2012 MERCEDES-BENZ C 350 COUPE
First things first: The Mercedes-Benz C 350 Coupe is dead sexy. The sedan version of the excellent C-Class is not exactly chopped liver, but the coupe benefits from a lower profile, an aggressive body kit and a shape imbued with plenty of flow and sheer, muscular beauty. It’s really something.
Powered by an all-new V6 engine that produces 302 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque, this coupe is one swift performer—the estimated 0–100 km/h time is six seconds flat.
The C 350 also features a dynamic handling package that transforms the car from a suburban commuter to a road-ripper with the flick of a switch. This switch triggers crisper accelerator response, sharper gear shifts, and a suspension system that adjusts to the road surface continuously and automatically.
The result is a car with well-weighted steering, intuitive handling and superior feedback through the wheel and seat. The transmission is a seven-speed automatic armed with technology that improves the gear-swapping process. So, no, the C 350 Coupe is not an all-out sports car, but it has enough sporty attributes to make the drive deeply satisfying. From $49,200
2013 FORD FOCUS ST
A small car with a powerful engine, the Ford Focus ST may just produce the most entertaining driving experience of any car on this list. Fitted with a six-speed manual transmission and motivated by a 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine, the ST continues a fine tradition of affordable, fun and fast hatchbacks coming out of Europe. Pricing TBA
2013 SUBARU BRZ
A strategic alliance between Subaru and Toyota has yielded one of the most exciting sports cars of the season. While the stunning BRZ deviates from one Subaru tradition—rear-wheel drive, not all-wheel drive—it adheres to another: the 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder boxer engine, with tuning by Toyota. The word on the street is that the car’s handling will be borderline telepathic. Pricing TBA
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