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Brace for 2011 new-model bonanza

New models hatched: Holden's locally designed and made Cruze hatch will be among at least 140 new model launches in 2011.

Consumers the winners as Aussie car-makers and importers plan 2011 model mania

23 Dec 2010

AUSTRALIAN car-makers and importers sold more than a million new vehicles in a year for only the third time in 2010, but that won’t stop them launching an avalanche of new models across all segments at the rate of almost three vehicles a week in 2011.

By GoAuto’s count, about 140 new models and significant upgrades are on the launch pad for the next 12 months – and that’s just the vehicles we know about - with critical new models covering every segment of the market set to give new-vehicle consumers unprecedented choice.

For the local manufacturers, 2011 will be a watershed year, with Holden launching its 'localised' Cruze sedan followed by the Australian-designed Cruze hatch, Toyota springing its new-generation Camry and Ford performing heart transplants on its local heroes - the facelifted Falcon and Territory.

While the nation's only homegrown SUV finally gets diesel power, Ford's volume-selling Falcon scores liquid LPG injection six-cylinder and EcoBoost four-cylinder engine alternatives, and Holden will add more E85 models and fit a dedicated LPG system to the Commodore range.

Among the import highlights will be a new Holden Barina, Toyota Yaris, Ford Focus, locally designed Ford Ranger ute and its Mazda twin, the BT-50, Volkswagen Amarok ute and new Honda Civic and Subaru Impreza small sedans.

New Chinese brands such as Geely and Chery are set to arrive in force, while German brand Opel is expected to arrive in Australia in its own right – instead of under Holden badges – and the revived Swedish brand Saab is set to do a Lazarus.

As usual, luxury and sports car importers will unwrap a vast number of fresh models such as a new BMW M5, Audi A6, Alfa Romeo Giulietta and Mercedes-Benz SLK.

If you’re in the market for a new vehicle in 2011, our segment-by-segment run-down of new, facelifted and upgraded models due Down Under next year is not to be missed.

Light cars THE bouncing baby light-car class quickly has become one of the most important market segments in Australia and manufacturers are reacting accordingly, pouring new and exciting new models – and frequently more than one per manufacturer – into this burgeoning class.

In 2011, four of the top-sellers are in for dramatic change, with Toyota wheeling out an all-new Yaris in September, Holden doing the same with its Barina about a month later, Suzuki lining up a new Swift in February and Hyundai effectively replacing its class-leading Getz with the i25 (Accent) and – perhaps – the i10 city car to join the i20.

Chinese manufacturers are also set to make their presence felt with the launch of Geely and Chery models in this segment – just the first of many.

Geely MK range (WA only) January
Honda Jazz range (facelift) January
Suzuki Swift range February
Ford Fiesta Zetec hatch February
Chery J1 (A1) hatch manual March
Geely LC (Panda) range Q2
Kia Rio 5-door July
Hyundai i25 (Accent) sedan Q3
Great Wall hatch (Voleex) September
Toyota Yaris range September
Holden TL Barina range October
Proton S16 range (facelift) October
Proton Gen.2 range (facelift) October
Kia Rio 3-door and sedan Q4
Mazda2 SkyActive (upgrade) Q4
Nissan Micra-based sedan Q4
Opel Corsa range Q4
Skoda Fabia range Q4
Hyundai i10 Q4
Small cars OLD rivals Ford and Holden are set to go head to head like the good old days in this category in 2011, as Holden’s new locally made Cruze – a facelift of the current imported model but made in Adelaide – is countered by Ford’s imported all-new Focus late in the year.

Like Holden, whose localized Cruze sedan will be complemented by a homegrown Cruze hatch in the third quarter, Ford was planning to build its new small car locally but got cold feet and decided to import the Focus, which will come from Germany initially before production starts in Thailand in 2012.

Among the importers, Honda is set to unveil its new Civic sedan late in the year, as is Subaru with its all-new Impreza range.

Again, the Chinese car-makers are set to make their debut in this segment, with Great Wall launching its first passenger car - a hatch based on China’s Voleex - Chery pulling out its 1.6-litre J3 hatch – known in China as the A3, a name that is already spoken for here – and Geely launching its EC7 sedan and hatch around mid-year.

While Hyundai’s i30 hatch will be joined by the new i35 (Elantra) before June, Mazda is set to launch its spanking new and highly efficient SkyActiv power-plants in the top-selling Mazda3 (and Mazda2).

