The designers have done a good job of maintaining the G-Class look but adding luxury and tech. Picture: MERCEDES-BENZ
The designers have done a good job of maintaining the G-Class look but adding luxury and tech. Picture: MERCEDES-BENZ

The industry is extremely busy getting ready for 2018 with many development models undergoing testing and a few new models being revealed.

We attended a workshop on the new Mercedes-Benz G-Class, although we have only seen the interior at this stage, so you will have to wait until January to see what the company has done with the exterior design of its iconic off-roader.

Mercedes is also preparing the next generation of its luxury GLS. The big change is in the platform, with the seven-seater moving to the company’s MHA platform, which is supposed to be lighter than the ongoing model. There will be new inline six-cylinder motors as well as the usual AMG options. When it arrives late in 2018 it could also have a hybrid solution. To take on the superluxury models such as the Bentley Bentayga and Range Rover Autobiography, expect a Maybach derivative too.

BMW X5

The current BMW X5 will be replaced in 2018 by a new model on the company’s Clar platform.
The current BMW X5 will be replaced in 2018 by a new model on the company’s Clar platform.

Also shifting to a new platform is the BMW X5, which will adopt the company’s CLAR platform that first appeared in the new 7 Series. It will be more of a facelift when it arrives in 2018 but will also be lighter than the outgoing model with more tech and a range of new engines.

Audi TT

Still with the Germans, Audi is preparing a facelift for its TT coupe and convertible models. The changes are likely to be minor, focusing on the grille treatment and front and rear bumpers, but there should be significant interior changes too.

Audi is also working on the next generation of its A6, which will adopt styling cues from the new A8. The A6 and the A8 will arrive in SA in 2018.

Possibly in the same year, we could see the arrival of the Q2S, a slightly sportier derivative of the overpriced Q2. Insiders have told us that the model will get a more dynamic exterior look and some interior enhancements, but it is unclear what the brand will do to justify the S label in terms of performance.

McLaren Senna

We are definitely not fans of the disjointed design, but beneath its weird looks, the McLaren Senna should be a serious track machine.
We are definitely not fans of the disjointed design, but beneath its weird looks, the McLaren Senna should be a serious track machine.

Speaking of performance, McLaren has unveiled its Senna hypercar. We are going to go with the beauty is in the eye of the beholder-thing here, because our views on the design are less than polite.

With a 4.0l twin-turbo V8 generating 588kW and 800Nm, you aren’t going to see it for very long as it rushes past, so that’s a good thing. And you might see it speeding along because in spite of the huge price tag (it’s £750,000 in the UK) six of them are heading to customers in SA.

Porsche 911

Less likely to cause controversy is the next generation of the Porsche 911.

We have brought you pictures of the test mules before, but now our insiders have given us some information on the interior.

It will be a big change from the current model, with the iconic sports car adopting the infotainment system from the Panamera and new Cayenne, as well as changes to the instrument cluster, which will see four digital dials flanking a central analogue speedo.

The centre console will get new Lamborghini-style buttons and there will be a new gear stick, which looks less like a useable component as the engineers push drivers towards using the paddle-shifters.

Porsche is also continuing development of its electric sports car, the Mission E.

The company is still constructing a new production facility for the electric model in Stuttgart, but the Mission E has been seen undergoing cold-weather testing in Scandinavia.

Nevs

Saab is back, but as the Nevs electric vehicle.
Saab is back, but as the Nevs electric vehicle.

China is churning out electric models faster than you can plug in the kettle, but the latest sees the return of a familiar face. You might not have heard of Nevs, but you will recognise the car. Nevs bought the Swedish car maker Saab when it collapsed, but the agreement did not allow Nevs to use the Saab name, which remains with the aerospace company. So instead the company has revealed the Nevs 9-3, an all-electric vehicle based on the design of the Saab 9-3.

Renault Zoe

Spanish car-sharing scheme Zity has added the Renault Zoe to its fleet, although would you want to be a Zity Zoe?
Spanish car-sharing scheme Zity has added the Renault Zoe to its fleet, although would you want to be a Zity Zoe?

A rather bizarre partnership has been formed between Renault and Spanish car-sharing scheme Zity. Renault has provided 500 of its Zoe electric cars to the scheme for use in Madrid. As if the Zity name is not bad enough, you have to feel a little sorry for Zity Zoe.

Acne cream anyone?

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