This isn't your normal mid-model refresh. The 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo ($148,000 and up) is an all-new model, and as such, it's packing some new goodies. Features like a new all-wheel-drive system, active rear axle steering, adaptive aerodynamics, an entirely new, longer chassis, 20-inch wheels, Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control active anti-roll system, and full-LED headlights. It hasn't lost its edge, either, boasting a turbocharged 3.8-liter six-cylinder engine that pumps out 520hp in the standard model and 560hp in the S model, paired with a seven-speed dual clutch transmission that gets you from 0-60 in as little as 2.9 seconds and to a top speed of nearly 200 mph. They'll be rolling off the boats from Germany just in time for the holidays — so here's to hoping you have a very, very generous gift-giver on your list.
It's not that unusual for a classic car to get a modern update, but normally the car's prior version actually made it into production. The Syrena Sport ($TBA), on the other hand, is based off a 1950s prototype that never got the chance to grace a showroom floor. This modern take is based on the Nissan 370Z, and is powered by a 3.7L V6 — instead of the twin-cylinder boxer of the original — that's good for 330 hp naturally aspirated or 450 hp in a turbocharged version. Other features include updated styling and a curb weight under 2,900 lbs. The bad news? Only one example is currently scheduled to be built.
Sometimes raw power isn't the only upgrade that matters. Although the supercharged 5.0-liter V8 that powers the 2014 Jaguar XKR-S GT ($174,000) is the same as the standard XKR-S with an output of 550 hp, the GT is far better equipped to take on the track. Why? Well, it's the combination of a new aerodynamics package that includes a carbon fiber front splitter, dive planes, extended wheel arch spats, rear diffuser, an aluminum undertray, and a huge carbon rear wing, larger carbon ceramic brakes, wider 20-inch forged alloy wheels, a stiffer suspension, and a revised active exhaust system. The result? A street-legal racer that goes from zero to 60 in under four seconds, boasts a top speed of 186 mph, and will be limited to just 25 cars in the US when it goes on sale in August.
If you plan on driving your Viper as much on the track as you do on the road, consider the 2014 SRT Viper TA ($TBA). Designed for optimal performance on road courses, the TA features an upgraded suspension with firmer levels of damping, retuned shock dampers, springs, and stabilizer bars, a lighter carbon fiber X-brace that replaces the standard aluminum part, upgraded Brembo brakes, and an advanced aerodynamics packages with carbon fiber front splitters and rear spoiler. It's still powered by a handcrafted, 8.4L aluminum V10 producing 640 hp, but unlike the standard model, only 33 cars — all decked out in Crusher Orange — will be available later this year.
Drawing on a heritage that dates back to 1880, the Spyker B6 Venator Concept ($150,000) hopes to rekindle love for the brand with a meticulously built speedster. This two-door, mid-engine affair will be powered by 350hp V6 that mates with a six-speed automatic to drive the 19-inch rear wheels. The aluminum frame and carbon fiber help keep the weight down, while the oversized radiator grille, the 1903-era logo, a turned aluminium fascia on the dashboard, and red cover on the ignition switch recall Spyker's automotive and aeronautical past. Unlike most concepts, the B6 is slated for production; expect to see it stateside in Autumn 2014.
Say hello to the new king of the Porsche mountain. The 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 ($130,000) is the new top-of-the-line sports car from the German automaker, mixing track-ready technology with modern comforts. Features include a 3.8L six-cylinder boxer engine pumping out 475hp, paired to a dual-clutch PDK transmission — a duo that's good for a 0-60 time of just 3.3 seconds and a top speed of 195 mph. You'll also find it has unique front and rear fascias, a large fixed rear wing, and 20-inch wheels, which work with the company's first active rear-wheel steering system to make handling even better than before. Coming later this year.
We may never see it on this side of the pond, but that won't stop us from lusting after the Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG ($TBA). Boasting the most powerful production 4-cylinder in the world — a turbocharged, 2.0L inline four cranking out 360hp — this compact four-door hatchback sprints from 0-62 in just 4.6 seconds on its way to a top speed of 155mph. Other features include a seven-speed AMG dual-clutch transmission, a high-performance cooling system inspired by the SLS AMG, 4Matic all-wheel-drive, 3-stage ESP, an AMG sports suspension and aerodynamics package, 19-inch alloy wheels, and red accents spread throughout the interior.
Just in case the standard GT-R wasn't enough for you, dealers all across the country will soon be able to offer you the 2014 Nissan GT-R Track Edition ($TBA). Limited to just 150 examples in the US market, this speed machine is even more focused on performance than its stablemates, featuring a specially-tuned suspension that was developed at the Nürburgring, a new front spoiler with carbon fiber air ducts, special brake cooling air guides, blue-trimmed high-grip seating surfaces, and nothing but a quilted mat where the rear seats used to be. Start saving your pennies now — sales begin in May.
If owning an Aston Martin Vanquish isn't quite exclusive enough for you, perhaps you'll find the Aston Martin Centenary Edition Vanquish ($TBA) more to your liking. Created to celebrate the company's 100th anniversary, it's limited to just 100 examples worldwide, and features a special paint finish, sterling silver badges, an interior in Deep Soft black leather with contrasting silver stitching, and sterling silver sill plaques. Also included is a special presentation box with two glass keys, two key pouches, silver cufflinks featuring the Aston Martin script, a solid silver pen, Bang & Olufsen headphones, and a silver polishing cloth, presumably to take care of all the silver that comes with it.
Welcome back, Stingray. Reviving the classic moniker, the new 2014 Corvette Stingray ($TBA) represents a complete break from the prior Corvette, with just two parts shared between them. Highlights of the new Stingray include an all-new 6.2L V8 engine good for 450 horsepower and a 0-60 time of less than four seconds, a new aluminum frame, generous use of carbon fiber in the interior, hood, and removable roof panel, and, of course, breathtaking looks. Coming to dealers this fall.
Perhaps one of the most beautiful automobiles ever created by the Italian luxury carmaker, the 1955 Maserati A6G/2000 Spyder ($4.5 million) is a picture of automotive elegance. One of the only convertibles ever produced in this model, the car features a two-liter straight six producing 180 brake horsepower. This particular car has been lovingly restored to its original condition, with beautiful paint and bodywork, as well as an immaculately-appointed interior. The car was originally built in very limited numbers, and manufactured by a variety of Italian coachbuilders — while this one in particular was constructed by the legendary Carrozzeria Zagato.
Most high-end sports cars try to get as close as possible to full-on racecar capabilities while maintaining street-friendly looks and interiors. Created to celebrate the anniversary of the first SL model, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 45th Anniversary Edition (€446,250; roughly $580,000) says to hell with all of that. It's a true racer, with a ton of parts made from lightweight CFRP, an AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine hand-fitted with help from Bernd Schneider, a special magno graphite matte paint job, a steel roll-over cage, and six-point seat belts. The best part? You and the other four people lucky enough to own one get to pick their new rides up at Mercedes-AMG in Affalterbach, and can even get some race track coaching while they're there.