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Monday, 26 January, 2015 - 04:18 (UK)  

..:: The Subaru Impreza Story

1. The Subaru Impreza Story, as told by me
2. The History of the Subaru Impreza
3. Special Editions
4. Image Galleries
5. My 2001 Subaru Impreza WRX - Red Mica

..:: My 2001 UK Subaru Impreza WRX - Red Mica

NOTE: This page is SSSOOOOoooo... out of date! Had the car just over a year now, and it looks quite different to the pictures on this page.. Also had a few changes under the skin! Soon I'll report on what all has been done to the car.. Not much left to do now.. It's been one hell of a project at a fraction of the cost it would normally be if I had a garage do all the work! Stay tuned! For a sneek peak check out the Lochindorb gallery! (actually event that's more or less out of date now too.. Someone please give me a kick up the ar*e!)


SIDC Member Direct Car Parts Shop

UK Spec Standard 2001 Subaru Impreza WRX Finished in Red Mica 40,000 miles!

Sourced from Sunnyhill Motors in Turrif, Nov 2006.

Black privacy glass fitted which looks sweet against the Red Mica body! Really can't miss it when you see it on the road!

No plans for any modifications at the moment but I'm sure it wont be too long.... :o)
(23/03/07) Nope hasn't taken long at all.. Few cosmetic tweaks here and there since I bought the car, Mud flaps, front grills, fog lamp covers, grill inserts and some vinyl graphics. But the proper modding has started. Front & Rear aluminium top strut braces fitted wont have much affect at the moment unless used in conjunction with other suspension upgrades..

Soon to have the prodrive 3rd decat pipe fitted along with a Prodrive WRSport backbox (ooh burble) can't wait!

Other semi-planned mods are to the suspension. A set of Prodrive/Eibach springs would be nice, stiffer drop links, possibly new Anti-Roll bars. After that getting the suspension geometry reconfigured is a must. May got for the rally Group N settings as opposed to Prodrive configurations which tends to give uneven tyre wear. Only other change would be ECUTek remap for the ECU once the decat and backbox are fitted which would hopefully give bhp a kick up to around 265bhp from 215bhp, and a drop in 0-60 from 5.9sec to 4.8sec (as if it isn't fast enough). The possibilities for modifying truly are endless with these cars. But my pockets aren't that deep *sigh*

Finally got the 3rd cat delete pipe installed today thanks to Wallace Performance in aberdeen for removing the origonal cat pipe which was held in place by very dodgy workmanship!


If you spot me, don't forget to gimme a flash and a wave!!!

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(Coming Soon)



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Volvo to focus on plug-in hybrid models, but full EVs also ready
Volvo has electric cars waiting in the wings, but will concentrate on plug-in hybrids until the market's ready

Volvo is ready to launch fully electric cars - but won?t do so until market or legislative demand makes it necessary, according to vice president of product strategy, Lex Kerssemakers.

With the firm already focusing on its four-cylinder only engine strategy, and successfully launching plug-in hybrid models including the V60 and upcoming XC90, Kerssemakers says that Volvo is already on target to meet customer requirements.

?Our focus is the roll-out of our plug-in hybrids,? he said. ?Once there is a more sustainable business case behind full EV we can do it - our platform is scalable and fully flexible. But we must see how the EV business evolves and what pressures there are from fuel efficiency requirements and cities closing borders.

?With plug-in technology we have some answers now - good efficiency and the option of driving in and out of cities on electric power alone. For now, we can offer the best of both worlds.?

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Used car buying guide - Rock-bottom roadsters for £1500
MG TF Six roadsters you can have on your driveway for pocket-money prices.

The weather is grim, but the nights are drawing out and Spring is on the way. It?s the ideal time to treat yourself to a cut-price roadster before prices, and the weather start to heat up. Here are our favourites.

1 - MG TF (2002-2006)

Mid-engined motoring does not come much cheaper than the MG TF (unless you go for the even cheaper MGF which preceded it). Given that the price difference between the two isn't that great however, we?d definitely opt for the later car. The TF has conventional steel springs rather than the hydraulic set up of the earlier cars, which helps make the MG TF a sharper, if harsher, drive than the car it replaced. It also has a four-star Euro NCAP crash rating, which is impressive for an open-top car that?s into its second decade.

The TF was the best selling two seater sports car for years, and as a result, supply is good and prices are low. There are very scruffy examples around for hundreds of pounds, but shabby ones should be ignored as good cars aren?t much more expensive and well sorted cars are available for our budget. All the manual gearbox models drive well, but the most fun is to be had from the 1.8-litre 160bhp version which gives the TF a reasonable turn of pace. The TF is surprisingly civilised too, with a spacious cabin and usable (if oddly shaped) boot.

On the downside, the driving position is distinctly non-sporty and head gasket headaches, while not quite as prevalent as folklore suggest, are pricey to fix properly. Finally, avoid the Stepspeed autos. Shift buttons on the steering wheel aren?t nearly as much fun as they sound.

For Great value, usable and fun. Loads to pick from. 

Against Needs a bit of looking after

2 - Ford StreetKa (2003-2006)

The convertible variant of Ford?s littlest, cheapest car has an oddly premium air that is very much at odds with the prices you?ll pay. All models come with alloys, remote central locking and CD players but they were built away from the main Ford production lines and feel considerably more solid than a standard Ka.

These well-proportioned tiny two-seaters surprisingly sharp to drive. The 1.6-litre engine is a bit wheezy and has a bit of a thirst for such a modest motor, but it?s tough and easy to look after. At this price, you get a genuine choice of cars available, so be picky. If you can find a Winter version, it comes with a hard top and heated seats making it a good year-round prospect too.

For Plenty about, pretty and cheap 

Against Engines are a bit lacklustre

3 - Mazda MX-5 MK2 (1998-2005)

The MX-5 is a byword for cheap, fun open-top motoring and perhaps nothing does a better job of blending affordability with a genuinely engaging drive. Certainly at the pocket money level we are operating at here. 

The MK2 version of the little Mazda added a welcome bit of extra comfort and plush over the first generation model, without significantly dulling the driving experience, and that it is why we favour it here. There are loads to choose from although spend a bit of time looking for one that has not been savaged by rust. Also avoid crudely modified cars, of which there are many, too because mucking about with the suspension quickly ruins the well sorted standard ride and handling. 

