It’s been a tough few months for the motor industry and, though the showrooms are open again, there could be tougher times ahead if people can’t afford to buy cars.
It all depends on how quickly the world bounces back from the current situation. The car makers have loads of really interesting new models on the way to look forward to, while those with the means to buy a new car now will find the dealers have their arms and pockets wide open to sweeten the deal further. Here we look at what’s coming down the line from all the brands sold in Ireland, mixed in with a few offers to tempt you into the showroom now, with a view to getting a new ‘202’ registration after July 1.
Alfa Romeo’s parent company, Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), and the PSA Groupe (Peugeot, Citroen, etc.) previously announced intentions to merge and create a new automotive giant. Things seem to have gone quiet on that front and indeed, FCA is known to be seeking bailout money to help it through the coronavirus crisis, so who knows what all that will mean for future models? The Giulia saloon and Alfa Stelvio SUV are due to arrive in modestly updated form, while well-heeled enthusiasts will be keen to hear about the 540hp lightweight sports saloon special called the Giulia GTA. Of more importance to Alfa’s bottom line is the introduction of the Tonale, a compact crossover set for introduction next year. Rumours suggest that Alfa Romeo is also working on an all-electric SUV.
Just before the Irish lockdown, Audi revealed details of its brand-new A3 range, so far including the five-door Sportback and four-door Saloon models. Those should arrive in Ireland before too long, as should the e-tron Sportback, a sportier looking version of the current Audi e-tron SUV. There’s a lot more to come that we have yet to see, including even more new all-electric ‘e-tron’ models, such as the more affordable Q4 e-tron and, at the other end of the price scale, the gorgeous e-tron GT. Apparently, a plug-in hybrid version of that new A3 is on the cards, too.
BMW has had a busy couple of months in terms of new model news. The X2 crossover came in for a modest update and the addition of a new plug-in hybrid version (the X2 xDrive25e) for a start, swiftly followed by the significantly updated BMW 5 Series range. Both saloon and Touring estate versions get the comprehensive facelift, which extends to adding mild-hybrid technology and a lot more to the perennial favourite with executive car buyers. Following on from that was the unveiling of an all-new BMW 4 Series Coupe. Everyone is talking about its controversial front-end styling, but there’s a lot more to this sporty number than that. And there’s even more to come from the Munich concern, including an all-electric version of the BMW X3 SUV, before we see the BMW i4 late this year, an electric car in the mould of a 4 Series Gran Coupe.
Citroen, part of the PSA Groupe mentioned above, will move forward with electrification next year, and we believe that an all-new C4 C-segment hatchback will lead the way for the brand. It has also revealed a plug-in hybrid version of the C5 Aircross, with a 50km electric range. No news yet on when either of those will come to Ireland. In terms of offers, a PCP finance rate of zero per cent is available on some models.
Cupra, in case you missed it, is a sporting brand that was previously part of its parent, SEAT. Its next new product (and the first developed specifically for Cupra) is interesting. It’ll take the form of a very sporting SUV with coupe-like styling and a plug-in hybrid option in the range. The concept previewing it is called the Formentor, but we’re not sure if that name will make it through to production. No news on an Irish introduction, though there is now a Cupra Ireland website showcasing that and the other SEAT-based Cupra models.
We’re still waiting for the unusual DS 3 Crossback to arrive in Ireland. It’s a highly distinctive alternative to the Range Rover Evoque and it will be available in fully electric ‘E-Tense’ format when it does go on sale.
Modest tweaks to the existing Fiat range extend to the 500X crossover, the Fiat 500 and the Panda. Notably, the latter two ranges now get hybrid technology for the first time. Perhaps of more interest is an all-new Fiat 500 (keeping a lot of the existing car’s retro styling) that is purely electric. Don’t bet on seeing many examples in Ireland until early 2021, though.
For the 202 period, Ford has the stylish new Puma crossover to sell, plus, likely to be extremely popular, the all-new Kuga SUV. The latter comes with a plug-in hybrid option for the first time, which will suit those that want to move away from diesel. Extending that idea further next year is the exciting new Mustang Mach-E, a high-performance electric SUV designed to take on Tesla at its own game. There’s also the updated regular Mustang sports car to consider, possibly the last of its kind without some form of electrification if rumours are to be believed.
