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Cuts made to clear old stock

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Volkswagen has launched its revised Sharan in the UK ahead of other markets. The price of the entry-level 2.0S is up by £1,000 at £18,645 but it now has as standard ABS, four airbags, six-speed transmission and seven seats, which, Volkswagen claims, makes it 4% better value than before.

Two new turbodiesels join the range, starting at £19,640 for the 90bhp S and £20,440 for the 115bhp S. There is also a new, more powerful V6 from £24,325 for the 2.8 Sport.

Hyundai has joined the raft of manufacturers, including Ford and Volkswagen, that have temporarily cut a selection of prices to clear excess stocks.

Seven specific models have been targeted, with the biggest reductions offered on the base Atoz, down £1,200 to £5,799 and the Lantra 1.6i which is cut by £1,605 to £8,999. There are also savings of £800 on the Amica Si, £900 on the Accent 1.3i 3dr, and £1,000 on both the Coupe 1.6i and Sonata 2.0 GSi.

Jensen's new S-V8 luxury sports car is to increase by between £3,000 to £5,000 shortly after its launch in the summer. Customer orders have filled the 300 production slots for first 12 months, and the list price of £39,650 will be honoured for those who have paid £1,000 deposits.

BMW has launched the Z8 two-seater at a list price of £86,650. Seventy units are likely to be imported into the UK in 2000, all left-hand-drive.

Also new is a 3-litre turbo-diesel in both the 3 and 5 Series, superseding the respected 2.5-litre six that can still be found in the Omega and Range Rover. The first version will be the 330d SE at £26,995 for the saloon and £27,895 for the Touring estate, £1,155 less than the 330 petrol-engined cars. In June a Sport saloon will join the range with 18-inch alloys, sports suspension and seats and an upgraded interior for an additional £2,200.

Mazda introduces its revised Demio this month, when it grows from a single model to a three-car range. This is partly to fill in the gaps left by the Fiesta-derived 121 - the Demio now comes in at £9,000 for the 1.3LXi with twin airbags and power steering. The 1.3 GXi is close in specification to the outgoing 1.3 but £595 less at £10,000 while the new 1.5 GSi is £11,000 with an auto gearbox an additional £700.

Fiat's automatic version of the Punto, the Speedgear, is launched for a competitive £500 premium on the manual car. The CVT transmission can, if desired, be used as a clutch-less manual with six speeds on the 1.2 16v ELX 5dr (£10,995) or seven on the Sporting 3dr with the same engine (£11,995).

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