For Great to drive 

Against Lacks the charisma of Mk1

4 - MR2 Mk2 (2000-2007)

Prices for the dinky, sharp-edged first-generation MR2 are now firmly out of budget, but later MR2 models are in scope. The Mk2 model is fine, but more targa than roadster, but the handsome Mk3 fits the bill. Designed to take on the MX-5, the Mk3 looks great, handles nicely and is as reliable as you?d expect any Toyota to be. 

Downsides are few and criticising it for questionable practicality when it has so much else going for it seems a bit harsh but an MX-5 is pack and live with on a weekend away. Avoid the automated manual gearboxes in favour of the slick-shifting manual and look for evidence of any prospect having disappeared through a hedge. The mid-engined layout makes it a handful in the wet.

For Handsome, reliable 

Against MX-5 is more practical and fun

5 - BMW Z3 (1996 - 2002)

Getting premium badges at pocket money prices is often a bad idea, but the idea of getting into a BMW Z3 for such silly money is massively appealing. If you want a genuinely invigorating drive however, you might want to look elsewhere. Whether in 115 or 140bhp versions, the tough 1.9-litre four-pot doesn?t really deliver the sort of shove that you?d hope a Beemer might.

The more purposeful 2.8-litre versions are not really found on the sort of uber budget we are operating with here, and if they are, should probably be avoided. That said, the Z3 looks great, has a very pleasing cabin, and providing you are happy to cruise around in style, rather than clip every apex, there is a lot to like.

For Badge, cabin and looks Against Sedate drive

6 - Mercedes SLK (1996-2004)

The SLK is pretty grown up compared to the other cars here, with a complex folding steel roof, supercharger and a nicely screwed together, stylish interior.

The problem is that the SLK never really wormed its way into the hearts of car enthusiasts, seen as a tool for posing than performance. If you are happy to waft about and enjoy the sunshine however, that?s no real hardship and the majority of people who see you in a drop top Merc will not believe you can get one for such modest money. A good SLK is a lot of roadster for the cash, but keep a little reserve of pennies to one side for patching up a potentially pricey problem or two. 

For Great badge, looks expensive Against Not the sharpest drive

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Saying goodbye to the Audi R8 - picture special
The first generation of Audi R8 is signing off with the limited-edition LMX model. Nic Cackett goes for a farewell drive

The LMX is the run-out edition of the Audi R8. It costs an almost perfectly round £160,025. It has marginally more power than any R8 that precedes it. It also has, for good measure, some things called laser lights ? a world first, by the maker?s measure.

Most notably, there will be just 99 examples worldwide, which means that unless your local park has ?Hyde? in the name, you?re unlikely ever to see one.

Ostensibly, there?s not a whole heap of reasons why you would. Ever since it began freewheeling towards a second generation of R8, Audi has been softly peddling low-volume, money-spinning ?special? variants of its icon.

But the truth is that, aside from the original introduction of the V10 engine and, latterly, the seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission, the car?s core identity remains much as it was in 2006. (Even now, there?s only 37bhp between the LMX and a six-year-old R8 with the same V10 donkey.)

No, the only real reason for accepting that a thin veneer of specialness exists in the crystal-effect customised paint job is the fact that the car represents a lamentable full stop. Come springtime, the original R8, some of them as dog-eared and mucked about with as old Ford Sierras, will be ushered into the quiet pasture of Audi?s memory banks and the new, tricked-out and tuned-up replacement will be upon us.

The second generation, on paper at least, will be quicker, cleaner, lighter and cleverer. Quattro GmbH, a skunkworks of high ambition, will have seen to it, bankrolled by its parent?s profit margin and a steely determination to make the second self-penned album at least as intoxicating as the first.

Given the width and breadth of its earlier achievement, our faith in the band at this point ought to be unassailable. The R8?s roundedness is now so well enshrined that today it?s hard to imagine the kind of car that could conceivably have emerged from Audi?s original, Gallardo-lite take on a Porsche 911 beater ? a mindlessly fast, overblown TT, perhaps? Instead, with its first go at a mid-engined production car, they gave us the first truly brilliant sports car born this century.

Following on from the biggest-selling Lamborghini yet ought to have been fraught with peril, but the R8 was and is the overtly better-resolved version of the mid-engined, all-wheel-drive, FSI-powered concept Audi had righteously conceived in its own image half a decade before.

All the Italian edges smoothed away by Walter de Silva on the outside were matched by Audi?s diligence on the underside, plundering Porsche?s playbook for the usability fairy dust that made the R8 a one-car answer to all the right questions.

It launched as a V8 in 2006, won the fabled Britain?s Best Driver?s Car feature in this magazine a year later and was the car Tony Stark drove in Iron Man in 2008. I drove it for the first time that year on its return visit to Britain?s Best Driver?s Car, and, still wet behind the ears, assumed that its amalgamation of directional stability, tacky grip and wrist-teasing involvement were par for the course in such machinery.

Only later did I discover that confidence and enjoyment are rarely channelled into the hands of a novice so readily. Certainly it is not an experience reproduced by the new Lamborghini Huracán, which is our first indication of what the new R8 will be like, and, unsettlingly, the main reason why the outgoing LMX may just be something to savour for as long as possible.

The new Lamborghini has more rough edges than a pentagram made of burnt toast, but its worst crime is a tendency to value ?fast? over anything you could call ?feelsome?. By contrast, and for all its stuck-on shimmer (yes, that?s Sepang Blue diamond stitching on the nappa leather trim), the LMX?s relationship with the road is quantifiably old-fashioned ? and as articulate as a thin-soled pair of trainers.

Like all R8s, it?s the ability to levitate on a slender band of electromagnetic damping that astonishes out of the gate. The LMX comes fitted with big, pretty 20-spoke, 19-inch wheels, but you?d think they came shod with marshmallows, given the way the car tenderises everything from cat?s eyes to sleeping policeman. If that weren?t confounding enough, the first corner you come to reveals that the only real body lean in evidence is what?s coming from your head and neck.

That the LMX covers ground like a big-boned Lotus Elise is, of course, no coincidence. It takes two days for Quattro GmbH?s technicians to hand-weld a jigsaw puzzle of aluminium members into an R8?s spaceframe. The alloy is troublesome to work with, but the resulting structure, light and fabulously strong, is the bedrock that makes all the chassis? counter-intuitive abilities possible.

