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.
Other all-new models from BMW in 2011 include the new 6-series, that will launch as a convertible first in March, followed by the coupe in September, and a new 547bhp M5 will launch late in 2011, featuring forced induction for the first time. There will also be a facelift for the 1-series coupe and cabriolet models alongside the new 1-series M coupe and the predicted best-selling M Sport package for the X3.
CaterhamBritish sports car maker will reveal its first all-new model since the 21 at this month's Autosport International show. The car will be pitched at the track day and racing markets and is a “logical expansion” to the firm’s current portfolio of models.
ChevroletA busy year for Chevrolet starts with the launch of its new seven-seat Orlando minivan in February, with a facelift for the Captiva arrives in May. The five-door Cruze will finally kill off the last vestige of outmoded Daewoo models in Chevy’s range by ousting the unloved Lacetti. An all-new Aveo will arrive in the autumn, too.
UK buyers will also be able to get their hands on official imports of the £40k Camaro coupe and cabriolet models from August and the wide-bodied £65k Corvette Gran Sport from April. Order books open for the 70mpg-plus Volt in June, even though deliveries won’t start until March 2012.
CitroenOne of the first new models on sale in 2011, the new C4 five-door hatch hits dealers on January 11. Its segment-breaking DS4 sibling arrives in August. A 204bhp Racing variant of the DS3 promises 0-62mph in 6.5sec and a lowered, stiffer chassis. Just 200 RHD examples are planned.
ChryslerLancia’s relaunch in the UK is dead. Instead we get Lancia models like the Delta rebadged as Chryslers, which is here in June. But could the Chrysler Ypsilon, a re-badged Lancia city car, be the surprise hit of 2011? Based on the 500 platform and featuring the new 84bhp twin-air engine, the Ypsilon will have five-doors and the promise of up-market Italian design charm in its interior. Sales start in October. A mild refresh and re-trim will lift the Voyager MPV as part of the Fiat-inspired relaunch of Chrysler next year.
FerrariDue to make its debut at the Geneva show, with sales starting in the autumn, Ferrari’s 2+2 GT replacement for the 612 Scaglietti will lose some weight and gain power and fuel efficiency. A drop-top version of the 458 Italia is hotly tipped to appear late this year, ahead of sales starting in 2012. The firm will also deliver its exclusive SA APERTA to buyers through 2011.
FiatFiat will focus its efforts on Chrysler’s revival in 2011 — although it may show a next-gen Panda concept before the end of the year.
FordFord's all-new five-door Focus will reach UK showrooms from September. Order books for the ST will open later this year, too. It gets a 2.0-litre Ecoboost turbocharged four-cylinder powerplant, producing 247bhp. A dual-clutch gearbox will be available as an option.
HondaHonda’s fleet staple, the Accord, gets a minor tweak around April/May. Expect minor styling changes and additions to the standard equipment list, accompanied by a small price rise. The all-new European Civic will be also be shown before the year is out ahead of sales starting in early 2012. Honda’s eco-Jazz Hybrid also coincides with the arrival of a facelifted version of the regular model in February.
HyundaiAfter what seems like one of the most prolonged development processes in recent history, Hyundai’s rival for the VW Scirocco - the Veloster - should finally arrive in dealerships in late autumn, more than four years after the initial concept. Hyundai will also attack the fleet market first with the estate version of the new i40, the successor to the underwhelming Sonata. The wagon is due on sale in September, but the four-door will follow just a few months later, in December. Sub 100g/km versions of the i10, i20 and i30 will also be launched.
InfinitiNissan’s luxury brand adds a hybrid variant to its 5-series-chasing M saloon in late spring. Prices will start around £46k for the 317bhp 3.7 V6-powered four-door. Infiniti’s Performance Line is unlikely to reach the UK until 2012 at the earliest.
JaguarJaguar’s facelifted XF isn’t due to go on sale until 2012 — but many expect it to break cover before the end of this year, perhaps at the Frankfurt show in September.
