2016 motoring preview

James Foxall
Written by: James Foxall
Posted on: 12 January 2016

As ever, the car industry is going to be turning up the wick in 2016 with a raft of new models. And British-based and built Jaguars and Land Rovers are going to be the cars grabbing many of the headlines.

That’s because 2016 is the year Jaguar will launch its eagerly anticipated F-PACE. Despite the weird-sounding name, this is actually a small SUV, designed to do battle with the Audi Q3 and Porsche Macan.

Jaguar F-PACE

Jaguar F-PACE

An SUV that’s going to be in a league of its own in 2016 is the Range Rover Evoque Convertible. Yes, you did read that right. The British firm has chopped the top off its three-door Evoque and replaced steel with fabric for the roof. As incredible goes, it’s up there with the best… cars such as the Koenigsegg Regera for example.

You won’t see many, if any, Regeras around, and that might be a good thing as this plug-in petrol-electric hybrid will be the most powerful road car ever, boasting a downright scary 1807bhp. And then there’s its price tag a cool £1.2million.

But you may get one chance to view a Regera in the metal in 2016...

The new London Motor Show comes to town

London Motor Show

London Motor Show

For the first time in eight years, London is going to have its own motor show. Hyper cars and hybrids will be on display alongside each other in Battersea Park, on the south side of the River Thames. And early information suggests it’s going to be a lot more than just shiny cars parked up in a pavilion for drivers to look at but not touch.

It claims there will be off-site driving experiences, simulators and active safety demonstrations. HRH Prince Michael of Kent is the patron and he claims he wants it to develop into a regular event.

It takes place on May 5-8, 2016.

Driverless cars finally hit the road

An increasing number of manufacturers are promising to have fully-functioning driverless cars by 2016.

Audi, Nissan and Tesla will all be revealing models that don’t need a driver in 2016 and for the first time we’re going to be seeing unmanned motors on our streets. Coventry, Bristol, Milton Keynes and Greenwich in London will all be hosting trials that will see driverless cars in action in one form or another.

In some cases it will merely be unmanned pods travelling at low speeds through pedestrian areas. In others, it will be driverless Jaguars, Land Rovers and Fords on our roads, although they are likely to have an engineer on board who can take control at a moment’s notice. Just in case they go ‘rogue’.

BMW’s birthday

The German giant is currently best known for its cars, but when it was founded in 1916 it was actually as an aircraft engine maker. It was banned from doing that after the First World War and took to making Austin Sevens under licence. It went back to making aircraft engines but stopped again following the Second World War and thereafter built its successful car-making arm.

Almost 50% is owned by the Quandt family who, unsurprisingly, are multi-billionaires and among the wealthiest people in Germany. To celebrate the company’s centenary, there are rumours of two new BMW ‘i’ cars: an i5 saloon and an i9 hypercar to follow in the wheel tracks of the i3 and i8.

Alpine’s anniversary

Goodwood festival

Goodwood festival

If you like motorsport and attend the Goodwood Festival of Speed, you won’t be able to miss a certain Gallic flavour to proceedings in 2016. That’s because it’s Renault-owned Alpine’s 60th anniversary and to coincide with it, the French firm is set to be launched as Renault’s ‘official’ sporting arm at Goodwood.

Its successful racing cars from the past have already been confirmed as forming the festival’s central display. There’s also likely to be a new production car breaking cover for the first time. We’ve got a lot to look forward to.

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