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The Best In Luxury Cars 2013

With smaller, lighter, faster, greener and more techy entries, car makers continue to widen the road for what is considered high-line driving
Paul A. Eisenstein
From the Print Edition:
Jeremy Irons, March/April 2013

(continued from page 1)

While Audi continues to set the bar when it comes to interior design—and nowhere is that more obvious than in the A6—it is also coming on strong with performance. For 2013, the maker is adding both the sportier S6 and the truly thrilling RS6 to the lineup, with the latter featuring a twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 making 572 horsepower.

Honorable mention: It’s hard to go wrong in the midsize luxury market. Among our other favorites are the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the BMW 5-Series and Audi’s A5 coupe, easily the most stylish in the group. You can also find some lavishly equipped mainstream brands pressing into the segment with competitively equipped—and appealingly priced—alternatives, including the Chrysler 300 and the Hyundai Genesis sedan.
 
Best Premium Luxury Sedan
Audi S8

Audi has traditionally been an also-ran in the American market, especially when it comes to the premium luxury segment, the A8 long lagging behind such stalwarts as the BMW 7-Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The latest-generation A8 suddenly shifted the equation when it made its debut a couple of years back. And now, with the addition of the sportier S8, Audi is starting to win over a sizable number of converts who used to only have two serious choices if they wanted a German premium sedan.

The new Audi S8 is the biggest, baddest and most powerful flagship model the Volkswagen AG subsidiary has ever offered. Its twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 makes an impressive 520 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque—enough to launch this full-size sedan from 0 to 60 in just 4.2 seconds. That might have been impressive enough to win our nod, but add to that the sophisticated design and luscious interior Audi first revealed on the A8—and an assortment of impressive comfort, safety and performance technologies—and you have our winner.

Honorable mention: Once again, here’s a segment with a variety of offerings with which it is hard to go wrong—including the newly updated BMW 7-Series—and we’re expecting big things, as well, from the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class coming this year.

Best Coupe-Like Sedan
BMW 6-Series Gran Coupé

A year ago we named the the Mercedes-Benz CLS our winner among Premium Luxury sedans. This year, as we see more and more coupe-like four-doors introduced to market we’ve decided it’s time to give them their own recognition. The first to claim that honor is the new BMW 6-Series Gran Coupé.

Like many a follower of the Bavarian maker we worried about what BMW might come up with as it added another 4.4 inches—and a second pair of doors—to the luscious 6-Series it introduced just a year earlier. There was no reason to fret. The overall look maintains the distinctive, coupe-like elegance while gaining a whole lot more flexibility and functionality. And careful engineering resulted in only the most modest of weight gains, which translates into nearly the same level of performance as the two-door BMW 6-Series. A perfect pick to mark the debut of this new award.

Honorable mention: Here’s still another segment in which potential buyers have some great alternatives, including the Porsche Panamera, the Aston Martin Rapide and Audi’s performance updates of the stunning A7, S7 and RS7.

Best Luxury Sports Car
Porsche Boxster


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