Hooked up to it is the dry-sumped 5.2-litre V10, in the LMX?s case with 562bhp ? about 10bhp more than the R8 GT was allowed. The difference is meaningless; this is the same big, glossy, lip-smacking, air-breathing engine the R8 has had since Audi decided to make it supercar fast. Which it is, although with the S-tronic dual-clutch automatic ?box attached (as all LMXs have), it?s the docile, oil-bathed way in which it moves from zero to 30mph that is the really surreal bit.

In the Huracán, Lamborghini prefers the 602bhp version of the same V10 to run with a bit of Italian gristle; in the Audi, it sidles about like its belts were made from velvet. So obedient is the LMX at low speeds that you?d almost think it submissive ? if it weren?t for the extraordinary way it reacts to wider throttle openings: no let-up, lag or excuse, just a torrent of harder, fizzier, faster revs.

The life-affirming excess of a big, free-spinning motor isn?t exclusive to the R8, but the car?s deployment of the results feels unique, especially given Audi?s failure to reproduce it anywhere else. That the quattro-equipped LMX feels rear driven most of the time is not the remarkable bit; that comes when the power (or a significant proportion of it) is being funnelled to the front axle while not overriding the car?s natural rear-ended bias.

Instead ? and this was not nearly as apparent with the Huracán ? the R8?s all-wheel dynamic is made to feel like an organic extension of the mid-engined design?s inherent balance. This is what makes the car, as sophisticated and composed as it is, such an uninhibited steer. Most of what is brilliant about it requires no special consideration at all; instead. it?s all just unmistakably there, at your fingertips, as incontrovertible as sunshine.

Which is marvellous, quite singular and, terrifyingly, all nearly gone. As a totem, the LMX is both fitting and ill-suited to its final resting place in history. Fitting, because it is emblematic of just how expensive Audi realised it could make the R8 and still shift them. And ill-suited simply because it is not, by a long stroke, the finest version of the car ever made. For that, we?d jettison most of the big-money items, including the V10, S-tronic ?box and wood-effect carbon-ceramic brakes, and invest in the initial V8-engined vision.

For a start, it?ll have the open-gate six-speed manual ?box and the hydraulic steering that the new R8 definitely won?t get. It?ll also be lighter and more delicately poised than the LMX, and well over £60k cheaper. Granted, it won?t have quite as much poke, be as nice inside or have headlights that?ll cut through daylight. But it will be as peerless an answer to the sports car niche as it?s ever been. Or, just perhaps, ever will be. 

Audi R8 LMX

Price £160,023; Engine V10, 5204cc, petrol; Power 562bhp at 8000rpm; Torque 413lb ft at 6500rpm; Gearbox 7-speed dual-clutch automatic; Kerb weight 1595kg; 0-62mph 3.4sec; Top speed 198mph; Economy 21.9mpg (combined); CO2/tax band 299g/km, 35 per cent

Ultimate used car buying guide 2015
James Ruppert explains how careful timing can save you cash in the used car market ? and which cars you should be buying in 2015

This may not come as a surprise, but the used car market operates all year round. So the good cars will always sell whatever the weather, prevailing conditions and time of the year.

Sometimes, though, the availability and prices of used cars can change on a seasonal basis. So as well as having your wits and a load of used car facts about you, don?t forget to consult the calendar and tap the barometer before you consider buying.

Traditionally, the fortunes of the new and used car markets have been linked to the change of registration plate. When that happens, it creates an artificially high demand for new cars and, to help pay for them, a larger number of part-exchanges flood into the car trade. This provides a variety of opportunities for bargain hunters.

If you can be patient, anticipate and take advantage of the seasonal swings and roundabouts, that?s all the better. However, if you need a car tomorrow, don?t worry too much about the weather and just get on with it. Either way, 2015 is going to be a cracker for the used car buyer.

Used supercars

Supercars are always with us. They are not subject to the fickleness of the weather, or anything much, except global depression. Even then, there is a hard core of buyers, and not necessarily enthusiasts, who will always want the next very bestest thing. That may leave the previous year?s model looking for fresh heated garage space. Oh, yes, and many supercars don?t only go very fast; they depreciate quickly, too.

A new Aston Martin Vanquish is always something to celebrate and, as the company enters an exciting new era, now is the time to preserve the old stuff for future generations. Right now, you can bag yourself an original big-bodied, muscular Vanquish from 2003 for about £50k. It has dropped in value considerably but should start to bob up again, and 2015 could be a smart time to buy.

Smarter people might be looking at bargain Ferraris this year, but actually there are no bargains and it is far too obvious a buy. Make 2015 the year of Maserati. Some might pitch them at Jaguar XK level, but that would be wrong; a GranTurismo is far more charismatic and a 2007 4.2 is now about £33k.

There is the Lamborghini factor, of course, but Gallardos are still holding out at £60k and they may even start to rise. Meanwhile, Audi?s interpretation of the whole supercar thing, the R8, is looking good. Over the past two years, I?ve watched them gently come down by £7k-£8k.

Consider a 2008 4.2 FSI. All the factory-fit extras ? Bang & Olufsen 12-speaker sound system, upgraded sat-nav, rear parking camera, Alcantara headlining and Magnetic Ride dampers ? would have pumped the new price by £10k. Instead, it may cost around £42k now, or less for older model years.

Used sports cars

This is the year of the Mazda MX-5. The new version won?t be arriving until the latter part of the year, and more realistically 2016 for some, so it might be better to strike now and get the Mk3. Right now, a 2011-registered 1.8i SE with less than 60k miles on the clock is £7400. I did stumble across a 2010 version with just 30k miles for the same money, which is a bargain.

Otherwise, you could wait until the summer has gone and scoop up a private one, because there should be a lot of very happy owners part-exchanging theirs in anticipation of the new, improved MX-5. Yes, prices are going to fluctuate, but the trend is definitely downwards.

The other really big sports car arrival is the Audi TT. That will be a mid-year thing, so there are already some turning up in the trade that are worth a second glance. If you have up to £12k in hand, you can choose between some decent private and trade deals. Indeed, as a celebration of petrol power, a 2010 1.8T FSI roadster at £11,500 would seem like a smart buy, especially in white and with a reasonable 41k miles. The dealer price is closer to £12k, but at least you would have a warranty. A dealer 2.0 TDI quattro is around that figure, so there is no shortage of  TT options.

