As one of the most esteemed auto magazines in the world, Car and Driver’s annual “Top 10 Cars” is always a good barometer for automakers to see if one – or maybe two – of their vehicles made it to the list. With a readership that spans the entire world, Car and Driver’s Top 10 list is read by millions of people so it’s kind of a big deal for these companies. From the usual suspects to a number of new surprises, the “Top 10 Cars” will reveal what cars the magazine is highly recommending for the next calendar year.
In determining which cars make it to the list, editor-in-chief, Eddie Alterman explains: “In our testing, we are looking for those automobiles that deliver spectacular value, real driver engagement, and the highest fulfillment of their intended mission.”
He continues: “Our testing takes place over a week on real roads in the real world, marshaling more than 60 new test cars and our entire editorial staff. It’s a real workout, and the best cars on the market emerge victorious."
For 2011, the list has a number of old guards that have made multiple appearances while there are others that are making their inaugural face-time. Just to give you an idea on what to expect, three American, German, and Japanese models made it to the list with the other spot going to a model from South Korea. There are also three cars – the Audi S4 , the Mazda3 , and the Ford Fusion Hybrid – that dropped out of the list, which means that you’re going to be seeing a number of new entries making it to the Top 10.
So without further ado, Car and Driver’s “Top 10 Cars for 2011” after the jump.
The German sports-car manufacturer Porsche will be unveiling a new “mid-engined sports car” next week at the Los Angeles Auto Show. This new model will be shown along side two new 911 variants, the GTS, and the Speedster . We don’t have any official word on what this new model might be, but we believe it to be the new Cayman CS .
We have written numerous reports on the CS, which will be powered by a 3.4-liter flat-six with 333 horsepower. This model will feature the same characteristics as the Boxster, with lightness being the name of the game. Sources indicate that the CS should shed about 162 to 184 pounds from the stock vehicle. It will do this by ditching door handles and adding lightweight alloy wheels and aluminum body bits. This should make the CS one heck of a track day vehicle.
We should have the official information next week when the car is launched at the LA show.
Back in 2005, Porsche was looking for something to slot in the middle of the 911 and the Boxster. It had to be pretty darn good, as the 911 is a legend among car fans and the Boxster was a hit for the automaker. What they came up with was the Cayman .
First launched in the 2006 model year, the Cayman is a coupe derived from Porsche’s second generation Boxster convertible, yet it looks like a 911 in the front. The name Cayman is an alternate spelling of caiman, a reptile in the same family as the alligator. Some thought the name came from the Cayman Islands, but that’s incorrect.
After the first generation Cayman was debuted and widely accepted, the second was introduced on February 21, 2009. The power was upped, the transmission was replaced, and the overall performance was vastly superior to the previous model. As an example, this baby 911 could hit 60 mph in just 5.2 seconds.
UPDATE 12/08/2010: After the LA Auto Show came and went with the unveiling of the Porsche Cayman R, our hopes of seeing a Cayman Club Sport were just about dashed. However, in an interview with Autocar, chief of mid-engined cars, Hans-Jurgen Wohler confirms that the idea of producing a Cayman is still on the table giving us just the sliver of hope we need to hold on to the idea of a CS version for the Cayman.
German wheel manufacturers, ICW, have released an all-new design exclusively for selected Porsche models. The twin-five-spoke design, dubbed the i-BI, was inspired by dynamism and power, and is meant to evoke what ICW calls “optical sophistication”. Whatever that may be, one thing is for certain, they look a lot like the current GT3 wheel – with a bit more menace. The wheels themselves are milled from a single block of billet Aluminum making them strong and lightweight – two of the most functional aspects of a performance wheel. Fitment does require the use of high-tensile adapters to get the deep dish look without the nasty rubbing that can sometimes occur. Applications include the Porsche Boxster , Cayman , 911 , or Panamera and will shortly include the Audi R8 and others. Customers have the choice of 18 or 19 inch options, in either hyper silver or matte black. Pricing starts from €244 per corner which is really not bad considering other options for these cars start at around the €300 mark.
Compared to a standard Cayman S , the CS version will be 162-184lbs lighter and will feature aluminum doors, fabric door pulls, lightweight hatch, optional lexan window and 19" unique lightweight wheels.
The CS packet also includes: sport bucket seats, revalved steering assist, locking rear differential standard, uprated brakes (optional), restylized front fascia, Cayman Club Sport side graphics, Rear diffuser, Ducktail-style larger rear spoiler (fixed), Club Sport Insignia badging in interior and optional "Track Pack", includes partial roll cage, harness and fittings plus fire extinguisher.
Under the hood there will be a 3,4 liter engine that will deliver 333 HP. The sprint from 0 to 60 mph will be made in 4,6 seconds.
