What's Coming In 2005?
The new Suzuki Swift will be here next month!
18th January, 2005
The year 2004 saw a record number of 955,229 cars, trucks and buses sold in Australia, according to official figures released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries last week. This result smashed the sales record set in 2003 by 45,418 vehicles or five per cent. You can imagine how excited the automotive industry is about such a result. But the excitement isn't about to end just yet. The industry body is predicting further growth this year. They are predicting another record year, with a sales target of 980,000 units for 2005. The industry has new products lined-up for Australian release throughout the year. Read our marque by marque preview to see what will be coming along this year. In some cases, we announce 2006 releases, too!
Be ready for a surprise or two though. Car manufacturers don't always give notice to their competitors, so there may well be a surprise new model or two arrive during the year.
You can read about the record sales of 2004 here.
Feel free to pass on this 2005 preview, by sending a link to friends and associates who have an interest in cars.
The new Ford Mustang won't be manufactured with right-hand drive,
The only new Alfa Romeo scheduled for an Australian release this year is the new 147, which is due to arrive in April. No doubt, it will be on display at the Melbourne Motor Show in March. Read about the new 147 here.
Alfa Romeo Australia will be busy in 2006 though. That's when the new 157 is due. The 157 is expected to debut at the Geneva Motor Show, in March 2005. Additionally, you can expect another new Alfa Romeo model to debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2005. This model will also arrive in Australia in 2006. It's unclear if it will be a coupe or a coupe with a convertible stablemate. Since the GTV and Spider have both been discontinued, it's reasonable to assume both a coupe and a soft-top will return to the market.
Under the ownership of Ford, Aston Martin is moving into the future as a serious player at the upper end of the market. But there is no evidence to suggest this great marque will be returning to Australia any time soon. But there can be no doubt that at sometime in the future Aston Martin will want to return, even on a very small scale, as Ford will want their British subsidiary to maximise every possible market opportunity. Australia is one of many tiny markets. The value in small markets is the sum of the total of all such small markets. So maybe in 2006 or 2007, someone at Aston Martin headquarters will ask the question ..... "What about Australia?" Although it must be considered any return to Australia will be subject to meeting the expenses of compliance to Australian requirements which would be identified in any business study. Read about the Aston Martin Vanquish S from the 2004 Paris Motor Show here.
It's going to be a big year for Audi. The new models are already on the way.
The A3 Sportback will be here in late January to join the attractive A3 range. It's one of the products which will make Audi a serious playmaker in 2005. You can read our stories on the A3 Sportback here, here and here.
The new A4 is just months away. Expect to see it at the Melbourne Motor Show and in showrooms not long afterwards. Specifications aren't announced as yet, but be assured Audi's best-seller will have wide appeal with numerous versions to tempt you. Read our story, from a few months ago, on the 2005 A4 here.
The S4 is to gain a cabriolet version this coming March! There will be handful of very lucky Australians during 2005. Can you imagine the delight of driving an S4 with the top down! This car will bring dreaming and reality together!
The new A6 Avant is expected in August 2005. The market for executive wagons is quite small, but with the new A6 selling well, it's natural to expand the range. Hence, the A6 Avant will be added to a growing range, to form a full line-up of successfulful models. Read about the new A6 Avant here.
We'll have a road test on the new A6 saloon in coming weeks.
The stunning S4 will continue within the new A4 range. We know you want to see how it looks, so here it is. The S4 is one of the world's greatest cars!
The new S4 won't arrive in Australia until 2006, though. Not that that is a problem, as the current car is so good.
Read our road test on the current S4 here.
2005 Bentley Arnage .... more
2005 Bentley Continental GT .... more.
The booming Bentley business means this upper market player has read the market absolutely 100% accurately. The world apparently cannot get enough Bentleys. The factory is working at capacity as Bentley endeavours to meet its order bank.
The only changes for 2005 are the introduction of more individualised ordering processes so each car meets its happy owner's personal requirements in a tailor made manner. The option list appears endless!
