Hagerty once again has gazed into its crystal ball and released the annual “Hot List” of 2016 cars foreseen to be collector cars of the future because of their unique qualities of style and performance.
The 10 choices of future collectibles are sporty cars from the U.S., Europe and Japan that “stand out as likely collector cars within the next 25 years,” Hagerty, the insurance and valuation company, said in a news release. Each car is a 2016 model with an MSRP of less than $100,000.
In releasing the list, Hagerty poses an existential question about the future of today’s vehicles: “Will any mass-produced vehicles built today stand the test of time and become truly collectible in the eyes of enthusiasts?”
That’s a question that investors must ponder as they decide which cars might soar in value, especially if they are to be put away now and kept in a protective bubble for future gains. Those visionary souls who resisted driving their Ford GTs are now reaping the benefits at auction as they sell their ultra-low-mileage cars for considerable profit.
The trick is picking the right ones from among all the advanced performance cars that are entering the showrooms today.
“Despite all the negative talk about the future of the car, this is one of the most exciting times to be a car enthusiast,” said McKeel Hagerty, chief executive of Hagerty. “Manufacturers seem to have found the golden combination of performance, handling, safety and styling. The cars on this list check all of these boxes and will make them desirable for years to come.”
So here’s what the soothsayers at Hagerty have chosen for the Hot List, followed by their comments about the cars:
1. Mazda MX-5 Miata ($24,915) – “Since 1989, this car has consistently (and sometimes exclusively) flown the flag of the lightweight roadster. Where there used to be MGs, Triumphs and Austin-Healeys, which leaked everything from oil on the driveway to rain on the passengers, there is the bullet-proof, trouble-free Miata. And thank goodness Mazda persists. The newest generation is shorter and more nimble than the preceding model and is quickly gaining the respect of driving enthusiasts.”
2. Ford Focus RS ($35,730) – “The Focus from Hell, the RS will finally reach American dealers for the 2016 model year with 350 hp, 350 lb-ft of torque, a six-speed manual and an all-wheel drive system that promises everything but the moon and a World Rally Championship trophy in every garage. Rear-biased torque distribution? Check. Grin-worthy power? Check. Hatchback practicality? Check. Look for Ford to snap up the crowd that Mitsubishi deserted when it discontinued the Evo.”
3. Chevrolet Camaro SS ($37,295) – “Following last year’s debut of the sixth-generation Mustang, Chevy has once again risen to the challenge with the newly designed sixth-generation Camaro. There’s a new 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder powertrain along with the V6, but traditionalists will be glad to know that the SS badge remains in all its 455-hp V8 glory. “
4. BMW M2 ($51,700) – “If you need any proof of BMW’s commitment to building performance coupes that people love to buy, try searching for a pre-owned M1 Coupe. In 2016 BMW will launch that car’s successor under the M2 nameplate. It’s slightly larger, significantly sexier and equipped to bookend the M Division’s lineup in the best possible way. Fans of classics like the 2002tii and the Z3 M coupe will love it.”
5. Ford Mustang GT350R ($62,195) – “As if the GT350 wasn’t enough, the “R” version of Ford’s hottest Mustang does away with everything possible to save weight – including the rear seat – and even offers wheels made of carbon fiber. Ford bred this pony with one purpose: race track victory. As they say in the financial world, past performance isn’t a guarantee of future returns, but given the collectability of the Shelby GT350R from the ’60s and even the Mustang Cobra R from 1993, we’d say this one’s a shoe-in.”
6. Alfa Romeo 4C Spider ($65,900) – “We love the pureness and simplicity of the 4C. It’s a refreshing reminder that great cars don’t have to be complicated. This car is more alive on the race track than the open road, so we predict well-preserved examples to dominate the vintage races in the future. The little 4C offers performance similar to a Ferrari 360 Modena from not too long ago at a bargain price for an Italian exotic.”
7. Porsche Cayman GT4 ($84,600) – “This just might be one of the most exciting driver’s cars ever to come from Stuttgart. It borrows components from the current-generation 911 GT3 and puts them to work in a smaller, mid-engine package that makes many people wonder how much further the Cayman can go. We needn’t remind you of how high-performance, low-production Porsches have done in the collector car market.”
8. Dodge Viper SRT Coupe ($89,090) – “This isn’t the first year of the current Viper, but in a time when most cars are trading engine displacement for forced induction, there is just something to love about the brute force of the 8.4-liter V10. If words like “bludgeon,” “eviscerate” and “trounce” appeal to you, this is your car. Because who doesn’t need a sledge hammer from time to time?”
9. Cadillac ATS-V ($60,465) – “This car is built in Lansing, Michigan, to do battle with bad boys like the BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C63. Its twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V6 makes an eye-watering 464 hp that you can control through an eight-speed automatic or a six-speed manual with no-lift shifting and a penchant for taking punishment. The ATS-V is proof that Cadillac ain’t just whistling Dixie; there’s serious firepower behind all the smack talk.”
10. Lotus Evora 400 ($89,900) – “This is the brand’s quickest and most powerful series-produced car ever, but it doesn’t sacrifice Lotus’ trademark lightness. It’s a good indication that things are looking up in Norwich. We were worried about you for a while, Lotus. It’s good to have you back on the Hot List.”