Every year, car enthusiasts wait in anticipation for the newest model or latest revision of their favorite design. Their excitement is often warranted, as car and truck manufacturers strive to stay ahead of the competition by making significant improvements, using the latest technology to create new models or add features to already successful vehicles. With these rapid changes, the automobile industry becomes more dynamic every year and usually produces several surprises in the process.
Here are some of the most anticipated vehicles for 2018.
Better known for its hatchbacks, sedans, and SUVs, Kia is introducing one of the most anticipated cars in 2018, the Stinger. A genuine sports sedan featuring a 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine producing 365 hp and 376 ft-lb of torque, it will accelerate from 0 to 60 in just 5.1 seconds.
More than just performance, the Singer’s well-designed interior includes generous passenger space, an ample cargo hold, and an abundance of standard features like a well-equipped infotainment system and leather seats.
The entry-level Stinger will include the company’s 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine. While the smaller engine will not allow it to compete with higher-end Jaguars, BMWs, and Mercedes-Benz models, it will be very competitive with conventional BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, and Mercedes-Benz C Class, but at a lower price.
U.S. News and World Report ranked the Kia Stinger Number 2 in their Luxury Small Cars category.
TOYOTA CAMRY HYBRID
The Toyota Camry has been the best-selling car in America for many years. Not resting on its laurels, Toyota has modified the 2018 model, both inside and outside, adding standard safety technology and more powerful and efficient engines. It features a new 2.5-liter four-cylinder, while updated V6 and hybrid powertrains will also be available.
All Camry models will include Toyota Safety Sense advanced electronic safety aids and driver assistance technologies. Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beams are standard.
The Camry hybrid uses the THS II system, which leverages efficiency gains made for the latest Prius. The base model hybrid will include the reliable nickel-metal hydride battery technology at a very attractive price, while the more expensive versions of the sedan will come with the lighter-weight lithium-ion battery pack. Toyota is claiming a 20% improvement in fuel economy for the new powertrain, producing an estimated 50 mpg in the city.
Although the Ford Expedition has been around for a long time, the 2018 version will be a much-anticipated redesign. It includes an all-new chassis, aluminum body shell, and new interior with augmented dimensions, more volume, a more efficient powertrain, more towing capacity, reduced weight, and a significantly improved fuel economy.
Ford states that the output of the new 3.5-liter direct injection V-6 engine will increase from the 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque produced by the current engine. The 10-speed automatic transmission replaces the existing 6-speed gearbox. Both rear-wheel and 4-wheel drive will be offered.
Passenger comfort will be enhanced with new technology features, including advanced safety tech, driver assistance, and the latest SYNC 3 infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Six USB ports are distributed throughout the cabin. Passengers can connect to an onboard Wi-Fi hotspot that uses a dedicated 4G LTE connection.
In the category of small crossovers, the GMC Terrain has never been a leading seller, but 2018 promises to be a turn-around year. The 2018 GMC Terrain will differentiate itself from the competition with unique styling, a diesel engine option, and an ample selection of models and prices.
The new Terrain compact SUV for 2018 boasts a bolder yet curvier look than the outgoing model, with a revised grille design, floating roof, and quote-shaped headlights. The 2018 Terrain is almost 350 pounds lighter than the previous base model. However, the most significant change is the powertrain, including three turbocharged engines and an efficient 1.6-liter turbodiesel coupled to a nine-speed automatic transmission.
All models will include the Traction Select system, allowing drivers to tweak the SUV’s driving dynamics for different conditions. Front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is also available.
TESLA MODEL 3
The Tesla Model 3 electric vehicle release was highly anticipated in 2017, but, with production bottlenecks, it now has become one of the most anticipated cars for 2018. CEO Elon Musk predicts a delivery of 15,000 vehicles per month beginning early in the year.
The range from a single charge is estimated at 215 miles—a distance sufficient for 95% of normal driving, giving the Tesla Model 3 a significant advantage over the competition.
It will seat five adults, and it has less than half the trunk volume of the Model S. Nearly 100 configurations will be available, and the Tesla Autopilot feature will be standard.
The Tesla Model 3 is a car that should make high-tech, elegant all-electrics available to the masses at an affordable starting price of $35,000.
