From icons to inexpensive hybrids, these hotties will warm highways in the new year

CASEY WILLIAMS | Auto Reviewer

Welcome to the portal of your automotive future. The next year will see a transition from the old fossil-burning autos of your past to the clean energy ones of your future. But along the way, we’ll see a modern take on a 1980s Italian bull hit the track, pound the Autobahn and even sample an inexpensive hybrid pickup.
Here are some of the hottest hotties making it hot on our highways for the months ahead:

• Lamborghini Countach
Once every boy’s dream, this 1980s icon returns. A carbon fiber body and V-12-based hybrid with 803 horsepower blip 0-60 mph in 2.7s and tap 220 mph. An adaptive suspension, all-wheel-drive and rear-wheel steering enhance handling.

Wings were stripped for a cleaner shape, but hexagonal wheel arches and scissor doors feed the dream.
Base price: $2.5 Million


• Toyota GR 86/Subaru BRZ
They’re like affordable Supra twins. These sportsters employ Subaru’s Boxer four-cylinder engine, sending 228 horsepower to the rear wheels through 6-speed manual or automatic transmissions. A tight suspension encourages shenanigans, while automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and adaptive cruise keep everybody safe.
Base price: $27,060

The original hot hatch gets a makeover. Drivers face a sweeping console with 10-inch screen. Crank up crisp Fender while spanking the 242 horsepower turbo-four with 6-speed manual transmission or 7-speed auto transmission; enjoy 25/34-MPG city/highway. Automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise and lane departure warning amp safety.
Base price: $30,000

• Audi Q4 e-tron
Targeting Tesla, this luxury crossover has a 241-mile range and runs 0-60 mph in 5.8s with the optional 295 horsepower motor. Inside, it’s pure German indulgence with a screen-centric dash, sumptuous seats and safety tech that includes an airbag between front passengers. Adding practicality, it can charge 5-80 percent in 38 minutes.
Base price: $43,900


• Nissan Z
Fifty-two years after the original, the redesigned Z works it. There’s plenty of Z DNA in the bulging headlamps, upturned window line and wide rump, but also cuts a new swath with an upscale techy interior. Beneath the long hood is a 400 horsepower 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6. Shift a 6-speed manual or 9-speed automatic. Twist and enjoy.
Base price: $35,000

• Ford Maverick
The first truck to come standard as a hybrid delivers 42 MPG city. Or step up to the 250-horsepower turbo-four. Cool funky interiors lay in standard Apple/Android connectivity and automatic emergency braking. B&O audio is available. Plug into household outlets in the bed for tailgating. Choose the base hybrid with steelie wheels for ultimate value.
Base price: $19,995


• Honda Civic/Hatch
Not everybody wants a crossover. Civic goes for tailored new styling as a sedan or hatch. Interiors sport a 9-inch screen, hidden dash vents and wireless Apple/Android connections. Auto brake is standard. Throttle a 158 horsepower four-cylinder or 180 horsepower turbo-four with available 6-speed manual. Get 31/40-MPG city/hwy.
Base price: $21,900

• Kia Carnival
You don’t need kids to drive a mini-van. Kia’s handles like a luxury car, looks like a crossover and carries your mates in optional second row reclining loungers with their own screens. Drivers face twin screens and throttle a 290 horsepower V6 delivering 19/26-MPG city/highway. Emergency auto braking and lane keep assist enhance safety.
Base price: $32,100

• Jeep Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer
Jeep goes for big luxury. Based on the Ram pickup, Wagoneer elevates standards with front passenger entertainment screen, Fire TV, hands-free driving and 1375w McIntosh audio. Haul ass with a 392 horsepower V8 hybrid or 471 horsepower 6.4-liter V8. An air suspension provides a sublime ride and raises up for off-roading.
Base price: $67,995

• Subaru WRX
This rally-bred hottie wears a new suit lighted by chiseled styling. Rev the 271 horsepower turbo-four with torque-shifting AWD and standard 6-speed manual transmission (CVT optional). GTs add electronic shocks. Tablet-style touchscreens, EyeSight crash-avoidance, Recaro seats and flat bottom steering wheels enliven quick daily drives.
Base price: $29,000

• Corvette Z06
A racecar in street clothes, its sexy wing and edgy facias increase downforce at speed. Wider rear fenders cradle a 670 horsepower 5.5-liter V8 that hits 0-60 mph in 2.5s and 200 mph top speed. Carbon ceramic brakes, electronic suspension and carbon fiber wheels enhance performance. Choose the Adrenaline Red interior for the sexiest look.
Base price: $90,000

• Ford Bronco
Ford’s icon returns as a truck-based rock cruncher with two or four doors and soft or hard tops. Removable doors, floor drains and navigation with trail maps beckon adventures. Get it with a 275 horsepower turbo-four or 315 horsepower V6 with an optional 7-speed manual transmission. Cheap base prices rise to over $60k with all the gear.
Base price: $28,1500