Menu

The 25 best cars of 2018

Dodge Challenger SRT Demon

What’s New: Are you seated? Check out these eye-popping numbers: 808 horsepower and 717 lb-ft of torque. On premium. On race gas with the optional race computer those numbers spike to 840 hp and 770 lb-ft of torque. Should you find your juiced-up Demon on a VHT-prepped drag racing surface, the wrinkly Nitto tires will help it hit 60 mph in 2.1 seconds before destroying the quarter mile in 9.65 seconds at 140 mph. Oh, and 0 to 100 mph happens in 5.1 seconds. Aside from power, drag race special bits such as a transmission-brake and using the car’s A/C compressor to super-chill the intake air help the Demon achieve such big numbers. We won’t know how the Demon will perform on a normal surface filled with 91 octane until we get our hands on one for testing. However, our favorite Demon number remains one. As in the standard Demon only has one seat! And you thought the three-seat McLaren F1 was cool.

What’s Not: It’s still an old Mercedes-Benz E-Class underneath all the blistered metal.

When: Summer 2018

How Much: $95,000 (est)

Audi A5 Sportback

What’s New: More doors! The Audi A5 has long had the rival BMW 4 Series in its crosshairs and with the Bimmer now available in a four-door fastback-sedan body style, Audi’s following suit with its new A5 Sportback. Think of it as a mini Audi A7. Previously available in Europe on the first-generation A5, the new second-generation A5 Sportback comes to the U.S. on Audi A4 sedan underpinnings, featuring the A5’s signature fastback roofline, two rear doors, and a hatchback replacing the trunk.

What’s Not: The A5 Sportback’s engines are all carried over from the rest of the A4 and A5 lines. The base engine is a 2.0-liter turbo I-4 good for 252 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. Opt for an S5 Sportback, and you’ll get a 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 that makes a healthy 354 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque paired with an eight-speed automatic. Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system is standard with either engine.

When: 2017

How Much: $46,575-$59,775

Buick Regal

What’s New: For its sixth generation, the Buick Regal sedan will be replaced by two new body styles: the 2018 Buick Regal Sportback, a coupelike hatchback, and the 2018 Buick Regal TourX wagon. The redesigned Regal is based on the recently revealed Opel Insignia Grand Sport four-door hatchback and Opel Insignia Sports Tourer wagon. Despite GM’s recent selloff of Opel (and Vauxhall) to French automaker PSA Group, the next-generation Buick Regal will be built by Opel in Germany. Power will come from GM’s 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 mated to either a nine-speed automatic with front-drive or an eight-speed automatic with all-wheel drive. The all-wheel-drive system features an active twin-clutch rear differential and is standard on Regal TourX.

What’s Not: Although the longer wheelbase and lightweight Epsilon II E2XX chassis is new to the Regal, the chassis already underpins the current Chevrolet Malibu sedan. The turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 makes 250 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque in the front-drive Regal Sportback and 295 lb-ft with all-wheel drive.

When: Fall

How Much: $32,000 (est)

Kia Stinger GT

What’s New: Kia’s slick four-seat, four-door, rear-wheel-drive sports “coupe” targets BMW’s 4 Series Grand Coupe with European-influenced style and performance. Kia’s Frankfurt studio led the design from concept to production, and Albert Biermann was hired away from running BMW M division to hone the Stinger’s handling, eight-speed transmission, and brake-based torque-vectoring system.

What’s Not: Base Stingers ship with a 255-hp 2.0-liter direct-injection turbo-four, and premium Stinger GTs get a 365-hp 3.3-liter twin-turbo V-6 (which made its debut in the Genesis G90). All-wheel drive is optional on both models and is a performance-tuned variant of the Hyundai H-track system.

When: Fall

How Much: $40,000

Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo

What’s New: There’s a more wagonlike five-door body style that affords a new “middle” seat in the rear for a fifth passenger plus slightly more headroom and cargo capacity. Frankly, this is a win, win, win.

