It’s been a vintage year for new car launches, but 2017 promises to be even better. We set ourselves the unenviable challenging of selecting the 40 cars we’re most looking forward to driving come the new year. Buckle up, because it’s quite a list.
- Rolls-Royce teases 2018 ‘Project Cullinan’ SUV
- The best new cars we’ve driven in 2016
- The top 20 Retro Road Tests of the year
Alfa Romeo Stelvio
A new SUV is to a carmaker what a defibrillator is to a dying person. As such, there’s a great deal resting on the shoulders of the first SUV to wear the Alfa Romeo badge. “OMG, an SUV from Italy, 500hp, princess, red dress, hell yes,” says the promotional video for the Stelvio.
The Quadrifoglio model, pictured at the LA Auto Show, will be the range flagship and will be powered by a Ferrari-derived 2.9-litre V6 engine producing some 505hp. Combined with 443lb ft of torque, this range-topper could single-handedly pull Alfa Romeo out of the doldrums.
If you like the look of the Vision Concept, pictured here, we bring good news: the production version is likely to stay faithful to the concept car. We understand the Alpine – likely to be called the A120 – will cost upwards of £50,000 when it goes on sale in the summer. Still want that Porsche Boxster?
BMW 5 Series
Looking every inch the scaled down BMW 7 Series, the new 5 Series will be the most advanced 5 ever when it arrives in February. Expect the usual wide range of engine and trim options – including a high-performance M5 – along with an ability to partly drive itself. As BMW’s most profitable car, this is a hugely significant launch for the firm.
Back in July, we attended the UK unveiling of the Bristol Bullet at Coworth Park, near Ascot. We had a very brief passenger ride in the £250,000 speedster, of which a total of 70 units will be made. The first cars are likely to reach customers in January 2017, marking 70 years since the first Bristol left the factory.
Ford will build 250 GTs a year for the next four years, but good luck getting your hands on one if you weren’t one of the chosen few selected to take delivery of the first batch. Precise details are thin on the ground, but we do know the GT will be powered by a 3.5-litre V6 engine and you can expect it to reach speeds in excess of 200mph. As for the price: bank on something in the region of £400,000.
Honda Civic Type R
The current Honda Civic Type R is still licking its wounds following a damn good thrashing at the hands of the Ford Focus RS, but there’s already a new version waiting in the wings. And what a mighty wing it is, perched on the back of the Civic Type R Prototype, first seen at the Paris Motor Show. If Batman drove a hot hatch…
Land Rover Discovery
As we prepare this feature, our man is in Scotland, putting the new Land Rover Discovery through its paces. You won’t have long to wait to get your hands on the fifth-generation Disco, with deliveries expected to commence in the spring.
Wait, are we really looking forward to driving a new Nissan Micra? Ah, but this is the all-new, sharper Micra. No longer the preserve of driving schools and folk who like to stick to a steady 42mph, regardless of the speed limit or conditions, the new Micra promises to be a cracker. Prices start from £11,995 and you can pre-order your Micra in mid-December.
Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport
Do not adjust your set, this really is the new Vauxhall Insignia. The Insignia Grand Sport – to give it its full and slightly pompous name – will receive its world premiere at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, before appearing in a office car park near you before the end of the year. We’re looking forward to driving this one.
Volvo V90 Cross Country
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class All Terrain won’t have everything its own way in 2017, not least because the Volvo V90 Cross Country will arrive before this winter is out. As you’d expect, the Cross Country is like a standard V90, only with an increased ride height and a chassis optimised for comfort and control in all weathers.