There's not a lot of room in the four-seater. The driver faces a small steering wheel with the Y-shape made popular by the 1936 Chevrolet.
BENTLEY ARNAGE R
Base price: $218,108
Acceleration: 0-60 mph in about 6 seconds
Estimated mpg: 10 to 14
Standout: Laser-cut, stainless steel front matrix grille
The most upscale Volkswagen just might be the Bentley Arnage R at $218,108 (upper reaches: $256,990.) The British flagship has been owned by VW for a while but it still does the Sceptered Isle proud. It' a London clubroom on the inside while the front has been updated with four round headlights instead of the traditional six. The powerplant is still the massive 6.75L V-8 of 400 turbocharged horsepower. That' enough to send the nearly three-ton luxury lion to 60 mph in six seconds.
The sport setting lets the Bentley dance through curves like a heavyweight sports car. The ride firms up but is never harsh. The regular suspension ignores road blemishes. There are all of the bells and whistles like stability control, adaptive automatic transmission, and not one but two turbo chargers.
Interior is premium leather. Rear seats are powered, and optional equipment includes veneered picnic tables, two umbrellas, two-stage heated rear seats – but no butler.
Base price: $75,385
Acceleration: 0-60 mph in about 5.9 seconds
Estimated mpg: 17 to 25
Standout: Automatic retractable hardtop
Like some other super-luxos, the $75,385 (top and bottom) Cadillac XLR owes a debt to an automotive relation. In this case it's the Chevrolet Corvette that provides the platform. The engine is the highly respected Caddy Northstar, a 4.6L V-8 of 320 horsepower. It drives the rear wheels with a tractable five-speed automatic transmission.
Styling is the best execution of the new chiseled Cadillac look. Where the Corvette is curvy, the XLR is straight-edged. Where the Corvette convertible has a soft top, the XLR has a retractable metal roof. There's adaptive cruise control that keeps its distance. There are hidden headlamps and nice applications of eucalyptus wood trim.
The response isn't as sharp as Corvette but the ride is smoother. Zero to 60 is achieved in 5.9 seconds. An active handling system and ride control keep it flat on turns. A heads-up display puts plenty of info on the windshield in front of the driver. Call it a Corvette in a tux.
Base price: $81,330
Acceleration: 0-60 mph in about 5.2 seconds
Estimated mpg: 16 to 23
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