MG Rover, whose sales staged a revival last month, has broken new ground by announcing a 'special edition' based on a long-term special edition of the Rover 25 and 45.
Based on the Impression, the Olympic Impression is an extensive range. The 25 line-up comprises a 3dr and 5dr, a single engine (1.4-litres) and two derivatives. The Olympic Impression features 15-inch alloys and remote central locking, with S trim adding aircon, electric windows and a CD player. Prices start at £8,740, compared to £8,640 for a standard Impression.
The corresponding 45 range comes as a 4dr or 5dr, with a range of engines (1.4, 1.6, 1.8 and a 2-litre turbodiesel. Five-door models come in either Olympic Impression trim (aircon, CD, electric windows and mirrors) or S trim, adding 15-inch alloys, rear spoiler and fog lamps. Prices start at £11,480 for the 1.4. The 4dr comes in Olympic Impression S guise, with 16-inch alloys and leather seats added. As the 1.4-litre engine is unavailable in the saloon, prices start at £13,980 for the 1.6. There is no increase over standard Impression models.
Daewoo's new Tacuma 1.6 (replacing the 1.8-litre) offers better emissions performance and improved value. Starting at £10,995, all versions feature twin airbags, remote central locking, electric front windows and power steering. The £11,995 SX adds air conditioning, individual rear seats, ABS, front fog lamps and electric rear windows.
Hyundai retaliates this month with its first MPV, the Matrix, and forecasts 3,000 sales in 2002. It is based on the Elantra and three derivatives are offered - 1.6-litre petrol and 1.5-litre turbodiesel GSi variants, and a 1.8-litre CDX. All feature a hugely impressive standard spec, including aircon, anti-lock brakes, front and side airbags, CD player, electric windows and alloy wheels. The 1.6 GSi costs £10,999, the 1.5 TD GSi retails at £11,799, and the 1.8 CDX costs £12,199. In comparison, the cheapest 1.4-litre Renault Scenic is £12,400.
Peugeot has added multiplex wiring to the UK's best-selling retail car, the 206. Reducing complexity as well as increasing functions, all versions have twin airbags, a separate display for the stereo, doors that automatically unlock after an accident, and illuminated gloveboxes. Trip computers, automatic headlights and windscreen wipers, heated mirrors and internal central locking are available on higher-spec models. Prices have increased by around £100, with the base Style now costing £7,995. A Renault Clio 1.2 Authentique, with electric windows, remote central locking and smart front wipers as standard, costs £7,495.