Coming to America
5 of Geneva's coolest rides that we can't wait to drive on this side of the pond.
All of the sexy supercars and crazy-looking concepts unveiled here at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show are great eye candy for the masses and stir the imaginations of car enthusiasts around the world. But it's highly unlikely that any of us — the 98 percent of the population that can't afford them — will ever drive one of these foreign fantasy cars, let alone own one. (Once again, the 2-percenters have all the fun.) And that's OK, because we're just as jazzed by those machines on display here in Switzerland that will be coming to the United States in one form or another. These are the machines we will actually be able to drive in the coming months. Here are our five favorites:
2014 Audi A3
The Audi A3 was one of America's first premium compact cars when it came here in 2006, and now it's time for an update. The next-generation A3 will launch this September in Europe as a 2-door hatchback, but we will get a 4-door sedan and likely a 4-door hatch as 2014 models. Audi announced a pair of small diesel engines for Europe, but expect our version to keep its 2.0-liter 200-horsepower turbocharged gas and 2.0-liter 140-horse turbodiesel engines. Inside, the A3 will add features from higher-end Audis, including a navigation system with Google Earth integration and a touch pad to input letters with the swipe of a finger. Pricing should start at less than $30,000.
The Boxster has always handled amazingly well, and Porsche cites several reasons why the new model will be even better. A longer wheelbase and wider track should make it feel more planted, while a lighter body should improve agility. New electromechanical power steering could be a sticking point, as early reports have said the feature isn't so satisfying in the new 911. Porsche says the new Boxster will be as much as 15 percent more efficient than its predecessor, and power improves slightly, too — the base 2.7-liter flat six engine gains 10 horsepower, to 265, while the S model's 3.4-liter version adds five more horses for a total of 315. Porsche's new midengine drop-top will go on sale in June with a starting price of $49,500.
2013 BMW M6 Coupe
BMW's M-tuned 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine wreaks holy havoc in the M5 sedan. Now the M6 coupe gets the same treatment. BMW says the M6 can blast from zero to 60 mph in just 4.1 seconds with the 7-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission. (A 6-speed manual is likely, as well.) BMW's torque-vectoring Active M Differential makes sure both rear wheels get power, but a lead foot will assure that both lose grip quickly. M-specific Dynamic Damper Control sharpens the handling, and optional carbon-ceramic brakes increase the stopping power. The M6 is due in late summer. Watch for pricing, and the unveiling of the M6 convertible, at the New York Auto Show in April.
2013 Ford Fiesta ST
For years, American enthusiasts have bemoaned the fact that Ford doesn't bring its European hot hatches to the United States. Well, the Focus ST is coming soon, and we'll probably get a Fiesta ST, too. The European version of the Fiesta ST is a 2-door hatchback motivated by a 1.6-liter 178-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. The car sits 0.6 inch lower than the base model, features more aggressive front and rear fascias, and gets heavily bolstered sport seats. No announcement has been made about a U.S. version, but one official recently told us that if Europe gets a Fiesta ST, so will the U.S. Ours will likely be a 4-door hatchback, and we will probably get it next year as a 2014 model.
MINI John Cooper Works Countryman
With its larger size and taller ride height, the MINI Countryman isn't as fun to drive as its smaller siblings. Maybe the John Cooper Works version can change that. The Countryman JCW is powered by an updated 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that makes 218 horsepower, the most ever in a MINI. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard and a 6-speed automatic is optional. Changes from the base model include a sport suspension lowered 0.4 inch, aerodynamic body panels and 18-inch alloy wheels with 19s optional. It will be the first JCW model with MINI's All4 all-wheel-drive system and will go on sale this fall with a price in the mid-$30,000 range.
Kirk Bell has served as the associate publisher for Consumer Guide Automotive and editor of Scale Auto Enthusiast magazine. A Midwest native, Bell brings 18 years of automotive journalism experience to MSN, and currently contributes to JDPower.com and Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com.
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american cars ha ha ha what crap ,American muscle cars built in other countries what a joke. don't be fooled
american cars are still garbage............
Many Hyundai models are built in Alabama. I know...I own one.
Automakers need to give America what it Really Needs ... 100+MPG Vehicles ... to Lower Our Demand for Oil ... Drive Down Current Sky High Gas Prices ... and End Foreign Oil Dependence.
Here Are (10) "Concept Cars" ... Autos Previously Displayed ... to determine if There Was Enough Interest ... to Begin Production :
(1980) - Subaru X100 - 100MPG @ 55MPH - 100MPH Top Speed.
(1992) - G.M. Ultralight - 100MPG @ 50MPH.
(2002) - Toyota ES3 - 100MPG.
(2002) - G.M. Autonomy - 100MPG.
(2003) - Volkswagen 1 Liter - 285MPG - 75MPH Top Speed.
(2006) - Aptera - 330MPG - Projected Sales Price - Less Than $20,000 .
(2007) - Volvo ReCharge C30 - 160MPG.
(2009) - Honda Insight Hybrid - 100MPG.
(2010) - Audi e-tron - 100MPG.
(2010) - Kia Motors - 202MPG.
Automakers ... Quit Stalling ... Start Producing Those 100+MPG Concept Cars ... and ... With Prices Under $20,000 !!!
I kind of remember hearing that GM reopened U.S. plants, such as the old Saturn plant in TN. They also added thousands of jobs across the country (I mean the U.S.A.).
Chyrsler followed suit and added jobs in their U.S. plants, as well as gave existing plants new models to build such as their 2013 Dodge Dart, a new economy car/pocket rocket to be built in Belvidere, IL.
Both manufacturers tried to pay back the American taxpayer for their loans by giving back to us with jobs. I would say that is better than closing everything down here and putting an economic blight on the cities where they once had plants.
Yes, both GM and Chrysler have plants in Mexico and just across the border in Canada, but there are numerous plants still in operation here too. Health care was supposedly always the stumbling block for creating more manufacturing and white collar jobs here. The price for keeping the greedy health care industry wealthy was to give up jobs to other countries. Want to blame someone for that fact, then point your finger at that industry, as well as the politicians who don't want you to even have health care.
We don't have to wait for any of these cars to come across the pond. They are already here!
Quit slamming GM, Ford and Chrysler because you are a Republican with a political agenda or you are trying to justify buying that rice burner, knowing you are not an economic patriot, just a self-centered cry baby! God bless the middle class!