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There are some incredibly exciting cars about to arrive in Ireland and go on sale...

Honda Civic Type R

Volvo's new EX90

Daragh KeanySunday World

Sales of new cars were up in 2022 partly thanks to a whole raft of new models being released to whet the appetites of car buyers here in Ireland. The pandemic hit the car industry hard but there is definitely some light at the end of the tunnel now with EV sales up an amazing 7,000 on the 2021 figure.

Electric cars now represent 15 percent of overall sales as more and more car buyers make the switch. But diesel and petrol aren’t dead yet and car companies are going to load on the love in 2023 with a raft of new cars being launched.

Small crossovers, giant MPVs, full EVs and the most exquisite luxury premium saloon I’ve ever sat in all make the list.

The Hyundai Ioniq 6

Hyundai Ioniq 6 Following the jaw-dropping Prophecy concept of 2020, Hyundai’s much-anticipated follow-up to the all-conquering Ioniq 5 has not disappointed so far. The Ioniq 6 is a sleek and curvaceous machine that Hyundai describes as an “electrified streamliner” which is nice speak for ‘saloon’. It is based on the same platform as both the Ioniq 5 and first cousin Kia EV6, we should expect rapid charging of up to 350kW and a range of over 600km.

The VW ID. Aero

Volkswagen ID.Aero Volkswagen promised us an all-electric replacement for the Passat and last summer showed us this ID.Aero concept. Sharing the same cues and underpinnings as the ID.3 and ID.4, this aerodynamic concept will be capable of 620km between charges, which will put it in a new level of mainstream range. Due to go into production in China and Germany in the coming months we all hope to see the Aero in showrooms by the end of the year.

The BMW i7

BMW i7 When BMW invited us to Mondello a few months ago to show off a few new cars and let us try out some other ones on the track there was a whole lot to take in. But no one left the paddock display of the i7 in any doubt that there is a new king in town. Only the super-rich need bother applying, but if you are in the market then there is no better example of high-end luxury in a fully-electric car. Even the arm rests in the back have better tech than most other manufacturers. And as for the option of a 31-inch screen that folds down from the roof for rear-seat passengers reclining in business class-style seats…yes we have reached peak BMW and I am completely here for it.

The Maxus Mifa 9 will take 7 people, is fully-electric and will turn heads everywhere it goes

Maxus Mifa 9 You could be forgiven for never hearing about this brand, let alone this model but the Chinese company have been selling vans here for a few years already and now want a piece of the passenger market. This Mifa 9 model will be readily available soon and has 7- and 8-seat configurations which are loaded up with tech. Weighing in heavier than other MPVs Maxus has given it a 90kWh battery meaning despite its extra weight it will still get 520km in a full charge.

The Alfa Romeo Tonale

Alfa Romeo Tonale It has been a while since we got excited about an Alfa launch but this compact crossover is gorgeous looking and hopes to take on the likes of the X1 and XC40. It may not meet the competitors on overall quality, obviously, but it may win at looks and if Alfa get the price and range right they may make their much-anticipated comeback.

The Renault Austral

Renault Austral Alas, all good things must come to an end. Out with the Kadjar and in with the new look Austral. Renault’s new family all-rounder has loads of tech inside (including a 12.0-inch portrait aspect infotainment system), a well-appointed and nicely finished interior and plenty of boot space. Fuel economy should be decent too with only mild- and full hybrids in the range for starters and no diesel model at all in the line-up.

The Peugeot 408

Peugeot 408 Just feast your eyes on this beauty! I cannot wait to get behind the wheel of this as I was unable to make the European launch recently. It looks much longer and taller than the 308 but your eyes are deceiving you slightly thanks to the clever styling. Due shortly it will come with one petrol option and two plug-in hybrid versions and the inevitable full-electric model coming later.

The Polestar 3

Polestar 3 One of the most exciting brands in the game right now Polestar will finally drop another model on the Irish market with the arrival of the Polestar 3. All I know right now is that it is an SUV and I believe it to have a dual-motor powertrain with a range of up to 600km.

THE BMW M3 Touring

BMW M3 Touring Yes…you read that right. Imagine a version of BMW’s benchmark performance car, the M3, but with bucket loads of boot space. It will still have 510hp and a twin-turbo six-cylinder engine making it the most ridiculously stupendous estate car on Irish roads. Supply has been heavily affected but 2023 will see a lot of these around.

The Fiat 600

Fiat 600 A new Fiat 600 will launch later in 2023. Think of that as a bigger version of the 500e, with five-doors and greater practicality but the same charming styling that will suit Irish buyers.

Honda Civic Type R

Honda Civic Type R Honda’s mainstream European line-up has already switched to selling purely hybrid and electric models but there is one giant exception to that rule and it is the new Civic Type R. Set to hit the roads in the coming months its triple-exit exhaust (connected to a 325bhp 2.0-litre engine) is the most powerful VTEC Turbo engine ever fitted to a Honda.

The Jeep Avenger

Jeep Avenger This American 4×4 brand is all change, with nearly all of its models already electrified in some way. Jeep takes the next big leap in 2023 with its first production-ready EV – the Avenger. Size wise it sits below the Renegade and will soon have a four-wheel-drive model too. I liked the Compass but the fuel efficiency wasn’t great and there were a few style niggles. So if Jeep improves on that this will do really well for them.

The Volkswagen Amarok

Volkswagen Amarok Okay, so dual-cabin pick-up trucks all look the same to a certain extent so when one of the ‘bog ones’ decides to do an upgrade you can’t get hugely excited these days. But the Amarok was a game changer for the niche market so I really am genuinely looking forward to trying the new version out later this year.

Kia's EV9

Kia EV9 Easily one of the most impressive overall brands in recent years, it is hard to not get excited about the pending arrival of the EV9 which is the company’s new 7-seater full EV. Sign me up.

Volvo's new EX90

Volvo EX90 Volvo continues its march upscale with this evolutionarily-styled take on its three-row SUV. I love Volvos so the idea of an electric version of their all-conquering XC90 is truly exciting for us in the motor industry. Will they get the price point right though and can they achieve the proposed range considering the weight of the car? These are questions I can’t wait to answer for you later in the year.

Toyota GR Corolla

Toyota GR Corolla Yes, it’s a GR Corolla. It sounds bonkers (and probably is) but in a world of reliable hybrids this kind of offering shows that Toyota has not given up on trying to break the mould and be exciting again. There is a tiny three-cylinder engine producing 300bhp for this all-wheel drive machine.

I will add more over the coming weeks. If I missed something obvious (and not in the supercar bracket) contact me on Instagram or Twitter (@Daragh_Keany)

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