Starting off with the market leader, we can expect Mercedes-Benz Malaysia to introduce the new generation CLS in the second half of 2018.
The all-new CLS brings with it Mercedes-Benz’s new design language and more importantly, a family of straight six engines. Additionally, Mercedes-AMG’s new 53 line up is expected to start with the all-new CLS, possibly with a hybrid system that outputs 430 hp.
The facelift Mercedes-Benz S-Class has also been unveiled globally. We can expect the facelift S400 Hybrid to have an update to the powertrain with plug-in features.
The brand’s new generation of A-Class, with the new addition of A-Class Sedan are expected to be available from Q4 2018, brimmed with many features and design elements that are taken from its larger E-Class and even S-Class flagship.
This is BMW’s answer to the Audi Q2 and Mercedes-Benz GLA. The BMW X2 shares its platform with the BMW X1, but with its own design language.
BMW also made it a point to highlight the return of the C-pillar-mounted BMW emblem, a throwback to the BMW 3.0 CSL and 2002 CS.
The company will be offering the X2 is various engines, including petrol and diesel engines, with the former mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, whilst the latter is paired to an eight-speed torque converter automatic.
BMW’s new generation X3 was introduced in June 2017. A number of engines can be specified, including a 3.0-litre straight-six M Performance model that does 360 hp.
The biggest improvement for the new generation BMW X3 is the interior, which has seen leaps and bounds in terms of material selection and overall build quality.
The BMW 530e is a plug-in hybrid variant of the 530i, introduced back in April 2017. The powertrain is identical to the 330e and 740Le, featuring a B48 2.0-litre petrol engine paired to an electric motor housed inside the ZF automatic transmission. Together, the combined system output is 252 hp and 420 Nm.
Another highlight of the BMW 530e is the optional wireless charging feature, which negates the use of charging cables at home. BMW’s wireless charging is similar to that of the Qi wireless charging feature seen on some smartphones, which uses alternating magnetic fields between two coils. No word on whether the wireless charging feature will arrive here, if ever.
BMW 6 Series GT
Another one of BMW’s niche-filling attempts, the BMW 6 Series GT has all round frameless windows, a sloping rear roof and seats five easily. Does that position the 6 Series GT above the 740Le when it arrives here in Malaysia in 2018? Time will tell.
Developed as a rival to the Mini Countryman, BMW X2 and Mercedes-Benz GLA, Ingolstadt’s entry-level crossover made a global debut back in March 2016.
Fast forward a year later, the new Audi Q2 was shown at the 2017 Bangkok International Motor Show.
The Audi Q2 is powered by a 1.4-litre TFSI turbocharged four-cylinder engine that sends 150 hp and 250 Nm to the front wheels via a seven-speed S-Tronic dual-clutch automatic
MINI Countryman (CKD)
MINI Malaysia introduced the all-new Countryman a few of months ago in CBU form. Priced from RM239,888, the all-new Countryman can be had in several models, including a hotter John Cooper Works model with 231 hp and 350 Nm. We foresee the CKD (local assembly) sourcing beginning this year, as it shares many of the CKD BMW X1's underpinnings.
With a rejuvenated product line-up comprising of premium ambience interior, high output-yet-fuel efficient engines and understated elegance, Volvo will continue their product offense with the XC60 premium mid-sized SUV. Competing with the segment leader, the Mercedes GLC, will not be easy, but we all know what the new Volvos can deliver these days. Expect Volvo Car Malaysia to launch the all-new XC60 in first half of 2018.
The luxury arm of Toyota introduced the all-new LS in Thailand at the 2017 Thai Motor Expo, with prices starting from THB 11.5 million for the entry-level LS350 Luxury.
We understand that Lexus Malaysia is looking to introduce two variants of the LS, both based on the LS500 model. No, the cheaper LS350 probably won’t find its way here.
Range Rover Velar
The Range Rover Velar is a new mid-sized SUV which sits between the Evoque and the Range Rover Sport. Jaguar Land Rover Malaysia, the authorized distributor of Land Rover vehicles in Malaysia announced in late December that the Range Rover Velar will reach Malaysian shores early Q2 of 2018. Although unconfirmed, we expect the option of the P250 2.0-litre petrol with 250 hp and 365 Nm to attract the most interest.
Land Rover Discovery 5
The new generation Land Rover Discovery was put on display at the 2017 Malaysian Autoshow, though actual prices and availability were unknown.
When the new Discovery goes on sale in 2018, we can expect the new model to compete against the Volvo XC90 and the Audi Q7.
This new SUV is the F-Pace’s little sibling, which will be battling it out against the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA.
Power is derived from Jaguar’s Ingenium family of engines. All of Jaguar’s Ingenium engines are turbocharged four-cylinders, though available as petrol or diesel. We can expect the E-Pace to formally introduce the Ingenium range of engines to Malaysia as well.
Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo
After launching the all-new Porsche Panamera, Sime Darby Auto Performance in November previewed the shooting-brake design Panamera Sport Turismo, with a left-hand drive unit fresh out of duty from the Frankfurt Motor Show. SDAP is planning to offer a few power levels of the Panamera Sport Turismo once it is launched in middle of 2018.
With the great success coming from the Porsche Cayenne globally, SDAP is also definitely eager to introduce the all-new third generation Cayenne. We have been informed it is expected to be here in the second half of 2018 and nothing less than a 340 hp V6 engine.
Infiniti is responding to the global premium SUV demand by offering the all-new QX50. The stylish premium mid-sized SUV will come equipped with the world’s first variable compression ratio turbo (VC-T) engine that delivers hybrid-like economy with big capacity-like rapid acceleration from a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder. We expect the launch to be closer to Q3 2018, fully imported from the Americas.
Renault Megane RS
The battle of the hot-hatch continues with the new generation Renault Megane RS. The new 4-door Megane RS will have a new engine, a turbocharged 1.8-litre producing 276hp and offered in two transmission choices, the engaging 6-speed manual or a faster shifting 6-speed EDC dual-clutch.
While horsepower figure is not top of the segment, the 4Control rear-wheel steering will be Renault Sport’s greatest asset and firepower in taking back the crown of the enthusiast’s car. The Megane RS was only launched in Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2017, so we don’t expect it to be here until late 2018.
Lamborghini’s second SUV after the LM002 should be arriving towards the second half of 2018.
Although there isn't a V12 or even a V10 engine mounted up front, the Urus still sets jaw-dropping engine outputs, with a 4.0-litre twin turbo V8 unleashing 650 hp and 850 Nm. In comparison, the SUV of sports cars, the Porsche Cayenne Turbo’s V8 "only" pushes out 550 hp and 770 Nm.