Geely MK range (WA only) January
Honda Civic Si range (upgrade) January
Holden Cruze sedan range (facelift) February
Suzuki Swift range February
Chery J3 (A3) hatch man/auto Q2
Hyundai i35 (Elantra) sedan range Q2
Holden Cruze hatch range Q3
Geely EC7 range July
Proton Persona range (facelift) October
Ford Focus range Q4
Honda Civic sedan range Q4
Mazda3 SkyActiv (upgrade) Q4
Volkswagen Jetta range Q4
Medium cars ALL eyes will be on Toyota when it launches its new-generation locally-made Camry with a new 2.5-litre engine and hybrid variant from its refurbished Altona plant in the third quarter of 2011.

The Japanese giant needs to get this one right, as its manufacturing future in Australia rests on the sales success of Camry, both in Australia and in export markets such as the Middle East.

The Koreans will be making the other big plays in this segment, with Kia kicking off the year with its 2.4-litre Optima Platinum – which may be joined by 2.0-litre variants late in the year – and Hyundai eyeing the European-focussed i40 wagon to line up beside its existing i45 sedan in Australia.

Renault’s new Latitude will also be sourced from Korea, from the French company’s joint-venture with Samsung.

Kia Optima 2.4 Platinum January
Renault Latitude Q1
Toyota Camry range Q3
Kia Optima 2.0 Si and SLi Q4
Hyundai i40 Q4
Large cars ENGINES will be the talking point in the Aussie large-car arena, with Ford and Holden both upgrading their green credentials in the second half of 2011.

Along with a mild facelift in the third quarter of the year, Ford’s Falcon will get a new Orbital-developed liquid propane injection (LPI) system as an alternative to petrol for its six-cylinder engine. This system is said to offer advantages in both efficiency and performance over the current gas LPG system that is a favourite of Aussie taxi operators.

Ford Falcon range (facelift) Q3
Ford Falcon LPI Q3
Ford Falcon EcoBoost Q4
Holden Commodore 3.6 E85 October
Holden Commodore dedicated LPG range October

 center imageBut the bigger news will be the arrival of four-cylinder power in the Falcon via Ford’s global 2.0-litre turbocharged EcoBoost engine – the first time this engine has been applied to a rear-drive car anywhere in the world.

This 176kW force-fed engine will be more fuel efficient than the traditional big six while offering reasonable performance, but will not be necessarily cheaper.

Holden is set to counter with a new dedicated LPG system of its own, but it is sticking with gas injection.

As well, it is extending the E85 ethanol capability of the Commodore’s current 3.0-litre V6 to its mainstream 3.6-litre powerplant, meaning all MY2012 Commodores will be set to run on flex fuel.

Small luxury cars MAKERS of compact premium models will also be out in force in 2011, which will kick off next month with Alfa Romeo’s all-new VW Golf rival, the Giulietta hatch. Initially available in 170 (horsepower) and Quadrifoglio sports versions, the successor for the rejuvenated Italian brand’s 147 will be joined by a TCT auto transmission mid-year.

Mini’s first crossover, the Countryman, will follow a month later - as will the first small hatchback from Lexus in the Prius-powered CT200h hybrid, lowering the Japanese luxury brand’s admission price to less than $50,000.

Sweden’s bjorn-again Saab brand will return to Australia early next year with a freshened 9-3 range, while piping-hot new premium compacts will follow in the form of Audi’s cracking RS3 Sportback, Abarth versions of Fiat’s diminutive 500 hatch and cabrio, and – potentially – Citroen’s DS3 Racing.

At the other end of the scale will be Volkswagen’s fuel-sipping Golf BlueMotion, which will precede facelifted 1 Series coupe and convertible models from BMW, an all-new C4 hatch and DS4 crossover from Citroen, Mini’s all-new coupe and both a facelifted Eos coupe-convertible and reborn Golf Cabrio from Volkswagen.

If Opel gets the green light for Australia, expect the German GM brand’s latest Astra hatch to be a key part of the pitch by year’s end.

Alfa Giulietta 170 and QV manual January
Mini Countryman range February
Lexus CT200h range Q1
Saab 9-3 range (upgrade) Q1
Audi RS3 Sportback Q2
Fiat 500 and 500C Abarth June
Geely EC7 range July
Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion Mid-year
Alfa Giulietta 170 TCT July
Citroen C4 range August
BMW 1 Series Coupe (facelift) September
BMW 1 Series Convertible (facelift) September
Citroen DS3 Racing Q3
Volkswagen Eos range (facelift) Q3
Opel Astra range October
Mini Coupe Q4
Volkswagen Golf Cabrio Q4
Citroen DS4 December
Medium luxury cars VOLVO’S redesigned S60 sedan will open mid-size luxury car launch proceedings in 2011, followed two months later by the V60 wagon range, while Skoda finally gets an automatic transmission for its Octavia-based Scout soft-roader.