Bentley is now owned by Volkswagen, although production continues in England.
Click on either Bentley image for the respective story on these successful products.
For 2006, it is almost certain that the Arnage convertible will be added to the range. Read about the Arnage Drophead Coupe concept car, which is being shown at the 2005 Los Angeles Motor Show here.
The 1-series will be expanded in February with the planned arrival of the 1181, which will supplement the existing 120i.
The new 3-series sedans will arrive in Australia from June. This is the new E90 series (as it will be known), pictured in 330i guise.
The 5 series range will be expanded during 2005 with the arrival of the 530i Touring in June and the M5 sedan in July.
The M6 coupe is scheduled for a December 2005 release in Australia. It will join the 6-series coupe and convertible which arrived in 2004.
The Next Car Team was the first Australian media outlet to show the M6 and you can read our December story here.
The new Cadillac CTS is manufactured in both left and right hand drive. The right hand drive models are being sold in Japan and England. General Motors see their Cadillac brand as the natural range topper, one which carries inherent prestige. But these points won't see this model arrive in Australia ..... yet. But given the American view that the name Cadillac is priceless, can Holden keep this car on the sideline? Only time will tell!
America's big Chrysler 300C sedan will be here in late 2005. It will be offered with 6 or 8 cylinder power. This model is rear-wheel drive and, as such, should find willing buyers but it needs to be recognised that this car will be aimed at a niche market and is unlikely to be a big seller. It is not a modern day Valiant, for example.
Following its 2004 Australian release, the Crossfire has established itself as a small volume niche market player. Chrysler is looking at expanding the range by importing the SRT-6 version (pictured). It's produced in coupe and roadster versions. But don't expect an early decision, as it isn't a foregone conclusion that the market can bear an additional model. SRT, by the way, is Chrysler talk for "Street and Racing Technology". Now there's a statement in that clause somewhere!
The PT Cruiser continues its successful career for 2005 powered by a new 2.4 litre 4-cylinder engine. In America, there's also a turbo version of the retro-styled PT Cruiser. But there's no need to anticipate the turbo version coming to Australia though. Right-hand drive production isn't possible because of the under bonnet plumbing for the turbo. However, the PT Cruiser convertible is expected in Australia in 2006!
The new Citroen C4 coupe .... more
The big news from Citroen is the all-new C4, which will be available as a coupe and as a 5-door hatchback. It will be sold in petrol and diesel versions. The petrol-engined models will be released in March and the diesel models will be here in July.
A new larger Citroen, the C6 will be released at the Geneva Motor Show in March. It will be released in Australia at the end of the year. It'll be in the $80,000 plus bracket, possibly even $90,000. This is a very competitive segment of the market, so Citroen must know something we don't, as it isn't easy to achieve success in this segment.
A C5 with a make-over is due in coming months. There's a 6-speed automatic transmission on offer, as well as manual transmission. The diesel models will be here in February and the petrol models will be available in March. Read about the new C5 here.
The tiny C1 will debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March and it will be available this year in Europe, but it won't be coming to Australia.
The existing C2 and C3 models will continue.
Daewoo has been given its marching orders by Holden. But don't expect to see the end of Daewoo. It's quite clear that GM needs Daewoo, just as it's clear that Daewoo needs GM. This is one, shall we say, 'merger' (although it is most definitely a takeover), which is mutually beneficial. You can expect to see some future Daewoo products, in Australia, wearing Holden badges. Holden needs 4x4's, as this is one area in which Holden is weak, very weak. One product which is bound to be of great interest to Holden is the Daewoo which is pictured here as the Chevrolet S3X Concept. It appeared at the 2004 Paris Motor Show. It will be produced from 2006, by Daewoo, with various engine options, including a diesel.
At the 2004 Melbourne Motor Show, Elfin and Holden surprised car enthusiasts with their new car. The Australian designed MS8 is powered by Holden's imported V8 engine. The new car will be produced in two versions, the Clubman and the Streamliner. And now, Elfin is ready to go! ..... the first retail delivery of a new MS8 Clubman is scheduled for late January. Although, the first delivery of an MS8 Streamliner is still some months away.
