The retail price of Lamborghini’s first production vehicle, the 350 GT, cost $13,900 when it debuted in 1964. That’s equivalent to roughly $103,000 today–much less than the $442,000 Aventador LP700-4 Roadster we saw debut in Los Angeles last month. Talk about refining the brand.
If you’re not of the Lamborghini persuasion, there are plenty of other options for hot new things on the market in 2013. Here’s a quick primer on five of them. And fret not, my dear penny-pinchers–they all cost much less than the Lambo.
BMW M6 Gran Coupe
BMW has downsized the new M6 – but the good news is that less means more. As with last year’s M5 super-saloon, the charismatic F1-derived 5.0-litre V10 has been replaced with a more mainstream 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8. In the process, though, fuel economy has been improved by 30 percent, and power increased by 10 percent to 552bhp. The new V8’s torque curve is also absolutely flat all the way from 1500 to 5750rpm, dishing up a muscular 502lb ft in the process – 118lb ft more than before.
Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG
Having already seen the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class sitting out in the open fully exposed, in what appear to be leaked press pictures and even some official "spy" shots straight from Mercedes-Benz, we weren't sure how much more of the car we could see before its debut at the Detroit Auto Show in a couple weeks.
Now we know... Indian Autos Blog now has some images of a diecast model showing a scaled-down look at the car in full production form, and while we don't know what company produced this model, it is very highly detailed.
While the recent alleged press shots show what appear to be either a thinly disguised concept car or the CLA45 AMG, these shots of the 1:18 scale diecast are likely are best shots yet of the car in its base form. Pay close attention to the less flashy fascias and wheels, and, more importantly, the detailed look at the inside of the car. Based on what we see on this model, most of the CLA-Class interior will be carried over from the A-Class hatchback, and, like the larger CLS-Class four-door coupe, it will have a four-passenger seating configuration.
We like the Audi A8. We really like it. There may be more accomplished limousines on the market, but none of them can match the A8’s style-led gravitas or its deeply imbued sense of quality. If you’re susceptible to its charms, it will glide up your motoring wish list with ease. Which brings us to the even more imposing hulk of Teutonic menace sat before us today, the Audi S8.Even the on-paper concept has a delicious ring to it.
Take the aforementioned glamour-limousine, spice it diligently with all the quality trappings of a go-faster Audi and then drop in a, um, Lamborghini Gallardo engine. Yes, that’s the killer blow. Our favourite limo is available with an entire stable of Italian supercar ponies jostling under its precisely fitting bonnet.
Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 Roadster
To no surprise, the new Roadster version features a design language similar to the coupe version, except for the changes any open-top model requires. For example, the rear pillar has been redesigned to offer total support for the removable roof and a new engine hood that features a central "spinal column" with two pairs of hexagonal windows connected at the sides.
The new Aventador Roadster is being offered with a two-piece roof made entirely from carbon fiber that can be stored in the front luggage compartment.
Under the hood you will find the same 6.5 liter aspirated V12 that delivers a total of 700 horsepower and mated to an ISR 7-speed gearbox. The Roadster version will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 3 seconds and can hit a top speed of 217 mph.
In Europe the model can be already ordered and the price will start from 300,000 euro or about $380,000 at the current exchange rates.
Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible
The four-door Flying Spur and drop-top GTC were introduced in 2005. In 2009, the limited-edition 621bhp Supersports showed that Bentley was still capable of producing something resembling the most unlikely super-fast bruisers it was famous for.
Some will find it comforting to think of Bentley's implied heavyweight sporting elegance as an intransigent part of Britain's automotive landscape: as evocative as the thwack of willow on leather, the smell of a village pub or the peal of a church bell.
But, in truth, the company is no more resistant to the preoccupations of the 21st century than any other cultural benchmark. And so, like limited-overs cricket or gastropubs, Bentley has moved with the times and, with the considerable help of its German cheque writer, Volkswagen, introduced the green and pleasant version of the Continental GTC that it promised in 2008.
Of course, some things don't change. The continued fitment of the 6.0-litre W12 engine is proof of that. Bentley may have delivered the 40 per cent improvement in economy and emissions that it said it would, but that hefty reduction still permitted the fitment of a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine from Audi that produces 500bhp. The question is: are those 500 four-ringed geldings capable of mimicking Bentley shire horses aboard the mobile amphitheatre that is the GTC?