Details of the new and updated luxury SUVs launching in Australia in 2015.
Lexus NX200t – February
The Lexus NX200t will arrive in February, almost six months after the first hybrid-powered versions of the Japanese brand’s smallest SUV hit the market.
The 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine – the first engine of its kind for Lexus/Toyota – produces 175kW of power and 350Nm of torque.
Pricing will be announced in January, and it’s currently unclear if the 200t will be priced higher or lower than the NX300h range, which starts at $55,000 plus on-road costs (for the front-drive Luxury) and tops out at $75,000 plus costs (Sports Luxury AWD).
Read more about the Lexus NX200t.
Porsche Cayenne V6 and GTS — February
Confirmed for about February are a pair of Cayenne variants that didn’t launch with the upgraded range that recently went on sale.
These are the entry V6 and sporting GTS versions, and you can see full information on each of these variants here.
The Cayenne’s naturally aspirated 3.6-litre V6 petrol engine continues to produce 220kW and 400Nm, yet the updated model manages to shave two-tenths off its 0-100km/h time, which falls to 7.7 seconds (7.6sec with the optional Sport Chrono package).
The 2015 Porsche Cayenne GTS trades its predecessor’s naturally aspirated 4.8-litre V8 for an uprated version of the twin-turbocharged 3.6-litre V6 in the new Cayenne S. Despite measuring three-quarters the size of the old engine, power rises 14kW to 323kW and torque by 85Nm to 600Nm, lowering the sprint time of the GTS by half a second to 5.2sec, and the Sport Chrono version by six-tenths to 5.1sec.
Range Rover Sport SVR - March
The first model from Jaguar Land Rover’s newly developed Special Vehicle Operations division, established to take on BMW’s M Division and Mercedes-Benz performance arm AMG, launches in Australia in March.
Fittingly, the first car to receive the treatment is the Range Rover Sport SVR, replete with a a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine with 404kW of power and 680Nm of torque, and a 0-100km/h sprint time of 4.7 seconds, 0.6sec faster than the SDV8 variant.
There’s a re-calibrated rear differential to help power out of corners, while a torque-vectoring system that can brake individual wheels is also featured. Cornering is further aided by the new Active-Roll Control system, and there’s adjustable dampers and weightier steering.
Volkswagen Touareg update – Q1
A facelifted version of the Volkswagen Touareg is expected to hit the market in the first quarter of 2015.
The revised model gains a range of changes, including updated diesel engines (150TDI with 150kW/400Nm and V6 TDI with 193kW/550Nm) with lower fuel consumption. This is partly due to a new coasting function that disengages the standard eight-speed auto when no acceleration is needed.
Further changes include revised exterior styling, new interior materials, retuned suspension, a ‘stop and go’ function for the adaptive cruise control system, and a new mobile online services feature with integrated Google Street View, Google Earth and Google points of interest searches.
Stay tuned for pricing and further specifications as they come to hand.
Read more about the Volkswagen Touareg.
Range Rover and Range Rover Sport Hybrids - April
The Range Rover LR-SDV6 HSE Hybrid and Autobiography Hybrid are available to order ahead of launch on April 1. The HSE Hybrid is priced from $146,900 and the Autobiography Hybrid from $165,300, making them $21,500 and $20,200 more than their equivalent non-hybrid models.
The diesel-hybrid powertrain produces up to 250kW/700Nm, combining the SDV6’s 215kW/600Nm 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbo diesel with a 35kW/175Nm electric motor. Combined cycle fuel consumption is rated at 6.4 litres per 100 kilometres, down 12 per cent compared with the non-hybrid SDV6.
At the same time, there will also be a version of the larger Range Rover with the same powertrain and fuel use arriving at last (production is very constrained). You can read the review of that car here.
BMW X5M and X6M – May
The hardcore second-generation BMW X5 M and X6 M high-performance SUVs will storm into Australian showrooms in May 2015.
Once again a 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 engine sits beneath the bonnet of both, though the latest version has 423kW on tap, up four per cent, while peak torque is up by 70Nm to a whopping 750Nm.
This output boost means that despite weighing a massive 2265kg (X6) or 2275kg (X5), both can hammer from 0-100km/h in just 4.2 seconds, a full half-second faster than the previous generations.
Expect pricing to carry over at around $180,000 to $190,000 before on-road costs.
Read more about the BMW X5 and X6.
Land Rover Discovery Sport - May
It is the first member of its new Discovery ‘family’ beyond the model for which the range itself is named. Expect at least three family members in time, potentially including a new compact model that sits below the Sport.
Two engines will be offered: the Si4 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol produces 177kW/340Nm, while the 2.2-litre diesel engine produces 110kW in TD4 spec and 140kW in SD4 guise, both with 420Nm. Power is sent through a nine-speed auto familiar from the Evoque.
It’s clear that this model will not sit between the mainstream and luxury markets like the Freelander, but will instead be pitched firmly at the higher end of the market. See full information here.
