- The Hagerty Hot List is released each year and includes vehicles that are likely to gain value over time and become collector’s items.
- To qualify for the list, a vehicle must have a suggested retail price from its manufacturer of less than $US100,000 and be available for the model year in which the list is released.
- Many of the entries on the 2018 list appeal to niches in the auto market.
Each year, the classic car insurance company Hagerty releases the Hagerty Hot List, which includes the 10 mass-production vehicles made by mainstream automakers the company believes are likely to gain value over time and become collector’s items.
The list’s goal isn’t to promote the obvious contenders – like supercars made by the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini – but, rather, to highlight more affordable cars, some of which might not immediately come to mind for classic car enthusiasts.
To qualify for the list, a vehicle must have a suggested retail price from its manufacturer of less than $US100,000 and be available for the model year in which the list is released.
The 2018 list includes entries that surprised Hagerty CEO McKeel Hagerty, like the Kia Stinger GT and Honda Civic Type R.
“I never would have envisioned a Kia Stinger as a collectible car,” he said in an interview with Business Insider.
Hagerty said he was also surprised to see two Jeeps, the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk and Wrangler, on the list. While the auto industry is shifting to meet increasing consumer demand for SUVs, crossovers, and trucks, Hagerty said they tend to be less enjoyable to drive than smaller vehicles.
“SUVs are the hot type of car, but they’re not often that fun,” he said.
According to Hagerty, SUVs tend to feel like they were conceived by focus groups rather than designers with a sense of aesthetics.
“Focus groups design bad cars,” he said. “There’s just a fear in corporate America. People are afraid to take risk.”
If there’s a trend that runs through the cars on the 2018 Hagerty Hot List, it’s the tendency to appeal to a niche in the auto market, like the Audi RS 3, which Hagerty said is geared toward a “tech-forward, European buyer,” and the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, which favours “performance capability over practicality.”
While the auto industry may make the bulk of its money from vehicles that appeal to a wide range of consumers, the cars that will age best could be the ones that fit the specific needs of a specialised customer.
Here are the vehicles that made the 2018 Hagerty Hot List and the explanations the company gave for their inclusion.
Audi RS 3
Manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP):$US54,900
Why it was included: “What do you get when you stuff Audi’s sonorous and brutish turbocharged inline-five into its most petite sedan? A 400-hp wallop in sheep’s clothing. Perhaps one of the best sleepers out there, the RS 3 will do 0-60 in under four seconds, snapping off quick shifts from its seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. With all-wheel drive and a lively, yet forgiving chassis, the RS 3 is a tasteful tribute to punching above your weight.”
Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE
Why it was included: “Combining GM’s 650-hp supercharged V-8 engine with the Camaro’s tried-and-true 1LE track handling package has, predictably, sensational results. It’s the first time Chevy has offered the 1LE as an add-on to the ZL1, and rarely does a car meld muscle car potency with the colossal grip and track durability of a top-flight sports car. The fact that the ZL1 1LE does price that severely undercuts its competitors is a compelling reason to get in on the action, if that earth-shattering exhaust note isn’t enough to give you butterflies.”
Dodge Challenger SRT Demon
Why it was included: “Straight from the factory, Dodge will sell you a street-legal surface-to-surface missile on four wheels that is capable of quarter-miles in the 9s at 140 mph. Boasting 840 horses with the kid-in-a-candy-store $US1 Demon Crate and 100-octane gas, the Demon is built for the drag strip, plain and simple. It has massively fat rear radials, and skinny rubber up front. It has a transmission brake, and in stock form no rear bench or passenger seat. With your foot to the floor, all you’ll be able to hear is the shriek of the supercharged V-8 as your brain overloads on acceleration-induced dopamine.”
Honda Civic Type R
Why it was included: “Years into the future, this will be the car that people point to as Honda’s return to excellence. After years of settling with the Civic Si, the Civic Type R is now available in the U.S. for the first time. The long-lusted-after Type R puts out a healthy 306 hp from its turbocharged inline-four, and its razor-sharp chassis and prodigious grip justify its cartoon-teenage-angst styling. It’s cheaper than the Subaru WRX STI, Ford Focus RS, and Volkswagen Golf R, to boot.”
Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
Why it was included: “The latest, but surely not the last, attempt in Fiat Chrysler’s quest to drop the supercharged 6.2-litre Hemi V-8 into any vehicle where it will fit, the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is the first AWD application of the monster 707-horsepower engine. Not only is the Jeep the vehicle you’d least expect to be packing one of the most burly V-8s in production, it also has the traction to get it off the line and leave even a Challenger Hellcat in its wake, at least for a moment. Believe it or not, the Grand Cherokee is also fun on a road course, proving that Jeep knows about more than just solid axles and lockers.”
Why it was included: “Speaking of solid axles and lockers, with each generation the Jeep Wrangler gets a bit more polished and easier to live with, but it still sticks to its original formula and remains as capable as ever. Right now there is no other vehicle in its price range can come close to its off-road prowess. At the high end there’s the Rubicon, with a fantastic crawl ratio, locking front and rear differentials, and improved ground clearance to tackle most any trail, but even an entry-level Wrangler comes with more capability than the average SUV buyer would need. If history is any indication, this new JL-generation Wrangler will stay in demand for the long haul, despite high production numbers.”
Kia Stinger GT
Why it was included: “Not long ago, you would have been laughed out of the room at the mere suggestion that Kia could engineer a rear-wheel-drive performance car that could go toe-to-toe with luxury brands like BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Today you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank as you carve corners in the apex-hungry Stinger GT, which has the looks, performance chops, and value that are forcing other automakers to start taking Kia seriously. Even with its 365-hp twin-turbo V-6, svelte liftback body, and sultry nappa leather interior, the Stinger is an underdog, but one nobody should count out.”
Lexus LC 500
Why it was included: “This is not your average Lexus. Yes, it has a great interior and a Predator-like façade, but it’s far more focused on fun than its sedan stablemates. Just look at that engine-the LC packs a snarling 5.0-litre V-8 in a class of smaller-displacement turbo engines. Packed with available high-end tech including active rear steering, this is a V-8 luxury spaceship for grand touring in style. It’s without a doubt the most exciting thing to come from Lexus since the LFA.”
Porsche 718 Cayman/Boxster GTS
Why it was included: “Adding a limited-slip differential, adaptive dampers, sports exhaust, a unique intake, and performance tuning for the 2.5-litre flat four transform the already capable entry-level duo from Porsche into entirely different machines. It’s reflected in the price, as the GTS package brings them almost into 911 territory, but it’s worth it. The 365-horsepower turbocharged engine is mid-mounted, in front of the rear wheels, for a totally different experience than the 911. The GTS has long been seen as the sweet spot when it comes to Porsche packages, and short of a future GT4, this flavour of 718 not just a tasty treat, but one that will stay special through the years.”
Subaru WRX STI Type RA
Why it was included: “Superfans of the Subaru WRX and STI have a new seven-starred holy grail to savour in the WRX-the Type RA. Those last two letters stand for Record Attempt-an homage to the 2017 Nürburgring run for a lap record for a four-door sedan. The 500-car limited-edition Type RA is 51 pounds lighter than a standard STI, five horsepower more powerful, features more durable engine internals, STI-tuned Bilstein dampers, and has a shorter third-gear ratio. Is that slightly-sharpened bite enough to justify 50 grand for a hot Subaru? Yes, if you’re the sort of die-hard that will relish the revised front and rear bumpers, adjustable carbon-fibre wing, and touches of bespoke red interior trim. Down the road, Rex fans will cough up serious cheddar for a taste of the Type RA.”
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