A bite-sized round up of the week’s new car launches.

News this week from from Audi, Aston Martin, Chevrolet, Fiat, Infiniti, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, SEAT, Skoda and Vauxhall.

14th January 2013

Mercedes-Benz creates a new niche with the CLA-Class

Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

  • Following on from the success of the larger CLS-Class, Mercedes-Benz will offer a smaller 4-door coupé in the form of the CLA-Class from summer 2013.
  • Sleek and slippery, the new CLA is based on the third generation A-Class hatchback, sharing a similar front end but with frameless doors and a separate, tapering boot.
  • Models initially available will be the CLA 180 (1.6-litre petrol, 122bhp, 130mph, 52.3mpg), CLA 220 CDI (2.1-litre diesel, 170bhp, 143mph, 67.3mpg) and CLA 250 (2.0-litre petrol, 211bhp, 149mph, 46.3mpg).

Infiniti reveals its new Q50 flagship saloon in Detroit

Infiniti Q50

Infiniti Q50

  • Infiniti’s new flagship Q50 saloon has been unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show.
  • European market versions will be confirmed in Geneva in March where a diesel engine is likely to be part of the petrol and petrol-electric hybrid line-up.
  • The Q50’s styling reflects shapes previewed on recent Infiniti concepts, including the well-received Essence.
  • Debuting on the Q50 is Infiniti’s Active Lane Control which makes steering inputs for the driver by monitoring the car’s position on the road and how it responds to changes in road surfaces and crosswinds.

Chevrolet resurrects the Stingray name for the seventh generation Corvette

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

  • After nearly 30 years since its last application, Chevrolet’s all-new Corvette carries the Stingray name.
  • Traditional Corvette styling cues have been sharpened and modernised for this seventh generation model.
  • Revealed in standard coupé form, the 2014 Corvette Stingray is fitted with an all-new 6.2-litre V8 delivering an estimated 450bhp, enough to propel the Chevrolet halo model to 60mph in less than 4 seconds.
  • UK deliveries should begin by the end of 2013, likely in left hand drive form only.

Audi unleashes its flagship Sportback with the RS 7

Audi RS 7 Sportback

Audi RS 7 Sportback

  • Sharing its biturbo, V8 4.0-litre TFSI engine with the recently launched RS 6 Avant, the RS 7 Sportback is capable of speeds of up to 189mph with the optional Dynamic plus package.
  • Despite being able to hit 60mph in 3.9 seconds, Audi claims the RS 7 will still achieve an average of 28.8mpg.
  • UK sales will commence in the second half of 2013 at an estimated £84,000, for which the RS 7 Sportback will come equipped with an 8-speed transmission, quattro four wheel drive, and RS-specific adaptive air suspension.

Maserati’s latest Quattroporte debuts in Detroit

Maserati Quattroporte

Maserati Quattroporte

  • Maserati’s all-new Quattroporte has made its world debut at the Detroit auto show, ahead of UK deliveries in the summer.
  • Two models are available, both with all-new engines: a 410ps 3.0-litre V6 and a 530ps 3.8-litre V8, both with twin-turbochargers and 8-speed automatic gearboxes.
  • The new Quattroporte is larger than the outgoing model, enabling it to compete on a more even footing with large, luxury saloons, but Maserati still promises a sporty experience.
  • The V6 costs £80,070 whilst the flagship V8 is £108,125.

15th January 2013

Aston Martin marks its 100th anniversary with Centenary Editions

Aston Martin Vanquish Centenary Edition

Aston Martin Vanquish Centenary Edition

  • Aston Martin chose its latest Vanquish as the basis for a Centenary Edition model to celebrate its 100th anniversary; similar editions of the Vantage, DB9 and Rapide will also be available.
  • Each model will be restricted to 100 special models worldwide, each featuring the Deep Soft black leather interior previously available only on the One-77.
  • Additional special features include solid sterling silver sill plaques and badges and a presentation box including a pair of glass keys in pouches fashioned from the same leather as the interior.

16th January 2013

Vauxhall announces prices for its new Cascada convertible

Vauxhall Cascada

Vauxhall Cascada

  • Vauxhall is bravely pitching its new Cascada at Audi’s A5 convertible yet suggests it can offer a premium experience for almost £8000 less than its four-ringed rival.
  • The four-seater, fabric-roofed Cascada starts at £23,995 on the road for the 140ps 1.4-litre petrol turbo in SE grade.
  • Other engines available include a 165ps 2.0-litre petrol with manual and automatic transmissions and the automatic-only 1.6-litre SIDI petrol turbo with 170ps. 
  • Topping the Cascada range is the Elite 2.0 Bi-Turbo CDTi with 195ps, costing £29,080.

Skoda confirms UK prices for third generation Octavia hatchbacks

Skoda Octavia

Skoda Octavia

  • Skoda’s new Octavia hatchback range will cost from £15,990 when sales begin on 16 March.
  • S, SE and Elegance trims will initially be available, each offering at least £3500 more equipment over the outgoing Octavia.
  • Stop/Start and energy recovery are standard across the range, each engine available with manual and DSG gearboxes.
  • 1.2 TSI (105ps) and 1.4 TSI (140ps) petrol engines are complemented by diesels in 1.6 TDI CR (105ps) and 2.0 TDI CR (150ps) forms. 
  • Topping the Skoda Octavia line-up is £23,240 2.0 TDI CR Elegance DSG.

18th January 2013

Fiat makes the Panda more rugged with the Trekking and 4×4

Fiat Panda Trekking

Fiat Panda Trekking

Fiat Panda 4x4

Fiat Panda 4×4

  • Fiat has capped the Panda range with two models offering more capability on slippery surfaces: the front wheel drive Trekking and a new 4×4 version.
  • Both Trekking and 4×4 look similar but under the bodywork, the two differ significantly.
  • Trekking continues with front wheel drive but features a sophisticated traction control system, called Traction+, offering greater grip than other Pandas, yet with the rugged appearance of the 4×4.
  • The 4×4 provides automatically engaging four wheel drive offering impressive off-road ability for a small, five-door hatchback. Like the Trekking, there’s chunkier protection mouldings and a raised ride height.
  • Both Trekking and 4×4 are available with the 0.9-litre TwinAir petrol engine and 1.3-litre MultiJet 2 diesel and are on sale from January 2013.

SEAT offers value for money Copa versions of its Altea range

SEAT Altea XL Copa

SEAT Altea XL Copa

  • After success with Copa versions of its other models, SEAT now offers £1500 of additional equipment in S Copa and SE Copa versions of its Altea and Altea XL MPVs.
  • S Copa versions have 16 inch ‘Elio’ alloys, Bluetooth phone connection, additional speakers, dual zone climate control, front fog and cornering lights and cruise control, fitted with either the 1.2 TSI or 1.6 TDI CR Ecomotive engines.
  • SE Copa Alteas are additionally available the 140ps 2.0 TDI CR engine and have additional equipment in the form of satnav, DAB radio, Bluetooth phone and audio, trip computer, parking sensors, automatic lights and wipers and an automatically dipping rear view mirror.
  • Prices start at £16,425 for the Altea S Copa 1.2 TSI up to £21,980 for the Altea XL SE Copa 2.0 TDI CR DSG.
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