The small Ford, the German designed Fiesta, is starting to make
inroads into the small car market, following its 2004 Australian introduction. No changes are expected during 2005
though. Ford's Focus isn't selling as well as Astra, 3, Pulsar or Lancer but it is outselling Liana, 307 and Golf,
amongst others. Expect to see the new Focus around mid-year. The Focus is Britain's best-selling car and for 2005
it features a longer wheelbase and wider opening doors. There's new exterior styling, too.
The small Ford, the German designed Fiesta, is starting to make inroads into the small car market, following its 2004 Australian introduction. No changes are expected during 2005 though.
Ford's Focus isn't selling as well as Astra, 3, Pulsar or Lancer but it is outselling Liana, 307 and Golf, amongst others. Expect to see the new Focus around mid-year. The Focus is Britain's best-selling car and for 2005 it features a longer wheelbase and wider opening doors. There's new exterior styling, too.
The Ford Territory is THE success story of 2004.
The Falcon has had its update, so there isn't anything new expected for Ford's best seller this year. There's no word on a Mark II version of the Ford Fairlane at present, but the Editor will be surprised if the
Fairlane is ignored for the new year. The Territory is the success story of 2004. Any expansion of the Territory product offering is pure speculation,
as there is nothing official, as yet. But in an expanding market, its normal for a successful product to be amongst the first
to be considered worthy for exploitation. Possible Territory offerings would have to include a diesel option and the Editor
sees a ute, in both RWD and AWD as a likely prospect. The Free Trade Agreement, with the USA makes the US a likely candidate for
export products as this would see sufficient volumes to make a ute viable and its production profitable. The truck market in the
US is, seemingly, hungry for more and more trucks. You can forget about the failed Capri convertible. Ford
has moved on from those days. So, too, has everyone else! A V8 could be possible for the Territory, if the product line was
exported to North America, but the Editor doesn't see the V8 as desirable in the Territory. Time will tell just how Ford will
exploit the success of its Australian designed Territory wagon. The Courier will see a V6 added to the line-up in late January 2005.
The Falcon has had its update, so there isn't anything new expected for Ford's best seller this year.
There's no word on a Mark II version of the Ford Fairlane at present, but the Editor will be surprised if the Fairlane is ignored for the new year.
The Territory is the success story of 2004. Any expansion of the Territory product offering is pure speculation, as there is nothing official, as yet. But in an expanding market, its normal for a successful product to be amongst the first to be considered worthy for exploitation. Possible Territory offerings would have to include a diesel option and the Editor sees a ute, in both RWD and AWD as a likely prospect. The Free Trade Agreement, with the USA makes the US a likely candidate for export products as this would see sufficient volumes to make a ute viable and its production profitable. The truck market in the US is, seemingly, hungry for more and more trucks. You can forget about the failed Capri convertible. Ford has moved on from those days. So, too, has everyone else! A V8 could be possible for the Territory, if the product line was exported to North America, but the Editor doesn't see the V8 as desirable in the Territory. Time will tell just how Ford will exploit the success of its Australian designed Territory wagon.
The Courier will see a V6 added to the line-up in late January 2005.
Ford Performance Vehicles are in top gear! The F6 Typhoon is on the market and, later this month, FPV will be releasing the F6 Tornado utility. It's bound to be a stunner!
Holden is almost certain to expand the Astra range by adding models to the line-up during 2005. Time will tell which body styles will be selected for the Australian market. Here is a view of three versions which are on offer in Europe. The 3-door coupe is conventionally styled and a second coupe features a huge wrap-over "panorama" windscreen, which wraps over the roofline right back to the "B" pillar. The third body option is the wagon. Holden aren't letting on which body styles are coming, but here you see what Vauxhall have to offer in England. There is no word on a new Astra sedan as yet. But one may appear at either the Geneva or the Frankfurt Motor Show. It's difficult to imagine General Motors not producing a sedan in this highly competitive sector of the European market.
