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Incoming: Fresh metal due in 2012

Coming in 2012: The game-changing Holden Volt is one of at least 135 new and facelifted models due over the next 12 months.

Your one-stop segment-by-segment guide to new models coming next year

23 Dec 2011

AUSTRALIANS lapped up another near-record number of more than a million new cars, utes, vans and SUVs again this year, and they appear set to do the same again in 2012.

To take maximum advantage of the boom at both the private and fleet ends of the local motor industry, every brand will have something new to sell next year, when at least 135 additional, new, facelifted or upgraded models hit Australian showrooms.

Whether it is the latest and greatest supercar from Ferrari, a cutting-edge new electric car such as the Nissan Leaf or Holden Volt, a new brand like Opel or Infiniti, or a range of all-new one-tonne utes from a Chinese maker never before seen on these shores, we have it all covered here.

LIGHT THIS year might have brought us a bevy of new five-door city-hatches such as Toyota’s redesigned Yaris, Holden’s latest Barina and Kia’s even more accomplished Rio – not to mention hatch and sedan versions of Hyundai’s slick new Accent – but that does not mean there will be a shortage of new light-car releases in 2012.

Expect to see sedan versions of the new Barina and Rio by March, along with the first three-door version of the latter, plus all-new sub-light Chinese entrants in the form of Geely’s CE and Great Wall’s VX10 (which has been delayed from this year for “technical and commercial” reasons), and don’t rule out yet another pint-size passenger car from the world’s biggest car market in 2012.

Next year, Australia’s smallest vehicle segment will be bookended by the fitment of a new two-cylinder TwinAir engine as standard across the Fiat 500 hatch and cabrio range, and the arrival of Volkswagen Australia’s first sub-Polo model, the Up three-door.

In between, sister brand Skoda will launch its version of the same car, dubbed the CitiGo, Toyota will reveal the next installment of its hybrid model family – the Prius C – and yet more additional models will arrive in the born-again Opel brand’s Corsa hatch and Nissan’s all-new Micra-based Almera sedan.

Winding up the wick of existing B-segment models is Suzuki’s new Swift Sport, while Peugeot’s 207 will make way for the 208 at October’s Sydney motor show, and one of Australia’s cheapest cars, the Proton S16, will receive a long-overdue facelift.

Skoda will launch the RS hot-hatch, DSG automatic and wagon versions of its new Fabia light hatch, but the Czech brand’s larger new Rapid small car is now unlikely to arrive until early 2013.

Fiat 500 TwinAir – February
Great Wall VX10 – Q4
Geely CE - November
Holden Barina sedan – Q1
Kia Rio three-door – February
Kia Rio sedan – February
Opel Corsa range – Q4
Peugeot 208 range – October
Proton S16 facelift – March
Nissan Almera sedan – Mid-year
Suzuki Swift Sport – February
Skoda CitiGo - Q4
Skoda Fabia RS - Q1
Skoda Fabia DSG - Q1
Skoda Fabia wagon – Q1
Toyota Prius C hybrid – March
Volkswagen Up range – Q4 SMALL COMMENSURATE with its station as Australia’s largest vehicle segment, a bumper crop of new small cars will be placed on offer here next year, starting with 2.0-litre JTDM diesel and TCT (automatic) versions of Alfa Romeo’s Giulietta, which are expected to comprise 80 per cent of the Italian small car’s sales.

Subaru’s next-generation Impreza hatch and sedan will follow in March, when Honda’s new Civic sedan (including a new hybrid version) and a facelifted Toyota Prius are also due, before Nissan’s all-electric Leaf and Hyundai’s next i30 hatch arrive by mid-year, followed by a new Civic hatch in the second half Geely will launch its EC7 in the third quarter of 2012 – around the same time Proton replaces its Persona with an as-yet-unnamed successor and Ford Australia switches Focus production from Europe to Thailand.

The Focus ST hot-hatch will then arrive in the final quarter, when Holden’s Volt plug-in hybrid, first retail sales of Renault’s Fluence ZE sedan (which become available to fleets in July), the new Opel Astra range and Toyota’s next Corolla are also due.

Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCT and diesel – January
Ford Focus ST – Q4
Geely EC7 – Q3
Holden Volt – Q4
Honda Civic sedan/hybrid – March
Honda Civic hatch – Second half
Hyundai i30 – Mid-year
Nissan Leaf – Q2
Opel Astra – Q4
Proton Persona replacement – September
Renault Fluence ZE – October
Subaru Impreza – March
Toyota Corolla – Second half
Toyota Prius facelift – March

 center imageFrom top: Nissan Leaf, Geely EC7, Opel Insignia, VW Up, Toyota 86, Ferrari 458 Spider.

MEDIUM TOYOTA’S seventh-generation Camry emerged before Christmas, but the hybrid version arrives in March to complete the set.

Holden’s answer to the Camry, the Malibu, might be delayed until 2013, but other new mid-sizers locked in for next year include a new entry-level version of Kia’s Optima, the 2.4-litre Si priced from around $30,000, as well as a new sub-$37,000 1.6-litre turbo-petrol version of Citroen’s C5, both of which are due on sale in January.

The final quarter of next year will see Opel’s classy Insignia range arrive, while Peugeot’s 508 RXH Hybrid4 had been due in the third quarter but will now not arrive here until early 2013, when an all-new Mazda6 is also due.

Citroen C5 1.6T – January
Kia Optima Si – January
Opel Insignia – Q4
Toyota Camry Hybrid - March LARGE IT IS a sign of the times when the major line-up changes to locally built large cars – once the backbone of the Australian car industry – consist of environmentally conscious measures including a dedicated LPG option for the Commodore (due the first quarter) and a four-cylinder petrol engine in the Falcon EcoBoost (due in April).

Toyota will join the fight when it launches its thoroughly-revised Aurion sedan in April, powered by a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine with tweaks to produce a little more power and torque while reducing fuel consumption.

Positioned alongside the three large local sedans will be Chrysler’s new-generation 300C, which by mid-year will once again mix unrivalled street-cred with keen pricing to take the fight up to Holden’s Caprice.

Chrysler 300C - Mid-year
Ford Falcon EcoBoost – April
Holden Commodore LPG – Q1
Toyota Aurion - April PEOPLE-MOVERS NEXT year will be a quiet one for new people-movers, but all three offerings will enable buyers to mix fertility with frugality, starting in January with an update to the Citroen C4 Picasso, which will be subject to a $2000 price drop when it gets a refreshed front-end and a 20kW boost (up from 100kW) for its economical four-cylinder diesel engine.

Early next year, Dodge’s facelifted Journey should also arrive brandishing a classy new interior and the Chrysler group’s all-new 3.6-litre Pentastar V6, to replace the current model’s aged 2.7-litre petrol unit.

The second quarter will see Australia’s first hybrid-powered, seven-seat people-mover arrive in the shape of the Toyota Prius, while the Kia’s evergreen Carnival is expected to face new competition at the bottom end of the seven-seat wagon category when Proton launches its Exora in August.

Citroen C4 Picasso upgrade – January
Dodge Journey facelift – Q1
Proton Exora – August
Toyota Prius V – Q2 SPORTS THOSE with a flamboyant disposition or simply the need for speed will not be disappointed in 2012, with the headline act in Australia’s sportscar segment being the third truly all-new Porsche 911 in the model’s 48-year history.

Coupe versions of the rear-drive Carrera and Carrera S will arrive in March, quickly followed by the Cabriolet in early April, while the all-wheel drive Carrera 4 models will arrive in time for winter, possibly joined by the new Boxster by year’s end.

Next year will also be the year that makes sportscars affordable again, thanks to the cheeky little Hyundai Veloster (from February), which will be joined by the rear-drive Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ coupe twins in June. Hyundai says a force-fed Veloster Turbo is on the way too, but no date has yet been confirmed, while first deliveries of Volkswagen’s long-awaited Scirocco R coupe arrive in January.

As the Prancing Horse celebrates 60 years in Australia, fans of automotive exotica will be well catered for too, with initial deliveries of Ferrari’s all-wheel-drive FF arriving in January, followed by the long-awaited 458 Spyder drop-top in June and a modestly updated California coupe-convertible with 458 drivetrain upgrades shipping around the same time. Ferrari’s 599 replacement will debut at Geneva, but won’t arrive here until 2013. Those who find the famous Italian supercar brand a little passé can look forward to the SLS Roadster from Mercedes-Benz, arriving in January, or perhaps one of just five examples of the ultra-exclusive Audi R8 GT Spyder, due to arrive in April.

