Looking for race car-like power in an unassuming package? You could do a lot worse than the Audi RS5 (€77,000; roughly $104,000). This stately coupe packs a lot of punch under the hood, thanks to a 4.2-liter, 450hp V8 engine, a dual-branch intake and exhaust system, and a seven-speed S tronic transmission with two clutches and two subsidiary transmissions for lightning-fast shifts, and also offers high-end features like quattro permanent all-wheel drive, optional 20-inch wheels, a powerful and internally ventilated disc braking system, an MMI navigation system, and Xenon HID headlamps.
What would it look like if Audi made a Mini Cooper? Probably a lot like the 2011 Audi A1 (€16,000 and up). This small compact Audi offers go-kart-like handling thanks to its sort overhangs, wide stance, and short height, and comes powered by one of four either TFSI gasoline or TDI diesel engines, ranging in power from 86hp to 122hp. Five-speed or six-speed manuals are available as well as a seven-speed dual-clutch S-tronic automatic, and niceties like the MMI navigation system, a 100 percent LED-lit interior, 18-inch wheels, LED rear lights and Xenon headlamps, four colors of roof arches, and ten exterior colors.
For all you two-door addicts that have longed for a CTS but couldn't handle the family-friendly nature of the sedan, feast your eyes on the 2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe ($TBA). Coming standard with a 3.6L V-6 and six-speed manual transmission — a six-speed automatic with Driver Shift Control is an option — this stylish Caddy also offers either 18- or 19-inch rims, integrated iPod connectivity, a pop-up navigation system, Bluetooth, remote start, a rear camera system, a 5.1-channel Bose audio system, LED vertical lighting, touch-pad operated doors, and a RWD powertrain. If that isn't enough to entice you, simply wait til later in 2010, when the beastly 556hp V-Series arrives.
Lexus has finally chopped the top off its entry-level IS, and the result is nothing short of slam-on-the-breaks sexy. The Lexus IS Convertible ($38,500 and up) features gorgeous looks with performance to back them up. Powered by a 3.5- or 2.5-Liter V6 producing 306 or 204 hp respectively, the drop-top IS also features a retractable hard top, six-speed paddle-shift sequential automatic transmission, 17-inch, 10-spoke alloy wheels, push-button start, dual-zone climate control, iPod connectivity, an eight-speaker sound system, Bi-Xenon headlamps, LED taillights, an Adaptive Front Lighting System that helps illuminate around corners, an optional HDD nav system, and more.
If you're looking for a fast, stylish coupe but can't stomach the $30,000-and-up prices of most upscale offerings, check out the 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe ($22,000 and up). With features like 30mpg economy, 210hp in the 2.0T or an optional 306hp V6, an available six-speed manual transmission, Bluetooth, a six-speaker sound system with USB input, 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, ABS, traction control, brake assist, and more, it's got just the right mix of affordability and class. [via]