Car makers have clearly decided to fight their way out of recession, judging from the vast array of new metal heading our way in 2011.
From supercars like the Aston One-77 and McLaren MP4-12C to mainstream heroes like BMW’s M5 and the Audi RS3, there are exciting cars coming at virtually every price. It’s a big year for bread-and-butter options, too — new Focus and three-door Astra, anyone?
The consensus is that when the recovery really kicks in, those with fresh product and new ideas will benefit most. You'll have a good idea of who’ll come out on top with full details on all of 2011's more than 100 new cars below, along with links to take you to a a detailed story on each with pictures.
Alfa RomeoAlfa will drop the six-speed dual-clutch ‘box from the Mito into the Giulietta from April to create the TCT version. Mated to the 168bhp 1.4 MultiAir, it features stop-start and 121g/km CO2 emissions. A hot-selling 138bhp diesel Giulietta will also launch in early January.
AlpinaIn the absence of a Touring version of the new M5, Alpina’s tweaked 500bhp twin-turbo V8 will be the fastest load-lugging BMW estate money can buy. Expect sub-5.0sec 0-62mph and supercar-equalling mid-range acceleration for the B5 Touring.
AudiThe much-anticipated — and officially-denied — RS3 hot hatch is on sale next April. Tipped to be priced just shy of £40k, the RS3 promises M3-style performance for nearly £14k less. Staying with hot hatches, the most powerful Audi A1 1.4 TFSi will hit dealers around May shifting the smallest Audi into warm-hatch territory. A five-door A1 is tipped for launch as a concept in the autumn.
Aluminium body panels and new dual-clutch gearboxes will help the all-new A6 saloon shed weight and emissions, when sales start in April. Six-months after the saloon launches, the estate (Avant) will reach dealers. A compact Audi soft-roader, dubbed Q3, to battle the BMW X1 will also launch in October next year.
Aston MartinDeliveries of the most expensive production Aston ever – the £1.2m plus taxes One-77 - get into their stride in January, the culmination of three-years of design and development. May will mark the debut of Aston’s £30k version of the Toyota iQ: the Cygnet. The 1.3-litre 97bhp will drag down Aston’s fleet average fuel economy to keep its V12 and V8-engine range alive post 2012.
BentleyIt might not look too different, but the all-new Conti' has gained a raft of major updates, including a new engine and a 4.0-litre direct injection V8. It will cost from £135,760 when its reaches dealerships in the first quarter of 2011.
BMWBritain’s best-selling sports saloon – the 3-series - gets a ground-up refresh from late next year. With a planned 12-year lifecycle, the underpinnings of the new F30 3-series family will shift the 3-Series into new technology areas with a future-proofed platform ready for hybrids and electric power. The swansong for the current 3-series – the 190mph M3 GTS – reaches showrooms in January.