Here's a guide to more of the new cars we're looking forward to seeing in 2007.
Lexus will follow the launch of the LS460 at the end of 2006 with the hybrid equivalent, the LS600h in the summer of 2007.
The Japanese company joins the 4x4 fray with the new CX-7. Mazda's new models have been popular with UK buyers in recent years; the MX5 of course leads its class, and the RX8 is fantastic. Can Mazda make an equally big hit with the public when the CX7 appears?
The new C-Class appears in November 2007 ready for the 2008 model year. Expect to see it at either the London motorshow, or perhaps Paris later in the year. This is Mercedes mainstream model and they will be looking for a release that will tempt buyers away from the BMW 3 Series and A4s which currently dominate this sector of the market.
Nissan's new five seat Qashqui SUV is expected to hit the UK streets early in 2007. It seems the British public can't get enough of SUVs these days, so the new Nissan, with prices starting from £15,000, will almost certainly be a big success.
Later in the year, Nissan have the Tilida making its way to Britain, and the car that petrolheads have been waiting for - the new GT-R. But before you get too excited, the latter is expected to cost around £50,000 when it's released in the autumn of 2007.
Another company replacing one of its best sellers in 2007 is Renault. The new Laguna will no doubt continue the class leading safety features of the current model, and will look to move up market to compete with the BMWs and Audis.
All new Skoda Fabia will follow in the success of the Audis, VWs and Seats already built on the new golf chassis. As usual expect to get great value for money as the Czech version of the VAG group car will have all the abilities of the other models at an even more competitive price. Engine range will be pretty much the same as those found in today's Golf, A3 etc, etc.
Skoda also release the Roomster late in 2007
Suzuki's brilliant swift has been a huge success for the company, so they're no doubt hoping that the new Splash will be aptly named when it's released in the summer of 2007
Possibly the biggest new release of the year will be the Toyota Corolla replacement; not only is the car a complete re-design, but it's also getting a new name: the Toyota Auris. Due early in the new year (probably February) the new car will enter a crowded market which is already full of great cars. Toyota will no doubt be putting everything into the new launch as it's vital for them if they are to continue to increase their market share.
List prices for the Auris will be in the £12,000 to £17,000 range but we expect that some good deals will be on offer not long after launch as Toyota fight to gain a huge slice of this most important sector. Reliability of course has always been Toyota's strongest suit, so they'll have no difficulty convincing buyers that this is a great car, but can they do enough to tempt the buyers away from the class leading Focus and Astra, and will prices be keen enough to outgun the Citroen C4?
Toyota have recently moved away from performance cars in favour of enhancing their reputation for producing environmentally friendly vehicles. Hybrids have been high on the agenda, and the Aygo and Yaris have been designed to be as efficient as possible. However, there are rumours that the new Auris range will include a hot hatch version. We think this makes a lot of sense as the car's overall image can be enhanced by the existence of such a vehicle. But it will be competing against some great rivals in the shape of the re-vitalised Volkswagen Golf GTi, the highly acclaimed Ford Focus STi and the terrific Vauxhall Astra VXR, so Toyota had better make sure the Auris hot hatch is a good one.
Vauxhall will follow the release of the new Corsa in 2006 with new VXR versions which will build on the successful VXR brand. Already the company have extended the brand to the Astra and Zafira. The Corsa VXR will feature a 1.6 litre turbocharged straight 4 engine, with 16 valves and a power output of 197bhp. If that's the case then it will be a seriously hot hatch considering the diminutive Corsa's light weight.
Vauxhall also have new small 4 wheel drive vehicle waiting in the wings for release in 2007. The Antara will be yet another small soft roader joining this increasingly popular sector.
Following co-operation with Suzuki, Vauxhall also have a replacement for the little Aguila due for release in the spring. Small cars with lots of interior space seem particularly difficult for manufacturers to get right, but the early indications are that the new Aguila will be a great looker thanks to clever design that disguises the traditional boxy shape of such cars.
The incredibly important, and best selling, Vauxhall Astra range is also getting a facelift this year.
A Golf based VW convertible coupe with a 0-60 time of around 5 seconds could appear in 2007. Concept cars look amazing and of course VW have the experience from the ever popular Audi TT to prove that they know how to make a great small performance car. The new VW will increase the company's profile and hopefully will make it into production.
With looks that are even more dramatic than the VW Concept C, the Concept R is a real head turner.
VW also release their Passat Coupe early in 2007, and both the Touran people carrier, and the Toureg Off Roader will be facelifted early in the new year for the 2007 sales.
Towards the end of the year expect to see much more of Volkswagen's new Scirocco Coupe. The company say that it will look very much like the fantastic Iroc concept car, and if that's true then we're very much looking forward to it. The new Scirocco is based on the Audi TT platform (which of course is shared by numerous other VWs, Skodas, Seats and Audis. We expect to see several different engines in the new Coupe, including the 2.8 V6 fitted with DSG and of course four wheel drive.
Demand for Volvo XCs is so great that even the company's new C30 should soon be available as an XC30 and both models will no doubt get bigger engines than those available on the current C30. A one off XC30 with a sub six second 0-60 time has already been built and tested by tuning company Heico, and most analysts expect to see the car released as an official model.
Naturally, the V50 based XC50 will be a smaller vehicle than the company's XC70 and XC90, but it looks to have all the style of the bigger cross roaders, and we'd expect it to be a somewhat less expensive to buy and run. The number of new SUVs available never ceases to amaze us. Only a few years ago, this was a niche market served, for the most part, by specialist companies. Suddenly every major company was rushing to get an SUV to market, and now it seems most are keen to get a second or third SUV on the market to make sure they don't miss out through lack of choice. At launch the XC50 is expected to be available with a choice of 165 or 218 bhp 2.5 litre engines, both of which already feature in existing Volvos.
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