[dropcap]M[/dropcap]otoring World International can authoritatively declare that over 200 new cars have been rolled out for the New Year.
Some are expected to be assembled in Nigeria. But lovers of certain premium brands, which are not yet assembled in the country, are most likely to find them at showrooms of their franchise dealers before the end of the first quarter.
Of course, many shall never appear in the nation’s showrooms. Therefore, Nigerian auto enthusiasts, who cannot find their choices from all quality automobiles on sale in the country can go for imported Fully Built Up(FBU) ones, paying over 70% import duties on them.
Motoring World, however, can confirm authoritatively that it is safer to buy from Nigerian auto franchise dealers, for they have adequate supply of spare parts. They have competent service workshops. And buyers of a vehicle recalled can easily be contacted.
Notwithstanding, before the end of 2016, various auto makers showcased new automotive offerings specially fashioned for the year 2017, some of which will be manufactured in Nigeria and some will roll into the country from plants located within sub-Saharan Africa and Middle East.
From all indications, Ford is set to launch out big time into the nation’s auto market. So a number of its 2017 offerings shall either be assembled in the country of be offered via Coscharis’ approved dealers across the country.
Ranger: First Ford plant to open production in Nigeria courtesy of Coscharis Motors rolled out Ford Ranger. In essence, it is officially assembled and sold in Nigeria unlike in the United States, where for years ranger was kept away, because of F150.
Good news is that new Ranger has rolled off factory. It will be assembled in Nigeria depending on availability of FOREX. In any case, it shall be on sale in Nigeria, courtesy of dealers accredited by Coscharis Motors.
Focus: Coscharis is focussing on making Ford Focus in Nigeria, most likely this year, as we gathered the company’s second assembly plant for making of Sedans was at completion stage by the end of 2016. All-new Ford Focus is ready for 2017. Building on the Ford Focus RS, Focus RS500, a machine with an increasing power beyond the base car’s already impressive 345bhp, is hitting the showrooms this year. Although it will be available in Limited numbers, lovers of the model are likely to find them in the country soon, courtesy of Coscharis.
Ford Mondeo: Buyers of 2017 Ford Mondeo shall enjoy roomier cabin, better materials, new technology, improved infotainment and, according to its maker, a more supple ride.
The new Sport edition rolls out with Alcantara upholstery, Recaro front seats with a Recaro rear bench seat, perforated leather inserts and aluminum trimmings.
For the Nigerian market, Hyundai’s most significant offerings for 2017 shall be new i20, i30. Hyundai i20 and i30: Of course, Accent, i20, i10, Elantra, among others, have been assembled, sold and serviced in Nigerian since 2014, 2017 i20, i30 and indeed new Genesis shall be available in Nigeria (assembled or imported fully built) courtesy of Hyundai Nigeria.
The new i30 will be available with three petrol engines and just one diesel. Two of the petrols are turbocharged – a 1.0-litre and an all-new 1.4-litre, producing 118 and 138bhp respectively. There’s also a 99bhp non-turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol.
Hyundai Small SUV: Most likely, lovers of Sports Utility Vehicles, especially those who want them small, are likely to have access to theirs from Hyundai Nigeria before the year runs out. The SUV, which, significantly, is expected to use the platform of Hyundai i20 Hatchback, is a Crossover Coupe.
Another Korean model making wave in Nigeria, Kia, also operates an assembly plant located in Lagos Nigeria, where it assembles models like Rio, Soul, Picanto and indeed Sorento. Significantly, designers and engineers in Kia’s parent company in Korea, last year, unveiled all-new Sorento, Picanto, Niro, Optima, among others.
Niro: Though there is no indication of assembling it in Nigeria yet, Kia Niro can best be described as a New Year breakthrough for the Korean auto maker.
Niro, a hybrid Crossover, follows a similar mechanical pattern to the Toyota Prius hybrid, but employed squared-off styling with more than a hint of SUV attitude instead of the straightforward hatchback design of the Prius.
Most significant characters of this car are: ultra low emission level and ultra high fuel economy (running over 100 km on a gallon of fuel).
Picanto: This popular Kia city car has been replaced for 2017. Indeed, it is bigger, longer and wider than the one we used to know. It, therefore, coming with more room, competing effectively with Ford Ka. It wears new interior, fewer buttons on a dash with an upmarket look.
In Nigeria, Kia and Hyundai are under franchise dealership of rival companies – Dana Motors and Stallion Motors. But back in South Korea, the two brands are siblings, which explains why the new Picanto is sharing its engine with latest Hyundai i10.