Around which same time, Aston Martin will take its gorgeous V12 Zagato on an interest-generating Australian tour, before first deliveries begin in early 2013. Similarly exclusive will be Jaguar’s fire-breathing XKR-S convertible, strictly-limited quantities of which are expected to arrive in March or April, while Maserati will offer an alternative in the shape of its sonorous GranCabrio Sport from January. Thrill-seekers with a requirement for passenger-carrying ability will be delighted when the turbo V8-powered BMW M5 sedan appears locally in March, while much of that car’s technology will filter through to the M6 coupe late in the year.

A litany of Lotus revisions will hit the decks from February, when the supercharged Evora S gains an automatic transmission – and a wider audience as a result – followed in March by a similarly self-shifting Elise, while a larger, re-engineered and V6-powered Exige S is penciled in to top things off in the third quarter.

Mini will unleash its two-seater Coupe and Roadster duo from February and Audi’s ever-busy launch schedule will yield a seven-speed S-Tronic transmission for the 1.8-litre petrol and 2.0-litre diesel TT from March, with a facelifted S5 also in the first quarter pipeline, followed by a redesigned S4 in April.

The new turbo V8-powered S6, S7 and S8 luxury trio will be troubling tarmac from October, while Mercedes will add a mid-level SLK250 to its roadster line-up, before the launch of its new all-alloy SL coupe-convertible by year’s end.

Aston Zagato national tour – April
Audi S4 facelift – April
Audi S5 facelift – Q1
Audi S6 - October
Audi S7 Sportback - October
Audi S8 - October
Audi R8 GT Spyder - April
Audi TT S-Tronic – March
BMW M5 – March
BMW M6 Coupe – late 2012
Ferrari FF – January
Ferrari 458 Spider – June
Ferrari California update – June
Hyundai Veloster – February
Hyundai Veloster Turbo – Late 2012
Jaguar XKR-S Convertible – March
Lotus Evora S IPS – February
Lotus Elise auto – March
Lotus Exige V6 – Q3
Maserati GranCabrio Sport – January
Mercedes-Benz SLS roadster – January
Mercedes-Benz SL roadster
Mercedes SLK250 – Q1
Mini Coupe - February
Mini Roadster – February
Porsche 911 Coupe – March
Porsche 911 Cabriolet – early April
Porsche Carrera 4 – Late 2012
Subaru BRZ – June
Toyota 86 – June
VW Scirocco R - February LUXURY RENEWED financial turmoil is not expected to derail the plentiful luxury car action in 2012, kicking off with Bentley throwing open the order books for V8-powered variants of its Continental GT and GTC next month ahead of expected mid-year deliveries, while the first W12-engined GTC soft-tops will roll in from February.

Arguably the biggest luxury launch of the year will be BMW’s crucial new 3 Series sedan, arriving in February with diesel 320d, four-pot turbo petrol 328i and swift turbo six-cylinder 325i variants, with more engine choices – including the 320i powered by a detuned version of the 328i’s N20 petrol unit – arriving from June.

More 3 Series derivatives could make it to Australian shores by the end of the year, including 4 Series coupes and convertibles and perhaps even two-door versions of the new 1 Series hatch, badged as the 2 Series.

From February the frugal N20 engine will also make its way under the bonnet of the BMW 5 Series, which gains a powerful hybrid version from June, while the sleek four-door 6 Series Gran Coupe will arrive in the third quarter, with a facelifted 7 Series arriving some time in the second half.

French brand Citroen launch its high-riding DS4 premium small car early in the year, with the mid-size DS5 arriving with only a 1.6-litre turbo-petrol engine from June and an all-wheel drive hybrid variant arriving in the last quarter.

Audi will have another busy year, with a facelift for its A5 in the first quarter, followed by a similar treatment for the A4 in April.

The German premium brand will continue its work to catch up with Benz and BMW with a five-door Sportback variant of the popular A1 runabout from June, with the practicality theme carried through to October when the A6 Avant wagon arrives.

