After a long string of concepts it’s finally official, and judging by the looks of it this supercar was well worth the wait. Acura’s 2016 NSX is a four-wheel drive hybrid that has its real wheels driven by a mid-mounted twin-turbo DOHC V6 and a direct-drive electric motor that bolsters acceleration and braking, and boasts twin independent electric motors linked to its front wheels as well for lightning quick launches and ridiculous handling response. Other features include an ultra-rigid aluminum & high-strength steel frame anchored by a carbon fiber floor, a rapidly shifting 9-speed dual clutch transmission, the lowest center of gravity in its class, and aggressive looks that are bound to get heads spinning.
Stay informed at Acura – est. $150,000
The way we see it, widespread electric vehicle adoption hinges on practicality. And in that regard, Chevrolet’s 2016 Volt is more convincing in every which way than was its predecessor. The new Volt boasts a higher capacity battery that’s lighter than before for 50 miles of gas-free commute range, a more powerful 1.5L SIDI high-efficiency engine that kicks in when the battery is depleted, and a lighter dual electric motor drive unit makes for a nimbler ride and better acceleration. It also dabbles in high technology, offering optional 4G LTE Wi-Fi, an 8″ capacitive center console that’s equipped with ApplePlay and MirrorLink for mirroring your phone, and a variety of sensors to warn you if you’re at risk for a collision or drifting from your lane.
Learn more at Chevrolet – $TBA
Before long we’ll be having to choose between different models of self-driving cars, and if current concepts are any indication, we’ll take Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury In Motion. More mobile living space than car — logical, considering this automobile drives itself — the F 015 boasts a bold but streamlined shape that maximizes interior space, making full use of it thanks to four luxurious swivelling lounge chairs in face-to-face arrangement, six touchscreen displays, and gorgeous walnut floors complemented by ice-white nappa leather walls. It also boasts a handful of imaginative communication-centric features including oversized LED arrays on the front and back, a front-facing laser system that can project a virtual crosswalk on the road amongst other things, and a outdoor speaker for acoustic cues. Plus, its power plant is as advanced as the rest, relying on both a battery and a fuel cell to cover a total range of up to 1,100 kilometres while pumping out no emissions to speak of.
Learn more at Mercedes – $TBA
While anniversary editions of any iconic vehicles [whose parent company is still in existence] are expected, we’re still a little dumbfounded at how accurately Shelby’s Cobra 427 50th Anniversary embodies the original (though this is not without catch – read on). The “new” 427 comes with a muscular fiberglass or polished aluminum body, gold 50th anniversary badges, and a large empty space under the hood for the engine and transmission of your choosing, since technically this is a kit car. Limited to 50 units, so if you want one you’d better get your checkbook ready by January 13th.
Learn more at Shelby – $120,000 (fiberglass) to $180,000 (aluminum) [via]
That enigmatic check engine light getting you down? Figure out what’s really bothering your car with Mechanic Advisor, a small key that plugs into virtually every automobile manufactured since 1996. Once installed, your car can talk directly to your Bluetooth-enabled smartphone, feeding you alerts and interpretations of over 20,000 vehicle codes. The app also manages your car’s maintenance schedule to remind you of oil changes, recommended maintenance, tire replacement, and more. And while you’ll still rely on repair shops, the in-app database of over 500,000 mechanics will help you make choosing one an informed decision thanks to extensive profiles and customer reviews.
Find it at Mechanic Advisor – $45 [via]
The enigmatic D in Elon Musk’s recent tweet stood for Dual, as in dual motor. If you’re wondering why you should care, the answer’s pretty simple: the P85D. This flagship version of Tesla’s Model S adds a second 221 horsepower electric motor to drive the car’s front wheels (read: four wheel drive), totalling 691 horsepower in all to launch this sedan from 0 to 60 in 3.2 seconds flat — as fast as a McLaren F1 but with far more trunk space. Every new Tesla also includes Auto Pilot mode which, while not actually taking the job of driving away from you just yet, surveys the road and surrounding vehicles using cameras and ultrasonic sensors to both smoothly execute lane change maneuvers just by flicking on your turn signal and reduce speed by interpreting speed limit signs. And if that all extra power proves unnecessary, grab a standard Model S with D option for better traction and more efficient energy recovery, actually resulting in 10 extra miles of range.
Hit up Tesla for details – $120,000
Apparently, the Venom GT’s title for world’s fastest production car – at 270.49 mph (435 km/h), by the way – didn’t quite satisfy Hennessey. The speed-hungry tuning house is already working on its successor, the aptly named Venom F5, 5 to denote the strongest tornadoes on the Fujita scale. With looks to match its advanced aerodynamics and a low curb weight thanks to the extensive use of carbon fiber and aluminum, this machine has a leg up on its predecessor from the get go, even before we mention the ludicrous estimated 1,400bhp churned out by its twin-turbo V8. So what will this amount of car get you? A blistering predicted top speed of 290 mph (466 km/h), at least on paper – finding a suitable road or track to test it yourself might prove… difficult.
Hit up Hennessey for details – $TBA (but likely over $1.2M)
While driving, we all might write off the occasional glimpse towards our smartphones as inconsequential, but it’s illegal in many states, not to mention dangerous. At the same time, however, we’re not quite willing to give up on our phones’ highly versatile feature sets in the car. Navdy is the answer. With its transparent heads-up display, Navdy projects information as if it were floating six feet in front of you, letting you keep your eyes on the road at all times. It works with both Android & iOS devices to seamlessly extend various apps, responds to touchless gestures, such as swiping left to answer a call or right to dismiss a notification, and uses voice recognition to write texts, place phone calls, Tweet, and more.
Preorder at Navdy – $300
“Woe to you oh earth and sea, for the devil sends the Beast with wrath because he knows the time is short…” Was it the Bible or Iron Maiden? Either way the Rezvani Beast is full of the kind of throat punching, heart pounding wrath that’s a throwback to a time when it was just you, power, and the road. This Beast (pun intended) accelerates from 0-60 in 2.7 seconds thanks to a supercharged and turbocharged 4-cylinder located directly behind the driver. Couple this with a 1550lb carbon fiber body and 5 speed manual transmission, and its 500hp engine is sufficient to thrust you and your passenger to the back of your seats. Unlike many other modern supercars, the Beast has limited computerized settings, letting you experience the road the way it was meant to. And, remove the windshield and doors for an even truer track experience. Road legal, the Beast is a registered specialty construction vehicle and priced for more budget minded supercar enthusiast.
Check it out at Rezvani Motors – $119,000
Value torque over horsepower? Trident’s Iceni produces loads of both, with a rather steep inclination towards the former. This two-seater sports a mid-front mounted 6.6 litre turbo diesel V8 that outputs 700 lbs-ft of torque plus 395bhp and is coupled to a strong, rigid stainless steel chassis. And, perhaps most importantly to eco-conscious sports car aficionados, it boasts a 0 to 60 time of 3.7 seconds and top speed of over 190mph, seemingly miraculous considering its startling 70 mpg fuel economy and 2,000 mile range before requiring a fill-up.
Read more at Trident Sports Cars – $162,000