The annual auto show in the town is never short of sizzling displays as car makers bring their hottest vehicles to the world’s largest market with efforts to lure increasingly sophisticated automotive lovers and buyers.
Toyota’s new mid-size four-door sedan uses no gasoline, emitting only water vapor from its hydrogen-powered electric fuel cell. Operating much like a battery electric vehicle, the new fuel cell underpins a sharp lift in performance, with a maximum output of 153 horsepower, and accelerating from 0-100 km/hr in 9.1 seconds. On top of that it only takes five minutes to refuel, making it much more convenient than earlier green cars. The Mirai comes out later this year and production has already been boosted in anticipation of strong demand.
F 015 LUXURY IN MOTION
The latest in luxury from Mercedes-Benz sees itself stepping into the future in preparation for wide-spread self-drive automobiles, with face-toface lounge seating and six digital displays to let its passengers interact with the vehicle through gestures, eye-tracking and high-resolution touchscreens. The car’s electric hybrid system has a total range of 1,100 kilometers, and is able to cover similar distances to diesel-engine automobiles. With this luxury sedan, Mercedes-Benz illustrates how the car is growing beyond its role as a mere means of transport.
PORSCHE 911 TARGA 4 GTS
Porsche is all about mashing up style with performance in the 911 Targa 4 GTS, delivering a lush interior with the classic exterior design. That’s not to say power has been ignored, with the 3.8 liter engine featuring direct fuel injection able to generate 430 horsepower for a top speed of 301 km/hr and a 0-100 km/hr sprint in 4.3 seconds.
The latest Aventador boasts ultra-lightweight carbon fiber backed by a V12 engine delivering maximum 750 horsepower that can take the vehicle to speeds of more than 350 km/hr. Lamborghini focused on stripping down to raw power with the Superveloce, dropping soundproofing and navigation systems, but there won’t be any complaints when you go from 0-100 km in just 2.8 seconds. The Superveloce excels in cornering where its four-wheel drive system is supported by Lamborghini’s dynamic steering and its magnetic suspension.
BENTLEY EXP 10 SPEED 6
Bentley’s luxury, high-performance two-seater is the car maker’s most performance-oriented design, which it hails as the next generation of sports cars. Two quilted sports seats are positioned on either side of the center console, which houses driver controls including a 12-inch touch screen, without giving up Bentley’s luxury style. There is no word yet on what the driving experience will be with the engine specifications still under wraps.
FERRARI 448 GTB
The 448 GTB is the next generation of Ferraris, and, like its predecessor, it carries a V8. Unlike the 458, this V8 is turbo-charged, producing 661 horsepower and getting from 0-100 km/hr in three seconds flat. Other tweaks have provided an improved performance with 50 percent more downforce and reduced drag. Ferrari says it’s the most responsive production model out there, which can be compared to that of a track car.
BMW X5 XDRIVE 40E
BMW is launching its new plug-in hybrid SUV with an engine that isn’t skimping with total output of 313 horsepower that can get a top speed of 210 km/hr. On electric power alone, the car will be able to travel up to 31 kilometers, with a top speed of 120 km/hr.
Inspired by the Le Mans-winning F1 GTR “Longtail” road-car, McLaren offers an ultralight vehicle with a V8 twin-turbocharged engine to produce 666 horsepower. Combined with a new exhaust made of titanium, lightweight turbos and tweaks to the engine, the new Longtail can do 0-100 km/hr in 2.9 seconds with a top speed of some 328 km/hr. All of this makes it a fully trackfocused car. That is typically what McLaren owners want out of a car.
Initial interest in Aston Martin’s V12-powered Lagonda Taraf convinced the car marker to increase its decision to only sell the automobile in the Middle East, though it’s still going to be hard to source with a run of just 200 in the pipeline. The 550-horsepower engine should do a 0-100 km/hr stretch in about four seconds, with a top speed at about 360 km/hr. The car’s styling takes its cue from its 1976 Lagonda namesake, which was notable for being at the forefront of using new technology at the time.
NISSAN GT-R NISMO
With a twin-turbocharged V6 engine delivering 600 horsepower, it’s little wonder that the Nismo is designed for speed. Up to 350 km/hr in fact. Its predecessor was already doing 0-100 km/hr in 2.7 seconds and the Nismo upped the ante with a more powerful engine, a lower center of gravity from some aerodynamic tweaks and a bonding process that gives the car a feel of greater precision. The GT-R was always a bit of a monster — the Nismo is a little more so.
FORD SALEEN MUSTANG
The team at Saleen kept their new Mustang under wraps for a long time, dropping hints at what it would be able to do. Well, they’ve put out three different labels — white, yellow and black — with the first two delivering 640 horsepower. The third, black label, is a different kettle of fish, with a mammoth 730 horsepower from its 5.0 liter engine with twin-screw supercharger, something Saleen says is the most powerful, refined and advanced Mustang on the road. Just on sheer power alone that should be enough to impress.