2020 Hagerty Hot List: The 6 collector rides of the future

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Andrew Trahan

Which of today’s cars will be collectible in the future? Imagine buying the car of your choice brand-new, driving it for 100,000 miles or more, then selling it for twice what you paid. Does that sound like fiction? It’s not—if the car in question is an Acura Integra Type R, or a fourth-generation Toyota Supra Turbo, or a Porsche 911 “RS America.” Could that kind of lightning strike your next new-car purchase? There’s no way to know for sure, of course, and if your Camry TRD is the toast of Barrett-Jackson in 2060 we will have to admit that our crystal ball had a few cracks in it, but according to our team of valuation and collector experts, the five cars and one motorcycle listed below stand a strong chance of remaining desirable and worthy of respect by generations of enthusiasts to come.

“Today’s cars, trucks and motorcycles are almost all incredibly well built,” said Jonathan Klinger, a spokesman for Hagerty. “But there are only a few that people will clamor to own and drive decades down the road. Those are the ones our experts choose for the 2020 Hagerty Hot List.”

To be considered for the 2020 Hagerty Hot List, a vehicle must be available in (or close to) the 2020 model year. Preference is given to newly and recently released vehicles, so don’t be surprised if a previous winner doesn’t show up despite still being present in showrooms. Think we’ve committed a grave injustice with one our choices, or overlooked a deserving vehicle? Make your voice heard in the Hagerty Community. Let’s start this party with the most powerful pony to ever leave the line at Flat Rock …

2020 Shelby Mustang GT500

2020 Mustang Shelby GT500

After our first drive of the GT500, we had no problem calling it the greatest pony car of all time. Its hand-built, supercharged 5.2-liter V-8 is the most powerful engine ever factory-delivered in a Ford automobile. It is a world-class track weapon with astounding braking and chassis control, yet it is relatively easy on consumables like brake pads and tires. With the GT500, Ford has finally taken the fight to the ‘Ring-ruling Camaros while also preserving the real-world qualities that have often seen the Mustang gallop away from Chevrolet’s competitor in the sales charts.

It’s worth noting that, even now, a live-axle 2014 Shelby GT500 in immaculate condition is worth a few thousand dollars north of its original $55,000 MSRP. The current GT500 is a more balanced beast that’s eons ahead of its predecessor, and it possesses several key elements that will make it an attractive collector proposition for years to come. For starters, it comes in a variety of wild colors that stand out in dreary traffic like a pterodactyl in a Jane Austen novel. There are functional hood pins, exotic carbon-fiber wheels, and a comprehensive Track Pack. Production is limited—about five thousand examples will be built, all of which will quickly find homes.

An American icon with Ferrari and Porsche RS levels of performance for a fraction of the price? Ultimate pony car, indeed.

Base price: $74,095

Layout: 2-door, 4-passenger, front-engine, rear-wheel-drive coupe

Engine: 5.2-liter supercharged DOHC V-8; 760 hp @ 7300 rpm, 625 lb-ft of torque @ 5000 rpm

Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch automatic

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray (C8)

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 2LT C8 Front Three-Quarter
Andrew Trahan

Change is hard, and even when it’s acknowledged as necessary, it can take a long time. The notion of a mid-engine Corvette dates back to 1957 and the marque’s patron saint Zora Arkus-Duntov, who by the time he retired from GM in 1975 had completed six such prototypes. Another half-dozen concepts would be built in the years that followed, but it wasn’t until 2005 that Tadge Juechter got the green light to move the Corvette’s engine rearward, only to be stymied by the General’s bankruptcy in 2009.

The most significant, highly-anticipated, hotly-debated development in the Corvette’s illustrious history became a reality for the new C8 generation. More than any other Corvette in the past, the C8 offers supercar performance for a shockingly affordable price. Between UAW work stoppage delays and the COVID-19 pandemic, the debut year for the C8 has been a whirlwind, and any snags between now and the start of 2021 model year production in early November could mean the Bowling Green, Kentucky, Corvette plant falls shy of its roughly 20,000-unit target. So it won’t be 1983 rare, but it also won’t be 1984 common.

