2009 Acura TL
The TL remains a very powerful front-drive, Accord-based sports sedan from Acura.
Acura’s player in 3-series territory offers value, practicality, and front-wheel drive, for those who want it.
2010 Audi R8 Roadster
Audi will launch two variations of the two-seat supercar. First up is a more powerful 5.2-liter V-10, followed by a roadster R8.
A powerful V-10 moves the R8 into the stratosphere where the other big mid-engined players, the Lamborghini Gallardo and Ferrari F430, reside. As far as the roadster version goes, most of the R8’s competition already offer an open-air option.
Production of the V-10-powered R8 begins in March 2009.
2010 BMW 7-series
BMW’s big sedan undergoes a complete redesign that may put to rest the controversial styling of the current model. Much of the new look is inspired by the CS concept from last year and features sportier lines and proportions. A new M7 with the M5’s V-10 powerplant is a strong possibility for 2011. Such a car would compete with the Audi S8 and Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG.
The 7-series will usher in a design direction and advanced technology that will trickle down to lesser BMWs.
2010 BMW ‘Gran Turismo’
The CS concept car first seen at the Shanghai show in 2007 will be the inspiration for a four-door “Gran Turismo.” It may even be called the 8-series because it will slot into the lineup above the 7-series, but we’re guessing at this point.
This model will give BMW a competitor to the Mercedes CL-class and will be BMW’s new flagship.
We’re expecting the production version to see the light of day in 2009.
2010 Cadillac CTS coupe
A production version of the CTS coupe concept shown at the ’08 Detroit auto show. Like the CTS-V sedan, a V-series coupe will put out the most power in the segment, 550 horses. Non-V-series will get the direct-injection 304-hp V-6 from the CTS sedan; the 258-hp V-6 doesn’t make it into the coupe.
Gives Cadillac a much-needed sports coupe to go against the German and Japanese competition.
Promised for the end of 2009.
2010 Dodge Challenger Convertible
The recently introduced Challenger loses its top in 2009.
Gives people mourning the loss of the Prowler a nostalgic alternative.
Arrives in the spring of 2009.
2010 Ferrari ‘California’
As the next generation F430 surges into $200,000-plus turf, the need arises for an “affordable”-haha-entry-level two-plus-two Ferrari. Enter the so-called California. To keep costs in check, it will share technology with fellow Italians Maserati and Alfa Romeo and will feature a retractable hardtop. Since Ferrari’s production capacity is maxed out, the California will likely be assembled by Pininfarina.
Ferrari isn’t having much trouble selling every car it can build, but a more affordable Ferrari will bolster production and profits especially if the world economy takes a dump.
Debuts this fall at Paris show. Ferrari might produce a few thousand a year.
2010 Ferrari ‘Millechili’
A lightweight twoseater (2200 pounds or even less) loaded with Formula 1 technology. In many ways it will be a successor to the Enzo, but instead of adding power, Ferrari will add lightness. Don’t worry-the Millechili name won’t be making it to production.
F1 goodies make their way onto a road car. The technology and light weight will make this car spectacularly quick but also fuel efficient.
Production is set to begin in 2010. An estimated 300 cars will be built over a couple years.
2010 Ford Mustang
The latest installment in Ford’s pony-car story. In this chapter the current Mustang that borrows heavily from the 1965-67 version gets restyled to look like the 1970 Mustang-how original. A mid-’70s Mustang II can’t be far behind. An all-new interior purported to be far richer and more attractive will also debut.
Big V-8, rear-wheel drive, affordable, attractive.
The new Mustang is set to debut at the Los Angeles auto show.
2010 Honda CR-Z Hybrid
The spiritual successor to the CRX we loved so much when Reagan and George the First were in the Oval Office.
Honda brings back an affordable, sporty two-seater to its lineup. Although it’s not an overt sports car, the front-drive CR-Z will offer hatchback practicality, sports-car thrills, and a hybrid system to boost fuel efficiency.
If approved, expect it in 2010.
2010 Hyundai Genesis coupe
A rear-wheel-drive coupe at a front-wheel-drive coupe price.