An all-new Honda Jazz is imminent, taking the established nameplate in a more conventional hatchback direction. Saying that, there’s nothing traditional about its hybrid powertrain. Speaking of which, electrification will grow significantly at Honda next year. Heading that up is the diminutive Honda ‘e’, a small but stylish electric city car with a relatively small battery pack in a bid to reduce weight. That car spearheads the Japanese company’s new ‘e’ branding, which will include ‘e: HEV’ for hybrid models, including that Jazz.
Hyundai has a trio of offers for the 202 period for buyers to choose from. There’s five years of free servicing, ‘scrappage’ of up to €5,000 or 3.9 per cent APR finance available, with terms and conditions of course. Lots of Hyundai’s cars have been updated in recent months, including the Ioniq and all-new Hyundai i10 city car, while there have been useful additions to the Kona and Tucson model ranges. With an eye on the future, there are new versions of the i20 and Santa Fe in the pipeline, and a significant mid-life update for the Hyundai i30 range.
We’ve already seen the sharply facelifted new Jaguar F-Type sports car, and that’s available to order now. As are the ‘Chequered Flag’ special editions across the rest of the range. All going to plan, Jaguar will lightly refresh most of its line-up in the coming year, starting with the F-Pace SUV and XF executive saloon and estate. The I-Pace electric car and the E-Pace crossover are also expected to get an update next year, before a ground-breaking new all-electric Jaguar XJ luxury saloon is unveiled.
This year was set to be a massive one for the Land Rover brand, as the new Defender hit the showrooms, but the pandemic has certainly put a dampener on that. It’ll arrive in earnest later in the year. At the same time, Land Rover is expanding its plug-in hybrid portfolio, by applying the technology to the updated Discovery Sport and the Range Rover Evoque.
Lexus has already launched an updated RX SUV, available in five- and seven-seat guises. Big news is the adoption of a new infotainment system, which removes one of the few negative aspects of this luxurious hybrid. In typically Japanese fashion, the company is tight-lipped on future product plans, though we’re told that the next-generation Lexus IS saloon won’t be sold in Ireland. Hopefully, the new electric version of the Lexus UX crossover and the gorgeous LC Convertible will.
Following on from the relatively new CX-30 crossover will be the very quirky MX-30, Mazda’s first electric car that, as the name suggests, hopes to mix aspects of the company’s sports cars with its new electric powertrain. In time we expect this model to come with a petrol-powered range extender option, too.
The onslaught of new models from Mercedes hasn’t slowed down, though the introduction of some models, as with all brands, might be delayed this year. Notable new cars for the Irish market include the Mercedes GLA and GLB, two compact SUVs, the latter of which seats up to seven people. Sticking with the SUV theme, there’s also a massive new GLS on the way, plus the sporty-looking GLE Coupe. In the middle lies the evergreen Mercedes E-Class range. A significant overhaul for the stalwart has already been unveiled, focusing on technology and efficiency. This extends to the E-Class saloon, estate, cabriolet and coupe. Following on from that, we know there’s an all-new Mercedes S-Class in the pipeline, along with at least two new electric cars in the coming months, the EQV (based on the V-Class people carrier) and the EQA. The latter is expected to be a crossover vehicle about the same size as the Mercedes A-Class.
Just launched to the market this year is MINI’s first production-ready electric car, officially called the Cooper SE, but referred to by everyone as simply the MINI Electric. It mixes driving fun with zero emissions. Meanwhile, the new MINI John Cooper Works GP hot hatch focuses solely on the former, thanks to a feisty 306hp petrol engine and a wild body kit. Family buyers may be more interested to hear that the MINI Countryman SUV is coming in for a midlife update, too.
We’ve already seen the new Nissan Juke, which has hit the Irish market with more space and slightly less divisive styling than before. Other than that there’s a new Z-branded sports car in development, and the likelihood that the Nissan Qashqai will be replaced by a new model in 2021, news is thin on the ground for Nissan. However, it makes up for that with loads of 202 offers. There’s guaranteed minimum ‘scrappage’ on trading in against a new Nissan for a start, 3.9 per cent PCP across the range, zero per cent APR hire purchase on the Micra, €1,200 off the price of a new Nissan Qashqai SE and the option to go for Nissan’s unusual Subscribe & Drive offer, a subscription offering that requires no deposit.
