In terms of looks, changes to the 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 are subtle. The big difference is the all-wheel drive powertrain that keeps the tires glued to the tarmac while shedding almost 150-pounds. With either a 350 or 400-HP motor, each of the four models: the 4, 4S, Coupe, and Cabriolet, come equipped with a 7-speed manual gearbox or the optional gas-saving PDK automatic. For being a safer and more efficient 911, Porsche did a great job of keeping it real.
Mercedes’ new CLS variant is called the Shooting Brake, a classic term for a car made for sporting; a cross between a wagon and a coupe. This car is all class. It looks fast, it is fast, and at the same time it’s an S-Class quality luxury cruise ship that will fit the whole family.
It’s been 30 years since Volkswagen unveiled their first Scirocco GTS, a raced-up version of their hatchback coupe. The Scirocco was scrapped in 1992 but re-born for the European market in 2008. To celebrate it’s dirty 30, VW has created a new GTS variant with a trick 210-horse turbo 4, flared side skirts, aluminum 18s, and some serious stripes. Too bad it won’t be rolling on U.S. roads.
Beneath its handcrafted, aluminum, Zagato-built Italian body, there’s a top-of-the-line BMW Z4, replete with the punchy, 3-liter inline 6 and plush leather interior. The latest collabo between BMW and Italian coachbuilder Zagato also features a bold double-bubble roof and unique Kamm-tail rear end. The big question: will this racy little rig really reach production? We sure hope so.
Upstart American automaker Fisker has just shown off its latest creation, the Atlantic. This hybrid powered sedan will be backed by a BMW 4-banger in what the carmaker calls EVer, (Electric Vehicle with extended range.) Few details or specs have yet to be released about this new ride but if the Pontiac meets Jaguar styling and the Tron-inspired wheels float your boat, this could be your hybrid…someday.
Here’s something very different from Lincoln. The MKZ is a luxury machine entering a very competitive field of European and Japanese imports. Its strengths are the sculptural, elegant bodylines and a luxurious leather interior. Fresh features like a retractable glass roof, push-button shifting, and LED headlights, keep pace with competition. Would you finally buy American?
Outside North America, in places like Europe and Asia, people have been driving the compact and classy Mercedes A-Class for years. For some unknown reason (maybe the embarrassing popularity of vehicles like Hummers and Ford Expeditions) Mercedes never imported these pint-size Benzos to the U.S. market. But things have changed and soon one A-Class model will be available in the U.S. It’s a compact, entry-level hatchback but make no mistake, this little guy is packed with all the technology and refined features that make it a bonafide Benz.
Jeep is putting their Grand Cherokee Laredo X into production. It’s a factory-murdered big boy with standard 20-inch wheels and features tonal trim in either gloss black or obnoxious Deep Cherry Red. The “X” is not its actual moniker, this new SUV needs a name and Jeep is running an online contest letting Joe Public come up with the name. What would you call it?
Shelby Mustangs are to the muscle car tradition what Jack Daniel’s is to whisky. Pure, unquestionable American badass. Carroll Shelby’s factory custom performance packages have been keeping the Mustang smoke show, burn out, and off-the-line neck snap alive and well on our streets for, 50 years now, and to celebrate this legacy, they’re releasing 3 new beasts. The GTS, the GT 350, and barely legal GT500 SuperSnake. Hold on tight.
Most of these mid-size SUVs are little more than a safety capsule for soccer moms and not only do they rarely see life off-road, most aren’t even built for it. Not so for Audi’s latest variant of the Q3, called the Vail. It’s got flared wheel arches to spit snow out and flying gravel. Factory roof rails accommodate your ski and board racks while in the cockpit, a plugged-in thermos bottle keeps your morning Joe warm on the way to the hill. There’s also a charging station in the trunk for electronics and safety. C’mon, steer it into the snowbank, you know you want to.