Cars celebrating their 40th birthday in 2017

10 cars celebrating their 40th birthday in 2017

Cars celebrating their 40th birthday in 2017Somebody once said that life begins at 40. If that’s true, these classic cars are in for a bright future. We’ve selected 10 cars born in 1977, each one celebrating the big Four-O in 2017.

BMW 7 SeriesCars celebrating their 40th birthday in 2017

It was out with the E3 and in with the E23, as BMW launched its new flagship saloon – the 7 Series. Although BMW had the Mercedes-Benz S-Class in its sights, Car magazine felt the original 7 Series was unable to match the standard set by Stuttgart’s flagship, choosing to pitch it against the smaller W123.

In a three-way group test, the forerunner to the E-Class was praised for its longevity and efficiency, while the 7 Series – perhaps predictably – was singled out for its handling and styling. But the winner was the Peugeot 604. Bet you didn’t see that coming…

Fiat X1/9Cars celebrating their 40th birthday in 2017

If your budget couldn’t stretch to a Ferrari, the Fiat X1/9 had the potential to be the next best thing. Marcello Gandini’s oh-so-pretty sports car was launched in 1972, but UK buyers would have to wait until 1977 for their turn behind the wheel.

By the time it arrived, Fiat had already shifted some 44,000 X1/9s in the US, and it soon found loyal fans on these shores. At its launch in 1977, the X1/9 was priced upwards of £2,997 – the equivalent of £19,490 in today’s money.

Porsche 928Cars celebrating their 40th birthday in 2017

To great fanfare, the Porsche 928 was unveiled at the 1977 Geneva Motor Show. It was billed as the replacement for the ageing Porsche 911, hinting at a front-engined, water-cooled future.

But while the 911 lives on, the Porsche 928 died 25 years ago, as the ‘Shark’ failed to capture the imagination in quite the same way. Over time, Porsche refined and the developed the 928 into a thoroughly accomplished GT car, but it never recovered from its slow start.

Matra-Simca RanchoCars celebrating their 40th birthday in 2017

In 1977, Matra reckoned the Rancho represented the future of family motoring. Only it didn’t. Not yet, anyway. The French company looked at the success of the Range Rover and felt there was the market for a ‘soft-roader’ with a more efficient engine. Truth is, there was, it’s just that the market wasn’t quite ready.

The Rancho was cruelly mocked for its complete lack of off-road credentials, but owners loved its ease of use, practicality and space. Also notice the visual similarities to the original Land Rover Discovery, which arrived in 1989.

Alfa Romeo GiuliettaCars celebrating their 40th birthday in 2017

An old name for a new car – this is the achingly cool Alfa Romeo Giulietta. Actually, the ‘new’ tag is a bit of a red herring, as the Giulietta was based on the Alfetta, but few four-door saloons of the 1970s looked this good.

Ford GranadaCars celebrating their 40th birthday in 2017

Also borrowing from an old platform was the Mk2 Ford Granada. Underneath it was based on the Mk1, but the sharp-suited bodyshell was all-new. Meanwhile the old UK-built V6 engines were ditched in favour of German units, where the car was built. Pick of the range was the 2.8i, offering genuine autobahn-storming performance.

Toyota CelicaCars celebrating their 40th birthday in 2017

Toyota waved goodbye to the ‘Japanese Mustang’ styling of the original Celica, replacing it with something more practical and more efficient, but with a little less panache. That said, with just under 1.4 million units produced, the second generation car proved to more successful than the first. It arrived in the UK in 1978.

Aston Martin V8 VantageCars celebrating their 40th birthday in 2017

The V8 Vantage was Aston Martin at its flamboyant best – a to-hell-with-everything supercar for the super rich. A host of mechanical upgrades endowed the Vantage with 40% more power and 10% more torque than the AMV8, enough for a top speed of 170mph. A total of 458 Vantage and Vantage Volante models were built.

Audi 100 AvantCars celebrating their 40th birthday in 2017

Not to be confused with today’s Avant models, the Audi 100 Avant was little more than a executive class hatchback. That being said, the clever packaging struck a chord with buyers who were shifting away from saloon cars in increasing numbers.