JeepJeep’s baby Patriot gets two sets of revisions in 2011. The first is a mild facelift, which brings styling revisions in the spring. Then in the summer, the model gets a front-drive variant. The Grand Cherokee's facelift includes mild efficiency gains and tweaks to front and rear styling.
KiaThe new Picanto will make its public debut at the Geneva show in March; UK sales will start just after Easter. The firm's new Rio will launch as a five-door in the summer; a three-door will follow in 2012. And its sharply styled four-door Optima will offer 5-series size from £17k when it arrives in the summer.
KTMMotorcycle manufacturer KTM has ramped up its hardcore carbonfibre-tubbed track day special even further for January, giving it 300bhp and lower suspension. A fully revised 2011 specification is due in the spring, too.
LamborghiniThe firm's new V12 flagship, due in March, is quite a cocktail, made lighter and faster than ever.Customer demand has also persuaded Lambo to build a run of Sesto Elementos. Expect them to be mega-pricey and not legal for road use when they arrive in the autumn.
LexusThe CT200h will cost from a whisker under £24k, and its Prius-based powertrain will deliver 68.9mpg and emit 94g/km of CO2 emissions when it arrives in March.
Land RoverOne of the most eagerly awaited launches of 2011, the Range Rover Evoque has opened up a new ‘baby premium’ segment so effectively that even rival manufacturers admit they wish they’d thought of it. Prices have yet to be confirmed, but expect the entry-level front-drive model to start at around £30,000.
LotusPotential sales in the Middle East, Asia and the US have prompted Lotus to slot a six-speed automatic gearbox into the Evora for the IPS model, due this spring. Its other 2011 launch is a £650,000 F1-inspired track day special, dubbed T125.
MazdaMazda’s Ford Focus rival, the 3, seems to have only just been revised, but it’s down for another facelift in the summer. A diesel engine will be added to the 5 this month, while Mazda is also lining up its own rival for the Range Rover Evoque with the CX-5, which is expected towards the end of this year.
MastrettaMexico’s answer to the Elise, the MXT, has been delayed, but it’s back on track to arrive in the UK in 2011.
McLarenMcLaren’s re-entry into the supercar market, the MP4-12C, will undercut Ferrari’s 458 Italia by a few grand when it finally goes on sale in the spring. The twin-turbocharged V8 model will cost from £168,500, around £3k less than the 458.
MercedesMercedes’ A-class will get a shift of focus when it is previewed by concepts at the Shanghai show in April and Frankfurt in September. Sales start in early 2012. A two-door C-class coupe will appear alongside the facelifted saloon and estate versions of the car at next week’s Detroit show, while there will be a new ML launched in April and a B-class in November. A drop-top SLS will be launched in September, six months after the launch of the new SLK.
MiniThe low-roofed Mini Coupe has been a long time coming; the original concept was shown as long ago as Frankfurt 2009. But it’ll finally go on sale in later summer, after being revealed in production form in Geneva. The open-air Roadster versions won’t go on sale until the spring of 2012, though.
MGFull UK production of the MG 6 has been delayed at least twice in recent months, but the firm insists it’s on track to deliver the first examples of its UK-built large Focus rival, the 6, to buyers by the spring. The 3 supermini is also due on sale in 2011.
MitsubishiThe main offering out of Mitsubishi this year will be a preview for its next-generation Colt supermini, a model that's set to replaced in 2012.
MorganMore than half a century after the car was last sold, Morgan is relaunching its Threewheeler in 2011. It’s powered by a Harley Davidson engine, producing 100bhp.
NissanThe Micra will aim to please European buyers, plus the Indian and Thai markets. A 1.2 petrol is the only engine option so far; prices start at £9250. The all-important Leaf, the new holder of the prestigious Car of the Year title, is finally here in 2011, too. March will see the arrival of the revised GT-R.
