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New cars to look forward to

By raccars Published

Jaguar F-Pace

What new cars does the motor industry plan to offer the world in the next few years?

There's a lot going on in the UK (and indeed the world) at the moment, but through it all the automotive industry is thriving. Uncertainty lies ahead but car makers tend to work further into the future than the rest of us, planning products a few years in advance.

At the moment the consumer is benefiting from lower fuel prices and more choice than ever before, plus a huge array of new technology which is becoming more and more affordable. Meanwhile the supermini is being pushed aside by the crossover, derived from the traditional SUV. Electric cars are shedding their socks and sandals image to become the cool and practical choice as well as the clean and green choice.

These exciting new cars are on their way

Fiat 124 Spider

After years of ups and downs and development setbacks, the latest Alfa Romeo Spider is about to be released. Except it's not an Alfa Romeo anymore. Corporate reshuffling by Fiat Chrysler means that the Alfa has become a Fiat and will re-use the brand's historic 124 name. It is still essentially a badge-engineered version of the latest Mazda MX-5 but that's no bad thing, and classic Italian roadster styling does a great job of disguising its origins. Priced from about £22,295, the range will include a high performance Abarth variant.

Jaguar F-Pace

One of the heavily hyped pre-releases ever, buyers are salivating over Jaguar's much anticipated first SUV. The road-focused but nonetheless capable all-wheel driver features a familiar array of big cat power trains and is expected to send Jag sales into orbit. It's very reasonably priced too, at £40,360.

Audi Q2

Where Audi's other SUVs are almost identically styled versions of each other in different scale, the compact Q2 takes a more individual approach to design. It's sharper and more angular from the outside, although the cabin remains familiar territory. It's using the Audi A3 and VW Golf platform architecture but the firm has yet to confirm power train details. The Q2 is due to be released towards the end of the year with an estimated starting price of about £22,000.

Tesla Model 3

Tesla has sneaked up upon the motor industry and caught it by surprise by building genuinely desirable, attractive and practical electric sports cars. The Model 3 compact executive saloon is scheduled to arrive in 2018 and is set to threaten the BMW 3 Series. For £35,000-ish you'll get a fast, sleek and luxurious but clean and green family car. However, the company has apparently been deluged with nearly half a million pre-orders, so don't expect to get your hands on one straight away.

Kia Niro

For its the first hybrid SUV Kia has decided to go with a dedicated design rather than adapting one of its existing, rather good models. But the car is still recognisably part of the same vehicle line-up. It's economical, as a hybrid should be, practical, rather nice looking and very affordable at about £18,000. It's due out very soon.

BMW Z5

The replacement for the Z4 is the result of a joint venture with Toyota and will be out by the end of the year. Spy shots have shown a more athletic silhouette and a soft top finish instead of the Z4's folding hard top, which should make it lighter. The engines are likely to be familiar from BMW's existing line-up and prices are expected to start at about £70,000.

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