Toyota FT-86 Open Concept
With all the hoopla surrounding the small rear-drive Toyota/Scion/Subaru coupes finally starting to wane, the question now becomes “How will their makers keep them fresh?” Most enthusiasts would no doubt cast their ballots for more powerful engines, but it looks like at least one of the Japanese nameplates is planning a convertible as the first variation. While we aren’t diametrically opposed to the Toyota FT-86 Open Concept (and we surround the c-word with the biggest air quotes in history), we’re not exactly beside ourselves with anticipation of the production version. Sure, it would sell, but we’d be exponentially more stoked about a boosted-from-the-factory Toyobaru…
Brabus 800 Roadster
Speaking of forced induction, the veteran Mercedes-Benz boosters at Brabus have cranked the new R231-chassis SL65 AMG up to elf with the 800 Roadster package. The big biturbo V12 now makes 789hp, while torque is electronically limited to 811 lb.-ft. And did we mention the ram air hood scoop is functional? Well it is. Giant flame-spitting fowl decal sold separately.
Wiesmann GT MF4-CS
If one were to just look at one of Wiesmann’s coupes or roadsters, one would assume they were more about looking cool than going fast. But considering the sophisticated chassis and high-po BMW engines found underneath them, these limited-production German sports cars seem to place equal emphasis on both. But this new GT MF4-CS (as in Club Sport) takes a particular interest in performance. The interior is stripped down and fitted with a roll cage, while an E92 M3’s 414hp 4.0L V8 lends itself to precision driving and slack-jawed hooliganism with equal dexterity. Only 25 of these super coupes will be made and, like everything else Wiesmann has built, it won’t be coming to America. Schade.
Bertone Jet 2+2
How do you make the Aston Martin Rapide cooler? By turning it into a wagon, silly! That’s what one anonymous high-roller tasked iconic Italian design studio/coachbuilder Bertone with doing. The result is the Jet 2+2, and in addition to being incredibly dashing, it also helps celebrate the 100th birthday of Aston Martin. We think it would make a fine foil to the Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake, though considering a production version, like the long-roof CLS, probably wouldn’t come to this country, it’s kind of a moot point.
Koenigsegg Agera S Hundra
In 2002, Koenigsegg built its first supercar for public consumption. Ten years later, work began on the Swedish firm’s 100th car which, fittingly, has been dubbed the Agera S Hundra (“hundra” being Swedish word for hundred). Naturally, a car this special isn’t like any other Agera S. For starters, the carbon fiber bodywork features hand-laid, 24-karat gold leaf inlays. Gold also adorns the tailpipe, hood struts, and even the suspension’s coil springs! As for the 1,040hp 5.0L twin-turbo V8 and carbon fiber wheels, those are standard Agera S items.
Bentley Flying Spur
After Bentley refreshed the Continental GT and GTC ranges, people started to wonder if the company had forgotten about the four-door Continental Flying Spur. Well, the answer is no, except the new Flying Spur has been split off from the Continental family (though it still shares its platform with its two-door sisters). Power comes from the Continental twins’ optional twin-turbo 6.0L W12, sending 616hp and 580 lb.-ft of twist to an 8-speed automatic transmission and, from there, to all four wheels. And like all Bentleys, the interior is jam-packed with the finest materials and coolest tech toys under the sun. This begs the question: Unless you’re really, really baller and want the whole world to know it, why step up to the Mulsanne?
Spyker B6 Venator Concept
After tragically failing to make a going concern out of Saab after taking it off GM’s hands, Dutch supercar maker Spyker seemingly dropped off the face of the earth. However, to paraphrase Mr. Clemens, rumors of Spyker’s demise appear to be greatly exaggerated. Aesthetically, the B6 Venator Concept picks up where the brand’s most recent production models left off. But instead of an Audi V8 or W12 providing the motive force, there’s a 375hp V6 of unnamed origin, displacement and induction. And don’t let the “concept” label fool you: Spyker CEO Victor Muller says the B6 will be available in Europe, the Middle East and Asia early next year, while U.S. deliveries are expected to begin toward the end of next year.
With all the talk about improving automotive fuel efficiency lately, have you ever wondered just how efficient a two-seat, street legal car can be? It looks like Volkswagen has been doing just that, and has answered that question with the plug-in hybrid XL1. Thanks to a two-cylinder turbodiesel engine producing 47hp and an electric motor rated at 27hp, this light (1,753 lb.), slippery (0.189 coefficient of drag) runabout can prance up to 62 mph in 12.7 seconds and max out at 99 mph. More impressively, it can run on battery power for up to 31 miles, and return up to 261 miles-per-gallon overall. Yes, you read correctly: Two-hundred sixty-one miles-per-gallon. Zounds. Sadly, there are no plans to bring the XL1 to America, but considering how expensive it will likely be due to the fact it will be mostly hand-built and chock full of rather exotic materials, it would probably sell so poorly here it would make the Phaeton look like a smash hit anyway.
Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG
When thinking of makers of small, turbocharged, all-wheel-drive pocket rockets, the name Mercedes-Benz probably never crosses one’s mind. That changes in a very big way with the A45 AMG. Based on the brand’s compact front-drive five-door, this sauerkraut-snorting Evo-slayer is endowed with a turbocharged 2.0L inline-four rated at 355hp (That’s 177.5hp-per-liter, folks.), a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, and an AMG-tweaked 4MATIC AWD system. But before you run down to your local dealer to order one, be aware that the A45 AMG, like the regular A-Class, is not coming to the U.S. However, its underpinnings will be fitted to the trunk-rumped CLA45 AMG, which will debut at next month’s New York Auto Show and will be available here.
ItalDesign Giugiaro Parcour
The Lamborghini Gallardo may be on the way to retirement, but that didn’t stop ItalDesign Giugiaro from using one as the basis for an interesting concept called the Parcour. The low-slung, wedgy shape (which is being shown in Geneva in both coupe and roadster forms) is conventional supercar fare, but the 22” wheels and adjustable ride height most certainly aren’t. Throw in the Gallardo’s 5.2L V10 and all-wheel-drive system and you have a fast, stylish way to traverse a dusty trail in record time.
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