With 2014 right around the corner, I thought it would be a lot of fun to write a post about the hottest new cars for 2014. As most of us know by now, I am a speed junkie with a soft spots for the classics but I won’t let that cloud my judgement when looking at these cars.
1. Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
Chevy brings an iconic name back to the American sports car scene. The Stingray is available in coupe and convertible versions. She has been completely redesigned. Chevrolet gave the Stingray an all-new chassis and new mechanicals. The high-tech 6.2-liter V8 engine posses 450 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque through the rear wheels that encourages fast driving, helping you beat your friends off the line with a launch from 0 to 60 mph in a screaming 3.8 seconds. Lighter in weight, but with a more rigid structure, an ideal 50/50 front-to-rear weight ratio, re-engineered steering and suspension systems and an array of sophisticated chassis-control hardware, the new ‘Vette’ promises unswerving handling. A new Drive Mode Selector allows the driver to tune 12 separate performance attributes according to five different driving situations, including one for use on wet roads and another that enables the engine to run on only four cylinders to garner maximum fuel economy. Oh, did we mention the new interior? It’s pretty designed for a rock star with the functionality of a race car. This is our favorite new car for 2014, hands down.
2. Mercedes-Benz S-Class
Featuring bold and elegant new styling, it comes powered in the S550 version by a 455-horsepower twin-turbo V8 or a 5.5-liter twin-turbo 577-horsepower V8 in the higher-performance S63 AMG 4MATIC model. Over-the-top-shelf options include rear seats that simulate a hot stone massage, heated armrests and an ionizing and perfuming feature for the climate control system. Talk about riding in style…this is what I am talking about.
3. Jaguar F-Type
It packs a powerful 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engine that puts out either 340 or 380 horsepower, depending on the version. A 5.0-liter 495-horsepower supercharged V8 is also available; it’s estimated to enable the F-Type to hit the 60 mph mark in just over four seconds. All engines come mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission that includes a manual gear-select mode with steering wheel-mounted paddle-shifters. Its lightweight, yet-rigid aluminum structure, rear-drive configuration and sophisticated suspension promise sporty handling abilities in the British sports car tradition. A closed-roof coupe version will follow within a year.
4. Jeep Cherokee
Replacing the former Liberty model in Jeep’s lineup, the new midsize Cherokee SUV features a new Jeep that should brighten up the faces of traditional Jeep enthusiasts. It packs either a Fiat-supplied 184 horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine or a new 271-horsepower 3.2-liter V6, with an advanced nine-speed automatic transmission standard. The Cherokee offers many high-tech safety features, along with niceties like a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats and a wireless charging pad for portable devices.
5. Mercedes Benz CLA-Class
Mercedes says it will be among the most-aerodynamic car designs among production cars, with a coefficient of drag at just 0.23. A 208-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine comes with the base CLA250, while the high-performance CLA45 AMG variant packs a specially tweaked hand-built 355-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo four. The only available transmission will be a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual, with Mercedes’ 4Matic all-wheel-drive optional on the CLA250 and standard with the CLA45 AMG.
6. Cadillac ELR
The midsize Cadillac ELR coupe is essentially a luxury-minded two-door version of the Chevrolet Volt extended range electric car. The ELR features distinctive styling that borrows cues from other Cadillac models, with a posh high-tech-looking interior and assorted amenities, though its electric powertrain and engineering largely carries over from the Volt. It’s powered by an electric motor and a plug-in chargeable battery pack, but once the battery runs low (it should run in full electric mode for about 35 miles on a charge), a small gasoline engine engages to run a generator that, in turn, powers the motor. Those with a modest commute may rarely have to visit a gas station. If the Volt is any indication, the ELR should be quick off the line and deliver reasonably sporty ride and handling attributes, though back seat space and cargo room look to be tight.
7. Chevrolet SS
The new leading sedan at Chevy is an aggressively styled rear-drive model that comes by way of General Motors’ Holden subsidiary in Australia. In homage to classic SS-designated models from the 1960’s, this bad boy goes fast with Corvette’s 6.2-liter 415-horsepower small-block V8 engine, and can go from 0-60 mph in around five seconds.
8. Chevrolet Silverado / GMC Sierra
Fully redesigned for 2014, General Motors’ full-size pickup trucks come with myriad structural and engineering revisions to enhance their already decent ride and handling characteristics. We have to admit being disappointed with the Silverado and Sierra’s only modestly revised exterior designs that seem dated from day one. The trucks’ trio of “EcoTec3” engines include a new 4.3-liter V6 with 285 horsepower, a revised 5.3-liter V8 with a beefier 355 horsepower and a 6.2-liter V8 with 420 horses for heavier-duty use; all incorporate direct fuel injection for improved performance and selective cylinder shutdown for better fuel economy.
9. Toyota Corolla
I know, I know…this doesn’t really fit in with the other machines we have talked about thus far. But check out this little Corolla, you’ll be impressed.
10. BMW 4 Series
For 2014, the former BMW 3 Series coupes and convertibles get a major redesign and are reclassified as 4 Series models. Fresh exterior designs borrow front styling cues from the sedans, but they otherwise resemble smaller versions of BMW’s 6 Series models. There’s a choice of a 240 horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine in the 428i, and a faster 300-horsepower 3.0-liter turbo-six in the 435i, ad both can be mated to either a standard eight-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission; BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system will be optional with the coupes.
11. Cadillac CTS
A third-generation CTS sedan debuts for 2014 that’s longer, lower and lighter in weight than before, with more athletic-looking exterior styling that’s highlighted by an striking new front end treatment that announces its arrival with authority. Three separate engines are available, including a base 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with a just adequate 272 horsepower and a 3.6-liter V6 with a livelier 321-horsepower. Meanwhile, a new Vsport version features Caddy’s first ever twin-turbo V6 that delivers an eager 420 horses, along with other performance-minded steering, braking and suspension upgrades.
12. Infiniti Q50
13. Kia Cadenza
Kia, a brand known more for its budget-minded models, takes a step deep into luxury-car territory with its new Cadenza sedan. While it sits about five inches longer than Kia’s popular Optima, it affords only equivalent interior room. Power comes from a 3.3-liter direct-injected 293-horsepower V6 engine that would seem to be only about as quick – though perhaps smoother and quieter – and somewhat less fuel efficient than the Optima’s excellent 2.0-liter turbo-four engine.
Sources: Fobres, Car & Driver, KBB.com, Market Watch & U.S. News