What’s Not: There’s no rear-drive base model or long-wheelbase version, but all-wheel-drive powertrains denoted by “4” remain the same: the Panamera 4 gets a 330-hp turbo V-6; the 4S gets a 440-hp twin-turbo V-6; the 4 E-Hybrid features a 462-hp turbo V-6 PHEV setup; and the Turbo rocks a 550-hp twin-turbo V-8.

When: Fall

How Much: $97,250–$155,050

Volkswagen Arteon

What’s New: This flagship hatchback replacement for the CC “four-door coupe” moves up in size to slot about halfway between the Audi A5 and A7 four-door hatches while picking up Audi-esque trappings such as real wood trim, full LED lighting, and virtual cockpit instrumentation. It also introduces a wide horizontal-bar grille, a clamshell hood, and broad-shouldered styling that is likely to propagate throughout the VW portfolio.

What’s Not: The Aisin six-speed torque-converter transaxle and front- or 4Motion AWD powertrain parts are familiar, as is the 2.0 TSI gas engine. It’s slightly detuned from Golf R specification to make an estimated 276 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. Our fingers are crossed for a future VR6 variant making 350-ish hp.

When: 2018

How Much: $39,000–$42,000 (est)

Honda Civic Type R

What’s New: After years of being forbidden fruit to American enthusiasts, the front-drive Honda Civic Type R will finally land on U.S. soil and promises to be the hottest Civic to date. Powered by a 306-hp 2.0-liter turbo-four paired exclusively to a six-speed manual, the Civic Type R packs a punch and backs it up with adaptive suspension and steering, Brembo brakes, and a helical limited-slip differential. The car will also come as a single loaded package with a 540-watt premium audio system, LED headlights, a 7.0-inch touchscreen, navigation, a rearview camera, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

What’s Not: The U.S.-built 2.0-liter turbo-four is essentially a carryover engine from the previous generation: the Europe-only, ninth-generation Civic Type R.

When: Currently

How Much: $35,000 (est)

Buick Enclave

What’s New: The 2018 Enclave is the second generation of Buick’s successful three-row, seven-seat family crossover. Gone is the jelly bean styling in favor of sleek new sheetmetal. The Enclave also marks the debut of Buick’s Avenir luxurious subbrand. Essentially Buick’s version of GMC’s Denali line, the Enclave Avenir is differentiated from lower-end models by Evonik Acrylite LED accent lighting, a unique grille, and higher-quality leather inside.

What’s Not: The new Enclave shares its underpinnings and powertrain with the new 2018 Chevrolet Traverse. Although the lesser Chevy has a variety of engines, the Buick Avenir’s sole powerplant is a 3.6-liter V-6 good for 302 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. The V-6 is mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission and is available in both front- and all-wheel drive.

When: Fall

How Much: $40,000–$50,000 (est)

Chevrolet Traverse

What’s New: After the first-gen model’s nine-year run, almost everything has been replaced. The new three-row crossover still seats up to eight, but an updated 3.6-liter V-6 is mated to a nine-speed auto. (The front-drive only RS model uses the same transmission with a turbo-four.) A modernized interior and full suite of active safety tech allow Chevrolet to offer a more premium High Country trim.

What’s Not: The Traverse also retains the ability to tow around 5,000 pounds when properly equipped, and unlike the new GMC Acadia, it hasn’t been downsized in its second iteration.

When: Summer

How Much: $30,000 (est)

Alfa Romeo Stelvio

What’s New: This isn’t just Alfa Romeo’s first crossover. It’s also based on the magnificent Giulia sedan, which recently blew away all of its luxury-car rivals in both four-cylinder and V-6 variants. It remains to be seen whether the five-passenger Stelvio can repeat that performance, however our initial impressions are that the handsome hatchback could, like its lower-to-the-ground brother, be the jack of all trades and master of them all, too.

