The past decade has been a good one for gearheads. The early 2000s heralded in a new wave a Japanese sports cars such as the Honda S2000, Nissan 350Z, Infinite G35, Mazda RX-8, Mistubishi Evolution, and Subaru WRX STi. Towards the latter end we received a resurgence of great American iron, as the Big 3 muscled up with “new classics” touting such iconic names as Dodge Challenger, Chevy Camaro, Ford Mustang 5.0, and let’s not forget those dear Pontiacs (RIP GTO and G8 GXP). Heck, even Cadillac took out their dentures and gave us the thundering CTS-V, which last time I checked had started a bar fight with some German bloke named “M5.” Porsche released a new rendition of the 911 every fortnight or two, and the BMW M3 acquired a V8 along the way (to a mixed reaction), and just when you thought it was safe to roam outside at night, Lamborghinis became somewhat reliable.

So then what kind of surprises can we look forward to for the future? I’ll talk a bit more about that in another entry after I acquire a crystal ball off eBay. However, I can tell you now what cars I’m looking forward to seeing in 2011.

Porsche Boxster Spyder

Sure, this poor man’s Porsche asks a higher entrance fee while offering less kit: it comes standard sans stereo, air conditioning, or even proper door handles. But while you ponder whether the steering wheel comes standard or optional at extra charge, consider the reason for such a paring down. Those floppy strips of cloth posing as door handles are saving precious weight that your floppy backside can no longer save since your mid-age crisis hit. The cloth roof is a glorified camping tarp that will force your rump to get out of the car and walk around to both sides, fiddling with clamps and buckles before you sit back in your now rain-soaked bucket seats. But hey, it made you get up and exercise, shaving more precious weight off in a simple act of inconvenient assembly (brilliant, Porsche, absolutely brilliant). If all this weight loss is making you Hungry4Horsepower, rest assured that the lightweight contender boosts an extra 10 ponies over a standard Boxster S, and has more torque too. My only question is: where do I sign up, and can I put my Boxster on my 24 Hour Fitness family plan?

photo credit: Gawker Media

Ford Mustang Boss 302

Ford’s famous ponycar has made a dramatic comeback in recent years and continues to impress with a stunning V6, fire-breathing 5 liter V8, and more iterations and Shelby brethren than can be counted on your hands and feet combined. Don’t overlook this latest Ford lovechild then, as it’s a cut above most in the Mustang family. Conceived by the late and great Larry Shinoda and raised on the Trans-Am speedways, the original 1969 Boss 302 ‘Stang and its more refined younger brother, the 429, dropped jaws and time slips with roaring bravado and became collectively triumphant. While “Boss” Shinoda is no longer around to see it, he’d be proud of the new 444-hp 302 that Ford is rolling out this spring. Sporting horseshoe mustache livery reminiscent of the original Boss, it looks the part – but  its uncompromising power and track-ready chassis are what separate this Boss from others.

photo credit: Ford

Ferrari 458 Italia

Ferrari is a brand synonymous with elegance and cutting edge F1 technology, but it seems they have truly outdone themselves on the 458 Italia. So much so, that the cars get excited and sometimes combust into flames. When they’re not BBQ-ing themselves they instead combust into beautiful song and speed – so beautiful that you’ll forget all about that fire recall, I can assure. I dare any of you to raise your hand who have not wet themselves at first sight of this car in person.

photo credit: CarAdvice.com.au

Fiat 500

The Fiat 500 is hardly what we can call a new car, but it is new (at least since its last arrival in 1975) to American shores. Ferrari’s parent company Fiat, had been developing the quirky and lovable 500 since 1957. It’s since taken a hiatus but reappeared in Europe and Asia in 2007, looking really quite the same albeit larger love handles since we last saw it in the 70s. Chubbier as it may be the 500 is still as lovable and has proved popular as an economical and sporty hatchback city car that will pose a stylish alternative to more common and more expensive MINI. Is there any chance that the US market will see an Abarth version? We’re keeping our fingers crossed – cute as the 500 is, this little Italian is Hungry4Horsepower.

photo credit: unknown

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

Here is a car that has earned its wings quite literally. It is the first car that Merc’s high performance tuning division AMG, has built from the ground up as a production vehicle. AMG has a reputation of taking prim and well-mannered Mercedes-Benz schoolgirls and turning them into leather-clad hellions that are downright nasty (in the good way, by all means). The SLS is no exception, save that it never started out a nice girl to begin with. It’s a tempest of a GT supercar, sporting that mighty M-B 6.2 V8 up front under the uber-long bonnet (a hood that long truly must be referred to as a bonnet), and those oh-so-impractical-but-oh-so-graceful gullwing doors around its midriff which hearken back to the 300SL Gullwing Benz. Propped open, the doors sinfully invite you to trouble, but once you’ve heard that V8 gurgling and doing whatever other sorts of gyrations it does under that bonnet, trouble never sounded so good…

photo credit: Mercedes-Benz

BMW 1 Series M Coupe

It is most certainly about time that we were offered a reasonable sized performance oriented coupe from BMW, and it sure is good that they answered the call before their roundel became permanently associated with country clubbers and their desperate housewives. Even the M division has been off on some mushroom-induced trip through Bavaria for some time now, as is verifiable by the monstrosity called “X6 M.” At this point, the E30 and E36 Ms of yesteryear seem a long ways off. Whereas M cars used to be little Davids slaying mighty goliaths, they have progressively grown into bulging, thirsty giants themselves. In comes the 1 Series M Coupe, a breath of fresh air. It borders on being over styled and there’s no room for any body in the rear except one that is chopped up. However, it’s comforting to know that M is still looking out for the little guy (with the big pocket).

photo credit: BMW

Lexus LFA

If you’ve seen that commercial where the LFA shatters a wine glass at high RPMs, you know why this car is anticipated. Or, if you’ve been following the development of the car you know all the dorky details of why it cost so much to develop over the past decade and why Toyota is losing money on each car sold. Or, perhaps you’ve seen the application required by Lexus to get in line for one. Regardless the reason, this is the monumental return of the Japanese supercar alongside Nissan’s GT-R, and it’s the final swan song given to us by the recently departed Hiromu Naruse, a godfather of iconic Toyota sports cars.

article: colbydc5

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Comments
  1. Rand says:

    If you just said future cars, I’m particularly excited for the focus ST

  2. colbydc5 says:

    The Focus ST does certainly seem like quite the potent hatch, doesn’t it? Although that is one car that I’d far prefer in a more plainclothes color than the usual bright and loud sports cars I enjoy. The ST already looks like a teenager had his way with it and ordered the whole JC Whitney catalog of body kits for it.

  3. colbydc5 says:

    Black is the new black.

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