1996 in motoring

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1996 in motoring includes with developments in the automotive industry that occurred throughout the year 1996 by various automobile manufacturers, grouped by country. The automotive industry designs, develops, manufactures, markets, and sells motor vehicles.

United Kingdom[edit]

Ford made its first entry into the city car market with the Fiesta-based Ka, a three-door hatchback powered by the company's 1.3 litre Endura E petrol engine. It also gave a redesign to its three-year-old Mondeo range.

Jaguar ceased XJS production after 21 years and replaced it with the new XK8. There was also a new 4.0 V8 engined coupe and cabriolet range.

France[edit]

Renault launched the Scenic, a five-seater mini MPV based on the Megane hatchback running gear. Its 1.4, 1.6 and 1.8 petrol engines are sourced from the Megane hatchback range, as was the 1.9 turbo-diesel.

At the upper end of the MPV market, Renault relaunched the Espace in a new format for the first time since its launch in 1985.

Peugeot gave its five-year-old 106 mini-car a redesign, while Citroën adopted the design for its AX replacement. The new Saxo came in 1.6-litre engined "VTR" and "VTS" hatchback models.

Germany[edit]

Volkswagen launched a new version of its Passat family car in a new format, nine years after the previous generation Passat was launched and three years since the Passat received its latest redesign. Engines ranged from a 1.6 petrol to a 2.8 V6, along with a 1.9 turbo-diesel.

Volkswagen ceased production of the Corrado coupe after eight years.

BMW replaced the 5 Series medium sized executive car with a new model after nine years. The 5 Series was visually similar to its predecessor.

Audi launch the A3, a three-door hatchback, powered by 1.6, 1.8 and 2.0 petrol engines as well as the 1.9 turbo-diesel.

Spain[edit]

SEAT moved into the multi-purpose vehicle market with the Alhambra. It used the same design as the Volkswagen Sharan and Ford Galaxy, as well as the same engines, and was built alongside these cars in Portugal.

Japan[edit]

Honda launched a new version of its Prelude sporting coupe.

The Nissan Primera had its second release, six years after replacing the Bluebird. Like its predecessor it was built at the Sunderland plant in northern England. Nissan's Japanese plant also produced a version of the Primera, while the American version was badged as the Infiniti G20.

See also[edit]