Hong Kong's motor enthusiasts don't always want the biggest, fastest car on the block. Over the years they have got to know their marques, and the cars that suit their lifestyles. In this second of a two-part series, we see how the world's top marques are shipping cars that can make life in Hong Kong easier or more enjoyable, from the whizz and cheek of the Lotus Elise to the bespoke luxury of the Rolls-Royce Phantom.
Audi can expect to impress local suits in the coming months with the technologically advanced A6, followed by the A7 coupe-hatchback and the new RS3 pocket rocket. Aston Martin will launch the Cygnet city car while BMW is scheduled to launch the 4.4-litre 6-Series coupes and convertibles that were recently unveiled in Detroit.
Range Rover will also introduce the Evoque. The car to watch, however, is the new Mercedes-Benz SLK, which has been dolled up with a retro grille, more powerful and fuel-efficient engine, and stacks of technology. The luxury convertible may not be the biggest car in Hong Kong, but it embodies the style and zest of our work hard, play hard city. They should sell well on the South Side.
Aston Martin Cygnet
The Cygnet luxury compact goes into production this year and is expected in Hong Kong in the third quarter, showroom staff say. Inquiries: MF Jebsen Automotive; tel: 2366 2017
Audi: three hot launches
The first is a three-litre TFSI quattro A6 that has 300bhp and 440Nm of torque, due here in the second quarter, says Charles Ip of dealer Premium Motors. There will also be a 204bhp 2.8 FSI quattro version with multitronic. The new A6's quattro system is more stable, responsive and has a better grip on the road than its predecessors, the marque says.
The coupe/hatchback A7 Sportback has a new platform and an advanced suspension system. The range's two petrol engines earmarked for Hong Kong this spring are a 2.8 FSI with 201bhp and 280Nm of torque, and the 3.0 TFSI with 295bhp and 440Nm. For the first time in a production Audi, the A7 Sportback gets a 'head-up' display of economy and speed data, and navigation routing onto the windscreen as standard.
The A3 range's new 'flagship', the RS3, is expected this summer and delivers 335bhp and 450Nm of torque from a turbocharged five-cylinder TFSI engine linked to standard seven-speed S tronic twin-clutch transmission. The marque says it can hit 100km/h in about 4.6 seconds, top at 250km/h and consume 9.1 litres/100km of fuel for the carbon dioxide spew of 212g/km with quattro drive. Inquiries: Premium Motors; tel: 2528 1862
BMW 6 Series
BMW will welcome spring with important new models and variants, as well as many product upgrades and new features. The new 4.4-litre V-8 6 Series launched in Detroit this month is expected here in the third quarter. Inquiries: BMW Concessionaires; tel: 2714 5271
Lamborghini: new fastie due
'In 2011, we will take a huge step into the future with the successor to the Murcielago - with the most innovative technology and, once again, truly stunning design,' says Lamborghini Hong Kong's Josephine Lee. Look out for the launch, possibly in Geneva in March, of a sleek, carbon-fibre-body '700-4' with a 700bhp, 6.5-litre V-12. Inquiries: Lamborghini Hong Kong, tel: 2900 6666
Two new Elises are due in Hong Kong in the first quarter, says Richburg Lotus CEO Eric Wong. The models have been given a facelift to look more like the Evora with LED lights, and with a new 'twin-spine' engine cover. The rear boot can at last be opened from the cockpit. The Lotus Elise's new 134bhp 1.6-litre engine with Valvematic variable valve-lift technology can send the 876kg two-seater to 100km/h in 6.7 seconds, top at 200km/h and spew less than 155g/km of carbon dioxide - 13 per cent less than the 2010 Elise S; the supercharged 1.8-litre Lotus Elise SC reaches 100km/h in 4.6 seconds, tops at 233km/h and belts 216bhp for the carbon dioxide spew of 199g/km. The first automatic mid-engine Evora 2+2 follows, along with the 400bhp Evora S, V-6 Supercharged version, Wong says. Inquiries: Richburg Lotus; tel: 2877 0810
The FF is expected to be launched at the Geneva Motor Show in March and arrive here in the forth quarter, says Italian Motors spokeswoman Sancy Chan. The marque's Pininfarina-designed four-seater has a new 6,262cc direct injection V-12 engine, the company's first four-wheel-drive system and the latest Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes and magnetorheological damping system. The model can hit 100 km/h in 3.7 sec via a transaxle dual-clutch F1 gearbox, the marque says. Italian Motors; tel: 2365 0269
Mercedes-Benz coupe and SLK convertibles
The new CL 500 has just arrived with an entirely redesigned 435bhp V-8 biturbo BlueEfficiency engine that gives the luxury coupe a combined consumption of 9.5 litres premium-grade petrol per 100 kilometre and carbon dioxide emissions of 224 grams per kilometre. The marque will also introduce the third-generation SLK convertible, 'probably at the end of the year', the dealer says, with the a retro look, upright grille, a choice of three suspension systems and the world's first panoramic vario-roof with Magic Sky Control, which can switch to light or dark. Models also get new four and six-cylinder engines that are said to be '25 per cent more economical than their predecessors' and with the ECO start/stop function as standard. Inquiries: Zung Fu; tel: 2764 6919
Range Rover Evoque
A few examples of Range Rover's all-black 40th Anniversary edition will arrive here in the first quarter, but the allocation was small and has been sold out, says Land Rover Hong Kong spokeswoman Maggie Wong. The year's highlight will be the Range Rover Evoque, a 'cross-coupe' based on the LRX concept that will be the smallest, lightest and most fuel-efficient vehicle the marque has produced. A new 236bhp, two-litre Si4 petrol engine combines direct fuel injection, turbocharging and twin variable valve timing for a zero-100km/h time of 7.1 seconds. The four-wheel-drive will have the latest parking, stability and driving electronics, a panoramic roof, an eight-inch touch-screen and Surround Camera and an 825W, 17-speaker Meridian sound system. Inquiries: Land Rover Hong Kong; tel: 2713 2383
The marque is celebrating the centenary of the Spirit of Ecstasy in 2011 with an exclusive collection of bespoke Phantom models. Only 100 will be made with lots of limited-run design touches. Inquiries: Goodwood Motors; tel: 2870 1692