Big news for Opel this year is the arrival of its all-new Corsa model, also due to be launched as the all-electric Corsa-e. Hot on its heels will be a brand-new version of the Opel Mokka crossover. Both of these cars are built on PSA Group platforms, as the Opel brand becomes fully aligned with the rest of the company. Buyers looking to get a car now will be tempted by the 2.9 per cent finance offers, plus the promise of three years’ free servicing.
Electrification is key to Peugeot this year. Along with the launch of its e-208 and e-2008 (electric versions of the all-new Peugeot 208 and 2008, respectively), plug-in hybrid versions of the Peugeot 3008 and 508 are also now on sale.
As expected, Porsche has started expanding the ‘992’ generation 911 range. The 911 Turbo and Targa models have gone on sale already, while fans will be eagerly awaiting the revealing of a new 911 GT3, too. A facelift for the Panamera is expected soon, as well, while a more rugged looking version of the Porsche Taycan electric car, called the Cross Turismo, is expected by next year.
Along with the stylish new Renault Captur crossover, a substantially revised Renault Zoe electric car has arrived in Ireland, with extended range and high-speed charging capability. An updated Koleos has also gone on sale and there’s an update for the Megane range on the way, too. Hybrid power will soon be available on a number of models across the line-up, as well. Meanwhile, Renault is grabbing a lot of attention with its Buy Now, Pay Later offer. It allows new buyers that use Renault’s finance service to defer payments for three months, while availing of a low 2.02 per cent APR and getting €1,000 cashback. There will be some terms and conditions, of course, but it looks like it’s across the range and a very tempting proposal.
Any day now, the first examples of SEAT’s new Leon hatchback will arrive in Ireland, and it looks closer to the Golf it’s based on than ever before. Next up from the Spanish brand will be an updated version of its Ateca SUV, while those with an eye on getting an electric car in the next few years should look out for SEAT’s first electric model, previewed by the ‘El-born’ concept and based on the same underpinnings as the Volkswagen ID.3. If you can’t wait for those, head along to SEAT’s website now to check out the zero per cent PCP finance offer and an online discount voucher for up to €3,000 on a new SEAT.
The international media launch of an all-new Skoda Octavia fell victim to the coronavirus restrictions a few months ago, but the car is in production and set to hit Irish showrooms before long. Ahead of its arrival, you could snap up a bargain though. Skoda is offering a three-month payment holiday to those buying on finance and, on top of that, super-low finance rates – either zero per cent APR or 1.9 per cent, depending on model. It’s a big range to choose from, too, though one glaring omission is a fully electric car. That’ll come next year, in the shape of the new Skoda Enyaq SUV.
The excellent Tesla Model 3 has gone on sale here, and is selling well, but we’re slow to predict when any other new models might arrive. We do know that the American company is working on an SUV to sit below the Model X in the range, called the Model Y, while it has also previewed a high-performance sports car called simply the Tesla Roadster.
While Toyota continues to do very well with its hybrid Corolla range, it has plenty of interesting new cars on the way, including a particularly sporty take on the Corolla, called the GR. This is expected to have well over 200hp and four-wheel drive. Of more mass-market appeal is the all-new Yaris supermini. It’s set for arrival in Ireland late this year with a super-efficient hybrid powertrain. Following on from that, next year, is the good-looking Yaris Cross, a compact crossover built on the same core platform as the Yaris. It is likely to be popular here. Finally, a plug-in hybrid version of the Toyota RAV4 is also on the way. In terms of offers for today, Toyota buyers can avail of €1,500 as a trade-in booster or as a finance contribution, along with three years’ free servicing.
Volkswagen is in the midst of launching, arguably, its two most important cars of recent times. The first up is the ID.3, an all-electric hatchback set for big sales numbers. It’ll spawn a whole range of ‘ID’ electric cars in time, including the ID.4 crossover. Of just of much importance, however, is the new Volkswagen Golf. There won’t be an electric version this time, but it can be had as two different plug-in hybrids, along with the usual array of petrol, diesel and high-performance options.
Volvo has already revealed the XC40 Recharge, an all-electric version of the compact SUV. Apparently, it does over 400 kilometres on a full charge and has over 400hp to put through its four wheels. Sounds promising. We expect Volvo to replace its aging V40 hatchback at some stage in 2021, too, featuring plug-in hybrid technology.