Here's a brief guide to some of the new cars of 2005.
May 2005 is the release date for the limited edition lightweight Audi TT Quattro Sport Coupe. 49Kg has been stripped out to enable the 1.8 turbo engine (with 240bhp this time) to propel it to 60 miles per hour in under six seconds.
New Audi RS4 will give BMW M3s a run for their money, and at 49,980 the car packs a punch that will leave many sports cars in its wake - the RS4's 4,163 cc V8 FSI engine produces 414bhp so the new 4wd sports saloon is capable of 0-60 times of under 5 seconds. Top speed is limited to 155mph in the UK
New convertible (or Volante if you prefer) version of the DB9 hits the streets with around 450bhp on tap from its 6.0 litre V8 engine! Despite its weight that should be enough to power the car from 0-60 in under 5 seconds. Despite its price tag of over 110,000 there is apparently no shortage of buyers for the new car. Waiting times could be over a year, so if you've not already placed your order you have time to save up.
Will be launched in late 2005. Large coupes and convertibles will turn heads and will be a great package. 5 litre V10 producing over 500 bhp and 7 speed SMG gearbox promise a sub 5 second 0-60 time. The new BMW won't be cheap, but it's bristling with the very latest in automotive technology.
BMW are also looking to extend their range with a new V series which will be their first foray into the MPV market. At the present time the range is code named HQ but it seems the V badge will fit better alongside the X series off roaders. Whether the new vehicles will be available in 2005 is unknown at this time.
New variations of the BMW Mini One, Mini Cooper, and Mini Cooper S are available from September.
GM has re-branded all of its UK Daewoo cars as Chevrolets. The range now includes a new Matiz alongside the other cars (Lacetti, Kalos, and Tacuma) which are largely unchanged for now. Deals on new Chevrolets include 0% finance on the new Matiz. The range starts at a shade over six thousand pounds for the Matiz S, up to a price of almost eight thousand for the top of the range SX which includes air conditioning and alloy wheels as standard.
A convertible version of the PT Cruiser is launched in the UK. Outrageous retro USA styling is unique, but whether it will win over UK buyers is as yet unknown. The original PT sold in reasonable numbers, so chances are the Convertible will also do well. Price is expected to be around the 18,000 mark.
June 2005 saw the release date for the Citroen C1 city car. Developed jointly with Toyota the C1 is the Citroen equivalent of sister company Peugeot's 107 and the Toyota Aygo. The C1 is expected is, at 6,495 to 8,495, the cheapest of the three, though buyers should also check the relative merits of the Peugeot and Toyota offerings.
See Chevrolet - all new GB Daewoo cars are re-branded as Chevrolets. Buyers of the last of the Daewoo range may qualify for a free upgrade to the latest Chevrolet equivalent.
Fiat's new Croma range which is released in the UK in August is being touted as a new class of vehicle that brings the best features of the large hatchback, MPV and Estate cars in a single package.
Updated trim in Mondeo Models. Special Edition Titanium and Titanium X models similar to Ghia spec + Extra Extras.
New Focus saloon arrives in the UK to further boost sales of the UK's top selling car. Saloon models will probably be rarer than the hatchback, but the new variant looks great and will be an attractive option for buyers considering slightly larger saloons such as the VW Passat, Vauxhall Vectra, and of course Ford's own Mondeo range.
New Accord looks to move Honda up market to compete against the premium German brands. The accord has much to commend it, but of course Ford are attempting to up the profile of their Mondeo, Vauxhall are doing the same with the Vectra and VW's new Passat offers good performance, high levels of comfort and quality at a keen price. So Honda have their work cut out in this competitive sector, but they can point to the awesome reliability of their cars as at least one good reason for choosing an Accord.
New 4 litre diesel version of the XK brings economy to the performance sector. With more and more companies restricting their drivers to diesel cars, Jag have produced a great vehicle for the executive chairman who wants style without breaking company car policy. Jag have also launched the XJ Diesel as well as diesel versions of the X type in both saloon and estate format.
New Grand Cherokee Ltd makes a big impact in July 2005. Gas guzzling 5.7 litre engine in the top of the range Ltd model produces 322 bhp; this should be good for 0-60 time of 7 seconds, but expect to get a modest 18 or 19 mpg from the beast on the combined cycle (so probably less than that in practice if you're like most drivers). More economical options are the 3 litre turbo diesel and a 4.7 litre V8.