Fiat 127Cars celebrating their 40th birthday in 2017

Not so much a new car, but a new face for the ever-popular Fiat 127. Well over 3.7 million of these superminis were built between 1971 and 1987, but when was the last time you saw one in the UK?

Faraday Future: is this the electric car to take on Tesla?

Faraday Future: is this the electric car to take on Tesla?

Faraday Future: is this the electric car to take on Tesla?

Start-up firm Faraday Future has revealed its latest self-driving electric car at CES 2017 in Las Vegas – and it’s not shy about taking on the giant that is Tesla. Or, it seems, Ferrari…

The company says its new luxury car, the FF 91, can hit 60mph in 2.39 seconds – that’s quicker than the fastest Tesla Model S, and faster than supercars such as the Ferrari 488 GTB. Faraday Future has even revealed a video proving this.

Like Tesla’s futuristic cars, the new Faraday Future also contains autonomous features. A live demo showed on screen at CES showed it driving itself around a car park before reversing into a space.

It isn’t flawless, though – something billionaire Chinese investor Jia Yueting demonstrated when he tried to demonstrate the car’s self-parking feature on stage. It failed, with Faraday senior vice president Nick Sampson joking, “OK, it seems like it’s a little bit lazy tonight.”

Fitted with a 130kWh battery, the FF 91 is good for a range of 378 miles says Faraday – and has the ability to charge at more than 500 miles (of range) per hour.

The company – which is plagued by criticism and struggles to be taken seriously as a Tesla rival – says the FF 91 will be released as a production model next year. Like Tesla, it’s hoping to raise revenue by taking refundable deposits of $5,000 to fund development.

Faraday Future revealed a futuristic single seat race-car concept capable of producing 1,000hp and hitting 200mph at least year’s CES. Many likened it to the Batmobile and criticised it for not being realistic.

Since then, Faraday’s been hit by financial difficulties, with question marks over funding. In November, work on a factory it was building in Las Vegas was halted after investment from Jia Yueting’s company, LeEco, is thought to have dried up.

2017 Kia Picanto revealed ahead of Geneva Motor Show debut

2017 Kia Picanto revealed ahead of Geneva Motor Show debut

2017 Kia Picanto revealed ahead of Geneva Motor Show debut

Kia has released these pictures of the 2017 Kia Picanto city car ahead of its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

While similar to its predecessor in appearance, it suggests a move towards trendier rivals such as the Volkswagen Up. Traditionally, the Picanto has always been a budget car in the segment – more holiday rental than desirable first motor.

The three-door model is being scrapped, though – it always sold slowly compared to the practical five-door, and follows Kia’s decision to offer the larger Rio (of which it shares many design features) with five doors only.

The new Picanto sports a 15mm longer wheelbase than the outgoing model, improving its stance – while the overall length of the car has remained the same. The clever packaging of its predecessor is one of our favourite aspects of the old car, so we’re glad that isn’t being messed with.

The carmaker is also promising a wider range of colours to appeal to the youth market. We anticipate there’ll be more personalisation options too, for the same reason.

2017 Kia Picanto revealed ahead of Geneva Motor Show debut

The model pictured here is in top-spec ‘GT-Line’ trim – likely to cost more than £12,000 – so expect the new Picanto to look a tad dowdier for your sub-£150 a month PCP deal.

>> January sales: the best new car deals available NOW

Like the exterior, the interior draws on the new Kia Rio as well as the larger Optima. There’s a snazzy touchscreen infotainment system at the centre of the dash – goodies such as Apple CarPlay are likely to be offered on higher-end models.

The new Kia Picanto will be revealed in the metal for the first time at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show in March, before going on sale in the spring. Prices are yet to be confirmed, but expect a small increase over the current £8,695 start price.

2017 Kia Picanto revealed ahead of Geneva Motor Show debut

Ford to build an electric SUV and hybrid Mustang

Ford to build an electric SUV and hybrid Mustang

Ford to build an electric SUV and hybrid Mustang

Ford has revealed details of seven new electrified vehicles it plans to launch over the next five years – along with a further six which are yet to be revealed.

