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6 big, bad and beautiful cars we're looking forward to driving in 2018

Our motoring correspondent Melanie May reveals her most-anticipated motors from the 2018 release schedule.

Image: Daniel Wollstein

THE BEST PART about my job is that I get to test drive some very tasty motors.

I usually get to take these cars home with me and drive around in them for a whole week so I can really get to know them.

Next year, there are some very nice cars hitting the market. These are the cars on my test drive wish list for 2018.

Lamborghini Urus

Source: Lamborghini

Lamborghini is launching its first SUV model since the military-inspired LM002. The company is referring to the Urus as a Super SUV on account of the 650hp outputted by the twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 that lurks under its bonnet.

This is a huge car for Lamborghini so I am hoping that there will be an opportunity to test drive one. I’ve never actually been in a Lamborghini, so this would be the perfect opportunity to get acquainted with the brand.

Audi RS 4 Avant

Source: Audi

I do love a good fast estate and the new RS 4 Avant (Avant is Audi speak for estate) has been getting some rave reviews. The fact that some journalists have called it bonkers is enough to make me want to test drive it and see what it can do (and, um, how much stuff it can hold).

It is now powered by a V6 engine that produces 450hp and 600Nm of torque and it is ferociously quick getting from 0-100km/h in just 4.1 seconds.

Nissan Leaf

Source: Nissan

I’m off to Tenerife next month to test drive the new Nissan Leaf and I am excited to finally see the car in the metal.

From the photos I’ve seen it looks much better than before with a more mainstream look that hopefully should appeal to more buyers. I am a huge fan of electric drivetrains and I think the new Leaf with its sharper styling, 378km range from a single charge and spacious and practical cabin could make owning an EV look a lot more attractive, especially when you factor in the SEAI grant and VRT relief.

Jaguar I-Pace

Source: Newspress

Reading this list you’ll notice that I like (1) electric vehicles and (2) cars with a lot of power. Jaguar has combined both of these things to create its new I-Pace SUV, so naturally I am excited to get behind the wheel.

Jaguar describes it as a five-seat sports car and a performance SUV in one and it is set to rival to the likes of the Audi Q6 e-tron quattro and Tesla Model X. The I-Pace has the same torque rating as the F-Type SVR and a full charge of its batteries will give more than a 500km range (measured on the European NEDC test cycle).

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SEAT Leon Cupra R

Source: SEAT Media

The SEAT Leon Cupra is one of my favourite cars. It has a really playful and sporty chassis and is fun to drive. I’ve only ever tested the 265hp SEAT Leon Cupra and I loved it but this Cupra R looks and sounds even better especially because it is the most powerful SEAT Leon Cupra ever made.

Its 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine produces 310hp and 380Nm of torque.

This car is strictly limited to a production run of 799 units and it isn’t being sold in Ireland – however, 24 cars are headed for the UK so I am hoping to get a test drive over there.

Porsche 911 GT2 RS

Source: Daniel Wollstein

My dream car is a Porsche. I love them. And this Porsche 911 GT2 RS is the most powerful production 911 of all time.

But as much as I want to drive it, I would probably be too nervous to stretch the legs of this beast.  Its 3.8-litre six-cylinder twin-turbo engine produces 700hp and 749Nm of torque – that’s an extra 200hp and 290Nm over the 911 GT3. Bonkers!

It has a top track speed of 340km/h (211mph) and it can catapult to 60mph in 2.7 seconds. With a full tank of petrol the car weighs a featherlight 1,470kg.

Of all the cars on this list, the Porsche would be the ultimate test drive for me.

READ: Review: The Cooper S E ALL4 Countryman PHEV is MINI’s first ever plug-in hybrid >

READ: Cars Of The Year: The 16 best cars we drove in 2017 >

About the author:

Melanie May  / https://www.melaniemay.com

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