It's often said that in recent years CES has become as much of a car show as it is a tech show. With the auto industry desperate to attract new consumers and drive extra profit by making their cars more of a connected device - indeed the interface is now one of the most important and fast changing aspects of a car's design - it's no surprise that one of CES's halls was almost entirely dedicated to things on four wheels.

And with autonomous driving technology looking like a big theme for 2016, driverless cars predicted to be on the road post 2020, CES has become an ideal place to launch a car.

Here are the best cars and car-related technologies of 2016, plus what might be coming to a road near you sooner than you think...

No sooner had we touched down in Vegas than we were off to the launch of the most mysterious new car company the internet saw in 2015 - Faraday Future. Based in LA, but backed by money from the man behind LeTV, Faraday had promised to change the future of mobility and challenge Tesla's position of the darling of silicon valley.

The launch event didn't quite deliver on the promise though. Faraday unveiled the FFZero1 concept, pictured above - a sort of Batman-meets-Thunderbirds single seat racer. A typical flight-of-fantasy concept, it got Faraday the headlines it craved - and with its carbon fibre body, tech-laden Nasa-inspired cabin, it certainly deserves the attention of your eyes.

The real point though is to show off a new flexible electric vehicle platform - with batteries strung out along it like Christmas tree lights - and which should give Faraday the ability to produce some real saloons and SUVs you can drive, within the next 3 years. One worth watching.

READ MORE Faraday Future FFZero1 Concept first impressions

Pocket-lintCars of CES - VW Budd-E

VW has made concepts that reimagine its famous microbus before. Does the Budd-e symbolise it might actually put one into production? Perhaps, but its bigger role to play here is to try and help Volkswagen out of the pickle it's in here in the US.

The scandal of NOx emissions from its diesel engine cars has dented the brand's reputation, and the Budd-e symbolises the company throwing its full weight behind electric drive - the Budd-E sits on a new electric modular matrix platform, which might see service under other future electric products from the VW group, like the production follow-up to the Porsche Mission E.

Budd-e was billed as all-electric, with a real range of 300-miles, which on the US EPA rating scale equates to 233 miles. It'll also charge to 80 per cent in 30 minutes and uses a completely new electric architecture with a battery flat under the floor. Expect it to be quick, too.

Inside there's a wrap around bench-sofa in the back, and to encourage more "community" between the rear occupants, there's a single large screen where they're encouraged to share content. The driver's not badly off either, with a pair of reconfigurable HD display screens and a host of subtle tech features, like the ability to open the doors with a gestural wave of the hand.

READ MORE Volkswagen Budd-e Concept first impressions

Pocket-lintCars of CES - BMW i Future

If the i Vision Future Interaction looks familiar, it's not your eyes playing tricks on you. Yes, it looks startlingly similar to the BMW i8 that we first drove back in the summer of 2014. Before that car appeared, BMW's last concept preview of it was the i8 Spyder - which is basically what this car is.

Although the exterior remains as eye-catching as ever (and particularly when painted in a fetching shade of ginger) the big news is inside, where BMW is showcasing ideas around future interface design and new interaction methods.

The i Vision builds on the gesture technologies seen in the new 7-Series, except here they're different "air gestures" in BMW speak, using sensors on three parts of the dash. As the 20-inch curved OLED screen across the top of the dash is huge it allows both driver and passenger to grab and select, "push" to the back, and "pull" to the front.

Gone is BMW's tradition iDrive rotary selector, but you still physically use your hands with this system - there's a touch pad hidden under the leather of the centre armrest and in the sill to allow you select things. It features autonomous tech too. All sounds complex? It works surprisingly well, as we found during our hands-on with it.

READ MORE BMW i Vision Future first impressions

Pocket-lintCars of CES - Mercedes E-Class Interior

Mercedes will officially unveil the E-Class at the Detoit Motor Show. The exterior is set to take on the looks of a big C-Class, but the interior is more of a departure as we saw on the Mercedes stand at CES 2016.

