Toyota’s longest-running nameplate is sold worldwide in various guises. Americans flock to luxury SUVs so our Land Cruiser overflows with creature comforts. Four-zone climate control, 28 air vents, three rows of leather-trimmed seats and JBL Synthesis audio with 14 speakers are standard. Yet underneath it all, the Land Cruiser is built to go anywhere. The 381-bhp 5.7-liter V-8 mates with full-time 4-wheel drive and sophisticated features like Kinetic Dynamic Suspension and Crawl Control with Downhill Assist. Safety Connect with 24/7 emergency assistance is standard. Want more? Toyota obliges with an Upgrade Package that adds a rear entertainment system, navigation with backup camera, cooler box, rain-sensing wipers and rear seat heaters.
A supercharger ups the output of the XJR’s 4.2-liter V-8 engine to 400 horsepower, giving the sedan exhilarating performance. Externally, 20-in. alloy wheels are the only thing that differentiates the XJR from the XJ8. Underneath, though, more powerful R brakes and performance R-tuned CATS electronic suspension give the already well-behaved car even better handling in keeping with the performance. The long-wheelbase Super V8 is slightly softer and has the same upgraded interior as the Vanden Plas. A return of the extremely limited-edition Portfolio (only 140 are for sale in the U.S.) pushes the top-of-the-line model over $100,000. It has exclusive Celestial Black or Astral Gold metallic paint as well as rich oak veneers and unique piping on the leather interior.
Land Rover's flagship has been reborn, the new fourth-generation Range Rover hitting showrooms in December 2012. A completely new vehicle, it now has an aluminum unibody chassis for a huge 700-lb. weight savings. That means more performance and less fuel burn, especially with a new 8-speed ZF transmission behind the naturally aspirated or supercharged 5.0-liter V-8s. An upgraded air suspension and the reduced weight give even better handling with no degradation in ride quality. Inside there’s more room, more sumptuous wood and leather elegance, and less noise thanks to laminated front and side glass. A split, power-folding tailgate allows easy cargo and picnicking access. And yes, all the off-road prowess remains, although that might not matter much to this clientele.
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.
The Mustang may be retro inspired, but it remains one of the most widely recognized, respected, and desired nameplates in the automobile business. Today's Mustang still delivers the bold styling, rear-drive performance and affordability that have been Mustang hallmarks for decades.
The Mustang is available either as a coupe or convertible. Each is available with a 305-hp 3.7-liter V6 or a 420-hp 5.0-liter V8 engine. A six-speed manual transmission is standard; a six-speed automatic is optional. A 302 Boss coupe with a 444-hp 5.0-liter V8 and six-speed manual transmission is also available. Standard safety features include electronic stability control, traction control, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, side-impact airbags and sequential LED sequential tail lamps. The Mustang can be equipped with alloy wheels, automatic headlights, heated power leather seats, satellite radio, navigation system and more.