Is it a wagon revival? Audi’s got their Allroad, Volvo just rolled out their V90 Cross Country & now this. Mercedes might just pull into the lead with the new E-Class All-Terrain. It is a top-of-the-line luxury wagon with 4MATIC all-wheel drive and an adjustable suspension system called Air Body Control to optimize ground clearance; it’s built for cruising through snow and off the beaten path. Protective wheel well flares keep dirt and dings off the paint and the front end borrows styling from their SUV line. Two diesel engine options are on offer, both with the nine-speed 9G-Tronic transmission.
The Panamera was re-designed in 2017 to be lower, wider, and visually more Porsche-like. The next model on deck, the 2018 Panamera 4 E-Hybrid adds plug-in e-fficiency to the mix. It’s powered by a 330-horse twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V-6 with a top speed of 172MPH. In full electric mode it delivers 136 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque.
For 2017, Porsche has redesigned the Panamera. Most will agree that the outline of this 2nd-generation, aluminum-body sedan is an improvement on the original design. It is longer, wider, & taller, but has a lower roofline, giving it more familiar Porsche styling. It will be available with a twin-turbo 2.9-liter V6 that outputs 440 HP or a 550 horsepower twin-turbo V8 that goes 0–60 in 3.6, with a top speed of 190 MPH.
The 2017 Audi A5 sports coupe is lighter, faster & more fuel efficient than earlier models thanks to 132 pounds trimmed from the body and a new 354 horsepower turbocharged V6 powerplant that promises 32.2 MPGs.
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.