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New Car Releases For August 2013

By raccars Published

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July is chock full of newbies, tapering out to a quieter but still interesting August. Here's what the summer has to offer before September's new licence plate offerings.

Audi A3 Sportback

This five door A3 is slightly larger and roomier than the standard model and is expected to be the range's big seller, but on the outside is still reassuringly compact. It is also a little more expensive than the three door car, priced from £17,000-£28,000. Only the A3 line up's larger engines – two petrol and two diesels, all with turbochargers - are on offer, along with Audi's traditional high build quality. It's not exactly an exciting car, but is very accomplished and competent.

Skoda Octavia vRS

The updated Skoda has impressed both press and public alike and its high performance variant looks set to do the same. Prices start at about £23,000 for the car, which comes as a hatchback or an estate and with a choice of a 220bhp petrol or a 184bhp diesel engine. The 2.0 litre TSI version is the fastest Octavia yet, with a 0-62mph time of 6.8 seconds and a 154mph top speed. However, the vRS is both practical and economical as well as powerful and it's a cracking little drive to boot. The one time butt of every automotive joke, Skoda just seems to get better and better.

BMW M3

The fifth generation of BMW's cult classic will get its first six cylinder turbo petrol engine and 450bhp, helping it to keep up with its Teutonic rivals, the RS4 and RS5 and the C63 AMG. Available in coupe and saloon versions, the new M3's kerb weight is reduced with part aluminium construction. Costs from £75,000 new, but is famous for solid residual values – however fuel consumption and CO2 emissions appear to be stuck in another era, so it's a good job the M3 is using brake regeneration to try and offset some of that environmental viciousness.

Lotus Exige Roadster

Lotus has removed the roof from its sporty coupe Exige and improved the dynamics, resulting in the company's speediest soft top yet, at 3.8 seconds to 60mph. Top speed is lower than the coupe but this is only likely to bother those using the Exige on a track. In true Lotus style, the Exige Roadster is absolutely thrilling to drive and is no more expensive than its hard topped counterpart at £52,900.

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