2015 was a good year for premium cars, with a barrage of new sports and luxury cars entering the market that year. It would appear that 2016 will be more of the same, with over a dozen new and updated models arriving this year.
Of course, you can expect the German big three (Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz) to ride the wave of local motoring's best year yet as they come out with new models of their lineup staples.
Sedans and hatchbacks:
Audi's compact executive sedan is bigger, more advanced and lighter for 2016. Internally known as the B9, it debuted in last year's Frankfurt Motor Show and will be ready to hit the streets of Manila some time this year.
No powertrain lineup has been confirmed just yet, but in Europe, the 2016 Audi A4 is powered by a long line of gas and diesel engines. The A4's gas engines consists of a 1.4 TFSI engine with 150 PS and 250 Nm of torque and two 2.0 TFSI engines with different outputs. The first 2.0 TFSI engine puts out 190 PS and 320 Nm of torque. The second 2.0 TFSI engine has an output of 252 PS and 370 Nm of torque.
On to the diesel range, the 2.0 TDI range puts out 150 PS and 320 Nm in the base model while higher level variants get 190 PS and 400 Nm. The 3.0 TDI models put out either 218 PS and 400 Nm of torque or 272 PS and 600 Nm of torque. Chances are, we will be getting a 2.0 liter TDI and a 2.0 TFSI engine for the Philippines.
Big news from BMW as its full-sized flagship 7-Series sedan is all new this year. The 2016 G11 7-Series features new engines, a Carbon Core chassis and more technology than ever before.
On the technology front, the new BMW 7-Series features Gesture Control and a key fob that also serves as the vehicle's status report. Likely engines to arrive in the Philippines are the 3.0 liter, TwinPower Turbo six-cylinder gas and the 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo six-cylinder diesel. Called the 740i and 740Li, the gas powered G11 puts out 326 PS and 450 Nm of torque. The 730d and 730Ld's engine on the other hand produces 265 PS and 620 Nm of torque.
The G11 BMW 7-Series is expected to arrive in the first quarter of 2016.
BMW 3 Series
The pioneer of the compact executive sedan gets a minor update for 2016. It gets a pair of new bumpers, LED tailights and new headlight clusters. BMW says they have added a host of improvements in the sixth generation 3 Series, particularly in the steering and front suspension. The new F30 3 Series is slated to arrive in the first quarter of this year.
After 9 years in the market, Jaguar has finally unveiled the second generation XF. Deviating from its Ford roots, the new XF sits on an all new aluminum chassis, making it lighter than its predecessor.
According to Jaguar, 75% of the vehicle is made of aluminum, shaving off 60 kilograms from the previous model. The extensive use of aluminum has also added to the car's torsional rigidity. Inside it sports the all-new Jaguar InControl® Touch™ system featuring an 8-inch touchscreen or the optional InControl Touch Pro™ with a 10.2-inch touchscreen to InControl Apps™ and InControl Remote™.
Initial engine lineup consists of 2.0 and 3.0 gas and diesel powertrains. While yet to be confirmed, it is likely that the local models of the 2016 Jaguar XF will get the turbocharged 2.0 liter gas model with 240 PS and the 2.0 liter turbodiesel with 180 PS. Higher grade engines may remain special order variants.
Not to be outdone, Mercedes-Benz will be launching the all-new E-Class. Set to debut in this year's North American International Auto Show, the W213 E-Class is set to arrive in the Philippines by mid-2016.
Specifications are yet to be revealed by Mercedes-Benz but expect a mix of gas and diesel engines, ranging from four to eight cylinders. The local models will likely recieve the four-cylinder turbocharged gas and diesel powertrains. A wide-screen infotainment system will be standard on most models as well.
UPDATE: Mercedes-Benz has announced the initial engine lineup for the W213 E-Class earlier today. The four-cylinder lineup consists of the E200 with a 2.0 liter, turbocharged gas engine producing 184 PS and 300 Nm of torque while the E220 d puts out 195 PS and 400 Nm from its 2.0 liter, turbodiesel mill. The six cylinder lineup sees the 3.0 liter, turbodiesel E350 d with 258 PS and 620 Nm of torque and the gas powered E400 4MATIC with 333 PS and 480 Nm of torque. All engines are mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission.
For 2016, the Mini Clubman gains an extra pair of doors and, consequently, more room inside. Mini promises the 2016 Clubman will deliver a 'unique combination of functionality, everyday practicality and long distance suitability”.
The 2016 Mini Clubman will be powered by a familiar pair of engines. First up is the 1.5-liter Twin Power Turbo inline-three that puts out 136 PS and 220 Nm of torque for the standard models. Next is the 2.0-liter TwinPowerTurbo inline-four, which is available for the Clubman Cooper S variant. It delivers 192 PS and 280 Nm of torque.
Crossovers and SUVs
For the first time ever in Jaguar's history, the storied British marque will be offering a crossover. Jaguar calls their F-Pace the 'ultimate practical sportscar', promising car-like dynamics with added cargo capacity.
The 5-seat crossover is fitted with Jaguar's latest infotainment and wireless connectivity. It has a 10.2-inch touch screen that is powered by a quad-core processor and benefits from a solid-state drive. With it, Jaguar claimed it is one of the fastest and most responsive interfaces to date.
As for the powertrains, the Jaguar F-Pace will most likely share the same engines found in the locally sourced XF. That means either a 2.0 liter, turbocharged four-cylinder or a 2.0 liter turbodiesel. Output for the gas model is rated at 240 PS while the diesel puts out 180 PS, both connected to an eight speed automatic.
Speaking of firsts, Jeep will also be launching its first subcompact crossover in the Philippines. The Jeep Renegade slots below the Cherokee, which will make it the smallest Jeep in the local market.