If you need a huge off roader then this could be the car for you. But check out the Lexus RX400h too - it's a bit more expensive to buy at 50,000 but its impact on the planet will be considerably less damaging.
This year Lexus change their important IS and GS cars, and there's a new hybrid SUV on the way. Click here for more information about new Lexus Cars for 2005.
Mazda 5 - Sliding rear doors a novel feature on grown car built on Mazda 3 chassis. Looks classy and expected to cost around 15,000 when it's launched on July 22nd 2005. That's the same day as the launch of the new Vauxhall Zafira so buyers of medium MPVs are going to be spoiled for choice.
November 2005 sees the release of the new Mazda MX5. At its launch date 15 years ago, the original Mazda 2005 was the sports car to have. Over the years, the competition has strengthened to the point where a major revision was necessary. Fortunately for Mazda, the new 2005 MX5 looks like its got everything that needed to redress the balance. The price tag is expected to be somewhat higher than that of the old model, though that's because the aging car needed a lower price point to compete with its more modern rivals - such as the BMW Z4, Honda S2000, Mercedes SLK and Nissan 350Z. The improvements made to the completely redesigned 2005 Mazda MX5 could be just about enough to blow the competition away once again, in which case the increased purchase cost of the new car is easily justified.
Stunning B-Class released in September 2005. As you would expect it's bigger than an A, and smaller than a C. Could be very popular indeed.
And the new Mercedes R class will boost the company's offerings at the top end of the market. Prices will start from somewhere between 40 and 50 thousand pounds - but you'll get lots of space, practicality and features for your money. Could be the ultimate car for the larger family - especially those resisting the full MPV look favoured by many.
And in addition to all this the new M Class will be with us in 2006.
New variations of the BMW Mini One, Mini Cooper, and Mini Cooper S are available from September.
A new Almera is on the way. More details to follow. The Nissan Micra C+ C provides a hard top convertible coupe version of Nissan's popular small car. This should be a great package offering fresh air motoring combined with Micra economy; it's a pity it won't be released in the UK until the end of 2005 - too late for the summer. It might still be a good buy ready for next year's fine weather.
Released in the summer of 2005, the new M14 is a stunning car, with performance to match.
Weighing around 1100Kg the M14 will cost around 75,000 but offers a 0-60 time of around 4 seconds thanks to 400bhp from its light space frame chassis, GRP bodywork and Ford twin turbo V6 engine. Meanwhile, the M400 also offers 400bhp and weighs only a shade over 1000 KG giving it a bhp per tonne ration of just under 400. The price is only 56,000 which must also give it one of the best price to performance ratios of any car on the UK roads.
107 city car is released in June 2005. See Toyota Aygo and Citroen C1 for comparative features.
Peugeot 1007 supermini. Novel sliding doors could appeal to many, as will elevated driving position. But at a few pounds short of 10K it may be too expensive for others.
The Peugeot 307 gets the new big mouth grill corporate look and an updated interior. More importantly, the top of the range 307 will inherit the 2.0 litre engine from the 206 GTi giving it 180 bhp. However, it won't quite have the performance of the GTi and won't be called a 307 GTi - there stories that Volkswagen are making it difficult for other companies to use this badge which they claim they have copyright over. The range will include the increasingly popular 307CC and a tidy looking estate car, as well as the regular hatchbacks in 3 and 5 door form.
2005 will be a bumper year for Porsche. Having recently released the new 997 version of the 911, and the 987 upgrade for the Boxster, their 4th model - the Cayman S - has now joined the range.
The new model bridges the huge price gap between the Boxster range, and the more upmarket 911s. With prices starting just under 44,000 the Cayman S is an interesting development. On the one hand it's difficult to see how that price can be justified for a car which is essentially a coupe version of the Boxster with a slightly larger engine; usually one has to pay more for the convertible. On the other hand, the car's a bargain if you look at its capabilities - only slightly less power than the entry level 911s, a mid engine layout and typical Porsche residuals. Promises to be one of the most desirable sports cars of the decade.
Note - this picture supplied by Photo Image Products - please visit their site to licence pictures of supercars.
In addition to the launch of the Cayman, Porsche continue to expand the models available in their other ranges. The new 987 version of the 911 has recently been boosted by the arrival of the cabriolet version. As with the 911 coupe, the new cabriolet is a significant improvement on the 986 cabriolet that it replaces, despite the fact that the old version was one of the best cars money could buy. Prices start from 65,000 but relatively low Porsche depreciation values, and longer service intervals (now 20,000 miles) should minimise the impact on owners wallets.
