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Image courtesy of Christmas Stock Images

Image courtesy of Christmas Stock Images

It’s a new year, and the chances are that you will want, at some stage, to be driving around in a new car – it’s human nature. And no doubt you will be looking around at what’s out there to set your pulses racing, your breath shortening and your bank manager not answering the phone (although you don’t have to buy – you can always LEASE!)

So, before you even start looking at what is already out there, it may be time to perhaps take a look at what is coming up in 2014 for you to maybe take to the road in. Luckily enough, car bible Auto Express have compiled a list of what they think are 14 forthcoming releases that you should know about and consider; including some of the most recognisable models on the road from car manufacturers such as Ford, Nissan and BMW – even Lamborghini!

So let’s take a look at some of them here now – and some more over the next few days!

Renault Twingo - Due Autumn

The Renault Twingo is known already as a bit of a city car, and this one is no different – apart from the differences!

For a start it will only be available as a five-door, is more muscular in looks and is a bit lower, longer and wider – maybe not AS city but still city.

Engine-wise, and developed in partnership with Daimler, the new Renault Twingo will drive on a 900cc three-cylindered rear-engined, rear-wheel-drive platform that is also part of the next-generation Smart ForFour (that’s also coming out later in the year) and also, thanks to this new layout when it comes to the powertrain, there’s more space inside of the car and less weight (meaning less drag and more power!)

Fuel economy of 70mpg and CO2 emissions under the 100g/km mark is pretty de rigeur, and the new Twingo will also offer the opportunity to customise with the promise of a choice alloy designs, colour and trim options.

There are also rumours of an all-electric version of the Twingo in the pipeline and a Renaultsport model too!

BMW Active Tourer and the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe - Due Summer

Kicking off with the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, this is actually uses a platform from the new UKL1 MINI, and is the first-ever front-wheel-drive BMW (or will be when it gets here.)

The range will be fitted with BMW’s new modular three-cylinder 1.5-litre petrol and diesel engines which can achieve at best nearly 80mpg in fuel economy, with some of them accelerating from 0-62mph in around 9 seconds.

We’ve already seen two concepts of the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, both of which made use of a 1.5-litre engine coupled with an electric motor, so it would be a wise man that put money on a hybrid version of the new car being available pretty soon.

A bit for MPV-like than any other BMW on the market, the Active Tourer is more practical than most of its BMW brethren, and features a high seating position and large glass area for great all-round visibility, but is still a BMW in style with its double kidney grille and Hofmeister kink in the C-pillar along with BMW efficiency and technology when it comes to safety aspects.

Primarily 5-doors, it looks like a seven-seat version will be following soon either later on 2014 or early 2015.

Onto the 4 Series Gran Coupe which is a 4-door version of the 3 Series-based coupe; but sportier looking and more practical than the existing standard two-door series.

It seems that a lot of the news about the 4 Series Gran Coupe is still filtering through, with images at a premium, but if rumours and leaks are true then we will be looking at a pretty sleek model with engines similar to that of the standard 4 Series – so that means 420i petrol and 420d four-cylinder diesel power up to 430d, 435d and 435i versions for the more powerful models.

Ford Mondeo - Due Autumn

The manufacturers of Britain’s biggest selling cars promised us this particular model about 2 years ago after unwrapping it in early 2012 at the Detroit Motor Show as the US-market Fusion, but factory disputes stood in the way – until now. And now it arrives here in the autumn as the next-generation Ford Mondeo.

With a sleek new grille and headlights that are similar to the latest Ford Mustang, the Mondeo will feature a range of new engines that will include a 1.5-litre turbo petrol, a 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost, 1.5 and 2.0-litre (diesel) TDCis, with at least one of them emitting less than 100g/km of CO2.

Over in the good ‘ol USA, the Fusion is available as both hybrid and plug-in hybrid, so the smart money is on us here in Blighty getting at least one of those options either at launch or very soon afterwards – and the new car will also feature the usual plethora of Ford standards such as the infotainment kit with MyFord Touch and SYNC, which will allow drivers to control almost all major functions by voice.

Autobraking, fatigue detection and inflatable rear seatbelts will also be offered to ensure that safety is not just a keyword but a key function.

There will also be an estate version available with the same range of engines and, in 2015, Ford is set to debut a new flagship Vignale version of the Mondeo.

Fiat 500X - Due Summer

Fiat are taking the fight to the likes of the Nissan Juke, Peugeot 208 and Renault Captur with the launch in the Summer of 2014 of their latest Fiat 500, the Fiat 500X

The small crossover is yet to be fully revealed to us mere mortals here in consumer land, but it appears that it will take many of the features of the 500 hatch and transport them into a body that will convey more muscle – as cars do!

Unusually for the Fiat 500, the 500X seems to be aimed at the male market with rugged off-road looks (although it is likely to be front-wheel drive only) – which may be a bit of a risk for Fiat with almost every other Fiat 500 female-marketed. But if you consider the customisation options available (trim/colour/wheel) maybe we are looking at Young Urban Professionals rather than the rugged family man?

In all probability, the engine will mirror the Fiat 500L (ie two-cylinder TwinAir petrol and a four-cylinder 1.3 diesel) so don’t expect the outside ruggedness to be reflected under the bonnet.

For news on more Auto Express’s tips for 2014, including the Nissan Qashqai, Audi Q7 and A3 Cabriolet, Seat Leon Cupra and VW e-Golf, pop back here tomorrow)