One of the most common questions we see around here is, “Should I buy a car now or wait for the new model just around the corner?” Car aficionados like to keep track of goings-on in the industry to stay in the know about new makes and models arriving soon and what type of splash they will make when they hit dealers. Here are the 10 models we are most looking forward to seeing that will arrive in calendar-year 2017 or sooner. From electric cars to pickups and six-figure sports cars, each of our top 10 is guaranteed to shake up its segment.
Ok, so this one is just a rumor for now, and if it does happen it may not be by 2017. A self-driving Apple car would seriously shake up the entire auto industry if it does pan out, so it deserves a mention nonetheless. The Silicon Valley tech giant has recently been poaching well-respected auto executives from all over the world who are working in secret on a huge car-related project codenamed Titan. If Apple does get into the new car business, it will not do so unless it has something completely revolutionary. History tells us it is just the type of company to pull that off.
“Bimmerphiles,” as BMW brand enthusiasts are known, will probably tell you that the E30-generation M3 of the 1980s and 1990s was the purest driver’s car the company ever produced. Today’s M3 is much larger and around 1,000 pounds heavier, leaving room for a lighter and more toss able model just below it. Enter the 2017 M2, which will be based on the just-released new 2-Series coupe and convertible. Expected to feature a twin-turbocharged inline-six with around 400 horsepower, this new compact will closely mimic the ethos that made the E30 such as legend. Expect it in late 2016.
Poor Lincoln just cannot seem to catch a break these days with flagging sales and a less-than-exciting product lineup. At the 2015 New York Auto Show, Ford’s luxury brand surprised everyone with this stunning concept car that will preview the company’s next full-size flagship. With hints of classic Lincoln models as well as modern Bentley designs, the concept is said to closely preview an AWD production luxury sedan that will hit dealers by calendar-year 2017 if not before. As far as Lincoln is concerned, the sooner the better.
Ask any Japanese sports car fan their all-time favorite model and they just might tell you it is the MkIV Supra sports car, which terrorized roads the world over during the 1990s with its twin-turbocharged inline-six engine that was commonly boosted to make over 1,000 horsepower. The next-gen “MkV” Supra has been confirmed, and Toyota is currently working with BMW to build the car’s platform and a new turbo inline-six engine. The company’s FT-1 Concept shown here gives a pretty good preview of the actual car’s design, although the Supra will be slightly smaller and less over-the-top. This is the model Japanese affordable sports car fans have been waiting for.
Tesla will release its third electric car, the Model X crossover SUV, later this year and already has thousands of buyers lined up with preorders. We are even more excited about the next car down the line, though: the Model 3 (or “Model III”) compact sedan. Coming by calendar-year 2017, it will be the most affordable car the company has ever created with a target base price of just $30,000 after any available electric car tax incentives. The Model 3’s driving range is projected to be around 200 miles. Buyers can expect typical Tesla advanced technology including swappable battery packs and a fully autonomous self-driving mode that can take the wheel in select situations.
Car and tech companies from Acura to Apple have made waves with reports of upcoming fully autonomous, self-driving cars. Only Volvo has made concrete plans to put one such vehicle into production, including obtaining the permission of regulators in its home country of Sweden. The new self-driving Volvo will be based on the just-released XC90 large SUV, itself a showpiece for active safety tech that is already available today. Will Volvo be first out the gate with self-driving cars? Find out in 2017, when the first autonomous XC90 models are sold to the public.
When we first heard the new 2017 Ford GT is expected to cost up to $350,000 – four times as much as a Chevrolet Corvette Z/06 – we were quite taken aback. Never before in its history has Ford charged anywhere close to that for a new model. The new GT supercar will come powered by an ultra-high-boost twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V-6 engine with upwards of 600 horsepower. Its sexy styling sits impossibly low to the ground, and it features a design that is much more modern that the retro-inspired GT of a few years ago. Expect it in dealers in 2016.
The primary factor keeping most of today’s electric cars from catching on is their limited range: models like the Nissan LEAF and Ford Focus Electric cannot even reach 100 miles before needing a full recharge. Chevrolet has confirmed production for a new electric, tentatively called the Bolt that will be able to reach 200 miles while keeping costs down to around $30,000. The car may go through a name change due to confusion with the unrelated Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid. In any case, expect it early in calendar-year 2017.
The car that became synonymous with hybrid transportation and a top choice for the Hollywood glitterati has lost some of its luster, overshadowed by the Teslas of the world. Sales are down considerably from their peak levels, which Toyota hopes to change with the all-new 2016 model. Fuel economy may reach as high as 60 city mpg, which would be enough to cement the Prius’s place as the most fuel-efficient car on the market. Expect the next-gen model in dealerships at the very end of 2015 for the 2016 model year with a plug-in hybrid with an extended electric range following a year down the line.
11. 2017 Audi R8
The 2017 R8 has been classified as the “less exciting Lamborghini” according to some automotive journalist. With a price tag of over $170,000 this may be one of the more difficult cars to get in to on this list. The new V10 engine provided plenty of power and the new electric clutch make shifting almost un-noticeable. The R8 is highly anticipated but without much updating of the cars style from previous years wouldn’t you rather get a Lamborghini Huracan, which aside from the body, is almost the exact same car as the R8.
The Jaguar F-Pace is their slightly late entry into the world of the cross-over vehicle. That doesn’t mean Jaguar has missed the mark though. Experts predict the F-Pace will quickly become Jaguar’s most popular selling vehicle and with a sub $40,000 price tag and over 370hp it’s easy to see why. Jaguar is desperate to gain more luxury market share and entering an ever growing cross-over market with what appears to be a great vehicle should help their bottom line.