2024 Performance Cars: Next year’s 6 hottest sports cars and SUVs

The future of performance is electrified, as evidenced by these upcoming hybrids and EVs boasting some incredible specs

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Every year, Driving.ca puts together a list of performance cars the team can’t wait to put to the test. These go-faster rides are many things to many people, but the one thing they are not is boring! Heading into 2024, there’s a bumper crop of uber-fast and environmentally-friendly drives.

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The good news is the obsession with the crossover seems to be fading, at least when it comes to performance vehicles — yes, a couple of crossovers made the shortlist, but most are cars! Here, in no particular order, are the sporty rides we most want to get up close and personal with in 2024!

2025 Chevrolet Corvette EV and Cadillac Celestiq

Any look at the cars Team Driving can’t wait to test must include the next-gen Chevrolet Corvette. Switching from a front-engine rear-drive format to a mid-engine/ rear-drive layout was a radical move, but one that was much needed. Then came the Corvette E-Ray — it was the first hybrid Corvette, and the first to drive all four wheels. Rather than keying in on the green aspects, the E-Ray was all about adding electric performance to a honking V8 engine.

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2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray
2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray Photo by Chevrolet

A combined output of 655 hp and a run to 100 km/h (62 mph) in under three seconds sure helped things along. The fact it was more fuel-efficient was a bonus! At the demo drive, the 495-hp V8 hung the tail out very easily; and the 160-hp front-mounted electric motor helped to pull it back into line just as easily! Now comes the all-electric Corvette.

While GM has yet to release any hard information, it has confirmed this much-anticipated speedster is coming to a road near you in 2024. At this point, everything is up in the air, but it would make sense that if the E-Ray hybrid has all-wheel-drive, so will the electric super-‘Vette. The persistent rumour says it will have a three- or four-motor setup with up to 1,000 hp. Now, that would be enough to light up the electric supercar segment! The other persistent rumour is this electric coupe will be joined by a four-door model and/or a performance crossover — say it’s not so, please!

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2024 Cadillac Celestiq
2024 Cadillac Celestiq Photo by General Motors

On the subject of GM’s supercars, it’s tough to ignore the Cadillac Celestiq. It is, says Cadillac, a “custom-commissioned reflection of its owner’s individual tastes and preferences.” Yes, and it has 600 hp, 640 lb-ft of torque, a 3.8-second run to 100 km/h (62 mph) and an estimated driving range of 483 km (300 miles). However, it also carries a price tag that’s well north of US$300,000, which makes it worth over 400,000 Great-White-North loonies!

2025 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 N is going to redefine how the affordable super-electric car will be viewed. Yes, it’s going to cost way more than the go-faster Kia EV6 GT, which has 576 hp and is priced at $76,495, but if the new N comes in under $100K, it will have a massive impact, to say the very least — rivals will be left looking at a clean set of rear tires as the N romps off into the sunset!

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2025 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N
2025 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N Photo by Hyundai

The front electric motor makes 223 hp; the rear motor contributes another 378 hp. Do the math and that adds up to 601 hp, but it doesn’t stop there. Pushing the N Grin Boost button (yes, a dumb name if there ever was one!) or engaging launch control pushes the stallion count to a Porsche-killing 641 hp!

The first electric N car also makes use of the latest electronic trickery. The N Drift Optimizer helps the driver to maintain a long lurid drift by balancing the vehicle in real-time, so it promises to melt rubber with the very best. The N Torque Distribution setup overcomes “the high weight of an EV and delivers WRC-inspired handling.”

Then there’s the N Race function and its “Endurance” and “Sprint” modes. When Endurance is engaged, it limits peak power, which maximizes race-track range. On the flip side, Sprint gives power priority, which will light up the driver’s face! Hyundai is calling the Ioniq 5 N – and I love the visual this conjures up – a “corner rascal.” How do you beat that? Well, an Ioniq 6 N joining the hyper-electric car sweepstakes is a very good start!

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2025 Lucid Gravity

Lucid Gravity SUV
2025 Lucid Gravity SUV Photo by Lucid

Lucid has shown and will start to build its first full-size three-row SUV late 2024. It will arrive with some impressive numbers. According to the company, the Gravity runs from rest to 100 km/h (62 mph) in “less than 3.5 seconds” while delivering a payload capacity of over 680 kg (1,500 lbs) and a 2,722-kg (6,000-lb) towing capacity. So it has undeniable pace and utility.

