It won’t be here in time for summer, but invest in your future (i.e. summertime 2015) with Chevrolet’s drop-top Z06. Despite its fully electronic top that can be remotely lowered at speeds of up to 30mph, this Z06 was designed from the get-go to be an open-top vehicle, meaning its rigid aluminum frame is up for whatever torsional punishment its engine and handling can dish out. Speaking of which, its supercharged V8 puts out over 625 horsepower and 635 lbs-ft of torque, transmitted through either a 7-speed manual or 8-speed paddle-shift automatic to its massive 19- and 20- front and rear wheels, respectively. And we haven’t even talked about its Active Fuel Management (that shuts off half its cylinders for 29mpg highway driving), five selectable driver modes to personalize each drive, and Magnetic Selective Ride Control that automatically controls suspension stiffness for a smooth, responsive ride regardless of terrain variations.
Read more at Chevrolet – $TBA
Recent studies have shown that drivers of luxury automobiles like Mercedes, BMW, Jaguar and yes, Porsche, are more arrogant than the rest of us. In the case of the new Porsche Cayman GTS, its owners have perfect right to be, at least when it comes to their car. An entirely new fascia front with larger air intakes set off the look of the new GTS from the start, but its jaw dropping beauty – both in and out – doesn’t end there. The exhaust system offers a deeper, more sports car-like sound at the push of a button for when it’s time to show BMW owners what a real European high performance vehicle both looks and sounds like since, along with the classic style and luxury of the Porsche, the GTS comes standard with a robust 340 hp-producing mid-mounted flat six. A sportier setup for the engine, chassis and manual gearbox is easily controlled through the use of the new sport chrono package with which you’ll be able to, among other things, calculate your lap times.
Find it at Porsche – $75,200+
There’s something about an Audi TT badge on the rear deck of a car. Just a glance elicits a sensory response… the whine of the turbo, the look of aerodynamic engineering, the taste of… you get the idea. Following up on the success of the first and second generations, the third generation of Audi’s two seat sports car is here. Borrowing the rounded fenders, unique taillights and dual exhaust from the first gen, the hidden rear spoiler that deploys at 75 mph from the second, the third gen adds the sculpted grille and headlights of the Audi Quattro. Three available power trains propels the new TT, with the base model offering 184 hp and a stellar 56 miles per gallon while midline models offer up to 230 hp. For those with a need for speed, the Audi TTS offers 310 hp from its 2.0T and reaches 62 mph in just 4.7 seconds with a top speed over 155 mph.
More info and Audi’s press release at AutoBlog – $TBA
McLaren’s 12C not quite doing it for you? Doubtful, but McLaren’s still reworked that supercar into something faster and more performing that sits alongside the original in their lineup. Titled after its power output – that’s 650 metric horsepower – the 650S produces thanks to a twin-turbo 3.8-litre V8 matched with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. With a 0-60 time of 3 seconds flat, a top speed of 207mph and aesthetics inspired by McLaren’s P1 at a fraction of the cost, the 650S actually looks to be a relatively good deal, at least as far as dropping heaps of money on a car goes.
Read more at McLaren – $TBA (but likely a bit over $300k)
If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough. The Felino CB7 lets you lose control. Race car fans and aficionados of elegant design alike will appreciate the flowing lines of this carbon fiber and composite two-seater sports car. Weighing in at under 2500lbs, with a performance minded 50/50 weight distribution and a host of race inspired features, the standard 6.2L V8 churns out 525hp, while a 6-speed manual transmission directs the 489ft/lbs of torque to the rear wheels. Though built for the track, the Felino will also be available in four and six cylinder versions for the slightly more sensible.
Ogle some more at Felino – $TBA (but likely about $100,000)
How does one improve upon what’s effectively the only premium car smartphone mount in production? Painstakingly, we imagine, since NKMOS’ Ultima S streamlines its predecessor’s sleek aluminum hardware to the point of functional and aesthetic minimalism. They started by replacing the movable press mechanism with a compact polyurethane sticky pad that effortlessly bears the weight of a full-sized iPad, let alone virtually any smartphone. It also boasts a durable metal ball joint for smooth angle adjustment and an upgraded rock solid suction cup generating such grip that it won’t yield until released, even while peeling your phone from the sticky pad’s hold.
Hurry to Kickstarter for the early bird special – $45+
If you’ve got a standard 2” trailer hitch and like to relax – or just sit down – you’ll love Hammaka’s Trailer Hitch Stand with Hammock Chairs. Designed with an eye for comfort whether used for fishing, camping, tailgating or other outdoor recreating, the 3-piece stand assembles in minutes, then attaches to your hitch to provide a stable platform for 2 comfortable Hammaka chairs. It supports 250 lbs. per chair and boasts a powder coated finish to withstand years of leisurely use. Take note, however, that stationary relaxation is recommended, since preliminary reports indicate that being launched from the chairs while cornering may result in injury.
Find it at Wayfair – $306
With winter already in full swing, our most crucial roadside allies include a shovel, snow brush, and ice scraper. Quirky combines all three in Zeus, a fantastic tool that’s bound to dig you out of trouble this season. Zeus’ shovel stays compact until needed, extending to the length of a full-sized one when it’s time to get to work. To clean snow off your vehicle, just pull out its handle for access to the snow brush or to scrape off some ice using its high-impact head. Else, should your situation be so dire that Zeus can’t dig you out, its handle doubles as an emergency reflector to boost visibility until help arrives.
Mad Max would have loved these. Smittybilt’s G.E.A.R. Seat Covers turn your everyday commuter into a tactical machine. These seat covers are made of durable 600 Denier Polyester lined with PVC and come fully equipped with storage compartments for organizing your gear, all while protecting your seats from wear and tear. Comfort wasn’t an afterthought with pockets designed to be accessible without being in the way, and their layout is easily customized using their modularity and the cover’s Molle/Pals system. They fit most Jeep models, old and new, and come in four colors – camo, black, coyote tan, and olive drab green.
BMW’s M series has always stirred controversy but then, the M series never did fit into a traditional mold. The newly announced 2015 BMW M3 Sedan was never in the mold to start with. A twin turbocharged inline-six give this M3 425 hp, 5 more than the 2014′s 4.0 V-8. And torque, about 406 lb-ft, a gain of 111 over the 2014 model. The M3 generates this hp/torque combo using two fast-spooling single scroll turbochargers, Valvetronic variable valve timing and Double VANOS variable camshaft timing, meaning that when you press the accelerator your head snaps back and your pulse quickens. A standard six speed manual keeps the power plant in check. But all that power is useless unless it’s coupled with a performance suspension and new carefully honed aerodynamics. Wider wheel wells accommodate 18″ or 19″ tires and just look cool, while the interior has been upgraded with M-style touches, such as door sills, driver’s footrest, gearshift lever, redesigned instrument panel and a leather steering wheel. The front seats are one-piece back panel with contrast stitching and the rear seats are a 60/40 split. And if you’re concerned about mileage, your wallet will thank you: the 2015 consumes 25% less fuel than this years V-8.
Keep your eyes peeled for its release next year. Read the press release and Autoblog’s take here – $TBA