If you’re already online configuring your own—in Zeus Bronze if you’re smart—know that the Z51 package is not essential to appreciate the masterful balance of performance and streetability that this latest Corvette offers. The base Stingray has no apologies to make, and the perennial brilliance of the Chevy small-block maintains a heritage connection with the prior seven generations of America’s sports car. Yes, the flexibility of this mid-engine platform means that turbocharged, flat-plane-crank, and hybrid variants may well follow. However brilliant they are, the Corvette we have now is a revelation in its own right that history will surely honor.

Base price: $59,995

Layout: 2-door, 2-passenger, mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive coupe with removable hard top

Engine: 6.2-liter OHV V-8; 490/495 hp (standard/Z51) @  6450 rpm, 465 lb-ft @ 5150 rpm

Transmission: 8-speed dual-clutch automatic

2020 Polestar 1

Polestar 1 Front Three-Quarter

If the Polestar 1 looks familiar, it’s because this sleek, elegantly-styled coupe began life as a 2013 concept penned by Volvo designer (and current Polestar CEO) Thomas Ingenlath. The so-called Concept Coupe was one of three concepts making the auto show circuit rounds that year, including a wagon and an SUV, previewing today’s classy design language that would first appear on the XC90. The gorgeous, P1800-inspired two-door, however, didn’t make the cut—until Volvo needed a grand slam to wake up the crowds on the debut of its new Polestar performance brand.

While Polestar will ultimately focus on electric performance as its reason for being, the first model for sale from this newly-minted outfit is a gasoline plug-in hybrid with a Volvo powertrain and a pair of high-output electric motors on the rear axle. It’s also a $156,000 rolling sculpture rendered in carbon fiber whose sole job is to look stunning and inspire interest in a brand heretofore only known to Volvo enthusiasts and Swedish Car Touring Championship fans. At this, the Polestar 1 succeeds wonderfully—minimalist in detail, masterful in its curb appeal, and timelessly elegant in a manner that some of the competition has visibly struggled to approach as of late.

Bonus points are awarded for being quick off the line, surprisingly lithe and athletic for a 5100-pound GT car, and silent in EV mode with 70 miles of range. For collectors, in particular, it’s also rare in a way that buyers of the latest 911 can’t hope to match. Just 1500 examples will be made over three years, with 450 bound for North America in that timeframe. Is this the first Made-In-China vehicle to resonate with collectors? Only time will tell.

Base price: $156,000

Layout: 2-door, 4-passenger, front-engine coupe

Engine: 2.0-liter supercharged and turbocharged DOHC I-4, dual electric motors, starter generator; total system output 619 hp, 738 lb-ft

Transmission: 8-speed automatic (front); single-speed direct drive (rear)

2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon

2020 Jeep® Gladiator Rubicon Front Three-Quarter

The return of a cargo bed to the Jeep family means that the do-it-all Wrangler can now do even more. Packing all of the same rugged capability of the current JL-generation rock-crawler, plus the added practicality of a pickup bed, the Gladiator is much more than a pickup. After all, what off-roader or truck can haul 1600 pounds, tow 7650 pounds, trounce just about any trail, and do it in open-air splendor without doors or a roof?

The Gladiator shares a mission with Jeep’s CJ-8 Scrambler from the 1980s, which itself has ticked up 20 percent in value in the last three years. For Concours-quality, #1-condition examples, the median value for CJ-8s is 10 percent higher than for the comparable CJ-7. While we expect modifications will be common, down the road it will likely be the most original examples that will be sought after.

As personal transportation veers closer and closer to driverless autonomy, the significance of a go-anywhere dynamo like the Gladiator cannot be overstated. It is a vehicle with extraordinary capability, utility, and most of all, personality. Jeeps make adventure all the more fun, and a pickup bed only expands the possibilities for what the Gladiator can do.