Volkswagen will also bring its reskinned sixth-generation Passat line-up to Australia in the second quarter, shortly before mid-year launches for Citroen’s mildly updated C5 range and the facelifted C-class sedan and new C-class Coupe that Mercedes-Benz will reveal at next month’s Detroit motor show.

Sedan and wagon derivatives of Peugeot’s new 407-replacing 508 will be forthcoming in July, while Europe’s classy Insignia mid-sizer could top a potential Opel brand introduction by year’s end.

Volvo S60 T5 January
Volvo V60 range March
Skoda Octavia Scout DSG Q2
Volkswagen Passat range Q2
Citroen C5 (facelift) June
Mercedes-Benz C-class facelift Mid-year
Mercedes-Benz C-class Coupe Mid-year
Peugeot 508 sedan and Touring July
Opel Insignia range Q3
Large luxury cars A BEVY of all-new BMWs in 2011 will open with the German juggernaut’s redesigned 5 Series wagon – including diesel power for the first time – followed in February by the less commodious new 6 Series Convertible.

The hard-topped 6 Series Coupe – also due to debut at Detroit – won’t arrive here until the fourth quarter, when BMW will also release the four-dour 6 Series sedan (as previewed by the sleek Gran Coupe concept) and the long-awaited twin-turbo successor for its legendary M5 super-sedan.

In between, Audi will add a diesel option to the menu for buyers of the new A8 limousine, launch its all-new A7 Sportback and land its redesigned A6 range, while Bentley will introduce a fresh Continental GT coupe and Saab will finally release a replacement for its 13-year-old 9-5 flagship.

Not to be left out, Mercedes-Benz will offer up a facelifted S-class, including revised S63 AMG super-limo and frugal new S350 BlueTec variants, as well as its second-generation CLS four-door ‘coupe’ family, led by the bruising new CLS63 AMG.

BMW 5 Series Touring January
BMW 6 Series Convertible February
Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG February
Mercedes-Benz S350 BlueTec February
Audi A8 diesel Q1
Bentley Continental GT April
Saab 9-5 range April
Audi A7 range Q2
Mercedes-Benz CLS/63 AMG July
Audi A6 range Mid-year
BMW 1 Series Convertible (facelift) September
BMW 6 Series Coupe Q4
BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe Q4
Sportscars NEXT year will also be a great time to buy a sportscar, with everything on offer from redesigned versions of the finest performance cars from Germany and Italy, to an all-new affordable sportster from Korea.

Hyundai’s all-new Veloster two-door and a replacement for Ferrari’s 612 Scaglietti grand tourer will be the last to arrive in the fourth quarter, while the Lotsu Evora S will open the sportscar bidding in January.

In between, the Alfa Romeo 159’s new 1.75-litre turbocharged 1750 TBi engine will become available in the Brera coupe, Porsche will plonk down its super-exclusive new 911 Speedster and Cayman R, and Nissan will lob with its quicker and more powerful MY11 GT-R and an upgraded 370Z.

Also due Down Under from April is the first of eight examples of Lexus’ first super-coupe, the LFA, followed by Honda’s all-new CR-Z hybrid, BMW’s mad new 1 Series M Coupe, Mercedes-Benz’s redesigned SLK roadster, Maserati’s track-ready GranTurismo MC Stradale coupe and McLaren’s mighty new supercar, the MP4-12C.

Lotus Evora S January
Alfa Romeo Brera 1750 TBi February
Porsche 911 Speedster February
Alfa Romeo Spider 1750 TBi March
Nissan MY11 GT-R March
Porsche Cayman R March
Lexus LFA April
Nissan 370Z upgrade April
Honda CR-Z July
BMW 1 Series M Coupe Q3
Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale Q3
McLaren MP4-12C Q3
Mercedes-Benz SLK range Q3
Ferrari 612 Scaglietti replacement Q4
Hyundai Veloster Coupe Q4
People-movers WITH family-friendly SUVs dominating the mass-moving market, people-movers seem set to remain largely dormant in 2011.

The only activity we have been able to spot is a pair of facelifts for Chrysler’s big Voyager and Citroen’s C4 Picasso around the middle of the year.