Mercedes-Benz will mainly focus on SUV and sportscar segments, but its popular B-class small car, having undergone a thoroughly high-tech redesign, will arrive in March.

Squaring up to those industrious Germans will be Lexus with its highly anticipated new GS sedan, which from March will herald the start of a bolder, more dynamic era for the Japanese luxury brand as it releases the 3.5-litre petrol V6-powered GS350, followed in June by the frugal yet fast petrol-electric GS450h – both of which will be available in racy F Sport flavour.

Volkswagen will deliver an updated Passat CC in the fourth quarter, dropping the Passat moniker in the process, while Rolls-Royce will deliver extended-wheelbase variants of its Ghost limousine in March.

At the other end of the size spectrum, Aston Martin’s tiny Cygnet city-car is likely to become the only way of buying a – heavily modified – Toyota iQ in Australia when it arrives during the second half of the year.

Finally, Nissan’s Infiniti luxury brand will return to Australia in September 2012 with compact G37 Coupe and Convertible models, a mid-size M sedan and the FX mid-size SUV. More models, including a small car to take on the Audi A3 and more crossovers, are on their way from 2013.

Audi A1 Sportback - June
Audi A4 facelift – April
Audi A5 facelift – Q1
Audi A6 Avant – October
Aston Cygnet – Second half
Bentley Conti GT/GTC V8 – Mid-year
Bentley GTC – February
BMW 520i and 528i variants – February
BMW 3 Series sedan – February
BMW 5 Series ActiveHybrid - June
BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe – Q3
BMW 7 Series FL – second half
Citroen DS4 – January
Citroen DS5 – June
Lexus GS350/F Sport – April
Lexus GS450h/F Sport – June
Infiniti G37 Coupe and Convertible – September
Infiniti M sedan – September
Infiniti FX medium SUV – September
Mercedes-Benz B-class – March
Rolls-Royce Ghost EWB – March
Volkswagen CC – Q4 LUXURY SUV THE all-new Mercedes-Benz M-class and Audi’s new crossover baby, the Q3, head a strong list of new combatants from Europe in the luxury end of the SUV segment that, like compact SUVs, shows no signs of waning.

The A3-based Q3 – due in the first quarter of the year – will go head to head with BMW’s X1, which itself is set to get a makeover in the second quarter to help it meet the challenge.

The third-generation M-class – with variants ranging from super-efficient four-cylinder diesels to a thumping ML63 AMG – should land in March, before the big V8 beast touches down mid-year.

Rival BMW will counter with a facelift for its X6 later in the year, while Japanese luxury SUV leader Lexus is set to give its LandCruiser-based LX570 a spruce up in the New Year too.

The luxury arm of Toyota will also rejig its mid-range RX350 and 450h, while adding a sporty F Sport variant, while British rival Land Rover will be active with a facelift for its Freelander, a front-drive version of its Range Rover Evoque (in July) and a new Range Rover Vogue (late in the year).

Nissan will move into the luxury SUV space late inn the year with the arrival of its long-awaited, V8-armed Y62 Patrol, that will sell in parallel with the current diesel Patrol.

Audi will pump up its A4 Avant with the high-riding Allroad version from about October, adding to its super-successful list of crossovers.

Jeep will open its 2012 account with the fire-breathing Grand Cherokee SRT8 in the first quarter and while Maserati’s Kubang luxury SUV will debut in final production form – with a new nameplate – at Geneva in March, it won’t arrive here until early 2013.

Audi Q3 – Q1
Audi A4 Allroad – October
BMW X1 facelift – Second half
BMW X6 facelift – Second half
Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 – Q1
Land Rover Freelander facelift – Second half
Lexus LX570 facelift – March
Lexus RX350/450h facelift, F Sport – June
Mercedes M-class – March
Nissan Patrol – Q4
Range Rover Evoque eD4 – July
Range Rover Vogue – December COMPACT SUV THE fastest-growing mainstream segment in the Australian automotive market will not be slowing down any time soon, judging by the line-up of fresh metal on offer in 2012, when some of the biggest players are set to get a makeover while others are about to join the party.

