Want to know which sports cars you'll soon be daydreaming about? We've got them all right here, from the all-new Ferrari F149, to the 2010 Alfa Romeo Mi.To, to the fantastic new 2010 Lotus Eagle. From 2009 to 2012, these are the hot sports cars of the future. Read More.
2009 Nissan GT-R Spec V
The Spec V will be to the GT-R what the Porsche GT3 RS is to the 911.
According to our source, the Spec V will be to the GT-R what the Porsche GT3 RS is to the 911. It will be significantly lighter than the base car -- we hear by at least 220 lb. Extensive use of carbon fiber -- on the hood, rear wing, front spoiler and doors -- will help the GT-R weigh in at about 3600 lb. The interior may come standard with a rollcage or structural brace like the one in the original GT-R Concept, as well as carbon-fiber Recaro front seats.
There were reports that Nissan engineers contemplated deleting the air-conditioning unit from the package, but decided against it, keeping in mind that not everyone who buys this car will convert it into a racing machine. But this should be enough to tell you that the GT-R Spec V is a serious performance car, one mainly intended for the track. New lightweight 6-spoke wheels will help you distinguish it from the base GT-R.
We also uncovered that the Spec V's 3.8-liter V-6 will pump out about 520 bhp at 6500 rpm and 435 lb.-ft. of torque from 3200 to 5200, roughly a 10-percent increase from the base engine. The extra oomph comes by increasing the boost of the turbochargers.
Combine this added power with the car's lighter weight and you have a machine that'll be so fast it's downright scary. Zero to 60 mph will be near 3 seconds flat ... on a cool day on an ideal driving surface, it may even break into the 2s. The quarter-mile mark will be right around 11.0 sec.
As for price, let's just say that extensive use of carbon fiber will definitely have an effect. The projected MSRP of the GT-R Spec V is $120,000.
2010 Saleen S5S Raptor
The Raptor is designed to provide a truly American alternative to the European exotics.
Anyone thinking that Steve Saleen's departure from the company that bears his name would result in the end of supercars such as the famous S7 ... would be wrong. That's because Saleen, now based in Troy, Michigan, as opposed to its former headquarters in Irvine, California, has unveiled an all-new supercar concept called the S5S Raptor.
Unlike the S7, which was a barely-civilized race car, the new S5S Raptor is "primarily a street vehicle," according to Saleen, although it stresses that the Raptor's dynamic qualities "will not be compromised." Officials went on to say the Raptor "is designed to provide a truly American alternative to the European exotics."
Power will come from a mid-mounted 5.0-liter supercharged V-8 putting out 650 bhp at 6300 rpm and 630 lb.-ft. of torque at 4400 rpm. The engine is designed to run on E85; what's more, unlike today's flex-fuel cars, this one is apparently dedicated to ethanol: "By using ethanol fuel, the powertrain is able to run higher compression and yield approximately 5 percent more horsepower than our normal 5.0-liter supercharged engine," the company says.
A 6-speed manual transmission will come standard in the Raptor, with a paddle-shift sequential gearbox optional. The performance meter should be pegged: Saleen estimates 0-60 mph in 3.2 seconds, the quarter mile in 10.9 sec. and a top speed over 200 mph.
The Raptor's aluminum chassis and composite body panels happen to be very similar in size to Ferrari's F430. And although the new Saleen rides on a 106.3-in. wheelbase that's identical to the S7's, the Raptor is 13 in. shorter and 5 in. taller, the last dimension no doubt an attempt to make the new car more people-friendly.
Suspension is composed of double wishbones front and rear. The front brakes have 15.0-in. rotors with 6-piston calipers, while the rears are 13.0 in. with 2-piston calipers. Lots of rubber will keep this new Saleen glued to the road: 275/35R-20s up front and 315/35R-20s at the rear.
It also appears that besides the S5S Raptor being a more road- and people-friendly car than the S7 (which is no longer for sale in the U.S., although it is still exported to foreign lands), it will be a lot kinder on your wallet: Saleen expects to sell it for $185,000, compared with the S7 Twin Turbo's price of $580,000.
2012 Jaguar F-Type
Jaguar could very easily end up with the coolest sports car of the 21st century.
Ratan Tata, the soft-spoken urbane boss of the Indian giant conglomerate that has acquired Jaguar and Land Rover for $2.3 billion, was understandably very coy about his plans for the two iconic British brands at the Geneva show, as the deal still had to be confirmed.
That was finally done in late March -- so what does the future hold for one of Britain's premier marques? One new car that seems a betting certainty is a successor to the fabled E-Type, to be dubbed the F-Type.
In 2000 Jaguar unveiled an F-Type concept at that year's Detroit show to much acclaim. Its swoopy curves and retro machine-turned fascia drew a lot of admiration, but it was ditched in favor of more mainstream products.
Now, it seems that the F-Type might just be resurrected under Jaguar's new owners. Certainly the important players within Jaguar, from design to engineering to marketing, want it.
But how? The simple (read: inexpensive) route is to chop down the XF's platform, making it into a narrower and shorter 2-seater, while still using the XK's aluminum suspension components to save weight (just as the XF does).
Don't think a future F-Type will be simply a slimmer version of the XK. Instead, take the E-Type, morph it into the radical C-XF concept and XF production car and then develop those themes to become the F-Type. Jaguar could very easily end up with the coolest sports car of the 21st century.