It’s never too early to see what’s under the hood for the top 10 car makers of the world. Because of the peculiarities of the industry, some 2014 models have already been shown at auto shows like Paris and Frankfurt or pictures have been released in advance to stir the pot some more.
So let’s gaze into our crystal ball for some clues about which new models will be on display at 2013’s largest auto shows in preparation for 2014 season. We can’t wait to see what the shows have to offer and don’t mind to dream of the big in the meanwhile.
1. 2014 Audi RS4 Avant
RS is the best of its kind when it comes Audi cars. The previous RS4 ranks high – very high on almost everyone’s car wish list or at least those who can afford it. This one will kill with an expected minimum of 450 hp.
Power for the model is expected to be a 4.2-liter V8 engine that generates around 450 PS (331 kW / 444 hp) and 430 Nm (317 lb-ft) of torque. It will be coupled with Audi’s Seven-speed S tronic transmission and the company’s best Quattro all-wheel-drive system. We also expect upgraded high performance shocks & struts. It should enable the RS4 Avant to accelerate from 0-100kph (0-62mph) in just under 5 seconds before reaching an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph (250kph).
As Audi keeps producing more of its RS line into U.S. showrooms, exchange rates are continuing to improve and emissions regulations approach parity with Europe, meaning the RS3 is a possibility. The TT and RS5 models are due late this year and sometime after that, possibly in the 2013 calendar year as a 2014 model, the RS4 is expected to arrive. We believe that the introduction of the RS5 will be a solid indication of the performance levels to expect from the RS4. Audi knows that competition is stiff for the RS5 and its production has taken longer than usual for a company with a long history of creating performance sedans and coupes.
2. 2014 Ferrari Enzo
Luxury auto lovers are debating over the Italian luxury car maker’s latest incarnation, which will arrive at the Geneva Motor Show in March of 2013. Car lovers are more excited than ever before about the F1-derived KERS hybrid system paired with a V12 engine, which Ferrari has never done before. Renderings and spy video of the mystery car, the car has a sleek, very low-to-the-ground body that is without a doubt designed with aerodynamics in mind.
Information is limited, but here’s what is known so far. Unlike the F12berlinetta, the design of the new Enzo—internally designated the F70— will not be a collaborative effort with Pininfarina, but will be an internal affair instead. A V-12 will likely be the engine of choice, combined with a KERS hybrid system with all-wheel-drive traction.
3. 2014 Aston Martin Vanquish
This new 5.9 liter V-12 sits lower and lighter, blending much more power (565 hp, 457 lb-ft) than any old mill’s 510 hp, while still claiming greater fuel efficiency, thanks in part to the incorporation of variable valve timing. Connecting the power plant to the 6-speed automated manual rear transaxle is a carbon fiber prop shaft surrounded by an alloy torque tube. Aston claims that 60 mph will arrive in 4.1 seconds, and that the Vanquish tops out at 183 mph.
Inside the car, there is a brand new interior, which reveals One-77-inspired stitch patterns and details like a haptic touch surface on the center stack. The cockpit has been expanded for less of a cocooning effect, while the “boot” offers 60 percent more space.
So all you have to do is open the upwardly tilting “swan” doors and go inside where you will be comforted by the pleasant leather interior. You can snuggle up to the imaginatively sculpted leather seats—some of which are available with teardrop-style quilted patterns. Oh, we cannot forget that Vanquish always offers Aston’s typically operatic sense of occasion, right down to the glass-capped key fob that slides into the dash and starts the big V-12 engine.
4. 2014 C7 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
The 2014 Corvette Stingray is designed to withstand convention. It is made to dismiss the ritualistic and the clichés. Created to oppose the expected, eliminate the empty traditions and discover the undiscovered. Two functional parts are all that remain of the past. Purpose alone is sacred.
The machine is totally new. But some already known cues are reappearing. Distinct aeronautical lines. A flowing, aerodynamic exterior. A thin fastback finish. For the first time in decades, a stunning machine emerges with the aesthetic impact and the performance prowess worthy of the Stingray emblem.
This is the most ambitious 3000-pound weight target coming out on the market, C7 is constructed like an aircraft. The three-rail space frame GM patented for C5 continues with greater and better improvements. The hydroformed-aluminum main members developed for Z06 and ZR1 are now standard across all C7s, an upgrade enabled by transferring frame manufacturing from an outside supplier to the Corvette’s Bowling Green assembly plant. Carbon-fiber (CF) floor and bulkhead panels adhesively bonded between the central backbone and the perimeter rails augment structural stiffness. We also expect CF to replace all the sheet-molded fiberglass exterior panels. A single-piece lift-off roof—a Corvette feature since 1984—remains standard on the coupe.
