Gaze into my crystal ball and see the future: the hottest 2012 exotic cars. Some of these hit the streets in fall 2011, while others won't make it off the assembly line until well into the 2012 model year. But in any case, these are the real-deal dream cars that will see production, even if that production is limited.
Situated between the DBS and the DB9 is the brand-new Aston Martin Virage. It's got the same V12 engine and same design cues as most of the rest of the AM lineup.
- Also available as a Volante, or convertible, model
- The name "Virage" was the winner in a company-wide contest
- There 5 suspension settings, from track-hard to highway-soft
The Audi R8 gets even faster, lighter, and more powerful, with more horsepower eked from the V10 engine and slight design changes to improve handling and save weight. Also available as a spyder, with the top down.
- 333 total GTs to be built; 90 for the U.S. market
- 560 hp, 35 more than the R8 5.2
- 180 pounds lighter than the R8 5.2
3. 2012 Bentley Continental V8
The latest baby Bentley has an engine 40 percent smaller than the W12 found in its siblings, which means a 40 percent improvement in fuel efficiency, according to Bentley. It's available as both a GT and GTC (top-down) car; both still manage a top speed of 180 mph.
- 4-liter twin-turbo V8 with cylinder shut-off technology
- 8-speed transmission and all-wheel drive
- 507 hp means 0-60 mph under 5 seconds
The Bugatti Galibier is like the Easter Bunny -- no one's sure that it exists, but we're pretty sure it'll show up sometime next year. Maybe in the spring?
- Might be called the "Royale" at Bugatti HQ in Molsheim
- Could show up in fall 2012
- Maybe 850 hp and $1.5 million
Hatchback, shooting break, station wagon: call it what you will, the Ferrari FF is the first of its kind from Enzo's design heirs.
- First four-place Ferrari
- First all-wheel-drive Ferrari
- First Ferrari to use the V12 engine with the 7-speed gearbox
The Ferrari 458 opens up for 2012, with a debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.
- Fully retractable hard top
- Aluminum top keeps the car light
- Up or down in 14 seconds
The Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid gets a drop-top sibling in 2012. With production of the first Karma coupes backlogged through 2011, though, cross your fingers for the Karma S to show up on time.
- Same plug-in gas-electric hybrid drivetrain as the Karma coupe
- The S is for "Sunset," which you can see just fine with the top down
- Would-be owners have already placed $25,000 deposits on the convertibles for delivery in 2012
The already sporty XKR gets a power boost from its supercharged V8 -- and it gets some cool new front fascia bits, too.
- 550 hp and 502 lb-ft of torque -- the quickest Jag has ever built
- Max speed is 186 mph; 0-60 in 4.2 seconds
- Lower ride height and rear wing with chewy carbon fiber center
The mighty Murcielago makes way for the new guard: the Lamborghini Aventador. It's got an all-new engine and a carbon-fiber body, which might even raise its fuel economy a bit.
- 700 hp and all-wheel drive
- Two-position rear wing
- $379,900 price tag
No one milks a model like Lamborghini milks the Gallardo for variants and special editions. The latest two offer performance and a limited-edition paint scheme.
- The Performante is 143 pounds lighter, thanks to carbon-reinforced plastic
- The Bicolore has a black roof and pillars with a second color body and interior