1995 in motoring
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1995 in motoring includes developments in the automotive industry that occurred throughout the year 1995 by various automobile manufacturers, grouped by country. The automotive industry designs, develops, manufactures, markets, and sells motor vehicles.
The new 400 Series is now entirely different to the 200 Series, whereas before it was a saloon car version of the hatchback. This time it is a five-door hatchback or four-door saloon, with the hatchback being a rebodied version of the new British-built Honda Civic. The 400 Series, however, uses its own K-Series 16-valve engines.
Rover this year launched the new MGF sports car, the first use of the MG marque since the closure of the Abingdon factory and end of MGB production in 1980. The MG badge was used on high performance Metro, Maestro and Montego models between 1982 and 1991. The MGF had a mid-mounted 1.8 16-valve engine. By the end of the year, demand for the new MG was outstripping supply.
Vauxhall retired the Cavalier nameplate after 20 years, and adopted the name Vectra for its new large family car. An estate bodystyle version was planned for 1996. Power came from 1.6, 1.8 and 2.0 16-valve petrol engines as well as a 2.0 turbo-diesel. A 2.5 V6 unit was also planned, capable of almost 150 mph, at a later date.
Ford gave its six-year-old Fiesta a redesign of the exterior and interior, along with a re-tuning of the chassis, and the introduction of new 1.25 and 1.4 Zetec petrol engines. The 1.3 Endura E petrol engine remained for the entry-level models, while the 1.0 and 1.1 HCS (High Compression Swirl) units were shelved. The pre-redesign Fiesta remained on sale until the following year, and was then planned to be replaced by a new city car which was designed to compete with the likes of the Fiat Cinquecento.
Peugeot launched a new Pininfarina-styled 406 saloon, replacement for the 405 in 1.8 and 2.0 petrol units with a 3.0 V6 planned. 405 estate production continued until 1997, when the 406 estate went on sale.
Renault ended R19 production after seven years, but most of the cars mechanicals were carried over to the new Megane range. Like its predecessor, the Megane was available as a five-door hatchback and four-door saloon. Coupe and cabriolet bodystyles were also planned, as well as an estate car (for which there are no plans for British sales), with a 1.9 turbo-diesel unit.
European Car of the Year for the 1996 model year was the Fiat Brava and Bravo. The Brava is a five-door "fastback", and the "Bravo" was a three-door hatchback. Both replaced the Tipo. Power came from 1.4, 1.6, 1.8 and 2.0 petrol engines, though only the Bravo gets the 2.0 engine in HGT V5 form. The Brava and Bravo were to form the basis of the forthcoming Marea saloon and estate.
Alfa Romeo revived two of its previous names for its re-entry into the sports car market. GTV was last seen in 1987 on an aerodynamic coupe, and now re-appeared on a 2.0 engined 2+2 coupe. Spider was the nameplate used by a two-seater roadster between 1966 and 1993, and now re-appeared on the open top version of the GTV. The Spider was identically styled to the GTV, but had no rear seats and was more expensive.
Volvo launched its new S40 saloon and V40 estate ranges. Power came from four-cylinder 1.6, 1.8, 2.0 and 2.4 petrol engines. The new "S" and "V" initials denoted a new branding method for the Volvo range, showing the difference between saloon and estate bodystyles. The 850 nameplate was planned for use in a later redesign, which was expected to be a coupe version with the "C" initial.
Volkswagen and Ford went into a joint venture to produce a new people carrier. Ford's version was badged as the Galaxy, while the Volkswagen equivalent was named the Sharan. Both vehicles share the same exterior design, chassis and engines, and third car based on this design was planned for the following year badged as SEAT.