RAPID ALFA: A genuine BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C63 hunter, the Alfa Romeo Giulia QV, due here next month, features a 375kW twin-turbo V6 engine and hits 100kmh in 3.9-seconds. It’s also the new production sedan lap record holder around the Nurburgring, and we can’t wait.
RAPID ALFA: A genuine BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C63 hunter, the Alfa Romeo Giulia QV, due here next month, features a 375kW twin-turbo V6 engine and hits 100kmh in 3.9-seconds. It’s also the new production sedan lap record holder around the Nurburgring, and we can’t wait.

New cars coming in 2017: we pick our favourites

IT'S as if the car industry never gets the chance to come up for air.  

Last year was bountiful on the new car and new technology fronts, and 2017 is set to be another bumper 12 months for motoring manufacturers peddling their wares in Australia.   

Year on year we're buying more cars than ever before, and we have over 50 brands battling it out for our business. And they're always coming up with shiny new things.  

There are plenty of new or refreshed models confirmed for 2017, and a few maybes as well. Here's our pick of some showroom certainties which have us more than a wee bit excited.  

Audi Q2

2017 Audi Q2.Photo: Contributed
2017 Audi Q2.Photo: Contributed

FEW brands can resist the lure of the compact SUV, and here's Audi's new effort as the smallest, coolest and cheapest in its "Q" range.   

The diminutive Q2 arrives next month priced a smidge over $40k, is a departure from Audi's other SUVs on the styling front, and has a range of customisation opportunities. Well-heeled younglings and style-conscious empty nesters... consider yourselves thoroughly targeted.  

Toyota C-HR

2017 Toyota C-HR compact SUV.
2017 Toyota C-HR compact SUV.

LANDING about the same time as the Audi Q2 is Toyota's long-awaited compact SUV: the C-HR (Coupe-High Rider, apparently).  

Thoroughly un-Toyota like style-wise both inside and out (exterior is polarising, cabin is an undoubted triumph), this city slicker has been the most anticipated new Toyota for some time.

Pricing is still unconfirmed a few weeks out from launch, but its high spec level suggests over $25k for our market. Lots more than an entry-level Mazda CX-3, but that shouldn't prevent the C-HR going all hot cakes.  

Maserati Levante

2017 Maserati Levante. Photo: Contributed.
2017 Maserati Levante. Photo: Contributed.

ANOTHER SUV? Yep, and this time by a new player in the segment. Jaguar and Bentley joined the SUV party in 2016, and this year it's the grand old Italian luxury marque succumbing to temptation.  

No shame in that if you want to stay solvent, and priced from a reasonable $140k before on-roads the all-wheel-drive five-seat Levante is priced the same as the brand's Ghibli sedan.  

Maserati's new best seller? Little doubt of that, and first Australian deliveries of the new high-rider with 202kW/600Nm V6 diesel engine will be happening as you read this.

Kudos to the new owners: you'll stand out at the private school gates amongst a sea of Porsche Cayennes and Range Rover Sports.  

Alfa Romeo Giulia

2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia QV
2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia QV

AH, a proper car. And with a performance model to have the Germans sweating in their strudel. Looks as damn sexy as an Alfa should to boot. The rear-drive Giulia sports sedan arrives in a matter of weeks, and will be launched in four trims: Giulia, Super, Veloce and hot Quadrifoglio (QV).   

The latter, priced from $144k before charges, is a genuine BMW M3 and Merc-AMG C63 hunter, hitting 100kmh in 3.9-seconds thanks to its 375kW twin-turbo V6. Rubbing Italian salt in German wounds, the QV has just broken the production sedan lap record around the Nurburgring. Own backyard, anyone?  

Mazda MX-5 RF

FEBRUARY ARRIVAL: The Mazda MX-5 RF will be available from February 1, priced from $38,550.
FEBRUARY ARRIVAL: The Mazda MX-5 RF will be available from February 1, priced from $38,550. Brian Hausler

WHILE we're being all sporty, let's embrace the folding hard-top version of one of our favourites: the Mazda MX-5.   The new RF (retractable fastback) variant also lands in the next few weeks, boasting an electrically-operated metal roof that when raised still has the little sports car looking as lovely as its rag-top stablemate.   

Using the roadster's higher output 118kW/200Nm 2.0-litre engine, it's priced from $38,550 before on-roads (about $4k more than the soft-top). An excellent Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ alternative, surely?  

Nissan GT-R Nismo

2017 Nissan GT-R NISMO. Photo: Contributed
2017 Nissan GT-R NISMO. Photo: Contributed

COME February, finally, brilliantly, we're getting Nismo-fettled Nissan GT-Rs in Australia. Because boggo GT-Rs are just a bit tame, aren't they?

Yes they'll cost $300,000 ($110k more than a "normal" GT-R), but you're buying 441kW and 652Nm, a pair of turbochargers borrowed from the GT-R GT3 race car, lashings of carbon fibre and a 0-100kmh time of 2.7-seconds. Sayonara, Porsche GT3 RS.  

Land Rover Discovery 5

2017 Land Rover Discovery.Photo: Contributed
2017 Land Rover Discovery.Photo: Contributed

AUSTRALIA'S second-best-selling premium large SUV (behind BMW's X5) gets a thorough makeover in 2017, the new Disco 5 landing in July priced from $81,590 before on-roads.  

