What makes a “hot” car “hot”? Styling? Speed? Safety features? Super cool color?
Sedans, sports coupes, or station wagons (yes, station wagons!). . .conventional gas engines, electrics, or hybrids. They can all be hot, each for specific reasons.
Lists of the “best-of”, “hottest” cars for the young year include these makes and models, some brand new, some updated.
Do you have your eye on one (or have you bought one already)?
Lexus launches a new sports series with the rear-wheel-drive LC 500, the company’s first model built on a “premium luxury platform” that Lexus says delivers “enhanced dynamic capability and performance.” The LC 500 features a 467-hp 5.0-liter V8 and a new 10-speed automatic, said to propel it from 0-to 60 in under 4.5 seconds. Watch for hybrid and convertible versions to come. Tagged at about $100,000.
Another new rear-drive entry displays the Jaguar logo: the XE compact sports sedan goes light with lots of aluminum, and features styling drawn from the larger XF model, plus three engine options. A 2.0-liter 240-hp four-cylinder is standard, with an available 3.0-liter 340-hp supercharged V6 and a 180-hp “Ingenium“ turbodiesel. Tech specs include a new ‘All-Surface Progress Control’ system to navigate slippery roads with better traction, an adjustable suspension, blind spot monitoring, and semi-automated parallel and perpendicular parking.
Hyundai says its new “Ioniq” will be the first car in the world to debut in hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and full-electric versions. The Ioniq hybrid has a six-speed dual-clutch automatic; The hybrid and plug-in produce the equivalent of 139 hp, powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder gas engine and an electric motor/generator. The Ioniq Electric offers a cruise control system for smart, smooth stop-and-go driving.
Toyota took what was the sporty FR-S (previously sold under the Scion brand) and created the Toyota 86, a 205 hp 2.0 liter coupe with ‘Hill Start Assist Control’, a bolder exterior design and various cosmetic interior upgrades. The automaker says the ‘86’ is “Track-proven. Street ready.” with pricing starting at $26,255.
The Corvette Z06’s 6.2-liter 640-hp supercharged V8 and a standard six-speed manual transmission (optional 10-speed automatic) power Chevy’s latest track-ready Camaro ZL1, available in both coupe and convertible versions. Aerodynamically fit, Chevy says it’s the most powerful Camaro ever produced, with a supercharged 6.2L LT4 V8 and Eaton supercharger that delivers 650 horsepower and 650 lb.-ft. of torque.
Starting MSRP $61,140.
Even a reliable, competitive subcompact makes some critics’ lists:
GM’s Chevrolet Bolt all-electric hatchback, new for 2017 with a reputed 200 miles to the charge from its 60 kWh battery system (around double the range of most current electrics). Run it at top speed of 91 mph (or within the local limit) for about 50 miles, then fully recharge in less than two hours. A navigation system that can locate charging stations is available. The reinvented Bolt EV was named Motor Trend’s 2017 Car of the Year.®
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