BMW X5 M COMPETITION
Itís another hugely powerful, heavy and expensive SUV that shouldnít sell, but will. The figures are: 460kW, 750Nm, 2385kg and $209,900. The performance off-roader uses a 4.4-litre V8, sends its grunt to all four wheels via an eight-speed auto and will gulp 13L/100km. We drive it on page 50.
Heavily revised styling and a refined cabin are accompanied by updates to the 3.0-litre turbo-diesel four. Outputs are up to 140kW and 450Nm. A rear diff-lock is standard on 4x4 models, the wading depth increases to 800mm, the body is stronger/lighter and safety has improved.
This is, essentially, a Volkswagen Golf in different getup. A 110kW/250Nm 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbo is expected to be the sole powerplant and will be tied to a dualclutch gearbox. A rally-inspired Monte Carlo version adds cool to a pragmatic offering.
The stove-hot Focus is set to take on the establishment with a 206kW/420Nm 2.3-litre four-pot powering the front wheels. Itíll be offered with a six-speed manual (with rev matching) or a no-cost seven-speed auto and will be priced from $44,690.
APRIL, MAY, JUNE
Aston DBS Superleggera Volante
Audi A5; A6 Allroad; Q7; SQ8
BMW M8, X5 M and X6 M†Competition; 2 Series Gran Coupe
Ford Fiesta ST; Focus ST
Skoda Kodiaq RS; Scala; Kamiq
Volkswagen T-Cross; Passat Alltrack
OH WHAT A FEELING!
HIGHLIGHTS SUVs dominate the market. So much so that they accounted for 49.2% of registrations in February, for a total of 39,304 sales. Itís easy to see why, with 13 of the top 20 models (see right) being an SUV or dual-cab ute. Despite showing a decline of 10.5% compared to February 2019, Toyota is going gangbusters with three of the top four models on the sales chart coming from the big T. Volvo had a stellar month with an increase of 49.5%, bagging 634 units against 424 last February.
LOWLIGHTS Holden endured a horror month after announcing it will be gone by the end of 2020. As a brand, the Red Lion fell to 15th overall in February, selling just 1367 cars for the month. Even reported discounts failed to prop up sales, with the once popular Colorado racking up just 598 registrations. Incredibly, there was not a single Holden model in the top 20.
RAV4ís riding high
As a COTY finalist for 2020, we know the Toyota RAV4 is a good thing. And buyers are going gaga for it, with sales s up 64.7% year-to-date and a whopping 105.9% compared to February 2019.
Considering the popular hybrid variants are constricted by supply, the RAV4 could claim the top spot from the Hilux in the coming months.
Icon stumbling to the end
The raw numbers are stark. Just 132 Commodores were sold in February 2020. Given that Holden shifted 10,028 VTs in a single month in 1998 (March), that represents a monumental fall from grace. Compared to February 2019 (576), the ZB has dropped 77.1%. The historic nameplate, both in model and brand, will cease to exist come 2021.