Good-driving cars are hardly in short supply, but a Subaru BRZ still fetches £18k-£19k. Surely, it is time this year to sort out the better-value Caymans. The Porsche badge trumps anything else and, as the older Boxsters look like a lot of bother, spending just under £14k on a 2007 example with about 100k miles seems sensible.

Used SUVs and 4x4s

?I want one of those SUVs? is a conversation that car salesmen genuinely have with regularity these days. No one really understands what SUVs are, but everybody wants one.

Big SUVs tend to be more car than any normal person would ever need, but when you can bag a used example for half the value of a new one, there?s no need to settle for a boring MPV instead. That?s where the used market powers ahead.

For many years, the only logical engine option for SUVs has been diesel, but more buyers are turning to petrol, which is better value and more satisfying to drive. If the vehicle is mint, why not invest £2k more and go for an LPG conversion?

The arrival of the latest Volvo XC90 was preceded by five-figure discounting of new versions of the outgoing model at brokers and dealers. So shop around for a five-year-old example, which is out of warranty and now depreciating at a reassuringly attractive rate. Try to find a one-family-owned example being sold privately. Otherwise, budget on about £14k for a 2010 XC90 2.4 D5 Active with 75k miles.

The facelifted 2010 Mercedes-Benz M-class also looks like excellent value. If you want to make a statement in a premium 4x4 that isn?t a Range Rover, this is the way to do it. The 3.0 BlueEfficiency in Sport trim is the one that most will want, and you will need £16k to secure a 120,000-mile example from an independent dealer.

Meanwhile, there has been lots of activity around the Jeep brand, with new models arriving later in 2015. Although Jeeps don?t feel as solid as their German and Japanese rivals, you get a lot of value. So a revamped 2010 Jeep Cherokee 2.8 CRD Limited, which has every piece of kit that you need, starts at under £10k for a 50k-mile example from a dealer.

Used MPVs

Buyers have been falling slightly out of love with big people-carrying vans. Interest has shifted largely to SUVs, but the bottom line is that families are always going to need cars. So the fact that there seems to be more than enough deeply unfashionable but seriously practical wagons around must be a good thing. Especially as they are getting cheaper.

The one people-carrier that you should never overlook is the Ford Galaxy, which remains the best value, most practical and decent to drive. The Galaxy?s ubiquity drives down prices of what is the nicest way to cram seven bodies into one space. A 2010 2.0 TDCi Ghia is just over £8000. Then again, a 2.0 EcoBoost Titanium from a private seller will have fewer miles and a generous amount of kit. For families who do a modest mileage per year, that is a no-brainer.

And then there is the Vauxhall Zafira. It isn?t nearly as good as a Galaxy, but as a mid-sized family runaround, it?s the biggest bargain buy of all. About £4500 will get you into a 2010 1.6 Exclusiv. Below £5k, there are loads of petrol options, but you will need to tiptoe between the specifications and get yourself a nice Design or SRi, although the Elite has largely everything apart from the kitchen sink.

Oddballs are good in this sector, because they can be overlooked and underrated, which is why I may be completely alone in suggesting that the heroically ugly Chevrolet Orlando be given the time of day ? especially as a 2011 1.8 LT is under £7k. Most of the examples on the market are one-family-owners and sold through dealers who may be the only ones to part-exchange it. It has all the equipment that you would ever need and is a car to buy and run into the ground.

Used company cars

You know the ones: fleet manager favourites that were built to do the motorway slog. Unregarded, largely unloved, but there to do a job. And when that job is over, that?s where we come in and buy them for buttons. Except that manufacturers are still building far too many of them, which explains why you can pick up ?nearly new? ones for very tempting prices.

Exhibit one is the Ford Mondeo. There is a new one out that makes the old one look really, really old. However, once you realise that you can get a 2014 example for £11,995, you forget about that pretty quickly. It will have a year?s worth of miles under its tyres, but at less than 30k miles, it will be nicely run in. What you will get is a Business Edition TDCi Eco that?s an ex-demonstrator. 

Otherwise, there are ex-hire cars often direct from the hirers, with 10k fewer miles, for a few hundred quid more. Even better, Ford franchises have them with even lower mileages for complete peace of mind. Nearly news are everywhere; I won?t go on.

The new Volkswagen Passat is coming, but that won?t necessarily mean that its excellent predecessor is going to be that cheap just yet. If anything, values will harden for a while. However, there do seem to be quite a few year-old ones around.

Who wouldn?t want a 2014 1.6 TDI Bluemotion that will deliver about 70mpg? Many car supermarkets now seem to have them in Tech S spec and you will pay from £12,500. Delivery mileage, though, would cost you a whopping £17k, so there are clearly bargains to be had if you can tolerate just a few more miles.

A buyer's guide to...

Colours and specs - Cars finished in alpine, toothpaste, emulsion and just about any other shade of white paint that you care to mention are now filtering through to the used market. And the colour is holding up extremely well. White is almost the new silver.

Whatever happened to silver? Well, it still exists and is tolerated by used car buyers because they have less choice and, hey, it will be cheaper.Black, meanwhile, remains a favourite of secondhand buyers but, as ever, muddy metallics and some shocking citrus experiments are treated with contempt. They still sell, of course, but for less.

What used buyers never tire of is specification. They just can?t get enough kit. A car without the essentials - which increasingly means climate control, heated seats and a sound system that you can sync with an iPod - might struggle to sell. The equation is a simple one: low spec means low price.

Fuel - This year doesn?t look very good for oil-burners. There are suggestions that some long-in-the-tooth diesels may be banned from city centres and even incentivised off the road with a scrappage scheme, so the market looks quite nervous.

None of that is likely to take hold in 2015, but it could have consequences. Some car buyers could realise that they don?t actually need a diesel to pop to the shops, so sales of new oil-burners could slump and the values of smaller diesels could also dip as a result. In addition, previously depreciation-light high-mileage diesels could start to drop in value significantly.

So this year is about the resurgence of petrol, and not just because the fuel is really cheap at the pumps right now. That can?t last, but it may make cars with six cylinders and V8s easier to sell. 

Batteries - The elephant on the forecourt is an electrified one. Even though sales have risen and buyers aren?t so nervous of electric vehicles, the car trade continues to view them with suspicion.