What’s Not: The Stelvio arrives with the same two engines (the 2.0-liter four makes 280 hp, the 2.9-liter V-6 cranks out 505 hp) and eight-speed automatic transmission as the Giulia, but with standard all-wheel drive.

When: Late summer

How Much: $42,000–$77,000 (est.)

Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

What’s New: Chevy blends the nimble dimensions and rock-hopper suspension articulation of a Jeep Wrangler with the high-speed desert racing capability of a Ford Raptor by redesigning the Colorado’s underpinnings and fitting high-tech Multimatic shocks  to ride smoother than base trucks while tolerating extreme abuse. Locking front and rear differentials, nine driveline modes, and skidplate protection of the radiator, oil pan, and transfer case are also part of the deal.

What’s Not: There’s no Raptor-esque fire-breathing engine under the hood. ZR2s can be had with either the 3.6-liter V-6 and eight-speed automatic or the 2.8-liter turbodiesel four and a six-speed, with your choice of extended cab/6-foot-2-inch box or crew cab/5-foot-2-inch box.

When: Currently

How Much: $40,995–$42,620

Audi Q8

What’s New: Macho, sharp-edged sheetmetal leaves you in no doubt the Q8 is meant to be Audi’s big, sporty SUV, positioned above the family-friendly, three-row Q7. The Q8 shares its sleek, high-tech interior with the forthcoming A8 sedan, along with a new mild hybrid powertrain composed of a 3.0-liter V-6 with electric-assisted turbochargers and an electric motor mounted between it and the eight-speed automatic transmission. Total system output is 469 hp and 516 lb-ft. Audi says that’s enough to get the Q8 Sport to 60 mph in less than 4.7 seconds and to a top speed of 171 mph.

What’s Not: Under the skin, the Q8 will share a lot of mechanical hardware with the existing Q7, including the regular 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 in entry-level models, the eight-speed automatic transmission, and the available adaptive air suspension and four-wheel steering.

When: 2018

How Much: $60,000–$80,000 (est)

Lexus UX

What’s New: Just about everything on this concept model is new. The UX will be positioned below the larger NX and RX crossovers, and it combines the rugged look of an off-roader with a coupelike cabin. The interior features the first application of the Kinetic Seat Concept, weblike seat cushions and back rests that move kinetically with the occupant’s weight. The concept’s traditional side mirrors are replaced by cameras, and there is a removable sound bar built in to the passenger-side dashboard—no telling if those details will reach production. Drivetrain details have not been revealed, but the UX will be underpinned by the Toyota New Global Architecture and possibly replace the aged CT 200h hatchback.

What’s Not: Toyota’s recent use of the large spindle grille and sharp angles for its exterior styling can be seen on the UX concept. The UX will likely be available with a hybrid engine mated to a CVT, a similar set up in other Toyota hybrid models. The UX also sports the double rear spoiler that can be seen on the all-new C-HR subcompact crossover.

When: 2018 (earliest)

How Much: $29,000

BMW X2

What’s New: With the X3 moving up in size to be as large as the original X5, the X2 will keep the compact X1 company in the more affordable end of the BMW lineup. But expect something sleeker and more activity-coupe in appearance compared to the more upright X1 look. Some might even call it a tall hatchback. Perhaps the most noticeable styling hook is the dramatic inversion of the iconic kidney grille. The placement of a roundel on the hatchback pillar is also intriguing.

What’s Not: Given that X2 comes from the X1 platform (also shared with Mini Countryman), it will be front-drive based and share the same component set as the X1. Hence, a 228-hp 2.0-liter turbo-four will be the predominant engine, mated to an eight-speed automatic.

