Ever since the SLK first debuted, it's been a tempting — yet polarizing option, thanks to a combination of affordable (for a Benz, at least) price tag, small size, and arguable feminine styling. The new 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG ($TBA) removes any worries about the latter, thanks to an aggressive body kit befitting the 415 hp, 5.5L AMG V8 under the hood. Other features include AMG light-alloy wheels, a sport exhaust system, an AMG Speedshift Plus 7G-Tronic automatic transmission, and a well-appointed interior.
Feel like owning a classic, open-top racer but don't feel like dropping the dough on a verified original? The RetroMade Spyder ($TBA) should offer a happy medium. Inspired by the Porsche 550, the Spyder is a kit car, with two different body sizes — one that's historically correct, and one that's longer — that sit atop Volkswagen Beetle or Pontiac Fiero chassis — the latter a mid-engine affair — and boasting up to 254 hp, 205mm wide rear tires, and a host of other options that let you make it yours.
There's just something about the futurism of the '50s and '60s that makes us all warm and fuzzy inside, and this 1966 Porsche 906 Carrera Competition Coupe ($900,000-$1.1 million) will have the same effect on you — right before it pins you to the seat. Despite its seemingly meek 220bhp, 2-liter flat-six cylinder engine, the car — commonly referred to at the time as the Carrera 6 — offers up a top speed of nearly 170 mph, an original multi-tubular chassis frame, and a new FIA-approved roll cage. This particular specimen won a 1967 Australian Championship, is one of only 66 ever built, and just happens to look like a spaceship.
And the strange, nearly unexplainable string of ebony-themed luxury cars rolls on with the Maserati Gran Turismo S Superior Black Edition ($TBA). Created by the mad minds at Anderson Germany, the Superior features a silky matte black exterior treatment, glossy black 21-inch wheels, new carbon fiber replacements for the hoot, mirrors, tailgate, and roof ledges, an enhanced 4.7-liter V8 pumping out 492 hp, a slew of carbon fiber and black Alcantara elements in the interior, and even a PS3 — although whether it's the shiny black or matte black model is anyone's guess.
Every once in a while you run across something so over the top that "blinged out" doesn't even cover it. And so it is with the Chrome Audi R8 Spyder ($TBA). Created to be auctioned off in a benefit for the Elton John AIDS Foundation, these shiny speeders are arguably unsafe to drive on sunny days, but otherwise sport all the terrific performance and electronic niceties of their normally-clad counterparts. Unfortunately, both examples have been spoken for.
The official car of summer has arrived. Based heavily on its hard-topped sibling, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster ($TBA) sets a new standard for Mercedes convertibles. Thanks to its 6.3-liter V8 AMG front-mid engine and seven-speed dual clutch transaxle transmission, the Roadster boasts 563 hp, a zero-60 time of just 3.7 seconds, and a top speed of 197 mph — electronically limited, of course. Other features include a compact fabric top that can open or close in just eleven seconds, a Bang & Olufsen BeoSound AMG high-end sound system, Active AMG Sport Suspension, an AMG Performance Media system, and an AMG Drive Unit. Sunny weather and happily deserted roads not included.
Based on the Jaguar E-Type of the 1960s, the Eagle Jaguar E-Type Speedster ($TBA) is a custom, all-new design that celebrates the classic while updating it for modern times. Features include an all-aluminum body, adapted from the original, custom windshield glass, custom-designed aluminum rimmed wheels with 3-eared wheel spinners for good measure, a "waterfall" console, and plenty of power, provided by an Eagle 4.7 liter engine and a five-speed gearbox. It's just the thing to jazz up your sunny, summertime Sunday drives.
Hot on the heels of its Boxster S cousin comes the Porsche Cayman S Black Edition ($67,500). Like it's black stablemates, the Cayman S Black sports a modest 10 hp bump that's good for a 0-60 time of 4.6 seconds and total output of 330 horses, as well as a six-speed manual or Porsche-Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) seven-speed double clutch transmission, 19-inch black wheels, monochrome black treatment on the exterior and interior — with a touch of aluminum and stainless steel to mix things up a bit — and standard features like dynamic Bi-Xenon headlights, auto-dimming mirrors, and the touch-screen Porsche Communication Management system with navigation, a Bose surround-sound system and XM radio. If you want one, you'd better hurry — only 500 are being made.
Yes, it's an Alfa Romeo. But it's also the world's fastest street legal Alfa Romeo. The Novitec Alfa Romeo 8C Spider ($TBA) is based on the tech behind the Maserati GT, with a supercharged 4.7L V8 pumping out 600 horses, good for a 0-62 time of 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 190 mph. Other features include an optional stainless steel sport exhaust, custom headlights, and three-piece NA3 wheels.
If you're a fan of Porsche's GT3 series, you're going to want to own the Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 ($185,000). Limited to just 600 vehicles worldwide, the latest — and last — GT3 RS sports Stuttgart's highest-displacement, most-powerful naturally aspirated flat-six engine ever, which turns its 4.0L into 500 hp, a 0 to 60 time of 3.8 seconds, a 0 to 124 mark of under 12 seconds, and a top track speed of 193 mph. Other features include the signature large rear wing, central twin tailpipe, an aerodynamically optimized body, a gleaming Carrara White paint job, and a weight of just 2,998 lbs — with a full fuel tank, of course.
It might not have been available for each of those 45 years, but it has been around since '67, so we'll give it the benefit of the doubt. The 2012 45th Anniversary Edition Chevrolet Camaro ($TBA) celebrates the birthday of Chevy's pony car by adding 11 horsepower to its V6 LFX engine and offering 20-inch dark silver wheels, dark silver trim for the fog lamps and taillight bezels, HID headlights and a rear spoiler standard, body-color roof molding, a jet black interior with red, white, and blue stitching on the seats, white gauges, a 45th Anniversary hood and desk stripes, and tons of badges — just in case you forget that you're driving the car equivalent of a birthday cake.
Old, well-maintained cars always draw attention, and you'll be drawing even more when people realize you're not driving a vintage ride, but in fact a Singer Porsche 911 ($TBA). Built upon an early '90s-era 911, the Singer features all new carbon fiber body work to give it the look of a Porsche from the '70s or '80s, while inside the modern machine boasts your choice of three engines, ranging from 3.6 L to 3.9L with power range of 300-425 hp, a 5 speed Getrag G50 transmission, four piston Brembo calipers and drilled rotors, uprated Bilstein adjustable dampers and coil over springs, newly-developed, three-piece forged aluminum 17-inch wheels, a bespoke interior to match the retro exterior, and a classic Carrera RS steering wheel from 1973.