The seven-seat Brit drops the traditional Disco box shape for a sleeker style more in keeping with other Landies and Range Rovers.  

It tows 3500kg, is 480kg lighter than the Discovery 4, and the seats can be configured from your phone using the world-first remote Intelligent Seat Fold technology. Marvellous.  

Skoda Kodiaq

2017 Skoda Kodiaq seven-seat SUV. Photo: Contributed
2017 Skoda Kodiaq seven-seat SUV. Photo: Contributed SKODA

IF you prefer your seven-seat SUVs more affordable, come the middle of the year Skoda finally adds a larger SUV to its line-up with the Kodiaq.

Expected to start from around $40k, Skoda's big bear will worry the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento, tows 2500kg, has the largest boot in its class and has 200-litres more cargo space than a Toyota Kluger with the seats folded.

Skoda's line-up is full of quality offerings (Fabia, Octavia, Superb) we Aussies don't buy in the numbers we should... let's hope the Kodiaq helps right this wrong.  

Hyundai i30 N

Hyundai has revealed the RN30 concept at Paris Motor Show, ahead of high-performance 'N' models which will be available in Australia in the second half of 2017.
Hyundai has revealed the RN30 concept at Paris Motor Show, ahead of high-performance 'N' models which will be available in Australia in the second half of 2017.

THE third generation Hyundai i30 is due in the first half of this year: five-door hatchback, looks like a smart if hardly fizzing small car, and will be priced to remain one of Australia's best sellers.

We care more about its evil twin though. Hyundai introduces its "N Performance" range this year - see it as the Koreans' performance arm (like BMW's M cars) - and its RN30 concept (pictured) shown at the Paris Motor Show last September hints at the i30 N's sporting potential.  

A two-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, lightweight construction, wide body and plenty of Nurburgring track development. Bring it on, Hyundai.

Aston Martin DB11

2017 Aston Martin DB11
2017 Aston Martin DB11

THE most beautiful Aston ever?   

Much competition, but certainly the new DB11 honours the British badge and then some.  

Turbocharged 5.2-litre V12 good for 447kW and 700Nm, a 0-100kmh time of 3.9-seconds and top speed of 340kmh. Northern Territory road trip, anyone?  

All it takes is $395,000 before on-roads to slide into this design triumph and play at being James Bond.   

That's $25k cheaper than a Honda NSX, just so you know.  

Honda Civic Type R

2017 Honda Civic Type R
2017 Honda Civic Type R

IN the second half of 2017, Honda's hot hatch hero the Civic Type R makes a welcome return to Australia after a six-year absence.  

With the brand's new NSX hybrid supercar just arrived too we'll finally have some red-badged Hondas to get excited about this year.  

The Type R is built on the new Civic Hatch arriving in coming months, and if we're to believe the prototype, features an edgy and aerodynamic wide body, 20-inch black wheels, carbon fibre splitters, diffuser and side skirts, big air vents and bonnet scoop.   

Expect it to be priced to competitively take on the Ford Focus RS ($50,990) and VW Golf R ($52,990).  

Mercedes-AMG E 63 / E63 S

2017 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S 4MATIC
2017 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S 4MATIC Daimler AG

THE most powerful Merc E-Class of all time. That's what 450kW and 850Nm will do for you.   

Landing in the second half of this year, this thumping all-wheel drive sedan uses a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8, and should we score the 'S' version (the non-S has "only" 420kW and 750Nm), it comes with a drift mode a la Ford Focus RS. Get you Mercedes, lettin' your hair down you old dog. 

Despite the decent size and weight of this near two-tonne executive express, that boosted AMG motor propels up to five occupants to 100kmh in just 3.4 seconds.   

Sounds like the perfect family car, really, doesn't it?  

Also due in 2017  

Genesis G70  

Genesis G70 New York Concept
Genesis G70 New York Concept

Mercedes-AMG GT R  

Mercedes-AMG GT R
Mercedes-AMG GT R Daimler AG

Volvo V90

Volvo V90 Location Profile
Volvo V90 Location Profile

Kia Stinger  

 

2017 Kia Stinger
2017 Kia Stinger

 

Honda NSX  

2017 Honda NSX hybrid supercar. Photo: Contributed
2017 Honda NSX hybrid supercar. Photo: Contributed

Audi Q5  

Next generation 2017 Audi Q5
Next generation 2017 Audi Q5

Mazda CX-5  

Next-generation 2017 Mazda CX-5
Next-generation 2017 Mazda CX-5

Jeep Compass  

2017 Jeep Compass
2017 Jeep Compass FCA US LLC

Holden Equinox  

Holden Equinox based on the Chevrolet SUV.
Holden Equinox based on the Chevrolet SUV.

Kia Rio    

The 2017 Kia Rio goes on show at the Paris Motor Show.
The 2017 Kia Rio goes on show at the Paris Motor Show.


Two people treated by paramedics after fire

Two people treated by paramedics after fire

Emergency services respond to house fire

Freezing, windy weather to hit Northern Rivers

premium_icon Freezing, windy weather to hit Northern Rivers

Temperatures to plummet more than 6C below average

Emergency crews rescue child from Mt Warning

Emergency crews rescue child from Mt Warning

The girl reportedly hit her head on a rock

Local Partners