Last year’s picks for the coupe of the year raged a war between the Chevrolet Camaro and the Ford Mustang, but this year things are a bit different. In fact, neither one of these muscle cars made the list, simply because the new Camaro ZL1 isn’t available for purchase just yet.
With the two major muscle cars out of the running, we were still left with a ton of vehicles worthy of some time in the spotlight. Our choices for the top coupes of 2011 are kind of all over the place. From the Audi TT-RS’ return to the States to the Lotus Exige S and its road-going capabilities on the other side of the pond, there’s pretty much a flavor for anybody.
In fact, if we’ve missed one of your favorites, make sure to hit us up.
Hit the jump for our picks for the 2011 Coupe of the Year, in alphabetical order.
Some people are willing to pay a pretty penny for luxury. Just look at the price of a first growth French Bordeaux or a tin of Beluga Caviar. These objects are for the rich, the very rich, and to go along with their high-end eats they need high-end vehicles.
We all know that the Bugatti Veyron is the most expensive car in the world, along with its many different variations, so we aren’t just going to do a list of the Bugatti’s, even though it sure would be easy.
Most of these machines are extremely high performance and they aren’t the sort of machines you will see hanging around the local Wal-Mart. In fact, many won’t see BMW’s around Wal-Mart, but that’s beside the point.
Years ago, we reported the top ten most expensive cars in the world as created by Forbes Auto. Well that list detailed how expensive these cars are to own, but we have always held the notion that if you afford these sorts of machines, you can afford to service them and if not, you need an accountant.
Hit the jump to see the list.
Have some cash to blow, but the wife, and/or husband, won’t let you buy a Porsche? Well, as bad as that might be, mid-range crossovers won’t solve that pain. Instead, they’ll provide a luxury driving experience with the fun factor of getting stabbed.
Okay, so maybe it’s not that bad. As much as we don’t like crossovers, we do think they’re better than massive SUVs. Some can even be fun to drive now and again. For these tests we will be looking at style, image, standard equipment, interior space, and driving dynamics. Price will also be considered, but not as much as the other areas.
We will have to get a price cap to keep things in the mid-level, so we’ll set it at $45,000. That should be more than enough to get the lower end luxury models from Cadillac plus the German and Japanese car companies.
Hit the jump to see the list.
So, entry-level sports cars aren’t good enough. You make too much money to be seen in a Mazda MX-5 or a normal Ford Mustang. Your successful self needs something powerful and exciting. Well, there is plenty of choices in the market.
To be as precise as possible, there is actually an overwhelming amount of choices in the market, with each car being a little different. There are German performance coupes, American muscle, and Japanese street rockets. These machines have the same sort of mind-bending power, but the way each puts that power down is as different as Apollo and the Space Shuttle.
Due to that reason, we had a hard time putting machines like the Dodge Challenger in same category as the Porsche Boxster. How can you compare two machines that are so vastly different? Sure, we could have, but it just wouldn’t have worked. So, after the jump we have three - even though the title says ten - different top fives. The price cap is $60,000.
We broke it down like this. At the top we have four-door performance machines that use amazing power with epic grip and practicality. Then we have the coupes. Don’t get these coupes mixed up with the Corvette-type coupes because these European cars are tuned for a mixture of speed and cornering ability. Finally, we have the American straight road muscle. Cars that run the quarter miles as naturally as a sports analyst getting a prediction terribly wrong.
Hit the jump to read the lists.
After weeks of doing top tens, we have finally come to the top of the pillar luxury cars. These are the kinds of vehicles you buy if you make some serious money. These cars come with so many different technological toys that you feel as if you’re driving around in something made by NASA.
There are others out there, though they don’t offer space age gizmos. Some of these high-end luxury sedans offer performance. Maserati, Porsche, and those sorts of companies have come along in recent years with sedans of their own, but with a different take on how they should be made.
For each top ten we have set a price limit and increased it each time. That’s all changing for this top ten though. There is no price limit because if you have the money to afford one, it’s not going to matter. These machines start at around $70,000 and go very high, past the $100,000 mark. With such a big price jump, it would be nearly impossible to set a reasonable price limit.
As with all these tests, we aren’t looking at sales and we aren’t looking at popularity or most importantly, stats. We are looking for things like performance, luxury, comfort, gizmos, style and so on. Most importantly though, we are looking for the best car to drive.
Hit the jump to see the list.
You’ve finally got that big time job and you want something that isn’t too cheap, but you don’t want to spend $80,000 quite yet. There is much to choose from in the middle luxury segment and each car has it’s own unique characteristics that make it better, or worse than the competition.
Just like the entry-level luxury segment, the Germans have always had the middle levels to themselves. The Japanese and the American automakers have never been able to catch up. Yet, 2010 is a new year and things might be changing in the automotive marketplace.
Let’s take a look back at our previous winners before we begin with this list. We rated the Mini Cooper as the best small car and the Hyundai Sonata as the best midsize sedan. Finally, we rated the Audi A4 as the best entry-level luxury car on the market.
Hit the jump to see who we chose as the top mid-level luxury car.
As you have seen by now, we have a tendency to rank cars differently than other car sites. While we love practicality as much as the next site, at TopSpeed, we put speed, performance, and that certain sparkle above the size of the trunk and the back seat.
With entry-level luxury cars, finding the gems between the boring sales rep vehicles can be a pretty hard task. We have so many terribly dull sedans that are only good for taking you down the motorway to work and that’s about it. We aren’t looking for that. We don’t care about sales, we don’t care about popularity, we care about how these cars drive on the track and in the real world. We are aware that a point to point car is what most people will like, but we want an entry-level sedan that provides excitement on that everyday journey. Something that can make you smile and enjoy the drive home. A car that will make you take the back roads.
