With Ford and Holden axing the Falcon and Commodore V8 muscle cars, turbocharged and/or supercharged four and six cylinder powered performance models are expected to become a lot more popular. Aussies like performance cars and many of the non-Australian models coming in have strong power and excellent dynamics. More variety brings more competition which also means prices will become sharper as more models flood into the market.
The Giulia sports sedan goes on sale February 16, powered by either a new 2.2-litre diesel powertrain or a 147kW 2.0-litre petrol engine. Both will have an eight-speed automatic transmission. Alfa Australia has confirmed there will be four models in the range – the Giulia, Giulia Super, Giulia Veloce, and range topping Giulia Quadrifoglio. The QV is powered by a Ferrari-inspired twin-turbocharged V6 boasting 375kW and 600Nm and sprints to 100km/h in just 3.9 seconds. Alfa hasn't released pricing for all variants yet, but has confirmed the range topping QV will start from $143,900 plus on road costs.
The DB9 replacement, the DB11, is expected this year powered by the company's own turbocharged V12 engine and has a brand-new platform and upper body design. The Lagonda, a new bespoke super saloon that sees the revival of the historic Lagonda marque, is available in strictly limited numbers series. Offered predominantly in the Middle East, UK and Europe, it may well come to our shores as well.
Kicking off the all-new models early next month is the potent S4. It houses a brand new turbocharged engine, more equipment, and will be available in both sedan and wagon. The turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 engine is the first in a new range of V6 and V8 engines spawned from a co-operation between Audi and Porsche. The new engine has 260kW (15kW more than the previous unit) and a massive 500Nm (up 60Nm).
The high performance RS3 sedan and hot new TTRS will land between April and June and the R8 Spyder will arrive in June too.
Kicking off the Bavarian manufacturer's product onslaught this month is the release of an M3 30 Years Special-edition, along with the already sold out M4 GTS. Just 25 of the $300K, 368kW super sedans were allocated to Australia.
The replacement for the FF, the GTC4Lusso, will go on sale early this year. The $578,888 (plus on road costs) two-door, four seat 'coupé' houses a 6.2-litre V12 that produces 507kW of power and 697Nm of torque. While it weighs a fraction under two tonnes, the GTC4Lusso sprints to 100km/h in just 3.4 seconds and to 200km/h in 10.5 on route to a top speed of 335km/h.
HOLDEN SPECIAL VEHICLES
HSV will go out with a bang when it launches the last of its muscle cars, the GTS-R W1, mid-year. Reports suggest the (476+ kW) W1 will not only be the fastest HSV ever, but also the most expensive at around $165,000. Only 250 units will be produced.
The first deliveries of the NSX supercar trickled in last month, with the bulk to come through this year. Priced from $420,000 plus on-road costs, Australia will get only one specification with no options. Under the bonnet is a 3.5-litre twin-turbo six-cylinder engine mated to an electric drive system that produces 427kW of power and 646Nm of torque. These are supercar figures indeed, bringing the NSX into a niche market with the Lamborghini Huracan and McLaren range.
The Civic Type-R – slated as the hottest Type R ever – is due in the last quarter.
Hyundai's N performance brand will arrive in the form of the i30 N hot hatch in the second half of 2017. The new hot hatch will compete with other hot hatches such as the Volkswagen Golf GTI.
Infiniti has one model launch for 2017 – the sporty Q60 Red Sport in March. The new performance coupé boasts a 298kW twin-turbo V6 mated to a seven-speed gearbox.
The recently unveiled Stinger rear-drive GT sports sedan will arrive September/October this year. The Stinger is powered by a 3.3-litre V6 twin turbo engine and mated to an eight-speed transmission. While final specifications are still to be settled, the Stinger is expected to produce 272kW of power and 510Nm of torque for a 0-100km/h sprint time of 5.1 seconds.
The latest version of the iconic MX-5 goes on sale on Feb 1. The MX-5 RF features a retractable folding hard-top roof that can be opened or closed at speeds of up to 10km/h with the press of a button. Despite its fastback styling and hardtop, the MX-5 RF offers the same amount of boot space as the soft-top model. In Australia, the model will feature the SKYACTIV-G 2.0-litre petrol engine.
The GLC 43 Coupe is on sale this month priced from $108, 900 plus on road costs. Under the bonnet is a 270kW, 520Nm bi-turbo V6 and takes just 4.9 seconds to get to 100kmh.
In March comes the V6 bi-turbo E 43 AMG. Priced from $159,900, the new model has an upgraded six-cylinder engine. Power is up 25kW to 295kW. Peak torque is 520 Nm. The new E 43 4MATIC hits 100 km/h from a standing start in just 4.6 seconds.
The middle of the year signals an AMG assault with the range-topping E-Class, the E 63 AMG, the AMG GT super coupe, the convertible version of the GT, the GTC AMG and range topping GT R AMG (pictured) all arriving in July.
An all-wheel drive version of the Clubman, the JCW All4, is expected in Q2. This is the first time the current 2.0-litre petrol engine (JCW models) has been mated to the new generation all-wheel drive system, ALL4. Boasting 170kW of power and 350Nm of torque, the hot hatch races to 100km/h in 6.3 seconds and has a six-speed manual standard or an optional eight-speed automatic.
Nissan's performance brand, NISMO, will be introduced officially to the Australian market from 2017, with the first model, the potent GT-R, launched next month. The GT-R NISMO features a 441kW/ 652Nm engine and uses the same pair of high-flow, large diameter turbochargers as the race car. Due to limited supply, first orders will be offered to loyal GT-R owners. The 2017 Nissan GT-R NISMO will be priced at $299,000 plus on-road costs.
Local deliveries of the Panamera 4S and Turbo start in the first quarter of this year, with the 4S diesel to follow shortly after. A new direct-injection 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 replaces the previous models' 4.8-litre twin-turbo V8 and produces 404kW (up 22kW) of power and 770Nm (up 70Nm) of torque between 1960rpm-4500rpm. Porsche claims a 0-100km/h time of 3.8 seconds on the way up to a top speed of 306km/h. The 4S models house a 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 (324kW/550Nm) that propels the 4S to 100km/h in 4.4 seconds (4.2 with the optional Sport Chrono pack). The diesel has a 310kW/850Nm twin-turbo V8 under the bonnet and the 4S Diesel is purported to be the world's fastest production diesel vehicle. Porsche claims a 0-100km/h time of 4.5 seconds (4.3 with Sport Chrono pack).
In the second quarter will come the new 911 GTS. Powered by a new turbocharged 3.0-litre flat six, the GTS has 331kW and 550Nm and the 911 Carrera 4 GTS coupé can get to 100km/h in just 3.6 seconds (dual clutch transmission). Buyers can order the new 911 GTS models now with prices starting from $279,000 plus on-road costs.
Also in the middle of the year comes facelifted versions of the WRX and STI models. Subaru has confirmed the WRX will be based on the old architecture, not the new global platform that underpins the all-new Impreza (launched last year). The new WRX was released in 2015, which means an all-new generation won't be produced for at least another five years.
Early in July, comes the latest version of the popular Golf, the Golf 7.5 with the GTI and R performance hatched to follow late July.
In the second quarter will come new versions of the S60 and V60 Polestar. The highlight is an all-new 2.0-litre turbocharged engine that replaces the current six cylinder. The new models will be quicker than their predecessors.