Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet
Price: Starting @ $117,530
Where to get it: Porsche.com
Way back in 1964, the first 911 rolled off the assembly line in Stuttgart, Germany. Fast-forward to 2013 and the same basic design reigns as one of the world’s most iconic supercars. Most people think of the Turbo 911 Cabriolet as the ultimate luxury performance Porsche, and that’s a good choice, but there’s something better: The 4S. The “4” signifies all-wheel-drive, a feature that makes even the “bendiest” bits of road a fun yet safe experience for drivers new to having this much power on tap. The 4S is very close to the race-ready GT3 911 in terms of performance, but unlike the GT3, which is uber-loud and sprung so tight it telegraphs every bump in the road directly to your butt, the 4S is a car you can drive every day for long distances in supreme comfort. Go crazy on the options checklist and you can have leather on virtually every surface including the A/C vents.
Jaguar F-Type S
Price: Starting @ $81,000
Where to get it: JaguarUSA.com
Back in the ‘60s, the Jaguar XKE was a head-turning, awe-inspiring car that made life-long fans of all who saw it cruising by. Today, the all-new F Type has the same effect. The F Type is the automotive equivalent of a pouty-lipped, leggy supermodel. The unique grill leans slightly forward, as if daring you to unleash the power of the supercharged 3.0 Liter V6 that reaches 60 mph in 4.8 seconds, with a top speed of 161 mph; if that’s not fast enough, selecting the “S” model with a 5.0 Liter Supercharged V8 will propel you much closer to the 200 mph mark. From the initial time you sit behind the wheel and urge the engine to life, the buttery-smooth 8-speed “QuickShift” transmission whisks you through the gears faster than an F1 driver, but with much more style and elan. Under new ownership, Jaguar has returned to its racing roots, producing a car that’s sleek, powerful and utterly luxurious.
Mercedes-Benz SL550 Roadster
Price: Starting @ $105,000
Where to get it: Mercedes-Benz of Coral Gables; 300 Almeria Ave., Coral Gables; 305.445.8593; MBCoralGables.com
Driving a Mercedes SL is proof that you have attained Automotive Nirvana. For more than 40 years, the SL Class has defined the “roadster” term. The all-new SL550 keeps the tradition alive and better than ever. The exterior design harkens to previous SL models, but now adds a sharp, pulse-quickening edge. The redesigned body also weighs less than previous SLs, allowing full optimization of the engine’s twin-turbo, 429-horsepower V8 to reach 60 mph in a scant 4.5 seconds, making this the ideal choice to snag the last parking space at the mall. The interior is plush perfection, with what seems like acres of soft, supple leather covering all surfaces. What’s more, driving the SL550 is a sensual experience converting even mundane drives into an exotic adventure.
BMW 650i xDrive
Price: Starting @ $96,700
Where to get it: BMWUSA.com
In the world of luxury convertibles, the BMW 650i xDrive commands attention. The sensuous lines of the car hint that it has the moves of a panther. Unlike most luxury convertibles with rear seats that are a tight fit even for very small children, adults can comfortably use the 650i’s rear seats without contortions or complaints. But here’s what sets the xDrive apart — an all-wheel-drive system that intelligently directs 450 hp to each wheel as it can best be utilized. That allows the 650i — not a small car by any measure — to slither like a snake up the most winding road as the 8-speed transmission flawlessly selects the exact right gear and the impeccable steering selection responds to the driver’s every input. BMW’s unique nightvision system even allows you to safely maneuver the highways after dark. The 650i xDrive is a convertible that’s not a compromise. It’s at the same time the perfect weekend beach-cruising car as it is ideally suited to take you to and from the office throughout the week.
Audi R8 Spyder
Price: Starting @ $114,200
Where to get it: AudiUSA.com
Of the 3 best things in the 1st Iron Man movie, you can actually have one of them. While Gwyneth Paltrow and an Iron Man suit are not easily obtainable, you can own the car that catapulted Audi into the ranks of supercar builders. An open-air version of the breathtaking R8 Coupe, the Spyder makes full use of the 4.2 Liter V8 to rocket from 0-60 in 4.6 seconds, with the R Tronic transmission selecting gears all the way up to the top speed of 186 mph. The interior matches the car’s performance, featuring generous use of carbon fiber, alcantra/leather and Audi’s signature “alu-optic” finish on the shifter, handles and switches. The result is a car that looks like it’s flying even when parked innocently in the driveway. Want to know how it feels to fly like Iron Man? Opt for the awe-inspiring optional V10 engine.