MEN’S FASHION Spring 2013: A look at 8 of this year’s most jaw dropping new cars
By Mark Hacking
A collection of cars for burning up the roads, these new models represent a potent mix of heart-stopping performance and heart-wrenching design.
2013 Land Rover Range Rover Supercharged | $99,950
Most people who drive the 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Supercharged will have no idea what they have on their hands. That’s because most people drive on perfectly paved roads. But the genius of the Range Rover is the way it can transition from ultra-luxurious urban cruising machine into rough-and-tumble off-road superstar.
The fourth-generation version of this icon has been redesigned and re-engineered from the ground up. Credited as being the world’s first SUV with an all-aluminum body, the new Range Rover is 39 per cent lighter than the outgoing model. This translates into a weight savings of up to 420 kg, depending upon the individual model chosen.
The supercharged 5.0-litre V8 engine (510 horsepower; 461 lb-ft of torque) is linked to a new eight-speed automatic transmission. With its lightweight body and all that power and torque, the Range Rover Supercharged boasts a 0-100 km/h time of around five seconds, better fuel efficiency and effortless performance overall. Also, it could climb a sheer rock face if it had to.
2013 Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 Roadster | $485,000
The 2013 Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 Roadster is too fast for public streets. The latest super-sports car from the Italian manufacturer is also very wide and very loud, so it’s best driven on a completely open, unpopulated and unsupervised stretch of tarmac.
In these circumstances, the Aventador shines like a diamond. Its 6.5-litre V12 engine is a thing of sound and fury, signifying everything. Not only does this power plant generate 700 horsepower, it also features cylinder deactivation technology and an automatic start/stop system that combine to cut fuel consumption.
The Aventador completes the run from 0-100 km/h in 3.0 seconds flat and has a top speed of 350 km/h. Bonus: The carbon-fibre roof panels are removable and can be stored in the front storage compartment.
Smart ForJeremy | Price N/A
At the most recent L.A. Auto Show, the strangest thing happened. In a room filled with corporate executives and club kids, M.I.A. performed and fashion designer Jeremy Scott unveiled his latest creation, the smart forjeremy, a.k.a. the Smart Fortwo ED by Jeremy Scott.
This concept car has angel wings. While corporate types might have wondered why a division of Mercedes-Benz would allow one of its cars to undergo such a radical makeover, the club kids, some of whom wore angel wings, swooned.
Although this catwalk-ready car is not for everyone, it could become a classic for the same reasons. Based on the all-electric version of the ubiquitous Smart, this limited-edition city car is eco-chic to the core.
2013 Tesla Model S | $64,500
There are a number of challenges involved in purchasing an electric vehicle, including the cost (despite various government incentives), the sketchy recharging infrastructure (depending on where you live) and the need to adopt new habits (such as plugging in your car every night).
The 2013 Tesla Model S could well be the EV that breaks down any resistance. First of all, it’s stunning inside and out, as a proper luxury sedan should be. Next, the Model S is available with three different types of battery packs. The most expensive and powerful of these, an 85-kwh pack, has a range of up to 426 km. (Say goodbye, range anxiety.)
It’s no mean feat to start a car company from nothing, but Silicon Valley entrepreneur Elon Musk has done just that with Tesla. Its initial offering, the Roadster, was the previous long-distance champion for EVs and immensely fun to drive. Now, with the Model S, the company seals a reputation for being a motivating force for the entire industry.
2013 Mercedes-Benz B-Class | $29,990
Whenever a car company revises one of its models, the first comparison everyone makes is to the outgoing version. In this respect, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz B-Class is a slam-dunk, a sea change and a revolution all rolled into one.
Truth be told, the previous B-Class was not the most desirable car in the German automaker’s lineup. But the new version really is new—chassis, silhouette, engine and transmission.
Much of the excitement surrounding this compact urban commuter is under the hood: This is where the all-new 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder (208 horsepower; 258 lb-ft of torque) resides, and where it connects to the all-new seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
A sprightly turbo engine and a racy dual-clutch transmission are the kind of things normally reserved for sports cars. The B-Class is no sports car, but with a 0-100 km/h time of just 6.8 seconds, it leaves many so-called sports cars in its dust. The engine is also fitted with an automatic start/stop system, which helps provide sparkling fuel efficiency—6.7 litres per 100 km in combined city/highway driving.
2014 Acura RLX | Price TBA
The launch edition of the all-new 2014 Acura RLX is a front-wheel-drive executive sedan in a segment dominated by rear-wheel- and all-wheel-drive entries. But the Acura handles so smoothly on the open road that most drivers would not guess that the power is being sent through the front wheels.
The handling is aided and abetted by an all-wheel steering system that provides sharper cornering in tight turns and greater stability in higher-speed bends. The RLX also has a level of composure and quiet that will rival any other car in the segment. The 3.5-litre V6 engine creates 310 horsepower, and the six-speed automatic transmission features a sport mode and paddle shifters. It’s an engaging combination.
2013 MINI John Cooper Works GP | $44,900
The 2014 MINI John Cooper Works GP is a special edition—only 50 for Canada. What makes it so special? It’s a lighter, more aerodynamic and faster version of what is already a superbly engineered small hatchback.
Under the bulging hood of the MINI is a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder familiar from other models in the lineup. In this case, upgrades have increased the horsepower slightly to 211 markers. Other measures have served to sharpen the car’s already lightning-quick reflexes.
The back seat, rear wiper and rear speakers have all been removed, contributing to a drop in weight. As well, the profile of the car has been augmented for reduced air drag and reduced lift at the front and back. The result of all this is a car that sticks to the surface of the road like glue to hot tar.
2013 Dodge Viper SRT | $99,995
If the automotive industry were a football game, the 2013 Dodge Viper SRT would be the middle linebacker with blazing speed and bone-crushing strength. Just consider the statistics: a mammoth 8.4-litre V10 engine, 640 horsepower, 600 lb-ft of torque and a six-speed manual transmission.
There’s nothing subtle about the fifth-generation Viper—it’s a blunt object. The only concession that’s been made is the addition of traction control and anti-lock brakes, which were absent from the previous iteration.
Perfect for stoplight battles, track days and high school reunions, the 2013 Dodge Viper SRT may not be so great for retaining your driver’s licence and keeping your insurance rates low.
2013 Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible | $262,600
There’s something deliciously simple about the premise of the 2013 Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible. It’s the world’s fastest four-seat convertible.
The base version of the Continental is appealing enough, but when you add the increased performance of the Speed line of vehicles—and cut the top off—you’ve got something that borders on the mythical. Power comes from a thundering, twin-turbocharged W12 engine (yes, “W”) that develops 616 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque.
The Bentley is an all-wheel-drive vehicle, so much of that power and torque hits the ground running, propelling the GT Speed Convertible to 100 km/h in about four seconds. The car’s terminal velocity—325 km/h—is the reason behind the “fastest” claim.