It seems impossible to fathom that I am the only perpetual car shopper who is always looking for that next fun auto. While there may be many who do not consider themselves perpetual car shoppers many may believe themselves to be car aficionados or appreciators of fine autos. For those of you who, like myself, have put off the purchase of that next fun ride, as well as for those of you who appreciate the promise of the next cool auto, I have compile MY list of the Most Lustable New Cars for 2008. If you have put off buying that new car for a while these are the cars that I feel will make all the waiting worth the while. Some of these cars are still coming from their concept stage and have yet to be road tested by people outside of the manufacturers engineers, so for some their ranking is based on the Promise of what the car will be.
Number 10: The Tesla Roadster
When the Tesla Roadster was first introduced the buzz was palpable and the Promise was very much on target with what many in the Green market had been waiting on. To bring to market a two-seat roadster with the performance (and price) of an exotic sports car that would not require a drop of gasoline. While many of the rich and famous have made their deposit to acquire their own Tesla EV Roadster not one of them has seen a delivery. Transmission problems have slowed the building progress of the Tesla, but we still remain high on its Promise. Let’s just hope the Tesla Motors can come through on their Promise.
Number 9: Mitsubishi Lancer Evo-X
With brash styling, a new engine and great suspension the Mistubishi Lancer Evo-X is one of the most exciting sedans to hit the market in 2008. Part of that excitement is also the price. The base-level GSR will come in at $34,000 and come with 295-hp and 300-ft.lbs. of torque. While comparisons between the Evo-X and the Subura Impreza WRX STI will continue on for many our choice has been made. Price and performance are close between the two comparable cars, but the appearance of the Evo-X edges out the WRX STI on our list.
Number 8: Dodge Challenger
Despite the $20,000 premium over the MSRP that the Dodge Challenger SRT-8 is getting in pre-orders at local dealerships we still applaud the return of this muscle car icon. While the glossy copy of the original design done by Dodge’s designers is not a far stretch from the classic lines it is meant to embody the new Challenger is just what many fans were looking for. If the pre-order numbers are any indication we think the Challenger is going to be a welcomed success for Dodge and will rekindle for many that classic muscle car era.
Number 7: Chevy Camaro
Speaking of classic muscle the Chevy Camaro comes in at number 6 just ahead of the Challenger. Part of the reason for the Camaro’s edging out the Challenger is price (Chevy intends to make the Camaro comparable in price with the Ford Mustang… although I am not sure which variation of the Mustang they are targeting) and part of the reason is I just favor the design of the Camaro. The new Camaro not only takes from the classic lines of the 68 Camaro model, but in part provides a more interesting modernization of its classic heritage. Expect GM boys to gobble up the Camaro as fast as GM can build them.
Number 6: Lexus IS-F
Being a fan of the IS-350 it was very pleasing to me to see Lexus bolster their line-up by building up a purely athletic model from their IS body. The IS-F punches out 400-hp and accelerates in a zero-to-60 test in the mid-four second range. It will be interesting to see how the IS-F fares against the BMW M class, Audi S4’s and Mercedes-Benz AMG’s. No matter the comparisons in class the Lexus IS-F will give plenty of people another reason to stop by their local Lexus dealership… and for some of us our first exciting reason to stop by a Lexus dealership.
Number 5: Jaguar XF
The 2009 Jaguar XF is the long-awaited replacement for what many consider to be a clunker of a Jaguar; the S-type. The XF is intended to bring back the class, sophistication and luxury that Jaguar’s are meant to exemplify. With the options of a 300-hp 4.2 liter engine or a 400-hp supercharged version of the same engine the Jaguar XF will not be found sitting still too often. There is also the promise of a 500-hp XF-R to come in 2009. However, it is the advanced technology and sophistication of the interior that marches the XF up our Top 10 list. No matter what angle you come at the XF it is a strong luxury entrant worthy of consideration and appreciation.
Number 4: Corvette ZR1
The standard Corvette rarely makes an appearance on any of my personal Top 10 lists because they have just never grabbed my interest. Yes, the Zo6 is a fantastic street machine, but even it failed to hold my attention the way the 2009 Corvette ZR1 has done. With the new Chevy LS9 supercharged V8 pushing out somewhere between 620-and 650-hp the ZR1 is poised to be the fastest production ‘Vette ever assembled. And with a stiffer chassis and sensor-driven suspension that adjusts to the road conditions the ZR1 promises to be the most comfortable Corvette yet.
Number 3: BMW 135i
After months-and-months of hype the BMW 135i is finally coming to America. The smallest sedan in the current BWM line-up may be its most exciting. At 306-hp the twin-turbo 6-cylinder engine still expected to rate around a 31-mpg. The hype has been huge for the 135i and nearly every indication seen so far shows that BMW has delivered with this car. Even Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear (a known BMW critic and ridiculer of BMW drivers) judged the 135i very favorably in a recent test. If you can find one at MSRP and without all the extras in 2008 then grab it up. It is the well equipped price of nearly $50,000 that keeps the 135i from being Number 1 on this list. Well… that and the car that IS Number 1.
Number 2: Hyundai Genesis Coupe
I know what you are thinking. “How can any Hyundai top the BMW 135i on ANY list?” Well the Hyundai Genesis Coupe has a far more intriguing exterior, also comes with 300-hp and is poised to be the most inexpensive 300-hp car on the market. So does cheaper make it better you might ask? In some eyes… yes. Cheaper makes it more attainable. While the Genesis Coupe may not have ALL the performance inspired components of the BMW 135i its potentially sub-$30k RWD design comes with enough Promise to march it up ahead of the BMW 135i on this list.
Number 1: Nissan GT-R
The new Nissan GT-R is one of the most technologically advanced sports cars to hit the general market. Some have compared driving it on the streets/track to driving it in a video game (GranTurismo). While it may feel as though the car drives itself at times and provide less Drivers-Response than a BMW or Porsche, the GT-R is still the most exciting car coming out in 2008 (says me). Pushing out 480-hp and 430-torque and sporting AWD the Nissan GT-R is a true bargain of a supercar starting at $69,850. Plus, Nissan shut down much of their racing investments for 2008 so that they could focus their full attention to supporting and training for the maintenance of their most exquisite sports car. Thus, the Nissan GT-R makes my Number 1 of the Top 10 Most Lustable New Cars for the 2008-09 model years.
With all that said, I do fully recognize and contend that nearly all Top 10 lists are subjective and there-by leave myself room to alter or amend this list at my own discretion. The reason being as with many car buyers such lists are sure to change as other models and concepts reach production and other interests or desires gain precedence. Maybe next week the BMW 135 will be Number 1.
So, since all references here are subjective and influenced by opinion we want to know what YOUR Top 10 list would contain. Would you have a different Number 1? What cars would you omit or add? Leave us your list or changes in the comments section and let us see what new cars excite you.