Hyundai believes the Genesis will rival the BMW 3-series and Infiniti G37 at a Mustang price. We’ll suspend judgment until we drive it.
Look for the coupe to join Hyundai’s roster in 2009.
2010 Jaguar XJ
Jaguar’s restyled version of the slow-selling sedan. In this chapter, long-running Brit traditions are tossed in the dustbin and replaced with a design inspired by the company’s new style indicator, the XF.
Sales in the U.S. are circling the low. Now that Indian conglomerate Tata owns Jag, the company will need fresh models to spice up the brand.
Production is to begin at the end of 2009 with an on-sale date at the start of 2010.
2011 Land Rover LRX
An “SUV coupe” based on the Land Rover LR2, with styling lifted from the popular LRX concept from this year’s Detroit auto show. It enters the lineup as a sporty alternative to the LR2.
If the new owners don’t kill the attractive LRX we can expect to see it at the end of 2010.
2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
A redesign of the company’s breadand-butter sedan. Combines elements of the C-class, CLS-class, and S-class sedans: similar greenhouse, low hoodline, wide grille. Biggest change: square headlights.
Debuts at the 2009 Geneva show; European sales start soon after. We’ll see the 2010 E-class in the 2009. A monstrously overpowered AMG version should follow in 2010.
2009 Mazda 6
Mazda’s sporty midsize sedan is redesigned.
On sale since 2003, the 6 was in desperate need of a makeover. Europeans got their new 6 for 2008.
2010 Nissan 370Z
A revamped Z-car that is lighter and more powerful.
Nissan’s relatively affordable sports car secures its future below the GT-R supercar.
The 370Z will invade the L.A. show this fall and go on sale in early 2009.
2010 Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black Series
A sportier lightweight (500 pounds lighter) hardtop version of the SL flirting with close to 700 horsepower. Mercedes has kicked around the idea of a lightweight SL since the ’90s. The success of AMG’s CLK Black Series helped push the idea of a track-ready lightweight SL toward reality.
The Black Series will be Mercedes’ supercar.
Early 2009 with 500 cars per year.
2010 Nissan GT-R Spec V
A decontented and therefore lighter version of the GT-R supercar, with more power and a dearer price.
Perhaps its importance is best explained by an SATstyle analogy: A Spec V GT-R is to a car enthusiast what a really sweet sniper rifle is to a gun nut.
Slated to debut at the Paris auto show this fall, it should go on sale in early 2009.
2009 Pontiac G8 GXP
The Australian-built G8 already comes with a 361-hp V-8. Not enough? Then hold out for the G8 GXP, as it will get a version of the Corvette’s 6.2-liter V-8 with 402 horses. Better yet, the GXP will be available with a six-speed manual transmission.
Pontiac’s relatively affordable rear-drive performance sedan gets more power and a manual transmission, two big pluses in our book. A claimed 0-to-60 time of 4.7 seconds sounds pretty important, too.
2009 Pontiac Solstice coupe
The long-awaited hardtop version of the two-seat Solstice.
Provides yet another Solstice to play with.
Pontiac promises the coupe will go on sale early in 2009.
2009 Porsche Boxster & Cayman
Like its rear-engined brother, the 911, the mid-engined Porsche Boxster and Cayman get direct fuel injection for 2009. A few subtle styling mods accompany the powertrain enhancements.
Production begins in February 2009, with sales soon thereafter. Expect a slight price increase commensurate with the power boost.
2009 Porsche 911
Constant updates are what have made the 911 great. This is just the latest chapter.
Sales should start in March or April 2009. A small price increase means the 911 lineup will start at about USD75,000.
2010 Rolls-Royce ‘RR4’
BMW-owned Rolls-Royce will make a smaller, less expensive Roller. The car has two code names: NGS (for “new generation sedan”) and RR4.
Rolls sells fewer than 1000 Phantom models per year. The new car will boost sales numbers into the thousands.
Preparations for the RR4 have begun at the R-R factory in Goodwood, England. Sales start at the end of 2009 as a 2010 model.