Will the new Mercedes-Benz CLE be the last of this German luxury car maker’s gas-fueled coupes and convertibles? Based on the new C-Class chassis, the new CLE essentially replaces the somewhat larger E-Class coupe and Cabriolet and offers the promise of more athleticism than those cars. The CLE will cover a wide gamut in price and performance, starting at $65,000 for the base CLE300 coupe 4MATIC and going well beyond that with optioned-up versions of the six-cylinder CLE450 Cabriolet. Future AMG versions are sure to offer more power and excitement, for more money, of course.
The spark that launched Porsche’s road racing dynasty began with the “Fuhrman engine” in the landmark 550 Spyder racecar. Bringing that engine to the 356’s option list in 1956 and calling it “Carrera” boosted Porsche’s racing pedigree while also setting the foundation for special high-performance Porsche models to come. The expensive and complex Carrera engine was rarely ordered when new, and cars so-equipped demand a huge premium in the collector car market today. A 1956 Porsche 356A Speedster Carrera offered by Mecum Auctions in Monterey is expected to sell for up to $1.2M, or nearly 400% more than a Speedster without it.
Lamborghini has entered the electrification era with its first plug-in hybrid, a 1,001-hp hypercar called the Revuelto. Named for a fighting bull that decided to bolt from the ring 143 years ago, the new Lambo shows a rowdy spirit with three electric motors unapologetically teamed with a 6.5-liter, gas-fueled V12 that parties like it’s 1970. Sharpened stealth-jet design could only come from Lamborghini, while new “monofuselage” carbon-fiber construction keeps strength high and weight reasonable. Reports say it’s already sold out for the first two years.
Aston Martin bills its new DB12 grand tourer as a “super tourer” because, the British automaker says, “grand is not enough” to describe the DB11’s successor. Marketing fluff aside, the new DB12 appears to be a super new entry into a segment where its closest rival is the Ferrari Roma. The overall look will be familiar to Aston fans, and the interior steps up to a “super” level of grand touring luxury and tech. The Mercedes-AMG twin-turbo V8 gets a boost to a very super 671 horsepower, easily exceeding the DB11’s V8 and V12. Customer deliveries start in fall.
The Ferrari-Maserati divorce has put the Italian supercar universe back in order, with Maserati emerging with its strongest model line since the 1960s. The newest models include the MC-20 supercar, a high-performance Grecale SUV, and the GranTurismo. The gas-fueled Maserati GranTurismo arrives in spring, with an electric version coming in late 2023. Sources suggest a $170,000 starting price.
The Mercedes SL has been that marque’s luxury-performance flagship for nearly 70 years, and the all-new 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL is the model’s seventh generation. The new SL has 2+2 seating, with all-wheel drive and a return to a soft top after two decades of retractable hardtops. Pricing starts at $137,400 and can zoom toward $200,000. If you’ve not looked at an SL in a while, this one deserves close inspection.
Here’s the backstory on the Ferrari Superamerica, first introduced in 2005. Ferrari built only 559 Superamericas, with 170 exported to the United States. At its Monterey auction in August, RM Sotheby’s is offering a Superamerica featuring special order paint and interior, with under 12,000 miles.
Meet the Maserati MC20, Maserati’s first mid-engine supercar in four decades. The car will have two versions, one with a roaring internal combustion engine, and the other equipped with a humming electric. The gas version of the MC20 arrives in 2021 and the EV in 2022. There’s no hybrid, but there will be coupe and convertible variants.