Audi has introduced revised turbodiesel engines into the A4 and A6 ranges. A 115bhp derivative of the existing 1.9-litre 110bhp engine is now standard in the A4 TDi SE, with the price unchanged at £20,850 for the saloon, £22,107 for the Avant. The A6 has the option of a 180bhp version of the 2.5 V6 TDi which will run alongside the existing 150bhp model in the Quattro Sport and All-Road models. Prices of the Sport are down by close to £800 at £29,250 for the saloon, £30,400 for the Avant.
Alfa Romeo has launched the Sportwagon, its estate derivative of the 156, with a £1,100 premium over the saloon. Prices start at £14,975 for the 1.6, rising to £23,365 for a top specification 2.5 V6 auto. Alfa expects the Sportwagon to take 25% of 156 sales. Citroen's Renault Scenic rival, the Picasso, is released with prices starting at £13,600 for the 1.6LX, £500 more than the base Scenic. All versions get four airbags, electric front windows, remote locking, ABS and power steering. The 1.6 SX is £14,325 and gains aircon, CD player, front fog lamps and velour trim. A 1.8 petrol engine is £300 more, a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel an extra £1,090.
The arrival of three additional engines to Volvo's new V70 offers buyers cheaper and more economical alternatives to the 200bhp-plus cars available until now. A 2.4-litre normally-aspirated engine in either 140bhp or 170bhp form lowers the price to £22,260 and £23,360 respectively. A 140bhp turbodiesel is also now available from £25,160.
Saab is adding Airflow derivatives to its 9-5 range, based on the 2.0 or 2.3 light-pressure turbo models in both standard and SE trim. The pack includes lower sports suspension, 17-inch alloys and body kit. Prices start at £23,775, giving effective savings of up to £400 on the separate components.
Seat has widened its range of sports models with the addition of the Arosa 16v Sport and Ibiza 16v Sport. Both get 100bhp engines (1.4-litre in the Arosa, 1.6 in the Ibiza), plus the usual sporting extras. Prices are £9,995 and £11,495 respectively.
Mitsubishi Motors is importing more specialised vehicles from Japan by launching the Mitsubishi Ralliart franchise in the UK. Up to 1,000 cars may be imported in 2000, with double that in future years. At the same time, two new models are introduced, both based on the Lancer Evolution VI rally car. The Tommi Makinen Special Edition goes on sale in July at £33,000, and a budget derivative, the RSX, is launched for £25,995.
Ford has added a three-door derivative to the Focus 1.4CL range, priced at £11,495, making this the cheapest Focus available. Equipment includes twin airbags, remote locking and electric front windows.
Lamborghini, shortly to leave the umbrella of Porsche GB, has cut back its range to one model, the Diablo 6.0VT, at £152,500. The price represents a cut of £8,000 over the outgoing 5.7VT.
Volkswagen has topped the Golf range with its new V6 4Motion. The four-wheel-drive derivative has a 204bhp 2.8-litre V6, electronic stability control plus a comprehensive specification that includes climate control and CD autochanger.
Mazda has another special edition MX-5 for the summer. The California has sunburst yellow paintwork, upgraded alloys and a powerful CD system. Based on the 1.6, the price is unchanged at £16,000. The £13,995 626 Atlantis special edition offers a £500 saving on the price of the 1.8 LXi at £13,995 and adds alloy wheels.
Suzuki's Swift Cirrus special edition is being offered this month at 10% below the list price, at £6,623. The 1.0-litre 3dr has alloys, sports seats, spoiler, remote locking and electric windows. (Peter Burgess. June 9 2000)