Eight years ago the first CLS signaled the birth of the "four-door coupe" market, and after countless lookalikes, the original is back. The all-new 2012 Mercedes Benz CLS ($TBA) sports a more muscular but still identifiable body, with striking headlamps sporting 71 LEDs that make up the side light, high, low, and main beams, and the indicators, more LEDs in the wrap-around tail lights, wood, black piano lacquer, or carbon fiber trim, semi-aniline premium leather, matte galvanized air vents, a wrap-around dashboard, and a central display integrated into the upper portion of the instrument panel. No word on suspension or powertrain specifications, but if the past is anything to go by, you won't be disappointed.
Matte is back in the 2011 BMW Frozen Gray M3 Coupe (Starts at $77,600). Sporting a subdued matte gray metallic paint job that's created by applying a silk matte clear coat over a base coat of space gray metallic, this limited-edition beast is powered by a 4.0L, 414hp V8 linked to Bimmer's Double Clutch Transmission that rockets the coupe from 0-60 in just 4.5 seconds. Other features include a red and black Novillo leather interior, an available Competition Package that includes a 10mm reduction in ride height and special 19-inch wheels, and a one-day enrollment at the BMW Performance Driving School in Spartanburg, South Carolina. [via]
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]
Saying that the Bentley Continental GT ($176,000) is a beast of performance and luxury is sort of like saying it will get dark tonight, but it is a beast and it will get dark and we said it. Featuring a new 12 cylinder engine that sits in a W formation, the engine pumps 552 hp and can push this 2-ton coupe from 0 to 60 in just 4.6 seconds. The cabin houses a "handcrafted Grand Touring" experience that includes real leather and wood veneers in addition to just about every amenity imaginable. Can you think of any good reason not to get one?
Want Rolls looks and elegance in a car made for you to actually drive? Meet the 2009 Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe ($TBA). The new driver-oriented coupe features a 6.75-liter V12 engine that makes 453 hp, a hand-made unibody aluminum chassis, rear-hinged coach doors for easier rear seat access and added body stiffness, and an interior as posh as your favorite cigar bar. 100% class.
We're not sure if there are actually any more of these available to buy (only 40 were made total), but this special edition AMG Benz really shines. The Mercedes Benz CL 65 AMG 40th Anniversary Edition ($295,000) offers the usual AMG upgrades — perfected styling and a 6.0-liter V12 Biturbo engine that's good for 612-hp — along with a paint finish that you won't find on any other production model car. Called Alubeam, the silvery paint is made with pigment particles that measure just 30 to 50 nanometers (much smaller than normal metallic paint), allowing it to coat the surface more evenly and reflect the light more intensively. Basically, it "gleams like liquid metal" and seems to be "stretched over the vehicle body like a metallic skin," as Mercedes says.
The MINI family is getting a new big brother. The MINI Clubman ($TBA) retains the trademark styling and agile handling, but gains new proportions, split-rear doors and a passenger-side suicide door. The 5-door Clubman has 9.45 more inches of body length and a wheelbase that's extended by 3.15 inches, offering more leg and storage room. The Clubman will go on sale in the U.S. early next year with two models — the MINI Cooper Clubman (120-hp, 1.6-litre 4-cylinder) and the MINI Cooper S Clubman (175-hp, 1.6-litre 4-cylinder with twin-scroll turbocharger).
At the Los Angeles Auto Show yesterday, Nissan introduced the 2008 Altima Coupe ($TBA; Summer 2007), the first-ever two-door model Altima. The super sexy ride features a shorter wheelbase, shorter overall length and lower height than the Altima Sedan. The new Altima Coupe is offered with a choice of two engines — a 270-horsepower 3.5-liter 24-valve DOHC V6 and a 175-horsepower 2.5-liter DOHC 16-valve inline 4-cylinder. Both are available with Nissan's advanced Xtronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) or 6-speed manual transmissions.