TO many of us, the most significant car event next year isn’t an arrival but an exit.
Ford will stop making the Fiesta and they won’t replace it.
The manufacturer has found it can’t make money from the cut-throat hatchback market, so it’s turning its back on huge crowds of loyal buyers.
Instead, it will make more expensive cars — even if they sell in smaller numbers.
The first of them, launched in mid-2023, is a rugged-looking electric SUV called Explorer Sport, which will start at around £45,000.
Ford has done a deal with Volkswagen and the Explorer Sport is actually based on the VW ID 4 crossover, but it’ll look very different.
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Ford is also good at making vans, so Britain’s best-selling vehicle for much of this year and the backbone of so many businesses is up for renewal.
The Transit Custom arrives with diesel and pure electric power.
Ford chief Jim Farley tweeted: “There’s so much to be excited for in 2023. Looking forward to accelerating our electrification plans in Europe.”
“It’s Vauxhall’s 120th anniversary in 2023, but there’s no all-new car.
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“Still, the Astra will get an extra, all-electric version.
“They’re also reviving the GSe badge for sportier, plug-in hybrid versions.
“And the Corsa has a major facelift, with the “visor” front end and a big-screen dashboard.
While Ford’s electric family car is a blocky off-roader lookalike, Cupra’s has a sporty silhouette.
It’ll be called Tavascan but, like the Ford, re-uses the mechanical and electrical parts from the VW ID 4.
Meanwhile, Renault’s electric crossover is a roomy and versatile family car, so it revives the Scenic name.
Again, we’ve seen parts of it previously — the electric systems and front section of bodywork come from this year’s attractive new Megane.
The little Hyundai Kona crossover moves into its second generation with petrol and hybrid in the spring, and electric in summer.
Honda will have a crossover about the same size, but electric-only.
This was previewed by the e:NY1 concept.
At the end of the year comes a new-generation Mini Countryman.
It will grow noticeably in size, and have both petrol and full-electric choices.
Need a seven-seat crossover? The popular Skoda Kodiaq gets a complete re-work at the end of the year.
As well as petrol and diesel, there’ll also be a tax-friendly plug-in hybrid.
If you want seven seats and electric drive, you don’t have much choice at the moment. But that’ll change in 2023.
An all-new arrival in autumn is the huge yet good-value Kia EV9.
Mercedes has a big, posh, five-seater electric SUV — the EQE SUV, to be rivalled by the sleek-looking Polestar 3.
Also electric-only, Jeep will have a chunky-looking but super-compact SUV called Avenger.
But crossovers and SUVs aren’t the best for maximum electric range, because their height causes aerodynamic drag.
Traditional saloons and estates have an advantage there.
If that’s what you want, then the dramatic, curvy electric
Hyundai Ionic 6 is out early in the year.
It uses the same rapid charging and efficient electric system as the popular Ioniq 5.
And at the end of 2023, VW has a rival for the Ioniq 6, which will be called ID 7.
It’s yet another one based on the ID 4 chassis and electric drive.
More expensive saloons are also being replaced. The new BMW 5 Series is set to have the usual petrol, diesel and PHEV versions — but also an all-electric version that looks much the same but is badged i5.
And the rival Audi A6 has a replacement, with petrol and diesel.
There will be an electric A6 e-tron too — but in a different strategy from BMW’s, it’s actually a different car entirely from the one with an engine.
The A6 e-tron was previewed by a concept car, and Audi claims the finished article will be super- aerodynamic, for an electric range of up to 435 miles.
If you wanna have fun in an electric car, how about the first electric hot hatch, the little Abarth 500e?
Another BMW is a huge, in-yer-face crossover, the XM, a plug-in hybrid where the engine component is a muscly twin-turbo V8.
You can order it now, if you can find the necessary £145,885.
Things get more expensive from there.
What will surely be the world’s fastest crossover comes from Ferrari, the 193mph V12 Purosange. It starts at (deep breath) £313,120.
Rolls-Royce is launching another £300k car, the magnificent Spectre.
That’s a huge, four-seat coupe powered by electricity. So it’ll be the most whisper-quiet Rolls ever.
Most mad and crazy of all, 2023 sees a replacement for the Lamborghini Aventador.
This time its V12 engine is further boosted by hybrid assistance.
Get behind the wheel of that and it’ll certainly be a happy new year for you.
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