Make way for 2023. It promises to be an exciting year of new vehicle debuts, particularly as fully electric vehicles start to arrive in larger quantities and more segments. While attention’s on EVs as automakers accelerate electrification timelines, we’re still a long way off from electrics making up the majority of vehicle sales, and there are quite a few gas-powered and partially electrified vehicles we’re excited about for the coming year.
Notably, there’s Dodge’s first electrified performance vehicle with a plug-in hybrid Hornet (and its brand-cousin, the upcoming Alfa Romeo Tonale) and Toyota’s hybrid Crown will replace its discontinued Avalon sedan.
Some long-awaited entrants like the Fisker Ocean and the Tonale will finally arrive after years of chatter. The Stellantis-owned brand’s plug-in Tonale was first displayed at the 2019 Geneva auto show. Car designer Henrik Fisker’s revived startup showed its first electric SUV prototype at CES 2020. The Polestar 3 will double the Polestar lineup (the Volvo spinoff brand only has the Polestar 2 electric crossover available) and the newest Hyundai Ioniq 6 will be the next dedicated EV for the Korean brand’s Ioniq line that kicked off 2022 with the overwhelmingly popular Ioniq 5.
Here are 10 new cars we’re most excited about for 2023:
The second SUV in the Alfa Romeo lineup is finally on its way after debuting in Geneva nearly four years ago. The concept (named for an Italian mountain pass and not pronounced as “toe nail”) on display at the show has made it into production mostly unchanged as a choice between a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder (the Q4 AWD) or a plug-in hybrid with a turbocharged 1.3-liter four-cylinder, 90 kW electric motor and 15.5 kWh battery (the PHEV Q4 AWD).
This will be the first hybrid-powered Alfa Romeo, but also the last. Alfa’s North American CEO Larry Dominique recently told Forbes Wheels that all new Alfa Romeo models from here on out will be fully electric. The same will likely be true for corporate cousin Fiat, which will offer the electric 500e next fall. Chip shortages have delayed the Tonale, but it should arrive late in the spring.
Importantly, the Tonale gives Alfa dealerships some much-needed new product in a hot segment. Both of its existing U.S. models, the Giulia sedan and Stelvio SUV, date back to 2016. The brand has also been making great strides in improving quality and its ownership experience, vaulting to the top of J.D. Power’s 2022 Sales Satisfaction Index Study from ninth (of 14 brands) last year.
If the Hornet looks a bit like the Tonale, that’s no coincidence. Dodge’s first electrified performance vehicle borrows heavily from its corporate cousin, and the pair are built in the same Italian factory. Like the Italian compact SUV, the Hornet will have a gasoline powertrain or a plug-in hybrid option: a turbocharged inline four-cylinder or a PHEV with 285 horsepower. Both come with standard all-wheel drive.
The Hornet is based on the Jeep Compass platform, as is the Tonale, but different materials make all three look different enough, and the Hornet is aimed at a different customer than the fancier Tonale. The Hornet will have three trims: GT, R/T and PHEV R/T. On the PHEV, Dodge expects 30 miles of pure electric range. Looks wise, the Dodge will clearly be a Mopar muscle machine with a blackout treatment option, mail-slot grille and matte black lower cladding.
The base GT is expected to start under $30,000, which should give Dodge a capable answer to sportier crossovers like the Mazda CX-30 and larger CX-50. Though it did still sell the old Journey crossover into 2020, Dodge hasn’t ever really had any compelling small crossovers before now.
Coming spring 2023, BMW’s first standalone M performance model since 1981’s M1 is expected to make a splash as a five-seater luxury SUV with specs to match the division’s expectations. With 644 horsepower, It will be the most powerful plug-in hybrid on the market. A 735-hp version will come later in 2023 as the XM Label Red. It’s getting hot in here.
The 4.4-liter V8 with an electric motor will blow well past other plug-ins. The 27.5 kWh battery pack will have 30 miles of full electric range and push the SUV to 60 mph in under 4 seconds. There won’t be a “regular” BMW equivalent (although it’s built on a platform related to the X7) but the XM is intended to be a halo car showing what a performance SUV can do.
It starts at $159,995 and the Label Red will hit as high as $185,995.
As the first vehicle from Fisker Inc., car designer Henrik Fisker’s newest EV company, the Fisker Ocean has been talked about a lot. Pre-production prototypes of the all-electric SUV have made several appearances over the years, but in late November production finally began in Austria with manufacturer Magna.
The Ocean is priced competitively to attract the EV curious to an unknown and fledgling brand. Its four trims start at $37,499 for the Sport, while the initial batch of 5,000 first editions is sold out (priced at $68,999). Deliveries are expected at the start of the new year.
There’s an air of sustainability and California style imbued through the five-seater with recycled materials, a solar panel roof and windows that open all the way, even on the rear hatch. Inside the center screen rotates and accommodates drivers sitting around waiting for charging to complete. Although only one detail, it illustrates how this is a modern, future-forward EV-centric machine instead of a standard car converted to battery power.
