100 hot new cars - part 3 - Coupes and convertibles part 1

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  • All the star cars coming in 2011-12
  • Coupes to sports cars
  • 2011-12 launch calendar, too
BMW 6 Series
What is it? New version of BMW’s 5 Series-based coupé/convertible
Estimated price from £57,000
On sale March 2011

Apart from minor details, such as the wheels, door mirrors and exhaust tailpipes, the production version of BMW’s new 6 Series will look identical to the concept car seen at the Paris motor show in 2010. As with the latest 5 Series – with which it shares many mechanical parts – the new 6 Series has a more smoothed-off look than before. There are still quirks such as the unusual bootlid shutline, however, while the shark-like front and sharp side creases give it a suitably sporty look.

Inside, the new 6’s interior has a similar theme to that of the current car, with a centre console angled towards the driver and a dashboard that curves neatly into the door panels. BMW’s latest entertainment and iDrive control systems will be on-board, as will much of the slick switchgear from the latest 5 Series.

Two turbocharged petrol engines will be available: a 316bhp 3.0-litre and a 401bhp 4.4-litre V8. There are no details on which diesel engines will be offered, but it’s a safe bet that the six-cylinder units from the 5 Series will be among the options. The two petrols will come with an eight-speed automatic gearbox as standard.

Before the coupé arrives late next year, a convertible model goes on sale in March. It’ll have an updated version of the current car’s cloth roof, which can be raised or lowered on the move.

A closely related four-door saloon model based on BMW’s Gran Coupé concept car – and a natural rival for the Audi A7 Sportback and Mercedes CLS – is expected to be launched in 2012. You’ll have to wait until at least then for the high-performance M6 versions of the 6 Series, too.

Hyundai Veloster
What is it? Hyundai’s answer to the VW Scirocco
Estimated price from £17,000
On sale October 2011

Hyundai's designers must have been taking brave pills, because the new Veloster
coupé promises to be its most eye-catching car yet.

The production version is expected to receive only minor changes from the concept car that’s been seen at various motor shows. That means there’ll be
a similarly bold front end, blacked-out front windscreen pillars, bulging wheelarches and an abrupt rear.

The driver’s side has a conventional single door, but on the other side there are two doors to aid access to the rear seats. The set-up will be engineered for right-hand-drive cars.

The Veloster is expected to be launched with a 1.6-litre petrol with 140bhp.

Mercedes-Benz SLK
What is it? Mercedes’ new desirable baby drop-top
Estimated price £31,000
On sale Summer 2011

Mercedes isn't about to mess about with a winning formula when it launches the third-generation SLK next summer.

As before, you can expect a folding metal roof and a classy, two-seat cabin. Inside and out, the SLK’s styling will be updated to incorporate Mercedes’ latest look, with clear echoes of the SLS AMG supercar. You can expect a deep, chunky front grille dominating a front end that’s also similar to that of the new CLS. LED front and rear light details will also be introduced, and although there’ll be a more muscular look than before, the overall dimensions are expected to be little changed.

A range of updated engines is expected and a diesel engine is a possibility. Although the SLK isn’t likely to transform into a raw, thrill-a-minute roadster, Mercedes is expected to make the new model a little lighter, so it should be more agile.

Cadillac CTS-V Coupé
What is it? All-American coupé with outrageous power and pricetag
Price £69,785
On sale Jan 2011

American cars are big and brash, right? That’s just a stereotype, of course, but one that the CTS-V Coupé happily lives up to. With angular styling and generous dimensions, it’s not for shrinking violets.

The same goes for the thunderous 556bhp supercharged 6.2-litre V8 engine. A 0-62mph time of 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 175mph makes it a rival for the CL63 AMG for performance, but the CTS-V is a lot cheaper. That said, it’ll still set you back nearly £70,000 and you’ll have to be willing to put up with left-hand drive and just one UK dealer.

Jaguar XK D
What is it? Diesel-powered version of Jaguar’s slick coupé
Estimated price from £63,000
On sale Late 2011

Jaguar is mulling the launch of a diesel-powered version of the current XK coupé. If it gets the green light, the twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 unit is likely to have the same 271bhp output as the equivalent XF model. That should mean similar performance to the V8 petrol XK, but much lower CO2 emissions and superior economy.

If Jag opts against the launch, a diesel XK won’t exist until the new car arrives in 2013. The next XK is expected to be larger than the current car, to make way for a smaller coupé to sit beneath it. The new XK will also be much more boldly styled.

In brief…
Audi Quattro
The Quattro concept car that made its debut at the Paris motor show was a sure-fire winner with visitors. Audi hasn’t confirmed a production version, but insiders admit there are no technical reasons why it couldn’t be built. Expect a £50k pricetag.

What's your most exciting car of 2011? Take part in our Car of the Year poll.

100 hot new cars - part 3 - Coupes and convertibles part 2


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