3 weeks ago
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For a while it looked as though the era of fun cars might be drawing to a close, as manufacturers were forced to focus on emissions, electrification and that much-ballyhooed beast, the car that drives itself.
But unlike an object in the mirror, the future is farther than it appears.2
While automakers may be hedging their bets with various hybrids, EVs and the now ubiquitous “Eco” mode (hey, if it makes you feel better), they are certainly not doing so at the expense of good old-fashioned fun-to-drive cars. This year will see some iconic models get a new lease on life, as well as some entirely new ones laying rubber for the first time.
Today, we look at the best of the best. Schedule your test drives accordingly.
Any stigma attached to the 3 Series, which debuted in 1975, quickly died off when the rest of the world discovered that a “compact executive” car wasn’t just for short “Yuppie.” Building on a reputation for solid value and just enough performance to make it an exciting proposition, the all-new 3 Series is bigger, lighter and more tech-forward than its predecessor, with sharpened looks to match.
Crossovers, SUV-coupes, performance activity vehicles … whatever you call them, this is the hottest growing automotive segment going, and Audi’s new entry looks set to grab a goodly bit of market share. With a 335-hp turbo V6 under the hood and plenty of options — including a Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system — its graceful athleticism can’t be denied, though not everyone’s in love with the somewhat spartan interior and “Virtual Cockpit.”
Finally giving a full revamp to the ultimate luxury grand-tourer after 16 years, Bentley has very carefully crafted a car that remains true to its impressive heritage while taking things to the next level stylistically. With 626 ponies and a top speed of 207 mph thanks to its new 6.0-litre, twin-turbocharged W12 engine, it’s also a cut above performance wise. All of which more than justifies the $225K price tag.