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New in 2014: Premium players ready to roll
Huge year for European luxury models, Japanese and Korean sportscars also due
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3 Feb 2014
LUXURY CARSTHE luxury race kicked off with a bang this year with the launch of the Maserati Quattroporte GTS V8 in January, to be joined by an ‘entry’ V6 version in February.
February will also see the second ‘second coming’ of Infiniti courtesy of its new Q50 mid-sized sedan rival for the BMW 3 Series. The Q50 will be further bolstered later in 2014 when it gets a Mercedes-Benz petrol engine option, but will make do from the start with hybrid or diesel power.
The new three-cylinder Mini hatch arrives in April six months after its world premiere in LA last November, retaining its novel retro appeal. At the same time, Audi will lob its revised A8 limo flagship, headlined by a heavy-hitting S8 arriving one month later.
The Ingolstadt marque will also launch the 206kW/380Nm S3 sedan, the hottest version of newly launched three-box baby. At the other end of the premium-small spectrum, Lexus will launch a facelift of its CT hybrid hatchback early in the second quarter.
Maserati is expected to complement its new Quattroporte with the smaller Ghibli during the second half of 2014, although global demand for the BMW 5 Series rival might see Australia’s allocation pushed back in the queue until the third quarter.
Also due around the middle of the year is BMW’s 4 Series Gran Coupe, yet another niche model from the Bavarian car-maker that will arrive here hot from its world premiere in Geneva in March.
July will see the arrival of the big daddy of the premium market: the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which get S-Class limo cues both inside and out, and will put even more pressure on the 3 Series and Audi A4 – both of which it continues to outsell even at the end of the current model’s lifecycle.
An AMG version will hit our shores by year’s end, as will the new flagship S-Class Coupe range-topper that replaces the CL-Class. A facelift to the popular B-Class tallboy hatch, including a redesigned nose, could also arrive on local shores by the end of 2014.
Two electric luxury cars will also arrive in 2014: the BMW i3 hatch due in October, and the Tesla Model S – originally expected in June 2013, but now blown out to late this year.
Audi A8 facelift - Apr
Audi S3 sedan - May
Audi S8 - May
BMW i3 - Oct
BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe - Jun/Jul
Infiniti Q50 - Feb
Infiniti Q50 Turbo 4-cyl petrol - Q4
Lexus CT facelift - Q2
Maserati Ghibli - Q2/Q3
Maserati Quattroporte - Jan/Feb
Mercedes B-Class facelift - H2
Mercedes C-Class - Jul
Mercedes C63 AMG - Q4
Mercedes S-Class Coupe - Q4
Mini Cooper, diesel, Cooper S - Apr
Tesla Model S - Q4SPORTSCARSA SIGNIFICANT number of new or facelifted sportscars will touch down in 2014, from more affordable fare such as the new Subaru WRX in March to European exotica wearing Alfa, Jaguar and Porsche badges, among others.
First out of the blocks will be the 412kW/700Nm Audi RS7 in February, giving the Ingolstadt marque a rival for the Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG S. Around the same time, Porsche will release its even more potent Panamera Turbo S sedan.
Porsche’s raft of new additions will continue into April when the new-generation Cabriolet 911 Turbo and Turbo S arrive priced from $388,800, a shade under $30K more expensive that the hard-topped equivalent. Half way through the year, Porsche will also add the 1960s-inspired 911 Targa.
BMW will launch a pair of new even-numbered offerings in March when the 2 Series coupe and 4 Series folding hard-topped convertible touch down. Pricing for the baby 2 kicks off from $50,500, while the 4 Series will start at $88,800 from launch, but expect to see a cheaper 420i emerge down the road.
BMW’s range will grow further from July with the launch of the M3 sedan and M4 coupe, while the petrol-electric i8 EV supercar is expected to hit here around October.
Budget Euro Skoda will rev-up its Octavia range in the second quarter by launching the hotted-up RS sedan and wagon version with a claimed 0-100km/h sprint time of 6.8 seconds.