The new models include a hybrid version of the iconic Mustang, combining the current 5.0-litre V8 engine with an electric motor to produce “even more low-end torque,” says the company.

Ford will also be launching an all-new fully electric small SUV, engineered to deliver a range of at least 300 miles. It will be launched by 2020 – the same time Volkswagen plans to introduce its fully-electric I.D. VW says its new model will give a range of around, you guessed it, 300 miles.

The new all-electric Ford will be sold across North America, Europe and Asia, and built at the firm’s Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan – where the carmaker has announced today $700 million is being invested to create 700 jobs and build high-tech autonomous and electric vehicles.

Ford to build an electric SUV and hybrid Mustang

The investment follows the news that Ford has axed plans to invest $1.6 billion in a new plant in Mexico.

The US giant has also announced a hybrid version of the F-150 pick-up – currently a huge seller in the USA – along with a Transit Custom plug-in hybrid available in Europe from 2019.

“As more and more consumers around the world become interested in electrified vehicles, Ford is committed to being a leader in providing consumers with a broad range of electrified vehicles, services and solutions that make people’s lives better,” said Ford president and CEO, Mark Fields.

“Our investments and expanding lineup reflect our view that global offerings of electrified vehicles will exceed gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 15 years.”

Other future electric cars outlined today by Ford include a high-volume autonomous car designed for Uber-like ride hailing and sharing services set to debut in 2021. It will also be launching two new pursuit-rated hybrid police vehicles.

Record numbers of used cars sold in 2016

2016 breaks record for used car sales

Record numbers of used cars sold in 2016

The number of used cars sold in 2016 is believed to have hit 7.7 million – making it the most successful year for the used car market since 2004.

The data comes from expert Cap HPI, which says the used car market is set to exceed last year’s figure of 7.2 million and equal the previous record of 7,731,609 vehicles, set in 2004.

Commenting on the findings, Cap HPI’s Black Book senior editor, James Dower, said: “Strong demand has characterised the 2016 market. It has led to stable used values and supported strong results for the industry’s retailers.

“It looks like 2016 will beat a strong 2015 and the previous record of 2004. While 2017 isn’t without its challenges, motor retail is in great shape heading into the new year.”

Used car values are also strong, says the company, with electric vehicles putting in a particularly strong show on the used market. The Nissan Leaf showed values increase by 2.7% at one year, 10,000 miles, compared to a year before.

Hybrid sales are also buoyant – with values increasing by 2.7% after three years and 60,000 miles compared to 2015.

January sales: the best new car deals available NOW

January sales: the best new car deals available NOW

January sales: the best new car deals available NOW

New year, new you… or new car, perhaps? If you’ve not overdone the spending this Christmas, January is a great time to buy a new vehicle, with many manufacturers offering extremely tempting deals across their ranges. We’ve picked out some of the best offers.

Ford: interest free finance

Britain’s favourite car manufacturer is offering 0% APR representative finance on a number of its cars, including the new Edge SUV and desirable ST-Line models. That’s through its Ford Options PCP scheme, meaning you can pick up a new Ka+ from £109 per month over two years. That’s following a deposit of £3,670.05 and with an optional final payment of £4,754.

Kia: free servicing on SUVs

With the weather getting colder, a shiny new SUV makes for a tempting purchase this January. Kia is offering free servicing on all its SUVs ordered in January, including the Soul, Niro, Sportage and Sorento. Buyers will get Kia’s Care-3 package, made up of three free services, for no cost – saving up to £349.

Other Kia offers including a free upgrade to the Sportswagon estate if you buy an Optima (saving £800), while Caravan Club members can get up to £1,000 of accessories free of charge with the purchase of a new Sorento SUV. There are also 0% interest PCP deals available on the Cee’d and Picanto.

SEAT: £1,000 off

SEAT: £1,000 off

Fill in a form on SEAT’s website and you’ll be sent a voucher for £1,000 off any new SEAT model – including the new Ateca SUV, as part of the firm’s Beautifully Created Winter Drive event. Be quick, as the offer expires on 23 January, but it can be used on top of other offers. These include free insurance on selected Ibiza models, and a £2,000 deposit contribution on a five-door Leon SE Dynamic.

