The Great Coupe Coup

Sleek new-generation two-door sports cars on the rise

b y DAN I E L D EGASPERI

Chart attack Demons, duds & debutants

Sleek new-generation two-door sports cars on the rise

ACCORDING to April 2017 sales figures, the $80,000-plus sports car segment is growing at a faster rate than every other new passenger car segment except one. The latest new-car data reveals there has been a 16.5 per cent year-on data reveals there has been a 16.5 per cent year-on year boost in the middle-tier, two-door coupe and convertible class. While the sub-$80,000 sports car segment dropped 4.7 per cent, the $200,000- plus sports car class soared 7.6 per cent.

Those are heady numbers for the most exclusive parts of a new car market that overall is down 2.8 per cent. To say they are outperforming other segments is an understatement – the light car class is down a whopping 20.8 per cent, while the best any SUV class could manage was the medium best any SUV class could manage was the medium brigade, up 9.5 per cent.

Only $70,000-plus large cars are outperforming sports cars, up 36.9 per cent because the new BMW 5 Series (up 247 per cent) and Benz E-Class (up 123 per cent) are in a duel that is also crippling rivals. (Audi A6 fell 42 per cent, Jaguar XF plunged 55 per cent, while the Infiniti Q70 trickled to nought.)

So far this year 3073 Australians have purchased a So far this year 3073 Australians have purchased a sports car costing anywhere more than $80,000 compared with 2680 last year. And growth among the flash-brigade is wide spread.

The Audi R8 (with six times last year’s sales), Nissan GT-R (up 162 per cent), Lotus Elise (quadruple the haul on 2016) and McLaren (rising 270 per cent) stole the show, but Aston Martin two-doors are up 30.8 per cent this year, no doubt thanks to the all-new DB11. Rolls-Royce two-doors are up 33.3 per cent, the Benz SL by 66.7 per cent and are up 33.3 per cent, the Benz SL by 66.7 per cent and two-door S-Class by 9.4 per cent, and even the Porsche 911 (up 14.9 per cent) and Bentley two-door range (up 3.4 per cent) are up. It’s especially impressive in a market down overall.

- The $80,000- plus sports car segment is growing at a faster rate than every other

the HEAT

WINNERS AND LOSERS OF APRIL 2017

Top ten losers

CAR MAR APR YTD YTD +/- Alfa Romeo 4C 2 3 10 -76% BMW 5 Series GT 4 3 40 -75% Audi TT 17 18 55 -74% Maserati Coupe/Conv 5 4 10 -70% Audi A8 1 3 7 -70% Hyundai Genesis 21 12 57 -67% Infiniti Q70 1 0 8 -65% Volvo S60 15 5 73 -56% Maserati Quattroporte 3 5 14 -55% Jaguar XF 22 13 78 -55%

Top ten movers

CAR MAR APR YTD YTD +/- Bentley Sedan 1 1 8 700% Audi R8 2 2 14 600% Mini Cabrio 35 26 133 505% Merc GLS-Class 104 87 335 468% Lotus Elise 3 3 10 400% Merc C-Class Coupe/Conv 350 219 1131 271% McLaren Coupe/Conv 8 10 37 270% BMW 5 Series 178 257 600 247% Nissan GT-R 11 5 34 162% Merc E-Class 200 144 691 123%

Coming Soon 2017

July

Porsche 911 GTS Aston Martin Vanquish S Audi TT RS Debuts new hot fiver.

Bentley Supersports Executive express Lexus LC500 E-Class Coupe All-new, but sadly, no E63 version in sight.

VW Golf GTI/R Mk7.5 Three-door GTI returns.

Q3/Q4

Audi RS3 Sedan Audi RS5 Coupe Audi SQ5 Diesel V6 out, petrol V6 in.

Holden Commodore German-built liftback arrives with V6 AWD.

Honda Civic Type R Hyundai i30 N Hyundai Genesis G70 Korean 3 Series rival.

Jaguar XF Sportbrake Kia Stinger GT Nissan 370Z Nismo Fattens the range.

McLaren 720S Mercedes-AMG GLC63 Mental SUV poaches 4.0-litre V8 from C63.

Mercedes-AMG S63 Mercedes-AMG GT C Steals a few GT R bits.

Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Packs 500kW!

Skoda Octavia RS245 Welcomes more power and dual-clutch ’box.

2018

Audi RS4 BMW M5 BMW 8 Series Revived S-Class coupe rival.

Ferrari GTC4 Lusso T Let the bread van deliveries begin.

Ford Fiesta ST Now with turbo triple.

Hyundai i30 N Coupe Three-door version of five-door hatch.

Nissan Juke Nismo Turbo four and manual.

Suzuki Swift Sport 1.4-litre turbo expected.

Porsche 911 GT2 RS GT3 RS, Turbo S mix.