Chevrolet C8 Corvette Stingray
America’s Dream Car gets turnt. Eschewing tradition, the engine — a 495 horsepower 6.2-liter V8 — moves to behind the seats for enhanced performance, rocketing from 0-60 mph in under 3 seconds and to 194 mph. Fine leather, stainless Bose speaker grilles, twin infotainment displays and ample passenger space delight. Choose from 12 exterior colors, six interior themes, and six seat belt colors. Golf clubs and the removable targa roof still fit in the trunk.
Base price: $59,995
All of the hottest autos from an industry in transition
Welcome to 2020. As the automobile evolves from vehicles of fabulous gasoline-burning glory to those speaking with softer bursts of electric power, we are in transition. The season begins with the introduction of an exotic new Corvette then traverses through sexy German sedans, big American muscle, a cadre of global sports cars and a Porsche that will give Tesla nightmares. Hang on sisters; here we go:
Ford Shelby GT350
Racing is embedded in the Ford Mustang’s DNA — especially with this SHELBY that packs a 526 horsepower V8, driving it to 180 mph. Magnetic ride control constantly adjusts the suspension, but never comfortably. A sueded flat-bottom steering wheel, Recaro seats and B&O audio are swell. Check aggressive ground affects, large spoiler with “Gurney flap” to enhance downforce, and 19-inch wheels to know this is no slow pony car.
Base price: $64,860
As Mercedes prepares to kill the SLC, BMW doubles down with this sassy little roadster. Crisp lines go with a power canvas roof, optional 19-inch wheels and standard LED headlamps. Modern interiors are best with 464w Harman Kardon audio, flatscreen instruments, and safety suite that includes adaptive cruise, auto parking and head-up display. Choose between turbo four- and six-cylinder engines producing up to 382 horsepower and 0-60 mph in 3.9s.
It’s based on the BMW Z4, and so what? The first new Supra in 21 years sports a driver-focused cabin with JBL audio, color head-up display and wireless phone charging. Standard 19-inch wheels, LED headlamps and fab curves are a feast for the eyes. Rev BMW’s 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine, delivering 335 horsepower and 0-60 mph in 4.1 seconds. Multiple driving modes and a paddle-shifted 8-speed transmission configure the experience.
Base price: $49,990
Mercedes’ sleek little moon car returns for another generation with twin-screen voice-activated infotainment, full color head-up display, elegant ambient lighting and a wood-strewn dash with turbine-like air vents. The exterior flashes LED headlamps, 18-inch wheels and panoramic roof. Semi-autonomous driving with radar cruise and lane centering are available. Everybody gets a 221-horsepower turbo-four engine, but all-wheel-drive is optional.
Base price: $36,650
Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody
This may be the apogee of the muscle car renaissance. It has the same 707 horsepower supercharged V8 as other Hellcats, but lays rubber with 20-inch- x-11-inch rubber enabled by fender extensions and three-mode adjustable suspension. That translates into amped handling and acceleration: 0-60 mph in 3.6s and 196 mph top speed. Roomy full-size interiors are dressed with an available carbon and suede package to flaunt its added girth.
Base price: $70,000
Sedans can be sexy, too. Sharp character lines accent front LEDs hidden in chrome. Cabins flaunt wide horizontal dashboards, digital instrument clusters, Bose audio and heated/ventilated front seats. Add wireless phone charging, head-up display and entry/starting via smartphone app, too. Advanced safety gear with adaptive cruise, lane centering and safe exit assist are available. Get moving with a 191 horsepower four-cylinder or 180 horsepower turbo-four engines with fuel economy up to 33-MPG combined.
Base price: $22,000
Sell your Tesla stock; Porsche don’t play. Looking like a next-gen Panamera, the Taycan’s futuristic body hides all-electric powertrains delivering up to 750 horsepower, 0-60 mph in 2.6 seconds and 161 mph top speed. All-wheel-drive is standard. Porsche claims an 80 percent charge in 22.5 minutes (commercial charger). An adaptive air suspension, adjustable drive modes and interior that can be selected without hides entice modern drivers.
Base price: $150,900
Mazda3 AWD Hatchback
On the first drive I said to myself, “I love this car!” It’s the most beautiful hatchback I’ve ever seen and the interior, lush with available plush dash materials, heated leather seats and divine Bose audio, embarrasses many luxury cars. Beneath the smooth suit is a peppy 186 horsepower four-cylinder engine and optional all-wheel-drive. A head-up display, Apple CarPlay, sunroof and full array of crash avoidance systems make me swoon.
Base price: $23,600
It’s beautiful, luxurious — and German. Replacing the CC as VW’s sexy sedan, the Arteon’s four-door coupe profile glimmers with LED headlamps, panoramic sunroof and 20-inch wheels. Interiors are graced with available 700w audio system, sumptuous leather, massaging driver’s seat and reconfigurable flatscreen instruments. Step into the 268 horsepower turbo-four, available AWD and active suspension damping. Drive easy to see 22/31-MPG city/hwy.
Base price: $35,845