Vauxhall: up to 22% off selected models

Vauxhall is running a bonus tag event until January 16th, with 22% off the list price of five-door Corsa Energy 1.4 – saving you up to £3,300. Other stand-out deals include 21% (£3,445) off a Corsa Limited Edition, 16% (£2,405) off an Adam Energised and 21% (£4,510) off a Mokka X Active.

Fiat: 0% interest finance

Italian carmaker Fiat often offers tempting deals across its range – with the popular 500 city car currently available with 0% interest finance. The firm will also contribute £1,000 towards your deposit, meaning you could drive away in a 500 Lounge 1.2 for £99 a month following a deposit of £3,998. That’s over two years, with an optional final payment of £5,525 if you want to keep the car. Mileage is limited to 6,000 a year, so be careful if you cover high miles. You could be hit with a fee of 6p per mile if you exceed this figure.

Lotus: Pay half now, half in two years

Lotus: Pay half now, half in two years

British sports car manufacturer Lotus has a very tempting offer on a new Elise Sport: pay half now, and the rest in two years. Very simply, that means you’ll pay a ‘deposit’ of £15,425, while the remaining £15,425 is due after 24 months. You’ll pay nothing in interest.

Volkswagen: £1,400 deposit contribution on Polo and free insurance

The Volkswagen Polo is showing its age alongside supermini rivals, with a new model expected later this year. But that means there are good deals available on the outgoing car – including a £1,400 deposit contribution when bought on PCP, along with a year’s free insurance. There are Ts and Cs, of course: the insurance isn’t available to 17-year-olds, and those under 25 will have to use a telematics black box.

Skoda: 0% finance and £1,500 minimum part exchange

The Skoda brand is synonymous with excellent value, and there’s a wide range of offers available at your local Skoda dealer this January. They include 0% APR PCP deals on models including the Citigo, Octavia and Yeti, along with deposit contributions of up to £2,000. On selected models, Skoda will also give you a minimum of £1,500 for your part-exchange.

Toyota: 0% finance

Toyota: 0% finance

Yes, it’s 0% interest finance overload this January, but with an increasing amount of us buying cars through PCP schemes, that’s no bad thing. Toyota is offering 0% APR on its Aygo, Yaris, Auris and Verso models, meaning you can drive a new Toyota for as little as £99 a month. That’s over four years, for an Aygo X-press, following a deposit of £3,128.50. Increase your monthly payments to £159 and the deposit drops to £668.50.

Honda: 0% finance

As part of its winter event, Honda is offering interest-free finance across its range, including Jazz, Civic and CR-V models. Buy a practical Jazz 1.3 EX for £185 a month over two years, following a deposit of £3,685. After 24 months, hand the car back or pay an optional £8,519 to keep hold of it. Mileage is capped at a not-unreasonable 10,000 miles a year. Hurry, though – the deal expires at the end of January.

Renault: £500 off when you take a test drive

If you hurry, you can save £500 off selected Renault models if you take a test drive and place an order this week. The offer is available on Clio, Captur and Kadjar models until 9 January as long as they’re registered by 31 March 2017. The company is also offering interest-free finance over two years on selected models, meaning you can drive a Clio for £169 a month following a £2,571 deposit.

Nissan: 0% finance

Nissan: 0% finance

Despite being one of the hottest new superminis of 2017, £269 a month for the new Nissan Micra isn’t headline-grabbing. What is more tempting, however, is £119 a month finance with 0% APR interest on a Pulsar DIG-T Acenta. It’s no Ford Focus or Volkswagen Golf, but with a £1,000 Nissan deposit contribution leaving you with £4,175.80 to pay upfront, followed by 36 monthly payments of £119, the Pulsar does represent good value.

Suzuki: free insurance

The new Suzuki Ignis was one of our favourite cars we drove in 2016, and it’s available to order now with a year’s free insurance when you buy it through the manufacturer’s PCP finance scheme. The offer excludes the entry-level SZ3, and is available to 21- to 79-year-olds only.

