Nobody savors the analog joy of a vintage car more than us, but that doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate modern machines as well. And among a sea of snooze-worthy crossovers there is a contingent of truly special new vehicles on the market that are poised to one day be considered collectible.
These 10 vehicles from mass-production, mainstream automakers not only stand a good chance of maintaining strong value, but they also are likely to remain desirable over the long term in the eyes of collectors and enthusiasts.
“Every year, we look to identify vehicles that push boundaries and beg to be driven,” says McKeel Hagerty, CEO, Hagerty. “This list is proof that people still love sitting in the driver’s seat, putting their hands on the wheel, and enjoying the experience of driving.”
To be considered for the 2018 Hagerty Hot List, a vehicle must be offered for the 2018 model year and bear an MSRP of less than $100,000. The list below is presented in alphabetical order, not ranking. Think we missed one of your favorite rides? Feel free to sound off in the comments and tell us about any cars that we passed over.
Audi RS 3 ($54,900 MSRP)
What do you get when you stuff Audi’s sonorous and brutish turbocharged inline-five into its most petite sedan? A 400-hp wallop in sheep’s clothing. Perhaps one of the best sleepers out there, the RS 3 will do 0–60 in under four seconds, snapping off quick shifts from its seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. With all-wheel drive and a lively, yet forgiving chassis, the RS 3 is a tasteful tribute to punching above your weight.
Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE ($69,000)
Combining GM’s 650-hp supercharged V-8 engine with the Camaro’s tried-and-true 1LE track handling package has, predictably, sensational results. It’s the first time Chevy has offered the 1LE as an add-on to the ZL1, and rarely does a car meld muscle car potency with the colossal grip and track durability of a top-flight sports car. The fact that the ZL1 1LE does price that severely undercuts its competitors is a compelling reason to get in on the action, if that earth-shattering exhaust note isn’t enough to give you butterflies.
Dodge Challenger SRT Demon ($84,995)
Straight from the factory, Dodge will sell you a street-legal surface-to-surface missile on four wheels that is capable of quarter-miles in the 9s at 140 mph. Boasting 840 horses with the kid-in-a-candy-store $1 Demon Crate and 100-octane gas, the Demon is built for the drag strip, plain and simple. It has massively fat rear radials, and skinny rubber up front. It has a transmission brake, and in stock form no rear bench or passenger seat. With your foot to the floor, all you’ll be able to hear is the shriek of the supercharged V-8 as your brain overloads on acceleration-induced dopamine.
Honda Civic Type R ($34,100)
Years into the future, this will be the car that people point to as Honda’s return to excellence. After years of settling with the Civic Si, the Civic Type R is now available in the U.S. for the first time. The long-lusted-after Type R puts out a healthy 306 hp from its turbocharged inline-four, and its razor-sharp chassis and prodigious grip justify its cartoon-teenage-angst styling. It’s cheaper than the Subaru WRX STI, Ford Focus RS, and Volkswagen Golf R, to boot.
Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk ($86,000)
The latest, but surely not the last, attempt in Fiat Chrysler’s quest to drop the supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V-8 into any vehicle where it will fit, the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is the first AWD application of the monster 707-horsepower engine. Not only is the Jeep the vehicle you’d least expect to be packing one of the most burly V-8s in production, it also has the traction to get it off the line and leave even a Challenger Hellcat in its wake, at least for a moment. Believe it or not, the Grand Cherokee is also fun on a road course, proving that Jeep knows about more than just solid axles and lockers.
Jeep Wrangler ($26,995)
Speaking of solid axles and lockers, with each generation the Jeep Wrangler gets a bit more polished and easier to live with, but it still sticks to its original formula and remains as capable as ever. Right now there is no other vehicle in its price range can come close to its off-road prowess. At the high end there’s the Rubicon, with a fantastic crawl ratio, locking front and rear differentials, and improved ground clearance to tackle most any trail, but even an entry-level Wrangler comes with more capability than the average SUV buyer would need. If history is any indication, this new JL-generation Wrangler will stay in demand for the long haul, despite high production numbers.
Kia Stinger GT ($38,350)
Not long ago, you would have been laughed out of the room at the mere suggestion that Kia could engineer a rear-wheel-drive performance car that could go toe-to-toe with luxury brands like BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Today you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank as you carve corners in the apex-hungry Stinger GT, which has the looks, performance chops, and value that are forcing other automakers to start taking Kia seriously. Even with its 365-hp twin-turbo V-6, svelte liftback body, and sultry nappa leather interior, the Stinger is an underdog, but one nobody should count out.
Lexus LC 500 ($92,000)
This is not your average Lexus. Yes, it has a great interior and a Predator-like façade, but it’s far more focused on fun than its sedan stablemates. Just look at that engine—the LC packs a snarling 5.0-liter V-8 in a class of smaller-displacement turbo engines. Packed with available high-end tech including active rear steering, this is a V-8 luxury spaceship for grand touring in style. It’s without a doubt the most exciting thing to come from Lexus since the LFA.
Adding a limited-slip differential, adaptive dampers, sports exhaust, a unique intake, and performance tuning for the 2.5-liter flat four transform the already capable entry-level duo from Porsche into entirely different machines. It’s reflected in the price, as the GTS package brings them almost into 911 territory, but it’s worth it. The 365-horsepower turbocharged engine is mid-mounted, in front of the rear wheels, for a totally different experience than the 911. The GTS has long been seen as the sweet spot when it comes to Porsche packages, and short of a future GT4, this flavor of 718 not just a tasty treat, but one that will stay special through the years.
Subaru WRX STI Type RA ($48,995)
Superfans of the Subaru WRX and STI have a new seven-starred holy grail to savor in the WRX—the Type RA. Those last two letters stand for Record Attempt—an homage to the 2017 Nürburgring run for a lap record for a four-door sedan. The 500-car limited-edition Type RA is 51 pounds lighter than a standard STI, five horsepower more powerful, features more durable engine internals, STI-tuned Bilstein dampers, and has a shorter third-gear ratio. Is that slightly-sharpened bite enough to justify 50 grand for a hot Subaru? Yes, if you’re the sort of die-hard that will relish the revised front and rear bumpers, adjustable carbon-fiber wing, and touches of bespoke red interior trim. Down the road, Rex fans will cough up serious cheddar for a taste of the Type RA.