Continental Supersports Convertible
This, according to Bentley, will be the fastest four-seat soft-top in the world when it hits the streets this summer. The Continental Supersports Convertible has the usual W12 engine with two turbochargers to help it develop 621 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. It will run on plain old gasoline or E85 and still hit 60 mph from standstill in just 3.9 seconds on the way to maxing out at 202 mph. A fine way to spend around $300,000 if ever we saw one.
Opel Flextreme GT/E
Who shilled the electric car?
Opel/Vauxhall, European arm of General Motors, calls this sleek concept the Flextreme GT/E. It's an electric car whose 272.69 lb-ft of torque and drag coefficient of 0.22 goes some way to achieving a theoretical top speed of 125 mph, while the sprint to 60 mph is estimated at nine seconds flat. It has a small gasoline engine that acts as an on-board generator and range is a claimed 300 miles. If nothing else, it's good to see a low-emissions car that doesn't seem like a punishment.
Audi RS 5
Perchance to drive
Confession time. There have been a few sleepless nights thinking about what kind of powerplant would grace the engine bay of an RS version of the ravishing Audi A5, if and when it might come to pass. Could it a be a V10, a variant of that found in the Lamborghini Gallardo? Or perhaps a turbocharged V8? Maybe a supercharged V8? What the heck, since the VW/Audi Group has now embraced the idea of sticking both forms of forced induction onto one engine, maybe it will sport a turbo and supercharger.
Well, the RS 5 is now a reality and it has a naturally aspirated 4.2-liter V8. Not the stuff of our wildest dreams, perhaps, but since it develops 450 hp at 8250 rpm and gets the Quattro system turning with 317 lb-ft from 4000 rpm, we'll take it. Especially when that all-wheel-drive setup runs with a 40/60 front-to-rear torque split. It can also send 85 percent of power to the rear wheels. Another piece of intriguingly new piece of tech: It has a double-clutch seven-speed transmission to flick through while sprinting up to 62 mph in 4.6 seconds, before hitting the electronic limiter at 155 mph. A special-order unfettered top speed is 174 mph, for those lucky folks with at least 77,000 euros ($104,000) to spend and a system of autobahnen. North Americans, however, will have to keep dreaming, since Audi has no plans to bring the RS 5 to this side of the Atlantic just yet. Yeah, that old story.
Renault's second Wind
It was at the 2004 Geneva show that Renault unveiled its Wind two-seater soft-top concept. During the intervening six years, there was barely a puff of news, but now this is the production version. It would have been nice if it looked more like the original design, but that often happens on the rocky road from studio to showroom. But since America isn't a market for Renault, we'll pass on this Wind.