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Ford-Edge

2015’s been and gone, and has offered us a fair share of great vehicles. The Nissan Juke showed us a new angle on SUV crossovers. The Chevrolet Impala and the Honda Accord both rose the bar for large sedans. As great as these models are, it’s time to look into the future. Several manufacturers have released info into exciting new models. We’re in for some thrilling supercars and reliable smaller models. All the latest technology which has been released is certainly going to make a big impact. All-electric SUVs are certainly expected to make a splash in their niche! Here, we’ll have a look at a few of the most anticipated cars of the coming year.

Alfa Romeo Giulia

" 15 - ITALY Alfa Romeo Giulia QV 2015 pre-series at Museo Alfa Romeo Arese.jpg

Image source: Wikimedia

This striking saloon has certainly generated a lot of buzz since it was first announced. A standard model and a more flashy “QV” model are due to be released in 2016, and auto journals are already calling it a worthy rival for the BMW M3. The QV version has been the most widely publicised. However, an amateur video from the Netherlands shows what we can expect from the more road-friendly version. The quad tailpipes, rear diffuser and boot spoiler have all been removed. Instead, the Giulia comes with twin exhaust pipes, smaller wheels and front air scoops. The Giulia will be available with a 2.9-litre twin turbo engine, along with a couple of more conventional options. Two low-power diesel versions are expected to be released, with a six-speed gearbox and rear-wheel drive. The top end diesel will be all-wheel only.

The aesthetics of the Giulia are pretty interesting. This car is a true symbol of Alfa Romeo’s move away from family saloons, and towards a far more serious, executive feel. Their intricate headlamp designs as seen in the 159 have been removed for something more modern. On the Giulia, a sleek structure of LEDs wrap all the way from the nose to the wheel arches. Of course, they’ve kept their signature V-shaped grill, and fitted two broad air intakes, and a lip spoiler. The bonnet is kinked and fairly long, and the windscreen is slightly steeper than Alfa’s earlier saloons. If you look from the side, you see that the Giulia has a subtly rounded window shape, not unlike the 8C coupes.

Various press releases have revealed that the Giulia is going to have a 50:50 weight distribution. It will also use lightweight materials for a better drive. The wings, doors and rear crossmember are all to be made of aluminium, while the bonnet and roof will be made of carbon fibre. We’re also expecting a DNA variable driving system and adaptive dampers. For now, it’s not clear whether the base models will have these.

Dacia Duster

Dacia Duster 1.5 dCi front 20100928.jpg

Image source: Wikimedia

Dacia have been producing their rugged little SUV since 2009. However, they’ll be releasing a new version in 2016, with several new features. For one, the new Duster will be running on a 1.2 litre turbo petrol engine. The 125 TCE model is an upgrade from the engine which is already being used in the Renault (Dacia’s parent company) Clio. Spokespeople from Dacia have said that the 1.2 litre engine will be able to rival the performance of an aspirated 2 litre engine. There seems to be a big emphasis on efficiency with the new Duster. It will come with stop/start and deceleration energy recovery. The four-wheel drive feature will get a lot of attention, of course. The 1.2 Duster will have six-speed, 4×4 transmission, with a good range of gear ratios. Although more and more 4×4 manufacturers are leaning towards family appeal, this shows that the Duster will be well suited to off-road driving. After tearing through muddy fields, you can switch up to sixth for some comfortable cruising on the motorway. Although we don’t know the official fuel economy and performance figures, these will be announced closer to the launch.

If the older versions are anything to go by, the Dacia Duster is certainly one to consider if you’re looking to buy a new car. Dusters have always been known for their great value. Unlike a lot of other cheap cars, the Duster has a lot of genuinely appealing features. This has made them a big seller at used dealerships like Hilton Garage. As part of the massive Renault family, you know you can rely on all the mechanical works in the Duster. The bold wheel arches fit in gorgeously with the beefy SUV style of the exterior body. Compared to other SUVs, the 2015’s Duster had a functional but plain interior. The basic, plastic feel of the dash is one of the few things which reminds you you bought a budget car. However, the cabin feels very spacious and all the controls are simple to use. The 2016 Duster is sure to include some great innovations. Having said that, I hope they keep up the rugged, straightforward feel they’re known for.

Ford Edge

Ford-Edge

Image source: Wikimedia

Finally, we have the Ford Edge. This debuted at 2015’s Frankfurt Motor Show, and went on sale in January, starting at £29,995. Ford have announced that they’re trying to make their firm more global with their new “one Ford” cars. All their new models are going to be aimed at meeting the needs of an international audience, rather than competing with region-specific vehicles. They’re certainly living up to this policy by bringing a revised version of the Edge to Europe.

If you’ve been a Ford fan for a long time, then you’ll notice a few design winks in the Edge. The massive front grill is simply the Mondeo’s that’s been raised up. The bonnet has a wide clam-shell design, which is reminiscent of several Land Rovers. If there’s one design feature which sets the Edge apart, then it’s the single-bar brake lights. This has never been seen in European Fords, and throws a little more futuristic charm into the whole vehicle. The Edge is more spacious than many of its SUV rivals, boasting a five-seat interior. This puts it on-par with even the larger SUV models like the VW Touareg.

The dashboard is more or less the same as a Mondeo’s, though several new tech features have been added. The car has inflatable rear seatbelts, and is fitted with Active Noise Cancellation. This feature works through three microphones mounted on different places in the cabin. These are used to generate opposing sound waves. This will counteract unwanted noise from the engine and surrounding traffic. Another cool piece of tech which has been added is the front split view camera. This is another feature meant to help you when pulling into junctions and out of parking spaces. There are two separate camera units at the front, which aim in different directions to give you a complete 180 view of the front of the car. The tech doesn’t stop there, with other features you’re probably familiar with. There’s automatic city braking and blind-spot warnings, which make a car of this size all the more easy to handle. Another thing which has been lifted from the Mondeo is the sophisticated rear suspension system. With all of this in one machine, the Edge is certainly something to watch in 2016.

As you can see, there are some real treats which 2016 will offer. We’ve covered some of the more practical cars here, but there’s all sorts of others to look forward to. Jaguar will be releasing their first SUV with the F-Pace, and Honda’s new supercar the NSX will be making an entrance later. However these new releases perform, 2016 is going to be an exciting year for car buyers!