In no particular order, Editor At Large Jay Traugott gives his top picks of the most incredible sports cars displayed at this year's Frankfurt Auto Show.
The Frankfurt Auto Show is a special event, taking place biennially. Since 1897, many cars have made their first appearance at the event, such as the Volkswagen Beetle in 1939. Automakers come from throughout the world to display everything from their latest production models, future concepts, and examples of emerging automotive in full-force. This year's show proved once again that Frankfurt is the place for the world's finest automakers to unveil their very best.
We've put together a list of the best and most exciting supercars that will be heading to showrooms in the coming months. Expensive? No question, but each car listed here is more than worth their price tag, for they will bring their owners enough happiness that will make all other problems disappear. 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera It's been 48 years in the making, but Porsche has clearly taken the fine wine approach to the 911: it just keeps getting better with age. The seventh-generation 911 is all-new from the ground-up.
Power comes from a rear-mounted 3.4-liter flat six with 350 horsepower in the Carrera, while the Carrera S is equipped with a more powerful 3.8-liter unit with 400 horsepower. And for the first time ever, Porsche is offering a seven-speed manual transmission. Buyers can also opt for the automaker's seven-speed PDK dual-clutch. A PDK-equipped Carrera S can go from 0 to 60miles per hour in just 4.1 seconds and has a top speed of 188miles per hour. Pricing begins at $82,100 for the Carrera and $96,400 for the Carrera S.
2012 Bentley Continental GTC Bentley's second generation Continental GTC convertible is not the summer cruiser some may believe. With a twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter W12 engine that produces 567 horsepower, the GTC goes from 0 to 60miles per hour in 4.5 seconds, 0 to 100miles per hour in 10.9 seconds, and has a top speed of 195miles per hour. Built from advanced production techniques like aluminum Super Forming that allows for a more sculpted body, the new GTC is also a true luxury car in every sense.
The interior features a bold, sweeping dashboard and instrument panel that's covered in soft-touch leather. Buyers will also have a choice of 17 different hide colors for the seats. Complete with an advanced satellite navigation system that's compatible with Google Map, the 2012 Continental GTC begins at $212,800.
2012 Lotus Evora GTE British sports car builder Lotus is no stranger to extreme performance and handling. And for this year's Frankfurt Auto Show, they've unveiled the Evora GTE, the most powerful Lotus ever. Powered by a racing-inspired 3.5-liter V6 with 438 horsepower, Lotus has stuck with founding father Colin Chapman's philosophy: "Simplify, then add lightness." Engineers have cut over 165 pounds from the base Evora by adding lightweight carbon fiber inside and out, such as the large rear wing, doors, and both front and rear bumpers.
The original plan was to build just 25 units for the Asian market, but due to high demand, Lotus has done an about-face and will build more for the rest of the world. Official pricing hasn't been announced, but expect it to be over $80,000.
2012 Aston Martin V12 Zagato Based off the current Aston Martin V12 Vantage, the British automaker has teamed up once again with the Milan, Italy-based design house Zagato to create something truly special and beautiful. For this year's Frankfurt show, Aston Martin displayed their limited-run V12 Zagato, which was raced earlier this year at the grueling Nurburgring 24 Hours. Powered by a 6.0-liter V12 that produces 510 horsepower and mated to a six-speed manual transmission, Zagato made sure to incorporate one of their famous design traits: a double-bubble roof.
Production is set to begin next summer, but if you're interested in buying one, it'd be best to hand Aston Martin a deposit immediately, as only 150 units are planned. Official pricing isn't available yet, but it'll likely set the bank account back by over $300,000.
2012 Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Super Trofeo Stradale Described as the most extreme Gallardo ever, Lamborghini revealed their limited-run Gallardo Super Trofeo Stradale to tears of joy and envy at Frankfurt. With its 'Rosso Mars' paint job that symbolizes Italy's traditional racing red, the supercar builder has tuned the Gallardo's V10 engine to produce 570 horsepower and will go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in only 3.4 seconds. In order to achieve these performance numbers, Lamborghini has, amongst other things, cut weight from the standard car.
This was done by crafting various pieces, such as the huge and manually adjustable rear spoiler, from carbon fiber. With a minimalist, yet sporty interior, drivers are treated to an abundance of Alcantara and even more carbon fiber, which is the material of choice for the racing seats and center console. Only 150 will be produced and pricing will begin at somewhere above $250,000.
2012 Ferrari 458 Italia Spider If there ever was a perfect car, the new Ferrari 458 Italia Spider may just hold this incredibly rare title. Like its coupe sibling that was launched in 2009, the new convertible is powered by a 4.5-liter V8 with 562 horsepower and has a top speed of 198 miles per hour. But be warned: Hearing this engine note in person is a life changing experience. And the convertible makes this mechanical music even easier to hear. Its roof is made from lightweight aluminum that retracts into a stowage area behind the seats in just 14 seconds.
Not only is this new Italian stallion gorgeous, but its mechanical genes come directly from Ferrari's F1 racing program. Whether it's cruising through the Italian countryside or the streets of Beverly Hills, there will be jealousy from those who don't have one. Pricing will start at around $250,000. The 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show is open to the public from September 17th through 25th.