Kia Optima SW PHEV: A new variant to Kia’s portfolio, 2017 Optima SW PHEV is a plug-in hybrid variant of the Kia Optima SW estate. Using the same combination of a 154bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine and 68kW electric motor as Optima PHEV saloon, the car is said to come with more cohesive but a little less striking styling.
Sportage: Assembled and marketed in Nigeria by Dana Motors, the nation’s main Kia representative, 2017 Kia Sportage shall be available in the nation’s showroom before the end of the year. The new Sportage comes with bold front end and sleek rear and roomy interior.
Exclusively represented in Nigeria by Coscharis Motors, Jaguar LandRover’s new offerings for 2017, we learnt will arrive the nation’s showrooms early this year.
2017 Jaguar F-Pace for instance, has already been unveiled in the country and test-driven in South Africa by Motoring World’s Editor-in-Chief. One of the last auto brand to delve into off-road territory, Jaguar’s F-Pace is unique for combining characteristics of a Sports car, Saloon car with that of an SUV.
2017 Jaguar XE is Jaguar Landrover’s answer to the compact luxury sports sedan market, an area which it struggled in with the X-Type. The new XE is better equipped to match the likes of BMW M3 and will be available in Nigeria, courtesy of Coscharis.
Land Rover Discovery and Evoque Convertible: Powered by a range of 2.0 and 3.0-litre diesel engines, 2017 Land Rover Discovery is lighter but by no means less capable off-road. Tech savvy, the SUV comes with seats that can be moved and configured remotedly, by merely using a smartphone app.
While the 2017 Evoque, first Convertible in Range Rover’s line-up, is also available for sale and service at all Coscharis approved showrooms and maintenance workshops in Nigeria.
Of course, latest offerings from the German luxury auto maker is never delayed from arriving Nigeria, courtesy of its main representative, Weststar Associates. And for 2017, the auto maker has rolled out significant auto packages for its luxury-loving customers.
2017 Mercedes-AMG E63 comes with the most sophisticated powertrain ever seen in an AMG saloon, coming with twin turbochargers meant to boost power to 563bhp, all of which is deployed effectively, thanks to Mercedes 4MATIC four-wheel-drive system being standard on all models. In addition, it comes with aggressive styling with muscular wheelarches and a contoured bonnet. The car is prepared to tackle its arch rivals, especially BMW M5 and Audi RS6.
X-Class: With what is known as X-Class Mercedes-Benz has launched into pick-up segment and can now slice into a market that its fellow German automaker, Volkswagen has enjoyed for a while with the Amarok, which is assembled and sold in Nigeria, courtesy of VON Automobiles Nigeria. To achieve this feat, Mercedes-Benz entered into agreement with Nissan, fusing its prestigious identity with the Nissan Navara pickup, an action that gave birth to the X-Class.
E-Class Coupe, another 2017 offering from Mercedes-Benz, comes with a more muscular styling, wears interior trends employed to great effect in the E-Class saloon and range-topping S-Class, with high-quality materials and top-notch technology. Petrol
and diesel engines are shared with the saloon and estate variants, with fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions levels reaching best-ever levels.
Japanese auto maker, Nissan is not left behind in serving newly cooked automotive soup for its customers to enjoy in 2017.
Qashqai is one of the most significant of the offerings. Heavily updated, the 2017 Qashqai happens to be one of the first cars to offer Nissan’s advanced autonomous technology. Called Piloted Drive, the system shares the work of driving at speeds of up to 80mph, assisting with acceleration, steering and braking.
It is noteworthy that Nissan has an assembly plant in Nigeria. And Qashqai has been on sale in the country. So there is likelihood that
the all-new version will arrive the nation’s showrooms not too long.
Most significant offerings in 2017 is an improved Hilux, undoubtedly, the most familiar pick-up vehicles on Nigerian roads. Recently, Toyota South Africa announced a sprinkling of changes to its SRX grade Hilux models, a development it attributed to customers’ feedback. The changes have been effected on SRX grade model.
And what is the change about? The body construction has become wider with complete integrated over-fenders as utilised by the current Raider grade. In addition, the new Hilux arrives with 17-inch alloys shod with 265/55 tyre. While 2,8 GD-6 and V6 models in the Hilux-based Fortuner range will be upgraded to 18-inch alloy wheels with a dual-profile machined finish.
According to Toyota, the bigger Hilux shall arrive showrooms before the fourth quarter of 2017.
Boxter : Porsche has been redefined its Boxter with a new 2017 edition. Importantly, it comes with an improved fuel economy and better leg and hip rooms. It should arrive Nigerian showrooms soonest, courtesy of Stallion Motors, franchise dealer for the brand.
Dear readers, watch out for more reports on automotive offerings for 2017, especially tropicalized ones that will be assembled and sold in Nigeria.