Base price: $43,545

Layout: 4-door, front-engine, 4-wheel-drive pickup truck

Engine: 3.6-liter DOHC V-6; 285 hp @ 6400 rpm, 260 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm

Transmission: 6-speed manual; 8-speed automatic

2019/2020 Cadillac CT6-V

Cadillac CT6-V Front Three-Quarter
Cameron Neveu

The most amazing thing about the Cadillac CT6-V is that it exists at all. Cadillac has no plans for its massively expensive and painstakingly developed “Blackwing” 4.2-liter turbo V-8 once the last one rolls off the line this year at the Corvette’s Performance Build Center in Bowling Green. The Blackwing effectively became an orphan when Cadillac canned its CT6 luxury sedan after fewer than five years on dealer lots, one of the first signals that GM is veering from its 20-year long ambitions of beating the Germans at their own game.

For the few who will have the pleasure of experiencing it, the CT6-V is a sophisticated, refined, and sporty luxury machine with just one problem: a lack of interior panache compared to the A8, 7 Series, S-Class, and even the Lexus LS. Given the big Cadillac’s rarity and massive power, however, we expect that it will retain a significant percentage of its six-figure asking price in the years to come.

The sudden flameout of the CT6 model plan (and Cadillac’s subsequent focus on crossovers like the ho-hum XT6 and upcoming Lyriq EV) means the V model and its high-tech DOHC V-8 engine will turn out to be a kind of accidentally limited edition totaling roughly 1500 examples. Given Cadillac’s expressed interest in pursuing an electric direction in the years to come, we will likely see this as the brand’s high-water mark, from an era where General Motors took the fight to Germany and occasionally scored a knockout punch.

Base price: $97,190

Layout: 4-door, 4-passenger, front-engine, all-wheel-drive sedan

Engine: 4.2-liter DOHC twin-turbo V-8; 550 hp @ 5700 rpm, 640 lb-ft @ 3200-4000 rpm

Transmission: 10-speed automatic

2021 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP

21 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP Front Three-Quarter

Motorcycles have always been about speed and racing. Win on Sunday, sell on Monday. So here’s a winning formula: Create a hardcore track weapon for the street. Limit production. Get the price below thirty grand. Last but not least, add a third R-for-Racing to a vehicle that already had three of them. That’s the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP.

The last time Honda offered a truly MotoGP derived bike for the street was in 2016 when the RC213V-S was offered for $184,000. The RC213V-S was about as close as the public will ever get to a street-legal MotoGP race bike. They quickly sold out and disappeared into collections. The new “Fireblade”—a name first applied to Euro-market variants of the infamously temperamental CBR900RR—offers much of that mojo at a middle-class price. It shares calipers and a few other parts with the RC213V-S. It also has winglets, a recent MotoGP innovation; these are said to match the downforce production of their racing relatives.

Liberal usage of titanium and carbon leads to an exotic look that compliments the plethora of slick racing parts. You won’t mistake this for a plain-Jane double-R. This is vital when buyers are paying a premium for the art and collectibility of the model. Sometimes the collectibility of a bike comes from being a first or setting the stage for the brand. Ducati 450 Desmos are extremely collectible because of the Desmodronic head and the historical significance that would have with Ducati. With the Fireblade, the appeal is in the exotic materials, the low production numbers, and the extremely close relationship to MotoGP machinery.

The past four years have been very strong for the values of Honda motorcycles. This largely has been centered around the ‘60s and ‘70s, but more recently fairings are becoming accepted and plastic has become classic. The ‘80s and ‘90s sportbikes are seeing an influx of collector buying, and the big standout is Honda’s street-legal superbike from the ‘90s, the RC30, which has more than doubled in value in the last couple years from a #1 value of $35,000 to a #1 value of $75,000 today. The same thing could happen to the Fireblade, in time—just don’t crash it while you’re waiting to find out.

No matter how impractical or harsh, every motorcyclist dreams of getting just one opportunity to ride a race bike on the street. How about every day? This is your opportunity.

Base price: $28,950

Layout: 1-passenger, rear-wheel-drive motorcycle

Engine: 999-cc liquid-cooled DOHC inline-four; 214 hp @ 14,500 rpm, 83 lb-ft @ 12,500 rpm

Transmission: 6-speed chain drive

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