So far, 2017 is panning out to be an exciting year for new cars. On top of a few high-profile new ’17 models, some automakers are chomping at the bit and releasing 2018 models early. That’s a good thing. The more interesting and exciting cars to offset the sea of drab crossovers the better.
Did anyone, say a year ago, see 2017 starting out like it has? If this year has shown us anything, it’s that nothing is certain. But that won’t stop us from speculating on which cars will still be talked about years from now.
No one does classic cars quite like Hagerty. Insuring cars and tracking the collector market, the company is a beacon for all things classic. And each year, it publishes a list of cars it considers a lock for future collectible status. Unsurprisingly, when the company talks, the automotive community listens.
So without further ado, here are Hagerty’s 10 picks for 2017-18 models that will be classics. If we had the funds, we’d snap up one of each right about now.
1. Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
The Alfa 4C has been around for a couple of years now (and will certainly be a collector car), but the Giulia truly represents Alfa’s big U.S. market comeback. And with the Quadrifoglio, it’s coming out swinging.
Starting at about $73,000 (the base Giulia starts at under $40,000), the Quadrifoglio — Italian for four-leaf clover — has a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 based on a Ferrari design, making 505 horsepower. Sure, it’s more expensive than a BMW M3. But we expect quite a few people will be willing to pay more for Ferrari-influenced Italian performance. Future collectors almost certainly will, too.
2. Audi TT-RS
For nearly two decades now, the TT has been one of the most engaging, distinctive driver’s cars to come from Germany. But while base cars are often dismissed for prioritizing comfort and aesthetics over performance, you won’t hear anyone complaining about the red-hot TT RS.
With 400 horses sent to all four wheels via a turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-five, an aggressive bodykit, and sub-4 second zero to 60 time, the TT RS is more of a baby R8 than a sporty cruiser. And with a base price in the low $60,000 range, it’s also a bargain. There will always be a market for base model TTs. But if you’re looking for an investment car, we wouldn’t be surprised if the TT RS skips the depreciation curve altogether and goes straight to collectible status.
3. Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Considering that the base Camaro starts well under $30,000, the ZL1’s $61,000 and up price tag might seem like a lot to ask. But it’s worth every penny. With 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque on tap, as well as a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 mated to a six-speed manual (or 10-speed automatic) transmission, the ZL1 blurs the line between muscle car and world-class track car.
Add a limited-slip differential and Magnetic Ride suspension (like the system found on in Ferraris), and you have a car that keeps Shelby GT350, Stingray, and Porsche 718 owners awake at night. In a few years, people will remember the ZL1 as one of the best performance cars of the era. And they’ll likely pay big bucks for one.
4. Chevrolet Colorado ZR2
The Ford Raptor might be the ultimate factory off-roader (more on that coming up), but Chevy has the Blue Oval beaten in the midsize segment. And this year, it’s determined to build its own performance off-roader.
The ZR2 has cutting-edge spool-valve shocks, electronic locking differentials, flared fenders, a wider track, and revised front and rear fascias for improved departure angles. At $40,995, the ZR2 isn’t cheap. But if we had all the money in the world, we’d buy one to modify and another to keep bone stock in the garage. If you really want an investment-grade ZR2, opt for one with the less popular (for now) 2.8-liter Duramax diesel engine.
5. Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport
The Grand Sport has the powertrain of a Stingray, with the aero and suspension components of a Z06. The result is the best Corvette money can buy.
It’s comfortable enough to be a daily driver, while still able to embarrass Ferraris on the track. And at $65,450 and up, it’s something of a bargain, too. Remember to opt for the iconic fender hash marks, take good care of it, and don’t be afraid to really drive it. The Grand Sport is a bona fide classic in the making.
6. Fiat 124 Spider Abarth
Twenty years from now, we can easily see the new Fiat 124 Spider occupying the same niche that its predecessor, the ’66 to ’85 Spider, does today: a comfortable, affordable Italian weekend cruiser. But this new car has a wild card: the $28,195 Abarth.
With its turbocharged 1.4-liter MultiAir four mated to a six-speed manual, the Abarth puts out 164 horses and 184 pound-feet of torque. It also has a revised suspension and Bilstein shocks, a limited-slip differential, and available Brembo front brakes. With its focus on performance, the Abarth will be the Spider to have.
7. Ford SVT Raptor
The original 2010-2016 F-150 Raptor is already being scooped up by collectors. When it debuted in 2009 as a hardcore, factory-built off-roader, truck enthusiasts all over the world collectively lost their minds.
For 2017, an all-new Raptor is upon us, and it’s better in almost every metric. While it starts just under $50,000, high demand means most of these trucks will sell for a lot more. If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on one, hold on to it for as long as you can. Just don’t be afraid to get it dirty.
8. Mazda Miata RF
Did you know Mazda made a Miata coupe back in 2003? Fewer than 1,000 were built, and they only sold in Japan. You better believe as soon as they’re legal in the U.S. (2028 if the 25-year import rule is still around), collectors will bring over as many as they can.
But until then, Mazda has given us the new RF, a gorgeous version of Miata with a power-retracting targa top and glorious rear buttresses a la Ferrari Dino. At $31,555, it’s a bit pricier (and heavier) than the base Miata. But in a few years, we’d wager this is the car serious collectors will be looking at.
9. Porsche 718 Cayman/Boxster
Yes, the new 718 Boxster and Cayman no longer have a flat-six engine. But now a turbocharged boxer powers both, giving the cars a 25 horsepower boost to an even 300 ponies. With a cleaner look and that power boost, the 718 cars have cemented their status as an alternative to the base 911. And seeing as they start in the low-$50,000 range, they’re a relative bargain, too.
10. Toyota 86
Blah, blah, blah, no turbo. Blah, blah, not enough power. Blah, blah, boy racer. The Toyota 86 is one of the best driver’s cars on the road, regardless of what anyone says. And starting at just over $26,000, it’s also one of the most affordable.
Most owners love their cars (which until this year was known as the Scion FR-S), and with a healthy aftermarket community, any gripes about power and handling can quickly be rectified — often with Toyota-certified parts. If you’re looking for a daily driver that can tackle both the commute and track day, buy an 86. If you’re looking for a car that the next generation of tuner kids are going to revere as much as the ’80s-era AE86 Corolla, hold on to it for dear life.