100 hot new cars - part 2 - 4x4s and crossovers part 1

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Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4
What is it? The world’s first diesel hybrid
Estimated price from £28,000
On sale Autumn 2011

A hybrid that uses a diesel engine. It sounds like a no-brainer when you’re trying to cut fuel consumption, doesn’t it? Well, at long last, Peugeot is about to make the idea a reality.

The French firm says that the 3008 Hybrid4, which is due to go on sale next autumn, will be capable of 74.4mpg, while emitting 99g/km of CO2. Not only that, but you’ll also have a healthy 197bhp to play with. How? Well, a 161bhp
2.0-litre diesel engine powers the front wheels, while a 36bhp electric motor drives the ones at the back.

The system runs in four modes, selected by a dial on the dash. In 4WD, both power sources run simultaneously as far as possible, and in Zero Emission mode, only the electric motor drives the car. Auto mode juggles the two power sources for greatest efficiency, while Sport mode uses them to maximise performance.
The power for the electric motor is stored in batteries stashed beneath the boot floor.

These batteries are recharged automatically by recycling energy that would otherwise be lost through braking and slowing down, so there’s no need to plug the car into the mains overnight.

Hyundai ix35 FCEV
What is it? A crossover crossing over to an alternative fuel
Estimated price from £25,000
On sale 2012

As big cars go, Hyundai’s ix35 crossover is already pretty good on CO2 emissions. The cleanest version, the 1.7 diesel with start-stop, emits just 135g/km.

However, Hyundai plans to ramp things up a notch in the coming years with the FCEV, a hydrogen fuel cell version that Hyundai reckons could be on the road, as a small test fleet, by 2012. It’s the latest development of Hyundai’s research into fuel cells.

In its current state, the FCEV has a range of more than 400 miles, and its 134bhp drive system can propel it to a top speed of 99mph.

Audi Q3
What is it? Audi’s pint-sized crossover
Estimated price from £23,000
On sale Late 2011

It seems that no niche is too small for Audi, and the German firm is preparing to wade into the baby SUV market with the Q3.

In fact, the Q3 will be a bit of a team effort between Audi and its sister companies. It’ll be based on the same mechanicals as the VW Tiguan, and will be built in Seat’s Martorell factory in Spain.

It’ll slot into Audi’s range below the Q5 and the Q7, and we expect prices to start somewhere in the region of £23,000 when it arrives in the UK.

Expect many of the turbocharged engines already found in the Q5. That should mean the two 2.0-litre diesels (with 141bhp and 168bhp) will be included, while the 178bhp and 208bhp 2.0 petrols are also very likely. However, the smaller Q3 will probably get one or more versions of the superb 1.4 TSI engines as well, which are likely to give either 120bhp or 158bhp.

Chevrolet Captiva/Vauxhall Antara
What is it? GM’s 4x4 twins get major overhauls
Estimated price from £19,000
On sale Feb/May 2011

These GM products share the same mechanicals, and both will be receiving major revisions in the first half of next year.

The Antara should arrive in February, but Vauxhall is keeping details of the new car under wraps. Chevrolet hasn’t been nearly so coy, and the sharper-looking Captiva has already been shown at the Paris motor show, but it’s not due until May.

The Captiva will have three new engines – a 169bhp 2.4 petrol and two 2.2-litre diesels with 161 or 181bhp – and a retuned chassis.

What is it? A big improvement on the outgoing X3
Estimated price from £30,490
On sale January 2011

The new X3 4x4 is one of those rare cars that’s actually cheaper than the one it replaces.

It’s a whole lot smarter, too. The current car’s boxy bodywork has been ditched in favour of the slinkier lines you see on all the latest BMWs, and the new interior is similar to that of the latest 5 Series: plush is an understatement.

Initially, the X3 will be sold in the UK with just one engine, a 182bhp 2.0-litre turbodiesel. Despite the generous power output, it’ll also return 50.4mpg and emit CO2 at a rate of just 149g/km. Impressive stuff.

A six-cylinder 3.0-litre diesel engine will be added to the range in spring, which is also when the current single trim level – SE – will be supplemented by M Sport. SE brings leather upholstery, climate control and front and rear parking sensors.
M Sport will provide a more focused drive.

In brief…
Mazda CX-5
Details of Mazda’s Ford Kuga rival are sketchy, but we do know that the CX-5 will use Mazda’s philosophy of improving performance and efficiency through lightweight design. It’s due in late 2011 and should cost around £22k.

What's your most exciting car of 2011? Take part in our Car of the Year poll.

100 hot new cars - part 2 - 4x4s and crossovers part 2


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