Has watching the Italian Grand Prix at the weekend given you the petrol bug? Need help deciding what your next motor should be? Then read on for our picks of The Top 11 Cars of 2014.
Whether you want speed, sleek design, relaxation or weird and wonderful gadgets, you’ll find it here…
1. Jaguar F Type Coupe
Price: From $85,680
Release Date: Available now
What You Need to Know: This is the hard-roofed version of last year’s F-type cabriolet, resulting in a huge 407 litre luggage capacity, a beautifully understated roof line and an 80 percent increase in torsional stiffness. All this and it still has a top speed of 186mph, can go from 0-60mph in 4.0 seconds and comes with an uprated electronically controlled limited-slip differential as standard.
We Love: The phenomenal speed, the sleek design and the optional panoramic glass sunroof.
2. Aston Martin Vanquish Volante
Price: From $297,995
Release Date: Available now
What You Need to Know: The Vanquish, which you’ll have admired in Bond film Die Another Day, was revived last year for the centenary edition, specially designed to celebrate 100 years of the car manufacturer. It was billed as the greatest Aston Martin in history, with the most powerful engine ever seen in an Aston Martin, managing 0-62mph in 4.1 seconds. And this year the gents in Gaydon are chopping the roof off so you can enjoy all that power and the wind in your hair.
We Love: This one is a major talking point – if you want the car that’s going to turn heads at every trader convention of 2014, this is it.
Find Out More: http://www.astonmartin.com/cars/the-new-vanquish
3. Lamborghini Huracan
Price: From $292,000
Release Date: Spring 2014
What You Need to Know: This one has already sold 700 ahead of its official release, and is set to be the most wanted car of the year. It’s the long-awaited replacement for Lambo’s aging Gallardo, with a 5.2 litre V-10 engine and an impressive horsepower of 610. It flies to 62mph in 3.0 seconds, leaving its rivals in the dust. Its speed and futuristic design have prompted Lamborghini to describe it as “like a time machine, but faster” (which may be something of an exaggeration, but we’ll let them off).
We Love: The Huracan is named after a Spanish fighting bull known for its “outstanding courage and strong sense of attack” – a sentiment any trader would do well to live by.
4. Audi Q7
Price: From $131,000
Release Date: Autumn 2015
What You Need to Know: We’re cheating a bit with this one as a late change in the design means it’s release date has been pushed back to 2015, but we think it’s worth the wait. The Q7 is the luxury option large families have been waiting for, with seating for up to seven. It looks sleek and sophisticated in a way seven-seaters struggle to achieve and it’s not short on power, with a 3.0 litre supercharged V-6 engine that will give you 0-60 in 7.7 seconds. This one’s selling point is its comfort and versatility – the seating folds away to give you an impressive 88 cubic feet of cargo space. So you can take everything including the kitchen sink.
We Love: The optional Bang and Olufsen audio system and MMI interface with navigation – it even comes with wifi hotspot capability so you can trade from the comfort of your expansive leather interior. Once you’ve parked up, of course…
Find Out More: http://www.audi.co.uk/explore-models/explore-by-range/q7.html
5. Mercedes Benz S-Class
Price: From $104,625
Release Date: November 2014
What You Need To Know: The sixth generation of the Mercedes S-Class keeps its distinctive class and style but brings a sleek new exterior, curve tilting function and a completely overhauled cabin design for total comfort and relaxation. It has all the infotainment gadgets you could ever need and lots more you probably don’t, including a Magic Sky Control to change the transparency of the panoramic roof. 0-62mph takes 6.8 seconds in the S350 diesel version and if you’re watching your carbon footprint, the diesel-electric hybrid version will get you an impressive 60mpg.
We Love: This is the closest you’ll get to a spa in a car, with mood lighting in a choice of seven colours and a hot-stone massage option. Add a jacuzzi and we’re sold.