Ford’s Super Duty lineup (heavy duty, large-frame pickups ranging from the F-250 through the commercial-grade F-650) rarely changes, so when it gets a renewal it’s big news in the heavy-duty pickup world. For 2023, the Super Duty is getting an updated design to match new tech features added to the F-150 in 2020.
There’s a new 6.8-liter gasoline V8 engine based on the 7.3-liter “Godzilla” V8 architecture and more features for upfitters who use the truck as a base for utilities, emergency response and more.
As for a design change, the Super Duty line borrows from the F-150 Lightning’s looks with an LED strip that wraps around the front lights and horizontal bars in the grille extend practically to the edge. There’s also more onboard power with a 2 kW system with power outlets everywhere. It’ll be the first Ford with 5G connectivity for all connected devices and services.
For upfitters, who build commercial trucks on the Super Duty chassis, tech integration is smoother with Ford Pro Upfit Integration System (UIS), a digital integration with the existing SYNC 4 system that allows aftermarket equipment makers with improved access to Super Duty’s electrical system and the truck’s digital displays. Pricing on the base (there are 18 models available) starts at $43,970 and balloons to $103,030 on the F-450 Limited.
The Hyundai Ioniq 6 is a new sedan part of a trio of EVs from the Korean automaker. The compact SUV Ioniq 5 was its first dedicated EV with no gas-model equivalent and now the Ioniq 6, a sleek looking sedan coupe with a low nose and wing-like spoiler, will add to the growing lineup. A bigger electric SUV is expected next.
Based on Hyundai’s Prophecy design concept, the Ioniq 6 is also built on the Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) like the Ioniq 5 and corporate cousin Kia EV6 with a 77.4 kWh battery with an expected 380-mile range.
The cocoon-like shape is intended to be cozy and efficient with little drag, fast speeds and efficient battery usage. It’ll be the first Hyundai to sport a new badge on its front and backside.
Mercedes-Benz’s “EQ” lineup of electric vehicles continues to grow. The German automaker has taken its luxury EQS sedan and enlarged it as the EQS SUV, built on the same EVA2 platform. It retains the opulence and luxury of the electric sedan and adds even more room and an optional third row.
It doesn’t have an AMG version like the sedan, but the three variations (and three trims) are fairly powerful for an 6,000-pound SUV and offer up to 305 miles of range. The 450+ is a single motor rear-wheel drive, 450 4Matic a two-motor AWD and 580 is top-of-the-line dual motor with 536 horsepower.
Like the EQS sedan the SUV is a quiet, serene cabin with space for kids and the 56-inch Hyperscreen (standard in the 580) is the biggest touchscreen available in any vehicle.
We told you Mercedes was going all in on luxury electric. The EQE joins the larger EQS sedan as a $75,950 EV (to start). Think of the EQE as the electric companion of the E-Class as the EQS is to the S-Class. Still plenty posh, the EQE is like a simplified version of the larger EQS sedan, with the 288-horsepower 350 and then the all-wheel drive 500 4Matic. A performance AMG EQE variant is also available, just like the EQS’ AMG counterpart.
The 500 is more like a sports sedan, but both configurations offer a shorter wheelbase and a swooping, low-drag design. Thanks to its flat floor and electric architecture, the EQE has more interior room than its gas-powered E-Class sibling, which has to accommodate traditional front-engine, rear-wheel-drive mechanical pieces.
Polestar is bringing in its first SUV to the electric-only lineup. The 3 will aptly be the third vehicle from the Volvo spinoff brand, joining the hatchback Polestar 2 and discontinued plug-in hybrid Polestar 1. The 3 has been described as a large luxury EV which will (literally) expand from the 2’s compact stance and more budget-friendly styling and pricing. The 3 will start at over $84,000.
While technically a 2024 model year, the 3 is expected to start production in 2023 and will likely make an appearance before the end of the year. The Polestar brand plans to launch a new car every year for the next three years starting with the 3. Like the Polestar 2 and new Volvo’s the newest Polestar will include the Android Automotive OS operating system with Google baked into the 14.5-inch center touchscreen.
Replacing Toyota’s Avalon sedan, the Crown comes into the U.S. market (for the first time since 1972) with a new look for the Japanese brand. With two-tone paint schemes and a higher stance, the Crown is the future of Toyota premium large sedans with a fastback shape and crossover elements. Curiously, though the Crown gets many more variations overseas, like its Prius little brother, the Crown will only be available in the U.S. as a hybrid sedan.
There’s a new Hybrid Max system on the top Platinum trim that was first introduced on the 2023 Lexus RX500h for better performance. The base models impress with 41 mpg combined fuel efficiency. Already available to order with a hefty $39,950 base price, the Crown is expected to start deliveries soon into the new year.
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