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The best new cars coming to Australia in 2018

Forget the boring choices - these are the eight most exciting cars of 2018.

A glance across the new cars coming to Australia in 2018 reveals a landscape dominated by an increasingly beige collection of practical SUVs, efficient small cars and load-hauling utes. It is these three vehicle types that Australians buy in incredible volumes, because they’re safe, practical and largely preserve their resale values.

Good grief, you could be bored to death just reading that. 

But stay with me, there's good news here. Because along with the predictable new car realeases scheduled to arrive in 2018, there’s a sprinkling of genuinely exciting metal that will be hitting our shores over the next 12 months, too. 

So, forget the safe choice for a moment and imagine yourself behind the pulse-quickening wheel of any of these, as we list - in no particular order - eight of Australia's best cars 2018.

Whether they sell in great numbers or not, one thing is certain; the roads will be a more exciting place next year for their very existence. And that's something we should all be celebrating.

HSV Camaro

The cars will arrive in left-hand drive and be converted at HSV’s Melbourne factory.

Proving there is life after the Commodore for those mad-hatter tuners over at HSV, 2018 will see iconic another of America's iconic muscle car, the Camaro, hitting our shores.

Buyers won’t be spoiled for choice, at least initially, with just a singe V8 variant to be offered - though HSV is yet to entirely rule out the possibility of adding the high-po ZL1 Camaro to the Aussie fleet at some stage.

The cars will arrive in left-hand drive and be converted at HSV’s Melbourne factory from the middle of next year. Expect a thumping 6.2-litre V8 engine good for around 339kW/617Nm, paired with an eight-speed automatic (a manual should touch down in 2019) - enough to push the Camaro from 0-100km/h in about 4.0 seconds. Sports suspension, Brembo brakes and a dual exhaust system will also arrive as standard.

Pricing is expected to kick off from about $80,000, with HSV hoping to shift around 1000 units per year. That's well below the numbers recorded by the cheaper Ford Mustang. But when it comes to muscle cars, the more the merrier.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Q

The Stelvio promises to be 'the Ferrari of SUVs'.

Alfa Romeo’s long-awaited renaissance continues, this time with what is being dubbed 'the Ferrari of SUVs' - the Stelvio Q.

The high-performance version of the Italian brand’s first-ever SUV sports the same 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 as the Giulia QV sedan, paired with an eight-speed automatic and a four-wheel drive system that can direct bulk power to the rear wheels.

The go-fast Stelvio will be arriving around the middle of next year, and will already be sporting some impressive silverware in its shapely boot - including the title of World’s Fastest Production SUV after posting a smoking 7:51.7 lap time around of the infamous Nurburgring.

Expect a price tag north of $150,000.

Ford Ranger Raptor

The Raptor won't score a V8, but will be powered by a twin-turbo four-cylinder diesel.

One of Australia’s most popular utes will welcome a hi-po variant when the Ford Ranger Raptor arrives in Oz next year.

The super ute will be powered by Ford's 2.0-litre ‘EcoBlue twin-turbocharged, four-cylinder diesel engine, producing 157kW/500Nm. 

The Raptor also scores a 10-speed automatic transmission, along with tougher suspension and extra under-body protection.

The Ford Raptor is expected to hit showrooms in the fourth quarter of this year, starting from $74,990.

Mercedes X-Class

We’ll be choosing from three diesel engines; two four-cylinder units, and one stonking V6.

The news that Mercedes - king of premium and performance - was dipping a toe into uncharted ute territory was initially met with disbelief - a feeling that didn’t improve when we heard it would be based on the decidedly un-premium Nissan Navara. But having now seen and driven the X-Class, that concern seems unfounded.

The X-Class is available with three diesel engines; two four-cylinder units borrowed from Nissan, and one stonking V6 that is Mercedes’ own. 

The dual-cab-only X-Class launched in three grades (Pure, Progressive and Power) with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic transmission, and starts from $45k.

Lamborghini Urus

The Urus will sport a 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 engine good for 478kW/850Nm.

In a move that will forever change the supercar game, Lamborghini’s second-ever SUV will touch down in Australia this year. Yes, Lamborghini. That deranged Italian maker of the most super of supercars has turned its hand to a sensible (sort of) SUV.

But the $390k Urus (we can’t shake the feeling that name sounds like something you might need antibiotics for) is still plenty super, sporting a 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 engine good for 478kW/850Nm. And that power translates to a 3.6-second sprint from 0-100km/h, and a stonking 305km/h top speed - both of which are sure to make the school run extra efficient. 

Porsche 911 GT2 RS

The GT2 RS will do 0-100km/h in 2.8-sec.

Terms like 'fastest ever' take on a new and special meaning when applied to the most iconic sports car of all time, the Porsche 911

But the new GT2 RS is exactly that, squeezing an astonishing 515kW/750Nm from its 3.8-litre, twin-turbocharged six-cylinder engine. That power is channeled through a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic and fired to the rear wheels, rocketing this fastest of the fast 911s to 100km/h in 2.8sec.

