The Most Anticipated Cars of 2013
From Downshift to all of our readers: happy new year! We thought we’d kick off 2013 right with a list of new cars we are most looking forward to through the next 12 months, including everything from economy vehicles to sports cars and beyond. While certainly not comprehensive, this list will highlight the most important new models that will work their way onto the marketplace and into the homes of new buyers.
While the Ferrari FF replaced the unloved 612 Scaglietti four-seat grand tourer in 2011, Ferrari faithful have waited quite a while for a proper substitute for the sportier, two-seat 599. This year will finally see the release of the F12berlinetta, the 730hp monster that will be Ferrari’s new flagship supercar. The 6.3L V12 under the hood makes 100 more than the standard 599 and 70hp more than the hardcore 599 GTO, A seven-speed daul-clutch transmission will help the Ferrari rocket from 0-60mph in a hair over 3 seconds all the way to a top speed over 205. It will be the most powerful production Ferrari ever (at least until the F70 hypercar arrives, which will mate the F12’s engine to both a hybrid and F1-style KERS system).
Chevrolet Corvette C7
So much has been said about the new Corvette that adding more detail here would be superfluous. We do know that it will again be driven by a front-engined, RWD V8 making 450hp and will feature a similar exterior design to the C6; it will be a logical, evolutionary step rather than many of the preliminary design sketches leaked from Chevrolet studios that suggested a radical overhaul. The engine layout again temporarily casts asides rumors of a mid-engined design that have, admittedly, been persistent for decades.
The big news is the upgraded interior, which has long been a source of criticism even by the Corvette faithful (especially the unsupportive bucket seats). Leaked designs posted by Jalopnik suggest a layout similar to the current C6, but a full, leather-coated finished product will be on display at this year’s North American International Auto Show, occurring one week from now in Detroit.
Ford Fiesta ST
As we previously covered, the Fiesta ST is the caffeine-injected cousin of Ford’s sedate subcompact, driven by a turbocharged 4-cylinder pumping 197hp out of its 1.6L mill. Count on Ford to advertise that it will be the least expensive car to be available with Recaro racing seats, and one of the only sporty cars in its segment. Priced correctly and with a decent options list, it could prove to be the aging Mini Cooper’s worst enemy. No firm pricing or release dates have been set, but Automobile Magazine speculates we will see the Fiesta ST here in the U.S. before summer’s end.
Another car we previewed earlier, the F-Type continues Jaguar’s renaissance as a desirable premium automobile manufacturer (as much as Jaguar’s acknowledgment of evolving consumer tastes can be called a “renaissance”). The F-Type is Jaguar’s affordable sports car and aims to be a serious competitor to a class that is typically dominated by the Germans, with the Porsche Boxster, BMW Z4, and Mercedes SLK. True to form, the F-Type will host an array of engine choices available: a pair of supercharged V6s with either 335 or 375hp and a supercharged 5.0L V8 with 488 on tap. UK dealers will likely see the F-Type in mid-2013, with the U.S. release (hopefully) shortly thereafter.
Porsche 918 Spyder
The Porsche 918 Spyder, along with the Ferrari F70, represents a defining moment for automotive enthusiasts and environmentalists alike, and it almost didn’t make this list. No firm release dates have been set, but Autoblog reports that the ~$1,000,000 juggernaut will begin delivery in December; it is a proper successor to Porsche’s Carrera GT halo car, which has been discontinued since 2007.
Like the Carrera GT, the front end of the 918 is distinctly Porsche, and the back end echoes the GT, although in this application the “humps” behind driver and passenger are not air scoops but top-mounted exhaust outlets. The interior features a suspended center stack like the GT, but instead of housing the wooden shift knob of a six-speed manual, it features a large touchscreen and auxiliary controls.
The 4.6L V8 produces 580hp all by itself and revs to 9,000rpm. 580hp is a lot but isn’t quite supercar worthy, so dual electric motors supply power to the front and rear wheels, respectively; the combined system output is a staggering 795hp, easily making this the most powerful production Porsche ever created. Porsche also claims that buyers can expect fuel economy to be more than 70mpg in highway driving.
Porsche has taken an incredible gamble on producing a hybrid supercar, but we may view this car 40 years from now marking a tonal shift in the production of automobiles.