In just a couple of weeks I will have been at cap hpi for 28 years, dating back to our humble offices in Skipton in February 1988. That’s a long time, and a lot of changes have happened in those years. Today, like back then, the cars we drive are still in the main using the same sort of fuel: petrol and diesel, with electric-powered vehicles such as milk floats still being seen on our roads early in the morning.
Last year, 2015, promised to be the year of hydrogen: I went to so many meetings and presentations around Europe where motor manufacturers, hydrogen suppliers, hydrogen storage companies and retailers all promised us that in 2015 around 8% of fuel stations in the UK would be selling hydrogen on the forecourt. But 2015 came and went with no real sign of any hydrogen vehicles on the horizon – a few trial and test cars here and there – but nothing significant.
So what new cars and innovations will 2016 bring to the streets of the UK? Here is a glimpse into the near future..
The upper end of the large expensive, prestige, and luxurious SUV/off-road gets three new executive cars. The Bentley Bentayga powered by a 6.0-litre W12 petrol engine will cost in excess of £160,000 (est). The Jaguar F-PACE which is due on-sale in April will cost from a very modest £34,170, and there will be a choice of a 3.0-litre petrol and diesel, available with either 2 or 4 wheel drive. The Maserati Levante is the third large exotic to hit our streets and should arrive in the summer priced around £40,000.
Mercedes Benz will unveil the new E-Class and BMW will show their new 5-Series, both these executive saloons and estates are due around summertime.
MG will be offering a Qashqai-sized crossover called the MG GS, expected to be priced from £18,000.
Toyota have two interesting vehicles coming, the all-new Prius, which looks significantly different to the current car. We are promised even more clever technology and up to 20% more fuel efficiency. The second is the C-HR, apparently a Nissan Juke rival, but little information on this at the moment.
A new Volkswagen Tiguan goes on-sale in spring, it looks so much better than the current car with lower, nicer looking lines – this popular SUV just got more stylish.
The 10-year old Mitsubishi Shogun gets an all-new look this year, and is expected to be more car-like and less tractor-like, but we will have to wait and see. The ASX might be getting the plug-in hybrid system which has been so popular in its bigger brother, the Outlander PHEV.
SEAT will be producing their Qashqai competitor – an all-new SUV, but it doesn’t have a name yet.
Tesla will be introducing their long-awaited Model X, an all-electric seven seat SUV, which is expected to have a range of over 300 miles from a full charge.
A couple of cheaper-end, high-powered hatches in the form of Abarth 500X and Nissan Pulsar Nismo, and as good and quick as they might be, you do have to ask the question – ‘Why?’
Alfa Romeo is going to try and play with the ‘big-boys’ such as A-Class, A4, 3-Series and Jaguar XE with the all-new, rear wheel drive Giulia (a 4WD is expected later). This very Italian car is due in September 2016, and features a whole host of new technology.
The replacement for the Aston Martin DB9, the DB11, is due late 2016 (The DB10 badge was reserved for Bond, James Bond). Prices are expected to start from around £170,000, so best start saving now.
Audi are expected to announce a new A5 Coupe and the long awaited Q1, as well as the S4. And the interesting, yet no doubt expensive Q7 e-tron will be joining the plug-in Hybrid VW Group range.
Another ‘Why?’ car is the Fiat Tipo, due in September and priced from around £15,000 (est). Admittedly it looks good value, but it will be going head-to-head with Focus, Astra, 308 etc. Fiat are aiming this budget car at the lower end of this highly competitive C -Sector market.
Also from Fiat is the 124 Spyder, or Spider (not sure how the Italians will spell it) This two-seater sports car has been produced in conjunction with Mazda, so will have many of the underpinnings of the MX-5.
BMW are introducing the 365hp M2, a rear wheel coupe, that I am sure will be ‘fun’ on wet roads.
Posted by Sue Robinson on 08/01/2016