Those are some seriously shocking numbers, and here’s another one; the 911 GT2 RS will wear a $645,400 price tag.

Hyundai i30 N

A hot hatch that will put the established players on notice when it arrives next year.

Hyundai’s first-ever hot hatch is so delightfully good it doesn’t feel like a first attempt. Rather, it feels like it’s been built by a company that’s been churning them out for years.

Under the bonnet, a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine produces 202kW/353Nm, producing a genuine hot-hatch 0-100km/h sprint time of 6.1sec.

It’s not just the numbers, but the smile-inducing way it burbles about its business that will put the established hot hatch players on notice, wearing a Golf GTI-baiting price tag that starts at $40k.

Alpine A110

The Alpine A110 will weigh just 1080kg.

The Renault-owned performance car has at last been confirmed for Australia, and will touch down here in the second half of 2018.

Mastering that age-old recipe of using a feather-like kerb weight to maximise performance, the Alpine A110 weighs just 1080kg, which means a mid-mounted, turbocharged 1.8-litre engine provides more than enough poke to get the dainty Alpine up and moving.

The 185kW/320Nm on offer (sent to the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission) is enough to dispatch the 0-100km/h sprint in just 4.5 seconds, and it will push on to 250km/h - at which point the lightweight Alpine must surely feel like its about to take off.

Pricing starts off at $97,000 for the entry model, while the Australian Premiere Edition (limited to 60 units) costs $106,500. Form an orderly queue.

New car Calendar

Haval H9
Suzuki Swift Sport
Honda Odyssey
Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
Audi Q7 e-tron
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross
Volkswagen Crafter
Masterati Quattroporte
Maserati Ghibli
BMW i3
Nissan Navara
HSV Colorado SportsCat
Ferrari Portofino
Subaru Liberty
Volkswagen Golf GTi Original
Peugeot 5008
Subaru Outback
Maserati GranTurismo
Maserati GranCabrio
Lexus RX
Fiat 500X
Mazda MX-5 RF
Citroen Dispatch
Jeep Compass
Genesis G70
Nissan 370Z
Holden Commodore
Citroen C3
Volkswagen Polo
Alfa Romeo Stelvio
Mahindra XUV500
Infiniti QX80
Hyundai i30 N
Lamborghini Urus
Porsche 911 GT2 RS
Mercedes-Benz X-Class
Isuzu D-Max
Toyota Hilux Rugged X, Rugged and Rogue
HSV Silverado
Audi R8 RWS
Volvo XC40
Jaguar E-Pace
Mazda BT-50
Mazda CX-5
Kia Carnival
Mazda 6
Kia Cerato
Kia Optima
Ford Transit
Porsche Cayenne
Ford Mustang
Mazda CX-8
Skoda Karoq
BMW X3 M40i
Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace
RAM 1500
Mercedes-Benz A-Class
Hyundai Santa Fe
Renault Megane RS
HSV Camaro
Volkswagen Polo GTi
Jeep Cherokee
Ford Ranger
Subaru Forester
Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Jaguar I-Pace
Ford Mustang Bullitt
Porsche 911 GT3 RS
Ford Endura
Nissan Leaf
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
Mercedes-AMG C43
Holden Acadia
Ford Ranger Raptor
Alpine A110
Audi A6
Hyundai Kona Electric
Skoda Fabia
Citroen C4 Catcus
Infiniti QX50
Hyundai Ioniq

Looking to make an exciting car purchase in 2018? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Andrew Chesterton
Contributing Journalist
Andrew Chesterton should probably hate cars. From his hail-damaged Camira that looked like it had spent a hard life parked at the end of Tiger Woods' personal driving range, to the Nissan Pulsar Reebok that shook like it was possessed by a particularly mean-spirited demon every time he dared push past 40km/h, his personal car history isn't exactly littered with gold. But that seemingly endless procession of rust-savaged hate machines taught him something even more important; that cars are more than a collection of nuts, bolts and petrol. They're your ticket to freedom, a way to unlock incredible experiences, rolling invitations to incredible adventures. They have soul. And so, somehow, the car bug still bit. And it bit hard. When "Chesto" started his journalism career with News Ltd's Sunday and Daily Telegraph newspapers, he covered just about everything, from business to real estate, courts to crime, before settling into state political reporting at NSW Parliament House. But the automotive world's siren song soon sounded again, and he begged anyone who would listen for the opportunity to write about cars. Eventually they listened, and his career since has seen him filing car news, reviews and features for TopGear, Wheels, Motor and, of course, CarsGuide, as well as many, many others. More than a decade later, and the car bug is yet to relinquish its toothy grip. And if you ask Chesto, he thinks it never will.
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