The Most Promising Cars of 2014 (So Far)
It’s that wonderful time of year again: Snow is on the ground, holiday music fills the air, and automakers have started revealing all the fantastic cars that will be in people’s driveways come the new year. Although 2013 saw some fantastic cars come our way—cars like the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette, 2014 Cadillac CTS and 2014 Mazda3—we can’t help but look at 2014 with wide eyes, as some of the most promising cars many makers have turned out in generations sit just beyond the horizon.
With Santa making final preparations for his annual sleigh ride (which we still can’t understand—he would clearly be better off in something like a Subaru Outback or Ferrari FF), CarGurus has put together a list of cars we’d like him to drop down our chimney early, as we can’t wait any longer. While there are many other awesome cars sure to find their way to America’s roads in 2014, these are the ones we’re most excited to see.
10. Just last month, Porsche unveiled the Macan, a midsize SUV meant to make the brand more of a mainstream competitor. The car hasn’t even hit showrooms yet, and it looks like it will do just that—Porsche has already made plans to build 50,000 Macans per year. What really makes us excited about the Macan, however, is Porsche’s claim that it will handle like a proper sports car. With the top-of-the-line Macan Turbo set to pump out 400 hp and shoot from 0 to 62 in just 4.8 seconds, we certainly hope Santa will deliver and make sure all of Porsche’s claims come true.
9. In at number 9 is another car from Stuttgart: the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe. With the brilliant 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan already on sale, Mercedes was looking to liven the car up a bit and decided to produce an S-Class Coupe. Sitting 1 inch lower than the sedan with more-aggressive styling and performance capabilities, the S-Class Coupe ventures into territory none of Mercedes’ traditional rivals have and is set to compete directly against the Bentley Continental GT and Rolls-Royce Wraith. If Mercedes delivers with the coupe like it did with the sedan, the British giants could be in for a real fight.
8. We’re so excited about our next pick that we don’t even know what to call it. The long-awaited successor to the Lamborghini Gallardo, our eighth pick is the Lamborghini Huracan (until today known as the Cabrera). Set to be unveiled any day (Lamborghini has promised to reveal the car by Christmas), the Gallardo’s successor will boast a 5.2-liter 10-cylinder engine pushing out a whopping 600 hp. This is one car that should be worth the wait.
7. We hope Santa makes a stop in Munich before he hits Cambridge and picks us up a pair of Bimmers, namely the 2014 BMW M3 and M4. Unveiled earlier this week, the M3 and M4 are the next generation of the BMW M3 (BMW spun the 3 Series coupe off as the 4 Series this year). What’s awesome about this car is that BMW ditched the old V8 in favor of a twin-turbo straight six that is both more powerful and more efficient than the outgoing engine. The most powerful M3/M4 ever thanks to its 425 ponies, the cars come equipped with BMW’s new “Smokey Burnout” function and look ready to deliver more fun than most drivers have ever dreamt of.
6. When you think of Maserati, you normally think of fantastic, low-production cars that almost nobody can afford. That will all change in 2014 when the Maserati Ghibli reaches showroom floors. Based on the Quattroporte, the Ghibli is Maserati’s attempt to go more mainstream. In fact, Modena is planning on using the Ghibli as a driving force to increase the Trident’s annual sales to 50,000 units by 2015—that’s 8 times what the company sold in 2012. With a base price of $65,600, the Ghibli puts itself in direct competition with cars like the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. In a segment traditionally dominated by the German brands, we’re glad to see Maserati join Cadillac in shaking things up.
5. While the Ghibli will crash the Germans’ party in 2014, Munich looks set to do some party crashing of its own when it releases the BMW i8. Until now, the high-performance electric car market has been dominated by Tesla and its superb Model S. That will all change when the i8 hits the streets. To be fair, the i8 will not be in quite the same bracket as the Model S. While the Model S is an all-electric car, the i8 has a dual engine setup: An electric motor powers the front wheels up to 75 mph, but after that the car’s gas engine kicks in and sends power to all 4 wheels. Boasting a 0-to-62-mph time of 4.5 seconds and delivering an astounding 114 mpg, many have already shelled out the $135,000 it takes to get the i8. Perhaps Santa should make a second stop in Munich for us.
4. Quite frankly, if Kris Kringle could speed up the production of one car, it should be the 2015 Ford F-150. Originally slated to reach dealer lots around Memorial Day of 2014, Ford recently pushed back the truck’s on-sale date due to supply-chain concerns. However long it takes, one thing’s for sure: This truck should be worth every minute we’ve spent waiting for it. Utilizing a new aluminum construction (the cause of the production delay), the 2015 F-150 will be 750 pounds lighter than the 2014 model, resulting in better fuel economy while being built out of a material that is 2.5 times stronger than the steel currently used. Ford has done a good job of keeping the truck under wraps, but if it looks anything like the Atlas concept upon which it is rumored to be based, Santa should ditch the reindeer next year and spread joy in a new 4×4.
3. Would you buy a car you had never seen? 499 people did exactly that, which is why the 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari is already sold out even though one has yet to hit a dealer’s showroom floor. According to Ferrari North America boss Marco Mattiaci, the LaFerrari is “going to be the benchmark of the auto industry.” That may seem like a lofty claim, but from what we know about the car so far, it may right on the money—you see, the LaFerrari will have one of the world’s most advanced hybrid drivetrains and will also be the fastest production car Ferrari has ever made. Ever.
2. It’s not every day that we get to talk about Alfa Romeo. Thankfully, today is one of those days. After leaving the U.S. market in 1995, Alfa looks to come roaring back when it launches the 2014 Alfa Romeo 4C. Already receiving loads of praise from reviewers, the 4C sends 237 hp to the rear wheels, getting the car from 0 to 60 in about 4.5 seconds. However, where the 4C really shines is in the twisties, where the car’s super-precise steering will keep any driver grinning from ear to ear. We absolutely can’t wait for the 4C and hope that Alfa keeps its promise to return to the U.S., finally.
1. The year 1964 saw the sale of the very first Ford Mustang. In 49 years, the Mustang has changed and evolved, but never has it made quite as big a jump as it will next year with the new 2015 model. Long an icon of the American auto industry, the Mustang will catch up to the times next year, ditching its solid rear axle in exchange for an independent rear suspension. In addition to that, the original pony car will be going global, and Europeans, who have long lusted after Dearborn’s most famous car, will finally be able to satisfy their tastes right away. Ford hasn’t released many numbers yet, but expect to see the Mustang in dealer showrooms this spring at about the same time the first Mustang was sold in 1964. With 2014 marking the 50th anniversary of the Mustang’s glorious arrival, we’re sure Ford went all out with the new ‘Stang, and we simply can’t wait to learn more about it, much less drive it. On second thought, scratch the F-150, Santa would look cooler in a Mustang.
What cars that will arrive next year are you most excited about?