► 12 other cars we are looking forward to in 2016
► Everything from SUVs to stripped-out racers
► The fastest-ever BMW, and the return of Alfa
Bentley Bentayga: The 187mph hyper-SUV
Okay, to say we’re all ‘looking forward’ to it is stretching things, but the world’s fastest and most opulent SUV is unignorable. W12-powered, 2.4 tonnes, £160k and looks to scare its own mother, it’s the loudest statement yet in the age of China-chasing. Will be the auto event of the year.
Fiat 124: The Italian MX-5
If this doesn’t float your barchetta, check your pulse. To the charm, rwd chassis delicacy and reliability of Mazda’s roadster Fiat adds new front and rear ends plus turbocharged 1.4-litre power and a name that’s been evoking passions for half a century. Here in the autumn.
Porsche Panamera: The no longer ugly four-door
Someone’s tapped Porsche on the shoulder and pointed out that four-door coupes can look sexy. And here’s the result. With a new platform underneath spawning everything from a junior version to the next Bentley Continental, it should be the four-door coupe we craved.
Alfa Romeo Giulia: The rear-wheel-drive 3-series challenger
Petrolheads hold their breath as we wait to see if this handsome saloon is, finally, the Alfa to shake us from our 3-series, XEs and C-classes. Rear-driven, with an engine range led by a snorting V6, and laced with lightweight tech, it has the weapons. We’ll know in the spring.
Maserati Levante: The Sexy Utility Vehicle
Swoopy roofline and tiny boot may make Italy’s entry one of the least useful in the global SUV contest, but it should have enough style to make Bentayga look like a shoebox. Wisely not borrowing sister brand Jeep’s Cherokee platform, Maser sticks with Ghibli chassis – and V6 engines too.
Audi TT RS: The TT that thinks it’s a 911
Bursting out of its cutesy coupe suit like a frustrated superhero this rabid TT ekes 400bhp from its 2.5-litre turbo five-pot, putting Carrera S into sharp focus for 40% less cash. Okay it lacks the Porsche’s rear-engined magic but its techy cabin is simply sensational. Can Audi’s chassis live up to it?
Ford Edge: The global Q5-botherer
Americans have been living on the Edge since 2006, and now, with an all-new model ready to roll, it’s our turn (and Europe’s). Based on a platform it shares with Mondeo, S-Max and co, we’re hoping the Edge will mix Kuga civility with a cheeky dose of the US chunkiness to which we’re all susceptible.
Chevrolet Camaro: The below-radar muscle car
Never quite the blue-collar hero in Europe that Mustang is, Camaro is a deliciously American icon, and the sixth generation looks intriguing. Design remains familiar, but underneath is an all-new lightweight (but 28% stiffer) chassis, plus the option of big brother Corvette’s updated small-block V8.
Lotus 3-Eleven: The supercar-shamer
The priciest Lotus ever (at £96k) is also the fastest (at 180mph). Proving that the Elise chassis will last either forever or as long as they want it to, the 3-Eleven gets 444bhp from its 3.5-litre Toyota V6, and packs 500bhp-per-tonne thanks to new resin infusion composite tech. Coming April, ready or not.
BMW M4 GTS: The fastest road car BMW has ever made
So, 0-62mph in 3.8sec, 190mph (limited!), titanium exhaust, no rear seats, 700 limited edition, £121,770. And it looks like… this. MotoGP safety car turns reality, water-injection and all, leaving us camped on a Munich pavement until next March.
Merc AMG GT3: The supercar GT racer
Above is an FIA homologated GT racer with a 6.3-litre V8, but much as we’re looking forward to that, it’s the roadgoing offspring that we await. Also tipped to be badged GT3, it promises 585bhp from a twin-turbo V8, 200mph and a £125k price tag. Even hotter ‘GT-R’ may follow. Nurse, the screens!
Seat Leon SUV: The Spanish Tiguan
Stay with us here – we know compact SUVs tend to invoke ECG traces flatter than Bonneville, but the Leon’s a massively underrated budget Golf with a frisky streak. We’re confident of more of the same here, especially as Seat’s 20V20 concept car at this year’s Geneva show (above) looked a corker.