What's not to like about a mid-engined European sportscar? The fact that this one will probably return mileage in the mid-30 MPGs in the US EPA test thanks to its diesel engine makes this one even better. Of course, you can still do 0-60 in 6.2 seconds and reach a distinctly non-Green top speed of 140 MPH. It's cars like this - ones that use simple solutions to achieve more efficient results - that give us faith in the car industry as it attempts to clean up its act.
Imagine a BMW 7-series that looked good, was fun to drive and had a 433 HP Ferrari-sourced V8. That's the Quattorporte Sport GT S and I don't think it's difficult to understand why I'm looking forward to driving one.
Remember the Corbin Sparrow? Myers Motors have gotten their hands on it, removed the gas engine and dropped in a whole bunch of batteries. A spokesperson that didn't seem to understand science explained that it was "more stable than a motorcycle because it has three wheels" and "didn't need to pass crash tests because it's registered as a motorcycle." Since I like things that look silly and things that are dangerous, this could be the perfect vehicle for me. Did we mention that it does 76 MPH and is highway legal?
The R8 didn't really need more power or more anything really. The subtlest supercar on sale was virtually perfect. We're worried that the extra power, weight and complication from the V10 will detract from, rather than add to, the experience, but we're looking forward to finding out if it does.
This is my favorite concept at the show. Why? Because it looks like a car that I want to drive: a smallish sedan with AWD, a manual gearbox and a stonking turbocharged 3.6-liter boxer six; all wrapped up in a package that's somehow both understated and flashy. Don't look for this color on a production version, it doesn't use a clear coat and apparently even a gentle caress is enough to scuff it, Subaru declined my request to do exactly that.
5) Jaguar XFR
We were pretty unimpressed with the Jaguar XF when we drove it back in September. But, this "R" version gets some aggressive body addenda, an electronically controlled rear differential with "drift mode" and, most importantly, a really high-tech 5.0 V8 with 510 HP and most of its 461 Lb-Ft of torque delivered at just 1,500 RPM. We were already pretty happy with the Jag's engine, but wished it had better suspension control, feedback and more involving steering. We'll see if they've fixed all that when we drive one.
I probably won't get to drive this car right away. Why? Ben's got a major hard on for it, saying "It's a bitchin' full-size family sedan, that's a hard segment to be bitchin' in. Plus, it's got like 330 Lb-Ft of torque at 1,500 RPM and I like torque."
This is a seriously good-looking convertible, probably the best we've seen for at least a decade. But that's not the whole story; the S shares the 2010 Karma's 403 HP plug-in hybrid powertrain, so it'll be fast too. We plan to put gaffer tape over the Sunset badges when we eventually drive one in 2012 or 2013.
A pickup designed for maximum off-road performance. Actually, "maximum" is good word to use to describe the Raptor. I'm contemplating growing a mullet, investing in a pack of Hanes Wife Beaters and learning to like Miller Lite just so I can do the truck justice.
The Lotus Europa is a seriously solid sportscar. Here, with a Dodge grille and a fictional electric powertrain that promises 0-60 in less than five seconds and a top speed "in excess of 120 MPH" it should be even better. Especially since the electric motor will deliver all its torque from one RPM. It's a shame then that I'll only ever get to drive the Circuit EV in my dreams.