Ten Turbo Cars We Can't Wait to Get Our Hands On

Sami Haj-Assaad
by Sami Haj-Assaad

Turbocharged vehicles are quickly becoming the answer to having a fuel-efficient vehicle, with exciting performance. They seem to all be geared towards the sensible enthusiast, offering sporty dynamics, while still getting solid fuel efficiency.

Here’s some of the upcoming turbo-charged vehicles you can expect in the next few years. We’ve got some spy-pictures, and concept designs, even though some details of these cars are still unknown.

Buick has already seen some success with its Regal Turbo and GS. Now with the 2013 Verano Turbo, the GM premium brand is adding some sport to its efficient compact premium model with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 250-hp and 260 lb-ft of torque.

Helping to make this even more enjoyable is an available six-speed manual transmission, while the car also gets a dual exhaust setup, sports pedals and a rear spoiler.

The Verano Turbo looks like a solid way for Buick to reel in younger buyers and enthusiasts to the brand. It also helps broaden the range of vehicles Buick is offering. Expect the Verano Turbo to be available in late 2012.

The Volkswagen GTI has been one of the favorites in the hot-hatch segment, and its next iterations will be doing all it can to keep that competitive edge. First, by using VW’s new MQB platform, the new GTI should be lighter than its past generations. Pair that with the new turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, which will likely make around 260-hp, and its easy to get excited about the upcoming hot-hatch.

Helping to make all that power useful in the front wheels is a new “VAQ electronically controlled front differential” which adjusts the optimal locking power depending on the driving situation. This means the vehicle should remain neutral when taken to its limits. According to Volkswagen, the GTI achieves a 8-second faster lap time around the Nurburgring, with this new front differential.

The new GTI will also likely feature a new 8-inch touch-screen infotainment system, adaptive cruise control, driver fatigue detection and even a full 360 degree parking sensor with semi-autonomous park assist.

Mercedes-Benz already has a bunch of turbocharged engines in its range, but the upcoming A45 will feature the company’s most powerful 4-cylinder vehicle to date. By turbocharging a 2.0-liter engine, expect the A45 to have 330-hp, and 295 lb-ft. of torque. Pair that with a new 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, and a rear-biased all-wheel drive system, and the A45 turns into a serious competitor in the premium hot-hatch segment.

As easy as it is to get excited about the A45, it’s not coming to the US. The AMG wizards should, however, showcase this engine in the upcoming CLA, which is a compact four-door coupe that’s much more likely to come stateside.

Focus ST

The new Ford Focus ST is expected to make quite a splash this year when it’s released in America. By employing Ford’s EcoBoost technology in a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine, the ST will scream with 252-hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. Making the Focus ST even more impressive is its Overboost feature, which extends the peak torque of the engine for 15-seconds. The Overboost feature aims to provide additional performance, as well as enhanced long-term durability. Expect the Focus ST later this year with a price-tag of $24,495.

Running a lap around the Nurburgring in under 8 and a half minutes is pretty impressive for a sports car, but for a MINI? Yet, with the new MINI John Cooper Works Edition GP, that’s exactly the kind of performance you can expect.

This high-profile MINI will have a very limited run of just 2,000 vehicles world wide. While there isn’t an exact time-frame or price tag of this MINI, it is confirmed to be the fastest production MINI ever built. It’s also worth mentioning that it’s faster around the Nurburgring than the BMW 335i Coupe, and BMW E36 M3.

Look for a MINI JCW GP Coupe to follow.

Another interesting story from MINI lies with the upcoming 2014 MINI Cooper. There are reports that the new Cooper will share a platform with the BMW 1-series, which makes this new Cooper slightly larger than the last generation. The new Cooper is also reported to use a new 1.5-liter, three-cylinder engine, that will make about 120 hp in the base Cooper. Even more exciting is the upcoming Cooper S, which is expected to get around 180-hp. Very little is known about this upcoming Cooper, but new spy photos appear almost every day, so keep checking in.

With the upcoming M3, BMW is looking to make the most significant changes right under the hood. Like all the other cars on this list, the new M3 will feature a turbocharged engine, but instead of using the thirsty V8 from the last M3, BMW will be returning back to its roots with a new inline six-cylinder engine.

Expect the new six-cylinder to be at least twin-turbocharged, and there have been rumors about an electric turbo to make its way into the new M3 as well. Power will likely be around 450-hp with plenty more torque than the current car, and will be mated to a six-speed manual, or a seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission.

The all-new Cadillac ATS navigates through the turns and straightaways at Atlanta Motorsports Park during performance testing Tuesday, May 8, 2012 in Dawsonville, Georgia. The Cadillac ATS is engineered to be the lightest compact luxury sports sedan, reducing weight through the use of advanced materials – but not at the expense of performance. (Photo by…

The upcoming Cadillac ATS is going to land later this year, and with it, a new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that will make 270-hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. The most exciting element of the ATS will be that it will be available in either rear-wheel, or all-wheel drive and will be under 3,400 lbs, making it a solid competitor in the sport-sedan market.

This model of the ATS will cost you just $35,795 and is available with either a manual or automatic transmission.

Mazda will to drop the V6 engine options from its all-new 2014 Mazda6 family sedan. Instead, the Japanese automaker has been working hard on its Skyactiv-D diesel, which uses turbocharging to make it both a solid performer, and fuel-efficient.

This Skyactiv-D engine has quite a few features that make it stand out. It has the highest red-line of any diesel on the market, and features the lowest compression, and doesn’t require an expensive emissions after-treatment system.

While the Skyactiv-D’s 165-hp isn’t that impressive, Mazda is also claiming 340 lb-ft of torque at just 2000 rpm.

Better yet, our very own editor Colum Wood, notorious to hating diesels, quite enjoyed the powerplant when tested in a prototype.

Expect the new Mazda6 later this year, using styling cues from the Mazda Takeri Concept.

The Subaru Impreza WRX is a poster-boy for turbochargers since the first one in 1992 and the next generation of the car points to an all-new 2.0-liter boxer engine that is rumored to have a direct injection.

Making the new WRX even more interesting is the chance that it might run with an electric turbocharger, which will trap the heat energy from exhaust gasses, in order to generate enough electricity to power up the turbo. This could help reduce lag, and make the car even more potent.

It’s also rumored to ride on an all-new platform that will be specific to the WRX and STI (and not shared with the watered-down Impreza), while the style of the new model has been hinted at in some wild concept cars like the Advanced Tourer Concept (above).

Sami Haj-Assaad
Sami Haj-Assaad

Sami has an unquenchable thirst for car knowledge and has been at AutoGuide for the past six years. He has a degree in journalism and media studies from the University of Guelph-Humber in Toronto and has won multiple journalism awards from the Automotive Journalist Association of Canada. Sami is also on the jury for the World Car Awards.

More by Sami Haj-Assaad

Join the conversation
2 of 11 comments