Cars to be excited about in 2023, including a new Toyota, Ferrari and Polestar

Prepare for innovation, as manufacturers show they're not afraid to break traditional motoring moulds

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While last year gave us the latest models of the McLaren Artura, Audi S8, Hummer EV and Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT, there's plenty for petrol heads to look forward to over the next 12 months.

Here are some of the most anticipated vehicles on our radar.

Toyota GR Corolla

The Toyota GR Corolla packs in plenty of oomph into a smaller-sized vehicle, while enjoying the kudos that comes with the model and name.

This promises to be a tearaway hot-hatch, powered by a 1.6-litre engine, three-cylinder engine that can produce 300 horsepower.

The GR stands for Gazoo Racing, which is a division of Toyota whose main role is to soup up anything that comes its way, so expect some thrills and tyre squealing from this one.

Ferrari Purosangue

The Purosangue was unveiled by Ferrari in Dubai, an indicator that the Prancing Horse brand believes the Middle East remains an important market for its first four-door four-seater.

Despite a nod towards practicality, the new arrival has plenty under the bonnet, being powered by a 6.5-litre V12 engine that will get it up to 100 kilometres per hour in 3.3 seconds.

It’s always been about performance and driving pleasure with Ferrari, but the Purosangue aims to inject comfort into the mix, which hasn’t always been the case with previous models.

Ford Mustang S650

Nearly six decades after its debut, the latest in the Ford Mustang dynasty promises to be the most exhilarating and vigorous yet.

There are two new engines available, with the most powerful offering being a 5-litre V8. Similarly, the inside has been revamped with a digital cockpit that the manufacturer says has been inspired by fighter jets.

You can now get a hybrid option as well, which is all in line with Ford’s long-term vision for the future of automation. Still a beast then, but the new Mustang is definitely dipping a hoof into the pond of sustainability.

Hyundai Ioniq 7

Hyundai’s Ioniq 7 follows the 5 and 6 as the latest in the line of the brand’s ultra-modern electric vehicles.

This latest one of a three-row SUV would take its position as the premium offering. The idea, Hyundai says, was to create a properly comfortable living space on wheels.

There is no definite word on when the car will appear, but there are hopes it could make its first appearance later in the year.

Lotus Eletre

Even by car manufacturer’s frequently over-the-top standards, Lotus’s first SUV, the Eletre, was unveiled in a spectacular fashion in March last year.

There are many keen to see what this vehicle will be like as the brand’s first offering that isn’t an ultra-lightweight affair. Lotus said it will have a 0-100kph time of 2.95 seconds, which puts it in the range of the considerably slighter cars produced by the likes of, say, Pagani and McLaren.

Hats off to the manufacturer if they can achieve those results consistently.

Kia EV9

Like a lot of cars in this list, the Kia EV9 has a sense of the future embedded in its very DNA. Looks-wise, this is the kind of vehicle often only seen in science-fiction films.

It is an all-electric SUV and, while Kia is being coy about what the vehicle’s exact performance will be, there are suggestions it could reach 100kph in under five seconds.

There is talk of a GT model as well, which would more than double the standard model’s horsepower from 225 to 576.

Polestar 3

Sweden’s electric car manufacturer has been making a lot of headlines over the last year, which is why Polestar’s 2023 release, called simply the 3, has attracted a lot of attention.

The design of this new compact SUV has a touch of the shooting brake body-style about it, but all old-school comparisons end there. Polestar is keen to underline its products are all about innovation.

Rolls-Royce Spectre

More electrification is afoot with the Spectre, Rolls-Royce’s first foray into the non-fossil fuel sector.

The manufacturer refers to the model as a “prophecy fulfilled”, as Charles Rolls, the company’s co-founder alongside Henry Royce, mentioned (120 years ago) how he thought electrification was the way forward.

As with a lot of models on this list, the manufacturer is being coy about the exact specifications, but the Spectre has undergone more than 2.5 million kilometres of road-testing, so fans of the brand are expecting something special. It certainly already looks every bit like the posh Roller.

Peugeot 408

Peugeot has surpassed itself in recent years with products that have the future very much in mind, and the 408 fastback appears to be a real-world incarnation of some of the concept models the manufacturer has unveiled.

It will come in a variety of options, with the hybrid option being the most powerful.

Peugeot hasn’t always been the hippest brand, but products such as the 408 are a clear indicator that the French manufacturer is all about changing the preconception.

Lamborghini Huracan Sterrato

Lamborghini is taking a different track — quite literally — with the Huracan Sterrato, as it has created a vehicle designed to conquer loose, gravelly surfaces as well as the usual asphalt.

Based on an earlier concept model, the Huracan Sterrato has a raised ride height compared to many of its brand siblings, giving it an off-road capability only previously seen in Lamborghini’s SUV, the Urus.

Billed as the first all-terrain super sports car, the newbie has a 5.2-litre V10 engine that the manufacturer says will reach 100kph in 3.4 seconds.

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Updated: January 09, 2023, 2:52 PM