The Astra convertible will continue in its existing style for the time being. A new model will be manufactured in Belgium from next year. The Next Car Team was first in Australia with the news on the new Astra convertible, when we published our story on 5th May 2004. You can read that story here. By the way, the next Astra convertible will have a retracting metal roof, similar to the Peugeot CC models.
The other major news for Holden in 2005 is the VZ treatment spreading over to the Adventra and Cross 8. It's no secret that Holden is disappointed with the sales of the V8 all-wheel drive models, so when the new models arrive in March, they will be available with the new V6. And that's good news. Any analyst can see that V8 sales are relatively small in a market that seen nearly 1,000,000 new vehicles delivered. Now if only Holden would reintroduce the Monaro CV6 to complete the picture.
But the biggest news of all from Holden is the lack of news on a new 4x4. Will the largest manufacturer of motor vehicles in the world, General Motors, ignore the booming 4x4 market segment? This apparent deficiency in Holden product planning will be addressed in time, no doubt, but who knows when? And who knows with what?
In mid-2005 we'll see the S-TYPE available with a V6 diesel. Purists may consider a diesel Jaguar as an oxymoron in a sense. But the world is changing and so, too, are diesels. Europe treats diesels with a greater degree of acceptance than we do here in Australia. But time changes habits and as more and more people recognise that today's diesels engines are first class choices, we'll see more and more of them. Audi, Peugeot, Rover and Volkswagen are amongst the winners who are currently offering diesels in Australia. Read our S-TYPE Diesel story here.
The X-TYPE estate is a possible new comer to our market in 2005.
Look for the new sports car from Jaguar during 2006.
Jeep will bring their new Grand Cherokee to Australia during the 3rd quarter of 2005.
Kia released its new Sportage last year and its Australian arrival is scheduled for March 2005. It will be sold locally with V6 power. Our story on the new Sportage is here.
The new Rio will be here in time for Sydney's Motor Show.
In December, a long wheelbase version of the Carnival may be released. It will provide more luggage space, an aspect often overlooked in people movers. A new Optima is also due at the end of the year.
One of the most anticipated new arrivals for 2005 is no doubt the new Land Rover Discovery 3. The 3 denotes the 3rd generation of what has become Land Rover's number 1 product in Australia. The foreign reports on this new model have me ready to drop everything for a 'run' in the new Discovery. Of course, it was on display at the Sydney Motor Show (I mean the Australian International Motor Show) last October and it was there that we confirmed what we'd been hearing from overseas. Yes, I'm ready to drop everything to get behind the wheel of this new Land Rover. The Territory was big in 2004, the Discovery will be big in 2005!
The new Range Rover Sport is appearing this weekend at the Detroit Motor Show and it will be released in Australia during the latter part of 2005. Wow, Land Rover are really moving. The year 2005 looks like being the "Year of the Land Rover". You can read our Range Rover Sport stories here and here.
Another new model for Land Rover. The 2006 Range Rover will be here in late 2005. Read our story on the new Range Rover here.
Lotus had a bumper year in 2004 when it doubled its Australian sales, but with new distribution methods introduced in late 2004 it's likely that the impetus will be lost. I hope I'm wrong!
No new products are expected in 2005.
Read our 2004 road test of the wonderful Lotus Elise 111R here.
A limited edition RX-8 arrives in Australia this month. You can read about it here.
And the 3 SP23 will be offered with a 'leather' option pack during this year.
Face lifts will be applied to the 2 around mid-year and to the 6 during the 3rd quarter.
The big news for Mazda Australia in 2005 is the introduction of the 6 MPS. It's expected to arrive in Australia mid-2005.
This turbocharged, all-wheel drive sedan will be priced around $55,000 or so. The 6 MPS is bound to spark interest when it arrives. You can read our story on the 6 MPS here. The story on the 6 MPS concept is here.
