When it comes to cramming their cars full of tech, few automakers do it better than Mercedes. The 2015 Mercedes S-Class Coupe is no exception. Powered by a twin-turbo V8 good for 449 hp, this sleek two door is loaded with features, including advanced lane keeping, cruise control, and collision prevention systems, high-end Burmester audio, a panorama sunroof that can go from transparent to opaque at the push of a button, an available heads-up display, and a large infotainment display. But the real standout is the new active curve tilting, which combines with Active Body Control system with a pair of front-mounted cameras to detect upcoming corners and actually lean the car like a motorcycle up to 2.5 degrees to reduce lateral acceleration.
Get ready for some serious changes coming from the makers of the quintessential American luxury car. The 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe — Cadillac's smallest coupe yet and the first to carry their redesigned badge — has landed. Though it shares the same platform and wheelbase as the ATS sedan, it has decidedly different body styling, with less aggressive lines and a wider stance. You can get it with one of two available engines: either a two-liter turbocharged four-cylinder (272 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque), or the 3.6-liter V6 (321 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque). They also come standard with Brembo brakes, a six-speed automatic, and are available in all-wheel-drive, and with a sport suspension package. This definitely isn't your grandpa's Cadillac.
Over the past several decades, we've seen more design missteps than successes in the form of America's iconic muscle car, but just in time for their 50th anniversary, the guys in Detroit seem to have gotten everything right with the 2015 Ford Mustang ($TBA). While the look has been completely updated for a new generation, there are plenty of elements in this pony car that are distinctly Mustang, namely the fastback rear window, the long hood, and short rear deck. And though there are suggestions of retro, this is every bit a modern car, with improved handling thanks to a new suspension system, improved electronics and entertainment, and a surprising array of engines offered. Drivers can now choose from the Mustang standard, a 5.0-liter V8, a 3.7-liter V6, and for the first time ever a four-cylinder turbocharged 2.3-liter EcoBoost. Though the third will no-doubt ruffle some purist feathers, it's obviously an attempt to appeal to a global market concerned with fuel economy. All things said, the new Mustang is a strong step in the right direction, and clear proof that American muscle isn't dead — it's just growing up.
There's something about the Jaguar F-Type Coupe ($65,000 and up) that appeals to us somewhere deep down — maybe it's the gorgeous lines leading back to the rearward cabin, or maybe it's the sound of that throaty 5.0-liter supercharged V8 revving to 5,000-plus RPMs. Either way, this fine piece of British metal is one beautiful beast, whether it's standing still, or tearing down the track. The R variant — which, if we're being honest, is all we really care about — features the aforementioned V8 producing all of 550 horsepower, in addition to a lot of race-inspired kit (things like adaptive suspension, electronic active differential, 15-inch brakes, and much more). It will hit 60mph in just four seconds, and reaches a top speed of 186. Of course, you could go with either of its V6-powered cheaper siblings, but who'd want to do that?
The third generation 2014 MINI Cooper ($TBA), continuing the trend set by previous generations, is a little less mini, with a longer wheel base, longer, wider, and taller body, and increased interior capacity. Available in two models, the Cooper and Cooper S, you get the choice between a three-cylinder 134-horsepower engine or a four-cylinder 189 horsepower engine, both featuring turbo chargers. The faster of the two can make it to 60 mph in just over six seconds, thanks in large part to a healthy 162 pound-feet of torque. Also available — in addition to a kitted out interior with plenty of technology like a heads up display and improved entertainment system — are new six-speed manual and automatic transmissions.
Unfortunately, all good things must at some point come to an end — and this gull-winged thing of German beauty is no exception. But at least the Mercedes SLS AMG GT Final Edition ($TBA) gets to go out in style. Limited to a run of just 350 units, those lucky enough to get behind the wheel of the last SLS AMG will get to experience every bit of its naturally-aspirated 6.3-liter 591-horsepower V8 engine. Set to be revealed at this year's Los Angeles Auto Show and Tokyo Motor Show, the Merc gets a special two-tone red and black paint scheme worthy of such an iconic sportscar. While sad to see it go, we can think of no better way to watch it leave.
The sometimes-maligned BMW 1 Series is dead — long live the 2014 BMW 2 Series Coupe ($32,000-$43,000). In an attempt to reconfigure the compact segment of their brand, BMW will now be replacing their more economically-priced line with the 220i Coupe and the M235i Coupe. These cars, sporting a 184 horsepower four-cylinder engine and a 326 horsepower six-cylinder inline engine respectively, have been restyled and retooled from the ground up. The cars are each a bit wider and longer than their 1-Series predecessors, and boast better aerodynamics, handling, and more. Overall what you'll find is a line of compacts made to be more enjoyable to drive, and a lot more exciting looking.
The Fairlady Z (perhaps better know in America as the Datsun 240Z) formed the basis for the legendary Nissan Safari Rally Z ($TBA). This fastback coupe sported a 215 horsepower inline-six engine that helped it win two East African Rally championships in the early 1970s. Now it's undergoing a complete overhaul, thanks to Nissan's Restoration Club — a group known for bringing historically-significant Nissans like the 1964 Skyline back to life. Expect to see this Z car restored to its former glory by December of this year.
While it probably won't score you any style points, the BMW i3 ($41,350) will definitely get you to work without so much as glancing at a fuel pump. This rear-wheel-drive four-seater gets its power from an electric engine producing 170 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque — not too shabby. It has a nearly 100-mile range on a single charge, and accelerates up to 60 mph in a fairly-impressive seven seconds. Much of its efficiency comes from lightweight construction (the combination carbon fiber and plastic passenger compartment is stronger than steel), resulting in an only 2,700 pound weight. For those worried about getting stranded in the commuter lane with a dead battery, they offer a gas generator. But that kind of defeats the purpose, doesn't it?
"Can you swim?" 007 famously asked before driving his Lotus Esprit ($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.
Say "goodbye" to the BMW 3 Series Coupe, and welcome the new 2014 BMW 4 Series ($TBA). Like a cross between a sportier 3 Series and a smaller 6 Series, the 4 Series comes (in its most aggressive variation, the 435i) with a 306 hp twin-turbo six-cylinder engine and six-speed manual gearbox. Also available in four-cylinder diesel and gas variations with an optional eight-speed automatic. A lower stance, larger width and wheelbase, and improved aerodynamics further differentiate this quick two-door from its cousin, the 3 Series.
Long-known for gracefully combining luxury with performance, BMWs rarely disappoint, and the BMW Pinifarina Gran Lusso Coupe ($TBA) certainly doesn't. The Germans have joined forces with luxury Italian designers Pininfarina to make a one-off creation boasting exclusivity and roadworthiness. The exterior is distinctly BMW, with a set-back cockpit and stretched hood covering a massive V-12 (and of course the signature kidney-shaped grill). But the interior screams Italian opulence — fine Italian leather upholstery, plaid Italian wool headliner, and accents made of kauri wood aged 48,000 years. Carmakers could learn a thing or two from this impressive partnership.