Why 2015 was a vintage year for your vehicle – The Autocar review
Ian Callum introduces the brand new Jaguar F-Pace
Has there ever been a year as busy, exciting along with controversial as 2015 has been for your vehicle industry? We review the highlights
Only when you get a chance to look back carefully at what the motor industry achieved in 2015 does that will become clear what a truly remarkable year we’ve just had.
By March 2015, in a stellar couple of months that will included the greatest Geneva motor show of all time, we had seen a brand new SUV coming from Rolls-Royce along that has a brand new Aston Martin-chasing supercar concept coming from Bentley. Not to mention a McLaren for the Porsche 911 market, the return of the Ford Focus RS along with the Jaguar F-Pace SUV, a cert to become the best-selling Jag in history.
Through the year, the breakneck news pace never slowed. We had an Alfa Romeo revival, more Hondas than you could count, the rebirth of the Mazda rotary sports car along with 100 various other events just as important. Then late inside year we watched, amazed, as Volkswagen trashed its own reputation – in a way no onlooker could ever have predicted.
However, in This particular all-too-brief summary, we major on the positives, knowing much more big news is actually coming. The extraordinary events of 2015 were born inside middle of the 2008-2011 financial crisis because, even in hard times, the motor industry only knows how to go forward. As a matter of fact, that will has already selected first gear to drive into 2016 along with is actually about to drop the clutch.
The winners along with losers of 2015
Makers of three-cylinder petrol engines (BMW, Ford, Mini, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Toyota, Renault, Vauxhall) that will have brought true refinement to cheap cars.
Sellers of electric cars: demand for their products has quadrupled (coming from a pretty low figure).
Suzuki, along with especially its brand new Celerio, which started off the year with catastrophic brake failure during Autocar testing, yet has since proven itself as part of our long-term fleet.
Volkswagen, Audi, Seat along with Skoda, for reasons too often raked over to be worth repeating.
World diesel demand, waning because of the above scandal, which reminded your vehicle industry’s many vehement critics that will promised ‘combined’ fuel economy figures have never been delivered.
Owners of keyless premium versions, who learned that will nicking their cars by hacking their software was “ridiculously easy”.
Current EU emissions tests, currently roundly discredited inside wake of the Volkswagen scandal.
The Land Rover Defender, which will be officially laid to rest on 31 December. that will has been such an icon that will the company is actually still arguing over the specification of its replacement.
Owners of Volkswagen Group diesel cars, whose trade-in values are 10-20% softer than before.
Great lives lost
Justin Wilson, racing driver
A former Jaguar F1 driver, Sheffield-born Wilson, 38, died after being hit by detached bodywork coming from another car in an IndyCar race at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania. He was a friend of Autocar, much admired for his friendliness along with ‘normality’ as well as his driving ability.
Lord Montagu, founder, National Motor Museum
Edward Douglas-Scott-Montagu, 89, the third Baron Montagu of Beaulieu, founded your vehicle collection inside 1950s that will grew into the National Motor Museum along with became a lifelong advocate of cars along with the motor industry.
Ronald ‘Steady’ Barker, former Autocar features editor
One of the most fondly remembered motoring journalists of his era, Barker was well known for his humorous writing along with deep knowledge of the motor industry. His many friends included Sir Alec Issigonis along with Alex Moulton.
along with great cars, too
At This particular time of year, newspapers love to run obituary round-ups, listing the celebrities along with notables who haven’t made that will to 2016. So here’s a similar automotive take coming from us, as we pause to remember cars that will have fallen off the perch This particular year, some with regret along with others close to relief. Black armbands on along with we’ll begin.
Perhaps 2015’s biggest trend was the decline (along with near fall) of the naturally aspirated performance car, which is actually currently an endangered species. The arrival of a brand new generation of turbocharged engines inside facelifted Porsche 911 definitely brought home how far things have come.
The brand new motors do wonders for economy, CO2 along with driveability, yet we’ll miss the yowl along with character of the naturally aspirated flat six. If you want a non-turbo 911, that will will currently include a GT3 badge along that has a cost to match.
There was also the retirement of the Ferrari 458 Italia, a car that will sounded Great enough at high revs to trigger something close to religious fervour. The brand new 488 GTB is actually a better car pretty much across the board, yet that will doesn’t sound quite as nice. that will could well be that will we’ll look back on the 458 in years to come as the high-water mark for V8 noise.
