Special Report on the Motor Show (5): Latest, faster, better, bigger, neater models: Martin Derrick previews the exhibits and what is coming soon

FOR CAR buffs, the star of the International Motor Show that opens in Birmingham today will undoubtedly be Aston Martin's new Vantage model.

It shares some features with the Virage - and externally is similar in many respects - but it is essentially a new car with new suspension, even more sophisticated engineering and new interior design.

Land Rover has a new flagship Range Rover model, the LSE. With its longer wheelbase, giving more space for rear seat passengers, an uprated engine, and its air suspension and electronic traction control, Range Rover hopes it will more than justify its UK pounds 40,000 price tag. The company is also offering a 4-speed automatic transmission on the Discovery.

Rolls-Royce shows its Bentley Brooklands model in public for the first time, Morgan is to offer a new engine variant of the Plus 4 model, Lotus promises a variant on the Esprit theme, while Jaguar is making detail improvements to its XJ6 saloon range for 1993.

Pride of place on Rover's stand is shared by the Rover 200 Coupe and the relaunched MG RV8. With its 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, the 200 Coupe is the fastest production Rover ever built, the company says. In addition, both the 200 and 400 ranges are revised and get their first showing at Birmingham.

In essence, the MG RV8 is a tarted up MGB, a model launched 30 years ago. While the bodywork may be familiar, the performance is bang up to date. A top speed of 135mph and 0-60mph acceleration in 5.9 seconds would leave even the old MGB GT V8 very much in the weeds.

Of the non-UK producers, Mitsubishi is showing its Australian-built Sigma Estate imported here for the first time. It will be badged Mitsubishi and will be sold through Mitsubishi dealers.

Chrysler makes its long-awaited entry to the UK market with Cherokee and Wrangler models - the Cherokee build right-hand drive in the USA and the Wrangler is adapted from LHD once it arrives in the UK. The importers TKM also have the Dodge Viper to show to UK customers, though it is still not yet known how many of the V10 roadsters will be allocated to the UK market.

Among other new cars are the updated Peugeot 405 range; a facelifted Vauxhall Cavalier; the Renault Safrane; the Nissan Micra and Serena; the MercedesBenz 200/300 ranges; the updated Lancia Thema; the 380bhp 5.6-litre BMW 850CSi; Volkswagen Vento and Subaru Vivio microcar.

Meanwhile, of the design houses, IAD promises a 'stunning proposal' for an inner city taxi, the Eurocab. It is also showing in the UK for the first time the Magia 2+2 sports coupe based on the Lancia Dedra.

Not all the cars to come into British showrooms during 1993 will be on show at Birmingham, and despite the difficulties of the new car market, there appears to have been no let-up in new product development.

Next year BMW will introduce a V8-powered version of the 5-Series; a new 3-Series convertible is on the way, as is a highperformance M3 Coupe. Citroen relaunches the BX with an all-new model that is slightly larger than the current car but which retains Citroen's state-ofthe-art hydropneumatic suspension, while towards the end of the year a ZX estate is expected.

Fiat introduces the Cinquecento mini car early next year to the UK, and also replaces the Uno, though British sales may not start until 1994. Similarly, although the company is expected to unveil a Fiat Coupe next year, UK dealers may have to wait until 1994 before being able to offer it for sale. Still within the Fiat Group, Lancia launch the all-new Delta hatchback and Alfa Romeo launch the new 33 hatchback and new Alfa Spider during 1993, though UK sales may not start until the following year.

Ford's big launch is the Sierra replacement in January, but in 1993 it will also start selling a new Spanish-built 4x4 sports/utility and the US-built Probe sports car.

Honda's new Accord, built in Swindon, reaches dealer showrooms in 1993, probably in May. Jaguar will offer a new XJ6 model, fitted with the silky smooth V12 engine, while Mercedes-Benz will introduce its 190 replacement towards the end of the year.

Mitsubishi introduce the larger Galant that was recently launched in Japan while Nissan launch the new Sunderland-built Micra in January, followed by the Spanishbuilt Serena MPV, then - also Spanish-built - the 4x4 off- roader that has been developed in conjunction with Ford, and finally a facelift for the Sunderland-built Primera.

Still built in Britain, Peugeot unveil the new Escort-sized 306, to be manufactured at Ryton, and also facelifted versions of the 405 and a five-door version of the 106.

Renault will follow the Safrane launch with the introduction later in 1993 of the 21 replacement, which is expected to be rather larger than the current car, and a new range of engines.

At Rover, the highlight of a busy year will be the launch of the 600 Series model, which has been developed with Honda and goes on sale in May. There will also be a Metro convertible, a Mini convertible and a Mini Cooper S introduced during 1993.

Toyota will spend much of the year concentrating on Carina E sales, as UK production from Burnaston will by then be in showrooms. However, there is an all-new Supra model to look out for, and also a series of improvements to the Lexus.

Vauxhall replace the Nova next year in three- and five-door hatchback form. Estate and coupe derivatives are expected a little later, though a Nova saloon is not apparently on the cards. The company's main emphasis will be selling the facelifted versions of the Cavalier first shown at the NEC.

peopleMathematician John Nash inspired the film Beautiful Mind
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Life and Style
Audrey Hepburn with Hubert De Givenchy, whose well-cut black tuxedo is a 'timeless look'
fashionIt may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
Life and Style
fashionFrom bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

    £40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

    Guru Careers: Software Developer

    £35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

    Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

    £25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

    Day In a Page

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine