2015 is rapidly running out, so we thought we’d get right onto looking forward to what next year will bring in terms of automotive finery.
Around this time of year us motoring journalists usually look back at what made us all hot under our ill-fitting tweed collars. This time around, we’ve decided to look forward to the cars you really should care about. These, ladies and gentlemen, are the cars that we’re most likely to be raving about in 2016.
High-powered BMWs are best served small and light as the M135i proved. On paper, the 370hp BMW M2 will almost certainly give the bigger M3 and M4 something to worry about. Bettering its 1M successor will be no easy challenge, of course, but its 3.0-litre M TwinPower turbo engine and 0-62mph time of 4.5 seconds get things off to a good start. Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres and 380mm discs on the front, meanwhile, should make it capable of losing speed as fast as it gains it. Best of all, it will be served up as a six-speed manual. Sweet.
Ford Focus RS
Another heavy-hitter of 2015 will almost certainly be the new Ford Focus RS, which looks in a position to surpass just about every hot-hatch in 2015, including the M135i and the VW Golf R. This is because of its 350PS 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine, which will propel the car from 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds with launch control doing its thing. Its top speed of 165mph, meanwhile, makes it almost as fast as the Honda Civic Type R. When you bring Drift legend Ken Block in as a consultant you know Ford really means business – we want very much.
Range Rover Evoque Convertible
Land Rover’s Evoque needs no introduction, mainly because you see so many of the bloody things around. But if there was one thing it lacked, it was a convertible roof. At least that’s what Land Rover thinks. A convertible version has been announced and will be here in the spring of 2016. The topless Evoque boasts a fabric roof that opens in 21 seconds and closes in 18 and is powered by various engines, including the fuel-sipping Ingenium diesel.
The idea of a Fiat engine in a Japanese body may seem a bit skewiff but we’re still kind of excited about the Fiat 124 for a few reasons. Not only does it look great, it has the same underpinnings as the new MX-5, which is a proven smile-raiser. A kerb weight of around 1,000kg is another plus, and it’s got a convertible roof. The fact it looks a bit like a baby Dodge Viper is the icing on the cake. Just pray it drives better than the Giulietta and Mito…
Dodge Viper ACR
Speaking of which, the 2016 Dodge Viper ACR has been annihilating various American track records in its quest to prove that big engines and big tyres do the job. We use the term ‘annihilate’ without hyperbole because it’s already lapped the Laguna Seca Raceway faster than a Porsche 918 Spyder – a £1-million German hypercar. To be fair, what else would you expect from a car with a 6ft adjustable spoiler that creates in excess of 770kg of downforce and an 8.4-litre V10 engine with 645bhp?
Alfa Romeo Giulia
Anyone who loves cars will know you’re supposed to own at least one Alfa Romeo (and be on first name terms with a good mechanic to keep it running). The mad-as-a-box-of-frogs Alfa 4C is a difficult thing to love, but the 510hp six-cylinder Giulia looks like a very exciting proposition. With a 50:50 weight ratio, 0-62mph time of 3.9 seconds, bonkers Italian styling and what Alfa claims will be ‘record-breaking stopping distances’, it’s going to take the fight nicely to rivals like the BMW M4.
What the Ferrari F12tdf lacks in sexy naming, it makes up for with performance. Give Ferrari the asking price of £240,083 and you can expect a ‘track-level’ version of the already dangerously quick F12. The 6.3-litre V12 has been tuned to 769hp (up 40hp) and torque is 705Nm (up 15Nm), while 110kg of weight has been shaved off. As a result, 0-62mph takes a mere 2.9 seconds and 0-124mph takes 7.9 seconds. Only 799 will be built so don’t expect to see many on the road in 2016. If you do, have a bib ready to catch the dribble.