It’s been an interesting year in the auto industry so far, with quite a few noteworthy models being released. Many of those cars have been small, too. Honda started selling the HR-V, and Jeep began selling the Renegade, both of which are subcompact CUVs. Alfa Romeo began delivering its incredibly tiny 4C to customers, and production Mazda Miatas have just landed in the U.S.
In a world where brutally-fast Corvette Z06s, nearly-300 horsepower Volkswagen Golf Rs, and Tesla Model S P85Ds with “Insane Mode” exist, is there anything left to look forward to? Believe it or not, there are actually quite a few cars worth looking forward to.
Autos Cheat Sheet has your back, and we’ve assembled a list of the 10 cars we’re excited about.
10. 2016 Nissan Titan XD
Describing the Nissan Titan as “long in tooth” would be a serious understatement. It hasn’t had a major redesign since its introduction way back in 2003, and there’s no hiding its age at this point. There’s a new Titan coming, though, and Nissan is banking on the XD filling the gap between light-duty and heavy-duty pickup trucks.
To sell that point, it will be offering an optional 5.0-liter Cummins turbodiesel that makes 310 horsepower and 555 pound-feet of torque. The engine is almost guaranteed to be great, but we’ll have to see if the rest of the truck stacks up.
9. 2016 Honda Civic
The Honda Civic has been pretty dull the past several years, but we all got a surprise at this year’s New York Auto Show when Honda debuted an all-new Civic. Based on looks alone, it’s clearly going to be a much more exciting car.
You can expect one of Honda’s new turbocharged four-cylinder engines to be available, a 1.5-liter turbo, as well as an optional manual transmission and sportier driving behavior. Even better, the United States will get the next generation Civic Type R.
8. 2016 Chevrolet Volt
The original Volt might not have been the best-looking car on the planet, but it packed an innovative hybrid system that most of the time operated as an electric car with the gasoline engine only used as a generator to charge the batteries. For the second generation, General Motors is promising to take everything that was good about the original and make it better.
You can expect better looks, a better all-electric range, better fuel economy, and even better acceleration. You can also expect a better interior that offers more features and technology as well as more high-end materials. Hopefully a better Volt will translate to better sales.
7. 2016 Cadillac CT6
Cadillac is spending a fortune to reinvent itself, and it’s putting a lot of hope in the completely-new CT6 to make that happen. The first car in the Cadillac lineup to follow its new “CT” naming scheme, it will be the largest and most expensive sedan in Chevrolet’s lineup.
To take on the Germans, Cadillac put the emphasis on technology, pairing turbocharged engines with an aluminum-intensive construction to make the CT6 both light and fuel efficient. You can also expect the CT6 to come with its fair share of luxury features, driver-assist technology, and a high-end interior. Whether or not it will be able to hold its own against the competition, though, still remains to be seen.
6. 2016 Tesla Model X
Following on the success of the Model S sedan, the next car from Tesla will be the Model X crossover SUV. It has three rows, is all-electric, comes with all-wheel-drive, and have at some towing capabilities. It’s also supposedly coming with those “Falcon Wing” rear doors that fold straight up.
Getting those gull-wing-style doors to work properly has led to several production delays, but now that the Model X officially goes on sale, you can expect it to be even more popular than the Model S thanks to its increased capability and the popularity of luxury crossover SUVs. However, it might be some time before Tesla can get production up to speed.
5. 2016 Toyota Tacoma
Much like the Nissan Titan, the Toyota Tacoma hasn’t seen any major changes in years. The current generation has been around since 2004 with only minor improvements since then. Even so, it’s still the top-selling midsize pickup truck. It may be outdated, but thanks to its reputation for durability and several years with no competition other than the Nissan Frontier, its sales never really suffered.
Now that General Motors has gotten back into the midsize pickup truck game with the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, the Tacoma has some serious competition again. The redesigned Tacoma promises to solidify its place as the top-selling truck in the midsize segment, but for now, we’ll just have to wait and see.
4. 2016 Toyota Mirai
The Toyota Mirai isn’t what anyone would call an attractive car. It’s bold, for sure, and it certainly doesn’t look like any other car on the road. Then again, it’s also a hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle, which means it isn’t like any other car on the road. The unique styling is supposed to make it stand out like the original Prius.
Under the skin, there’s a 153-horsepower motor and a tank of hydrogen that should provide up to a 300-mile driving range. Will the Mirai catch on and be to the fuel cell what the Toyota Prius was to the gasoline-electric hybrid? That remains to be seen, but we’ll find out when it goes on sale.
3. 2016 Ford Focus RS
The Ford Focus ST is a very capable hot hatch. Unfortunately for the Focus, Ford’s engineers made the Fiesta ST a little too good, and it ended up stealing the spotlight. Ford may have had the Focus RS planned all along, but whether or not it did, you can bet the Focus RS is going to seal the spotlight back from the Fiesta ST.
Under the hood, Ford shoved a 2.3-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine that makes 350 horsepower and will make up to 350 pound-feet of torque on over-boost. Leaving the Focus RS with front-wheel-drive would lead to terminal torque steer, so the engineers gave it an all-wheel-drive system as well. With all that power going to all four wheels, you can expect the Focus RS to be one ridiculously hot hatch.
2. 2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R
The current Ford Mustang is pretty awesome, especially in GT trim. It makes 435 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque out of its 5.0-liter V8, which is plenty for most people. For the people who don’t think that’s plenty, Ford has created the Shelby GT350 and the even more extreme Shelby GT350R.
Under the hood is a 5.2-liter, flat-plane crank V8 that promises to make than 526 horsepower and more than 429 pound-feet of torque. The suspension and the chassis will be tuned to handle challenging back roads and even track duty. You can expect the Shelby GT350R to be extremely fast, but even while driving slowly, that engine is going to sound amazing.
1. 2016 Acura NSX
If you’re going to wait, you might as well wait for something good, and boy have we been waiting for the redesigned Acura NSX. Supposedly, though, the NSX shown at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show is a production version that really exists and will soon be for sale in real life to real customers.
The new NSX is a hybrid supercar now, using a 3.5-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 in conjunction with three electric motors to make at least 550 horsepower. Acura claims the NSX will rival the Ferrari 458 Italia in acceleration and handling, but it should also cost significantly less. How it will stack up against the Ferrari 488 GTB remains to be seen, but the upcoming Acura NSX is absolutely worth waiting for.