The premium midsized SUV segment in Europe was red-hot in 2015, growing 25% to 366.008 sales as all remaining nameplates but one show volume improvements and two newcomers have stormed up the charts. After flamboyantly taking control of the segment last year, the Volvo XC60 consolidates its leadership by growing only slightly slower than the rest of the segment and blasting past last-year’s record sales for the already 7-year old model. The XC60 has grown by 67% in two years time thanks to its facelift and the introduction of new, four-cylinder engines. The Audi Q5, just as old as the XC60, improves its sales for the third consecutive year, albeit by a more modest 6%. That means the Q5 still increases the gap to the #3 Range Rover Evoque, as that model is up by just 2% as customers were waiting for the facelifted version to arrive in showrooms. When that happened, the Evoque was up 11% in Q4.
Sales of premium midsized SUVs in Europe slow down their impressive growth rate in Q3, with sales up 13% for the quarter, compared to 29% in the first half of 2015. This means the segment has already added over 50.000 units of volume so far this year. Much of this growth comes from new entrants to the segment, but also from the segment leader this year: the Volvo XC60. With an increase of 29% and almost 13.000 added sales, the XC60 looks unbeatable for the rest of the year , even though the Audi Q5 outsold it in August and was only 1.000 units behind in the third quarter.
The Range Rover Evoque has suddenly lost a third of its volume in Q3, after gaining 11% in the first half. The Evoque will be facelifted slightly, without much changes to its exterior design, and the addition of a convertible won’t make much of an impact sales-wise, as our readers agreed in the poll. [Read more…]
Audi e-tron quattro Concept
The Audi e-tron quattro Concept previews the Tesla Model X-rivalling Audi Q6, which will be presented in early 2018. It uses the power of three electric motors; one drives the front axle, the other acts on the rear axle. Total output is 435 hp and in boost mode it can mobilize up to 500 hp and 800 Nm torque. It accelerates from standstill to 100 km/h in 4.6 seconds, while its electronically governed top speed is 210 km/h. The battery’s capacity of 95 kWh should enable a range of more than 500 kilometers. With its length of 4.88 metres, width of 1.93 metres and height of 1.54 metres, it fits between the Audi Q5 and Audi Q7, and its luggage capacity is 615 litres.
Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo Concept
The Vision GranTurismo showcases Bugatti’s new design language and previews the Chiron, which should debut at the Geneva Motor Show next spring, although the Volkswagen emissions scandal could delay the new ‘Chiron’ hypercar.
The Bentayga is the fastest, most powerful, most luxurious and most exclusive SUV in the world according to Bentley, a statement which could very well be true. The production version of the EXP 9 F Concept is based on the platform of the new Audi Q7, but designed, engineered and handcrafted in Crewe. It sits on the 2,992 mm wheelbase of the Q7, while the overall car length is 5,141 mm, its width is 1,998 mm and height 1,742 mm. It can be selected with four- or five-seat configurations. The four-seat version features two individual rear seats that adjust in 18 different ways and include massage and ventilation functions as well as footrests. The storage space features a leather-trimmed folding seat that matches the style of the cabin seats, according to Bentley “Ideal for those wishing to stop for a moment and enjoy a spectacular outdoor environment or pursuit”. A 6.0-litre twin-turbocharged W12 engine with a power output of 608 hp and 900 Nm torque powers the SUV, with which it could achieve a top speed of 301 km/h and accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 4.1 seconds. The engine is mated to an eight-speed transmission, while the CO2-emissions are 292 g/km. In the future Bentley will launch diesel and hybrid variants.
It seems Mercedes is finally serious about gunning for class leadership with the new GLC, as the new car is a much better put-together proposition than its GLK predecessor. For starters, it eschews the awkward faux-Geländewagen boxy looks in favor of much more organic looks of the new C-class. In fact, I believe it automatically becomes the most handsome car in the class alongside the Porsche Macan, easily beating the somewhat awkward X3 and handsome but dated Q5.
More than that, however, the new model seems to have all the advantages of the donor C-class, such as an advanced and lighter platform, gorgeous interior and sophisticated drivetrain options. And Mercedes will also finally offer the new car in the UK in right-hand-drive, in recognition of the importance of that market to compact premium SUV sales.