Our pals over at CompleteCar.ie
just spent the past few days at the humongous Frankfurt Motor Show and while they came away waxing lyrical about the new Lamborghinis and Ferraris revealed, there was also a huge number of brand new regular cars that us mere mortals can one day hope to buy. Here's our list of the top 10 from the event in Germany that will go on sale in Ireland within the next six months - sorted alphabetically for fairness.
This is arguably Audi's most important car, which is why it hasn't strayed too far from its predecessor in terms of design. In spite of that it is completely new and much lighter and more efficient than before. The interior is class-leading from the perspective of quality and it's more spacious than before too. There are high-performance S4 versions already in production, but Irish buyers will stick with the 2.0 TDI 150 model.
The previous X1 looked little more than a mildly jacked up estate, but BMW has reinvented its junior SUV and it looks for all the world like a replacement for the larger X3. In technical terms, the biggest news is a move to a transverse engine mounting, which means much much more space in the cabin and boot. On top of that it feels as good to drive as any other model in the range. Irish buyers will be keen to hear about the new tax-friendly front-wheel drive versions coming in the near future.
SUV sales are going through the roof in Ireland, which makes it perfect timing for Ford to expand its offering. The Edge shares a lot with a model that has been on sale in the States for some time, but it has received a significant overhaul to make it suitable for European tastes, plus an all-important diesel engine of course. It looks smart and could give the likes of the Hyundai Santa Fe a run for its money.
Arguably there's little reason to replace the Sportage crossover, as the current model is still a strong seller, but the car industry doesn't like to stand still. A brand spanking new Sportage was unveiled in Frankfurt and while its Porsche Cayenne aping nose and headlights might divide opinion, there's no doubt that this new car has raised the Korean company's game in terms of interior ambience. It should tempt quite a few Irish buyers out of their Nissan Qashqais.
Ok, this is likely to be a niche car in Ireland, despite the fact that the new Clubman is far more sensible and 'normal' than the oddball original. So the MINI 'estate' gets four doors for people to get in and out and two quirky doors to access the boot. It's not the most spacious wagon in the world, but it promises to be great to drive and it's of very high quality. There'll be low emissions ratings too, which we all love in Ireland, don't we?
Opel launched its brand new Astra in five-door hatchback and Sports Tourer estate guises in Frankfurt and it's an attractive looking car that is sure to continue the model's huge sales success throughout Europe. Big news comes in the form of a massive weight reduction (to the benefit of economy and emissions, performance and dynamics), cutting edge infotainment and telematics and a high quality interior. Can it challenge the Focus and Golf at the top of the Irish new car sales charts?
A direct rival for the new Astra mentioned above is Renault's equally box-fresh Mégane, revealed in Frankfurt in five-door hatchback format. The French company has gambled on a daring look for its C-segment contender and it certainly is a striking looking car. From launch there will be a sporty looking GT trim line that features Renaultsport badges, regardless of the fact that most will have a 1.5-litre dCi diesel engine under the bonnet...
This neat little hatchback almost flew under the radar in Frankfurt, especially when there were so many high-performance cars to drool over, but it could do well in Ireland. Oddly, it's not a replacement for the similarly-sized Swift, though it promises to be more efficient (thanks to its wonderfully titled 'Boosterjet' engine) and spacious.
Toyota has given its hybrid poster car a thorough makeover and though the 1.8-litre petrol engine and electric motor powertrain appears to be relatively unchanged, the more stylish exterior appearance hides a considerable weight reduction, which should mean a ten per cent improvement in efficiency. Enough to convince Irish buyers to ditch diesel?
The all-new Volkswagen Tiguan garnered more than its fair share of attention in Frankfurt, moving the SUV from mass-market firmly into the realms of 'premium' with its Passat-inspired styling and a much larger interior. The R-Line model looks fantastic and it appears that we'll be getting a plug-in hybrid GTE version too. But of course, you only want to know about the best-selling diesels...