6. Porsche 918 Spyder
Price: From $845,000
Release Date: Winter 2014
What You Need to Know: This one’s been all over the news billed as “the future of the sports car”, but the Spyder’s stats speak for themselves: 0-60mph in 2.5 seconds, 0-186mph in 19.9 seconds and a top speed of 214mph – it’s currently the fastest car on the planet, thanks to its 4.6 litre V8 engine. You’d be forgiven for thinking it guzzles fuel, but think again: it averages out at 25-30mpg during regular on-road driving, about the same as a high-ish powered saloon car (only much, much prettier).
We Love: Everything about it.
Find Out More: http://www.porsche.com/microsite/918/usa.aspx
7. Alfa Romeo 4C
Release Date: Summer 2014
What You Need to Know: The 4C has a bit of weight on its shoulders, it’s been hyped as the car to spark an Alfa Romeo renaissance with reviewers claiming “if all Alfas were like this, the company would have no dramas at all”. And it’s set to live up to the hype, with 240 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque among its impressive stats. This power coupled with the unbelievably lightweight structure means it can hit some pretty impressive speeds.
We Love: The combination of top-of-the-range tech including rear-wheel drive, ultra-lightweight construction and a mid-engine chassis layout all in a seriously eye-catching exterior.
Find Out More: http://4c.alfaromeo.com
8. McLaren 650S
Price: From $325,000
Release Date: Available to order, first deliveries Spring 2014
What You Need to Know: This year McLaren have overhauled the 12C in a strategy which has been likened to Aston Martin’s improvements to the DB9, which would go on to become the Vanquish. It features a more powerful engine, better transmission and suspension and a more aerodynamic body which combine to drop a tenth off the 0-60, bringing it down to 3 seconds flat. And it’s not just a track-focused supercar: it also boasts top-of-the-range satnav and infotainment system as well as number of customizing options.
We Love: That all the improvements were made in response to customer feedback and media criticism of the 2011 MP4-12C. Now that’s what we call good customer service.
Find Out More: http://cars.mclaren.com/home.html
9. Cadillac CTS
Release Date: Winter 2014
What You Need to Know: The brand new Caddy has a spec to die for. With an 8-speed automatic transmission, 3.6 litre 420 horse power engine, 0-60 in 4.5 seconds it will satisfy even the most extreme adrenaline junkies, while the brand’s heritage will speak to automotive fanatics. And you can enjoy all the speed without the risk, as the sedan comes with every safety feature imaginable: blind spot detection, lane departure warning, cruise control, automated parking and low speed crash avoidance. So you can keep its beautiful design scratch-free.
We Love: The list of design refinements which lets you tailor the CTS to your own discriminating taste, meaning no other trader out there will have a car quite like yours.
Find Out More: http://www.cadillac.com/cts-v-sport-coupe.html
10. Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
Price: From $51,000
Release Date: Available Now
What You Need to Know: This is the seventh generation of the Corvette and it has a host of new features including a contemporary cabin design, five driving modes and some seriously impressive technology. The Stingray has tyre temperature monitors which adjust everything from traction control to the electronic rear diff and an active damping system which responds automatically to driving conditions- it can pretty much think for you.
We Love: The versatility. It’s like having three cars in one. It will cope equally with long journeys, round the door trips and track days, comfortably cruise all day long and store all your luggage in the rear hatch space.
Find Out More: http://www.chevrolet.com/corvette-stingray.html
11. Ferrari California T
Release Date: Autumn 2014
What You Need to Know: The Ferrari California model has been completely overhauled with a V8 engine that gives it a massive 552 brake horse power while improving its economy at the same time. It reaches 0-62mph in 3.6 seconds without breaking a sweat and the exterior’s been smartened up too. It promises more precise handling, a touch screen infotainment system and a Turbo Performance Engineer screen which allows drivers to access engine information.
We Love: The beautiful design. This one will definitely turn heads, although it goes so fast that if you blink you’ll miss it.