With the end of one year, another must begin. It is a time for reflecting on all the highs and lows of the past 12 months, a time for imagining the joys and horrors that you'll be reflecting on once another year has passed, and most importantly of all, a time for lying to yourself about what beneficent changes you're going to make to your life that you know you won't be able to keep up for more than a couple of days.
In the automotive world, things are much the same. It's a time for looking back on all the year's highlights and disappointments, with which comes the need to look forward to what the next year is likely to bring. The year of 2017 has been a marvelous year for new cars, and this is a look – albeit, a relatively brief one – at just a few of the cars that we can expect to see arriving in 2018.
Mercedes C63 AMG R:
The hardcore version of Mercedes' C63 AMG was expected to arrive in 2017. But – unless it's mysteriously snuck into production somehow without me noticing – it isn't here. It is however still in the pipeline, and it looks like it could be rather delicious.
Available only as a Coupe, the R version should bring with it the traditional recipe of more power, and less weight. Due to the fact that it's been photographed with something resembling a spoiler sticking up from the boot lid, we can also say that downforce will be present. To be perfectly honest, I can see the C63 R completely embarrassing its main rival, the BMW M4 GTS.
Porsche 718 Boxster Spyder:
The Porsche 718 in both Boxster and Cayman form has been a disappointment from day 1 for me with its soulless lump of a turbo engine. All the poise and precision in the chassis, there to be exploited for the benefit of driving enjoyment, and then they stick an engine in the middle that sounds like it's suffering from the aftermath of taking too many laxatives. All that's missing, as far as I can tell, is the sound of the splash as it hits the toilet bowl. With the upcoming Boxster Spyder however, I've heard a number of rumours that suggest it'll use a variant of the 991.2 GT3's 4L normally aspirated Flat-6, developing around 425bhp. If that's the case, then the 718 will have exactly what it needs to be a real driver's car.
The first mid-engined Corvette production car should be making its way to the world in 2018. The position of the engine won't be the only first for this Corvette, because while it will use a V8 – just like any Corvette – that V8 will utilise a DOHC and 4 Valves Per Cylinder. Given that Europeans begun moving onto this technology in the 70's, it might not sound like anything to shout home about. But this valvetrain will help the C8 Corvette feel more alive and effervescent. It's a car I certainly can't wait to see.
BMW M2 CS:
The CS treatment graced BMW's M4 and M3 beautifully, and with any luck, it should intensify the feistiness surging through the standard M2's veins. The 3L, turbocharged Straight-6 should see power increase beyond the M2's already healthy 370bhp, and hopefully some of the M2's fairly portly 3516lbs (1595kg) curb weight will find itself gone. Add in some chassis tweaks to sharpen everything up, and it should be a riot.
Toyota Supra/BMW Z4:
It's been known for a while that the new Toyota Supra will share the same platform as the upcoming BMW Z4. Due to the fact that the collaboration is exclusive to the chassis however, the cars may turn out to be vastly different. With that said, the new Supra may find itself being powered by one of BMW's turbocharged Straight-6 engines. It's also likely that the Supra will utilise hybrid technology; however, it's unknown if BMW are also going to be implementing this for the Z4.
We already know roughly what the Z4 will look like after seeing the concept at Frankfurt in September, and we also know that the new Supra will incorporate styling elements from Toyota's FT-1 concept from a few years ago. Unfortunately though, the covers are well and truly still on.
Shelby Mustang GT500:
Rumours regarding the new Shelby GT500 never stop contradicting themselves. Initially, it was thought that Ford would be turning its back on traditional but parasitic supercharging in favour of more efficient turbocharging in order to conform with their EcoBoost policy. Now however, some believe Ford will be sticking firmly with Supercharging. One thing's for certain though: Ford are taking aim directly at Dodge's Hellcat. When it arrives, expect something of a war.
Aston Martin Vanquish:
Up until now, the new generation of Aston Martins have left me feeling utterly bereft. So far, their new design direction has seen the coming of the DB11, and the Vantage. But in 2018, the last of what we now must refer to as the old Astons – the Vanquish – will be replaced by something new and turbocharged. It will utilise a more powerful version of the DB11's 5.2L Twin-Turbo V12, and will also bring an entirely new look in accordance with the aesthetic direction Aston have committed to.
Probably the most exciting unveiling next year will be that of McLaren's BP23 3-seater Hyper-GT. The second car to be part of what McLaren are referring to as their "Ultimate Series", the BP23 – which thankfully is just a code name – will use hybrid motors in combination with the traditional Twin-Turbo V8. According to McLaren, it'll produce more power than the P1 hypercar – but due to its focus on grand touring, won't lap a circuit as quick. Nevertheless, when this car arrives in the summer, it'll definitely be one of the highlights of the year.
Quite an eclectic bunch then. Sure, they'll be many surprises along the way – and we can only hope they'll be good surprises – but as we can see here, there is much to look forward to, and also, some cars which require the hopeful crossing of fingers and toes.
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Written by: Angelo Uccello
Tribe: Speed Machines
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