In 2011, the industry of luxury and performance-class automobiles continued its current trend of “faster and smarter”. Hybrid and electric technologies continue to work their way up to the six-figure circuit, while the internal combustion mainstays continue to shatter the 200 mph super car barrier. From the stunning Lamborghini Aventador to the speedy BAC Mono, these ten cars represent the greatest high-end automotive advancements of 2011. Readers, start your engines…
1. Lamborghini Aventador
With the Reventon in its rear view, the new Lamborghini Aventador has taken the lead as the flagship super car of this famed Italian manufacturer. With a 691hp V12 engine under its hood, it’ll accelerate from a standing start to 60mph in just 2.8 seconds. If you keep your foot on the pedal, you’ll eventually top out at 217 mph, a speed only a handful of production cars can come close to. It is the best news from Lamborghini in 2011, an exciting car with a dangerous design sensibility and a powertrain to match.
It’s not every year that the boutique Italian car manufacturer Pagani releases a new super car. In fact, it doesn’t even happen every decade. The Pagani Huayra is the latest flagship from the masterminds behind the Pagani Zonda, the current record holder for production cars on the Nürburgring. The Huayra takes the torch from the Zonda, hoping to continue to break records by carving up the concrete. The Pagani Huayra features a twin-turbo 700 hp engine that feels like overkill for a vehicle with a slight 3,000 pound curb weight. On the road, this Pagani will top out at 230 mph, faster even than that lovely Aventador above.
3.BMW I3 and I8 Electric Vehicles
There’s fast– and then there’s smart. The new BMW I3 and I8 Electric Vehicles might just be the top news item in luxury driving for the 2011 calendar year. The BMW I3 is an all-electric city commuter with a 140-mile range per charge. It seats four plus plenty of cargo space, and can recharge to 80% power in under an hour with a fast charging option. The BMW I8 is the sportier of the two, an electric hybrid that can run on electric power only for short trips, but can burst past 60 mph in 4.6 seconds when sipping from the fuel line. The latter is also the production version of the very popular BMW Vision Efficient Dynamics Concept, a vehicle covered here on TheCoolist a few years back.
4.Ford EVOS Concept Car
Where might the famed Ford marque be headed in a few years? The new Ford EVOS Concept Car is pacing the pack with next generation media technology, a state of the art hybrid drivetrain and an aggressive styling sensibility. The EVOS Concept represents a design evolution for Ford, where sharp angles and aggressive features replace the subtle, rounded and friendly form design the company has embraced for decades. Under the hood, EVOS is powered by a lithium ion plug-in hybrid motor that gives the driver the ability to switch between fuel and electric systems as needed. When seated in the cockpit, the driver can use the future generation of the SYNC system, in this case packing some serious technological firepower. We’ll be spending some serious time with Ford during the North American International Auto Show next month, because a car like this reflects a growing buzz in ingenuity from the company that started it all with the Model in 1903.
5.Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport L’Or Blanc
Every year, some of the world’s top tuners try to improve the year’s automotive legends by squeezing out a few extra horsepower, adding some questionable paint jobs and coating everything in carbon. Yet if you’re trying to improve a Bugatti Veyron, leave that to the originals, alright? The new Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport L’Or Blancis a white ceramic version of the world class supercar. That paint job you see reflects an unreal level of detail, a wild pattern where ceramic merges with the blue undercoat for a visually stunning result. The interior is white’d out as well, completed a front-to-back styling overhaul that makes one of the world’s greatest automobiles even more appealing.
6.Koenigsegg Agera R
To the uninitiated, Sweden may only be famous for buxom blondes, cinnamon buns and Ikea, but there’s a lot more to this proud Scandinavian nation. Sweden is also home to Koenigsegg, a company who produces performance automobiles that are as fast as they are fun to pronounce. The new Koenigsegg Agera R is the latest from this boutique manufacturer, a 200+ MPH speedster that aims to best some of the top cars produced elsewhere. The Agera R is powered by a 5.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine that provides an astounding 1,115 horsepower, an improvement of 100 horsepower over the last Koenigsegg product. Its likely that most of us will never see one of these in action, so these photos will have to suffice for now…
7.2012 Aston Martin Virage Coupe
Aston Martin dropped a new model in 2011, the Aston Martin Virage Coupe. The Virage takes some of the best elements of the Aston Martin DB9 and the DBS, two of the marque’s most popular production models. This new British beauty is powered by a 6.0L V12 engine that puts it close to super car territory. The Virage will break 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and top off at 186, making it one of the faster vehicles on the luxury circuit. There’s also a Virage Volante convertible version for those who prefer their Aston’s topless…
8.BAC Mono Formula Style Streetcar
The BAC Mono Formula Style Streetcar is one of the most exciting vehicles in recent memory. It isn’t built for grocery getting, it isn’t designed for dates, it was created with one purpose in mind– driving. This single-seat speedster cuts out all the bells and whistles of your typical luxury car and features a cockpit, four wheels, an engine and skin. As a result, the BAC Mono weighs just 1,188 pounds. That featherweight gets remarkable production out of a small 2.9L Cosworth engine that produces 280 horsepower. On the road, that’s good enough for zero-to-sixty acceleration in 2.8 seconds. At just $108,000 a piece, that’s a performance match with the Lamborghini Aventador at a fraction of the price.
9.Scion FR S Concept
We know what you’re thinking. “Just hold on a second here, TheCoolist, Scion is NOT luxury!” Maybe so, but if you were to wipe the logo off of the Scion FR S Concept and replace it with Audi or Lexus, your perception of it would certainly be different. The production model, recently revealed to the public, may not have the same esteem of the concept press shots, but it remains lustworthy. We include the Scion FR S here because it reflects a movement in auto design that we deeply respect– the ability to design high style vehicles for a wider audience.
10.BMW 328 Hommage Concept
75 years ago, BMW released one of its most historic automobiles, the venerable BMW 328. To celebrate its history, BMW revealed the BMW 328 Hommage Concept in 2011. Its design reflects all the advancements of modern automotive styling but its inspiration remains with the original. Like the BMW Vision Efficient Dynamics Concept, we sincerely hope that BMW makes good on this concept with a production version. It is one of the most beautiful concepts of 2011, one that we hope ultimately makes it to the dealership.