Although the odd silver surfer will buy a Nissan Leaf for the cat food run and some businesses can justify the capital expense that can be offset by a clever accountant, people are not buying EVs in the numbers necessary to create a sustainable market.

The BMW i3 is doing wonders for the image, but only when it comes with the range-extender option. Meanwhile, the value of early hybrid vehicles is hardening.

The used car calendar 2015

January - Happy new year? It definitely is for used car buyers. This is when new car registrations blip upwards because buyers have waited patiently until after the festive break for a car registered in 2015. So part-exchanges increase and used values are certainly softer. A good time to buy.

February - It could be very cold outside. This means that the car dealer forecourts could be covered in snow and deserted. A jolly good time to be shopping for used cars, then, because dealers and desperate private sellers will be open to offers. For a real bargain, sniff out a privately advertised convertible.

March - Yes, it?s 15-plate time. You won?t be part of that madness, but you can lurk in the shadows and pick up a part-exchanged vehicle that is being advertised to clear. Mass-market Mondeos and Insignias are often the worst affected as owners ditch them for shiny new motors.

April - All of a sudden, the used car market is fully active with a vengeance, especially if the sun has come out. Prices will harden and sharpen and the canvas convertible that you promised yourself could now be out of reach. Be patient and do your drop-top hunting on a rainy day.

May - For many businesses, the financial year ends in April and a higher number of three-year-old and four-year-old vehicles are for sale because of that. It might be worth hanging around the increasingly busy car auctions ? although make sure that you don?t get carried away.

June - If things are starting to get hot and sticky, you might find that there are certain types of cheaper 4x4s knocking around that have been part-exchanged. The higher mileage and less fashionable Japanese and American examples will be the ones to go for.

July - In the early part of the month, used business will be buoyant, so don?t rush into any hasty deals, because it will start to change. For a while, everything will overheat, both on the forecourt and at the auctions. Now is the time to be patient and top up the tan.

August - The whole country has gone on holiday. The children have been scooped up and the last thing that anyone has time to do is shop for cars, especially in this weather (which is probably either too hot or too wet). Dealers will want to rustle up sales, and private deals can become too good to pass up.

September - The change to the 65-plate. Those who care about such things have chopped in their old cars and this is your opportunity to pick them up for a bit less money, because suddenly there are more used cars around. Prices will be far from on the floor, though.

October - It?s time to take a look at classic cars. There are ones that didn?t manage to sell in the summer and disillusioned owners who?ve had enough. As for ?real? cars, the novelty of driving around in a full convertible could be wearing off as the early signs of winter start to bite.

November - The used car market is winding down a bit now. If you are brave enough, the fleet cars washing up at the auctions might be worth a closer look. Private sellers are starting to get very nervous indeed at this time of year, so it is a good month to go shopping for a used car.

December - This is a two-week month if the dealers are lucky. Everyone is worrying about Christmas dinner with the in-laws and buying presents, not cars. All of which makes it the right time to take a vehicle off the hands of a dealer or a private seller in the truly festive spirit.

Autocar's guide to buying a used car

Used cars - the simple checks that anyone can make

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What's coming when - the new cars arriving in 2015 and 2016
What?s coming when - your guide to the new cars arriving in 2015 and 2016 Autocar's new cars calendar gives you all the information on 2015 and 2016's new arrivals, as we round up all the new models going on sale in the UK

With models including the new Alfa Romeo Giulia, the Bentley Grand Convertible and the all-new Vauxhall Astra launching in the next two years, plus myriad launches from the likes of BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz, there's truly something for everyone to be excited about.

Our new cars calendar is your one-stop shop for keeping track of 2015 and 2016's new cars, so keep checking back to this page as we'll be updating it regularly with new car unveilings. 

Here's Autocar's round-up of the new cars coming in 2015 and 2016.

Alfa Romeo

4C Spider ? spring 2015

With styling heavily influenced by 2014's concept car, the 4C Spider will go on sale to mark the brand's return to the US market.

Giulia ? late 2015

Alfa?s BMW 3-series fighter ushers in a new era for famous Italian firm with new platform, engines, styling and tech. 


D4 cabriolet ? quarter one 2015

Mirroring the BMW 4-series line-up, the diesel-powered Alpina D4 coupé will be offered in convertible form.


Nomad - summer 2015

The Atom's 'mucky brother' will cost around £30,000 and can reach 60mph in 3.4 seconds.

Aston Martin

Vantage GT3 ? summer 2015

A Geneva show reveal is likely for the most potent version yet of Aston?s Vantage coupé.

Lagonda Taraf ? tbc

The Lagonda badge returns on a VH-based luxury saloon. Middle East deliveries first, but UK sales not ruled out.


A1 facelift ? April 2015

Audi?s entry-level offering is given a fresh look, new tech and revised engines.

Q3 facelift ? quarter one 2015

Audi?s latest front grille design is seen on the revised Q3 compact SUV.

TT roadster - March 2015

The third-generation TT loses its roof and spawns a folding soft-top convertible version.

RS3 ? quarter two 2015

The RS3 returns with a potent turbo 2.5 five-pot as Audi?s answer to the Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG.

Q7 ? summer 2015

The Q7 sheds more than 300kg in weight for its second generation. Detroit show reveal in January.

A4 ? summer 2015

All-new A4 arrives with a lighter weight, economical new engines and lots of new tech as it raises its game against the BMW 3-series. Geneva show reveal in March.

A6 - 2017

A more stylish look is promised for Audi's next BMW 5-series competitor, designed under Marc Lichte.

R8 ? early 2016

Frankfurt motor show reveal is mooted for the R8 in September ahead of 2016 sales. Expect V8, V10 and electric e-tron drivetrains. 


Grand Convertible ? late 2015

Azure returns in all but name as a convertible version of the Mulsanne, seen in concept form at the LA motor show 2014.

Bentayga ? early 2016

Expect to see Crewe?s first SUV before the year is out, ahead of 2016 sales. Styling said to be totally overhauled compared with previous concept version.


1-series facelift ? early 2015

Minor facelift due for 1-series for a 2-series Active Tourer-inspired look.

2-series convertible ? February 2015

New 2-series range gets drop-top version with improved refinement and greater cabin space.

