There are no sensible, mid-priced run-arounds here; this is all about choosing which car is the techiest, boldest, brassiest and most future-facing. The ultimate T3 car for 2016, in short…
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A totally ridiculous supercar from the brand that brought you the Cortina, Mondeo and Fiesta. The Ford GT is a legendary performance car. It's only seen two iterations since it's inception in 1960, but it's gained a cult following amongst petrolheads. The 3.5L EcoBoost V6 engine puts out 600 BHP. The engine will be paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch for “near-instantaneous” gear changes.
- Here's what we learned from our quick look at the Ford GT
Jaguar enters the premium SUV market and knocks it straight out of the park, if you'll excuse the mixed metaphor. The F-Pace is a computer on wheels that goes like a bomb. The F-Pace is a strong, muscular looking car. We think it looks stunningly aggressive. There are some clever design elements too. The wheels, although 22”, still have a thick tyre wall to defend the alloys from curbing, and the “power bump” on the bonnet is an efficient use of space.There are also some attractive lines and curves on the side to make it appear shorter than it actually is, and the front wheel arch / a-pillar position gives it sports car-like proportions.
Tesla Model X
The ultimate electric SUV? The Model X does everything short of driving itself - and only then because it's not legal in most places. The Model X will be available in two versions – the standard 90D model will set you back $US132,000, while the P90D, which comes equipped with the Ludicrous Mode found in the Tesla Model S, will be priced at $US142,000.
Though the 90D is no slouch, going from 0 to 60 mph (97 kph) in 3.7 seconds with a range of 257 miles (413 km), the P90D has the distinction of being the fastest SUV in the world, boasting an acceleration of 0 to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds with a range of 250 miles (412 km).
BMW 7 Series
The last word in Teutonic, techy luxury. The iDrive infotainment system has been reworked to offer a number of neat features, including gesture control, which allows the driver to dismiss incoming phone calls with a swipe of the hand, increase and decrease the volume of the entertainment system with a twisting motion and skip tracks by jabbing with two fingers. It's a world first. The tech works by incorporating an infrared camera that's located near the rear-view mirror. The driver simply has to make the gestures in front of the infotainment console and the camera will pick them up and act accordingly. Cool eh? Better still, the system now responds to conversational voice commands. So you can tell the navigation to "take me to a nearby coffee shop" or "show me some good hotels in the area" rather than laboriously punching in searches by hand. For maximum swank points, head for the £150K 'Montblanc for BMW' limited-edition version.
A big, beautiful car that's thrilling yet safe; intelligent yet idiot-proof. There's a lot of tech in this car, all working in harmony. It looks mint, drives well and surrounds you with incredible materials, build quality and the confidence that it's one of the safest cars in Christendom. And with entry level prices lower than the BMW X5, Audi Q7, Mercedes M-Class and Land Rover Discovery, a cheaper insurance group than all those buggers and almost certainly superior MPG, it's a pretty compelling package, which also bodes well for all future Volvos. Every single one of which will be refreshed in the next, two years. Exciting times indeed.
Audi Q7 E-Tron
The plug-in hybrid SUV of your dreams, this is another car that's all about efficiency and safety, yet effortlessly avoids being boring. We've driven it, and we loved it. In fact, we love the Q7 line-up as a whole, especially the stunning SQ7 which we had the pleasure of pootling along (well, pootling fast) country roads in recently.