When: Late 2017

How Much: $35,000 (est)

Jaguar I-Pace

What’s New: Leave it to Jaguar to initial its small SUV with an E but its electric crossover with an I. Jaguar’s first pure electric car, a five-passenger performance vehicle on a dedicated EV platform, is coming with next-gen technology, a futuristic design with an aerodynamic hood vent, flush door handles, and a glass roof. The battery pack and electric motors were developed in-house. The I-Pace has a 90-kW-hr battery and two motors to generate 400 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque, which Jaguar claims will go 0–60 mph in about 4.0 seconds. It also has all-wheel drive. Range will exceed 220 miles, and the battery can be fast-charged to 80 percent of capacity in 90 minutes.

What’s Not: It shares the same D7a flexible aluminum architecture as the F-Pace, which includes an A-arm front and multilink rear suspension. It will also get Jaguar’s All-Surface Progress Control system and Adaptive Surface Response for better traction and control in slippery conditions. Also look for the I-Pace to have Jag’s familiar face.

When: Second half of 2018

How Much: $90,000 (est)

Jaguar E-Pace

What’s New: This will be the smallest SUV in the Jaguar lineup, slotting below the F-Pace, to go up against the Audi Q3, BMW X1, and Mercedes-Benz GLA. It is not quite a mirror image of the F-Pace—as spy shots show a more coupelike silhouette and lower roofline, making it more of a tall hatch than an SUV. It is expected to include a hybrid or all-electric version.

What’s Not: With the familiar Jaguar face and grille, this Jaguar will share a platform with the Land Rover Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque—which would make it front-wheel drive with optional all-wheel drive. Expect it to tap the Ingenium family of gasoline and diesel 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engines and come with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Inside, it will share the Jaguar Land Rover Pro Infotainment system.

When: 2018

How Much: $34,000 (est)

Infiniti QX50

What’s New: The Infiniti QX50 is growing up to better position itself against the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC, Cadillac XT5, and others. The next QX50 will switch to a new front-drive-based platform from the Renault-Nissan alliance, and it will get Infiniti’s first production variable-compression engine, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. Expect styling to stay close to the QX50 concept.

What’s Not: Nothing. The QX50 will be all-new, trading its rear-drive, Infiniti G37–derived mechanicals for a high-tech engine, a more modern chassis, and more crossoverlike proportions.

When: 2018

How Much: $39,000 (est)

Ford Bronco

What’s New: After decades off the market, the Ford Bronco is finally returning. Very little is known at this point, but Ford promises it will be true to its heritage and be off-road ready. We take that to mean it’ll be recognizable as a Bronco and not a warmed-over crossover. Rumors have suggested it might feature solid axles both front and rear like the Jeep Wrangler—but the platform it shares currently uses an independent front suspension. We predict Ford’s compact 2.7-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 will be on offer, and hopefully Ford’s inline-five turbodiesel will be, too.

What’s Not: The Bronco will share the same body-on-frame platform as the new Ranger pickup.

When: 2020

How Much: $28,000 (est)

Genesis G70

What’s New: Unlike the Genesis G80 and G90, the G70 will be an all-new model with no direct Hyundai predecessor. The G70 is aimed squarely at the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and it will ride on a new platform that’s likely related to the one underpinning the Kia Stinger.

What’s Not: Drivetrain options should look pretty familiar, with a 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 derived from the unit in the Stinger serving as the base engine and Hyundai-Kia’s 3.3-liter twin-turbo V-6 powering the range-topping G70. Expect Hyundai’s second-generation eight-speed automatic to be the only transmission choice.

When: Q1 2018

How Much: $39,000 (est)

Mercedes-AMG GT4

What’s New: Taking aim at the Porsche Panamera, the Mercedes-AMG GT 4 is a radically styled four-door fastback. Although we’ve only seen it in concept form (pictured here), the model is 90 percent ready for production. It will offer a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 making anywhere from nearly 500 to more than 600 hp. On top-tier models, a V-8 engine comes paired to a rear-mounted electric motor for a total output of 800 hp.

