No one becomes an automotive reporter if they don’t like driving cars. Then again, not all vehicles are created equal. So with that in mind we’ve put together the 16 cars we are most looking forward to driving in 2023.
The winning cars come from every segment and most price points, though as a rule, cars that are more fun to drive tend to be more expensive. Still, there are some notable exceptions to that rule. We’ve also got more EVs on this list than ever before, and that should surprise no one.
OK, enough jawboning. Let’s get to the list. Now, we have sampled some briefly, others, not. But here’s what we’re looking forward to spending some quality time with in 2023.
BMW is extending its winning streak by electrifying its whole lineup. The 7-Series is the Bavarian powerhouse’s executive car line, and the i7 will compete head-to-head with the Mercedes-Benz EQS electric sedan, but will start at a higher price point of $119,300 vs. $104,400. We’d like to see if it’s worth the extra cost.
Alfa Romeo Tonale
Alfa is bringing a compact plug-in hybrid SUV in the Tonale, and it looks inviting and as sporty as you could expect from Italy’s more affordable performance brand. With 285 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque, the Tonale is expected to deliver a 6-second 0-60 time, but we’d like to verify that with our own stopwatch.
We also want to drive the Dodge Hornet. It’s built on the same platform and shares a lot of looks with the Tonale, including the plug-in hybrid driveline in the R/T Performance version, but in typical Dodge fashion they’ve bumped the torque to 383 foot-pounds and shaved a whole second off the Tonale’s 0-60 time. Oh yeah, there’s also going to be a GT Performance version and a Track Pack, because America.
Chevrolet Corvette Z06
The eighth-generation Corvette is already an affordable exotic with incredible performance, but the new Z06 version is even better. With 670 horsepower on tap and a 2.6-second 0-60 time, this car laughs off the half-million-dollar European exotics at $105,300. Its 1.22G lateral roadholding ability is supernatural. So yeah, we’re eager to drive this beast.
Speaking of half a million bucks, the very first SUV from Ferrari had better be something special with its $400,000 starting price. The Purosangue name means “Pure Blood” – incidentally, Harry Potter called and he wants his meme back – and this crossover looks an awful lot like the old FF front-engine four-door AWD touring car, but taller. After we drive it, we’ll know a bit more about how it compares.
Honda has revamped its popular CR-V crossover, and that’s big news. Honda says it’s midsize, but others still think it’s a compact. Honda has updated the drivelines with a 190-horse turbo engine, or a 204-horse hybrid. AWD is optional, but the continuously variable transmission is not. With up to 43 MPG in the city from the hybrid, Honda is taking aim squarely at arch-rival Toyota’s RAV4 Hybrid. We’d like to make that comparison for ourselves.
Honda is also reworking the subcompact HR-V for 2023. It’s all-new for the coming year, and the new model reflects that the subcompact market is no longer an afterthought. AWD will be available, along with the Honda Sensing safety and driver assistance suite. With a starting price of $23,800, the HR-V will be affordable and built to compete.
Electric SUVs are the big news, and this is the Lexus version of Toyota’s BZ4X with dual-motor AWD. Lexus predicts a 220-mile range and 312 total system horsepower with a 0-60 time of 5.2 seconds. With the usual refinements we expect from Lexus in the interior, the RZ promises to be a satisfying ride.
Continuing on the electric SUV path, we’re excited about experiencing the Polestar 3. Polestar’s blend of luxury and performance in an all-electric lineup. This compact electric SUV will sport up to 517 horsepower and 671 pound-feet of torque, hit 60 MPH in as little as 4.6 seconds or cruise for up to 300 miles, depending on configuration. If you don’t want to drive that, we probably can’t be friends.
Toyota GR Corolla
It’s a dim memory now, but there was a time when the Toyota Corolla came with rear-wheel drive and was popular among drifters. Now the 2023 GR Corolla brings back that same defiant sport compact spirit, and we’re so here for it. Starting at $35,900, this hot hatch will deliver 300 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque from its turbocharged 1.6-liter engine, send that power through a 6-speed manual gearbox to all four wheels, and hit 60 in under 5 seconds. If you buy the right trims, you get dual Torsen limit slip diffs front and rear. Any questions?
Ford Mustang S650
Ford unveiled the eighth-generation Mustang (internally called the S650) at the 2022 Detroit Auto Show, and while it might just be the last gas-fueled Mustang ever, this icon of American performance is definitely not finished yet. Even the base four-cylinder makes 310 horsepower and you can bump that to 450 with the V8 in the Mustang GT, or up to 760 horses in the top Shelby GT500. We’re ready to give old-fashioned grunt another year to live in our hearts.
Porsche Macan EV
We’ve seen spy shots of the Porsche Macan EV, and while reports say that the all-electric midsize SUV may be delayed until 2024, it still makes our list of cars we’d like to drive in 2023. We don’t know much about it, but the Macan is always a fun ride, and we trust Porsche to deliver something extraordinary in this vehicle.
The Mazda CX-30 was an amazing improvement over the old CX-3, and we suspect the two-row midsize CX-70 (and the larger CX-90) will be similarly impressive compared to the already excellent CX-50 and CX-9. Mazda is known as a driver’s automaker, and their new platforms and drivetrains just beg for a winding mountain road. Rumors talk of a plug-in hybrid driveline, and that’s something we really would like to drive.
While we’re talking about Mazda, the rumor mill is also discussing a second refresh to the fourth-generation MX-5 Miata. We’re fans of the platform, but it’s been in production since 2016 and has been updated several times. Now there are spy shots of another update, and rumors of a hybrid drivetrain to come. You never have to ask us twice to drive a Miata, and whatever comes in 2023, we want to drive it.
Hyundai Ioniq 6
The next EV in the Hyundai Ioniq line is coming in 2023, and we want to be first in line for a drive. The Ioniq 6 will sport the fashionable four-door fastback coupe look popularized by the German brands, with an all-electric driveline capable of 340 miles on a full charge. Luxury and tech are said to be groundbreaking in this new EV, with a starting price in the mid-40s.
Aston Martin Vanquish
Finally, we’re hoping for a drive in the new mid-engine Aston Martin Vanquish. Maybe it will get here in 2023 as a 2024 model or even a 2025. Who cares? Did you hear the part about it being a mid-engine supercar? The rumor mill says it will carry a hybrid V-8 sourced from AMG, and that alone will put this car among the top performers in the world. Sure, the price will be more than the value of your house, but come on, you know you want to experience this thing.
Through 2023, each of us on TheDetroitBureau.com team will drive and review at least 52 new vehicles. Each of them will have its own highs and lows, and we’ll be here to give you our honest take on every one. Hopefully we’ll get into more than a few of the 16 on our wish list, but even more we hope you will tune in every week to see what we’re driving.