1. 2011 Aston Martin Cygnet
The newest Aston Martin is the tiniest ever. The city car is a result of automotive crosspollination: it's built on a Toyota iQ platform at the Aston Martin plant in Gaydon, UK.
- Intended to be the low-emissions, fuel-sipping alternative to a full-blown V12 Aston
- Easily parkable and maneuverable at under 10 feet long
- Available only in Europe
Bentley gives it flagship coupe a major overhaul after many years of good service. The four-door coupe gets engine upgrades for more power and fuel efficiency, while the interior gets a new dash and, yes, even more buttery-soft leather.
- W12 engine now has 567 bhp and 516 lb-ft of torque
- Flex-Fuel capable
- Available V8 engine
- Nav system uses Google Maps -- just like me!
Just like the rest of the Continental lineup, a droptop version of the fastest-ever Bentley Continental Supersports will arrive in summer 2010 as a 2011 model. It's got the same engine as the hardtop, with a healthy dose of sunshine and fresh air thrown in.
- 621-hp twin-turbo W12 engine
- Six-speed transmission
- Fabric top available in a half-dozen colors
The Bentley Mulsanne replaces the Arnage, a longtime member of the Bentley family. This new car is named for the famous Mulsanne corner at Le Mans -- a circuit Bentley dominated six times in its history.
- 512 hp and a massive 752 lb-ft of torque from its 6.8-liter V8
- Each hand-built Mulsanne takes nine weeks to build
- All this and more for $285,000, to start
Another model leaves the stage as a new one enters: the Ferrari 458 Italia will replace the outgoing F430. The latest prancing horse had design input from none other than famed Ferrari Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher.
- The 458 Italia uses the same engine as the F430, but it's tweaked for more power
- Its flowing, aerodynamic design is a big improvement over the F430 and 612 Scaglietti
- The carbon fiber seats come in sizes for the best fit
The biggest loser in the car world this year is the Lamborghini Gallardo 570-4 Superleggera (yeah, that's "superlight" in Italian). This version of the popular exotic, which debuted at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, has a lot of carbon fiber and more horsepower for a higher top speed -- 202 mph, to be exact.
- 154 pounds lost, and it never felt hungry!
- 10 additional horsepower burns more calories!
- 0-60 mph time drops from 3.7 seconds to 3.4, so it looks better in jeans!
The Lexus LFA is the first supercar from the Japanese carmaker, part of its F performance project. It remains to be seen if people will plunk down $375,000 for a glorified Toyota, but from the looks of it, the LFA is really, really, glorified. In a good way.
- Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer body material developed in-house
- Each of the 500 LFAs will be built to order
- Power comes from a 4.8-liter V10 engine
Maserati goes topless with its four-place GranTurismo. The same car is available in the rest of the world as the GranCabrio, but it shares nearly everything with its hardtop sibling.
- Soft top instead of a hard folding top to save weight
- Top drops in 28 seconds
- Four full seats -- even grown-ups can sit in the back
The return of the gullwing has been one of the most anticipated events on the automotive calendar. The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Gullwing is the first supercar to come out of the company's re-commitment to AMG after dissolving its partnership with McLaren. They both seem to be doing okay after the split.