You don’t need a silver DeLorean, pimped out with a Mr Fusion Home Energy Reactor, to drive your way into the future. We got hands-on with a handful of next year’s most exciting cars, from mountain-destroying Range Rovers to Tarmac-burning Jaguars, to find out what we can expect from our motors when we hit the road in the new year and beyond. Here’s what we learned…
We’ll All Be Watching Netflix From Our Driver’s Seats
If ever there was a time to turn your living room into a full-time gym, this is it. Jaguar unveiled unto us an entertainment system so gargantuan that our eyes are still teary and our ears are still ringing. Inside the 2016 Jaguar XJ, we stuck our fingers into a 26-speaker Meridian-made digital audio system better than your home surround sound, a quad core Intel processor faster than your laptop, more TVs than your local Cineplex, a personal hotspot with 30% more coverage than your phone, a customisable 200mm touchscreen interface much like your iPad and a flippin’ HDMI slot so you can plug in your Chromecast and turn your four wheels into a media-streaming goliath. Next time the other half wants to watch The Only Way Is Made In Chelsea Get Me Out Of Here, we know where you’ll be.
We’ll Never Use the Term “Hairdresser’s Car” Again (Well, Until the Summer at Least)
We’ll come clean. We had some major preconceptions before stepping into the new Range Rover Evoque. It’s a girl’s car. It’s for footballer’s wives to drive to Waitrose with their fluffy white dog in the passenger’s seat and their ten handbags in the back. It’s not for men. Only, we were wrong. We’re sorry. World, we are now, officially, believers in the Evoque. Once you step inside the 2.0 litre 2016 model, you forget everything you thought you knew about this “dinky” 4x4. It’s got muscle. It’s got a meaty sound system (we turned it to 11 with some ear-shredding metal from Bring Me The Horizon to make sure). It’s as comfortable as your favourite chair back home. It’s really fun. It’s really fast. We’re sold. That is, until the new convertible option comes out in the summer; we may require a bit more convincing on that.
We’ll Be Parking Like Pros
Smashing your rear to pieces while parallel parking has become really tricky. From bleeps that get increasingly panicked the closer you get to a collision to bumper cameras that offer you a car’s-eye view of the impending ding, tech in recent years has made the once-frustrating manoeuvre a walk in the park. Yet in 2016, Jaguar XJ drivers will be power-sliding their motors into tight spaces like testosterone-jacked stunt men. How? The mechanical garage boffins have stitched four camera views together to give drivers a bird’s-eye view of their car, looking down directly over the roof, so you can get a 360° image of objects not to hit. Basically, it looks like you’ve got your own personal MI6 satellite videoing your every move. Quite how it works, we’re not sure. It seems like a feat of wizardry rather than technology.
We’ll Actually Be Able to Afford to Run a Land Rover
Yep, you heard – running a monster 4x4 no longer means having to ring up Wonga every time you fill her up at the pump. Thanks to Land Rover’s super advanced Ingenium diesel engine system purring under the bonnet of the Discovery Sport (which starts at £30,695), you can get a wallet-friendly 57.7mpg, meaning you can find even more muddy puddles to bomb through down country lanes.
We’ll Dream of Driving Like It’s 1948
Remember the last time you had a break from Twitter? Felt good, didn’t it. You started to feel like you were living in the real world, didn’t you. That’s the exact same feeling you’ll get when you sit behind the wheel of the Defender Adventure 90 Station Wagon. There’s no sat nav, no flappy paddle gearbox, no volume control on the steering wheel. There’s nowhere to rest your elbow as you drive, either. It clunks when you put it into gear. Trying to drop the clutch is an intense workout for your leg. Your knees knock against the door-pull as you bounce around in the seat. Put simply, it’s totally magical. It’s driving in its purest form. For 68 years the Defender has kept its “go anywhere, do anything” mentality, and this new model oozes with that ethos. Although it’s an absolute beast to tame, and we wouldn’t want to drive it for more than a few hours, sometimes it’s important to strip away the tech and the comforts to remind ourselves what driving really feels like… even if you walk away with bruised knees and a very sore bum.
Get the Coach Newsletter
Sign up for workout ideas, training advice, reviews of the latest gear and more.
Craft beer drinker, Devonian, fisherman and former content director of Coach online, Chris contributed style coverage and features between 2016 and 2019.