What’s Not: It is expected to ride on the same platform as the Mercedes-Benz E63. Incidentally, the concept shares its naming convention with the Mercedes AMG GT coupe range, but the vehicles are very different.

When: Likely in the first half of 2019

How Much: $150,000–$200,000 (est)

McLaren BP23

What’s New: Like the legendary McLaren F1, the BP23 has three seats, with the driver in the center of the car. But McLaren says it’s an homage, not a successor, to the coupe that started the hypercar trend. The BP23 won’t be chasing record 0–60 acceleration times, and although it will be the fastest McLaren road car ever, faster than the 240-mph F1, it won’t outrun a Bugatti Chiron. McLaren calls the BP23 a “hyper-GT”—a car that will be staggeringly quick, thanks to advanced aerodynamics and light weight, but refined and luxurious at the same time, with a comfortable ride.

What’s Not: BP23 will be built using some of the hardware developed for the new McLaren 720S, including the revised 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine. It will also feature performance-boosting electric motors. Total powertrain system output is likely to be more than 1,000 hp.

When: 2019

How Much: $2.5 million (est)

Infiniti Q60 Project Black S

What’s New: The Q60 Project Black S has a really-it’s-true KERS system like F1 cars have. There’s one electric motor to assist the rear wheels and another to instantly spin up the turbo to high boost levels and send some energy to the battery at high rpms. And a nifty kind of push-to-pass button, which would allow short bursts of otherwise redline power, is also possible.

What’s Not: The underlying engine would supposedly be the 400-hp twin-turbo V-6 from the Q50 Red Sport 400. But with the new bits added, power to the wheels would probably be north of 500 hp.

When: 2019 or later

How Much: $65,000–$70,000 (est)

Porsche Mission E

What’s New: The Porsche Mission E will be the German automaker’s first electric vehicle, and it will come with an estimated 600 hp and more than 300 miles of range on a single charge. Porsche will also develop an 800-volt charger for the Mission E that can charge the car’s floor-mounted lithium-ion battery to 80 percent in 15 minutes, and it will come with a wireless charging system. All-wheel drive will likely come standard along with a torque-vectoring system that can send torque to individual wheels.

What’s Not: Despite being an EV, the Porsche Mission E’s looks shouldn’t veer too far away from Porsche’s design language, meaning it’s going to look familiar despite the different powertrain and underpinnings.

When: 2020

How Much: Around $100,000

Toyota Supra

What’s New: BMW and Toyota have collaborated on a Z4 successor for the Bavarians and a next-generation Supra to help satisfy CEO Akio Toyoda’s need for speed. Rumors abound, but we know trademarks for Supra have been filed in the U.S. and Europe and that Austrian supplier Magna Steyr will build roughly 60,000 of the rear-drive, two-door sports cars for both companies.

What’s Not: Since the start, Supras have been powered by six-cylinder engines, and the fifth generation (MkV if you’re hip) should be no different. But rumor says its cylinders will be in a vee formation, with a turbo for each bank.

When: 2018 (20 years after U.S. sales of the last Supra ceased)

How Much: $50,000 (est)

Nissan V-Motion 2.0 Concept

What’s New: The Nissan V-Motion 2.0 Concept doesn’t preview a specific model; rather it is a styling exercise that previews the automaker’s future design direction—much like the Nissan Sports Sedan Concept previewed the current Nissan Maxima sedan. This could be the preview of the next Altima. Nissan’s signature V-Motion grille insert floats in the middle of the larger and bolder front grille, and the floating roof design features a one-piece carbon-fiber floating pillar that replaces the A-pillar, roof rails, and C-pillar. It floats above the wrap-around rear window glass. Other design elements include a split panoramic glass roof and suicide rear doors.

What’s Not: Although many of the design elements might make it to production, don’t expect the floating center console, high-tech infotainment screen, and show car door hinges to make it into production.

When: 2018–2019

How Much: $25,000 (est)

source

Related Articles

No comments

Leave a Reply