With its torquey upgrade to a 400-horsepower, 5-cylinder power plant and a decidedly aggro front fascia, the all-new 2017 TT RS has come a long way from its earliest iterations as the German Miata. Available as a coupe or a roadster, the Quattro-equipped AWD TT slides through all 7 gears via its dual-clutch S-Tronic transmission. NO word yet on whether Audi will offer a manual shifting model or when it may arrive in the USA.
Tesla just unveiled their vehicle for the masses. The all-electric Model 3 is an affordable 4-door, 5-passenger sedan that looks like a slightly smaller Model S. It’s got a range of 215 miles and silently snaps from 0-60 in under 6 seconds. A 15-inch touchscreen display & Autopilot hardware come standard & the car is available in both a rear-wheel & dual motor AWD version. 130,000 pre-orders have already been placed.
Next year’s Miata, the MX-5 RF, brings back the retractable hardtop. RF stands for “retractable fastback” giving fans of the 155 horsepower, 4-cylinder coupe a hardtop look with the option of going topless with just the push of a button.
Mercedes just rolled out a 4-wheel drive AMG model of their second-generation of the C-Class coupe. The six-cylinder twin-turbo C43 AMG 4Matic Coupe puts out 360+ horsepower and features an updated version of their nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic gearbox, 3-mode variable suspension damping & all the other tricky AMG bits.
The 2017 Levante is Maserati’s first SUV. The large concave grill, side portholes & luxury interior clearly mark its pedigree. Early info on options show 3 available trim levels; a 350-horse V6, a 430-horse V6, and a Europe-only diesel. A rumored 580+ horsepower model with Ferrari tuning might also be in the works. The Levante makes its official debut next month at the Geneva International Motor Show.
The return of the DeLorean DMC-12 more than hints at our collective capacity for nostalgia. A new law makes the creation of these 80s icons possible, and in 2017, new replicas of the original DeLorean, made with left over parts, will go on sale. They currently have enough material to build about 300 cars. With the exception of an updated V8 powertrain, the design remains the same.
Reviving the vibe of their mid-engine racers of the 50s & 60s, Porsche is bringing back the 718 with a Boxster & Cayman. Available in a standard and higher-output 350 horsepower S model, the torquey new 718 features a tuned flat 4-cylinder power plant & optional 6-speed manual or automatic tranny.
Delivering new levels of luxury and a bunch of semi-autonomous driving technologies, like drive pilot assistance to keep you in your lane & evasive steering assist to safely correct a swerve, plus a range of MB’s most efficient engines ever, the 2017 E-Class is bringing S-class excellence to their popular mid-size sedan.
The 1977 Pontiac Trans Am from the movie “Smokey and the Bandit” is coming up for auction. This iconic car, piloted by (and now autographed by) Burt Reynolds got a frame-off restoration and is PHS-documented with matching-numbers. It is also certified by Universal Studios. As Bandit Darville said, this car will make it look like the Smokey’s are “running in slow motion.”
They look pretty much the same as last years’ models—damn good—but Porsche’s just-revealed 2017 911 Turbo & TurboS got upgrades & updates where it counts: under the wing. 540-horses for the Turbo & 590-horses for the S. Both feature twin turbos with top speeds of 198 and 205 mph, respectively.