X5 M, X6 M ? spring 2015

Controversial, potent SUVs get a second generation, complete with an even more potent V8 and brash styling.

3-series facelift ? summer 2015

Three-cylinder engines will be offered as the headline news in the revised 3-series range.

6-series facelift ? summer 2015

Facelifted versions of the 6-series and the M6 will be seen at the Detroit motor show in January before the start of UK sales soon after. Though styling revisions are minor - focusing mainly around reprofiled front bumpers - engine tweaks should make for better fuel economy and emissions.

2-series Active Tourer seven-seat ? September 2015

Compact MPV gets a bigger body to accommodate an extra row of seats.

X1 ? autumn 2015

Compact SUV will swap rear-wheel drive for front-wheel drive in its second generation.

7-series ? late 2015

BMW?s flagship gets a lighter chassis, hi-tech engine derivatives and a plush, tech-rich cabin.


Project Pinnacle ? mid-2015

Bristol returns with an all-new model, and new London showroom in 2015. A hit-tech hybrid is also in the works. 


Three new Sevens - spring 2015

Three new Sevens planned in 2015 to sit between the entry-level 160 and the range-topping 620R, as the firm simplifies its range and naming policy.


300 facelift ? summer 2015

Minor styling tweaks for US executive saloon.


C4 facelift ? early 2015

Citroën?s Volkswagen Golf rival will get some minor styling and spec updates.

DS5 facelift ? spring 2015

Minor facelift is planned for the DS5.

DS4 facelift ? spring 2015

Blink-and-you?ll-miss-it revisions also planned for Citroen?s plush high-riding hatch.

Detroit Electric

SP:01 ? spring 2015

Start-up firm claims its 155mph two-seater will be the world?s fastest electric sports car.


RP1 ? summer 2015

Britain?s newest sports car maker has created a a lightweight, mid-engined roadster with 500bhp per tonne.


California T ? quarter one 2015

California adopts turbo power as part of its mid-life changes. A sharper drive is also a goal.

458 Italia replacement ? summer 2015

Geneva show reveal likely for Ferrari?s overhauled 458. Expect turbo power, a new look, and a new name.

LaFerrari FXX K ? Early 2015

Ferrari gives its flagship hypercar the XX treatment, giving it 1021bhp and race-inspired styling.


500X ? quarter two 2015

Third member of the 500 family, the 500X is a sister car to the Jeep Renegade and will be offered with four-wheel drive.

Compact saloon ? early 2016

Fiat is planning to launch a range of keenly priced compact models, including saloon, SUV and hatchback. Saloon is up first.

Roadster ? early 2016

Compact Mazda MX-5-based roadster was an Alfa, is now a Fiat. Could use the Abarth badge.


Mondeo ? April 2015

Mondeo finally launches in the spring after three years of delays. One-litre engine, all-wheel drive, a more potent diesel, and plush Vignale models available by summer.

S-Max ? summer 2015

Second-generation S-Max gets Mondeo-inspired looks and a plush new cabin.

C-Max/Grand C-Max facelift ? summer 2015

Ford?s compact five-seat and seven-seat MPVs get styling and spec changes in line with Focus.

Mustang ? autumn 2015

Ford?s muscle car is to be sold officially in the UK in right-hand-drive form for the first time.

Focus ST facelift ? March 2015

A diesel version of the Focus ST is to be offered for the first time as part of the car?s facelift.

Ka ? late 2015

A rethink for the Ka city car should see it repositioned as a budget global offering.

Edge ? late 2015

The Edge SUV arrives in the UK and Europe for the first time as part of the One Ford policy.

EcoSport refresh ? 2016

Ford has hinted that a hasty refresh of the EcoSport is in the works to make it more Euro-friendly, something spy pics have confirmed.

Galaxy ? 2016

Sister car to the S-Max, the larger seven-seat MPV arrives in 2016 to fight the likes of the VW Sharan and Seat Alhambra.

GT - 2016

The all-new Ford GT supercar arrives in 2016, powered by a 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged V6 engine developing over 600bhp


Civic facelift ? spring 2015

A new Type R lookalike, the Sport, is the chief addition to a refreshed Civic line-up.

Civic Type R ? spring 2015

The Type R is aiming to be the fastest ever front-wheel-drive hot hatch to lap the Nürburgring. It can be ordered now for a deposit of £3000.

Jazz ? summer 2015

Spacious city car gets more spacious still in all-new form. Greater refinement also promised.

CR-V facelift ? spring 2015

New look for the British-built SUV, with styling changes to bring it into line with the Civic.

HR-V ? summer 2015

Honda wants a piece of the booming compact SUV segment with its all-new HR-V.

NSX ? late 2015

NSX sports car offers around 550bhp from its hybrid powertrain, which incorporates a V6 engine and three electric motors.


i20 ? 5dr March 2015, 3dr April 2015

Fiesta rival arrives as a five-door first in March, before a sportier-looking three-door in April.

i20 coupé - early 2015

With a focus on 'character' and sport, the i20 coupé joins the i20 range this spring, marking the first time Hyundai has produces a three-door variant of its Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo rival.

i30 facelift and i30 Turbo ? March

The mid-life changes for Hyundai's i30 focus around styling tweaks, but the big news is that a new 183bhp version, the i30 Turbo, has been added to the range.

i40 facelift ? March

Better handling, new styling and upgraded engines are all in line for Hyundai's Ford Mondeo rival.

Veloster facelift ? March

Coupé-cum-hatchback is tipped for subtle new look and some ride and handling improvements.

ix35 ? July

A Geneva show reveal is rumoured for the second-gen version of Hyundai?s Nissan Qashqai rival.

Santa Fe refresh ? late 2015

Subtle refresh for big SUV will actually make the i10 city car Hyundai?s oldest car by end of 2015.


Q70 facelift ? January 2015

The BMW 5-series rival, formerly known as the M, gets a new exterior look and a China-only long-wheelbase version.

Q30 ? autumn 2015

Infiniti hopes to step up from a niche player with its Mercedes A-class-based and British-built Q30 hatchback.


F-type AWD and manual ? spring 2015

F-type range continues to expand with four-wheel drive and manual gearbox options.

XJ facelift ? spring 2015

Updates to Jaguar?s now six-year-old flagship luxury saloon are expected to focus on the interior.

XE ? May 2015

Jaguar?s crucial BMW 3-series rival arrives with hi-tech new chassis, engines and infotainment options.

