Every year we are assaulted with a slew of new launches from the various car manufacturers. They range from hyper-machines chucking out gazillions of horsepower to tiny fuel-sipping run-abouts. In all likelihood, the months ahead will be no different and we can expect a mind-boggling range of new cars to hit our shores. Here, I would like to take a couple of minutes to talk about 3 cars from affordable marques that I am impatiently anticipating. And in no particular order whatsoever:
1. Nissan Juke
The Nissan Juke is probably going to be the first of the 3 cars here to be launched in Singapore. But that is not our main concern here. We are here to talk about why I am eagerly awaiting my opportunity to crawl behind the steering wheel of one. First up, its controversial looks. Nissan has designed something that has left me undecided about whether I like it or not. Whichever the case may be, this is definitely not a shrinking violet and is bound to grab the eyeballs of everyone standing near one. Nissan has been experimenting with somewhat radical looks with its previous 2 SUV type models and I guess the design philosophy has come to fruition with this one. Curiosity is practically killing me as I wonder how our Singaporean market will take to this design.
Next, is of course the availability of the turbo-charged 1.6litre engine. My half-decent memory suggests that it has been a long time since Nissan put a snail on any one of its mass market cars (GTR excluded, for obvious reasons). In fact, Nissan may well be embarking on a path of exploring the possibility of greater efficiency through turbo-charging relatively low capacity engines. Will this take Nissan down a new direction and make it the future VW of the East? I am guessing a lot will depend on the Juke and its sales figures. And of course, I really want to test Nissan’s new take on the turbo-charged engine and see what it is good for.
2. Hyundai Avante 2011
Hyundai’s new Avante can hardly qualify as news anymore and hence, I doubt that I need to describe it in great detail.
Moving back to the main discussion for today though, what has got me all excited about this 2011 Avante has got to be the new direct injection engine. Known as the GDI, its 1.6 litre unit will chuck out 140BHP and 166NM of torque. While these specs is nowhere near the famous VTEC engines of yesteryears by the other H brand (read B16A etc), these figures are pretty much class leading in our current market. Which leads me to wonder, will this 2011 Avante be Hyundai’s first rice and boyracer car ever? That I will only be able to find out once I get in one and see how those 140 ponies behave on the road. Here’s hoping they are a riotous and noisy bunch.
3. Suzuki Swift 2011
The Swift, in my mind, has always been one of Suzuki’s best sellers in Singapore in recent years. All forms and guises of the Swift can be easily spotted along our roads and it is no surprise. It is a decent piece of kit for the price. And that is the whole reason why I am so excited about the new Swift. How will Suzuki improve on what is already a pretty good car in its class? Come to think of it, is Suzuki even able to? Will the follow up Swift in 2011 be Suzuki’s next blockbuster or will it be a box office dud? The only way to find out is when it is finally launched for sale in Singapore. Here is hoping that Suzuki pulls off yet another success and follow it up with an even better new version of the Swift Sport. I can hardly wait.