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Off-road vehicle future: new SUV models by 2017

Christian Schulte
Off-road vehicle future
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S You are status-conscious, success-oriented, a more urban type who Going to eat with the family on Saturdays in the trendy Italian restaurant or shopping in selected shops? Then you are right here.

To accompany you - at least that's what market research is assuming - you choose a premium automotive product that allows you to maintain an overview from a slightly higher seating position and conveniently stow your shopping trophies in the luggage compartment, without you having to Place value on an XXL model, prefer compact dimensions.

The 2015 Mercedes GLK comes with a C-class chassis

Audi Q5, Mercedes GLK and BMW X3 have served this segment with flying colors for years, and the Porsche Macan is now also making a name for itself as a new competitor. The competitors are therefore under pressure: the Mercedes GLK, which will have more rounded shapes with the model change in 2015, is growing by almost nine centimeters in length. It takes over the chassis from the C-Class, so it has a four-link front axle and, optionally, air suspension.

The interior is also based heavily on that of the C-Class: a large, free-standing screen, the control unit with touchpad in the center console, three large round ventilation nozzles in the cockpit - all in the current style of the house.

The new shape also helps to significantly reduce the Cd value of the GLK (currently 0.34). The revised four-cylinder petrol engine and a plug-in hybrid, which will have a purely electric range of around 30 kilometers, also help to reduce fuel consumption. As an option on offer: head-up display, intelligent child seat recognition, stereo camera and a connection to Apple software. At the start of sales, the nine-speed automatic transmission should also be available for the more powerful engines, which is currently only available in the E 350 Bluetec.

New SUV: Audi Q5 is getting lighter

In general, all SUVs are getting lighter with their model changes. Otherwise the strict CO2 regulations of the future cannot be met. The Audi Q7 has to lose more than 300 kilograms, the Q5 will have to lose around 80 kilograms. The operating concept, the philosophy of which corresponds to that of the current A3, is adopted by the SUV from the new A4 (from 2015). The new extras also include a head-up display, parking assistant, matrix light and a combination of camera andRadar system that allows the area around the car to be detected and to intervene fully automatically in an emergency.

Another thing Audi has in mind: the possibility of making mobility services such as parking space reservations accessible in the car via the Internet. In addition, customers are to be made special leasing offers in the future, which will enable them to take a Saturday excursion into town for a few days in the A3 or A5 convertible.

Five facts about SUVs:

  1. In 2013 the SUV segment in Germany opened at 17, 4 percent increase.
  2. Particularly popular: VW Tiguan, which is also successful in the private market (4th place).
  3. Manufacturers such as Audi want to cross sports car and SUV genes in the future.
  4. The market share of total passenger car sales is around 15 percent.
  5. Experts assume that SUV sales will double by 2020.

BMW has refreshed the X3

The BMW X3 is already entering the race in a refreshed form, albeit only slightly modified in terms of appearance, but at least three centimeters longer in length. The interior has been upgraded with chrome applications, and the engines have been optimized in terms of emissions and fuel consumption. The output of the X3 xDrive 18d increases from 143 to 150 hp, the 20d has 190 hp (previously: 184 hp). All engines now meet the Euro 6 emissions standard, the base prices start at 39,200 euros (sDrive 20i including automatic and xDrive 20i with manual transmission) and end at 54,200 euros for the xDrive 35i.

The new competition from Zuffenhausen does not have to fear the X3 in this regard: There is no comparable Macan, the price list currently only starts at 57,930 euros.

High prices for the Porsche Macan

In terms of dimensions and space, the Porsche is on par with the premium competition , but from a financial point of view it plays in a different league - one is still tempted to say, because even Porsche will not be able to avoid adding cheaper variants.

What remains until then is the impression of a stylistically independent car that visually has nothing to do with the Q5 platform dispenser. Typical of Porsche is the chassis set-up, which allows the Macan to steer precisely and whiz around corners with great agility - at least in combination with the adaptive dampers and air suspension that the first test cars were equipped with. So if you are the urban type who likes to pull up to the shop with a swing, then you've come to the right place.

The new SUVs described here will have a decisive impact on the segment in the coming months, but of course the manufacturers have many more models in the pipeline. We have put together an overview of the upcoming SUV innovations in our photo show.

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