So, nearly two months into 2016, we thought it was about time we shared the cars we’ve been drooling over so far (they haven’t even gone on the market yet). With fuel prices as low as 99p per litre for the first time since 2009 (hooray we can hear you cheering from here), 2016 is set to be a bumper of a year revved up even more with some of these beauties.
From it’s traditional boxy style we’ll see the MINI convertible get a makeover and transform into a sleek, curvy model complete with smart technology. Hello sensors that raise the roof when rain is approaching – where have you been all our lives. We’re also sharing the love for the new Fiat Spider – an affordable roadster expected to change the brand image of Fiat. So, from driving thrills, design and the latest technology. here are our 2016 favourites so far:
Model: 5 series
Release date: Summer 2016
Despite best efforts from Audi and Mercedes, the current 5 series is still top of the class for emissions and fuel economy and set to launch in summer 2016, the 7th generation 5 series will be going head to head with the Audi A6 and the Mercedes E-Class. Fitted with 48-volt electrical architecture, the car features autonomous driving systems and offers a hands-free function (up to a pre-determined speed) as well as fully autonomous braking.
With the focus on connectivity, the 5 series will be fitted with a 5th generation iDrive system complete with touchscreen functionality and BMW’s latest voice recognition software. Also, with the help of a 3D sensor, the new 5 series will be equipped with gesture control detecting up to five different hand movements.
After seeing the vehicle on recent tests, the new 5 series has had a sleeker update to it’s exterior and will be available in 3 distinct styles – the saloon (G30), touring (G31) and the GT (G32). Similar to the 7 series from BMW, there are five proposed packages available – Standard, Sport, Pure Excellence, M Sport and Individual allowing you to choose the best package for your needs. Cruise control? This will set you back an additional £1500 with BMW’s night-vision package adding another £1800 to the bill.
Release date: April 2016
If you’re looking for an ultimate driving machine check out the latest BMW M2 set to launch April 2016. From £44,000, the smaller cheaper alternative to the M4 certainly packs a punch taking you from 0-60mph in 4.5 seconds.
Model: 124 Spider
Release date: Late 2016
Ask any Mazda MX5 driver – they’ll tell you it’s tonnes of fun to drive and after releasing it’s fourth generation back in 2014, Fiat have developed a contender – the Fiat 124 Spider (almost 36 years after it was discontinued). With very similar exterior and interior, the Spider’s bonnet will be longer and more pronounced, it has a more jutted rear, rocks a distinctive GT look and is fitted with Fiat’s four-cylinder turbocharged 1.4 litre Multiair engine. If you love the traditional roadster style as much as us this is bound to be a favourite of yours too.
In a recent Top Gear poll, 71% of those surveyed said they preferred the Fiat Spider over Mazda’s MX5 but only time will tell which car will be the favourite.
Model: Evoque Convertible
Price range: from £47,500
Release date: Summer 2016
Yes, you heard it right. Just when we thought cars were just about to run out of niches, Range Rover pulls the first luxury, convertible SUV out the bag. Starting at £47,500, the Evoque convertible offers a premium interior finish with advanced technology and has been labelled as a convertible for all seasons. When driving at up to 30mph, the roof will open within 21 seconds, close within 18 seconds and when lowered it sits flush with the bodywork not affecting any luggage space. So all you road trippers, fear not, there is ample space for your luggage.
On the small, city and more affordable car scene we have seen the Citroen DS3 and Hyundai i20 have a refresh and are set to launch in the UK in February and March respectively. In the family car market we see the Fiat Tipo and the Toyota Prius growing in popularity and for the executive market, we expect the Mercedes E-Class and Alfa Romeo Giulia become key players for 2016.