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New cars 2017: 5 to place your orders with right now

The automobile industry is clearly going through a change, and the trend seems to be skewing towards cleaner, more energy efficient alternatives to save the polar bears. Cars are now expected to have an IQ of over 200, so they not only drive and park themselves, but also detect straying toddlers a mile away and brake before something goes horribly wrong.

While this makes the world a better place overall, it wouldn’t be much fun to drive in a car that’s softer than a mouse and smarter than Einstein. As such, we’ve sussed out five new cars which are mean, noisy and powerful to look forward to in the coming year. Besides the comeback of some favourites, such as Jeep’s Wrangler, gearheads will also rejoice with Aston’s latest Vantage with an AMG engine.

Happy 2017!

1
Aston Martin V8 Vantage

Looks like Aston Martin’s CEO Andy Palmer just got promoted to sainthood in the automotive world with the new Vantage replacement. Equipped with the very dirty-sounding twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 courtesy of Mercedes-AMG and (yes!) manual transmission, the British marque just won over every gearhead’s heart and soul. This is because this might be the only way to get an AMG V8 engine with a manual. Looks-wise, expect a similar aesthetic as the DB11 (pictured), except shorter, with a curvy rear end and swept-back headlights.

Scheduled launch: Autumn 2017

www.astonmartin.com.sg

2
Jeep Wrangler

Few cars have a status as iconic as the Wrangler. For 2017, the American marque keeps its tried-and-tested formula of solid front and rear axles, four-wheel drive and body-on-frame construction. However, the composition of the car will now be partially aluminium, so you can expect it to not only be lighter but also stronger. Inside, a 3.6-litre Chrysler Pentastar V6 will likely remain, but retuned to deliver 290hp, 5 more than the previous model.

Hard-core Jeep fans can look forward to the return of the prominent seven-bar grille, chunky wheel arches and round headlights, as well as generous ground clearance. The famed four-wheel drive system continues making this SUV a legend both off and on the roads.

Scheduled launch: Early 2017

www.jeep.com.sg

3
Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

“Inspired by Ferrari technology and technical skills”, Alfa’s top performance model in the Giulia range sees a turbocharged 2.9-litre V6 powertrain that summons 505 horses. This is essentially a pared-down six-cylinder version of the Ferrari F154 twin-turbo V8 that sits within the 488GTB and California T. Top speed is an impressive 307kph. Outside, the Quadrifoglio is more visually aggressive than its counterparts with muscular reworkings such as an active front splitter and a diffuser at the back. To cut weight, the hood, roof and driveshaft are carbon fibre, while its doors and front fenders — like the rest of the Giulias — are aluminium. Fire up the Race mode, and you can’t help but notice the Alfa’s extremely responsive steering, equally commendable stability, and the V6’s signature snarl.

Scheduled launch: out now

www.alfaromeo.com.sg

4
Honda/Acura NSX

In the world of cars, the Honda NSX has an IQ that’s right up there, because it is very, very smart. Abbreviated for “New Sports eXperience”, this new generation hybrid sports cars sees the Sport Hybrid SH-AWD system which combines a mid-mounted 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged V6 that’s backed up by a squadron of electric motors. This clever hybrid system incorporates three electric motors: one at the rear that backs up the petrol engine by filling up power gaps during turbo lag, giving it unreal, seamless pick-up speed between shifts; two at the front are torque-vectoring and drives a wheel each. Together, it gives an output of 573hp and 645Nm.

Its brakes are a fly-by-wire system that harvests energy, which recharges the battery system. Aerodynamics are supposedly so advanced it cools all motors while providing grip and downforce. Its top speed might only be 307kph, which is slower than rivals from Porsche and Ferrari, but more technology for a fraction of a price? We’re sold.

Scheduled launch: out now

www.honda.com.sg

5
Audi R8 Spyder

The R8 coupe’s metal roof may have been swapped for a soft-top back in 2010, but Audi has reintroduced its new-and-improved Spyder, just in time for spring. The second generation will be outfitted with a ‘base’ 5.2-litre V10 that produces these performance figures — 540hp, 3.6-second 0-100kph time and a 317kph top speed. Its Quattro drivetrain is as competent as ever at providing smooth acceleration and an eloquent ride, save for the engine’s rambunctious roar.

The spyder’s cabin isn’t as long as the coupé to accommodate the roof’s mechanicals, so the seats can’t recline as much. Boot space isn’t something to shout about either, but hey, this car was made for speed, not your grocery run.

Scheduled launch: out now

www.audi.com.sg

Shatricia Nair
Managing Editor
Shatricia Nair is a motoring, watches, and wellness writer who is perpetually knee-deep in the world of V8s, tourbillons, and the latest fitness trends. She is fuelled by peanut butter and three cups of coffee a day.