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Great cars for 2014

Last updated 09:32 09/12/2013

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Love affair with cars gets a new look in selfie generation Jay Leno rolls in 2500hp stunt car Serious crashes between Nelson-Blenheim prompt safety investment investigation Toyota New Zealand moves to electric vehicles - the used car way Nissan builds drone to race its GT-R We won't own cars any more - we'll share them, forecasts Toyota NZ boss Expensive Porsche SUV ruined in teen's parking panic Fiat Chrysler accused of concealing defect in Jeep Grand Cherokee Toyota Corolla hybrid - the bridge to whatever the ultimate eco-car will be VW to pay over US$10b for US emissions scandal - sources

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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