Officially, there’s little information on power. However, based on the company’s website and the numbers quoted, it’s a good bet Gravity’s mechanical bits will mirror the Air Grand Touring sedan’s setup. This would mean all-wheel-drive and an output of 819 hp. Now, if the Sapphire setup arrives, you’d have an SUV with 1,234 hp. That will grab your attention in one very serious sub-two-second hurry!

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The other big number is the driving range. Lucid says it will be in excess of 700 km (434 miles), which would set a new standard in the segment. The good news is the adoption of a new 900-volt architecture means a customer can pump up to 320 km (200 miles) of range into the battery in 15 minutes.

Inside, there’s space and luxury for all. Ahead of the driver, the instrumentation and infotainment functions appear in the Clearview Cockpit, which is a 34-inch curved OLED display. On the practical side, the Gravity has room for seven adult riders, or, when the second- and third-row seats are folded down, a max cargo capacity of 3,171 litres (112 cu ft). The Lucid Gravity is expected late 2024 with a starting price of “under” US$80,000.

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2025 Audi A6 e-tron

Audi A6 Avant e-tron concept
Audi A6 Avant e-tron concept Photo by Audi

At the top of my must-drive list is the Audi A6 e-tron. The concept is said to hint at the company’s future production cars — I have seen them, and it sure does! When it arrives in 2024, it will not be the fastest or have the longest driving range, but as a looker, the A6 e-tron is hands-down the most attractive car due out next year. In Canada, we will likely only see the sedan — if there’s any justice, the Avant (wagon) will also be in the lineup. It’s more attractive than the sedan, and it has jaw-dropping curb appeal in its own right!

The A6 e-tron concept that’s been shown is offered with quattro all-wheel-drive thanks to electric motors driving the front and rear axles. The twin-motor format has a total output of 469 hp and 590 lb-ft of instant-on torque, so it promises to be very quick — the run to 100 km/h (62 mph) should come in around four seconds.

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As for driving range, the number being touted is over 700 kilometres (435 miles) according to the European WLTP standard. Here in North America, the range will be less because of the more-realistic testing procedures, but the electric A6 should still have a solid driving range. Using an 800-volt architecture and a 270-kilowatt DC fast-charger allows the 100-kilowatt-hour battery to be charged from five to 80 per cent in under 25 minutes. When the A6 e-tron lands, it will be one of 20 fully-electric models Audi will have in its worldwide portfolio by 2025.

2025 BMW M5

Spy shots of the seventh-gen 2024 BMW M5 testing on the Nurburgring
Spy shots of the seventh-gen 2024 BMW M5 testing on the Nurburgring Photo by Spiedbilde

The fact a new M5 is coming in 2024 is celebration enough. However, the fact the reinvention of a perennial performance favourite includes a Touring, or wagon, will make many, me included, salivate.

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BMW has confirmed the next-gen M5 will still deliver the roar of a V8 gas engine, but that will be accompanied by the hum of an electric motor. This makes it the first M5 hybrid! While the exact details of the M5’s drivetrain have yet to be announced, it’s would be strange if the M5 used anything other than the XM’s powertrain. This would blend a 4.4L twin-turbo V8 with an electric motor sandwiched between the engine and eight-speed automatic transmission.

2024 BMW XM Label Red
2024 BMW XM Label Photo by BMW

The final output is open to debate. The “base” XM makes 644 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque; the XM Label ups that to 738 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque. It’s safe to say the M5 will be closer to the Label than the base model. The fact the M5 has been a long-time halo car demands it have the most power!

The M5 should also get the XM’s battery. It powers the electric motor and should give the M5 an electric-only driving range of 50-km. Of course, you can count on xDrive, a special M adaptive suspension, active roll control, rear-steer, monster brakes and all the other little (and not so little!) touches that make the M5 one of the best-loved performance cars of all time. Note to editor: When the head-to-head between the Audi RS6 Avant and BMW M5 Touring is scheduled please put my name on it!

Graeme Fletcher picture

Graeme Fletcher

A mechanic by trade, I have been acting crash test dummy (aka Road Tester) for 37-years, 21 of those with Post Media. In the beginning cars ranged from dreadful to very good. Today, the spectrum, with very few exceptions, ranges from good to excellent. Hopefully, by the time full autonomy has infiltrated the morning commute my driving gloves will be well and truly hung up!