The iconic Volkswagen GTI was arguably the first "hot hatch" when VW made a small hatchback fun to drive, now in its sixth generation, the GTI still lives up to the original's sporting intentions.
The GTI is available as a four-door, with a 210-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and the choice of a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed Direct Shift Gearbox, (DSG), which allows the driver to shift sequentially, without doing the clutch work, via paddles on the steering wheel or the shift lever itself. An extensive list of standard equipment is included, features such as well-bolstered cloth sport seats with plaid inserts, halogen fog lamps, alloy pedals, SIRIUS satellite radio, 18-inch performance tires on alloy wheels, sport suspension, six airbags, tire pressure monitoring, an 8-speaker touch-screen audio system, Bluetooth and a multi-function leather steering wheel.
For 2014, the GTI overall is unchanged. The Wolfsburg Edition and Drivers Edition are the only two trims available.
Spoiler alert! If a 2012 all-wheel-drive 911 Carrera or a Cabriolet, Targa or GTS, is on your shopping list, here’s something you should know: All of those models, which are unchanged from 2011, are based on the previous-generation 911 and not on the recently unveiled all-new Carrera. Although they’re unchanged from 2011, they’re must-haves because they’re the only 911s of their kind. For all-wheel-drive only, it’s a simple Carrera 4 coupe, available in normal and S versions. For open-air touring choose the Cabrio or Targa, with either awd or rwd. Need better performance? Opt for one of the 408-bhp GTS variants (coupe or Cabrio, awd or rwd), which top out at $120,100 in Carrera 4 GTS Cabriolet trim.
The Cadillac CTS-V models have lots of horsepower, top of the class handling, an impressively finished interior, and a large dose of style. Available as a Sport Sedan, Sport Wagon, or Sport Coupe they have all the performance and stunning good looks to be the best in class.
The CTS-V comes standard with 19-inch alloy wheels, run-flat performance tires, and a sport suspension with Magnetic Ride Control. Interior highlights include suede and leather trim, a standard Bose 5.1 Cabin Surround Sound audio system with 10 speakers, DVD-Audio, a 40GB Hard Drive Device and both USB and auxiliary MP3-player jacks. The standard engine is a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 generating 556 horsepower and 551 pound-feet of torque. Transmission choices include a standard six-speed manual or six-speed automatic.
The BMW 550i Gran Turismo offers a new form of versatility and style as an extension of the 5-series line-up.
The 550i Gran Turismo is offered in both rear-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive (xDrive) layouts, and is powered by a 400-hp 4.4-liter twin turbocharged V8 engine. An eight-speed automatic with manual shift control is the only transmission choice. Standard features include leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, an AM/FM/HD/CD audio system with 12 speakers, bi-xenon adaptive headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels and a panorama sunroof. The unique dual-access tailgate provides a small trunk-like opening, or a large liftgate for oversize items. Standard safety features include anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, six airbags, LED brakelights, headlight washers and front and rear parking sensors; while more advanced safety features such as a lane-departure warning system, blind spot detection and night vision are optional.
For 2013, the 550i Gran Turismo adds auto stop-start and ECO PRO to standard equipment
The BMW 335i delivers a special mix of sporting performance, practicality and European luxury in a compact package. It's the car that defines 'sport sedan', and the benchmark every luxury car maker from Acura to Volvo aims at when it develops an entry-level luxury sport sedan.
The rear-wheel drive 335i is available in coupe, sedan and convertible bodies, while the xDrive all-wheel drive system is available in coupe only. Power is provided by a 3.0-liter, turbo, inline six-cylinder engine that puts out 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on all variations, with a six-speed automatic transmission optional. Standard safety features include six airbags, adaptive bi-xenon headlights, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with adaptive brakelights, traction and stability control, active anti-whiplash head restraints, as well as automatic pop-up roll-over protection on the convertible.
For 2013, the coupe and cabriolet remain unchanged on the E90 platform; the F30 sedan, which was all-new for 2012, adds xDrive to the line-up.