XF ? summer 2015

Jaguar's second-generation XF will make its debut at the New York motor show in April before going on sale in the UK in the autumn. Expect a lightweight aluminium architecture and styling close to that of the XE.

F-Pace - 2016

Jaguar's first ever SUV will take styling cues from the C-X17 concept, and will be powered by the Ingenium engine range.


Renegade ? spring 2015

Jeep?s entry into the booming compact SUV segment claims to the most capable off-roader in the class, and costs from £16,995.

Grand Cherokee facelift ? late 2015

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles? future product plan has revealed a revised version of the Grand Cherokee is due.


Flying Huntsman - spring 2015

Land Rover Defender-based sports SUV comes with 6.2-litre V8 engine and up to 450bhp.


Picanto facelift ? February 2015

Kia?s latest ?tiger nose? grille finds its way on to the mid-life facelift of the Picanto.

Venga facelift ? February 2015

Carryover engines feature in the revised mini-MPV, which gets a subtle new look.

Rio facelift ? autumn 2015

Kia?s best-seller gets new-look front and rear ends and a new infotainment system inside.

Sorento ? April 2015

All-new Sorento grows in size, and will be offered in five-seat and seven-seat versions.

Sportage ? late 2015

Kia will be hoping for another design hit with its second-gen Sportage SUV.

Optima ? late summer 2015

Kia will maintain its presence in the shrinking Mondeo-Passat segment with an all-new Optima, which will be offered as a hybrid. 


Agera One:1 ? early 2015

World?s most potent hypercar gets 1322bhp (1340hp) ? one metric horespower for every kilo of its 1340kg kerb weight.


Huracan Spyder ? summer 2015

Still not confirmed, but Lambo?s new sports car is due to lose its roof in an expanded range. 

Land Rover

Range Rover Sport SVR ? spring 2015

The 542bhp SVR is the fastest and most powerful model in Land Rover?s history, and costs £93,450.

Evoque facelift ? summer 2015

Design boss Gerry McGovern has previously promised an ?unconventional? mid-life facelift for the Evoque.

Evoque cabriolet ? summer 2015

Rumours of a production version of the Evoque convertible refuse to go away. 


NX200t ? March 2015

Lexus?s new compact SUV range will soon expand with a new four-cylinder petrol version.


Lexus' BMW M5 fighter offers up 467bhp from its 5.0-litre V8 engine.


Evora - 2015

New Evora will be unveiled at at Geneva.


Levante ? early 2016

We?ll see the final version of Maserati?s new luxury SUV before the year is out.


2 ? March 2015

All-new supermini is latest Mazda to get the firm?s lightweight, fuel efficient SkyActiv suite of tech. Prices start from £11,995.

CX-5 facelift ? spring 2015

Qashqai rival gets minor exterior changes and a leap in perceived quality inside.

6 facelift ? spring 2015

Changes for the CX-5 SUV are mirrored on the saloon, hatchback and estate, with prices starting from £19,795.

CX-3 ? early summer 2015

The SkyActiv-based CX-3 is Mazda?s Nissan Juke rival and will be offered with four-wheel drive.

MX-5 ? late summer 2015

Fourth-generation sports car brings the MX-5 back to its compact, lightweight roots.


P1 GTR ? summer 2015

Even harder and faster version of the P1 will be restricted to track use only.

Sports Series ? autumn 2015

Initial new range of entry-level McLarens ? coupé, convertible and GT ? to go up against the Porsche 911.

675 LT - 2015

Hardcore new McLaren is intended to bridge the gap between the 650S and the P1 hypercar.


Mercedes-AMG GT ? spring 2015

Mercedes? long-awaited Porsche 911 rival is offered with a 4.0 V8 with either 456bhp or 503bhp.

B-class Electric Drive ? spring 2015

Facelifted B-class brings with it an all-electric version, a Mercedes-Benz first.

E-class - 2016

The next-generation E-class will take styling cues from the C-class, GLA and S-class coupé, with latest test mules showcasing a new large infotainment screen inside the cabin.

CLA Shooting Brake ? March 2015

CLA compact saloon-cum-coupé morphs into an estate-cum-coupé

Mercedes-AMG C63

The flagship performance C-class gets as much as 503bhp from its 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine. As with the GT, it'll be available in both C63 and C63 S forms.

V-class ? March 2015

The plush V-class replaces the Viano.

Mercedes-Maybach S600 ? summer 2015

The Maybach badge returns in a bigger, more luxurious version of the S-class.

Mercedes-Maybach S600 Pullman - 2015

Six-seat version of the S600 should offer even more luxury, and is aimed at the booming Chinese market.

S-class Cabriolet - 2015

Drop-top S-class gets a folding fabric roof, and will battle close to the territory of the Bentley Continental GTC.

GLE ? summer 2015

Facelift for big ML SUV brings with it a new name: GLE.

GLE coupé ? summer 2015

The GLE coupé is Mercedes? answer to the BMW X6, and will go on sale in the UK in June. It'll cost around £10,000 more than equivalent GLE models.

GLC - autumn 2015

The C-class-based SUV formerly known as the GLK arrives in the UK for the first time.

A-class facelift ? autumn 2015

Expect a new look for the A-class in line with the recent changes to its B-class sister car.

G63 AMG 4x4 - 2015

A successor to the monstrous G63 AMG 6x6, the G63 AMG 4x4 could come with as much as 537bhp.

SLC - 2016

The facelifted Mercedes-Benz SLK will morph into the new SLC as part of Merc's rebranded range.

C350 Plug-In Hybrid - June 2015

Mercedes second dedicated plug-in hybrid model, the C350 promises to return up to 134.5mpg with CO2 emissions of 48g/km.

C450 AMG - June 2015

The second of Mercedes' new AMG Sport range, the C450 AMG will go on sale in both saloon and estate forms.

GLE63 Coupé - June 2015

Hot version of the new GLE gets 577bhp from its twin-turbocharged 5.5-litre V8 engine.


Cooper S John Cooper Works ? April 2015

Hot new Mini gets 228bhp from its 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, and should be priced close to the £22,460 of its predecessor.

Clubman ? summer 2015

The Clubman will be reborn as a bigger, more spacious estate car with four proper passenger doors.

Countryman - 2016

All-new Countryman will come to market with updated styling and larger dimensions.


