Top 10 Cars We're Looking Forward to in 2014

Sami Haj-Assaad
by Sami Haj-Assaad

With the joys of 2013 behind us, its time to look ahead to what’s on the horizon for 2014. Here’s our list of cars we’re looking forward to seeing in 2014.

Sure, we were all impressed with the 2014 Corvette Stingray, but what about it’s high-performance model? Chevrolet has always featured a few more powerful, sportier and impressive versions of the ‘vette, and there’s rumblings that the successor to the Z06 will be better than we can ever imagine. There’s a good chance the vehicle will use a few weight saving tidbits inspired from the Corvette racing team. Along with weight savings, you can bet that the sportier model will get more power and more grip.

When Lexus originally introduced its first high-performance sport sedan, the IS-F, the world took notice as the Japanese automaker aimed squarely at the BMW M3, Mercedes C63 AMG and Audi RS4. The car featured a 417 horsepower V8 engine, paired with an eight-speed transmission and could rocket to 60 mph in about four seconds. But that was more than five years ago. It’s time to recreate that magic with a modern model and it sounds like Lexus will be looking to its new coupe to take the responsibility of a high-performance model. Since Lexus performance models seem to arrive every half-decade, we have very few ideas of exactly what the Lexus RC-F could bring, but expect a 460 horsepower V8 under the hood, an impressive move by Lexus as BMW flips back to a six-cylinder turbocharged motor.

Now that we’ve all seen the new Mustang, can we talk about what’s coming next? While horsepower numbers, weight and other performance figures haven’t been publicly stated, don’t stop thinking about the highest trim level of Mustang, the Shelby GT350. This new meaty Mustang has some big shoes to fill, as the last Shelby GT500 was a powerhouse with 662 ponies under the hood and a claimed top speed of 200 mph. That sets the standards pretty high for the next generation model, which will likely be lighter, and could use an independent rear suspension setup.

Nissan has been putting in its time, working hard and being a good automaker by focusing on the mass markets, delivering products like the Versa Note, the new Rogue, the Pathfinder and the Sentra. Maybe 2014 will be the year that Nissan steps back up to the performance plate and delivers an updated Z coupe. Early reports are hinting at a more affordable model, maybe bringing back the something smaller and priced like a new-era 240Z. Past Zs have used a six-cylinder engine, which is powerful, but a little thirsty when it comes to fuel consumption. To counteract that, there’s some talk of the new coupe using a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Or maybe the Nissan IDx (above) concepts seen at the Tokyo Motor Show are a preview of where Nissan wants to go with the affordable sports coupe vehicle. Such a vehicle could easily take the spotlight away from the Toyobaru twins, which are praised for their low-weight, but sometimes questioned for equally low power.

If you haven’t heard, a new Godzilla is on the way, and not just the movie. Hopefully Nissan can utilize its newfound expertise in hybrid technology, to make the GT-R supercar a new era world beater. With all the exotic hyper cars from Ferrari, Porsche and McLaren using hybrid gas-electric powertrains, the GT-R will show them that Nissan can keep up for a fraction of the price.

The General has earned a solid reputation lately for making some excellent sport-sedans. The first generation ATS and third generation CTS are finally seen as legitimate competition to the Germans, but in order for the company to be taken seriously, the folks at Cadillac have to bring back their V-branded vehicles.

The past examples of the CTS-V, which is available as a coupe, sedan or wagon, helped show how Cadillac could turn a sedate luxury car into a fire-breathing monster. With the new Cadillac sedans featuring excellent dynamics, all they need now is a little bit of excess. For the smaller ATS-V we can only hope that the 426 horsepower twin-turbo V6 that’s used in Cadillacs Vsport vehicles, could find its way into the lighter, more nimble vehicle.

It’s official, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is going to be discontinued after this year, but there are only hints of what the three-star badge will be replacing it with. Our We’ve seen spy photos of a smaller coupe said to target the Porsche 911. The latest Porsche 911 combines sports-car performance with a luxurious interior, something that Mercedes could very easily compete with. Of course, this being an AMG product, you can expect a huge engine under the hood making an obscene amount of power.

For many , the answer is always Miata, so when asked what they’re looking forward to in 2014, the MX-5 inevitably came up. Why shouldn’t it? The fact that Mazda is teaming up with the folks at Alfa Romeo to collaborate on the new MX-5 is exciting. It wouldn’t be too much to ask for Mazda’s superb Skyactiv engine and transmission paired with the MX-5 reputation for being quick, light and fun to drive.

We’ve seen a few exciting vehicles from Korean automakers, but so far, it’s just been Hyundai having all the fun with rear-wheel drive coupes. Hopefully that Kia GT sports car we’ve been lusting for finally sees the green light for production, pairing Kia’s brilliant design language with the fun to drive dynamics of the Genesis’ rear-wheel drive platform. Lately Kia has delivered some pretty upscale vehicles including the Cadenza and K900, it shouldn’t be a surprise to see the upcoming coupe from Kia get a bit premium too.

Is the Toyota of old back in the game? Following up on the Scion FR-S, there have been rumors swirling around of a more powerful sports car from the Japanese auto maker. Such a car should use the same name of the impressive Supra, a rear-wheel drive turbocharged powerhouse that could keep up with almost anything back in the ‘90s. Toyota and BMW are currently collaborating on a new sports car project. Given the recent trend toward high-performance hybrids, it would be exciting to see the Japanese brand kicking in its electric know-how beside BMW’s venerable sports car credibility.

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.

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