With motor sales booming, manufacturers plan to take advantage in 2014 with an array of new and redesigned models. We have a look at the best.
New Peugeot RCZ R
The eagerly awaited Peugeot RCZ R (pictured above) will be the most powerful road-going car the French brand has ever sold.
At its core is a range of mechanical upgrades that will guarantee a breathtaking ride.
Inspired by the Peugeot RCZ Racing Cup track car and riding 10mm lower to the ground, the new two-seater sports coupé is propelled by a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine developing 270bhp.
It will sprint from 0-62mph (0-100km/h) in 5.9 seconds and accelerate to 155mph.
Priced from £31,995, RCZ R deliveries will start in the UK this January.
2014 Nissan Qashqai
The remodelled Nissan Qashqai builds on the success of its 2 million-selling predecessor with improved comfort and technology, yet it remains accessible if you’re considering a traditional hatchback.
Every component, from the new cabin that offers more space, to the fresh, all-turbocharged engine range which is more efficient than ever, has been rethought and re-engineered.
The line-up consists of four engines: two petrol and two diesels, with the option of two or four-wheel drive. You can also choose between manual and automatic transmission.
Available in February with prices starting from £17,595, the Nissan will deliver premium quality and some of the most advanced features on the market.
Honda Civic Tourer
Developed and designed in Europe, the brand new Honda Civic Tourer features a sophisticated exterior profile that doesn’t compromise the car’s pragmatism.
The Honda delivers excellent versatility and functionality with class-leading interior space.
The cargo area will accommodate three large-sized Samsonite cases with the tonneau cover pulled over to conceal the luggage.
The Civic Tourer will be offered with the new 1.6 i-DTEC diesel engine, which is the lightest in its class, producing CO2 emissions from just 99g/km.
The car will also be offered with Honda’s 1.8 i-VTEC engine in manual or automatic transmission, producing from only 148g of CO2 per km.
Prices for the innovative Civic Tourer start at £20,265 and you can expect to see the car on our roads from February.
New Volkswagen Golf R
The most potent production Volkswagen Golf yet, the 300 PS Golf R, will be unleashed in the UK in March.
At the heart of the R is a newly developed version of the 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine used in the latest Golf GTI.
Zero to 62 mph takes 5.3 seconds (versus 5.7 seconds for previous Golf Rs), or 4.9 seconds with an optional direct-shift gearbox (DSG). The top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph.
Despite this improved performance, a combined fuel consumption of 39.8 mpg (40.9 mpg DSG), and CO2 emissions of 165 g/km (159 g/km DSG) make the Golf R up to 18 per cent more efficient than its forerunner.
Prices for the R start at £29,900 for the three-door model with six-speed manual gearbox, and £31,315 for the three-door with six-speed DSG gearbox.
The five-door versions cost £30,555 and £31,970 respectively.
New Audi A3 Cabriolet
Thoughts of spring may seem far off, but before we know it, it’ll be here along with the new Audi A3 Cabriolet.
Priced from £25,790, the latest soft-top A3 takes the A3 Saloon as its foundation, meaning that its proportions are now not only more beautifully balanced, but also make provision for complete concealment of the fabric hood within its sleek body.
The roof opens the new Cabriolet to the elements automatically in under 18 seconds at speeds of up to 31mph.
When retracted at the touch of a button, the top – complete with heated glass rear window – rests in a tray that barely affects luggage capacity.
The Cabriolet will be available with a choice of SE, Sport or S line specification. Standard equipment at entry level includes the fully automatic hood, plus 16-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning and a whole lot more.
A comprehensive choice of engines and an array of technological innovations adopted from the larger Audi models also transfers from the four-door A3.
Mercedes-Benz S 500 Plug-In Hybrid
The third hybrid model of the new S-Class, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz Plug-In Hybrid brings new efficiency standards.
With CO2 emissions of 69 g/km and returning 94.2 mpg, the S-Class sets a benchmark for luxury saloons that just a few years ago was thought impossible.
A genuine 3.0-litre car, it can cover 60 miles with just three litres of fuel, and the electric drive, using a rechargeable battery, makes emission-free driving for about 18 miles achievable.
Combined with a new 3.0-litre V6 turbocharged engine, the eco-friendly Merc will come to the UK in September.
Pricing is yet to be announced.