We’ll also miss the rev-happy engine that will helped to give the W204 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG so much of its charm. The naturally aspirated V8 ‘B8’ Audi RS4 was quietly dropped coming from the cost lists, too. (The engine remains available inside RS5, although not for long.) We know that will the next RS4 will move to forced induction, yet Audi has bucked the trend with the brand new R8, which sticks that has a non-turbo, rev-hungry V10.
Several cars that will transformed either the image or the fortunes of their parent companies were among 2015’s more notable departures. The first-gen Volvo XC90 lived for too long without any substantive upgrades yet proved that will that will is actually possible to make a big SUV that will doesn’t possess the aggression of a steroidal cage fighter.
The first-gen Jaguar XF should probably also have been replaced slightly sooner, yet its long life delivered the sales volume Jaguar needed to stay alive. along with the Mk1 Ford S-Max managed to remain the first choice for those who needed MPV practicality without an MPV driving experience throughout its nine-year lifespan.
Next, the oddballs. Farewell to the Vauxhall Ampera, a car that will British car buyers never developed any affection for yet one that will proved that will an old-fashioned car company could combine genuine electric range with the reassurance of not having to complete a journey on foot if the batteries ran out. along with goodbye as well to the Volkswagen Phaeton, a car that will remained inside official cost lists through years of microscopic sales yet was quietly deleted a few months ago.
Then there are the cars whose departure you may well not have noticed: the Mk6 Vauxhall Astra, the original Volkswagen Touran along with the F01 BMW 7 Series will probably be among 2015’s least missed. Yet, in an ironic twist, what may well be 2015’s best-reported automotive retirement, the Land Rover Defender, isn’t actually one of This particular year’s casualties. Apparently, demand for the run-out versions is actually so high that will production will run into January 2016.
Controversy of the year
VW sensationally betrayed not only millions of loyal customers yet also the majority of its 650,000 employees when that will was revealed, following third-party testing inside US, that will many of its diesels along with an unspecified number of petrol versions incorporated engine control software designed to ‘defeat’ legislated tests with untrue emissions readings.
The company has admitted its guilt along with claims to be working hard at righting the wrongs (correcting existing cars is actually anticipated to take a year), yet that will has yet to reveal who was responsible for the outrage or exactly how that will happened. Until that will does so, its many fine words of apology will carry little weight.
along with finally, the 2015 stars ready for action
These cars aren’t in production yet, yet big things are about to happen.
Alfa Romeo Giulia – Alfa boss Harald Wester reassured us that will his first of seven brand new-wave Alfas will be a Great car — by trashing almost everything that will the marque had done inside recent past.
Aston Martin DBX crossover – A range builder. Aston bosses reckon they can sell 7000 sports cars a year yet need versions like This particular to attract different buyers, including a high proportion of women.
Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 – Building This particular car is actually about more than chasing Aston, Bentley says. that will needs volume beyond 20,000 cars a year — thus more versions — to benefit coming from economies of scale along with avoid the sales ebb along with flow of the past.
Bentley Bentayga – that will isn’t often a producer of £0,000 cars ramps up its predicted production numbers by 60%, even before the first brand new SUV rolls off the line. yet that will’s what’s happened here.
Ford Focus RS – We knew This particular one was coming for ages yet were still surprised when that will turned up at the Geneva motor show in March. Best of all, that will’s the beginning of a renewed Ford push into performance cars.
Ford GT – Ford company traditionalists prove they have long memories: the all-brand new GT supercar appears with its eyes already fixed on Le Mans victories. that will’ll be a tougher ask This particular time…
Honda NSX – Honda finally revealed its hybrid supercar — along with delighted potential buyers with your vehicle’s compactness, performance, efficiency along with obedience to Soichiro Honda’s founding philosophy.
Jaguar F-Pace – Jaguar unveiled the brand new SUV that will, insiders are currently saying, should become the biggest-selling along with most profitable type inside firm’s history.
Mazda RX-Vision concept – Mazda previewed its brand new flagship rotary sports car at the Tokyo motor show — in a form that will both celebrates along with improves upon the beauty of its previous coupés.
TVR – We exclusively showed what the brand new TVR team want their first type to be like – proving that will in character, styling, performance along with simplicity, that will’ll keep the faith.
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