The top-of-the-line BMW X7 crossover with room for the whole family will fill a gaping hole in BMW’s product line, targeting the full-size luxury SUV category currently dominated by Cadillac and Mercedes-Benz. While the X5 currently offers a three-row, 7-seat crossover SUV, the optional bench provides limited comfort for a long drive. The X7 should be much more spacious—characteristic of a full-size luxury crossover SUV.
The X7 engine options are expected to parallel those of the 7-series sedan. The entry-level 40i will offer a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six that produces 320 horsepower and a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 with about 445 horsepower will power the X7 50i. Both diesel and gasoline-electric hybrid models also are anticipated, but a V-12 model, while theoretically easy to produce for the U.S. market, is uncertain.
CHEVROLET CORVETTE ZR1
The first Corvettes that proudly displayed the ZR1 moniker were produced between 1970 and 1972, and then again from 1990 and 1995. The last ZR1 was equipped with a Lotus-designed V8 powerplant that generated a bewildering 638 horsepower and is still considered one of the most powerful American cars ever made. That is about to change, with the introduction of the 2018 ZR1, capable of producing between 750 and 800 horsepower.
The ZR1 shares many high-performance features with the Z06. Both have supercharged engines, either the seven-speed manual or the eight-speed automatic transmission, and the suspensions are virtually identical. The ZR1 uses magnetorheological dampers instead of the spool-valve shocks installed on a Camaro ZL1.
The ZR1’s front wheels are a half-inch wider than those on the Z06. However, the standard and optional rubber are the same. The ZR1’s brakes are the upgraded Z06 rotors and calipers with new pads.
Pricing for the 2019 ZR1 hasn’t been finalized but is expected to track the C6-generation ZR1 and start just above $120,000 when it is released in the spring of 2018.
Although the demand for three-row crossover SUVs remains high, the market for minivans is still sizable. For 2018, Honda intends to outpace the competition by introducing an Odyssey loaded with family-friendly technology and seating capacity.
From the outside, the latest Odyssey doesn’t deviate much from its predecessor. Under the body, however, it uses a new architecture—the same implemented on the Pilot and the Ridgeline pickup. The 3.5-liter V-6 remains the single-engine offering. However, power output increases from 248 to 280 horsepower.
A nine-speed automatic replaces the previous six-speed transmission, while upper trim levels get a new, Honda-designed 10-speed. Although EPA ratings are not yet available, the gear ratios, combined with a 100-pound weight reduction, should improve its fuel economy.
Some unique features include the second-row seats that can slide side to side, making access to the third row easy and facilitating the installation of child seats. An interior camera system allows parents to keep an eye on passengers, and Honda’s Cabin Talk feature permits parents (or the driver) to talk to passengers via the van’s audio system, even if headphones connected to the vehicle’s rear-seat entertainment system are in use.
ALFA ROMEO STELVIO
Alfa Romeo only recently resumed sales in the U.S. with the 4C coupe and the Giulia premium sedan. In 2018, an additional model, the Stelvio, will be offered and should provide some competition for the Lexus NX and Audi Q5.
While much of the Stelvio’s appeal stems from an emotional attachment to Italian automobiles, its characteristics are objectively impressive. The Stelvio base model, like the Giulia, comes with a 280-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, while the Stelvio Quadrifoglio scheduled for delivery the following year boasts a Ferrari-derived 505-horsepower twin-turbo V6.
All Stelvio models come with a rear-biased all-wheel-drive system, an 8-speed ZF transmission, an adjustable drive mode selector, and an all-aluminum suspension, giving it the performance characteristics of more expensive SUVs.
FERRARI 812 SUPERFAST
The Ferrari 812 Superfast helps celebrate Ferrari’s 70th anniversary with the introduction of a successor to the F12berlinetta and F12tdf. The design masterpiece packs a new 6.5-liter naturally aspirated V12 along with a host of innovative technology.
The 12-cylinder engine with a newly designed high-pressure direct-injection system develops a mind-boggling 789 horsepower and produces 530 ft-lb of torque. Combined with a modified version of Ferrari’s 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with quick shift programming, the 812 Superfast accelerates from 0-62 mph in a mere 2.9 seconds, with a top-end speed of 211 mph.
