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New Cars That Are Worth Waiting For


It's a distinctly American trait to want what's next—even before it's here. Yes, Americans are spoiled, with too many choices in every genre of product, especially cars. But so what? This is the place where cars blossomed, where the first (and arguably best) car culture still exists. And where we haven't stopped loving—and lusting after—the cool car around the next bend. Checkout a handful of cars under $50,000 that will go on sale in the next 18 months. Note that the exact dates may not be 100 percent accurate: The timetable is based on what the notoriously vague car flacks told us. So we've pried free what info we could, and we share it with you here.



SEPTEMBER: 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8



While we've heard reports that the SRT (or SRT8, depending on whom you trust) will get as much as 500 hp from its new 6.4-liter Hemi V8, we're at least certain that the SRT is actually coming, and likely to arrive late this summer. If it's anything like the already deeply impressive Grand, the SRT8 is going to be both refined and scary fast, with a predicted eight-speed transmission and at a price (roughly $45,000) that deeply undercuts the likes of the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and other performance crossovers.

ALSO: In 2012 we'll see a Maserati 4x4 based on this Jeep's platform, with a Ferrari-designed V8 under the hood. How come? Because Fiat owns both Chrysler (Jeep's parent) and Maserati/Ferrari. If you have a deeper philosophical question, like, "Does the world need a Jeeperati?," we'll advise that you sit back and let the market decide.

NOVEMBER: 2012 Hyundai Veloster

Hyundai is pulling a very neat trick with its Veloster. It's a slightly larger car inside than the Scion tC (and Mini Clubman or Honda CR-Z hybrid). Yet thanks to a very low 2,600-pound curb weight—400 pounds less than the tC— it's said to get up to 40 mpg from its directly injected, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. That would best Honda's CR-Z numbers without necessity of hybrid technology, and with the benefit of a bigger cabin. One oddity: Access to the interior is a bit quirky, with one door on the driver's side, but both front and rear doors on the passenger side. Remember that weight? Fewer doors allow a carmaker to reduce structural reinforcements, and that keeps down bulk. And a low weight allows an increase in fun factor—indeed, Hyundai is promising greater sportiness than its rivals. Can the Veloster "out-fun" a Mini? Hmm, we're not sure, but Hyundai is promising a tighter turning circle than even a base Mini Cooper and a sophisticated, buttoned-down-sounding suspension. Transmissions include Hyundai's first dual-clutch six speed (hopefully with paddles) or a six-speed manual. Pricing should be in the $20,000 range.

DECEMBER: 2012 Toyota/Subaru FT-86 Sports Car

The joint-project sports car from Toyota and Subaru is now getting far enough along to report at least the following, even though we're certain much will change. The car is said to be very light, and to use at least two versions of Subaru's flat, 2.0-liter four, with output purported to be around 200 hp in the RWD Toyota model and 250 hp in the Subaru version. Toyota's edition bows first, reportedly late this year, and not as a Toyota, but as a Scion, with the name FR-S. The Subie, if it comes to these shores, won't arrive until mid-2012 at the soonest. Pricing for the SubaScion is expected to be in the mid-$20K range.

JANUARY 2012: 2012 ZL1 Camaro

A hot Camaro is coming and will be powered by the Cadillac CTS-V's 6.2-liter V8 with roughly 550 hp. Given how the Camaro SS with a 6.2-liter V8 that puts out a mere 426 hp can already clock a 0-to-60-mph sprint in less than 5 seconds, the ZL1 is going to be scary fast. This Camaro will go toe-to-toe with Ford's Shelby GT500—and BMW M3 and Porsche 911 owners should watch their rearviews too. Price? We'd guess between $42,000 and $48,000.

















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