We’ve all been there; riding along in your lowered ride, enjoying the day, when all of a sudden - Thump, Scraaaaaape. Another victim of that darn speed bump. It’s moments like these that make the driver wish he had a higher car. And it’s situations like these that have made TechArt got to the trouble of preparing a new noselift system that can offer 60 mm of additional height at the front spoiler. This system can be applied to models like the Porsche Boxster , the Cayman , and the 911 .
The TechArt Noselift System is activated by a convenient little button located in the roof console of the Boxster and in the center console of the Cayman. The noselift system, including that convenient little button, is installed with EMC-safe electronic control units and vehicle-specific wiring harnesses. High performance test procedures are followed to ensure that, when that button is pressed, the car smoothly and silently adjusts its height to a safer level for those nasty little speed bumps and ramps.
The Porsche Cayman Club Sport has been in the pipeline longer than any of us anticipated, but now it looks like the boys from Stuttgart are getting ready to give the lightweight Cayman its turn in the spotlight when it makes its official debut in the latter part of this year at the Los Angeles Motor Show.
The car, which is being prepped to become a lightweight version of the Cayman similar to how Porsche constructed the Boxster Spyder , is expected to be about 170 pounds lighter than the stock version of the Cayman S. In addition to that, the Cayman Club Sport is also expected to come with a 3.4-liter 334-horsepower engine that can reportedly clock a 0-60mph time of a little under five seconds (4.6 seconds).
More details are expected to be divulged when the lightweight Cayman makes its public debut in Los Angeles later this year. When it does make it to dealerships, the car is looking to be sold at around $66,330.
After hitting Porsche below the belt a few days ago with their controversial advertising stunt, Nissan decided that they weren’t quite finished expressing themselves. Their most recent scathing attack was aimed at their more stable competition, the Audi TT .
With cut throat competition in the sports coupe segment, Nissan has embarked on a serious marketing strategy of winning new European converts. This goal was evident in London, where the Japanese company took an Audi TTS bearing the slogan "More expensive, slower and less powerful than a Nissan 370Z " around the streets of London.
Adding salt to the wound, the branded Audi TT was trailed by another branded Porsche Cayman with the words "I dream of being as fast as a Nissan 370Z". Talk about being aggressive!
With Nissan’s changing fortunes, the company has been churning award winning vehicles, challenging even the top tier. The company has launched a series of media campaigns highlighting the fact that both sports cars are better in terms of performance yet cost less than their equivalent European rivals. According to Nissan’s marketing director, these campaigns are targeted to alter the perception that only German sports cars are the benchmarks for measuring performance and quality.
With all this rooftop declaration, we are sure you would be interested in the performance of the 370Z in relation to the German trio, so we have included a picture that displays these specs, courtesy of Nissan. Enjoy!
Called the Clubsport, the new version Cayman will be powered by the same 3.4 liter flat six engine only tricked to deliver between 320 and 330 HP. Engineers will also focus on reducing the car’s total weight as much as possible, most likely by applying the same treatment as with the Boxster Spyder . All of this will allow the Clubsport to make the 0-60 mph sprint in less than five seconds and reach a top speed of 155 mph.
Next to the improved engine, the future Cayman Clubsport will also offer a sport suspension, a new brake system, a lower center of gravity, and Porsche’s latest PDK double-clutch gearbox. The base version will come equipped with the Sports Chrono package, while the high performance version will get an aerodynamic package.
Price will be in the $60K area (at the current exchange rates).
Earlier, at the Michelin Tuning and Bespoke auto manufacturer’s day at the Nurburgring in Germany, Porsche outfitter and tuning outfit, RUF, fetched along the mighty looking Ruf CTR 3 and allowed me a few passenger laps. Like all RUF models, the CTR 3 is Porsche based, but the origin of its chassis has never been disclosed. I suspect 60% of the chassis to be reconstructed from the front wing and slightly longer wheelbase to accommodate repositioning of the twin-turbo flat-six boxer engine. The CTR3’s ambition and heritage was to replace the now legendary 469bhp CTR ‘Yellow Bird’ and the 520bhp CTR2 that followed a decade later.
Using essentially the same motor as Ruf’s 911-based Rt 12, but with an additional 50hp, the CTR3’s 700bhp is supported by a jaw thumping 656lb ft of torque at 4000rpm. Therefore directing all the power to the rear wheels via a six-speed sequential gear box. This thrusts the CTR3 to 0-124mph in 9.6sec. However, no matter what the figures tell you, on the Nordschleife in Germany, I expected it to be restrained in the many uncompromising corners of the northloop.
This definitely was not the case. Immediately after leaving the car park and cruising down through Tiergarten, I realized this was no normal press lap. Hatzenbach and Quiddelbacher were a blur and I was overwhelmed by the power and low end lagless power delivered by the twin turbochargers.