What else can we expect to hit our roads in 2017…
There will be several significant new cars in the showrooms before Christmas, ranging from executive saloons to performance hatchbacks and of course, the ever popular SUV’s. Here we take a look at some of them…
This car will probably get the lion’s share of attention with interest being fuelled by the bigger F-PACE, the company’s first ever SUV and also its fastest ever selling new model.
Around the same size as a Range Rover Evoque and priced from £28,500 the E-PACE takes its styling cues from the bigger model in the range and highlights include a hi-tech interior and an emphasis on a sporty driving experience.
One of its features will be a head-up display which projects the main information a driver needs into their line of vision so they never need to take their eyes off the road. Once you have tried it you would never want to go back to an old dashboard again!
Alfa Romeo Stelvio.
Alfa is joining the ranks of SUV newcomers with its Stelvio, a sleek five seater based on its latest and widely acclaimed Giulia sports saloon chassis.
Again, it looks and a proven chassis/engine will be a big draw but Alfa is also making the point as strongly as it can that this will set the standard for a sportscar like drive in its sector. It certainly has all the right credentials.
It has the best in class power to weight ratio and with kerbweights starting from just 1,600 kgs thanks to extensive use of carbon fibre and other light materials it should handle like a dream. Add in a rear-wheel biased power delivery via its eight speed gearbox and the Stelvio should indeed corner really well. Fitting really, given that it is named after a mountain pass notorious for its tight hairpin bends!
From approx. £15,000 (not yet confirmed).
This is SEAT’s answer to cars like the Nissan Juke, a compact sized SUV based on the new Ibiza chassis which should give it a good start in life.
SEAT is a new entrant to the SUV market but its Ateca has won universal praise and numerous industry awards so the Arona should follow suit.
It will be two-wheel drive only but packed with driver aids including a `tiredness detection’ system that knows if the driver is getting drowsy.
From approx. £19,000
OK, not a whole new car but a major facelift and tech update that lifts the hatchback and the extended SW version in among the class leaders.
Visually the differences are not huge but drivers will notice and feel a bigger change once behind the wheel. It has a lot more safety aids to help make driving much easier and take some of the load off the driver. To give just a few examples from many, its clever Speed Limit Recognition should keep the points off your licence thanks to a camera in the windscreen which `reads’ speed limit signs and displays them on the car’s dashboard. The Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop function controls the gap to the vehicle in front and will apply the brakes to keep a safe distance and Active Blind Spot Monitoring warns the driver of anything in their blind spot as they change lanes or pull out to overtake unaware of something already coming past them.
New engines all comply with the latest Euro 6 emission standards and with a change in diesel tax likely but which should exempt the newest and cleanest cars this could be a money saver.
Price to be confirmed.
Quite simply the most technically advanced saloon car yet built. The fourth gen A8 pushes the boundaries of automated driving and is the first production car in the world to have been developed for it.
Depending on the laws in different countries, in slow moving traffic at up to 37 mph and just by pressing the AI option on the centre console, the driver can take their hands of the wheel and their eyes from the road and let the car do the work as it accelerates, brakes and steers. It can even park itself in a bay or garage and you needn’t be in the car while it does so because you can control it from a new Audi app on your smartphone!
The hi tech continues inside where the driver is given a remarkably clean and clutter-free environment. You will find far fewer buttons, switches or dials with many more functions now done through a ten-inch touchscreen, there is better driver-to-car communication with voice operated controls, clever sat nav guidance which `learns’ routes. And that is just the interior.
The A8 offers four-wheel steering with a speed sensitive control that turns the rear wheels in the opposite direction to the front in the bends which will give unparalleled responsiveness and it will offer hybrid powertrains.
Vorsprung Dutch Technik – Progress through Technology!
Honda Civic Type R.
Prices: tbc but around low-£30,000.
A top speed of 169 mph, the fastest front wheel drive production car to lap the Nurburgring, an aero package designed to develop downforce at speed for better grip. Enough said?