PaganiSet for a Geneva debut, Pagani’s new creation will have twin-turbo V12 power from AMG, a carbon-titanium chassis and an eye-watering price.
PeugeotPeugeot’s new 508 will have a fairly broad role to fill when it arrives in late spring. It’s designed to replace both the 407 and the 607 — and give Peugeot the sort of big saloon that’s popular in the crucial Chinese market. Peugeot’s iON goes on sale officially this month, while an ultra-frugal Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4 is expected by late summer at the same time as the quirky BB1 city car.
PorscheCodenamed 991, the next generation of 911 will make its public debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September, although sales are likely to start in early 2012. We'll also get our first look at the next Boxster later in the year, while diesel and hybird versions of the Panamera will launch by the end of the year. The Cayman R arrives in February.
RenaultThe Fluence, the most conventional of Renault’s string of forthcoming electric offerings, will get an early 2011 launch, while production versions of the Kangoo electric and Twizy will also appear before the year is out. We'll also get our first look at the production Zoe supermini, which also points towards the next-generation Clio.
Rolls-RoyceRolls-Royce has ambitious plans for its Ghost, including two-door coupé and drophead versions. But the range expansion will start with this lengthened version, which is likely to appear in production form late next year.
SaabOn paper the chunky 9-4X, set for an autumn launch, looks an ideal fit for the revitalised Saab brand. But there is a potential flaw in the plan: the Swedes have revealed that attempts to integrate a diesel variant into the production process have failed. Expect the 9-5 estate to get the same range of engines as the saloon — plus the newly announced UK suspension set-up - when it goes on sale in the summer.
SeatThe highlight of a relatively quiet year for Seat is the addition of a Multitronic automatic gearbox option to the Seat Exeo diesel. It’s unlikely to have buyers breaking down dealership doors — but it will make the Exeo (and Seat as a whole) more attractive to fleet managers.
SkodaSkoda has no model launches planned for 2011; it’s gearing up to the launch of its version of the VW Up city car, in 2012.
SubaruSubaru showed a new styling direction at the Los Angeles motor show, and the sharp new Impreza Concept is expected to be shown in production form at the Tokyo motor show in December. Expect continued use of the Boxer engine, plus a revised diesel option.
SuzukiApologies for hedging our bets on this one, but Suzuki itself still can’t decide if it wants to sell the big Kizashi saloon in Europe. Expect a verdict by the spring. The hot version of the new Swift, meanwhile, will launch this summer.
TeslaElectric car firm Tesla is planning an Apple Store-esque retail experience, for its car dealerships. Its European push will start in earnest with the Model S saloon, which should appear in the autumn ahead of sales starting in 2012.
ToyotaToyota’s baby FT-86 coupé has been knocked back to a late 2012 launch, but we’ll see it in near-production form at this year’s Tokyo show. And revealed just before Christmas in Japan — but not due in the UK until late autumn — is the new Yaris.
VauxhallVauxhall’s new three-door Astra will make its public debut at the Frankfurt show. The most eagerly awaited version of the GTC will be the new VXR; it’s due to arrive at the same time as the regular three-door models in December. A new VXR8 is due in March at the same time as the VXR Auto and facelifted versions of the Antara and Corsa. A hotter Corsa VXR Nurbirgring edition is here in June, followed shortly by a new Zafira.
VolkswagenDeliveries of Volkswagen’s seventh-generation Passat have just started, with the facelifted Eos also due to arrive this month. A new Jetta follows in March, the same month as the concept version of the next Beetle is launched. A new Golf cabrio arrives in the summer and the production version of the Up is launched in the autumn.
VolvoVolvo’s R-Design badge means a tweaked chassis and a body kit with new front valence, a rear diffuser and five-spoke 18in wheels. It’s available on all S60s and V60s from this month. Volvo’s mid-size SUV crossover gets the firm’s latest T5 petrol engine, a four-pot turbocharged unit producing 237bhp. It comes with a Powershift dual-clutch ’box only and is also on sale this month.