Call us greedy, but we don’t care that all of the 2017 models aren’t here yet. We know what they are, what they look like, and what they do. They may be brand new, but they’re already old news! We want to know what’s next, so we’re already looking to 2018 to see what the next big thing could be. And the great part is, there won’t be just one blockbuster in ’18, there could be 10.
The 2018 model year is a big changeover year for the industry. Veteran nameplates will get redesigns, all-new models based on popular concept cars are slated to debut, and a few icons will return to see if they can cut it in the 21st century. If 2017 is the last stand for a number of competitive models, the year after represents the next great leap.
Barring some major shift, the current trend of more power, greater fuel economy, and better technology will continue, and new models will likely make some of the best new cars on the road now feel ancient. There’s still some time between now and then, but we already have an idea of what things are going to look like in the next 15 months or so. So for a hazy glimpse into the automotive future, check out these 10 cars that are slated for release in 2018.
1. Ford Bronco
Yes, after a two-decade hiatus, the Bronco is coming back, but a lot is still up in the air. Will it be a rugged Jeep Wrangler fighter? A cushy SUV that slots into the current Ford lineup? A rebadged Ford Everest, the body-on-frame SUV available in the rest of the world? Only time will tell, but until then, we can hope that it’s the rock crawler we all want.
2. Ford Ranger
The new Bronco is made possible by the return of the midsize Ranger pickup. But don’t think it’s a second coming of the rugged compact truck that Ford sold for 19 years; Ford still makes a Ranger for the global market (seen above), and it’s become something akin to a slightly smaller (though no less capable) Ford F-150. Ford is bound to create some daylight between its two pickups, so expect it to be more of a Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon fighter than an old-school, spartan hauler.
3. Chevrolet Equinox
The strong-selling but long in the tooth Equinox is new, and Chevy is so excited about it that it’s already debuted it. The ’18 will be 400 pounds lighter than the current model, can get 40 miles per gallon from either its available 2.8 liter diesel — yes, diesel — engine, or 1.6 liter turbocharged four, and have a fresh look that brings it closer in line with the rest of the brand’s lineup. If you’re in the market for a midsize SUV, you might want to wait for this one. If you don’t feel like waiting, then you’ll probably be able to get a hell of a deal on ’17 models.
4. Dodge Challenger AWD
Speaking of long in the tooth, Dodge’s muscle car doesn’t look all that different from when it was introduced back in 2008. An all-new Challenger is coming in 2019, but in its final year, the current coupe is slated to get an all-wheel drive variant with an eye-catching wide-body kit, similar to the GT concept shown at the 2015 SEMA show. It should be more than enough to tide fans over until the all-new car comes.
5. Cadillac XT7
Cadillac’s new XT5 is about to get some reinforcement from the XT7, a three-row SUV that will share its underpinnings with the new GMC Acadia, Chevy Traverse, and Buick Enclave. It probably won’t too look much different from the XT5, but it could find a lot of success in the slot between the smaller SUV and the full-size Escalade.
6. Jeep Grand Wagoneer
Nearly 30 years after leaving the ultra-luxury SUV segment, Jeep is reviving the Grand Wagoneer name to take on the likes of the Range Rover and Mercedes G-Class. Spy photos of press materials have been spotted, and from here, the big SUV (which is rumored to top out at around $130K) looks like a bigger Grand Cherokee, and that isn’t a bad place to start. We’re anxious to see if it can live up to the Wagoneer name and take on the world’s best.
7. Jeep Wrangler
Jeep’s biggest news for 2018 is an all-new Wrangler model. After years of rumors and struggles (aluminum versus steel construction, labor disputes), an increase in spy sightings has proven that Jeep didn’t mess with a proven formula. That said, look for more fuel-efficient powertrains, more safety features, and an interior with a bigger focus on comfort.
8. Kia GT
Kia’s move upmarket continues with the GT, a performance-focused luxury sedan with its sights set on the BMW 3-Series. Based on a 2011 concept, the GT is likely to share its platform with the upcoming Genesis G70, and could hit the streets as early as 2017. Like the K900, expect the GT to do everything its European competitors can, but for thousands less.
9. Volvo XC40
Thanks to the handsome and luxurious S90, V90, and XC90, Volvo is experiencing something of a renaissance, and its next step is revitalizing its entry-level 40-Series. The XC40 has already debuted in concept form, and its boxy, modern styling could go a long way in re-establishing the company as a mainstay on American roads.
10. Nissan GT-R
The GT-R is still great, but it will also be 11 years old when it’s replaced. Rumor has it that Nissan has big plans for its next-generation supercar: The 2018 GT-R will borrow heavily from the Gran Turismo concept (above), and its twin-turbo V6 will be closely related to the one found in Nissan’s 2015 Le Mans racer. What’s more, an electric motor will help drive even more power to all four wheels. We’ll miss the current GT-R, but we’re thinking the new one will make saying goodbye a lot easier.