Porsche Cayenne Turbo S — Q2 (possibly)
Porsche has not confirmed other new metal that will arrive over the year, though several new models are expected to appear.
You should get your first look at the range-topping, upgraded Cayenne Turbo S around the second quarter. This model will be an updated version of the previous 405kW/750Nm monster that blurs the line between sports car and SUV like nothing else.
Details are scarce, but watch this space.
Volvo XC90 – Mid 2015
More than a decade after the launch of the original XC90, Volvo’s second-generation luxury SUV arrives to rival the likes of the BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz GLE and the Range Rover Sport.
Three powertrains will be available – 165kW/470Nm 2.0-litre D5 diesel, 236kW/400Nm 2.0-litre turbo petrol, and 300kW/640Nm T8 ‘Twin Engine’ hybrid – along with three trim levels (Momentum, Inscription and R-Design), with prices ranging from $89,950 to $122,950 before on-road costs.
The 2015 XC90 boasts safety features such as automatic braking at intersections and run off road protection which Volvo claims are world firsts, along with a luxurious interior with high quality materials and a new infotainment system with an expansive portrait-aligned touchscreen.
Read more about the Volvo XC90.
BMW X1 – Q3
The second-generation X1 will become the first BMW model to switch from rear-wheel drive to front-wheel drive when it launches in 2015.
Based on the UKL1 platform that also underpins the Mini Cooper and 2 Series Active Tourer, the new X1 should offer a more spacious interior and greater fuel efficiency than its predecessor.
Spy shots captured late in 2014 suggest the new X1 will be a better-proportioned SUV, with noticeably shorter front and rear overhangs.
The cabin will also get a bulkier centre stack and an infotainment display that rises out of the dahs rather than being integrated.
Read more about the BMW X1.
Mercedes-Benz GLE and GLE Coupe - Q3
Heading up the GLE Coupe launch range is the GLE450 AMG Coupe, which is powered by a twin-turbocharged 270kW/520Nm 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine.
It’s joined by the slightly less powerful GLE400 Coupe, which gets a 245kW/480Nm tune of the same engine, and the GLE350d Coupe, which produces 190kW and 620Nm from its 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel engine. Mercedes-Benz Australia says it’s interested in all three variants.
Range Rover Evoque update - Q3
An updated MY16 Range Rover Evoque launches locally around September, though we don’t know a great deal more.
Expect the usual compliment of minor cosmetic and equipment upgrades. We could also get the company’s swish new laser head-up display system.
BMW X4 M40i – Q4
While BMW remains coy on its plans for a fully fledged X4 M, that doesn’t mean it’s ruling out high-performance variants of its compact coupe-inspired crossover altogether.
CarAdvice’s spy photographers snapped a prototype of what’s believed to be the X4 M40i undergoing high-speed testing at the Nurburgring in October.
The near-production-ready test car wore an M-enhanced body kit, large brakes, and, most significantly, tailpipes on either side of its rear diffuser, making it distinct from all other X4s.
It’s expected to be powered by a turbocharged 3.0-litre inline-six with up to 280kW, giving the M40i a healthy kick over the 225kW X4 35i.
Read more about the BMW X4 M40i.
Mercedes-Benz GLC - Q4
Rounding out the year for Mercedes will be the new GLC, a medium SUV replacement for the GLK that was only ever made in left-hand drive. This crucial model will at last give Benz a proper rival to the Audi Q5 and BMW X3.
It will also, alongside the new GLE family and the existing GLA, GLS and G-Wagen, give it decent ammunition in the increasingly popular luxury SUV market, and address the one area where it probably trails its main rivals.
BMW X5 eDrive – Second half 2015
BMW is set to expand its plug-in hybrid family in the second half of 2015 with the X5 eDrive.
The X5 eDrive concept – revealed at 2013’s Frankfurt motor show – teamed a 70kW electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack with a turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, and sent its power to all four wheels.
The concept claimed combined cycle fuel consumption of 3.8 litres per 100 kilometres, CO2 emissions of less than 90 grams per kilometre, and a pure electric driving range of 30km at speeds up to 120km/h.
Additional details will be revealed in the first half of the new year.
Read more about the BMW X5 eDrive.
Volvo V60 Cross Country – Second half 2015
Volvo will expand its off-road-ready brigade in the back half of 2015 with the V60 Cross Country.
Compared with the V60 wagon on which it’s based, the Cross Country version boasts an extra 65mm of ground clearance, front and rear metal skid plates, wheel arch extensions and revised sills, while torque vectoring, corner traction control and optional all-wheel drive should ensure it does more than just look the part.
Front-drive models will be paired with 2.0-litre four-cylinder engines, while all-wheel-drive versions will get larger five-cylinder turbo units.
Expect pricing to start from approximately $65,000.
Read more about the Volvo V60 Cross Country.