NEW BMW M2 FOR SA: BMW SA confirms that its M2 Coupe will be available from April 2016. Image: BMW
Cape Town - Toyota's next-gen Hilux bakkie, Alfa Romeo's new 124 Spider, BMW's sensational M2... 2016 will see several important models arrive in South Africa.
Despite the struggling Rand and the lack consumer confidence in SA, automakers are set to launch many new vehicles locally.
In fact, four new models are set to arrive by the end of January 2016; Honda Civic Type R, BMW 7 Series, Volkswagen Caddy and Hyundai H1.
Here are 7 new models we're looking forward to in 2016:
1 Fiat 124 Spider
The Italian automaker blends classic roadster design with a rear-wheel drive chassis for its stunning SA-bound 124 roadster set to arrive mid-2016.
The revived 124, based on the Mazda MX-5, is powered by a 1.4-litre MultiAir turbopetrol engine capable of 119kW/250Nm, powering the rear wheels. The engine can be mated to a six-speed manual or six-speed auto. The Mazda MX-5 is motivated by a 118kW/200Nm normally aspirated 2-litre.
2 Alfa Romeo Giula
The new Alfa Romeo Giulia is a four-door BMW M3-rival and is part of a new breed of Alfas that Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne hopes will revive the struggling automaker.
More new models for SA
New SUVs for SA: Fortuner, GLS, Kadjar
New bakkies for SA: Hilux, Navara, Fullback
Alfa engineers have designed a new V6 turbo petrol to power the new sedan, capable of 380kW and rocketing the new model to 100km/h in 3.9sec.
It’ll be released in South Africa during the third quarter of 2016.
3 BMW M2
BMW South Africa confirms that its new performance-tuned M2 Coupe will be available locally in April 2016.
The new coupe uses a formula that BMW hopes will be a success; combine a six-cylinder in-line engine (272kW/465Nm), rear-wheel-drive, lightweight aluminium M Sport suspension and sporty styling.
An overboost function increases maximum torque to 500Nm albeit for short bursts.
Read: BMW M4 GTS: Is it really headed for SA?
Purists will be happy to hear the M2 uses a six-speed manual as standard. A seven-speed M double clutch transmission is optional which incorporates launch control.
4 Hyundai ix25
Hyundai's ix25, a compact crossover SUV , will take on established local rivals, the Renault Duster and Ford Ecosport. We spotted the ix25 during winter testing in Scandinavia back in 2014. Hyundai says its new SUV will (finally) reach Mzansi in the first quarter of 2016.
Internationally, there's a single petrol unit (a normally aspirated 90kW/151Nm 1.6) and two diesels (a 66kW/220Nm 1.4 CRDi and 94kW/260Nm 1.6 CRDi). Engines and specifications will be made available closer to local the launch.
Styling cues are very familiar, especially its rear end and tail lights, to the new i20. The ix25 will be assembled in China as part of joint venture between the Beijing Automotive Group and Hyundai.
5 Toyota Hilux
Toyota's eagerly-anticipated eighth-generation Hilux was launched in Thailand in May 2015 and is set to be launched locally in February 2016.
The new model has been completely re-designed from the inside out and for the first time (at least for us) has a luxurious interior. The local Hilux launch will also coincide the launch of the SUV derivative - the next-gen Fortuner.
6 Volkswagen Tiguan
Volkswagen's second-generation Tiguan will arrive later in 2016. What's new? The SUV is 50kg lighter and now rides on the group's MQB (modular transverse matrix) platform. The new SUV can be powered with a choice of TSI (turbo petrol) and TDI (turbo diesel) engines with outputs ranging from 85kW to 176kW.
The new 4Motion version (all-wheel drive in VW speak) uses Active Control to adjust to the drive system. Caravan owners will be happy to hear the Tiguan can use trailer loads up to 2500kg.
Watch: 2016 VW Tiguan
7 Focus RS
Following the launch of its Mustang in 2015, Ford is set to expand its performance line-up with the arrival of its ultimate hatch, the Focus RS, in South Africa
The Focus RS is capable of 257kW courtesy of its 2.3 litre EcoBoost engine that debuted with the new Ford Mustang.
The RS will reach South Africa in the first half of 2016.
Watch: Ken Block powers 2016 Focus RS up Goodwood hill