Breaking away from Europe, Subaru launches the eagerly awaited new WRX in March, replete with a downsized 199kW/343Nm 2.0-litre turbo engine and a starting price around $40K. The faster 227kW/392Nm 2.5-litre STI-badged fire-breather arrives in April, shortly after its global launch.
Later in the first quarter, Kia will launch its first ever hot hatch in the form of the awkwardly named Pro_cee’d GT, powered by a 150kW/265Nm 1.6-litre turbo-petrol engine.
Niche British marque Lotus pads out its local range in the first quarter when it launches the Exige S Roadster – its fastest convertible. Fellow Brit Jaguar will release the sexy F-Type Coupe, which harks back to the legendary E-Type.
Peugeot will inject some much needed extra razzle-dazzle in May when the RCZ R arrives, sporting the most powerful drivetrain from the brand – a manic little 199kW/300Nm 1.6 turbo. Australia will get a generous 40 units from the strictly limited global production run.
Shortly after, likely in July, Alfa Romeo will launch its gorgeous lightweight, mid-engined, rear-drive 4C coupe. It bears supercar looks but will lack the supercar price – it’s expected to slot in well below $100K.
In late Q2, Volkswagen will launch a pair of hot-hatches: the GTI Performance and the 221kW/380Nm hardcore Golf R.
One of the final sportscars to leave pitlane this year will be the stunning Lexus RC coupe, the Japanese brand’s show-stopping answer to the BMW 4 Series.
It shares much with the IS sedan, but has the sort of traffic-halting style that Lexus is so keen to acquire.
Alfa Romeo 4C - Jun/Jul
Audi RS7 - Feb
BMW 2 Series - Mar
BMW 4 Series Convertible - Mar
BMW M3/M4 - Jul
BMW i8 - Oct
Jaguar F-Type Coupe - Q3
Kia Pro_cee’d GT - Mar
Lexus RC Coupe - Dec
Lotus Exige S Roadster - Q1
Peugeot RCZ R - May
Porsche 911 Turbo/Turbo S Cabriolet - Apr
Porsche 911 Targa 4 and 4S - Jun/Jul
Porsche Panamera Turbo S - Feb
Skoda Octavia RS¬ - Q2
Subaru WRX - Mar
Subaru WRX STI - Apr
VW Golf GTI Performance/Golf R - Q2
The Road to Recovery podcast series
3rd of February 2014
New in 2014: Full steam ahead for passenger cars
Expect an influx of releases in 2014, most in the light- and small-car classes
3rd of February 2014
New in 2014: Light year for LCVs
More new light-commercial vans and additional variants set to arrive in 2014
15th of January 2014
Infiniti Q50 diesel from $52k
Benz diesel-powered Infiniti Q50 from $52k, hybrid option from launch
14th of January 2014
Detroit show: Porsche swings back to the ‘60s
The Targa top is back in fashion with Porsche’s latest 911 model
17th of December 2013
Revealed: New-gen Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Brand new C-Class outed, Benz to bring hybrid and AWD versions to Australia
20th of November 2013
LA show: Jaguar's big cat blasts in
Jaguar goes all Hollywood with heart-stopping Jaguar F-Type Coupe entrance
19th of November 2013
First look: All-new Mini stretched in all directions
Mini unveils bigger third-generation Mini on BMW’s new front-drive platform
1st of October 2013
BMW outlines i3 sales strategy
One dealer in each major city to sell BMW’s i3, with local launch set for July 2014
18th of September 2013
Alfa Romeo 4C detailed
Mid-engined Alfa 4C pricier than Porsche Cayman in UK, full details revealed
21st of August 2013
Frankfurt show: Audi updates A8 limo
Facelifted Audi A8 surfaces, Australia in line for 380kW S8 flagship from early 2014
10th of April 2013
Shanghai show: Maserati Ghibli sedan set free
Honey, we shrunk the Quattroporte: Maserati reveals the Ghibli sedan
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