L200 - September 2015

New version of the L200 pick-up truck is on the way


GS - 2016

MG's first production SUV gets a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine and CS concept-inspired looks.


Juke Nismo RS ? early 2015

Harder, faster version of the Juke Nismo gets 215bhp, and is already on sale for £21,995.

370Z facelift ? early 2015

Revised 370Z range includes a more focused Nismo version.

Murano ? late 2015

Big SUV returns to the UK with a plusher cabin and more premium positioning.

Pulsar Nismo ? late 2015

Paris motor show 2014 concept car is tipped to make production with 1.6 turbo petrol power.


308 GT ? spring 2015

Forerunner to the 308 GTI, the GT gets a 202bhp 1.6 turbo and tuned suspension.

2008 ? summer 2015

New engine and gearbox options expected for Peugeot?s compact SUV.


911 facelift ? late 2015

Frankfurt show reveal mooted for revised 991-generation 911, which will switch to turbo power.

911 Targa GTS - March 2015

Go-faster version of the 911 Targa has been made as part of Porsche's 50th anniversary celebrations for the range, and is priced from £104,385.

911 GT3 RS ? summer 2015

Expect the long-awaited RS version of the 911 GT3 to be a swansong for normally aspirated 911s.

Cayman facelift ? late 2015

A new GT4 version will be the star attraction in the revised Cayman line-up.

Boxster facelift ? late 2015

Four-cylinder boxer engines will be offered in the revised Boxster, the new estimated 400bhp units also destined for the Cayman.

Cayenne GTS ? spring 2015

The revised Cayenne GTS swaps a V8 for a twin-turbo 3.6 V6.

Cayenne Turbo S - March 2015

The facelifted version of the Turbo S gets an even more potent 4.8-litre twin-turbo V8 engine, and costs from £118,455.


SR3 RSX ? early 2015

Suzuki four-cylinder power for updated lightweight track special.

SR8 SX ? quarter one 2015

New flagship £130k sports car is powered by a 440bhp 3.0-litre V8.


SUV ? summer 2015

Renault?s next major launch is its own version of the Nissan Qashqai, expected to make its debut in Geneva.


Wraith convertible ? autumn 2015

The Ghost-based Wraith coupé will spawn a convertible version.


R1 ? early 2015

New lightweight sports car uses a Chevy-sourced 6.2-litre V8 with 444bhp.


Leon ST Cupra ? spring 2015

The Cupra performance treatment is applied to Seat?s stylish Leon estate.

Ibiza facelift ? summer 2015

One last round of changes for the popular supermini before an all-new version is launches in 2016-2017.

Leon SUV ? 2016

A Leon-based SUV should significantly improve Seat?s sales volumes.


Outback ? April 2015

Subaru?s rugged four-wheel drive ?allroad? estate arrives in the UK for a new generation.

Levorg ? November 2015

The new Legacy won?t be coming to the UK, but the Levorg estate version is set to arrive in the autumn.


Superb ? autumn 2015

The new Superb will be one of the biggest cars on the MQB platform, complete with a longer wheelbase than the VW Passat.


Fortwo ? spring 2015

Third-gen Fortwo promises a much-improved ride and transmissions, with a manual standard and dual-clutch automatic optional.

Forfour ? spring 2015

Forfour returns as a ?proper? rear-engined, rear-drive Smart, rather than being based on the Mitsubishi Colt.


B6 ? 2015

Spyker?s Porsche 911 rival was seen in production form in early 2013, but an exact on sale date is still unknown.


Tivoli ? June

After several concept cars, SsangYong will finally enter the booming compact SUV segment with the Nissan Juke-sized Tivoli. 


Celerio ? February

Suzuki's new city car will go on sale in February - replacing current Alto and Splash models - with prices starting from £7999

Vitara ? April

The Vitara is Suzuki?s answer to the Nissan Juke. Underpinned by shortened version of S-Cross platform.


Model X ? autumn 2015

The Model X is a seven-seat SUV based on the four-wheel-drive Model S electric saloon. 


Nemesis ? January 2016

The world?s first 2000bhp supercar is lightly pencilled in for production in 2016. 


Mirai ? summer 2015

Toyota?s commercial roll-out of hydrogen fuel cell cars begins with this futuristic-looking saloon. It'll cost around £60,000 when UK sales start.

Avensis facelift ? summer 2015

BMW diesels will be added to the Avensis saloon and estate range.

Prius ? December 2015

Fourth-gen Prius will usher in a new modular platform for Toyota. 


Adam S ? March 2015  

Adam city car morphs into potent micro-hatch courtesy of turned turbo 1.4 engine and chassis and styling changes.

Viva ? June 2015

New budget city car will be entry point to Vauxhall?s range.

Astra ? October 2015

Expect Vauxhall?s new Ford Focus fighter to launch soon after a Frankfurt show debut in September.


Sarthe ? early 2015

The Sarthe is a £250,000 supercar created by an ex-plumber from the Netherlands.


XC90 ? May 2015

Volvo?s staple seven-seat SUV will finally be replaced with a new car that ushers in a new scalable architecture and style for Volvo. T8 and R Design versions to follow in November.

V60 Cross Country ? June 2015

Rugged Cross Country version of the V60 estate will be Volvo?s answer to the Audi A4 Allroad.

S60 Cross Country - Summer 2015

Having given a similar treatment to the V60, Volvo has created a jacked-up, all-wheel drive version of the S60 which will come to market with two engine options.

S90 - 2016

Range-topping Volvo will take styling inspiration from the 2011 Volvo Concept Universe concept, and will look to take on Jaguar's XF.


Golf GTE ? spring 2015

Most intriguing new addition to the Golf Mk7 line-up is the plug-in hybrid GTE, mixing impressive headline performance figures with fine economy.

Polo GTI ? spring 2015

More power and a subtle new look for VW?s entry-level hot hatch.

Polo BlueMotion ? spring 2015

Most economical Polo switches to petrol power as part of a series of mid-life changes.

Passat GTE ? mid-2015

Potent Passat hybrid gets 215bhp and 141mpg combined fuel economy

Zenos Cars

E10 S - January 2015

Last year Zenos took centre stage at the Autosport International show with its E10 - and now has a more powerful S version with 250bhp to bring to market in 2015.

What cars are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments section below

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