In the process of exploring, examining, and test driving scores of sport and luxury vehicles in 2017, and reporting on the people who design, engineer, build, and write about them, we have inevitably become privy to some industry rumors on the topic of what’s coming down the pipeline. And because we derive great joy from sharing our love of cars, we’re going to let you in on the secret. We’re not sure if we’ve hit “peak car,” or whether this is the death knell of the car as we know it en route to our robot-driving future, but by all appearances, 2018 promises to be a banner year for the automobile. Here is our list of the 17 imminently forthcoming vehicles about which we are, and you should be, excited.
1. Luxury Hatchback – Audi S5 Sportback
The Audi A7 is one of our favorite vehicles, with its elegant appearance, all-wheel-drive capability, well-appointed interior, and commodious hatch. This car takes the same formula and downsizes it just enough.
2. Luxury Coupe – BMW 8-Series
BMW killed its range-topping large two-door some years back, and we’ve been longing for a revival of its beastly elegance. The styling on this concept presages what’s next for the Bavarian brand, which is a great sign.
3. Small SUV – Volvo XC40
Volvo’s SUV design is top notch, no easy task when creating a vehicle that’s essentially two boxes. This entry-level offering combines elegance and ruggedness with ingenious interior packaging featuring quality materials.
4. Midsize SUV – Lamborghini Urus
Lamborghini worships at the altar of more, and that veneration is on full display in this high-powered and menacing SUV. It features a creasy-bulging exterior, a military aircraft–inspired interior, and a honking twin-turbo V8.
5. Large SUV – Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen
After 40 years, Mercedes is introducing a replacement for its impossibly popular, brutally rectilinear G-Wagen. And though it looks nearly identical, it promises great improvements in luxury, ride, and comfort.
6. Ultra SUV – Rolls-Royce Cullinan
The Rolls-Royce of SUVs, and the first sport utility vehicle from the storied British ultra-luxury marque, this striking five-door will ride on the same platform as the brand’s $500,000 Phantom, and share its imposing styling.
7. Wagon – Mercedes E63S
There’s a three-way tie in this category. We love modern station wagons because they do everything well, combining sportiness, luxury, and utility in the most efficient package. These three—the hotrod Mercedes, the elegant Jag, and the handsome revival Buick—are so superlative, we can’t pick just one.
8. Hypercar – McLaren P15
The boutique British supercar maker’s most brutal and track-focused road car yet will eschew comfort and convenience for all-out performance. The limited run is already sold out, but that does little to slake our longing for a drive.
9. Electric Sedan – Tesla Model 3
Tesla’s long-awaited mass-market electric car was supposed to go into regular production in 2017, but delays have kept the number of deliveries low and focused on the West Coast. We hope it will reach New York in 2018.
10. Convertible – Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Convertible
The ZR1 name has been reserved for the most potent Corvette variant. This one hosts a thumping 750-horsepower V8, and, for the first time in nearly 50 years, a drop-top. Talk about wind in your hair.