A new range of sports 4x4 vehicles has been released by Range Rover to compete with cars such as BMW's X5. While the off road capabilities of the existing Range Rovers has always been superb, the new sports are aimed at the driver who wants better performance from their Range Rover on the tarmac. The engine line up includes a 2.7 litre V6 Diesel available in S Spec from about 35,000 up to the top of the range 4.2 litre supercharged V8 which will cost just over 57,000. The new sport is going to be a great car on and off road.
The regular Range Rovers aren't standing still either. The 2006 cars are available now, priced from 46,000 to 73,000. That's a lot of money, but there's lots of new features designed to keep the brand at the top of the 4 wheel drive pack. For example, the 4,197cc Supercharged V8 Vogue SE offers a 0-60 time of 7.1 seconds.
A new hot version of one of the UKs best selling hatchbacks is released in 2005. The 182 Clio Cup is a replacement for the outgoing 172 Clio Cup, and not surprisingly offers an extra 10bhp over the old model. There are also many other tweaks to set the car up better to fend off the competition from Ford and Vauxhall who are both offering new hot versions of their small hatchback models. The Cup may well have what it takes to stay ahead of the pack as it's a very focused package. Renault have sold good numbers of their performance cars in the UK, including the awesome mid engine Clio V6, and no doubt the new 182 Clio Cup will be just as successful.
Seat Leon - Release Date Autumn 2005
New Leon, based on latest Golf Class chassis - Looks great.
At a shade over 16,000 Skoda's new 4wd Octavia Estate offers great value for money. The drive train is of course well tested in Audi and VW models, but the price for a capable 4wd load lugger is new. With VW's 1.9 litre turbo diesel engine, the new Skoda offers almost 48mpg which means that you can now carry big loads without breaking the bank.
Sharp new look Impreza should have an October 2005 release date. With lots of new performance hatches on the way from Ford, Vauxhall, Volkswagen and others, Subaru needed a lift for the awesome rally bred saloon. This looks like it should do the trick for those who prefer the Japanese saloon to the European hatches.
The new Impreza probably won't be quite as good as the Mitsubushi Evos, but it's in a class of it's own for performance to price ratio at around the 27,000 mark. The standard car will use an evolution of the current 2.0 litre engine.
For 2006, Subaru have other interesting new models including the Tribeca MPV. In our opinion it looks like a mixture of Porsche Cayenne and Lexus RX though if it combines the best features of these two great cars it may well be able to take on the class leading BMW X5.
New Suzuki Swift promises to be a step change in terms of desirability. Compared to the outgoing model the new Swift looks great and is sure to be in great demand - particularly amongst younger drivers who will love its combination of low insurance group and stunning looks. The new Swift has an up to date bold appearance and as a result it could give the other new contenders - such as the Toyota Yaris, Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa - a run for their money. Handling is said to be class leading and that alone will put it to the top of many shopping lists.
Toyota Aygo - Release date 01/07/2005
Sub Yaris class, developed in conjunction with Peugeot Citroen. Keen prices and very low running costs are promised.
New Tuscan S Convertible debuts at the Le Mans 24 hours. Priced at a shade under 42,000 in 3.6 litre form the new car looks great and will absolutely fly off the mark. But if that's not enough for you, then for another 10,000 you can also get it with a 4.0 litre engine and an S badge on the boot.
New Zafira is expected to be class leader in an increasingly popular segment. It goes on sale in July and will be popular, despite the abilities of the Renault Scenic, Honda FR-V etc, etc that it will compete against. Prices will start at about 16,000 and a good range of engines is expected, including a 2 litre turbo which should be capable of a 0-60 time that will leave its rivals standing.
In June 2005 the new Polo will extend the new face of VW. The new car looks like a big improvement on the outgoing model, and the new look - already seen on the Golf and Passat - suits the baby Volkswagen to a tee. The diesel variants could be the stars of the range. For example the 11,325 Polo 1.4 TDi S offers over 60mpg and yet will still have brisk acceleration as its got bags of torque in addition to its 80bhp. There are suggestions that next year the group's 184bhp 1.8 litre diesel could be squeezed in to produce a diesel GTi version.
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