In Review

Magnificent seven: The most anticipated cars of 2017

From the Lexus LC500 to the Renault Koleos, here are the hottest cars coming round the bend in the year ahead

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It has been a big year for the motoring industry, particularly in the performance sector where large engines with poor fuel efficiency have been scrapped in favour of smaller, more economical units.

Porsche controversially downsized its naturally aspirated flat-six engine for a turbocharge four-cylinder boxer unit on its 718 Boxster and Cayman. Ford also dropped a couple of cylinders on its new GT supercar, ditching its own naturally aspirated V8 and adopting a turbocharge V6 EcoBoost engine. 

The SUV market is also flourishing, partly due to the introduction of the Skoda Kodiaq, a car that offers seven seats and all the room a family could want for a fraction of the price of its German rivals. 

With 2016 marking an important year for all areas of the motoring industry, will 2017 be another strong year for car buyers?

Here are seven of the most anticipated cars coming next year.

1. Renault Alpine Vision

Renault recently opened orders on its new Alpine Vision, a rear-wheel drive sports car set to rival the Alfa Romeo 4C and Porsche 718 Cayman. Launching towards the end of next year, it's expected to cost between £42,000 and £50,000, with pre-orders requiring a £1,700 deposit.

Performance figures are scarce, but Renault has said the Alpine will go from zero to 62mph in 4.5 seconds, matching the figures of the 4C and slightly quicker than the Cayman's time of 4.7 seconds. While the latest incarnation of the Alpine Vision has only appeared in camouflage, it's clear to see the design borrows several features from the original cars of the Sixties and Seventies. 

2. Aston Martin V8 Vantage

Following the launch of the firm's flagship DB11 grand tourer, all eyes will shift to Aston Martin's entry-level car – the V8 Vantage. The current V8 Vantage is over ten years old, debuting in 2005 as a more compact alternative to the DB9, and has since gone on to spawn numerous special editions such as the GT12.

While there's no official confirmation from Aston Martin, Car Magazine has spotted a potential V8 Vantage test mule lapping the Nurburgring. The prototype is "noticeably shorter" than the current V12-engined DB11 and could receive AMG's 4.0-litre twin-turbo unit under its bonnet, the mag adds. 

3. Land Rover Discovery

A completely new Land Rover Discovery is coming next year, bringing with it a lightweight aluminium construction and more economical engines. Prices will start at around £43,495 for the SD4 diesel, with a limited-run First Edition model available for £68,295 when the Discovery launches next spring.

As ever, Land Rover has bundled in a heap of off-road technology, including refined approach and departure angles for steep ascents, as well as a new air suspension system for ground clearance of up to 280mm. Land Rover also includes low-range modes and its All Terrain Progress Control System as standard. 

4. Lexus LC500

Critics have given the Lexus LC500 the thumbs-up, even thought it won't hit the market until mid-2017. Evo says the "striking design" and V8 engine will set the LC500 apart from the rest of the competition, although its better suited as a GT car rather than an outright 911 beater. 

Buyers will be treated to a 5.0-litre naturally aspirated V8 engine, which is a rare sight among today's trend of smaller capacity turbo engines. There's also a V6 hybrid, which Auto Express calls a "great grand tourer" and arguably "a good sports car". 

5. Mercedes AMG GT C coupé

Mercedes has already announced the convertible variant of the AMG GT C roadster, yet rumours are circling of a coupé version that may appear sometime next year. Prices for the GT C roadster start at £139,445, so expect the coupé version to cost a little less. 

The AMG GT C roadster bridges the gap between the regular GT and the record-breaking GT R.  Flared wheel arches and lower ride hight distinguish it from the standard model, with its turbocharged V8 engine producing 549bhp and 502lb-ft of torque – 80bhp and 37lb ft more than the regular roadster. 

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6. Renault Koleos

Another entry into the highly-populated SUV market next year is Renault's updated Koleos. It sits just above the company's Kadjar SUV and is expected to go on sale next summer, with prices announced closer to launch. 

Auto Express reports that it shares most of its underpinnings with the Nissan X-Trail and features a sizeable 624-litre boot space. It also rides 213mm off the ground, which is promising for those looking to use it on harsher terrain. 

7. Seat Arona

On the opposite end of the SUV spectrum is Seat's compact Arona crossover, which will be among three new production cars to appear in the near future, including an updated Seat Ibiza. 

Carbuyer reports the Arona will be based on the Ibiza platform and cost "around £14,000". Performance details are scarce at this early stage, but expect to hear more from Seat early next year.

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