Contributing Author: Craig Fitzgerald
For some manufacturers, 2023 is what Major League Baseball describes as a “rebuilding year,” where you stand pat with what you have and anticipate better years ahead. But for others, despite supply chain and inflation concerns, 2023 is the year when they rip the covers off a brand-new model, in the hopes that it ignites sales across the board. Here’s a look at what the most anticipated new model releases are for the 2023 model year.
2023 Nissan Z
Most manufacturers are launching either an all-new electric vehicle or an all-new crossover. Not Nissan. They’re banking heavily on the success of the all-new Nissan Z, the replacement for the Z34 which Nissan first started producing waaaaaay back in 2009. Fourteen years is a long time to wait for a new vehicle, but the excitement seems to be on the boil for Nissan’s two-seat sports car.
There’s not a lot that’s entirely “new,” about the 2023 Z, but it’s the sum of the parts that are important. It’s still on the same FM platform that underpins the GT-R and the Infiniti FX, meaning it’s still front-engine, rear-drive. It’s also running an engine that should be familiar: The VR30DDTT engine, which appears in the Infiniti Red Sport 400 trim levels, good for 400hp and 475-lb.ft. of torque. Like the outgoing car, it has a six-speed manual, but it’s also offered with a nine-speed automatic, available under license from Mercedes-Benz.
What’s perhaps most anticipated is the exterior styling. You can see the Z heritage, from the covered headlamps of the 1969 240Z, but this isn’t a nostalgia trip. Its appearance is modern, clean, and exciting, available only in a handful of monotone colors.
The Z is out now at your local Nissan dealer.
2023 Toyota GR Corolla
People are excited about a Corolla? What year is it?
Toyota’s doing just fine, but it hasn’t had a lot of excitement over the last few decades. It sells all the crossovers, sedans, and pickup trucks it can make, but performance cars have taken a back seat for a long, long time. The Supra exists, but it’s polarizing at best, and a rebodied BMW at worst, making a lot of people think that the days of interesting cars from Toyota were at an end.
But then it introduced the rally-inspired GR Corolla and suddenly it felt like 1984 again. This is a car to get excited about, with a 300hp turbocharged 1.6-liter four powering all four wheels, in a hatchback body style that fills in the gap left when Subaru decided that selling 14 WRX hatchbacks a year didn’t contribute a lot of black ink to the bottom line.
The GR Corolla is anticipated for fall of 2022.
2023 Toyota Crown
ANOTHER Toyota to get excited about? What is happening?
If you’ve followed Japanese Domestic Market cars at all, you know that Toyota has offered a Crown as its flagship since 1955. The U.S. received the Crown through four generations from 1958 to 1972, though they sold in minuscule numbers here. American consumers weren’t quite ready for a Japanese luxury car the way they would be just a couple of decades later. Over the years since, we’ve gotten Crown-ish cars in the form of the Lexus GS, but we’ve never had a branded Toyota Crown since the Nixon Administration.
That changes for the 2023 model year, when Toyota introduces the 2023 Toyota Crown, a hybrid luxury sedan with standard all-wheel drive and EV-esque looks. The Hybrid Max drivetrain produces 340hp with an anticipated 28 mpg combined estimate, while the less powerful hybrid drivetrain delivers 38 mpg. The tech-focused, premium interior makes you begin to wonder why Lexus exists at all.
The Toyota Crown arrives in the winter of 2022 and replaces the Avalon.
2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6
We had a chance to drive the Ioniq 5 a few months back and it’s everything an electric vehicle should be. It’s fast, fun to drive, and its wheels-to-the-corners styling gives a good idea of what an EV can be capable of.
But for a conventional car shopper, the Ioniq 5 is maybe a little too far out there, looking like something on display at the Epcot Center in 1988, showing what the future might look like in 2025. The Ioniq 6 is on the same E-GMP platform as the Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6, but has the form factor of a more traditional sedan. Its styling is still a little out there, but it looks more like a car than the Ioniq 5 does.
Like the Ioniq 5, the Ioniq 6 has an interior that’s technology-forward, but still has the redundant buttons and switches that make navigating the heat and radio controls a lot easier at speed. You’ll recognize that two-level center console with storage space above and below. The rear view “mirrors” are tiny outside to cut wind resistance, and provide visual cues through small screens mounted on the a-pillar.
The exterior styling is a bit fish-like for our tastes, but with the lack of an engine and all of its cooling gear up front, exterior design is going to go through some serious evolution in the next few years.
The Ioniq 6 is coming in early 2023.
2023 Ford Super Duty
At the complete opposite end of the spectrum from Hyundai’s latest EV is Ford’s latest entry in the white-hot ¾-ton and above truck market. While Ford offers the F-150 Lightning as the (for the moment) only full-size EV pickup in the marketplace, it’s simultaneously going to deliver the biggest trucks with the largest engine output of any pickup available.
Its looks are all new, but at the same time, there’s no mistaking it for anything but a Ford. This is a less bold appearance than GM’s last entry, and that’s a good thing. The C-Clamp front lighting should be familiar from the F-150 and the Maverick.
In a dramatic shift from what pickups used to be, the Super Duty is only going to be available in rear-drive in the base XL. Every other trim level will get four-wheel drive standard. The base engine in all trucks is a massive 6.8-liter gas-powered V-8. Ford hasn’t released power details quite yet, but it suggests that the Power Stroke diesel will be the most powerful engine in the class, a tall order when it already churns out 1,000-lb.ft. of torque.
The F Super Duty is expected to be on sale in early 2023.
Craig Fitzgerald began his automotive writing career in 1996, at AutoSite.com, one of the first online resources for car buyers. Over the years, he’s written for the Boston Globe, Forbes, and Hagerty. For seven years, he was the editor at Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car, and today, he’s the automotive editor at Drive magazine. He’s dad to a son and daughter, and plays rude guitar in a garage band in Worcester, Massachusetts.