While it probably won't score you any style points, the BMW i3 ($41,350) will definitely get you to work without so much as glancing at a fuel pump. This rear-wheel-drive four-seater gets its power from an electric engine producing 170 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque — not too shabby. It has a nearly 100-mile range on a single charge, and accelerates up to 60 mph in a fairly-impressive seven seconds. Much of its efficiency comes from lightweight construction (the combination carbon fiber and plastic passenger compartment is stronger than steel), resulting in an only 2,700 pound weight. For those worried about getting stranded in the commuter lane with a dead battery, they offer a gas generator. But that kind of defeats the purpose, doesn't it?
The genre-defying Infiniti Q30 Concept ($TBA) at once combines the aggressive appearance of a coupe, the spaciousness of a hatch, and the posture of a crossover. Set to debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, details on the power plant remain scant — though we hope its horsepower and torque matches its sporty-yet-outdoorsy look. Its image communicates the carmakers' desire to produce something that will appeal to the car-purchase-averse younger set (though, as an Infiniti, its price tag may put it out of the buying range of most of that demo). Regardless, it represents an exciting direction for the often-innovative Hong Kong-based company.
Built from a Ford E350 van, the Sportsmobile Ultimate Adventure Vehicle ($80,000) gives you everything you need for an outdoor off road adventure with all the comforts of a recreational vehicle. A pop-up style sleeper camper and a spacious interior with a fully-equipped kitchen makes for a great living space. Four-wheel drive, improved axles, shocks, brakes, and a 46 gallon fuel tank help you get to remote campsites like no RV can. Options include propane, water, and electric systems powered by solar panels or generators. Equip yours with Hella rally lights, winches, tool kits, and brush guards to make it a serious expedition vehicle.
The 2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 4Matic ($TBA) seems to have improved on nearly every aspect of its predecessor — weight, power, handling, and aesthetics. For starters, it's 220 pounds lighter, thanks in part to aluminum construction and alloy wheels. The massive twin-turbo, 5.5-liter V8 produces significantly more horsepower at 577, and torque at 590 lb-ft, through a seven-speed automatic transmission, helping propel it from 0-60 in just 3.9 seconds. Adaptive suspension and ceramic brakes give the all-wheel-drive system all the help it needs to corner and stop, while more angular side panels and a larger grill set it apart visually from last year's model.
Own a rare piece of German racing history, the 1964 Volkswagen Pick-up With Porsche Formula V ($TBA). Both vehicles have been completely and carefully restored, making them a perfect show piece, or a vintage race driver's dream. The featherweight Porsche Formula V — based on a pre-1963 VW Beetle, and powered by a 1.2-liter engine producing 40hp — can reach speeds up to 100mph, and is fully-race-ready. The pick-up has an upgraded 200hp 2.4-liter engine, making it a capable transport truck restored to concours quality. [Scouted by Erik]
Take charge of your summer travels, go, and stay anywhere in the 1982 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ45 Troopy ($TBA). This rare Land Cruiser is based on the troop carrier edition, and features a Westfalia type pop-top camper, so it can sleep up to four people. A 4.2-liter six-cylinder engine powers four wheels through a four-speed transmission with a low-crawler first gear, making it an uncommon camper that can actually go off-road. Additional features include skinny mud tires, a worm-gear winch, an awning, an Alpine stereo, dual water tanks, a propane tank, and two fuel tanks.
As if their new F-Type wasn't hot enough, Jaguar went and turned it into a track car with the one-off Project 7 Concept ($TBA). Built on the F-Type's rigid aluminum chassis, it has a more-powerful supercharged 5.0-liter V8 producing 550hp through an eight-speed quick shift transmission. A fairing behind the driver recalls early LeMans cars, and for good reason — the "seven" moniker reflects the carmaker's seven wins at LeMans (two in the Jaguar D-Type, which shared both the fairing and the blue paintwork). Further reinforcing its track heritage, the interior has a single seat with a four-point racing harness (a helmet holder and a custom racing helmet replace the second seat). Additional improvements include carbon fiber throughout, a ceramic-finished free-flow exhaust system, a lower ride height, and adjusted suspension.
The Mexican-made Vuhl 05 ($84,000) — a barely 1,500 pound, 285 horsepower two-seater — seems bred for the track day. An extremely-lightweight steel, aluminum, and plastic open-top body, and a well-tuned two-liter Ford EcoBoost four-cylinder engine, make this exactly the sort of ride we would want to whip around a track for a weekend. With a max speed upwards of 150mph, and the capability of turning 0-62 in only 3.7 seconds (not to mention four-wheel disk brakes, a six-speed manual gearbox, and some fairly-large Michelin tires) you might embarrass a couple Porsche drivers. And, because it's perfectly street legal, you wouldn't even need to trailer it. Available spring of 2014.
"Can you swim?" 007 famously asked before driving his Lotus Esprit ($TBA) off the end of a pier, escaping from a pesky helicopter, and startling Bond girl Anya Amasova in The Spy Who Loved Me. But, as it turns out, her swimming skills were unnecessary, when the car turned into a fully-functioning submarine, complete with ship-to-air missiles, props, control surfaces, and more. While it probably won't come equipped with any high-powered explosives, you can own this original 1977 piece of film history — that is, if you're lucky enough to be the highest bidder. And yes, it does actually work.
Since seeing the scene in The Spy Who Loved Me when Roger Moore's Lotus Esprit turned into a submarine, we've dreamed of our own amphibious car. And, even though it's no submersible, the Watercar Panther ($135,000) is the next best thing — a car that's comfortable on the land and the water. At a weight of 3,000 pounds, and sporting a 3.7 liter V-6 VTEC Honda engine, it's capable of land speeds of 80-plus mph. A waterproof fiberglass hull and water jet engine lets it do over 40 on the water. Not to mention it's a capable off road vehicle. That's enough to make even 007 jealous.
America's answer to the previously-dominant German carmakers, the 2014 Cadillac CTS ($45,000-$72,000) simultaneously boasts beauty and braun. The third-generation mid-sized sedan brings the brand's flagship model up to speed with its German competition — with aggressive front styling, a trio of engine options — a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder good for 272 hp, a 3.6-liter V6 cranking out 321 hp, or an all-new twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V6 that blasts out 420 hp — and either a six- or new eight-speed automatic transmission. Other highlights include a body that's longer, shorter, and lighter, Caddy's Magnetic Ride Control real-time damping system — the first time it's popped up on a non V version — available all-wheel drive, front-wheel Brembo brakes in the vSport, the CUE infotainment system (which utilizes Bose Active Noise Cancellation to monitor powertrain noise and sends out opposing non-audible frequencies to counteract these sounds), and an interior that's among the best GM has ever produced. Available early 2014.
Sometimes the open road isn't enough freedom, and you feel the need to hit the dirt. If you own a Harley Davidson 1200 or 883 Sportster made between 1993 and 2003, the guys at Carducci want to help turn it into an SC3 Adventure Dual Sport Motorcycle ($TBA). You supply the bike, they supply everything else, including the swing arm, gas tank, foot controls, fly screen, crash bar, skid plate, subframe, and more — doing all the assembly in their California shop. When you get your bike back, it'll be a fully-street-legal, off-road machine.