The coming year is set to be a big one for cars. The old guard are still chucking out amazing designs that are set to deliver big thrills (and big speed). But aside from the standard industry leaders, a new crop of electric car manufacturers is picking up speed, too, with a whole bunch of releases slated for this year.
In fact, these electric designs look so promising that, actually, old-school manufacturers are making their own electric cars as well. We reckon that 2018 will be a turning point for the electric car – sales are slated to hit record levels as battery tech finally catches up with the needs of regular drivers.
Still, that doesn’t mean that every car we’re looking forward to driving in 2018 is electric; there are some properly interesting combustion-engined dinosaurs launching this year, too. So, in no particular order, here are eight of the cars we can’t wait to drive in 2018. What do you most want to see?
Okay, this car technically came out towards the end of 2017, but we’re driving it this month, and it looks fabulous. This is Kia’s first attempt at a premium sports saloon – it wades into battle against the likes of the Audi S5 and Mercedes C43 AMG. Crucially, it costs less than those two cars, but not that much less. This signals Kia’s intent with the Stinger – it costs that much because it’s been very well engineered (by a former BMW M-Division boss, no less). Keep an eye out for our review later this month.
Aston Martin Vantage
The new Vantage has been a long-time coming, and, boy, has the wait been worth it. The DB10 featured in the last James Bond film, Spectre, was based on the design of the Vantage, but unlike that car, it’s all-new underneath. The structure is mostly aluminium, and the engine is an AMG-sourced, 4.0-litre, twin-turbo V8. That means the new Vantage will be good for 0-100 km/h in 3.8 seconds. Hence our excitement at the prospect of driving it. That, and the fact it’s a new Aston Martin.
To be honest, the MotorGeeks office isn’t hugely enamoured by Lamborghini’s new SUV. It may be, according to Lamborghini, “the world’s first super-SUV”, but you can’t deny there’s something a little Lexus about its looks. Still, with the sort of performance that Lamborghini is promising from the Urus, we’re more than curious to see how the car stacks up. There’s more than a good chance that it’ll be fantastic.
Suzuki Swift Sport
At the other end of the spectrum, we have the new Suzuki Swift. The last one was a big hit in the UAE because it looked good, drove great, and came incredibly cheap. The new one is an updated version of the same formula. You get just 2 bhp more than the outgoing model, so power is a handy little 136 bhp. However, Suzuki has shaved 80 kg from the weight (it now weighs just 970 kg), and upped the torque to 169 lb-ft. This means the new Swift Sport should be incredibly nippy. This should be a properly exciting little city car.
BMW 8 Series
We mean, just look at it. Is there any reason why we wouldn’t be interested in driving it? But the 8 Series is more than a pretty face – it’s the rejuvenation of what we think is one of BMW’s most interesting lines of cars. The original 840i and 850i were sales flops in the 1990s (just 30,000 were built), but to us, they were just so, so cool. Now, the 8 Series is back, and it looks like BMW has got the coolness factor down. There’s no word on an engine range yet, but it’s a safe bet that the range-topping M8 (oh yes, there’s an M version) will be powered by a twin-turbo V8. To be honest, though, we reckon this car will be brilliant in any guise.
Up until this year, Tesla has had the electric SUV segment all wrapped up. But Jaguar’s hoping to break the Model X’s monopoly with the I-Pace, an electric compact SUV. From the off, we reckon it looks way better than Tesla’s SUV, but with a 0-100 km/h time of 4.0 seconds, it isn’t quite as fast. Still, that’s plenty quick enough for most, and if Jaguar’s claims that it’ll do almost 500 km on a single charge stack up, this could be a seriously desirable electric car. We’re looking forward to it.
Tesla Model 3
Speaking of electric cars, the first Tesla Model 3s are slated for delivery to customers in 2018. Whether or not Tesla makes its production targets is still up in the air (there are tons of reports of delays and manufacturing issues), but assuming all goes to plan, there’s a good chance that we’ll start seeing Tesla’s first ‘mass-market’ model in the wild this year. If Tesla’s other two current models are anything to go by, the Model 3 should be pretty good.
The New Mercedes G-Class
Mercedes hasn’t actually released any pictures of the new G-Class’s exterior – we’ve only been teased with new shots of the interior. That said, it’s a safe bet that the new G-Class will look almost identical to the old one – after all, the styling is a big part of the reason why people buy G-Classes in the first place. What’s interesting, though, is that underneath the G-Class will be all-new – Mercedes has sunk a whole lot of money into building an old-looking car that’s actually very modern under the skin. For obvious reasons, it’s an important car for the Middle East, and we’re pretty confident in predicting that it’ll be brilliant.