine can also be paired with all-wheel drive, at which point an eight-speed automatic gearbox becomes optional.
All-wheel drive and automatic transmission is the only option with V6-powered F-Pace variants, in 395bhp petrol or 296bhp diesel guise. The latter achieves 47.1mph official economy and 159g/km CO2.
An adaptive surface response system, derived from Land Rover’s terrain response system, is designed to allow the F-Pace to perform on mud, gravel, snow and other low-grip surfaces.
As standard, an 8.0in touchscreen and infotainment system are offered, and in front of the driver a 12in HD screen displays speed and trip computer functions, plus 3D navigation graphics. A laser head-up display projects such things as navigation instructions and speed limits onto the windscreen.
Other standard equipment with the entry-level Prestige trim includes heated leather seats, 18in alloy wheels, a powered tailgate, front and rear parking sensors, sat-nav, a Wi-Fi hotspot and hill launch assist with descent control.
Other trims include the sporty R-Sport (from £36,670), the plush Portfolio (from £39,170) and the range-topping S (from £51,450). From launch, Jaguar is also offering a fully loaded First Edition model powered by the V6 diesel engine.
Bentley describes its £160,200 model as “the fastest, most powerful, most luxurious and most exclusive SUV in the world”. It also has “the world’s finest automotive cabin” that offers “unparalleled luxury” in its sector, according to the Crewe-based luxury carmaker.
Despite its size and high price, the 6-litre Bentayga is not being positioned as Bentley’s flagship: that will continue to be the £225,000 Mulsanne limousine. Bentley wants to emphasise the practicality, strength and durability of its new SUV, as well as the luxury. Even though it acknowledges few buyers will ever venture off-road, it says the car is fully capable of tackling tough terrain.
Bentayga prices will start about £30,000 above the most luxurious Range Rover and are likely to be driven much higher by the bespoke equipment that customers can specify. Deposits have already been taken for the first year of production, with the first deliveries in early 2016.
The W12 model, which can cover 0-62mph in 4.1 seconds and is flat out at 185mph, does 22.1mpg and emits 292g/km CO2. For buyers with an eco-conscience, it will be joined in the near future by diesel and plug-in hybrid alternatives, plus a seven-seat derivative to serve as the ultra-rich’s family runabout.
Alfa Romeo Giulia
The dearth of interesting products is coming to an end for Alfa Romeo dealers. A rival to the likes of the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class, the Giulia is the first of eight new Alfas planned to launch over the next three years as part of a £3.6 billion investment in the brand.
The Giulia, which could be with the first customers by the end of the year, was revealed in range-topping Quadrifoglio Verde guise at a special event at Alfa’s refurbished Arese headquarters on the outskirts of Milan before heading to the Frankfurt Motor Show. A Ferrari-developed new aluminium bi-turbo 3.0-litre V6 engine with 503bhp powers this flagship model, which should secure good profits for the network.
Alfa plans to sell the new models on their driving purity, character, charm, and style under a strapline ‘‘la meccanica delle emozioni’ (the mechanics of emotion). Each will be built to meet five criteria: innovative engines, 50/50 weight distribution, advanced technical solutions, best-in-class power-to-weight ratios, and distinctive Italian design.
The next-generation Renault Mégane will go on sale next summer with a Renaultsport-tuned GT model at the head of its launch line-up.
Renault hopes launching with a higher-value, sports-focused model in the line-up will drive early sales and tempt buyers from established mainstream competition, such as the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra and Volkswagen Golf.
The Mégane’s more grown-up looks are notably different in character from those of the Clio, Captur and Kadjar. Instead, it has been designed to appeal to more mature buyers at the heart of the brand.
The carmaker says it has improved fit and finish and that the technology standard on all but the rental-spec base model will include a 7in digital tablet controller for the multimedia and a colour head-up display for navigation and speed information.
The Mégane will be available with a choice of five diesel and four petrol engines, ranging in power from 89bhp to 202bhp, although Renault hasn’t yet decided which powertrains will go on sale in the UK. A diesel hybrid model will be launched in 2017, with combined fuel efficiency of 94mpg and CO2 emissions of 76g/km.
The 202bhp Mégane GT will be followed by a 163bhp diesel at the end of 2016, both linked to dual-clutch automatic gearboxes with steering wheel shift paddles.
Volkswagen is claiming much-improved interior space and fuel efficiency gains of up to 25% with its latest Tiguan SUV, which has been unveiled at the Frankfurt show.
The new model is 60mm longer, 30mm wider and 33mm lower than its predecessor, and its wheelbase is up by 77mm, to 2681mm. VW claims rear-seat knee room is up by 29mm, thanks to a redesigned split-fold rear seat that offers up 180mm of longitudinal adjustment. The boot capacity is up, too - by 145 litres to 615 litres with the rear seats in place or 1,655 litres with them folded down.