The current MX-5 is approaching the end of its highly successful career. The next generation will, no doubt, be announced at a major international motor show well ahead of its release. I suggest it's a safe bet it won't be Melbourne or Sydney. The big shows this year are Detroit, Geneva, Frankfurt and Tokyo. Which will it be? It's too late for Detroit, so that just leaves the two large European shows and the home show in Japan.
Australian sales are off to a slow start and I wouldn't expect any change to that in 2005. Our only story on the under-achieving Maybach from Mercedes-Benz is here.
The A-Class moves into its 2nd generation for the 2005 model year. Its expected here in May. It will be offered in both 3 and 5 door versions. But it's only for those who insist on a Mercedes-Benz. Read about the new A-Class here and here
The new M-Class, which is built in USA, won't arrive here until November. Presumably, it will be swamped by the new Land Rover Discovery's success. Read about the 2nd generation M-Class here.
MG released their hot ZS at Sydney's Motor Show last year and now they are bringing the smaller ZR (pictured) to Australia. It will be here in March! Prices will be in the low to mid $30s, which will, no doubt, cause much interest. An MG for under $35,000! Yes, that will be interesting. It will be available in 3 door and 5 door hatch body styles. And wait for it ..... it'll be powered by a 160 bhp 4-cylinder engine!
The TF, ZS and ZT will continue much as they are today.
Mini is facing an increased level of competition with an expanding Audi A3 range and the impending release of the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class and, as we've disclosed in this article on the 2005 cars, a new MG hatch. There is also the products from rivals Peugeot and Volkswagen. To maintain interest and to expand the model's offerings, BMW have, this month, released the Mini cabriolet. Next year you can expect to hear some news from BMW about the next generation Mini.
The new Magna will be released around the time of the 2005 Australian International Motor Show. That will be October. The existing Magna is already a good car, the AWD versions are great cars, so you can expect the new Magna to be a mighty fine offering. We will have to wait to find out if it will be available in both FWD and AWD or one or the other. This new model, which will be built in Adelaide, will be amongst the most exciting of all the new cars released this year.
There will, also, be a new Triton this year.
The new Colt is priced above the Mirage and, as such, has moved Mitsubishi out of the 'el cheapo' category. The Next Car Team has had the pleasure of road testing the new Colt and you'll see our report soon. This new product will be winning many friends in 2005.
There are no plans, at this stage, to introduce a 2 door version. But there will be a MIREV 1.8 litre turbo model coming along in 2005.
The Lancer Evo models sell like hot cakes! The Evo VIII (pictured) has encouraged Mitsubishi Motors Australia to bring the Lancer Evolution IX (that's Evo 9) to Australia in 2005! You can bet they'll go quickly, too! (so to speak). Read about the Evo VIII here.
The Grandis arrived in 2004, replacing the Nimbus and Starwagon. It's selling well, but since it is more car-like than some people movers it should have an even better year in 2005. It drives so well, it's easy to forget that the Grandis is a people mover. Read about the Grandis here.
The Outlander range has already been expanded for 2005. Read about the Outlander here.
It's the same deal for the Challenger. The 2005 update has already happened. Read about the 2005 Challenger here.
The Pajero is another product which has already received its 2005 update. Read about the 2005 Pajero here.
The new roadster is now compliant with Australian requirements and it is now available. Few names evoke passion like a Morgan, so you can be sure this new model will excite the loyal band of Morgan enthusiasts and it will, no doubt, draw the interest of all car buffs. Power is from a Ford V6. Price is around mid $130s. Read about the Morgan roadster here.
The new Pathfinder will be available in Australia, from mid-2005. Once the Australian specifications have been announced, we'll have the story.
Another new Nissan for 2005 is the upmarket Murano. It's expected mid-2005, too.
Motor Group Australia (MGA), importers of MG and Rover products have expanded their product offerings by adding Noble to their stable. The name Noble may not be all that familiar in Australia, but in England the company has a fine reputation for producing high performance cars based on the slogan "Driving Passion". In what category of cars does the Noble belong? Oh, it's a supercar!
