Recent years have been hard on the car industry. Declining sales have seen the loss of some iconic brands and an overall trend towards cheaper and less adventurous cars. 2013, however, saw an increase in sales and the first signs of recovery. Car manufacturers are gaining the confidence to release more new models than ever. 2014 is set to be a very exciting year for motoring.
Here are five of the cars we are most looking forward to driving:
Audi A3 Cabriolet
Yet another new A3 model is set to hit the market. Based upon the 3-door A3 hatchback, order forms for the A3 Cabriolet are already available at Audi dealers. The Audi badge guarantees that this car has a number of hallmarks as standard; power, style and reliability being just some of them. Costing under £30,000, with a wide variety of engine sizes and trims available, this car is set to be great value for money. Plus there will be an S3 model following shortly, boasting Audi’s quattro all-wheel-drive system and lots of performance.
Jaguar F-Type Coupe
Just the mention of a new release from Jaguar is always enough cause to a huge amount of hype here in the UK, and news of the new F-Type Coupe has been no exception. Boasting stunning looks and high levels of performance, this car is set to be a huge hit, just like the F-Type convertible version which arrived in Jaguar showrooms last year. With prices in the £50,000 – £85,000 range, but significantly cheaper than the convertible version, you get a lot of car for your money plus a gorgeous coupe body. Is this the car to be seen in in 2014?
For those looking for something a little more practical and quite a lot more affordable, there is still the new Hyundai i10 to get excited about. A dedicated small city car, the i10 is spacious on the inside, gets good mileage and, above all, is great value for money. It started arriving in showrooms in early January, and builds upon the solid reputation Hyundai has been building for the last five years. Along with sister brand Kia, you no longer have to justify buying a Hyundai because it’s cheap.
Ferrari 458 Speciale
The ‘standard’ Ferrari 458 is a great car. The updated Speciale version is set to be even greater. With the racetrack in mind, Ferrari has updated the horsepower as well as the onboard computer power, and lowered the weight by removing unnecessary luxuries and making everything else out of carbon fibre. The price of more than £200,000 is just as eye watering as the performance stats of this car. With McLaren launching an upgraded version of its 12C supercar, to be called the 650S, there’s a supercar battle brewing…
BMW 4 Series Convertible
Not to be outdone by Audi, BMW is set to release its latest convertible, based on its 4 Series coupe and replacing the previous 3 Series convertible model. A folding hardtop is the only thing that has carried over its predecessor; everything else has been updated or entirely replaced. The engine is more powerful, and the car is lower, wider and longer. The kit levels are better and so is the ride comfort. Available to buy from March, a 4 Series Convertible will cost between £36,000 and £45,000 (before getting too comfortable with BMW’s predictably-long options list…).
Obviously there are plenty of other fantastic new cars being released over the course of this year, so it is easy to see why 2014 is already looking like a great year for the car industry – and a welcome improvement over the last few years.
Are you planning on purchasing any of these cars? Are there any other models which you can’t wait to get behind the wheel of? Leave us a comment below!