Best new cars for 2016

It looks like 2016 is shaping up to be another banner year for the auto business. Not only are sales expected to remain healthy – provided gas prices and interest rates don’t rise up to land a one-two sucker punch to the industry’s jaw in the months ahead – there’s a worthy slew of brand new and fully redesigned models on the way to help lure shoppers into dealers’ showrooms

Abarth 500X

Fiat’s cheeky ad saw a 500 grow into a crossover after ‘swallowing’ a little blue pill. Well, now tuning arm Abarth is set to pump the 500X up further, creating a 200bhp rival to the Nissan Juke Nismo RSand MINI Countryman JCW, and our exclusive image shows how it could look.

Yet the Abarth 500X would get far more than just a flash bodykit, as it’s likely to use the Alfa Romeo 4C’s 1.75-litre turbo. That would mean 0-62mph in less than seven seconds with an extremely fruity soundtrack to match.

Acura NSX

Acura desperately needs the new NSX sports car. Having lacked a true halo model for a decade, following the cancellation of the first-generation NSX, this upscale brand from Honda has struggled with how best to communicate what Acura means and why Americans should pay more for a car or SUV wearing its silver caliper emblems.

Representative of the meticulous engineering that goes into every Acura, and as worn on the new NSX, those calipers signal the most sophisticated vehicle the brand has ever built, a twin-turbocharged, sport-hybrid, all-wheel-drive sports car wrapped in aluminum, carbon-fiber, and high-strength steel. Starting in 2016, the NSX once again defines Acura.

Buick Cascada

The first drop-top to be part of the division's U.S. lineup in a quarter of a century, the 2016 Buick Cascada debuted in Detroit. Arriving in showrooms early next year, this compact, front-drive 2+2 convertible is a mildly restyled and enhanced version of the Opel Cascada which was introduced in Europe in 2013. Envisioned from the start as an open-air exercise, the Cascada matches handsomely sculpted bodywork with a rigid core structure. A near visual clone of its Opel cousin, the Cascada boasts a revamped grille not currently shared by any other Buick model-a design cue that departs from the current waterfall style. The car is also fitted with subtly modified fascias to accommodate federal bumper requirements and minor detail tweaks along with various equipment upgrades.

Audi A5

Audi will follow up its all-new A4 with a new A5 using the same platform. As our spy shot shows, it will be far more rakish and, as before, come first as a two-door coupé, then later as a more practical five-door Sportback.

As well as being lower and wider than the A4, it will be lighter and more efficient than the car it replaces, plus far more refined. The lower-powered 148bhp 2.0-litre TDI version will emit less than 100g/km of CO2 – and this in a couple likely to set new quality benchmarks in the class.