It takes its cues from the larger S-Class, which means you get two 12-inch TFT displays stacked side-by-side along the top of the dash. In the S-Class they're clearly separate units, but in the E-Class Mercedes has joined them together much more seamlessly, making them look like one of the longest, thinnest screens you've ever seen.

The other big departure is that you'll be able to configure your E-Class's display between three different modes: a sporty one; a classic one; and a modern one, which completely change the digital display graphics, colours and even level of information displayed.

Elsewhere, Mercedes sticks with its haptic command controller, although rather than a scroll wheel the interaction method of this unit is becoming focused on the touchpad that sits atop it.

Pocket-lintCars of CES - Chevrolet Bolt

The Bolt is the most important production car debut at CES 2016. Its slightly silly name might give you a clue to its relationship with the other electric vehicle in Chevrolet's line up, the Volt. Whereas the Volt is a range-extended plug-in hybrid which does around 50-miles on a charge before calling on a gasoline motor to help out, the Bolt is fully electric.

The Bolt, therefore, has a range of around 200-miles, a big step up on the mainstream electric cars like Nissan's Leaf and BMW's i3 of today. In fact, right now it's second best only to Tesla. Except GM says you'll be able to get a Bolt for around $30k.

B-sector crossover sized, the Bolt joins one of the fastest growing vehicle segments and features a host of technologies such as GM's proprietary on-Star telematics system here in the US, the MyLink touchscreen interface (which can provide internet connectivity) and an on-call assistant to help you find destinations and deal with vehicle problems. It'll support CarPlay and Android Auto too.

Its styling clearly takes a lead from BMW's i cars with its black plastic graphics breaking up the body. But if GM brings the car to market at the price it promises, this could be a real game-changer in the EV market.

Having pulled the Chevrolet brand out of Europe, us Europeans just need mother brand GM to put the same technology under something wearing an Opel/Vauxhall badge.

READ MORE Chevrolet Bolt first impressions

Pocket-lintCars of CES - Rinspeed Etos copy

Swiss brand Rinspeed has a habit of turning out challenging and wild concept car designs, but behind them there's always a strong tech story. It normally shows off its latest ideas at Europe's Geneva motorshow in the spring, but this year it has brought its Etos concept to CES and is showing it at partner Harman's showcase.

Based on BMW's i8 hybrid supercar, the Etos is a concept for the future of autonomous driving, highly connected cars. It features a "helipad" to land a drone on, and a twin screen display setup which brings some serious architectural changes to the i8 interior.

These 21.5-inch, curved 4K screens work in harmony with Harman's new Livs cloud connectivity and a new partnership with Microsoft for productivity in the car. Cortana will set you up a Skype call, a watch on the dash spins round to act as camera and then the car puts itself into autonomous mode while you're on the call, even rerouting to ensure the best connection.

It's not all about the tech though. It's refreshing to see a driverless car concept suggesting that when the car's doing the hard work you might sit back, relax and actually read a book.

READ MORE Rinsed Etos Concept first impressions

Pocket-lintP1230254 copy

Now here's a name you might not always think about when it comes to all things automotive, but Panasonic is deeply embedded in the industry - it even provides the batteries for Tesla.

At CES 2016 the company took the opportunity to show off its future concept, combining many of the company's own technologies - the curved OLED rear-view mirror and variety of touchscreen panels around the car, for example - with a conceptual user interface.

The all-electric speedos behind the wheel, for example, are powered by Unreal Engine - something you'd be more likely to see in the world of gaming than in a car. But it makes sense to leverage powerful graphics for smoother, more demanding animations and real-time playback.

The concept was just as passenger focused as it was for the driver, with a large display on the passenger side in addition to a central one. Controls are handled by a touchscreen interface to the centre column, which combines a physical rotational dial with multiple functions. There's even a camera-based rear-view mirror which adjusts position as you physically move it.