Based on the Fiat 500X, the mini Jeep blends both Italian and American technologies in one package. The local lineup isn't confirmed just yet but the powertrain range consists of Fiat and Chrysler engines.
Engines include the Fiat 1.4 liter FIRE MultiAir Turbo with 162 PS or the Chrysler 2.4 liter TigerShark putting out 180 PS. This being a Jeep, it is available with two 4x4 options, namely the Jeep Active Drive (full-time 4x4) and Jeep Active Drive Low for off-road driving.
At the opposite end of the spectrum lies Mercedes-Benz's full-sized SUV, the GLS. After the GLC and GLE were launched last year, Mercedes-Benz continues to ride the wave of new crossovers and SUVs. As the name suggests, the GLS promises S-Class levels of luxury in an SUV package.
The new GLS now follows the brand's nomenclature for SUV's and crossovers with the GL prefiix. Like traditional SUVs, it sits on a body-on-frame chassis and is equipped with an off-road capable 4Matic system.
Specific models arriving in the country have yet to be confirmed although it is likely that the Philippine market will get either the GLS450 with a twin turbocharged 3.0 liter engine with 367 PS and 500 Nm of torque or the GLS350d with a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 engine that is rated at 259 PS and 616 Nm of torque.
Despite a difficult year for Volkswagen in 2015, Germany's volume carmaker will be releasing the second-generation Tiguan. Based on the familiar MQB platform (Golf, Jetta, A3), the all-new Tiguan, is bigger yet lighter than the model it replaces.
The increase in dimensions gives the Tiguan an addition 29mm of knee room while cargo space is now at 615 liters, an increase of 145 liters. For the dash layout, it is similar to the Volkswagen Golf with its high stack center console angled towards the driver. For the rear occupants, the 60:40 split seats can also be adjusted for more legroom.
The 2016 Tiguan also comes with more standard equipment with a 5-inch touchscreen standard for the base model. Moving up the spec range upgrades the 5-inch screen to an 8-inch display. Possible powertrains arriving in the Philippines are the 1.4 TSI engine with 150 PS and the 2.0 TDI with 150 PS, up by 10 from the current model.
Tentative launch for the second generation Tiguan is early 2016.
Audi's junior supercar is all new for 2016 and now reflects the marque's current design language, a lighter chassis, an updated 5.2-liter V10 engine and an e-tron quattro variant.
The weight savings are thanks in part to the new Space Frame which combines aluminum and CFRP components, giving it a weight saving of 50 kilograms. Available in standard and Plus variants, the 2016 Audi R8 will be powered by a 5.2 liter V10 with the standard model putting out 540 PS and 540 Nm while the Plus pumps out 610 PS and 560 Nm.
After two new and updated luxury sedans from BMW, the brand from Bavaria will also release their new high performance sports coupe. The BMW M2, dubbed by enthusiasts as the spiritual successor of the E30 M3, will also arrive in the country soon.
This compact sports coupe is powered by a 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline-six that delivers 364 PS and a torque figure of 464 Nm. As always on BMW coupes, power is sent to the rear wheels via a 6-speed manual gearbox although it can be specified with the optional 7-speed dual clutch transmission.
The M2 will be making its first public debut in the 2016 North American International Auto Show and we may have to wait a while this year for this coupe's arrival.
Lamborghini Huracan Spyder
The Huracan loses its lid in 2016, with the Spyder version arriving this year. The top-down version promises to bring all the positive elements of driving the Huracán LP 610-4 while stirring the emotions that come with open-air driving.
The Spyder's top takes 17 seconds to put up and can activated at speeds up to 50 km/h. Power comes from a naturally aspirated 5.2L V10 engine that produces 618 PS and 560 Nm of torque. The new Spyder now comes with new technical features, including ‘cylinder on demand’ in combination with ‘Stop-Start’ technology. The engine is then mated to a 7-speed dual clutch transmission the company calls Lamborghini Doppia Frizione or LDF.
It's been around since 2007 but Nissan Philippines will finally be bringing in the GT-R to the country sometime this year. Because it is an official release for the Philippines, these sports cars will be sold and serviced at select Nissan dealers and with a full warranty by the second half of 2016.
Under the hood is the VR38DETT exclusive to the GT-R. It pumps out 545 PS and 652 Nm of torque which is then channeled through a 7-speed dual clutch transmission. The familiar ATTESA all-wheel drive system keeps this sports car planted to the ground.
In an interview with Nissan PH head, Toti Zara, he told Autoindustriya that pricing will depend on the Philippine Peso-US Dollar exchange rate at the time of launch. The stronger the peso, the less the GT-R will cost. The launch date has yet to be confirmed.
Porsche 911 Carrera/Carrera S
Ever since the Nissan GT-R came out in 2007, Porsche has been locking horns with the Japanese sports car for Nurburgring lap time supremacy. For 2016, the 911 ditches its naturally aspirated engine and has taken the turbocharged route.
For the first time ever in a Carrera model, the 911 gains a smaller and more powerful twin-turbo mill. Replacing the 3.8 liter, naturally-aspirated engine is an all-new 3.0 liter, twin-turbocharged, flat six with two different power outputs.
The 2016 Porsche 911 Carrera gets a 20 horsepower hike and 60 newton meters more torque, bringing the power output to 370 PS and 450 Nm of torque. The more powerful 911 Carrera S gets the same 20 horsepower boost and 60 newton meter bump from the standard Carrera, now putting out 420 PS and 500 Nm of torque. Handling has also been tweaked, and Porsche will be offering active-rear wheel steering with the Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control or PDCC option.
Not quite what you're looking for? Here's the some more of the latest arrivals in 2016.
NOTE: This article makes forward-looking statements based on market data and various inside sources. Details, dates and other information may or may not change at the distributor's manufacturer's discretion.