I can’t recall 2017 being the most memorable year for new cars. There was nothing out-of-this-world in terms of performance or technology, aesthetics or practicality. However there were some glimpses of a new dawn in the automotive industry that suggest we can completely do away with fossil fuel power in the very near future: Tesla, for example, revealed their Roadster concept that is expected to go on sale in 2020, and can achieve 0-60 mph in just 1.9 seconds, over 250 mph, and has a range of 620 miles. Majorly impressive figures.
The next generation of hypercars are not expected until at least 2019, so 2018 will very much be a continuity of recent trends: more affordable quality, hybridised powertrains and general efficiency improvements. More manufacturers are in fact heading down the all-electric powertrain route as battery and motor technology continues to advance, and there will be plenty of electric SUVs hitting the market over the next twelve months. SUVs and their slightly smaller compact siblings are becoming increasingly popular in Europe, which is a bit counterintuitive considering that we are (supposedly) heading towards better efficiency in our vehicles. However, big German brands such as Audi and BMW are bolstering their line-ups in this category for the coming year, and the likes of Jaguar are also entering the competition with their I-Pace.
There is one particular car that I am looking forward to seeing next year though, and that’s the new Toyota Supra. It’s been sixteen years since this car icon – which is synonymous with plenty of Need for Speed titles on PlayStation 2 – went out of production, so it will be a somewhat nostalgic moment to see the name return to the road.
There are plenty of opportunities over the year to be the first to see and get up close to these new cars. In the UK we have the likes of the London Motor Show and Goodwood Festival of Speed (both of which I have been to and are fantastic), while abroad there are the extremely popular shows in Geneva and Frankfurt.
If you’re into racing then there is no show better than Autosport International in January, held at the NEC in Birmingham. Although it’s primarily a trade show, a plethora of industry-leading companies offer up their latest and greatest pieces of engineering for the general public to view as well. Rarely do you get to see such incredible cars up close as you do here, ranging from vintage go-karts to modern F1 machinery. And in case you were wondering, this paragraph hasn’t been a paid promotion, I just really like the show and hope to return soon when I don’t have to do January exams anymore (thanks, university).
I recently saw that Moto GP will be supported by an all-electric series called Moto-e, in which the racing will consist of just 11 laps… The automotive world is in a transition period, so get out and see/hear internal combustion while you can!
There will undoubtedly be LOADS of news and events during 2018 – with things that will affect everyone from learner drivers to F1 stars! What are you excited about over the next year?