Written by Graham Cutbill-White
2018 is already in full swing and a new year means a brand-new batch of new cars are ready to be released on to the road.
Whether you’re in the market for a new set of wheels or just a petrolhead excited to see the latest releases, 2018 is set to be a banner year for the UK car market.
With a raft of Sport utility vehicles (SUVs), crossovers, and new and improved electric cars ready to go on sale, we’ve collected just some of the hot new cars that you should be excited about in 2018.
If you’re looking for one of the more exciting SUVs released this year, the BMW X2 is the pick for you. A more compact version than other SUVs on the market but with a curvy, sportier design aimed at younger drivers.
While standing out from the crowd comes as standard with the X2, you can choose from a range of different options including petrol or diesel engines and either front-wheel drive or xDrive four-wheel drive.
Sticking with the SUVs, but this time something more generally affordable, the latest version of the Duster comes with completely overhauled and updated interior as well as a brand-new look on the outside.
Boasting fresh tech and better-quality materials on its dashboard as part of the interior redesign, the 2018 Duster also offers an infotainment system which on higher-spec models can be linked to a reversing camera.
Britain’s cheapest SUV has also improved its safety tech in a big bid to be a real alternative to some of the bigger, more exciting names in the market.
Moving down in size, but not it in anticipation is the Ford Fiesta ST. The small but speedy ST manages to produce an extra 17bhp (197bhp total) and will run a faster 0-62mph time 6.7 (seconds) compared to the previous version of the ST.
There has also been a big focus on improving the steering and according to Ford’s head of small cars in Europe in an interview with Auto Express the team working on the new Fiesta have “fine-tuned the calibration to make sure it drives exactly how a Fiesta should”.
If like many drivers, you like to make a new car truly feel like your own, the Fiesta offers great personalisation including Interior styling packs alternative trim and finishes on many items in the cockpit.
You’ll also have the new Sync 3 infotainment system with up to 8-inch touch screen display.
Hot on the heels of its predecessor and its rivals in class, the new Swift Sport offers a lighter albeit slightly slower supermini. Weighing in at just 970kg, the feather-like Swift uses it’s 1.4-litre BoosterJet four-cylinder to get the best possible performance from this little gem.
Boasting more space than previous models, the 2018 Swift also comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to remove the faff of using your phone as an entertainment hub in the car.
The Sport version, in comparison to the regular Swift, has updated its looks, brakes. And suspension.
The big dog of the electric car sector is back with its second-generation model. Backed by a government grant for buying fully-electric vehicles which drops the price to £21,990, you get a whole new look which swaps the curvy, bubble look for a more dynamic, hard-edged design.
You’ll also be getting improved battery performance with a reported range of 235 miles on a single charge, up around 50% on the first-generation model. A 40-minute charge will get the Leaf to around 80% power.
An exciting new feature is the Nissan’s new e-Pedal. Essentially, it’s one pedal driving that means that releasing the accelerator will be enough to slow the car to a stop.
With the ever-increasing popularity of SUVs, expect to see more and more electric versions hit the roads.
In 2018 one of the more anticipated releases is Audi’s electric SUV, the E-tron. Some of the key features include an expected range of 311 miles per single charge, 496bhp and expected 0-62mph time of just 4.5 seconds.
At the more executive end of the electric car market, the E-tron is expected to be the first of many (Jaguar, BMW and Mercedes expected to have their own releases soon) premium electric SUVs.
For family cars, safety is a huge factor and the brand new i30 boasts a range of well-regarded safety features including autonomous emergency braking (it scans the road for obstacles and brakes the car if it senses an imminent collision), a lane-keeping assistance system (which corrects the vehicle if you drift out of your lane without indicating), and a fatigue warning system all as standard.
Alongside these safety features, which have earned the i30 a five-star score from Euro NCAP, the car comes with a reasonable amount of equipment, even in its standard form with an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system is the focus of the front of the car.
It also comes with a five-year/unlimited-mileage warranty, the second longest in the industry.
Mercedes are breaking new ground in their small, family cars range with a new and improved look and a hi-tech interior. The makers of the new A-Class have opted to upgrade the inside by increasing the interior space and introducing a brand new two-screen setup.
The luxurious upgrade continues with massage seats, wood trim and a 64-colour mood lighting system available in higher priced models.
Details of the exterior are being kept under wraps for know but if it matches the interior, it should be a class design.
About as far away from a family car as you can get, the 2018 Aventador S Roadstar carries a hefty price tag but an equally hefty 6.5-litre aspirated V12 engine.
With a 0-62mph time of exactly 3 seconds and a top speed of 217mph, the Lambo has a seven-speed flappy-paddle gearbox which can change gears in under 50 milliseconds to handle changing gears at high speeds easily.
A true dream car for many, it comes with removable roof panels for a choice of topless of standard driving. The hard-panelled roof weighs in at just 6kg and easily removed and stored in a front trunk.
If you’re forking out over £200,000, you’d expect some sort of customisation and you get it all with their personalisation programme – both the inside and outside can be customised to your own individual tastes.
Not much is known about Rolls-Royces first toe-dip into the SUV pool but what we do know looks pretty special.
There’s no concrete release date and sneak peak pictures have been obscured by camouflage but from what we can see, we can expect a very large vehicle more than 5 and a half metres with the classic Rolls upright grille.
Some new features we can expect include four-wheel drive, a first for the company, air spring suspension and a raised ride height.
As more details emerge, it will be exciting to see how the Cullinan (named after a massive 3000-carat diamond by the way) looks both inside and out.
With no set time for the release, there is still plenty of time to save (and save and save) for Rolls-Royce’s first attempt at an SUV.
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