The core of the Tiguan’s engine line-up will be EU6-compliant diesel engines. There’s a 114bhp 1.6 and a trio of 2.0-litre units, offering 148bhp, 178bhp and 217bhp. Certain markets will get a variety of 1.4-litre and 2.0-litre turbocharged petrols too, but the UK is unlikely to see more than a couple of these at most.
The lower-powered engines get front-wheel drive, while the more potent units have a four-wheel-drive system offering four driving modes. Gearbox choices include a standard six-speed manual and an optional six- or seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
All four-wheel drive variants now have 200mm of ground clearance – an additional 11mm over the front-drive models. There’s also an optional off-road package that brings a reworked front bumper to increase the approach angle from 18.3 degrees to 25.6 degrees. Depending on the engine, the towing capacity extends to 2500kg.
The final production version of the Infiniti Q30 hatchback will come with three trim levels – SE, Sport and Premium – and a choice of five engines, both petrol and diesel, when it goes on sale in the UK in January. It’s destined to compete with the Audi A3, BMW 1 Series, Lexus CT and Mercedes A-Class.
The Premium model features several styling features over the SE, including LED front foglights, body-coloured and heated door mirrors and chrome-coloured exhausts. It comes with 18in-alloy wheels. The Sport model, meanwhile, gets a bespoke front bumper and a gloss-black front grille, along with body-coloured sills and dark chrome exhausts.
The Sport also rides on 19in alloy wheels and gets stiffer suspension that’s 15mm lower than the rest of the range.
The engines include a 1.6-litre petrol with either 120bhp or 154bhp, a 107bhp 1.5-litre diesel and a 2.2-litre diesel with 168bhp. A 208bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol is also offered on the Sport and Premium versions.
Suzuki’s new Baleno will reach UK showrooms in spring 2016, with a brief to win value-seeking consumers away from superminis and small MPVs.
To be positioned slightly above the Swift, the Baleno will offer more space and practicality and sits on a new platform that may also underpin a new small SUV in the future.
The engine line-up for the Baleno comprises Suzuki’s 1.2-litre Dualjet motor with 89bhp and a new 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged unit, dubbed Boosterjet, which produces 110bhp.
The standard transmission is a five-speed manual, although the Dualjet is also offered with a CVT gearbox and the Boosterjet is available with a conventional six-speed automatic.
A Dualjet SHVS hybrid version will be the cleanest model in the line-up at launch, with CO2 emissions of 93g/km. The regular manual Dualjet emits 101g/km, while the more powerful Boosterjet manual emits 103g/km.
Rolls Royce Dawn
This four-seater luxury convertible shares much of its underpinnings with the Wraith, including the twin-turbo 6.6-litre V12 engine, but 80% of the body panels are new. Rolls-Royce claims it is the quietest soft-top ever made. Orders are already being received, even though the asking price is yet to be announced.
The current Sportage has been a big win for the UK Kia dealer network, so this fourth-generation model has much to live up to when it arrives in early 2016. A range of diesel and petrol engines will be on offer, including a 1.7-litre 113bhp TDI for optimum economy, plus 2WD and 4WD transmission.
Carrying over the three trim levels from the current model, the new Sportage will also offer a fourth grade, badged GT-Line. This top-grade car gets 19in alloys, ‘ice-cube’ style foglamps, dual exhausts and navigation with connected services, and could mean a £30,000+ invoice for the Sportage buyer who wants the best.
Nissan NP300 Navara
The new double-cab pick-up has been adapted for European markets, with multi-link suspension at the rear for the first time, to provide an SUV-like drive and improved safety. It’ll be sold in four grades, starting with Visia, as per Nissan’s car range, and first-in-class equipment options will include an around-view monitor and Nissan-
Connect with Google search.
It will still deliver the practicality and toughness its business and trade customers will expect, Nissan insists. This includes the ability to haul a 3.5-tonne braked trailer – more than half of current Navara owners use it for towing.
It’ll have a five-year/100,000-mile warranty, official fuel efficiency of 44mpg and CO2 emissions as low as 169g/km, depending on the version. Prices will be announced in October, ahead of its January launch.
Concept cars from the Frankfurt Motor Show 2015
Porsche Mission E
Is this an electric mini-Panamera of the future? Expect a production version by 2020.
It’s a 2+2 seater crossover concept inspired by Nissan’s sporty Z cars, which hints at a model that could sit above the Juke.
Audi Q6 E-Tron Quattro
This concept is a foretaste of a production electric SUV that Audi says it will launch in 2018.
This study shows efficiency thinking at Mercedes – ultra sleek aerodynamics, a retractable front splitter and side ‘gills’ that adjust to improve airflow and reduce drag.