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 $580,000) says to hell with all of that. It's a true racer, with a ton of parts made from lightweight CFRP, an AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine hand-fitted with help from Bernd Schneider, a special magno graphite matte paint job, a steel roll-over cage, and six-point seat belts. The best part? You and the other four people lucky enough to own one get to pick their new rides up at Mercedes-AMG in Affalterbach, and can even get some race track coaching while they're there.
Four seats, two doors, no roof — that's the formula for making a Maserati GranCabrio MC ($TBA). Okay, so maybe there's a bit more that goes into this high-powered convertible. Inspired by the GranTurismo MC Stradale, it features a sporty, aggressive body that's longer than the standard GranCabrio, a front end taken almost directly from the MC Stradale, and a rear that's dominated by the large spoiler, which gives greater negative lift at high speeds and houses the third brake light.
And you thought the Cadillac CTS-V was fast. The 2013 Hennessey VR1200 Twin Turbo ($TBA) is based on Caddy's sporty coupe, but bests it in the performance department thanks to a twin-turbo 7.0L V8 pumping out 1,066 rear wheel hp — allowing it to rocket from 0-60 mph in just 2.9 seconds on its way to a top speed of 242 mph. Upgrades are also made to the camshaft, fuel system and injectors, brakes, wheels and tires, suspension, sway bars, and interior. Of course, no high-end sports car would be complete without some carbon fiber, which you'll now find on the front splitter, rear diffuser, front fenders, hood, and rear flares.
Think you can't drive a Porsche in bad weather? Think again. The 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 ($91,000-$118,000) sports the active all-wheel drive Porsche Traction Management system to ensure you can get where you need to go even when the conditions are less than perfect. Other features include a standard 7-speed manual gearbox, an optional 7-speed dual-clutch PDK automatic transmission, 350 hp for the standard model and 400 hp for the 4S, optional Adaptive Cruise Control, and either a Coupe or open-topped Cabriolet body.
The Porsche 550 is a beautiful car — but thanks to its age and exclusivity, it's also a very, very expensive car. The Vintech P550 Tribute ($TBA) aims to recall that classic racer while bringing the price down — somewhat, at least. Details are scant, but we do know it will sport a full carbon fiber body, a 3.0L boxer engine, a five-speed manual transmission, a curb weight around 1,200 pounds, and breathtaking lines.
The 2013 model might be just around the corner, but if you're down for one last hurrah with the current version, you'll be handsomely rewarded. The Audi R8 Exclusive Selection Edition ($138,000-$170,000) is likely the last 2012 model to roll onto U.S. shores. In addition to the normal — if you can call them that — 430 hp V8 and 525 hp V10 engines, these special editions offer Daytona Gray matte exterior with carbon fiber details for the V8 or Ibis White with Brilliant Black details for the V10, along with upgraded interiors offering more leather, contrast stitching, a Bang & Olufsen Sound System, Navigation with the Audi Music Interface, and added carbon fiber for the V10. Available with a six-speed manual or automatic R tronic transmission, if you want one you'd best hurry — only 30 V10 and 20 V8 examples are being produced.