Car lovers always look through the window to next year when a new generation of vehicles will arrive. In 2014, there is even more expectation than usual with famed muscle cars and luxury sport coupes bearing 2015 badges set to debut. The showcase at the 2014 Detroit auto show started the countdown to the releases. Chicago’s spectacle and recent events in Geneva and Seoul provided more previews.
By the close of the 2014 New York International Auto Show, which begins April 16, most of the eagerly awaited models of 2015 will have made their debuts. From muscle legends to reinvented midsize standards, here are seven of the most hotly anticipated 2015 model car debuts to expect this year.
1. 2015 Lexus RC 350 F Sport
Toyota’s luxury brand had already introduced the Lexus 350 and RC F performance model when it revealed the specs of the 2015 RC 350 F Sport model at the Geneva International Motor Show in February. Not only is it one of the most dazzling releases of 2014 in terms of style; its performance specs are enought to get anyone’s blood pumping.
Since Toyota’s chairman thinks the auto company needs more heart-racing thrills generated by its rides, his engineers obliged him with the 2015 Lexus RC 350 F Sport. It produces a maximum 306 horsepower on 277 lb-ft of torque to go with adaptive variable suspension and the Lexus Dynamic Handling system. Akio Toyoda can consider the thrill factor accomplished. Consumers can get their hands on the 2015 RC 350 F Sport in fall 2014.
2. 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe
General Motors battled the other top Detroit automakers to steal the show at the 2014 North American International Auto Show. In a crowded field that included a new Mustang and Camaro, the 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe managed to build excitement among lovers of performance luxury cars.
With the options of rear-wheel or all-wheel drive and 2.0-liter (turbo) or 3.6-liter engines, there is 326 max hp available in the line that goes on sale in summer 2014. How efficient did Cadillac engineers make the new 2015 ATS Coupe? They managed to increase the 2.0-liter turbo engine’s torque by 14 percent to reach 295 lb-ft. That makes it more powerful and lighter than the BMW 428i.
3. Acura TLX
Honda’s luxury brand is turning up the intensity in 2014 with more aggressive ad campaigns and several exciting debuts. To replace the TSX and TL in one fell swoop, the automaker is presenting the 2015 Acura TLX. The production version is set to debut at the New York auto show April 16 and go on sale by summer 2014.
Sportier, lower, and wider than the average Acura, the TLX will come available with either a 2.4-liter six-cylinder or 3.5-liter V6 engine, the latter of which will include a nine-speed automatic transmission. Car lovers everywhere are ready to get their hands on this model.
4. 2015 Subaru Legacy
Since about one of every two cars sold in the United States is a midsize sedan, automakers serve themselves well by staying competitive in the segment. Subaru received a great deal of attention when it unveiled the 2015 Subaru Legacy at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show in February.
Aside from a fully redesigned exterior, the new Legacy will get a super-efficient 36 mpg and offer an engine capable of max 256 hp. This type of performance should keep Subaru in the conversation when U.S. consumers go shopping for a new midsize sedan. The market is getting stacked in this segment. The 2015 Legacy with standard all-wheel drive will go on sale in summer 2014.
5. 2015 Chrysler 200
Chrysler is another automaker showing it’s ready to do battle in the midsize segment. Parent company Fiat and Chrysler showcased the 2015 Chrysler 200 to great fanfare at the 2014 NAIAS in Detroit. Leaving behind the bulky styling of its past for a sleeker, more aerodynamic and more efficient package, the new 200 can get up to 36 mg in its small-engine model and crank 295 hp with its available V6.
The 2015 Chrysler 2oo should hit dealerships later in spring 2014, so this debut is ready to launch. With a base price under $22,000, the demand is expected to be high.
6. 2015 Ford Mustang
After a dizzying world premier in December, the release of the 2015 Ford Mustang is getting closer. Critics and Mustang enthusiasts wondered if Ford could meet the high expectations in the new model of the iconic muscle car. Most agreed the Dearborn automaker pulled it off admirably.
For one thing, Ford upped the horsepower quotient — it will break 420 hp — in its new 5.0-liter V8 Mustang to appease muscle car enthusiasts. In a surprise twist, a four-cylinder EcoBoost engine will deliver a more efficient package for international buyers, many of whom will see the Mustang for the first time. The muscle icon is hotly anticipated across the globe. Ford says it will go on sale in “late” 2014.
7. 2015 Hyundai Sonata
Last but not least on the list of 2015 midsize sedan debuts, Hyundai is bringing its 2015 Sonata to the New York International Auto Show on April 16 following the world debut in Seoul, South Korea, on March 24. Featuring styling cues from the attractive 2015 Hyundai Genesis (dubbed the “Fluidic Sculpture philosophy” by the automaker), the 2015 Sonata is lower and wider than its predecessor as well as more attractive.
Additionally, Hyundai enhanced the performance through improved driving dynamics and chassis engineering while increasing safety features prized in the midsize segment. It has 41 percent more torsional strength and 35 percent more bending power to do its job in the event of an accident. The full unveiling in New York should make the anticipation build toward its late 2014 release.
Wall St. Cheat Sheet will have coverage direct from the 2014 New York International Auto Show beginning April 16.