COMING SOON: Performance SUVs from Cupra, VW & Maserati
Tuesday 4th January, 2022 - 6:15am
As the calendar rolls into 2022 it’s time to look ahead at what new models are coming down under this year.
Today we’re taking a look at one of the fastest growing segments of the market – high-performance SUVs. Formerly dominated by premium brands, in 2022 there will be more options, at more affordable prices, coming down under.
Volkswagen Group will introduce an all-new brand to the Australian market in 2022 – Cupra. The performance spin-off of Spanish brand Seat (which had a short-lived run in Australia previously), Cupra is set to launch in July with three models.
The first of these is the Formentor, a compact SUV powered by a range of turbocharged petrol engines, including a plug-in hybrid option. The Formentor PHEV pairs a 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine with an electric motor to make 180kW of power and 400Nm of torque.
If that’s not enough grunt, there will also be a 2.0-litre turbo making 228kW.
Sitting above the Formentor, the larger Ateca will also arrive in July to spearhead Cupra’s Australian launch.
Like the Formentor, it relies on proven Volkswagen Group technology, including a 221kW/400Nm version of the brand’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine. It will be paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and all-wheel drive to offer up genuine performance potential.
Volkswagen Tiguan R
Volkswagen Australia has declared 2022 ‘The Year of R’ for itself, with no less than five R models headed our way. While the Golf R hot hatch might be expected to be the hero model, the most popular may well be this all-new Tiguan R.
That’s because it will combine the SUV-appeal of the Tiguan with the same level of performance as the Golf R. This includes the same engine as the Golf R, a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine making 235kW/420Nm, and paired exclusively to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and a new all-wheel drive system.
The Tiguan R will arrive in April, alongside the Golf R hatch and wagon, with Volkswagen confirming it will be priced from $69,990.
Volkswagen T-Roc R
The second of the three Volkswagen hi-po SUVs due in ‘22 will be the T-Roc R, a new higher-riding alternative to the Golf R.
Set to hit showrooms in August, the T-Roc R will be powered by the same 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo as the hot hatch, good for 221kW/400Nm. It will be paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch and all-wheel drive, similar to the Golf R.
With the Golf R set to cost more than $66k, the addition of the T-Roc R could make it the most affordable model in the R line-up.
Volkswagen Touareg R
Last, but by no means least, November will see the arrival of the third member of Volkswagen’s performance SUV family. Plus, it will also be the German brand’s first plug-in hybrid in Australia.
The full-size SUV will be powered by a 3.0-litre V6 turbo petrol engine paired with an electric motor for a combined output of 340kW/700Nm.
Volkswagen claims it will run 0-100km/h in just 5.1 seconds and will also be capable of driving for up to 47km on electric power alone.
The Italian brand’s rejuvenation is set to continue in 2022, with the unveiling of the new mid-size SUV – the Grecale.
While 2021 was exciting with the launch of the MC20 sports car, the introduction of the Grecale is a big deal for Maserati. That’s because it will give the brand a rival to the likes of the Porsche Macan, BMW X3 and Audi Q5 – all popular sellers.
Details remain limited, but reports from Europe indicate the Grecale will be based on a version of the platform used for the Alfa Romeo Stelvio. Power will be pure Maserati though, with the brand’s Nettuno twin-turbo V6 set to slot under the bonnet.
An electric version is also on the agenda, but that’s not likely to be unveiled at launch, instead it will probably be held back until 2023.
There’s no official arrival date for the Grecale in Australia, but given it hasn’t been revealed yet it’s likely to make it in the final months of ‘22.