Details of the new and updated luxury cars launching in Australia in 2015.
Mercedes-Benz CLS update - February
Around the same time as the S-Class Coupe comes an updated version of the slick CLS sedan and shooting brake-style wagon.
The facelifted CLS is the first model to sport the company’s new Multibeam LED headlights with 24 LED clusters, each of which can be switched on and off or dimmed individually by the car’s on-board computers. The system can scan the road ahead using the car’s camera too.
A new nine-speed automatic gearbox, dubbed 9G-Tronic, is available on the CLS220 BlueTEC, CLS250 BlueTEC, CLS350 BlueTEC and CLS500.
Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe - February
Kicking off affairs in February is the sublime S-Class Coupe, which will be available in S500 and S63 AMG guises and serve as a replacement or the flagship CL-Class.
Mercedes-Benz B-Class update - March
There are some very subtle styling tweaks to the air intakes and tail-lights, while inside is a larger 8.0-inch screen, as well as the addition of autonomous emergency braking. The mechanicals remain much the same.
Audi A6/A7 updates — April
The updated A6 and S6 sedan range arrives in April with a host of engine, active safety and technological improvements. Meanwhile the wagon (or Avant) body style on non-RS models will be axed due to slow sales.
At the same time, the updated A7 we review here will also arrive.
Audi A1 update — May
The baby of Audi’s range gets an upgrade around the middle of the year with two all-new engines, electromechanical steering, an optional automatic transmission for the base model and new trim grades.
A 1.0-litre turbocharged engine replaces the 1.2-litre entry model, the 1.4 TFSI has been revamped and a sporty 1.8-litre TFSI replaces the current 1.4-litre twin-charged engine. The recently released, unchanged Audi S1 tops off the series with a 2.0 TFSI engine producing 170kW and 370Nm.
Read our first drive review from Europe here.
Audi A3 e-tron — May
In the second quarter of the year Audi launches its answer to the BMW i3, the A3 e-tron.
Its driveline combines a 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine and an automatic six-speed dual-clutch transmission, with a 75kW electric motor sandwiched in between them that draws power from a bank of 8.8kWh lithium-ion batteries under the rear seat.
Power goes only to the front wheels, with combined peak outputs of 150kW of power and 350Nm of torque. The A3 Sportback e-tron is set to have a claimed combined cycle fuel use of 1.6 litres per 100 kilometres, while EV range is claimed at 50km.
BMW 1 Series update – Mid 2015
The BMW 1 Series hatchback will get a much-needed mid-life update around the middle of next year as it aims to claw back ground against the hugely popular Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz A-Class.
The updated 1 Series will take design inspiration from the sportier 2 Series coupe and convertible models at the front, with new headlights that are smaller and less droopy than the current model’s, a revised kidney grille, and remodelled bumpers.
The cabin will get the latest version of BMW’s iDrive infotainment system along with other subtle updates, while minor fuel economy gains are also expected across the line-up.
Read more about the BMW 1 Series.
Infiniti Q70 update – Mid 2015
Infiniti’s struggling flagship luxury sedan will get a much-needed refresh around the middle of 2015.
The updated Q70 takes design cues from the smaller Q50, sporting revised LED headlights and foglights and a new mesh grille pattern at the front, and new tail-lights with unique LED signatures, a flattened boot lid and a slimmed-down rear bumper.
Interior changes are limited to new trim colours and upholstery materials, though Infiniti claims the facelifted Q70 is quieter than its predecessor thanks to the addition of insulation materials, increased sealing and stiffer wheels.
Four new technologies join the Q70’s safety and security suite, including Predictive Forward Collision Warning, Forward Emergency Braking, Around View Monitor, and Backup Collision Intervention.
Read more about the Infiniti Q70.
Jaguar XE — August
Set to arrive in August, pending global supply, this is the big one for Jaguar, and alongside the SUV it will launch in 2016, one-half of a big push into more substantive global volume targets.
Styled to resemble a smaller version of the current XF, the XE will give prospective C-Class, BMW 3 Series and Audi A4 buyers a distinctly British (and Indian) option.
Power will come from all-new ‘Ingenium’ diesel engines with outputs of 120kW/380Nm and 132kW/430Nm. Ingenium petrol engines won’t be available right away, but are coming. Instead, the XE will feature the existing engine familiar from its larger XF and XJ siblings.
You can read a more detailed breakdown of the range here.
Jaguar XJ update — September
Jaguar’s flagship XJ sedan gets an upgrade in the third quarter of the year.
As our spy images showed, the stylistic tweaks appear to be minor, but enough to keep the rather bold design fresh against the likes of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
BMW 3 Series update – Second half 2015
The 3 Series will get an early update during the back half of 2015 as BMW tunes up its mid-size family for battle with the new Jaguar XE and the hugely successful Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
Subtle exterior styling tweaks will be joined by new multimedia functions and higher quality materials on the inside.
The entry-level 316i is also expected to trade its four-cylinder engine for a three-cylinder turbo in the pursuit of reducing weight, fuel consumption and emissions of the model line’s most frugal petrol variant.
Read more about the BMW 3 Series.
BMW 7 Series – Q4/2016
BMW will fire back at the Mercedes-Benz S-Class with a new-from-the-ground-up generation of its 7 Series.
The luxury limousine will be based on a new lightweight platform and its body will shift from steel to a combination of aluminium and carbonfibre in a bid to shed up to 200kg over its predecessor.
Air suspension with road-scanning technology will feature, along with a family of new four-, six-, eight- and 12-cylinder engines and a standard nine-speed automatic transmission. A plug-in hybrid model will also be offered.
Inside, voice recognition technology is said to take priority as BMW aims to reduce the number of buttons and controls in what will be a more luxurious cabin.
Read more about the BMW 7 Series.