The summer is a time when a lot of manufacturers bring out their new cars for the public to browse and buy. It is believed that customers are in a much brighter mood during the months between April and August and are, therefore, much more likely to splash the cash on a shiny new motor.
It is also believed to be a time when car owners realise the effects of the previous winter. Some cars are seriously affected by the cold, harsh weather conditions and may have sustained the kind of damage that is either too expensive to repair, or that may simply prompt them to upgrade to a more reliable and efficient model.
Over the years the new cars that have proven to be the most popular during the summer are convertibles due to the fact that owners can drop the roof when the weather warms up and the sun comes out.
Today, however, there aren’t as many new convertibles around and manufacturers are focussing more on stylish but efficient models that will appeal to people who maintain their love of new cars and all of their assets; plus those looking to save money on fuel, tax and insurance. Of course, there are still those who prefer the finer things and that feeling of the fresh air blowing through their hair, and we’ll come to an exciting new convertible very shortly.
In our latest look at some of 2016’s new cars, we focus on the latest releases from Audi, Ferrari and Jaguar – three of the biggest names in the industry – to see what they’ve cooked up this year.
The 2016 Audi Q2
When Audi release new cars you know that they’ve put a lot of work into it – and I mean A LOT of work. The German manufacturers very rarely get it wrong, and we’re now just a few months away from their first ever compact SUV – the Audi Q2.
Available to order from July for delivery around November, the aim of this new style is, according to Audi themselves, “to reach out to first-time Audi buyers who want a family-friendly, practical interior with all of the usual touches of Audi luxury.”
It’s an understandable move to make as SUVs have become highly popular. They blend the best assets of traditional people carriers and luxurious 4×4 models that would otherwise be out of people’s price range; and throw in a splash of saloon styling for good measure.
The new Q2 is styled in a similar manner to the likes of the A6 saloon with LED lighting and the striking front grille, with a squared-off rear to give it distinction from the likes of the A3, A4, A6 and A8.
Inside, however, it is very similar to the latest A3. You get driver and passenger climate controls, electric steering wheel, pop-up satellite navigation and electric stop-start button.
The new Q2 comes with front-wheel drive as standard and there will be a choice of two engines initially – a 1.4-litre petrol with a choice of manual or automatic gearbox, and a 1.8-litre diesel that will initially feature a manual gearbox although the automatic will be here later this year.
The Audi Q2 at a glance
Starting price: £22,000
BHP: 1.4-litre petrol – 148bhp, 1.8-litre diesel – 114bhp
MPG: 1.4-litre petrol – 50mpg, 1.8-litre diesel – 70mpg
Top Speed: 1.4-litre petrol – 129mph, 1.8-litre diesel – 118mph
0-60: 1.4-litre petrol – 9 seconds, 1.8-litre diesel – 10 seconds
The 2016 Ferrari 488 Spider
Just the word “Ferrari” makes you think that the new car is going to be a stunner – and the latest model is exactly that. The new Ferrari 488 Spider is a convertible version of the 488 GTB that arrives just in time for summer, (what did we tell you about new models being released at this time of year!)
The new Spider has a lot of the components that the slightly older GTB has – a rear-wheel drive 661bhp twin-turbocharged V8 engine that will reach a top speed of an eye-watering 203mph, and will do 0-60 in three-seconds flat.
As with all new Ferrari cars these days the main focus is around three elements: styling, science and technology. They want their cars to be the most beautiful, with the latest driver aids and in-car entertainment, and they want to make the fastest car with the best brakes out of the lightest but strongest materials.
Well, as per usual, they’ve just about got it right. The hard-top released last year was already a thing of beauty, and the new drop-top version looks just as great with the roof up or down.
So why have Ferrari made a convertible version? If you ask their research department they’ll tell you that the people who buy convertible Ferrari’s are very different to the people who buy hard-top Ferrari models. Whether that is true or not, only statistical evidence will tell, but when it goes on sale later this year it’s guaranteed to have a fair few takers!
The Ferrari 488 Spider at a glance
Starting price: £204,000
Top Speed: 203mph
0-60: 3 seconds
The 2016 Jaguar XE
When it comes to luxury saloons it’s always a bit of a compromise in some departments. While many will focus on both interior and exterior styling, others target the performance and efficiency.
In the case of the new Jaguar XE you will almost certainly find more beautiful saloons on the market – namely Audi A6 and Mercedes C-Class models – but none handle quite as well as the new XE.
When you sit behind the wheel of a Jaguar you know you’re inside something special, so when you power up the engine and start heading down the road you instantly feel like a schoolchild again dreaming about these luxurious cars.
You can throw the new Jaguar XE into the corners safe in the knowledge that it holds the road, steering with ease whether you’re in one of the petrol or diesel models.
All of the engines have a 2-litre capacity, with the exception of the 3-litre supercharged petrol, and it could be said that the best option is actually the 2.0 i4 diesel 163.
It has plenty of power behind it and, best of all, it’s one of the most efficient diesel engines around with some of the lowest emissions stats on the market. It can be combined with either a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic gearbox depending on your preference.
Inside the Jaguar XE you have everything you need and no more. There is no cluttered dashboard, instead you get controls on the steering wheel, a head-up display, built-in satellite navigation and a comfortable driving position. The inside is also spacious for passengers in the front and rear, although head room in the back is a compromise.
The Jaguar XE at a glance
Starting price: £26,990
BHP: 161bhp – 180bhp
MPG: 68.9mpg – 75mpg
Top Speed: 155mph
0-60: 7.1 – 7.9 seconds
For more on the latest range of new cars to hit the UK market in the coming months, come back to the Euro Car Parts blog again soon. We’ll also be covering the Formula One World Championship, tracking the progress of guest writer Charlie Martin and advising you on the best car parts for all makes and models.
Should you need any personal advice on the most suitable car parts for your vehicle, visit us in any of our nationwide stores.