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The latest on four upcoming SUVs, CAR+ June 2016

Published: 01 May 2016

► Upcoming SUVs from around the world
► VW’s next-gen Touareg previewed
► All-new entry from MG

Volkswagen T-Prime Concept GTE

Sounds like a fancy German steak, is actually a preview of the next VW Touareg. As the super massive elongated proportions probably make plain, it’s based on the same MLB platform as the Audi Q7, while the GTE tag reveals the T-Prime is also a plug-in hybrid.

Combining a 2.0-litre TSI turbo with an e-motor it boasts 370bhp, a 30-mile emissions-free range, 0-62mph in 6.0sec and 139mph top speed. Before you go totally ‘so what?’ on us, the most interesting thing about this concept is the Curved Interaction Area interior. Taking tips from the XC90 and E-class, this delivers a button-free digital dial and infotainment experience collated under a single pane of curving glass. Fancy indeed.

Need to know

What is it: The next Touareg, in a not terribly convincing disguise  
Engine: 2.0 TSI + e-motor = 370bhp, 516lb ft and a smoking hole where your eco conscience used to be
Aimed at: People who think the Q7 is too brash – which it is, but are they saying this isn’t
On sale: Late 2016/early 2017, priced barely less than the Audi

Infiniti QX Sport Inspiration

Infiniti QX Sport Inspiration

Once upon a time, Infiniti was among the first to build truly sporting SUVs – the chunky FX and unassuming but engaging EX crossover were both happy to get stuck into a B-road. With the QX Sport Inspiration concept the company is trying to recapture that magic. Most closely previewing the next QX50 (which is what the EX later became), the Sport Inspiration was designed at Infiniti’s Beijing studio and looks set to become a promisingly well resolved challenger to the X3 and Q5.

Concept-car rear view cameras aside, the sumptuous curves make the exterior particularly pleasing, while the intricate, hand-finished interior is properly lux. Fingers crossed for the real thing...

What it is: A sexy mid-size crossover with luxury ambitions  
Engine: No confirmed data yet, but expect the best Infiniti’s parents Nissan and Renault have to offer, and some hybrid shenanigans, too  
Aimed at: X3 and Q5 buyers bored with German machismo yet terrified by the overly pointy Lexus NX  
On sale: 2017, for circa £36k

Renault Koleos

Renault Koleos

If at first you don’t succeed... the original Koleos seemingly sunk without trace in the UK SUV market, but did in fact rack up 300,000 sales globally – 70% of which were outside Europe. This is the all-new version, which shares its underpinnings with the Nissan X-Trail in much the same way that the Kadjar is related to the Qashqai.

Should said Kadjar be anything to go by, we Brits should probably pay a little more attention this time around, as the smaller crossover is something of a triumph. Supporting its case, new Koleos promises class-leading rear space, R-Link 2 infotainment with multi-touch control, and 4x4-i efficiency and traction. Not to mention 19in wheels and 150mm higher seating.

What it is: Renault’s answer to the VW Tiguan  
Engine: Expect the usual range of frugal turbo petrols and diesels plus both fwd and awd variants  
Aimed at: The nearest sand dune at 60mph. Only kidding. Try the local shopping centre  
On sale: Summer 2017 in the UK, autumn 2016 in Australia, Turkey, the Gulf and Latin America

MG GS

MG GS

Threat level: imminent. MG has finally confirmed that it is bringing the GS SUV to market in the UK, having launched the thing as the GS Rui Teng in China last year – Rui Teng apparently translating as ‘vigorous rise’ from the Chinese, perhaps the people in charge at the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation have seen that 500X Viagra advert. Anyway, MG’s first soft-roader is gunning for the Nissan Qashqai.

Trouble is, it’s doing so with a 1.5-litre turbo petrol, likely to be of limited appeal in a diesel-dominated sector. Still, it’s a striking if beaky looking device, you can have a seven-speed dual-clutch auto on the top spec version, and the pricing is expected to be somewhere south of dirt cheap.

What it is: MG’s first SUV and thrusting assault on the family crossover market  
Engine: 1.5-litre turbo that makes 167bhp in China and comes with choice of 2- or 4wd  
Aimed at: Nissan Qashqai buyers who don’t have enough ‘what if...?’ in their lives  
On sale: June; pricing is tbc but expect it to significantly undercut opposition

Read more from the June 2016 issue of CAR magazine

By CJ Hubbard

Former CAR magazine associate editor, road tester, organiser, extremely variable average wheel count

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