MG: 0% finance

MG might have given up the pretence of ‘assembling’ cars in the UK, but they’re still worth a look if value is high on your agenda. Both its models – the 3 supermini and GS crossover – are available with 0% interest finance. You can buy an MG 3 3Time for £111.99 a month over 60 months, following a deposit of £1,679.80. After five years, you’ll own the car outright, having paid a total of £8,399.

Volvo has been knocked off Sweden's best-selling car top spot

Volvo has been knocked off Sweden’s best-selling car top spot

Volvo has been knocked off Sweden's best-selling car top spot

The best-selling car in Sweden in 2016 was a Volkswagen Golf – the first time since 1962 that it wasn’t a Volvo.

That’s according to figures released today by the country’s carmakers association, Bil Sweden, which revealed that Volkswagen sold 22,084 Golf models, accounting for 5.93% of all new car sales in Sweden.

Despite grouping in the Volvo V70 and its V90 successor, along with the S90 saloon, just 21,321 models of Volvo’s biggest seller were registered.

The last time Volvo was not the best-selling car in Sweden was 1962, when a Volkswagen Beetle took number one spot.

As a company, Volvo registered more than 71,000 cars in Sweden last year – well ahead of Volkswagen’s 58,000, with four of its models dominating the top six.

A strong economy, combined with low interest rates and a growing private leasing market, is responsible for strong sales across the country, with 372,296 new cars registered last year – an increase of 7.8 percent compared with 2015.

Bil Sweden CEO Bertil Molden said: “We’ve had 36 months in succession with increasing registrations.”

 Make and model2016 sales2015 sales Percentage of all new car sales 
 Volkswagen Golf22,082 22,779 5.93%
 Volvo V70/S90/V9021,321  28,613  5.73%
 Volvo S60/V60 16,755 14,698 4.5%
 Volvo XC6016,266 14,834 4.37%
 Volkswagen Passat15,716  14,392  4.22% 
 Volvo V40 12,691 10,333 3.41% 
 Toyota Auris 7,423 6,868  1.99%
 Volkswagen Polo 7,091 4,585 1.9%
 Kia Cee’d 6,778 6,726 1.82%
 Skoda Octavia 5,889 5,519 1.58%
Volvo has been knocked off Sweden's best-selling car top spot

Volvo has been knocked off Sweden's best-selling car top spot

Volvo has been knocked off Sweden's best-selling car top spot

The best-selling car in Sweden in 2016 was a Volkswagen Golf – the first time since 1962 that it wasn’t a Volvo.

That’s according to figures released today by the country’s carmakers association, Bil Sweden, which revealed that Volkswagen sold 22,084 Golf models, accounting for 5.93% of all new car sales in Sweden.

Despite grouping in the Volvo V70 and its V90 successor, along with the S90 saloon, just 21,321 models of Volvo’s biggest seller were registered.

The last time Volvo was not the best-selling car in Sweden was 1962, when a Volkswagen Beetle took number one spot.

As a company, Volvo registered more than 71,000 cars in Sweden last year – well ahead of Volkswagen’s 58,000, with four of its models dominating the top six.

A strong economy, combined with low interest rates and a growing private leasing market, is responsible for strong sales across the country, with 372,296 new cars registered last year – an increase of 7.8 percent compared with 2015.

Bil Sweden CEO Bertil Molden said: “We’ve had 36 months in succession with increasing registrations.”

 Make and model2016 sales2015 sales Percentage of all new car sales 
 Volkswagen Golf22,082 22,779 5.93%
 Volvo V70/S90/V9021,321  28,613  5.73%
 Volvo S60/V60 16,755 14,698 4.5%
 Volvo XC6016,266 14,834 4.37%
 Volkswagen Passat15,716  14,392  4.22% 
 Volvo V40 12,691 10,333 3.41% 
 Toyota Auris 7,423 6,868  1.99%
 Volkswagen Polo 7,091 4,585 1.9%
 Kia Cee’d 6,778 6,726 1.82%
 Skoda Octavia 5,889 5,519 1.58%