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Don’t Buy a New Car Until These Six 2017 Models Come Out

Updated October 13, 2015

The 2017 model year will see the return of three supercars, two budget EVs, and a classic American luxury car; plenty of great cars for gear heads to wait for.

After a break of several years each, we’ll see the return of a much more potent (and more expensive) Ford GT, a BMW-based Toyota Supra replacement, and a four-motored hybrid Acura NSX Type R.

For the Ralph Lauren crowd, Lincoln is bringing back the Continental, a near clone of the concept car displayed at the New York Auto Show, but with a secret hidden beneath.

And for the first time Tesla will take on directly a major manufacturer when its Model 3 EV compact goes head-to-head with GM’s Chevy Bolt EV in the $30K/200 mile range category.

2017 Ford GT

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Ford’s new game seems to be to launch a new cars and announced it will have “at least” XXX horsepower. Then at a later date, announce that the final horsepower is greater. They did so with the GT350 and with the Ford GT.

Ford has now disclosed that the twin-turbo EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6 engine will produce at least 700 horsepower, or about what the race-tuned Daytona Prototype engine produces (with which it

The 2017 Ford GT will be a much more sophisticated car than its predecessor, given both the improved offerings by its competitrs as well as the new GT’s much higher price. Drivers will be able to select from four driving modes (Normal, Sport, Track, and Wet), active aerodynamics, variable shock damping, and sophisticated stability control are controlled through more than 50 vehicle sensors pushing data to 28 microprocessors crunching 300 megabytes of data per second. Take that, Apple watch.

The GT’s carbon fiber chassis and body panels will be manufactured by Markham, Ontario based Multimatic Motorsports and Engineering, a long-time Ford OEM supplier and motorsports partner.

So far what we hear is that the max Ford has set is 1,000 vehicle for the 2017 model year, manufactured in lots of 250. So if only 500 sell, no more will be produced (and no GTs on dealer lots with discounted prices painted in the window). Price could run as high as $400,000, with delivery late in 2016 or early 2017.

2017 Acura NSX Type-R

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The original NSX was in production between 1990 and 2005 and although limited by its V-6 engine it was considered the first Japanese car that could be mentioned in the same breath as  Ferrari or Porsche.It continues to have a loyal following who is keeping the resale prices of used NSX high.

The concept car presented at the NAIAS in Detroit and the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland earlier this year is not at all different from the Acura NSX Type R that will go into production as a 2017 model.

It’s expected that 2017 Acura NSX Type R will be a hybrid design, initially powered by a twin-turbocharged engine of at least 400 hp, with possibly three electric motors (assuming one per each wheel and a common motor for the front axle, or was it the other way around?). In either case, expect the kind of squirt you get out of an electrically powered car.

The total output of this NSX Type R is still unknown, but it is expected with 0-60 times around 3.3 seconds, topping out at 200 mph.

2017 Lincoln Continental

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OK, let’s get to the bad news first. The Lincoln Continental that was on display at the New York Auto Show is well underway in its development on a front-wheel drive chassis. So its clear that Lincoln doesn’t have Mercedes, BMW, or even Cadillac buyers in mind for the Continental.

To cover their tracks, the Lincoln folks will sell the Continental in only an all-wheel drive configuration (a trick Ford learned when it owned Jaguar). A fun trick that looks like it will be added is the torque-vectoring rear axle function from the Ford Focus RS, but programmed more for driving stability than performance.

The basis will be an extended version of the Ford CD4 platform, used under the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKZ. Industry watchers are concerned over stretching a small platform under such a larger car and what it might do to rigidity and/or cost.

Engine is expected to be the 3.0L version of the EcoBoost twin turbo V-6 that seems to show up under the hood of about every Ford these days, while transmission is expected to be a nine or ten speed automatic currently under joint development between Ford and GM.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

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General Motors introduced the Chevrolet Bolt as a concept car at NAIAS Detroit in January and wasted no time in getting word out they were serious about this car. Less than a month later a Bolt web page appeared on Chevrolet.com with a sign-up form allowing potential buyers to receive ongoing updates.

Expected sometime in 2017 the Bolt would be built at GM’s Orion, Michigan Assembly facility (which currently laying off workers as sales of other models are down). Bolt production would very helpful to the plant, as GM plans to build  25,000 to 30,000 a year versus 18,000 Volts last year.

One trick GM will have to pull out of its hat is a high-capacity battery pack of 55 to 60 kilowatt hours in order to enable the promised 200 mile range. No existing GM battery pack comes close.

GM targeting a price of $30,000, after tax incentives (which are expected to be $7,500 – unlike Tesla which does not calculate the tax credit in its prices). That puts a starting price at the Bolt at $37,500, an ambitious target for producing a vehicle with a much larger battery (around three times the size of GM’s existing batteries) while meeting their retail pricing commitments.

2017 Toyota Supra

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One way or another, the 2017 Supra (excuse me, Toyota FT-1) will share some componentry with a contemporary BMW model, the question now is, exactly what? A first it seemed as though there would be a single platform the partners would share. Now comes word that both cars would share BMW’s 3.0L turbo engine.

The car would remain rear-wheel-drive configuration and share most of its components with a BMW version, rumored to be the next-generation Z4/ Z5. Power would come in around 425 hp.

The chassis and gearbox are both expected to be BMW, with either a 6-speed manual or an 8-speed automatic. A hybrid option is also possible.

If you’re concerned right now this will be another BRZ / FR-S, remember this: first, you’d be buying a BMW at Toyota prices, and second, Toyota has strongly indicated the new Supra will bear a strong resemblance to the FT-1 show car.

2017 Tesla Model 3

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Finally, A Tesla For the Rest of Us. CEO Elon Musk has revealed the Model III small sedan will achieve a driving range of at least 250 miles on a single charge, an improvement over previous reports of a 200-mile range.

Compared to the 253 mile range of the much more expensive Tesla Model S, the $35,000 pre-rebate price is looking like a deal.  And with Tesla Supercharger stations opening up across the country range  becomes even less of an issue.

Further, the Model 3 price undercuts undercuts the upcoming $38,000 Chevrolet Bolt by $3000, along with the Bolt’s 50 shorter range, and it looks like Tesla will have a volume model that could fully utilize the production capacity of the old GM/NUMMI factory.

 

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Chris Riley
About Chris Riley

I have been wrecking cars for as long as I've been driving them but I keep coming back for more. Two wheels or four, I'm all in. GearHeads.org gives me a chance to give something back to the automobile community.

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