It’s a tricky time for car manufacturers. Consumers are feeling the squeeze and cutting back on non-essential purchases. Then there are the car companies themselves; Detroit’s big three are recovering from the embarrassment of US government relief and getting their houses in order. But the pressures aren’t purely financial. Consumers are starting to buy green and manufacturers are increasingly betting on hybrid or electric cars to attract customers to the showroom. The high price of fuel is also making consumers more aware of fuel consumption and changing buying patterns accordingly. So, what are the cars to look forward to in 2013 to meet these disparate needs?
Green and economical cars
In 2012, one of the greenest cars around wasn’t a hybrid at all. The Kia Rio 1.1 CRDi was simply a highly efficient diesel delivering 88 MPG and low emissions of 85g/km. In 2013 Renault are introducing the all-electric ZOE. Similar in size to the Clio, Renault are hoping that the ZOE persuades skeptical Europeans that an all-electric car is a viable option. Elsewhere in the economy sector, Renault again have one of the cars to look forward to. Their budget Romanian offshoot, Dacia, is releasing the Sandero for just under £6,000. At that price, it could transform the market.
Luxury and performance launches
Not everyone, of course, is so concerned about economy and emissions, and the luxury and sports car sectors also have some great new cars to look forward to in 2013. BMW’s M6 GranCoupe arrives in spring and the 4 door saloon/coupe will go head-to-head with the Jaguar XFR-S, Audi S7 and Mercedes CLS63 AMG. In the four door performance sector though, they are sure to face stiff competition from the new model Maserati Quattroporte. Perhaps the most keenly awaited launch will be the Jaguar F type. The E type has such a place in British drivers’ hearts and by marketing the F type as the spiritual successor to the beloved E type, Jaguar are clearly showing confidence the new car will be a winner.
IMG: Gary – Fotolia