In 2016, we drove 104 cars, trucks, vans and SUVs. Though that by no means covers the entire industry, it's still a pretty wide swath of what's available. Our list of 2016 cars we wanted to drive covered 16 cars, and we got to helm 12 of them. That being said, we are always chomping at the bit to drive more, and 2017 should prove to be another great year in terms of new and improved vehicles by virtually every manufacturer that sells cars in America. Not only are design and styling ramping up, but technology, safety, amenities and efficiency. Very few automakers are offering up cars that are just painful to look at and to drive (*cough*, Fiat 500L), and that's a good thing for everyone.
We've compiled our annual list of cars we desperately want to drive, in hope that the manufacturers will see it (fingers crossed) and deliver them all to our doorstep (we can dream). Though we know we won't get to drive all of them, we're damned happy that we'll get to helm quite a few of them. This year, we've rounded them up to an even 20. So, without further delay, here's our annual list for the new model year.
1. Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
Italy's version of a BMW M3 fighter takes the form of a 505 hp monster that sounds as good as it looks. From all accounts, the Giulia Quadrifoglio ($72,000 base MSRP) is a rip-roaring good time that brings a bit of red, white and green soul to the States.
2. Audi S3
What do you get when you cram a VW R32 engine into Audi's cute little A3 sedan? A rocket that's about as fun to drive as they come thanks to the S3's ($42,900 base MSRP) 3.0-liter V6 engine. Sadly, the sweet manual transmission is gone, though. Waahhh.
3. Audi TT RS
The top trim TT is as good as its ever been, churning out 400 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels. Only the coupe will make it here, but that's the version we love. 0-60 arrives in a mere 3.7 seconds, which makes it almost supercar fast. If the steering is as good as the regular TT, it'll be a hoot to drive.
4. BMW 5-Series
The last 5-Series was less than we expected, which is why we hope to see more out of the all-new version. It mimics the 7-Series in amenities, luxury, and tech but in a smaller package. The M5 version will supposedly have over 600 horsepower, or basically enough to land you in jail in no time flat.
5. Cadillac CT6
Though it's not new for 2017, we didn't get to helm the CT6 ($53,495 base MSRP) for more than a few minutes, so we hope we get real seat time this year. It adds a plug-in hybrid this year with a 2.0-liter turbo four and two electric motors for a big 355 hp and 432 lb-ft of torque, making it far more exciting than just about any mainstream hybrid out there.
6. Chevrolet Bolt
It's the EV everybody's been waiting for, and that's no surprise since the Bolt ($37,495 base MSRP) should hit over 200 miles on a full charge, drive way better than most other EVs, and holds copious cargo thanks to its generous shape. 200 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque
7. Dodge Challenger AWD
How do you make an unwieldy muscle car four-seasons good? You add two more driven wheels to the big Challenger ($26,495 base MSRP), which will probably also make serious burnouts a bit more difficult.
8. Ford F-150 Raptor
It's the Ferrari of pickup trucks, but it's still good o' boy rugged, too. The 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 will deliver over 410 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque, and the big Fox Racing shocks and reduced weight mean more speed and more serious jumps worthy of Bo and Luke Duke.
9. Honda Odyssey
Though this is a mere rendering of the next-gen Honda family hauler, there are big expectations for the new minivan. It'll be racier (relatively speaking) than the last Odyssey, more practical and possibly come with all-wheel drive (if we get our way). It'll show up in 2017 as a 2018 model, and it can't come soon enough.
The Korean Prius-fighter will eventually come in three trims that include hybrid,
11. Infiniti Q60
Easily Infiniti's most fetching vehicle, the Q60 ($38.950 base MSRP) is a dashing
12. Jaguar F-PACE
Our Design of the Year winner is great to look at, but we're curious to see how the new F-PACE ($41,990 base MSRP) takes the turns and the bumps. In addition to the 340 hp 35t and the 380 hp S model, this year delivers
13. Jaguar F-Type SVR
What's not to love about the gorgeous F-Type Coupe? It's already fantastic to drive in the 550 hp R trim, but the 575 hp SVR ($125,950 base MSRP) should peel your facial skin back even more. The
14. Lexus LC
Long gone is the bloated SC430 from the last decade, and its rightful successor is here in the form of a svelte sporty halo car. The LC 500 houses a big 5.0-liter V8 good for 467 horses, while the LC 500h uses a 295 hp 3.5-liter V6 and two electric motors. Even more important than the power numbers, however, is the LC's arresting design that brings new levels of luxe to the brand.
15. Lincoln Continental
Don't laugh at this Bentley wanna-be. It returns after more than a decade in a sportier but also more elegant form. Luxurious inside and powerful under the hood, the new Continental ($44.720 base MSRP) will get a 3.7-liter V6 with 305 hp as the base engine, a
16. Mazda MX-5 Miata RF
Mazda shows us how to make a great roadster even better with the retractable
17. Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG Coupe
The C43 AMG ($55,500 base MSRP) is equal parts elegance and potency. If you haven't seen the C-Class coupe, you've missed one of the best-looking cars on the planet. Then you just add performance via a 4.0-liter twin turbo V6 good for 362 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque, and you have a recipe for elitist delights.
18. Porsche Panamera
We loved everything about the original Panamera. The room, the power, the luxury. We just kind of hated the bulbous rear end, but the car was so good, we ignored the Quasimodo-like body. The new Panamera ($85,000 base MSRP) is anything but. If the driving experience even slightly improves, we might just sell a couple of organs for the down payment.
19. Toyota 86
Scion is almost gone, but the transition from the FR-S to the 86 ($26,255 base MSRP) is complete. With 205 hp in manual tranny configuration, the car should prove to be a delight to thrash around the track of the neighborhood corner. Now with more sophisticated looks, it'll get even more looks, too.
20. Volvo V90
Our Car of the Year award winner, the S90 sedan, actually pales in comparison to the looks of its wagon brother. The longer greenhouse and far better taillights should make the V90 wagon more utilitarian and more attractive (not just to soccer moms, either). It should drive and feel as good as the four-door version, and that's a very good thing, indeed.