Chrysler Voyager (facelift) Q2
Citroen C4 Picasso (facelift) June
Compact SUVs THE compact SUV market just keeps getting bigger and more competitive, with a flock of new entrants set to make life interesting for existing players.

SsangYong has fought its way out of bankruptcy, thanks to a helping hand from India’s Mahindra, and it is set to bring back the Korando in an all-new, more stylish guise.

China’s Chery is planning to launch its RAV4-style J11 2.0-litre small SUV – known in China as the Tiggo – in March, while rival Great Wall is planning a facelift and 2.0-litre diesel variant for its X-Series range.

Another newcomer is the Skoda Yeti from the Volkswagen Group, while Range Rover is set to launch its first compact luxury SUV, the low-roofed Evoque, in October.

Nissan X-Trail 2WD January
Subaru MY11 Forester, S-Edition February
SsangYong Korando February
Land Rover MY11 Freelander February
Chery J11 (Tiggo) man/auto March
Great Wall X240 manual (facelift) Q2
Volkswagen Touareg range Mid-year
Great Wall X200 diesel man/auto Q3
Skoda Yeti range Q3
Range Rover Evoque October
Mazda CX-5 range Q4
Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4 Q4
Medium SUVs THE three biggest players on the Australian market all are planning activity in this segment this year, with Ford leading the way with a facelifted Territory that gets a diesel engine alternative for the first time.

Holden is set to counter with a facelifted Captiva that was revealed under Chevrolet badges at the recent Paris motor show. The Korean import is also likely to get a new, more refined diesel engine.

Toyota is going retro with its FJ Cruiser, a throwback to LandCruisers of yore but with thoroughly modern mechanicals under the skin.

The big news at the luxury end is the all-new, bigger BMW X3 that now slots more neatly into the Munich company’s crossover vehicle range between the X1 and X5.

Rival Audi will counter with a hybrid version of its successful Q5, while Saab looks set to launch its first SUV, the Mexican-made 9-4X, with a Holden-made turbo V6 among the engine choices, late in the year.

Volvo XC60 T5 January
BMW X3 range March
Toyota FJ Cruiser March
Land Rover MY11 Freelander February
Nissan Pathfinder 550 (V6 diesel) March
Ford Territory range (facelift) March-April
Ford Territory diesel March-April
Holden Captiva range (upgrade) April
Audi Q5 Hybrid Q4
Saab 9-4X range Q4
Large SUVs GRUNT is the word in the large SUV launch arena this year.

Jeep kicks off the year with its new Jeep Grand Cherokee in January, and then Range Rover is set to chime in with a refreshed range that is said to include a thumping 4.4-litre diesel V8 with more torque than a locomotive and the fuel economy of a small V6.

Then there’s the return of Mercedes-Benz’s utilitarian G-class off-roader – in G55 AMG and G350 BlueTec guises – and the MY11 GL-class line-up including the torque-laden GL450 CDI diesel.

Jeep Grand Cherokee range January
Range Rover V8 diesel February
Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG March
Mercedes-Benz G350 BlueTec March
Mercedes-Benz GL450 CDI March
Light trucks VOLKSWAGEN leads the charge in what is expected to be a bumper year for beaut utes.

Its all-new, Argentine-made Amarok will set the cat among the pigeons from March when its first variant, the diesel dual-cab manual ute, arrives, to be followed late in the year by single-cab and automatic transmission variants.

In a landmark move for the Australian motor industry, Ford will launch its locally-engineered and designed but Thai-built Ford Ranger in the third quarter. Its closely related sibling, the Mazda BT-50, will also lob in showrooms around the same time.

Chinese ute specialist Great Wall will offer its first diesel engine alternative in this country with the V200 VGT in the third quarter, while another Chinese vehicle maker better known for the buses – Higer – might well lob a ute entrant, the P3, later in the year.

Nissan Navara 550 (V6 diesel) January
Volkswagen Amarok dual-cab diesel March
Great Wall V240 dual-cab (facelift) Q2
Great Wall V240 single-cab (facelift) Q3
Great Wall V200 VGT diesel Q3
Mazda BT-50 range Q3
Ford Ranger Q3
Higer P3 range Q4
Volkswagen Amarok single-cab and auto Q4
Vans MERCEDES-BENZ reshaped the van market with its Vito vans in Australia and it is set to ramp up the action with its new range in February.

However, the oldest car-maker in the world will have to do battle with one of the newest, China’s Higer, which is set to extend its reach down from the serious bus market into vans with the P1, a HiAce knock-off, late in the year.

Mercedes-Benz Vito range February
Higer P1 Q4

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