Expect to hear more about Noble. Australian delivery is now possible. The price is around $200,000. The power comes from a twin-turbocharged 3-litre V6.
Our Noble stories are linked from here.
Another new product for Motor Group Australia (you just have to enjoy the name .... MGA) is the Pagani Zonda. It's the supercar plus of the super supercars and it's also available locally now that compliance requirements have been attended. The Pagani Zonda is powered by a Mercedes-Benz/AMG 7.3 litre V12.
Our Pagani stories are linked from here.
The new 607 (pictured) is due in Australia mid-year.
In other Peugeot news, the successful 407 which is available as a sedan and wagon, will be offered with a 4-cylinder diesel option anytime now. At sometime, possibly this year, a V6 diesel will be available. The 407 has been praised worldwide, so an increased level of sales can be expected during 2005. The new engines will just add to the appeal.
Our road test on the Peugeot 407 SV (3 litre V6 auto) will appear in coming weeks.
Renault's Australian revival continues and the first new product for 2005 is now on the market. The new Scenic II is priced from $29,990 (RRP). Read about it here.
Another new Renault due this year, is the Grand Scenic. It's a 7-seater people mover type variant and it will arrive in Australia in April.
The Rolls Royce Phantom will have a stablemate when the new convertible arrives. But that won't be until 2007.
The new Rover 75 was released in Australia last year, so it is a little early for any change. But maybe we'll hear more about the delights of the diesel version during this year. Read about the current Rover 75 here and here.
Many new concept cars were unveiled during 2004 by numerous manufacturers. Four of them pleased me. The Rover 75 Coupe concept is the one which I like best of all. There is a better than even chance that this car will make it into production. But there are some contingencies which Rover needs to address before it can become a reality.
Read about the Rover 75 Coupe concept here.
No new products are expected in Australia from Saab during 2005. However the Americans will see the 9-7X.
The tall and tiny Smart features standout styling, to say the least. But do people take the little Mercedes-Benz products seriously?
The Impreza and Forester are likely to receive an update this year.
The Liberty and Outback are unlikely to receive any changes during the current year.
The big news for Subaru enthusiasts is the debut of the new Subaru B9 Tribeca at the Detroit Motor Show. The B9 Tribeca is for American consumption only. Read about the 5 and 7 seater B9 Tribeca here.
Suzuki is one of the many manufacturers to increase their sales in 2004. With the new Swift ready to arrive in Australia next month, you can be sure Suzuki will sell even more cars in 2005!
Another new Suzuki for 2005 will be a new Grand Vitara. Look for it later in the year.
The new Golf is in its 5th generation. Its one of the best small cars around. The model line-up is due to expand, with the introduction of the new GTI in mid-2005. The name "GTI" is sacred in hot hatch terminology, so you can be sure it will be well received when it arrives in Australia. Read our original story on the new GTI here. Regular readers will recall that the Next Car Team was the first media outlet in Australia to publish an image of the new GTI.
In other Golf news, the high performance "R32" will arrive in Australia within months of the GTIs return.
The Polo and Beetle will have a mid-year make-over.
The new Passat is due to debut at the 2005 Geneva Motor Show in March. It's due for an Australian release in late 2005 or early 2006. Read our story on the new Passat here. The Next Car Team was, again, the first media outlet in Australia to show an image of the new Passat.
The new Bora is due at much the same time as the new Passat.
The new Multivan is due next month. There is no van like a kombi!You can see our pages on VW commercial vehicles here: 1 2 3 4.
Most Volvo activity this year will be concentrated overseas. The XC90 will be offered with a 4.4 litre V8 in the US market. There is ongoing development of diesel engines, too.
But the big news on product development at Volvo will be the appearance of a new cabriolet. It would be normal for a major new product to debut at a major international motor show. You can rule out Melbourne and Sydney and it's too late for Los Angeles and Detroit. That leaves Geneva, Barcelona and Frankfurt in Europe, New York in America and Tokyo in Japan. Look for a new Volvo cabriolet at one of these shows.
"The Playmakers of 2005"