Fleet News

150 car launches planned for 2000

MORE than 150 new cars launches are planned for 2000, signalling a busy start to the new millennium for the industry. The mixture of all new models, range additions and facelifts will see showrooms full of new metal.

The biggest launch for the fleet industry is the new Mondeo which is likely to make its world debut at September's Paris Motor Show before going on sale towards the end of the year. Rover's new 45 range goes on sale next week and Peugeot will be re-entering the executive market segment with the stylish and technologically advanced 607. Other key fleet launches include new versions of the Renault Laguna, Citroen Xantia and Audi A4.

Alfa Romeo - An estate version of the 156 is planned for June. The GTV and Spider sports car receive new engines in April with the 1.8-litre unit fitted into the stylish GTV coupe and the 3.0-litre V6 into the drop-top Spider. The all-new replacement for the 145/146 ranges - the 147 - will appear at October's Birmingham International Motor Show before going on sale in the UK in 2001.

Audi - A totally new A4 will be unveiled late this year and scheduled to go on sale in the UK in March 2001. As well as saloon and estate variants, the new platform will spawn a coupe version in 2002 and a cabriolet in 2003. The TT Roadster quattro has gone on sale at prices of £29,150 for the 180bhp model to £32,150 on-the-road for the 225bhp version. The A4 and A6 ranges have been revised for 2000. The aluminium A2 mini-MPV goes on sale around September with prices starting about £14,000 on-the-road. Around the same time the Allroad sport utility vehicle will be introduced to go head-to-head with BMW's X5, and September will also see the arrival of the 380bhp RS4, the second of Audi's estate-based sporting flagships.

BMW - A new six-cylinder 3.0-litre common rail unit is fitted to the 3-series in March. Offering 287lb-ft of torque at 1,750rpm, the 330d SE will cost £26,995. The 323 Ci convertible goes on sale in April at a price yet to be announced. Further engine options including the 328 Ci and 318 Ci are likely to be launched in the summer. The X5 sports activity vehicle, packing a 4.4-litre 286bhp V8 punch, is due in September at an estimated price of £46,700. James Bond's new car, the Z8, goes on sale in the spring featuring a 400bhp 5.0-litre V8 engine from the M5. At the same time BMW's urban transport solution, the C1, goes on sale at prices between £4,000 and £5,000. The C1 features a 125cc engine and is based on a scooter.

Cadillac - An upgraded Seville STS featuring a modified V8 engine to meet US standards for low emissions vehicles is the only new launch from Cadillac during 2000. It is on sale now.

Chrysler - The retro-look PT Cruiser arrives in the UK in the summer powered by a 2.0-litre 16-valve engine. The five-door PT offers 1940s-influenced American classic car styling combined with clever packaging which means it can be used as a saloon, estate, MPV or light van. A common rail direct injection turbodiesel engine version will be available at a later date. Prices will be in the region of £14,000 to £15,000.

Citroen - The Xantia will be replaced by a new model at the tail end of the year although no details are available. The French manufacturer's interpretation of the MPV theme, the Xsara Picasso, arrives in May or June to compete head on with the Renault Scenic. The five-seater Picasso will offer 1.6 and 1.8-litre petrol engines and a 2.0-litre HDi unit offering a claimed 51mpg combined. Prices will be from around £13,500 to £16,000.

Daewoo - The Tacuma mini-MPV arrives in autumn with a choice of 1.8-litre 103bhp or 2.0-litre 128bhp engines. A seven-seat model is planned for the future, as is a 1.9-litre turbodiesel. A specially developed new engine for the European market in either 1.0- or 1.2-litre guise may find its way under the bonnet of the Matiz during the year.

Daihatsu - A six-seater mini-MPV smaller than a Fiesta and called the NCX2 will be launched in the UK in September. Power comes from a 1.3-litre engine which has been designed to produce low CO2 emissions (168g/km). Late 2000 will also see Daihatsu launch its rival to the Toyota Yaris when the YRV - a 140bhp turbocharged 1.3-litre multi-purpose vehicle - goes on sale.

