How to quiet the unruly masses

As enthusiastic lovers of cars, we hold the major automakers to a particularly high standard. We want it all and we want it all right now, especially if it comes with lots of power, face-melting handling, or unmatched capability. But between the pressures of governmental regulations, increasingly cutthroat competition, and you know, actually turning a profit, the things we enthusiasts want can occasionally take a back seat. Luckily, we’re laying it all out right here in the following automaker wish list, just so it’s all 100 percent crystal clear.

So, consider this a formal request going out to Alfa Romeo, Jeep, Nissan, Subaru, Tesla, and Toyota. All you guys have the potential to make us very, very happy, and in case you were unaware, 2017 is right around the corner. Time for a fresh start, a new chance to make good on all that potential we know you have in you. And yes, us enthusiasts can be a finicky, fickle bunch, but hey – that’s why you love us, right?

Continue reading for our list of what we want to see in 2017.

Calling Out The Automakers – What We Want To See In 2017

Alfa Romeo – Give Us The Giulia Quadrifoglio With Three Pedals

2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio High Resolution Exterior
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The new Giulia Quadrifoglio is without a doubt one of the most epic cars to roll off an assembly line (any assembly line) in the last year. Flying the four-leaf badge with pride, this compact four-door is simply dripping with Italian style. The proportions are taut and mean, and the lines are sensuous and bold. Carbon fiber, Alcantara, and leather upholstery lined by red contrast stitching adorn the interior. But the best bit is under the hood, where a Ferrari-bred 2.9-liter V-6 is boosted by two turbos for over 500 horsepower at the rear wheels. That’s enough grunt to propel this $72,000 sedan to 60 mph in a supercar-beating 3.8 seconds.

But there’s a problem – all that power arrives by way of an eight-speed automatic transmission, the only transmission choice on the table.

As a devotee of the third pedal, I find that infinitely disappointing. While the slushbox isn’t necessarily terrible, especially in a heavy traffic situation, a car like this deserves a proper manual gearbox. Alfa even makes just such a unit, a six-speed, and offers it overseas, but not here in the U.S.

That should change. And while we’re on the topic, how about adding the option for an AWD system as well? While RWD makes a ton of sense, the appeal of this thing would broaden considerably if extra grip was a possibility, especially for folks living in colder climates. That said, make sure it’s rear-biased, or at the very least adjustable, just to keep it as fun as possible in the twisties.

Read the full review here.

Jeep – Debut The Wrangler Pickup Truck

2018 Jeep Scrambler Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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This one is so obvious, it’s kinda weird it’s not already a thing. The Jeep Wrangler is an absolute legend in the rough stuff, with a history that dates back to the battles of World War II, so you’d think this classic American off-roader would be a sure fit for an extended cargo bed in back.

Luckily, this is looking like it’s definitely gonna happen, as Mike Manley, head at Jeep, has confirmed that the company is indeed working on a Wrangler pickup. Look for it to bear the same styling as the original body style, plus the same chassis, powerplant, and cabin appointment.

All that’s new is that utilitarian rear end. That’s not changing a whole lot, so hopefully Jeep will get it to us in the next year or so.

Read the full review here.

Nissan – Make A New Z Car

2018 Nissan Z Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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This one has also been a long time coming. Nissan first introduced the Z back in 1969, with the current 370Z (Z34) representing the model’s sixth generation. But Nissan rolled out production of the 370Z way back in 2009, so it’s high time we had a look at the seventh-gen evolution.

So what’s the holdup? Well, it rumors are to be believed, Nissan is prepping something special for the next Z. The styling will be in line with the brand’s current design language, while under the skin will be refreshed underpinnings and revised suspension. Lightness will be key. But the biggest update will be under the hood, where it’s looking like Nissan might add a little hybrid power to the mix, possibly even replacing the traditional six-cylinder with a high-strung four-banger.

While the sound of the Z’s sonorous six will be missed should it not make the cut, a hybrid four-cylinder engine is still a very interesting proposition, especially if it’s matched with a small, lightweight chassis, and entertaining RWD handling. So just give it to us already.

Read the full review here.

Subaru – Turbo The BRZ

2017 Subaru BRZ High Resolution Exterior
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I mean, come on. The BRZ (and its Toyota twin, the 86) need a turbo so badly, it’s practically a meme at this point. Granted, I know this car is focused on handling refinement and having fun in the corners over straight-line speed (characteristics in which it’s very talented), but with just 200 horsepower on tap, the car still feels rather anemic with the loud pedal pushed to the floor.

And yes, I know a turbo would add to the car’s MSRP and probably make the emissions folks frown. But with an extra 50 to 75 ponies, this two-door would be an all-time winner, especially if that incredible handling prowess was retained.

You could have two variants – the base model, and the turbo, which means everyone would be happy. Especially us.

Read the full review here.

Tesla – Step Up Model 3 Production And Delivery

2018 Tesla Model 3 Exterior High Resolution
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The world of EVs went gaga when Tesla debuted the Model 3 sedan earlier this year. And rightfully so – with head-turning sci-fi styling, a compact stance, shuttle craft-like interior, and at least 215 miles of range per charge, this $35,000 all-electric has the goods to go the distance. Paired with impressive performance, plus the possibility for even greater speed from AWD and bigger batteries, and its no wonder this thing is a hit.

It’s such a hit, over 350,000 preorders are now on the books, but for a company like Tesla, it won’t be easy to ramp up production and deliver all those units. Customers are currently being told to expect models to begin rolling out sometime halfway through next year, while customers with new orders won’t receive theirs any earlier than mid 2018.

These days, a year in the car world is an eternity, and who knows where EV tech will be by the time the Model 3 is actually ready for delivery. Add in Tesla’s penchant for missing deadlines, and we could be waiting on this one for a while. Hopefully not, though.

One last thing – the sedan looks great, but you know what would work even better? A Model 3 Hatchback. We like the idea so much, we drew up a rendering and made a speculative review – check it out here.

Toyota – Bring Back The Supra

Calling Out The Automakers – What We Want To See In 2017 Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Back in the ‘90s, the fourth-gen Supra (a.k.a. the A80) was one of the biggest, baddest Japanese imports you could get. With lovely coupe styling, RWD motivation, and a front-mounted 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline-six engine, the Supra was a true heavyweight of the import world, especially amongst tuners with a taste for turning up the boost.

Unfortunately, the Supra was pulled from the U.S. market in 1998 over increasing emissions restrictions, and by 2002, production ceased altogether, creating frowns on the faces of enthusiasts the world over.

But rumor has it Toyota is cooking up a next-gen model, dropping teasers and hints through concepts like the FT-1 from 2014. In September, a possible prototype decked out in swirly camo was spotted in the wild, while an agreement between Toyota and BMW have sparked rumors that the Bavarians are helping with development.

Will 2017 be the year Toyota finally lets the cat out of the bag? Here’s to hoping.

Conclusion

That’s just a smattering of what we want to see from the automakers in the next year or so. But what about you? What do you hope the New Year brings? Let us know in the comments.

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