5. 2014 BMW i3
This model is unlike any other BMW car you’ve ever seen before, the compact hatchback i3 is made of lightweight material and with super-strong carbon fiber — the same stuff used in the fuselage of the 787 Dreamliner. More importantly, the i3 is BMW’s first all-electric car. Its range is said to be around 100 miles, and anxious drivers can add a small motorcycle-like gasoline engine that extends the EV to 190 miles. The i3 is expected to go on sale late in 2013 for about $45,000 and there are limited cars. Production versions will have doors that are solid and not transparent below the belt line.
6. 2014 Cadillac ELR
We first got to see the Cadillac’s new anticipated hybrid model when it was featured as a concept car at the Detroit auto show in 2009. It’s been a long time – hasn’t it? The Converj, as it was known then, actually scooped up the ‘Best Concept Vehicle of 2009’ title during the show’s Eyes on Design Awards. Many are still speculating that next year will be the year Cadillac finally releases that eco-friendly future car – we die-hard fans have looked forward to. It purportedly borrows the Chevy Volt’s propulsion system, whilst maintaining signature Cadillac features such as the trapezoid grille.
7. 2014 Mercedes-Benz SLC
This very hot and widely anticipated car is expected to give the Porsche 911 a speedy run for its money. It probably won’t have the gull-wing doors that the Porsche 911 has, but it will most likely have a light Carbon fibre frame and a V8 engine.
Car enthusiasts who are not well-versed with Mercedes-Benz’s history might not recall the SLC badge. It was used from 1971 to 1981 and can be described as a more personal luxury coupe-oriented version of the popular SL roadster. The SLC had a larger interior than the SL thanks to its significantly longer wheelbase. Although not a huge seller in absolute terms, the car was a moneymaker and image builder for Mercedes-Benz despite its somewhat awkward roofline and, in North America, its large NHTSA-mandated 5 mph bumpers.
The SLC will likely begin at around $120,000, but it will be a more overtly sporty than Mercedes’ similarly priced droptop SL roadsters. A convertible version with a fabric top is also expected.
8. 2014 Fiat 500X
This compact SUV and 4-door hatchback is joining Fiat’s smaller 2-door 500 models on the market today. Their mission? They want to outsell the Mini and other trendy small cars by offering more room, practicality, and variety in the mix. The 500X and the 500L look like timely sales-boosters, but they’ll need to be very good to succeed. So we’ll have to just wait and see what is in store.
Perhaps more significant for U.S. buyers, the 2014 Fiat 500X is the first of its kind to be produced – a new Jeep SUV that will be smaller and less costly than the American brand’s compact Compass and Patriot. The car is anticipated to be exclusively for Italy, but eventually will be sold in the U.S. as well as globally. In addition, it will be offered in a “Trail Rated” version designed to withstand at least semi-serious off-roading. Likely to be offered only as a fixed-roof 4-door wagon, the new junior Jeep starts production in the second quarter of 2014, according to AN, suggesting a 2015-model U.S. intro. The 500X cranks up in December 2013.
9. 2014 Mazda 6
The “Zoom-Zoom” brand name company has slightly redesigned its slow-selling midsize sedan with a smaller footprint, a more muscular look, and green-focused technology that cannot be beat. But the next Mazda 6 will be more pricier, too, as production shifts from Michigan to Japan, where production is very high cost.
Despite the smaller footprint, the 2014 Mazda 6 looks much lower, longer, and more “masculine” than the previous sedans. Among the expected highlights are slim headlamps spreading out like wings from a bolder, more upright five-sided grille; crisper, curved upper-body lines; more-heavily-sculpted lower flanks; a sloping roofline from the Audi A7; and a short tail with BMW overtones. A 4-door sedan remains the sole body style that is still kept by the brand.
The 2014 Mazda 6 will almost guarantee match the Takeri concept’s 4-wheel independent suspension with front struts and rear multilink geometry. Auto enthusiasts can look for components to be optimized for sporty handling per Mazda’s “Zoom-Zoom” mantra and developed for minimum weight with maximum strength in mind.
10. Ford B Max
Ford has really got the ball rolling and the Ecosport is not the one the new car models slated for launch. With the demand for hybrid minivans on the way up, Ford has slated an all-new B-Max and revised C-Max for the upcoming 2014 rollout. The line up is expected to be filled mostly by hybrid variants, with the new range of Ecoboost 1.0L, 1.6L and 2.0L versions. The compact B-Max is expected to offer an exceptional utility with optional seating for up to 7 passengers and incredible economical and range. The car is well styled rather conservatively, but take a longer look and you notice the way Ford was able to keep the essential Ford styling cues.