Fiat - The distinctively-styled Multipla mini-MPV model goes on sale in January at prices ranging from £13,380 to £16,080 on-the-road. It can seat six in two rows of seats and will be available in two trim levels - SX and ELX - and two engines, a 1.6-litre 16v petrol unit with 103bhp and a 1.9-litre common rail turbodiesel version offering 105bhp.

Ford - The new Mondeo is set to break cover this year featuring the 'new edge' styling found on the Puma, Cougar and Focus. Sources say the new model will be on sale late this year and will make its world debut at the Paris Motor Show. Fleets will be able to get a closer look at the model at the Birmingham Motor Show in October. The Cougar gets a sports flagship this month when the 143mph ST200 is launched with a 2.5-litre V6 producing 204bhp. A Cosworth Focus could also arrive this year, although Ford would not confirm this. The Fiesta range grows with a sporty three-door 1.6-litre 102bhp Zetec-SE model arriving in January and a 74bhp direct injection turbodiesel engine being introduced in the spring.

Honda - Insight petrol/electric hybrid two-seat coupe goes on sale in April at a price between £15,000 and £17,000. It uses a 1.0-litre engine and an electric motor to deliver a claimed 83mpg. The Logo three-door supermini going on sale in April with a 1.3-litre 64bhp engine and prices starting at under £10,000. The HR-V range will also be widened in April with the launch of a five-door version a new 123bhp 1.6-litre VTEC engine.The Civic range gains more widespread use of VTEC engines and improved equipment levels. Prices start at £10,995 on-the-road. An all-new Civic line-up is being developed, and the UK may see these cars before the end of the year.

Hyundai - A revised Accent arrives this month, a facelifted Coupe goes on sale in February, and Amica, a five-door minicar, makes its debut in March. The executive XG arrives in April and in May there's a new MPV, Trajet, powered by a 2.0-litre or an all-new 2.7-litre V6 petrol engine. Late summer will see the entry of Hyundai into the UK 4x4 market with the arrival of the Santa Fe, first seen at this year's Detroit International Auto Show. The autumn will see the arrival of the new Lantra and 2000 will be rounded off by the Atoz facelift. Hyundai could enter the diesel market with a common rail powerplant likely to debut in the new Lantra.

Isuzu - The Trooper off-roader features two new engines for the year 2000 range - a 3.0-litre turbodiesel engine and a 3.5-litre petrol V6. Other changes include a new front grille, redesigned bumper units, wider chassis track for improved on-road handling and specification improvements across the range, which is priced between £19,100 and £29,950 on-the-road.

Jaguar - A quiet year for Jaguar as it prepares for the launch of the X400 model to rival the BMW 3-series and Audi A4 in the middle of 2001.

Kia - THE Carens mini-MPV based on the Shuma platform is expected to go on sale in March and is the only new launch for Kia in 2000.

Land Rover - To celebrate the new millennium, special edition versions of the Freelander and Discovery will be available in just one colour -carmen red. The Freelander MM comes with the 1.8-litre petrol and 2.0-litre diesel engines at prices starting from £23,995 on-the-road. The Discovery MM is priced from £28,995 on-the-road for the 2.5-litre diesel version. The Range Rover line-up has been modified for 2000 with new light clusters, painted bumpers and chrome detailing for an average price rise of £200. A range-t

Leave a comment for your chance to win £20 of John Lewis vouchers.

Every issue of Fleet News the editor picks his favourite comment from the past two weeks – get involved for your chance to appear in print and win!

Login to comment


No comments have been made yet.

Compare costs of your company cars

Looking to acquire new vehicles? Check how much they'll cost to run with our Car Running Cost calculator.

What is your BIK car tax liability?

The Fleet News car tax calculator lets you work out tax costs for both employer and employee