With all the inconsistency in model year numbers – in some cases, 2010 models have been on sale for over a year, while in others, the 2010s are just rolling out – it can be hard to keep track of what’s fresh and new in the automotive market. Here are some vehicles you should look out for in the coming year.
2010 Audi S5 Cabriolet
While the S5 Coupe remains motivated by a V-8 engine, the S5 Cabrio gets the new S4’s supercharged V-6. It fits the car’s cross-country demeanor well, even if it does make for a confusing product lineup, and we like Audi’s move towards a more fuel-efficient setup. It certainly has plenty of style, though one would expect as much for $58,250.
2010 Ford Shelby Cobra GT500
It’s big, it’s loud, it’s fast and it’s undeniably American. The Shelby Cobra GT500 is perhaps the best modern interpretation of the classic Detroit muscle car, and at a price of just $45,325, it’s quite a bargain as well. The supercharged V-8 engine feels good for every one of its 540 horsepower, even if the car does feel a bit out of place in the corners. At the drag strip, however, it reigns supreme.
2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe
When Hyundai built the Genesis sedan, they targeted Lexus. With the coupe, however, the engineers set their sights on the Infiniti G Coupe and, for the most part, they nailed it. Two engine options – a 2.0-liter turbo and a throaty 3.8-liter V-6 – help keep the starting price low at just $22,000, and the car feels perfectly at home on track. Its good looks don’t hurt its case one bit, either.
2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
The Mercedes-Benz CLK is officially no more, though it lives on in spirit under a simpler badge scheme as the E-Class Coupe. Much like the CLK before it, the E Coupe is more tourer than hard-edged coupe, though we’re happy to say this version feels more CL-Class than the CLK ever managed, which is a very good thing. $48,975 is the bottom line for a V-6 powered model.
2010 Porsche 911 Turbo
The words “Turbo” and “Porsche 911” have always proved to make for quite a devilish combination of terrifying speed and ability, and the new 911 Turbo certainly doesn’t break the tradition. With 500 horsepower, a dual-clutch gearbox and all-wheel drive, it doesn’t adhere to the laws of physics, it changes them. But then again, for $132,800, one should expect it to be capable of such feats.
2010 Porsche 911 GT3/GT3 RS
The Porsche 911 GT3 doesn’t simply take treacherous, winding stretches of road and make them seem relatively tame; it pummels them into submission. Essentially the opposite of the do-it-all 911 Turbo, the GT3 is a hard-riding, high-revving street legal race machine. You only need to hear one fly past at 8,500 rpm to be convinced of its power, and at $112,200, it seems a relative bargain given its capabilities.
2010 Porsche Boxster Spyder
We wouldn’t exactly call Porsche’s delightful Boxster fat, but it never hurts to trim a few pounds for the sake of performance. The Spyder is a bit like the GT3 of Boxsters, put on a diet for the sake of no-frills driving pleasure. 176 lbs have been chopped from the curb weight and power has been boosted 10 hp to a total of 320. It doesn’t hurt that this $61,200 lightweight happens to look like a miniature Carrera GT either.
2010 Audi R8 5.2 FSI
What’s that? The R8 has been on sale for two years now? Not like this it hasn’t. Apparently V-8 power wasn’t quite good enough for the boys in Ingolstadt, so they decided to cram a Lamborghini-esque V-10 into the back of the R8. We’ve driven it and can say with complete conviction that it certainly feels like it’s worth the $146,000 asking price.
2011 Lexus LF-A
Long-rumored and several times dead then revived for motorsports duty at the 24 Hours of Nürburgring, the Lexus LF-A is Toyota’s tech-heavy assault on the supercar medium. On paper, it’s a killer, with a 550-plus horsepower 4.8-liter V-10 that is so keen to rev, they had to fit a digital TFT tachometer because no mechanical dial could keep up with the throttle blips. Where they went wrong was the price – only 500 cars will be produced, at an asking price of $350K.
2010 Ferrari 458 Italia
Technically the car is on sale now, but you probably won’t see any for a while, so we’ve filed it in the future section. The replacement for Ferrari’s aging F430, the 458 Italia is powered by an all-new 4.5-liter V-8 that makes 562 hp and sees the 458 to 62 mph in just 3.4 seconds. Controversially, the 458 will be offered exclusively with a dual-clutch automatic transmission.