Coming Up in 2018…Maybe

Photo by Randy Stern

In my many years of living, I strongly agree with some conclusions being made by fellow media people and enthusiasts. We are indeed living in a great time for the automobile.

I would not call it a "golden age," by any account. Yet, the newest vehicles being produced and admired by almost every camp is just something to witness and celebrate.

The energy and excitement you have been giving to these new and upcoming products prompted some questions as to what I am looking forward to working with during 2018. I know that I evaded this question. To be honest, I am not one to state that I want to work with a vehicle because I know that there is a chance I might not work with it at all.

But, one can plan…and hope…right?

So, to answer your question, this is what I have to look forward to working with in 2018…

2018 LEXUS LC: This has been on the top of my list for about a year. The trick is actually getting one in when the weather and conditions are better. That has not materialized in my favor, but discussions are ongoing to get this accomplished this spring. Based on what my colleagues have written and talked about this car, it should be worth the wait. The idea of a grand touring coupe that went from concept to production without any changes is worth the wait to experience.

Photo by Randy Stern

2018 KIA STINGER: The news surrounding this vehicle has been huge. The idea that Kia has made a car to compete with premium brands from Europe (and Japan) provided many dropped jaws and high praises. I was a passenger in one a month or so ago – and it simply whets my appetite for this sleek hatchback. All I want is some time to see if this car is indeed for real. Not to mention how it will stack up against the Audi A5 Sportback.

2018 HONDA ACCORD: Having already worked with the revised 2018 Hyundai Sonata and the new 2018 Toyota Camry (both for another publication), the new 2018 Accord will complete the trilogy of the theme that the sedan is simply not dead. Of this trio, the Accord has simply pushed the envelope further with its Civic-inspired design and the replacement of a turbocharged engine for a V6. This better be good.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen of America

2019 VOLKSWAGEN JETTA: The styling already caused some debate among Volkswagen enthusiasts, but I see it differently. The current Jetta could have been better in various ways. That is why I am excited to see the new Jetta and drive it. The promise of a higher quality Jetta with a different kind of look that will set it apart from the compact sedan crowd is already a proposition that I wouldn't turn down. The proof is in the execution – that is why I am eagerly awaiting a chance at this car.

2018 JEEP WRANGLER: The JL Wrangler arrived sooner than I expected. That's a good thing considering how long we have waited for its arrival. It may look like any other Jeep before it, but I like the fact that they dove into making it better on all fronts. The aluminum body parts, along with the stronger frame, the more modern interior and the addition of a turbocharged four-cylinder engine with a mild hybrid system stack up to be an intriguing take on an American icon.

Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

2019 VOLVO XC40: With new opportunities opening up in the premium market, the idea of a small Volvo SUV is more than intriguing. It's downright exciting. It also attracts a new kind of premium customer to Volvo – an urbane city dweller. Yet, I am excited to experience this new kind of Volvo as it already had your attention. I hope it continues to do so when I work with one.

2019 RAM 1500: This is another vehicle from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles that we had to wait for. As with anything, is it worth the wait? While some questioned whether it should have gone with an aluminum cab and box, it still managed a hefty weight loss from the outgoing model. The idea of adding a mild hybrid system to its two gas engines is something that needs to be tested. There are many questions about this new Ram half-ton that needs to be answered. Let's hope they are affirmative.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor North America

2019 TOYOTA AVALON: From the moment the outgoing model arrived for its first go-round, I praised the big Toyota for "being a high-quality big sedan with serious power and moves – thanks to its relatively light weight. Now, there's a new Avalon that will further provoke these thoughts. Now, there is a new one on the new Toyota New Generation Architecture shared with the new Camry that looks even sharper and more advanced than its predecessors.

2019 GENESIS G70: I could mention that I am looking forward to finally getting in the G90 flagship sedan, but this sedan is much more important to Genesis than the rest. This is their offering in one of the most competitive segments in this business – the premium branded sports sedan. It is not without some criticism, such as derivative styling. I beg to differ. It looks stunning, especially the interior, and it has a great choice of engines. Let's bring it on, shall we?

I'm sure there are dozens of more new vehicles to list on here. The best way to state what will be coming in to work with during this calendar year is to be patient. And, be surprised. I always believe in giving everyone a few surprises in this work.

With that said, there is no guarantee that any of the above is coming. But, rest assured, I am requesting these for the publications I write for, including this one.

And, who knows…maybe we'll see a #VOTY18 among these vehicles.

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