It’s almost an understatement to say that the automotive world is changing faster than ever before. Thanks to advances in technology, engineering, and safety, our cars are more connected to the outside world, more comfortable, and more powerful than ever before. Fuel prices are low, the price of horsepower is dropping, hybrids and EVs are finding an audience, and after a few decades of awkwardly integrating safety features into our cars (see: ’90s-era airbag steering wheels), companies have figured out how to make some truly beautiful cars again.
And from the looks of it, these good times are no blip on the radar either. Despite signs that the auto market could cool off a bit, automakers are flush with cash and pressing on with plans for more luxury cars, performance cars, EVs, big SUVs, and crossovers, giving us plenty of future cars to lust over well into the next decade.
Of course, by then, many of today’s cars could look as empty and primitive as some 2006 models do today. But that’s the price of progress, and we don’t mind it one bit. Here are 10 future cars that we can’t wait to see in the next few years, listed by their projected release date.
1. 2017 Bugatti Chiron
Launched in 2005, the Bugatti Veyron made history with its $1 million price tag, quad-turbocharged 1,001-horsepower W16 engine, and then-top speed of 253 miles per hour. Then over the next decade, it got faster, more expensive, and somehow, passé. Due out later this year, the Chiron picks up where Veyron left off, with 1,479 horsepower, a zero to 60 time under 2.5 seconds, a 288 mile per hour top speed, and a $2.66 million price tag. It may be ostentatious, but it’s nothing short of a technological powerhouse.
2. 2017 Lincoln Continental
Ford wants back in the luxury game, and it’s invested $5 billion to turn its troubled Lincoln brand into the world-class marque it once was. Spearheading that turnaround is the Continental, a high-tech premium sedan that references the brand’s salad days while leading the way into the future. Available in front- and all-wheel-drive versions, the Continental looks good, and has a great interior. We’ll see what the American public thinks of it when it lands in dealerships later this year.
3. 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
From 2012 to 2015, the Camaro ZL1 brought brute force and great handling to racetracks all over the world, proving that American muscle could run through the corners as good as anybody else. Then it disappeared, and the incredible Shelby GT350 picked up the gauntlet and ran with it. So now, in a horsepower arms race not seen since the 1960s, the ZL1 is back for 2017, and it’s lighter, faster, and packing 640 horsepower. Who knew we were living in the golden era of the muscle car?
4. 2018 Ford Bronco/Ranger
This is the Troller T4, an un-killable off-roader that Ford sells in South America. While it embodies the spirit of the original 1966-’77 Bronco to a tee, it can’t be sold in the U.S. due to strict safety and emissions standards. But it’s proof that Ford still has its 4×4 chops, and gives us hope that the rebooted Bronco (expected in 2018, and sharing its platform with a revived, midsize Ranger) will be just as tough as these little trucks.
5. 2018 Tesla Model 3
Tesla wants to build 500,000 cars a year by 2018. The Model 3 starts at $35K-and-up, and it will have a range of over 200 miles on a charge, the company’s Autopilot system standard, and a five-star safety rating. In the six weeks since the model was unveiled, the company has received 373,000 deposits for the car. Add that to the 90,000 deliveries it’s estimated to make in 2016, and suddenly that goal becomes a bit more realistic. Now all it needs to do is ramp up its production facilities…
6. 2018 Jeep Wrangler
There have been a lot of rumors about the 2018 Jeep Wrangler, and a lot of them have been making brand loyalists nervous. Luckily, the all-new Wrangler (the current JK model was introduced in 2006) probably won’t be made entirely out of aluminum, won’t ditch its solid axles, and won’t be a unibody. Instead, it looks like the newest version of Jeep’s icon will use some aluminum body panels, benefit from a turbocharged four-cylinder base engine (the current V6 is mighty thirsty), and have a somewhat more wind-cheating design to aid in fuel economy, while sticking to the body-on-frame, solid axle, 4×4 format that makes it famous the world over.
7. 2018 Audi electric SUV
While its corporate cousin Porsche goes after the Model S, Audi is preparing to take on the Model X with an electric SUV in 2018. Based on last year’s e-tron quattro concept, the big Audi will seat four, go from zero to 60 in 4.5 seconds, and have a 310 miles of range.
8. 2019 Mazda RX
Following in the footsteps of the iconic RX cars, Mazda is dusting off the nameplate with an all-new rotary-powered grand tourer scheduled for release sometime before 2020. Based on last year’s RX-Vision concept, if it looks half as good as what we saw from the Tokyo Motor Show, and performs like a ’90s-era twin-turbo FD RX-7, it may become our favorite new car of 2019.
9. 2020 Porsche EV
The Tesla Model S has completely redefined what a sports sedan can be, and while the Silicon Valley startup is still a relatively small player in the industry, the big guns are finally starting to take notice. Porsche’s Model S-fighter (previewed in the 2015 Mission-E concept) is the beautiful, cutting-edge sedan for Porsche owners who still don’t like the way the Panamera looks. Expect to see the electric Porsche silently overtaking you on the highway sometime before 2020.
10. 2020 Rolls-Royce Cullinan
This year, Bentley launched the Bentayga, an ultra-luxury SUV that was the culmination of four years and over $1 billion-plus of research and development. Not content to let its former sister brand have an edge, Rolls-Royce is following suit with its own exclusive off-roader, called the Cullinan. Seen here in disguised test mule form, the rock-crawling Roller is likely to debut in late 2018, or early ’19.