By Andrew Ganz
Sunday, Dec 9th, 2012 @ 12:00 am
 

With the auto show season now in full swing, there's no reason not to be excited about all the refreshed, redesigned and all-new cars that are about to hit the road.

We can't see into the future to predict just what new cars will be unveiled between now and the end of the season in late March, but our spies and our news team are able to give us pretty solid insight.

Looking ahead and what cars we do know are bound to hit dealership lots next year, we came up with a list of 10 vehicles we're really looking forward to sample.

In the interest of brevity, our decision process was pretty simple: These are cars expected to go on sale in the next year and we haven't driven them yet. There are plenty of other exciting cars on the way, many of which are bound to surprise us, but we're pretty intrigued by these.

What 10 cars' steering wheels do you hope to find yourself behind in the next 12 months?

10 Cars We're Looking Forward to Driving in 2013

2014 Acura RLX. Acura hasn't done a memorable flagship in quite a while, but the rather anonymous-looking RLX has some very cool tech lurking under its skin. A pair of electric motors send power to the rear wheels, while the fronts are motivated by a gas engine. A boosted version of that same setup will arrive in the reborn NSX. Consider us intrigued.

2014 Cadillac ATS-V. Rumors point to a big V8 sliding under the hood of the compact, rear-drive ATS, what could well become the last small sedan to be powered by an eight cylinder engine. At least until we figure out how to make internal combustion engines run on hopes and dreams, that is. If it's a CTS-V Jr., it'll be worthy of our coveting.

2014 Chevrolet Corvette. New Corvettes don't come along very often, so we're always pretty pumped any time something happens to a car as 'Merican as apple pie. But will the 2014 Corvette be able to lure in younger buyers, something the current model has struggled to do? More than performance credentials, that will be the key to Corvette's ability to survive into an eighth generation.

2014 Chevrolet Silverado (and GMC Sierra). We're just days away from finding out all the details about GM's new full-size pickups and we couldn't be more intrigued. GM more or less stopped developing its half-tonners after their 2007 model year debut, so expectations are high that the 2014s will compete well against reinvigorated Ram and Ford models

2013 Honda Civic. So the Civic isn't the most exciting thing on this list, but the fact that Honda admitted that its 2012 model was a step backward and fast-tracked a thorough refresh is huge news for what is arguably the most conservative automaker on the planet. We've already seen that the refreshed model has a much better interior, but will it drive better? We're itching to find out very soon.

2014 Infiniti G. Driven a G37 lately? It drives really, really well, doesn't it? Especially for a design that arrived all the way back in 2006. Here's to hoping the third take on Infiniti's game-changing rear-wheel-drive sedan is just as enjoyable to toss around as its predecessors.

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD. We've thrown every accolade on the fourth-generation Grand Cherokee we can think of, so the addition of a new turbodiesel six-cylinder might force us to invent a few words. If it gets anywhere near the estimated 29-30 mpg on the highway we anticipate, the Grand Cherokee CRD might become the ultimate do-everything, go-anywhere 4x4.

2014 Lexus IS. Lexus is on something of a roll these days. After about a decade of yawn-inducing cars, the latest GS sedan has proven that there's still some spark behind the stylized L. The third-generation IS could finally be a real rival to the BMW 3-Series, a segment heavyweight that got a little less exciting when it was redesigned for 2014.

2014 Lincoln MKZ. Lincoln's future really rests on this car, not any unannounced upcoming model. Will it prove to be more than just a rebadged Ford Fusion like the current MKZ? We're not overwhelmed with the way the MKZ looks, but we're willing to go at it with an open mind. After all, we're not anxious to lose another car brand to carpocalypse and Lincoln has an enviable design heritage worth reviving.

2014 Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG. Bonkers, thy name is GL63 AMG. After all, who doesn't need a 550-horsepower seven-seater that sprints from a complete stop to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds? We're already big fans of the less absurd, but still rather gluttonous GL450 BlueTEC, but the GL63 strikes us as a fantastic bookend.

Honorable Mentions: The 2014 Jeep Liberty, which will almost certainly be a candidate for "most improved," even if it's not very good. The 2014 Ferrari F70 because, well, Ferrari does most things pretty darn well. And the 2014 BMW M4, which loses two cylinders but promises to be even more fun to drive (we're just not digging its new nomenclature).