Great cars for 2014

Last updated 09:32 09/12/2013

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Shoddy NZ motorists' road safety disappoints police Tesla claims 'quickest production car in the world' Roger Federer impersonates other tennis greats for Mercedes-Benz role The risk when large vehicles travel on roads more suited to something smaller Transport Minister Simon Bridges wants self-driving car trials to begin this year Caltex boss Julian Segal talks down electric cars but self-driving vehicles are another story Transport Minister Simon Bridges keen on self-driving cars in NZ by end of the year Car manufacturer cheats Ford GT production extended Car chase excites eye-in-the-sky cameraman

Here's our five cars to watch out for next year.

They're all great drives, and one of them at least is affordable.

ALFA ROMEO 4C

Alfa Romeo 4C

This mid-engined beauty already has Kiwi drivers drooling. It's as quick as a Porsche, despite a wee 1.7-litre turbo engine thanks to its 177kW and a weight of less than a tonne, all due to a carbon-fibre4 tub, and aluminum substructures.

MASERATI GHIBLI/QUATTROPORTE

Maserati Ghibli/Quattroporte

These two sedans will give Maserati a much wider spread of models from next year, with the slightly smaller Ghibli slotting into five-series BMW pricing. Optional AWD, twin-turbo V6 engines and a new ZF eight-speed auto complete the picture.

MAZDA3

Mazda3

The Mazda3 transforms the driving experience among Japanese C-segment cars. Upmarket intentions are evidenced by classy interiors loads of equipment and high refinement levels. Just petrol for us, diesels and hybrids elsewhere.

PORSCHE 918

Porsche 918

The 918 Spyder is a million-dollar hybrid, which can go about 29 kilometres on a charge before switching over to petrol. It then gets up to 335kmh, thanks to a combined 653kW, which also makes it good for zero to 100kmh in 2.8 seconds. Cripes!

FORD MUSTANG

Ford Mustang

The eagerly-awaited new Mustang will at last be available with RHD and IRS and will have an entry-point 2.3-litre 16-valve turbo EcoBoost four as well as blown V6 and V8 engines. First revealed last week, it arrives on its 50th birthday next year.

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- Sunday Star Times

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