Over the course of this series we have jumped price by $10,000 each time, starting from $20,000 with the small cars and then $30,000 with the midsize. For this test, we are jumping by $15,000, to make the price cap at $45,000.
Hit the jump to see what our top ten entry-level luxury vehicles are.
Only pure-bred sports cars are crowned “SportsCar” of the year by a panel of experts in the Autobild SportsCars monthly magazine. Following its victory in the March 2007 issue, the Audi R8 has now been awarded top place overall, and has thus secured the title of “SportsCar 2007”, one of the German car industry’s most sought-after awards.
And why isn;t this a surprise? The Audi’s supercar R8 was voted by Fifth Gear as the "car of the year." Next to it, the Fiat 500 was voted "Best Small Car of 2007", the Ford Mondeo - "Best Family Car of 2007" and the R8 was also voted as the "Best Fast Car of 2007."
The brand with the four rings has recorded a five-fold success at the presentation of the Fleet Awards 2007. The Audi A3, Audi A6, Audi A8 and Audi Q7 gained first place in their respective categories. The Audi A4 rounded off the results with a highly respectable second place. Armin Villinger, Head of Sales to Key Accounts for Germany at AUDI AG, commented: "These outstanding results demonstrate that our model range puts us in a position from which we can continue to satisfy the needs (...)
Last week at New York Auto Show Audi unveiled the A5 and the S5 models for the North American market. But on the same time Audi has announced that the upcoming Audi A1 will not come to the US.
There’s a lot riding on the upcoming remake of the A4, which Audi expects to become an even bigger seller in the U.S. And the next-generation A3, currently Audi’s smallest U.S. model, should benefit from fast-growing demand for small cars. Which, of course, begs the question: might Audi bring an A2 (...)
At a press conference presented by the MIDWAY GROUP and hosted by the New York International Auto Show at the Jacob Javitz Centre in Manhattan, New York, the Audi RS4 was declared the 2007 World Performance Car.
The Audi RS4 was chosen from an initial entry list of seventeen (17) contenders nominated by World Car jurors from 22 countries throughout the world.
While the winner of the overall World Car of the Year award must excel in a broad range of attributes, there is a segment of the (...)
At a press conference presented by the MIDWAY GROUP and hosted by the New York International Auto Show at the Jacob Javitz Centre in Manhattan, New York, the Audi TT was declared the 2007 World Car Design of the Year.
The Audi TT was chosen from an initial entry list of twenty-eight (28) contenders nominated by World Car jurors from 22 countries throughout the world.
Style sells. No matter how rational a buyer’s approach to a new car purchase may be, the ultimate decision is typically (...)
Audi has recorded a triple success in the “auto motor und sport” readers’ poll: readers of the popular car magazine voted the A3, A6 and Audi Q7 into first place in their respective classes, crowning them with “Best Cars” titles for 2007. This continues Audi’s history of success in one of the most important readers’ polls in the automotive industry.
This was the first time that the Audi Q7 has taken part in the poll, and despite fierce competition it was awarded the most votes. It represents a (...)
The Audi TT Coupe was voted the most popular car, Mercedes the best maker and Mazda Premacy the best qualitatively car. Next after the TT were: BMW 3-series Coupe second place and Opel Corsa third place.
The very architecture of the new Audi TT Coupe embodies the style, stability and power of a pure driving machine. The bullish stance of the base body and the low, narrow styling of the greenhouse together form a sculpture of simple, unfussy lines. The Audi design team has lovingly adopted (...)
Sport and dynamics paired with high-quality functionality: that is the secret to success of the Audi A6. This combination makes the Audi Germany’s best-selling vehicle for the first ten months of 2006 in its segment.
The Audi A6 offers two engine choices fitted in longitudinal arrangement - both engines share a level of power and torque that is outstanding in this segment of the market: 4.2 liter V8 with 335 hp and 310 ft. lbs. torque and 3.2 (3123cc) V6 FSI with 255 hp and 243 ft. lbs. (...)
The Audi RS4 has scooped the prize pool in Australia this month, winning two prestigious motoring awards including Motor Magazine’s ’Performance Car of the Year’ (PCOTY), announced today.
The RS 4 beat 22 deserving finalists at PCOTY, taking home the ultimate prize thanks to its winning combination of top performance, dynamism, driveability, design/function and value that made up Motor Magazine’s strict judging criteria.
According to PCOTY judge, David Morley, “The RS 4 is not just a competent (...)
One of the most loved cars by the Japanesse people is the Audi TT, as at one of the studies applied on the japanesse people the TT was chosen Most Fun Car for 2007.
The new Audi TT is available as a 2 + 2-seater coupe, 5.4 in. longer and 3.1 in. wider than its predecessor, but only 0.2 in. higher. The new Audi TT is powered by two transversely installed engines – a four-cylinder turbo and a V6. Both units provide it with high levels of power and performance. Their performance enables the TT (...)
Walter de Silva, design chief of the Audi brand group, picked up an impressive four prizes at the Auto Bild Design Award ceremony. The Audi TT, the Audi Q7 and the Audi Shooting Brake concept car were victorious in their respective classes. The TT sports coupé celebrated a double success, also being voted the most beautiful car of the past twelve months by the readers of Auto Bild.
There was a choice of 146 cars in seven classes to vote for, along with the overall winner. The Audi models (...)