Two of the debutants are Mazda’s CX-5, loaded with the Japanese company’s SkyActiv fuel-saving technology, and Ford’s Kuga – a replacement for the superannuated Escape. Both are set to arrive around March, hurling a cat among the SUV pigeons. While the CX-5 – replacing the CX-7 in the Australian market – is brand-spanking new, the Focus-based Kuga is already a couple of years old in its home territory of Europe. Nevertheless, it arrives with a formidable reputation, and will be replaced in about a year when the next-generation Kuga/Escape comes down the pipeline.

Ford and Mazda will not have it all their own way, however, with the big guns replying with a facelifted Toyota RAV4, an all-new Honda CR-V and Mitsubishi Outlander in the second half of the year.

Compact SUV kingpin Subaru adds another string to its bow with the arrival in January of the Impreza-based XV, a smaller brother to the best-selling Forester that itself will come in for a full-model change either at the end of 2012 or in early 2013.

Around the same time in January, Jeep will release its facelifted Compass with an all-new interior, while the Czech branch of Volkswagen Group, Skoda, will weigh in with the AWD petrol Yeti 118TSI, and the return of the quirky Roomster in 77TSI petrol form.

While Peugeot’s 3008 Hybrid4 has been delayed from the second quarter of 2012 to 2013, Honda will land its long-awaited new CR-V in the second half.

At the bottom end of the segment, Mitsubishi will facelift its ASX in the third quarter, while French car-makers Peugeot and Citroen and are set to weigh in with their Mitsubishi ASX-based 4008 in March and C4 Aircross in September.

Chery’s price-leading J11 should become available with electronic stability control by the end of next year, making it legally available in Victoria, while stocks of Great Wall’s upgraded X200 diesel – with five-speed manual and automatic transmissions, stability control and other running changes – arrive by mid-year.

Citroen C4 Aircross – September
Ford Kuga – March
Great Wall X200 diesel upgrade – Q1
Great Wall X200 diesel auto – Q2
Honda CR-V – Second half
Jeep Compass facelift - January
Mazda CX-5 - March
Mitsubishi ASX facelift – Q3
Mitsubishi Outlander – Q4
Peugeot 4008 – Q2
Skoda Roomster - Q1
Skoda Yeti 118TSI - Q2
Subaru XV – January
Toyota RAV4 facelift – second half MEDIUM SUV WITH all the action focused on compact and luxury SUVs, the only notable change to Australia’s medium SUV landscape in 2012 is a Hyundai Santa Fe-based chassis revision for Kia’s Sorento, due to hit showrooms in August.

Hyundai is itself expected to debut the replacement for its Santa Fe next year, but it is unclear whether the all-new ix45 will reach Australian dealerships in 2012.

Kia XM Sorento – August LIGHT COMMERCIAL NEW-model action in the booming light commercial class continues apace in 2012, kicked off by single-cab versions of Mazda’s new BT-50, which is already available in dual and Freestyle-cab body styles.

A busy first quarter will see the roll-out of Foton’s big new Cummins-engined Tunland dual-cab from China, single-cab versions of Great Wall’s V200 4x4 diesel ute, SangYong’s all-new Actyon dual-cab – based on the SUT-1 concept – and another all-new dual-cab ute in the form of ZX Auto’s Grand Tiger.

Holden’s redesigned Colorado ute range arrives here from June, as does Isuzu’s related D-Max ute, but only after Volkswagen bolsters its range with single-cab, petrol and DSG auto versions of its new Amarok ute.

Rounding out the workhorse releases for 2012 will be a new commercial van from China that could wear either Joylong or Higer badges, plus two new van entrants from new Chinese player JAC in the second half, in the form of the Hyundai iLoad-size M2 in the third quarter and the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter-like Sunray in the final quarter.

Foton Tunland – March
Great Wall V200 diesel single-cab 4x4 – Q1
Mahindra XUV500 dual-cab ute
Holden Colorado – June
Isuzu D-Max – June
Joylong van – Q3
JAC M2 van – Q3
JAC Sunray van – Q4
Mazda BT-50 single-cab – February
SsangYong Actyon ute – March
Volkswagen Amarok single-cab – Q2
Volkswagen Amarok petrol and DSG – Q2
ZX Auto Grand Tiger – March

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