Early January generally isn’t a nice time of year. You’ve probably just gone back to work/university/school after a nice stretch of time off over the festive period, tired and slightly fatter than you were a few weeks ago.
But worry not: we’ve just started 2017, and all sorts of amazing things will be happening in the car world over the next 52 weeks. Such as…
While it isn’t expected to be launched until 2018, Toyota will probably be revealing its new sports car this year, while BMW will be revealing its co-developed Z5. We’ll at last know what the car - which will surely revive the Supra name - looks like, how fast it is, and perhaps even how many spare organs we’ll need to sell in order to buy one.
Wing Commander Andy Green will be attempting to break his own land speed record of 763.035mph (just over Mach I) in October, when he gets behind the wheel of Bloodhound SSC.
The British-built machine is powered by the jet engine from a Eurofighter Typhoon plus a ruddy great rocket, and while the project has been held back by funding issues, everything looks to be back on track now.
The team will be aiming for 800mph when they hit Hakskeen Pan in South Africa later this year, and all being well, the target for 2018 is 1000mph.
The biggest car news story on CT in 2017 will surely be a toss-up between the Supra and the new Honda Civic Type R. It was revealed as a near-production-ready concept at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, and we should be seeing the proper road car at the Geneva show in March.
Based on the new 10th-generation Honda Civic, it’ll be the first Type R since the EP3 to feature independent rear suspension. We’re anticipating an updated version of current Type R’s 2.0-litre turbocharged four-pot to power the front wheels, and the concept’s wild aero package to be carried over with few minor changes.
Last year, we saw multiple M2 test mules lapping the ‘Ring. They were partially camouflaged, looked to have a slightly different exhaust system, and sounded a little different. Why? Because - if you believe all the reports and rumours - BMW is cooking up an M2 ‘Clubsport’, garnished with the M3/M4’s mighty S55 straight-six.
From driving ‘our’ M2 longtermer for the last few months, I’ve come to the conclusion that the engine is the thing I want to change the most. It’s not dramatic enough, and it irks me that it’s merely a hopped-up N55, as opposed to a proper S-designated M Division engine. So an S55 engine up front should result in the perfect M car, right?
We can’t wait to find out.
This one isn’t definite, but with a sequel to Project Cars confirmed back in 2015 and even teased by Slightly Mad Studios last year, a 2017 release seems likely. Project Cars itself was far from perfect, but represented a solid start, so we’re keen to see how the second instalment shapes up.
We should be looking at more tracks, more cars and more racing disciplines, including rallycross.
Yes, I know Top Gear Series 23 was rather iffy with Chris Evans at the helm, but thanks to the appearances of proper motoring journalists Chris Harris and Rory Reid, it had some flashes of brilliance. With shouty Evans no longer part of the show plus Harris and Reid ‘promoted’ to appear in every episode, it has the potential to be very, very good. Matt LeBlanc should make a good lead host, too.
I’m sure a lot of you would rather Top Gear was still all about Clarkson, Hammond and May being ambitious but rubbish, but with the trio doing swimmingly over at The Grand Tour, we now have two awesome car shows to watch. Although probably not at the same time: don’t be surprised if TG’s next series starts just after the final episode of TGT’s first series is released on 3 February.
Want a 991 911 Turbo with more power, less weight, rear-wheel drive and the ability to leave your underpants smeared with poo after every spirited drive? You’re in luck: Porsche is developing a new 911 GT2 RS, and it’s going to be a near-700bhp monster.
It was spotted undergoing testing last year, and should be revealed at some point in 2017. Plenty of time to stock up on fresh undergarments.
It’s nearly two years since we first saw the new Ford GT, and its racing cousin was tearing up race circuits around the world in last year’s World Endurance Championship season. But it’s in 2017 that deliveries to the fortunate few owners will begin, and when the first media drives will happen. We’ll at last know if Ford Performance’s carbonfibre showcase is any good…
While some reports have cast doubts, Tesla is still insisting its hugely important Model 3 will go into production in the middle of 2017.
With a much lower starting price than the relatively pricey Model S but still the kind of range and performance to embarrass pretty much every other EV out there, it could be a gamechanger. It’ll be a gamechanger for the company too, with Tesla receiving 400,000 pre-orders for the car last year.
With new rules coming into force for the 2017 season bringing hilariously fat tyres, aggressive aero and - as a consequence - faster lap times, F1 should be well worth watching this year. Oh yeah, and there’ll be a new face at Mercedes alongside Lewis Hamilton, following Nico Rosberg’s shock retirement.
Of course, the rules could negatively impact overtaking, but we’re quietly optimistic about this being an exciting year for the top tier of single-seater racing, particularly as a big rules revamp usually results in a mixed up pecking order. Have 26 March - the start date for the Australian Grand Prix - marked in your calendar.
What motoring stuff are you looking forward to in 2017? Whether it’s something that affects the car world as a whole or if it’s a personal thing, get to the comments!