To handle all that power, Ferrari engineers made several modifications to the F12/F12tdf chassis, enabling exceptional handling performance characteristics. Among these is the implementation of Ferrari’s first electric power steering and Ferrari’s patented Side Slip Control. The 812 Superfast utilizes the automaker’s new Virtual Short Wheelbase 2.0 system—an advanced rear-steering package that quickens the car’s responsiveness and agility.
As with all Ferrari models, the 812 Superfast body styling demonstrates an unmatched attention to aerodynamic detailing. Active flaps help redirect air under the car’s sculpted body, while a rear diffuser helps increase downforce at high speed.
The best-selling vehicle in the U.S. isn’t the Camry sedan, and it’s not the CR-V crossover. It is the Ford F-Series lineup of full-size trucks. Although crossovers of all types are leading to sales increases across the industry, trucks still serve an integral part of many automaker lineups. Here are three examples.
Sales of Ford F-series trucks in 2016 exceeded 820,000—more than double the sales of the Toyota Camry, the top-selling passenger car. The trend continued in 2017, prompting truck manufacturers to continuously update their models. The Ford F-150 is no exception, and the 2018 version offers some significant improvements.
For 2018, minor improvements were made to exterior styling, interior materials, and trim colors. However, the abundance of tech and infotainment options help make the new F-150 exciting. Adaptive cruise control has been enhanced with complete-stop capability in heavy traffic.
A new pre-collision-assist system features pedestrian detection, and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot allows connection of up to 10 wireless devices. Options include lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, a 360-degree camera, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.
The F-150’s powertrain lineup includes a new direct-injected 3.3-liter V-6 that replaces the previous 3.5-liter V-6 with the same performance but which consumes less fuel.
However, the biggest news for the F-150 for 2018 is the new diesel engine. The turbocharged 3.0-liter PowerStroke Diesel V-6 will be offered with the 10-speed automatic transmission.
Ford also announced plans for an F-150 hybrid, scheduled for delivery in 2020.
CHEVROLET SILVERADO HD
In 2017, General Motors introduced the Silverado and GMC Sierra HD—heavy-duty trucks with a new Duramax L5P engine. The 6.6-liter turbodiesel V-8 produces 445 hp at 2,800 rpm and 910 ft-lb of torque at 1,600 rpm.
The 3500HD with dual rear wheels has a maximum payload of 5,518 lbs., conventional towing of 20,000 lbs., and a fifth-wheel/gooseneck of 23,300 lbs. The 2500HD has a maximum payload of 3,204 lbs., a maximum conventional towing capacity of 14,500 lbs., and a fifth-wheel/gooseneck rating of 18,100 lbs.
Changes for the Silverado and Sierra models for 2018 include new grille designs, a standard rearview camera for models with a cargo box, a fill alert for the tire pressure monitoring system, a standard MyLink 7-inch radio on base models, and three new colors for crew-cab models.
HYUNDAI SANTA CRUZ
Hyundai is known as a manufacturer of family cars and sedans, but it has ventured into the pickup truck market with the introduction of the small-size Santa Cruz utility pickup. The target market is that of urban buyers looking for a nifty off-roader with a bed for weekend trips.
The 2018 Hyundai Santa Cruz is a rounded truck, with the slightly redesigned front end from the Hyundai Ridgeline. The wide front grille and LED front lights follow the shape of the hood and front edge. The truck’s backend is smaller than most, but that allows additional space inside of the cabin.
The Santa Cruz includes modern technology and a safety system yet to be detailed by Hyundai.
The basic model 2018 Hyundai Santa Cruz will come with a 2.0-liter gas engine that produces 240 horsepower and 280 ft-lb of torque. The deluxe version will get the powerful 3.3-liter V6 engine that generates 300 horsepower. Both engines are mated with the six-speed automatic transmission and use front wheel drive with the optional all-wheel driving system.
While this is only a sample of a much longer list of new and remodeled vehicles due to hit the showroom floors in 2018, it represents the current state of car and truck evolution. The new features that vehicles offer make them more efficient, improve their EPA ratings, and reduce their environmental impact, and this will make driving a car or truck a more pleasurable and safe experience.