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Cars We Said Goodbye To In 2023, And Four We’re Welcoming With Open Arms In 2024

Updated: Jan 4




Births and deaths. Always tricky ground.

So, we’ll begin with traditional year-ending business from the latter part of 2023.


Announcements which left us all reeling, to be fair. Cars shuffling off their metal coil long before reaching their best before dates in our opinion.


The biggest culprit by a country mile being Volkswagen. Guilty as charged with announcing the death knell of a glut of models we love. And not just us. But millions of other Kleenex-clutching brand ambassadors. 





This year we wave goodbye to the perky little VW Up!


Which, apart from being acknowledged as one of a very niche group of automotive models which include a punctuation mark in its name, has been a hugely popular car during its lifetime.


A measly 12-year lifetime, cruelly cut short by Veedub.






As if that wasn’t soul-destroying enough, Wolfsburg decided in its infinite wisdom to discontinue the ultimate hot hatch too. The car that pioneered a phenomenon back in the mid-1970’s and continues to this day. Yet now dangles on the precipice of uncertainty.


The Golf GTi.


Admittedly, the manufacturer hasn’t just singled out the GTi (and by more recent extension, the ‘R’ and ‘Clubsports’) for the chop. Choosing to axe the Golf per se. In a bid to push its ID-based EV range going forward.


Mercifully, a glimmer of hope lingers in the rumoured shape of the ID GTi Concept.






VW Arteon And Audi TT Also Stared Down Both Barrels


Meanwhile, the stylish and unique Arteon is also well in the throes of preparing to meet its maker. Another seeming victim of society’s transient obsession with crossovers and SUV’s.


A crime against carmanity on so many levels, but not least because after culling the glorious Phaeton luxo-barge, the Arteon kinda filled the chasm it left in its wake. That being said, the Arteon was always a hard sell when some potential buyers believed the VW badge lacked the all-important kerb appeal when stood cheek to jowl with its closest competition, the Audi A5.


'Some' being the operative word there.






But perhaps one of the biggest travesties/miscarriages of justice was the shock news that Audi has pulled the plug on the TT.


Yup.


The ubiquitous sports coupe that Clarkson once lampooned as nothing more than a car where wardrobe choices for its owner would be constantly challenging. Yet a car which went on to sell 662,762 units thereof during its quarter of a century production run.


But let's not lament too much on these late models. Not when there's some new kids on the block to get a teensy, weensy bit excited about....







Fab Four For ‘24


Not since Take That announced their disbanding back in 1996 have we been so keen to watch what rises from the ashes.


Will we see Robbie Williams-esque levels of future success with VW’s ID range and Audi’s e-Tron’s? Or conversely will the open road pan out more like Gary Barlow’s post-TT career?


Which pseudo-slanderous segue leads us nicely to four brand new model launches to look forward to in 2024.




In no specific semblance of preference, these are; the Audi Q6 e-Tron, the Cupra Tavascan, the Skoda Elroq and the VW ID full stop 7 GTX. The common denominator being that they're all electric vehicles, quel surprise.


 




Audi Q6 e-Tron


Let’s cut to the chase here.


The Q6 e-Tron in prototype guise looks MANY shades of epic.


For starters it brandishes awesome white wheels and familiar Ingolstadt grille combo in the self-same arctic white finish. For now, anyroad.


With much frenzied chatter resounding over Audi’s new ‘dynamic DNA’ and ‘PPE architecture’ coupled with ‘these looks’, then there appears much to summon drool from the corners of our mouth.


But playing devil’s advocate for the briefest of moments, don't lose sight that we’re still talking about a hulking great 2.5-tonne SUV.




Only this one also generates some 396bhp in normal flavour. Increasing to a bicep-kissing, derriere-patting 510bhp in full fat SQ6 flavour.


What’s more, the Q6 e-Tron draws on an impressive 800v charging system which affords the user 80% charge within half an hour. With a claimed 370-mile range in situ so as to ensure that they're not just nipping to the local Co-op and back.


OK, we’re all ears now….







Cupra Tavascan


It might sound like a coastal district of Merseyside where city-dwellers flock in the summer, but the Tavascan is so much more than an up-market Nissan Juke. Much more Formentor levels of aggression and poise.


Pre-destined to go head-to-head with both the Nissan Ariya and the Kia EV6 fellow EV coupe SUV crossovers later this year, the Tavascan shares its platform with the Cupra Born hatchback, VW ID.4 and Skoda Enyaq. To perpetuate Cupra’s resolutely sporty vibe.




It will also act as a physical distancer from the aforementioned stablemates, courtesy of the polished black A-pillars, heavily sculpted bodywork and purposeful silhouette. All retaining core aspects of the original concept car.


Along with Cupra’s now signature copper-coloured accents and badging, fused with black front fascia and three-triangle lights found at the front and rear.


Incidentally, said polished black A-pillars were designed to mirror the look of a racing helmet, according to people who know such things. 


Again, the Tavascan is a pure-bred EV, and is launched with two versions. The 282bhp rear-drive model with 339-miles of range, together with a dual-motor alternative called the VZ. Which brandishes a useful 335bhp and hits the 62mph promised land in 5.6 seconds.


There’s also a whopping great touchscreen infotainment system on-board, for those who like everything writ extra large. Including a litany of graphics and app logotypes.




(image courtesy of www.autoexpress.co.uk)




Skoda Elroq


Created to sit directly beneath the ratings-winning Enyaq in Skoda’s food chain, the Elroq is another one of these all-conquering EV SUV’s which continue to mobilise in planet-colonising volume.


But that’s OK, because it’s a Skoda. And as we are all well aware, Skoda’s are lovely cars driven by mostly lovely folk.


Expect loads of interior space, customisable ‘smart dials’ (similar to those populated in the Kodiaq and Superb), and the brand’s new ‘Modern Solid’ design language.


Which whilst not as tongue-tripping-offable as ‘bauhaus design’ is apparently a nod to the cleaner, sophisticated lines debuted on the Vision 7S Concept.




Now, although all this is exciting in its own right, the rumour mill suggests that Skoda has plans to roll out an Elroq vRS model at some point too. Which is the precise point at which we lean forward in our seats, place our hands on our collective chins and insist that we tell you more.


Which we would if we could, obviously.





VW ID full stop 7 GTX/X Performance


And finally, a new car launch for 2024 that isn’t an SUV and/or crossover.


But being that it’s 2024 (and therefore ‘the future’) it IS nonetheless an EV.


Still, nice to know that the car world hasn’t forgotten all about the erstwhile sports saloon, even if (massive sigh) shooting brakes are consigned to a point in history which includes flared trousers and T-Rex.


The band, not the feared dino





The ID full stop 7 GTX isn’t where the performance four-door EV story which Volkswagen is penning ends, neither.


Because beyond the remits of this 2024-mooted model launch is the ID full stop X Performance. A high-performance electric limousine which cranks everything filed under ‘interesting’ up a few notches on the ‘whooah’ scale


Like 558bhp power output, for example.


Making it more lively than a BMW i4 M50.


While it’s lowered by 60mm, sits on 20-inch rims and benefits from performance-tuned suspension toys. It also comes dressed in a carbon front splitter and matching rear diffuser. 


Remaining with the ID full stop 7 GTX though, and this dual-motor version of the EV saloon could have as much as 340bhp to play with itself.





In conclusion then, plenty to whet the appetite. Notwithstanding the loss of some incredible fossil fuel-burning, household name models before their time.


As ever, your thoughts on the subject(s) are keenly invited/expected....


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