Top ten: New cars for 2010
Last year was a tough one for the car industry, but we have high hopes for 2010. We're particularly looking arrival of these – our top ten cars to look forward to in 2010...
Aston Martin Cygnet
Price: £25,000 (estimated)
Opinion is divided about Aston's foray into the city car market with the Cygnet - even here in the Autoblog office. Some feel it could be a quirky and memorable attempt by the supercar manufacturer to do something different, while others think re-badging a Toyota iQ is just going to devalue the Aston brand. Whatever you think, the Cygnet is going to be a car to watch closely when it comes out in September.
Audi R8 Spyder
The R8 has added a whole new dimension to Audi's range, and the droptop version promises to add sex appeal to the Porsche 911-rivalling supercar. It will come only with the V10 engine, paired with either the fantastic manual gearbox and the less impressive R-tronic automatic.
Hopefully none of the R8's awesome driving experience will disappear with the removal of the roof because we want one. A lot.
Price: £18,000 (estimated)
If, like us, your heart sank at the thought of a low-CO2 car future with everyone driving a Toyota Prius or Honda Insights then the Honda CR-Z should offer a bit of relief. Worthy though the Prius and Insight are, they just aren't very exciting. The CR-Z is the first sporty hybrid coupe and the first hybrid to get a manual gearbox.
The final design is refreshingly different to other hybrids on sale and the more outrageously styled Mugen version should be even better.
Price: £14,000 (estimated)
Never mind the stunning R8 or the business favourite A4 - the supermini A1 is the most important car to Audi in the coming years. The brand is well aware that fuel-efficient, low-emitting cars are the way forward to satisfy tightening tax rules.
Drivers' expectations are continuing to rise though and they'll only be satisfied by high-end, premium cars. Audi could single-handedly end the Mini domination of the supermini market with the release of the A1 towards the end of 2010.
Price: £160,000 (estimated)
Mclaren's long-awaited replacement for the peerless F1 is due to arrive by the end of 2010. It may look like worryingly standard supercar fare, but beneath the body lies a revolutionary one-piece carbonfibre tub weighing just 80kg and a cutting edge British-built 3.8-litre V8 producing 600bhp and 440lb ft of torque. Ron Dennis has already indicated that he wants Mclaren to emulate Ferrari's success as road car manufacturer; the MP4-12C is the vital first step. We can't wait.
With the legendary GTI badge banished from Peugeot's lexicon, it's up to the RC-Z to reinvigorate driver appeal in the French brand. If looks are anything to go by Peugeot has already the Audi TT shaped nail on the head. The RC-Z is a stunner, and in top-spec it gets the same superb 1.6 turbocharged engine as the Mini Cooper S. Let's hope Peugeot have overcome the shortcomings of the 308's platform and given the car the involving handling its looks deserve.
Price: £17,000-£23,000 (estimated)
Make no mistake - the Mini Countryman is vital to the future of the Mini brand. BMW has already acknowledged that it intends for the biggest Mini yet to be a serious proposition as a family car. Previewed by the Beachcomber concept shown at Detroit, the Countryman will get four-wheel drive and all the practicality of a conventional five-door. Expect the usual range of Mini engines, and eventually, a hot JCW Countryman.
Mercedes SLS AMG
Price: £155,000 (estimated)
Crafted by Mercedes' performance arm AMG, the SLS harks back to the glory days of the 300SL with its not so sublte gullwing doors.
It's powered by a 6.2-litre V8 engine and will hit 62mph from standstill in under seconds and go on to a top speed of 200mph.
Mercedes has a chequered past when it comes to supercars, but the lucky few to have driven it say the SLS AMG is ferociously quick and arguably one of the most dynamically accomplished cars the brand has ever built.
Price: £12,000-£18,000 (estimated)
Nissan's new small crossover vehicle started life as the Qazana concept car that debuted at the 2009 Geneva motor show.
Current details of the Juke are vague, but if Nissan's success with the Qashqai crossover is anything to go by, the Juke should be a decent alternative to a small family hatchback. It will sit in the range in between the Note hatchback and Qashqai and will be manufactured at Nissan's Sunderland plant.
Price: £52,000-£88,000 (estimated)
Jaguar's new flagship model has been designed and built to recapture the affluent executives who have turned away from the British brand after ten years of mediocre products. With a striking exterior that sends 40 years of XJ DNA to the scrapheap and a sumptuous interior more reminiscent of a luxury yacht than a car, the new Jaguar offers all the qualities we expect, with more soul and character than its German rivals. The engine line-up is familiar and excellent too, ranging from the supercharged 5.0-litre V8 to a 3.0-litre diesel V6, while in-car tech includes a state-of-the-art multimedia system, heated rear seats and the vodka-bar style lighting from the XF.