We believe that today all the cars are well built and come with lots of sophisticated features and options. But this is very wrong. Items once reserved for luxury cars, such as navigation systems and heated seats, are now appearing on such comparatively modest vehicles as Volkswagens and Chevrolets. So what the luxury-car manufacturers can make their vehicles stand out when buyers expect even entry-level cars to come loaded with desirable options?

Luxury carmakers have become preoccupied with offering exotic technology of late, since they need to put forward cutting-edge features in order to remain relevant. The V-10 engine in BMW’s $105,000 M6 convertible incorporates Formula 1 technology. Mercedes’ $140,000 S600 sedan can drive itself in stop-and-go traffic, thanks to a short-range radar that detects other vehicles. And the climate-control system on Honda Motor’s (nyse: HMC - news - people ) new Acura RDX SUV adjusts cabin conditions based, in part, on the position of the sun and on the car’s location (it works in conjunction with the GPS navigation system). The RDX’s four-cylinder engine is so sophisticated that, according to Acura, it can do things you would expect of a six-cylinder engine.

Top ten Coolest High-Tech Cars 2007

  1. Acura RDX SUV - price $32,995, incorporates breakthrough technology that eliminates turbo lag—the pesky delay between hitting the gas and having an engine’s turbocharger(s) provide a power boost. The car also has an all-wheel drive system that can spin each rear wheel at a different speed, making steering more precise.
  2. Audi R8 Coupe - price: $120,000 to $130,000, Audi’s R8 supercar is a technological tour de force from one of the world’s most tech-savvy automakers. The production-model R8, a street-legal derivative of Audi’s R8 racecar, will incorporate such high-tech features as LED headlights and a lightweight, aluminum body.
  3. BMW Hydrogen 7 sedan - starts at $75,000, is already one of the market’s highest-tech cars, and this spring it will house the propulsion system of the future: hydrogen power. Government officials, academics, CEOs and others who can publicize hydrogen cars and help increase acceptance of the technology will be loaned the cars.
  4. BMW M6 convertible - price: $104,400, Using a Formula 1-derived V-10 engine, BMW’s M6 brims with expensive technology. We like the “M” button on the steering wheel, which activates any of 279 possible setting combinations you have pre-programmed. You can determine the gear change agility, the stability control’s sensitivity and the car’s peak horsepower (400 versus 500).
  5. Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Coupe - price: $1.2 million, To accelerate from zero to 60 mph in under 2.5 seconds and achieve a top speed of 253 mph, the Veyron employs such otherworldly technology as a 16-cylinder engine and a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission.
  6. Mercedes-Benz E320 BlueTec Sedan - price: $52,325, it combines a sophisticated engine design with a special exhaust treatment system, which the carmaker put in place to meet current emissions requirements and anticipate stricter regulations.
  7. Mercedes-Benz S600 Sedan - price: $140,675, Show us a feature of this 510-horsepower, 12-cylinder, ultra-luxury sedan that isn’t high-tech. The seats can give several different kinds of massages. Using short-range radar to detect other vehicles, the S600 can drive itself in stop-and-go traffic. Even the taillight technology is advanced: The brakelights flash five times per second.
  8. Porsche 911 Turbo coupe - price: $122,900, This Porsche is cheaper and faster than a Ferrari and Lamborghini. Its secret is a high-tech, 480-horsepower engine, the turbochargers of which employ technology that eliminates turbo lag. It has been available on diesel engines for years, but has recently become suitable for gas engines.
  9. Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Convertible - price: $412,000, uses all-weather elements that can withstand a bit of rain if the top is down; the exterior uses an optional, stainless-steel hood that sits alongside aluminum panels—an engineering and manufacturing challenge, since steel and aluminum can corrode each other.
Alina Moore
Alina Moore
Alina Joined the Topspeed.com team in the early 2000s as one of the outlets very first experts, and she’s been with Topspeed.com ever since. Over the years, she’s served various roles, but today she’s is relied on heavily to verify automotive facts, assist with formatting, and discover new and engaging topics.  Read full bio
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