Top Cars Of 2017 From Production To Clean Autonomous Connected Studies

Bentley Motors vision for the future of luxuryBentley created this vision to explore the future of luxury, including a virtual butler
It has been quite a year for the car industry. The auto world order is about to change. We are getting ever-closer to clean, autonomous, connected driving where even personal ownership is under observation. The momentum has been there for a while, yet it feels like 2017 has seen the biggest push.
Tech firms, with their hungry gaze, can be thanked for this shift. The likes of Tesla and Google really are shaking things up. The sheer speed in which their world is able to operate has exposed some of the more dinosaurian auto set ups. Yet in the process, a handful of leading heritage car brands have also shown that history, knowledge and intellect, based on a century of making cars does amount to a great deal. The reality is the motor car revolution has left the conservative-minded behind freeing space for the explorers, the modernists, the free thinkers. It certainly is an exciting time to be involved in the mobility world.
Bentley Motors

So, what impressed in the 2017? Only a handful of production cars. On the whole vehicle companies are still not entirely prepared to be the first to take the big leap with avant-garde products. Most new electric cars on the market show little of the visual bravery of say the BMW i3 and i8 – rather adding a clean engine to an otherwise conservative set up.
Mercedes-Benz Vision EQA
The luxury and performance worlds saw the most exciting new production cars. Rolls-Royce proved it still reigns the luxurious motor car world with the latest Phantom, which introduced the novel gallery idea to take personalization to a whole new level. Elsewhere, McLaren’s 720S is a truly brilliant example of vehicle design. And Lexus showed with the LS that the premium car market can benefit from a little nonconformity.
The real excitement though remains with concepts and ideas that for once feel plausible in the real world. This is largely thanks to a shift in attitude with companies like BMW almost rebranding themselves as technology firms to acknowledge the ever-close relationship between the two worlds. The more traditional luxury makers have also had to do a little soul-searching. Rolls-Royce and Bentley, particularly have been impressive with their unexpectedly provocative study cars – brave propositions that open new dialogues on the future of luxury.
BMW has been at the forefront of ecological thinking when, ahead of all others, it established an electric sub-brand six years ago - findings of which have filtered through the mainstream products. This year’s i Vision Dynamics preludes a mid-size i model sitting somewhere between the electric i3 city car and the i8 hypercar. BMW has promised to release 25 electric and hybrid models and i Vision is an indication as to how far the marque is willing to explore its visual language in the age of electrification.
AMG Project OneMercedes-Benz
AMG Project One previews a more evocative electric future
Equally, brands like Mercedes-Benz are devoting a great deal of R&D to finding more holistic sustainable solutions. The latest Mercedes EQA and zippy tiny Smart Vision EQ Fortwo are the marque’s note to autonomous, electric urban driving. Then, to prove clean driving does not have to mean dull driving, the high-performance AMG arm revealed the £2m ($2.7) Project One in 2017 - a hybrid hypercar, with racing Formula One technology.
Volkswagen I.D. CROZZVolkswagen
Volkswagen I.D. Crozz previews a high-riding electric crossover vehicle
Elsewhere, inspired by luxurious private and first-class airline cabins, Audi created Aicon as an autonomous electric concept with no pedals or a steering wheel. While parent company Volkswagen imagined the I.D. Crozz concept to preview a high-riding electric crossover vehicle expected to go into production in three years. It also forms part of the German giant’s ambitious eco plans aiming for up to a million electric car sales by the middle of the next decade.
As for the year ahead, I suspect the momentum may accelerate, but the car in its formal shape will not alter drastically. Not yet. Nor will our expectations and interactions. That aspect of car culture still has a few little windy roads to take. And it is that which will ultimately lead to the real paradigm shift.

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