Honed to a razor edge, the carbonfiber-intensive Z06 is not quite the flatout fastest Corvette, but it's the most serious track day weapon, with gunfighter reflexes, limpet grip, surgically precise steering and stop-on-a-dime braking. And if it cedes some speed to the supercharged ZR1, it's not much. With 505 bhp from its 7.0-liter V-8, the Z06 covers a quarter mile in well under 12 seconds, and is capable of 198 mph. Named for Chevy's famous old "rat motor" big-block V-8, the new 427 is essentially a convertible version of the Z06, with the same dynamic credentials. This is the final year for the C6 generation, so aside from the 427, the only change is a 60th anniversary cosmetic package.
Big and comfy are Navigator bywords. Typically scaling three tons across its truck-based ladder frame, the Navigator is for big groups on big jobs. Think yachts to the sea and horses to dressage. It’s also loaded with all of Lincoln’s luxury, from olive and walnut swirl wood trim, leather and anechoic chamber levels of sound deadening to power extending running boards and V-8 torque. Towing is a natural and electronic gadgetry a given. Navigators are available in the standard 119-in. wheelbase, or the extended 123-in. L model for extra cargo and family room. As a mature design, the Nav get only small detail improvements such as spotter exterior mirrors and AppLink connectivity for smartphones for 2012.
Extensively redesigned, this is the eighth generation of Chevy's midsize sedan. The wheelbase is 4.5 in. shorter and the track over 2 in. wider, lending visual muscle to the otherwise conservative styling. Chevy claims a 20-percent chassis rigidity upgrade, as well as more room in the classy interior, despite reduced dimensions. There are three engine choices, all with direct fuel injection, led by the new 182-hp Ecotec 4-cylinder that's the heart of the eAssist Eco model. A mild gas/electric hybrid, the Eco is rated for 25 mpg city, 37 mpg highway, topping the Malibu charts. The Malibu delivers creamy ride quality with quiet operation, and a 259-bhp 2.0-liter turbo four is available to satisfy those with a need for speed.
The Volkswagen Eos is a unique all-season convertible with an integrated power panoramic sunroof that sets it apart from all other retractable hardtop convertibles on the market.
The 2014 Eos is powered by a 200-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a six-speed DSG automatic transmission. There are three available trims: Komfort, Sport, and Executive. Standard features include heated front seats, electronic dual-zone climate control, a leather-wrapped multifunctional steering wheel, SiriusXM satellite radio, and Bluetooth Handsfree wireless connectivity. Safety features include active seat-integrated rollover bars, daytime running lights, electronic stability program, hill hold control, a tire pressure monitoring system, and front and side airbags. Steering linked Bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights are standard on all but the Komfort trim.
For 2014, the Lux trim has been removed from the line-up and touchscreen navigation is now standard on all trims.
The raging bull from Sant’Agata Bolognese charges into 2011 with an all-new Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera. Based on the already impressive Gallardo 560-4 (which remains unchanged), the Supperleggera ups its performance with a bump in horsepower to 570, and loses about 154 lb. thanks to extensive use of carbon-fiber components. The lighter Gallardo retains the 6-speed, single-clutch paddle-shift e-gear transmission. For purists, a traditional gearbox is still available as a no-cost option. Maximizing the Superleggera’s 398 lb.-ft. of torque is viscous all-wheel drive that can apportion the power for optimal traction. A limited-slip differential at the rear also helps the car accelerate out of corners quickly.