The ten most important new cars of 2017
From hypercars to electric vehicles, which newcomers stole the spotlight?
The motoring industry has had an exciting year, with the launch of innovative new cars ranging from hypercars inspired by racing machines to electric cars aimed at the masses.
Here are ten of the most important cars that made their debut in 2017.
1. Alfa Romeo Stelvio
The Italian marque delivered one of its best production cars in recent history with its Giulia saloon in 2016, so fans had high expectations for the company’s Stelvio SUV. That faith proved well founded, with Auto Express praising the Stelvio as “a genuinely appealing” addition to the SUV market.
You can find all the latest news on the Alfa Romeo Stelvio here.
2. Alpine A110
The Porsche Cayman had the mid-range sports car sector to itself for over a decade, but now it has a new rival in the form of the Alpine A110.
The Renault sub-brand’s sports car is a reimagining of the 1960s rally vehicle of the same name, with a similar coupe-shaped silhouette. Launched to critical acclaim, the A110 was hailed as “a very strong return for the Alpine brand” by Evo.
3. BMW 5 Series
The seventh-generation 5 Series arrived at the beginning of the year to take on the Mercedes E-Class and Audi A6. The new mid-size saloon is kitted out with the latest in-car technology, including the company’s semi-autonomous steering and lane control assistant.
Read more about the new BMW 5 Series here.
4. Ford GT
Ford’s new GT is essentially a race car for the road, having been designed to compete in the Le Mans 24h. Unlike previous generations, which were powered by V8 engines, the new car comes with a 3.5-litre twin-turbo EcoBoost unit that produces 638bhp. The hypercar also features hydraulically controlled active aerodynamics, reports The Daily Telegraph, which helps maintain grip at higher speeds.
Here’s everything you need to know about the new Ford GT.
5. Land Rover Discovery
Land Rover launched an all-new Discovery in 2017, featuring a significantly lighter aluminium design and a range of economical diesel engines. While the off-roader has all the luxury that Discovery owners have come to expect, says Autocar, it goes about “conquering” terrain without drama and comes with "a kitchen sink’s worth” of technology.
You can find all the latest news on the Discovery here.
6. McLaren 720S
McLaren's all-new 720S, which made its debut at the beginning of the year, is powered by a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine and an updated version of the British carmaker’s carbon fibre chassis. The sleek supercar also features an improved chassis control system that delivers 6% more mechanical grip through the tyres than in the 650S, the model which the 720S replaced, says Auto Express.
Read more about the McLaren 720S here.
7. Mercedes-AMG Project One
What do you get when you put the engine from an F1 machine into a road car? The Mercedes-AMG Project One.
The hypercar is powered by the same 1.6-litre turbo-charged V6 hybrid engine that Lewis Hamilton races with, while the interior gets a digital dashboard that relays your speed and gearing. Only 275 units are being produced, priced at a cool £2.4m each, says Top Gear.
8. Rolls-Royce Phantom
One of the most luxurious saloons in the world got a complete overhaul in 2017. The eight-generation Rolls-Royce Phantom, which costs from £322,175, comes with a 12.3in digital dashboard, and a feature called The Gallery that allows owners to display artwork above the centre console.
Everything you need to know about the Rolls-Royce Phantom can be found here.
9. Skoda Kodiaq
The SUV market was boosted by the arrival of another strong competitor when Skoda released its new Kodiaq as a cheaper alternative to its German rivals. Priced from about £23,000, the budget SUV is “easy to live with and solidly built”, says Auto Express.
Click here for a full rundown of the Skoda Kodiaq’s reviews, specs and pricing.
10. Tesla Model 3
Despite the influx of hypercars in 2017, one of the most anticipated vehicles to arrive came in the form of a mass-production electric car - the $35,000 (£26,000) Tesla Model 3.
Marketed as one of the cheapest autonomous EVs on the market, the car boasts Tesla’s Autopilot system, which can change lanes on the motorway without any input from the driver. The Model 3 can even park itself, using the Smart Summon feature, The Verge reports.
You can find all the latest news on Tesla’s budget EV here.