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Geneva Motor Show previews new models with fleet appeal
This year’s Geneva Motor Show, which opens to the public on March 9, will be premiering a number of new models this year which look set to have real fleet appeal. Here we take a look at some of the new models we expect to see on show.
Despite some negative publicity around the authenticity of its diesel emissions, Volkswagen still ended 2016 as Europe’s top dog again, with the ubiquitous Golf Europe’s best-seller.
At Geneva, the VW Group will be giving a show debut to the replacement for the Passat CC, the brand new Arteon, a rival for the BMW 5 Series and Audi A6.
The totally new model will be a step up in quality compared to the CC it replaces, with a new design, new technology and an on-sale date of this autumn. Since the Phaeton has now ended production, it looks set to be the most expensive saloon in Volkswagen’s range.
VW is also said to be previewing its new Golf-based T-Roc small SUV, which is likely to be based on the T-Roc concept car first shown at Geneva three years ago. It is seen as VW’s answer to the trend towards smaller crossover-style SUVs that have become so dominant in new car markets across Europe.
Vauxhall is a fleet favourite in the UK and, in Geneva, Vauxhall and European sister brand, Opel, will be previewing three new models.
Vauxhall intends to push its flagship Insignia further upmarket in 2017, marked by the introduction of the new Grand Sport – a classier, more hi-tech version of its top-of-the range model. Inspired by the Monza concept first seen in 2013, the Grand Sport ushers in a four-door coupe look, with a longer wheelbase. A plush new cabin loaded with the latest technology and a revised engine line-up signal the direction of Vauxhall/Opel’s ambitions.
Also making its show bow is the estate version of the Grand Sport, the Insignia Sports Tourer which boasts a cavernous 520-litre luggage area, increasing to a maximum of 1638 litres with the seats flat. Vauxhall says the new car is up to 200kg lighter than the outgoing model, thanks to extensive use of lightweight materials.
And also on show will be Vauxhall’s new Crossland X small SUV, the replacement for the Meriva MPV. The versatile ‘urban’ crossover model is the second member of the Vauxhall/Opel X family in the B-segment where it joins the best-selling Mokka X. The larger Grandland X will be launched in the compact class (C-segment) later this year.
The German executive car maker will be previewing the stylish new 5 Series Tourer at Geneva. The new model is already available to order in the UK priced from around £38,000 and boasts a 570-litre load area, stretching to 1700 litres with the seats down.
First deliveries are due to start in June 2017, with four engines available in the UK at launch.
BMW-watchers can also expect to see the latest special edition of its executive EV, the i8 – the Protonic Frozen Black – which will be followed by a Protonic Yellow edition later this year.
The popular Qashqai crossover SUV looks set to be in Geneva in a new facelifted guise ahead of a launch later in the year, following the announcement of some ‘exciting crossover news’ by the manufacturer.
The best-selling Sunderland-built Qashqai is expected to be equipped with ProPilot autonomous driving tech ‘version 1.0’, forming part of a full model update with revised looks and new cabin technology. The system will allow a degree of autonomous driving in heavy traffic on motorways or A-roads.
VW stablemate Skoda is making two additions to its Kodiaq crossover range with the Kodiaq Scout plus the racy Kodiaq Sportline both set to debut at Geneva. The Scout gets tougher protective cladding, a raised ride height plus off-road assists, while the Sportline gets eye-catching design tweaks, and both are all-wheel-drive as standard.
Sister company, SEAT, is reported to be introducing the all-new, fifth generation Ibiza supermini, with a new look that closely follows the facelifted Leon in design. Last year saw the launch of SEAT’s first SUV – the Ateca – and the new Ibiza is expected to form the basis of a smaller SUV, known as the Arona, later in the year.
Korean manufacturer, Kia, is giving a show premiere to its new Picanto city car before it goes on sale in the UK this spring. The new Picanto gets a 15mm longer wheelbase, while engines include a 65bhp 1.0-litre three cylinder powerplant, and an 85bhp 1.25-litre four cylinder unit.
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