FROM HANDSOME COACHBUILDS TO INTELLIGENT ELECTRICS, HAUTE HIGHRIDERS TO DREAMY DROP-TOPS, GEAR UP FOR A PROCESSION OF THIS YEAR’S MOST ANTICIPATED WHEELS
BY AMANDA McCOY
All vehicles are model year 2023 unless otherwise noted. Prices listed are manufacturer’s suggested retail price.
IN TESTING ROLLS’ FIRST EV, engineers took Spectre on the road to some of the world’s most extreme locales, including Arjeplog, Sweden, located 34 miles from the arctic circle in temperatures far below zero. It also crossed Southern Africa, where temps touched 130 degrees.
TO ENSURE EFFORTLESS CONTROL, no fewer than 18 sensors are deployed when the Spectre is cornering, and steering, braking, power delivery, and suspension parameters are adjusted as needed so that the Spectre remains stable.
ROLLS-ROYCE SPECTRE (2024)
THE STARRY-NIGHT HEADLINER is a hallmark of the brand, and the Spectre shines even brighter with the addition of twinkling door panels, inlaid with tiny LED lights in the area surrounding the armrests.
In 1900, four years before Rolls-Royce was officially christened in Manchester, UK, its founding father and motoring visionary Charles Rolls prophesied an electric future for the automotive industry, citing street silence and sustainability long before the latter became a global buzzword. More than a century later, the British marque is fulfilling its destiny with the launch of the Spectre, the first fully electric vehicle to don the Spirit of Ecstasy. The gilded coupe glides on the same platform as its petrol-fueled Phantom and Cullinan brethren, but it’s moved by a pair of electric motors that pump out 577 horses and 664 lb.-ft. of torque – making it the most powerful Rolls yet. The electric powertrain will offer an estimated 320 gasoline-free miles on one charge. But stats aside, the hallmark “magic carpet” ride is the reason elite buyers line up in droves for Goodwood-built metal, and the Spectre doesn’t disappoint. Rolls’ Planar Suspension, finalized along the Côte d’Azur in the French Riviera, is a sophisticated symphony of systems that work in tandem to reduce ride imperfections, sharpen cornering, and ensure a smooth, carpetlike cruise. More than 1,500 pounds of sound-deadening material were used to keep the cabin as silent as a mouse. First deliveries are expected by the end of the year.
Pricing is unofficial, but estimations put it in the $400,000 ballpark. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Paramus 331 Route 4 West, Paramus / 201.252.8001 / rollsroycemotorcarsparamus.com
JAGUAR F-PACE 400 SPORT
PILOTS CAN BRING their favorite digital assistant on the road as Amazon Alexa is now standard across the F-Pace lineup.
A NEW 300 SPORT is also joining the party, powered by a turbo-charged 3.0L inline-six diesel, garnering 296 horses and a beefy 478 lb.-ft. of torque. The variant receives the same exterior treatments and luxe interior features as the 400, including glossy black roof rails, privacy glass, and jet-black 21-inch wheels (with the option to upgrade to 22s).
THE SPORT MODELS SHARE the same suspension as the rest of the lineup, which is heralded in enthusiast circles for its quick steering and razor-sharp cornering that feels more sports car than an SUV.
Like many automakers, the British marque is marching toward a petrol-free future (in a 2021 statement, Jaguar claimed it will transition into an EV-only brand by 2025), but we’ve still got two years to go, folks, and Jag continues to roll out fuel-eating felines with ferocious appetites. Case in point: the F-Pace 400 Sport, is one of two new performance-focused variants of its top-selling SUV. The 400 Sport boasts a 3.0L inline-six that’s beefed up with a twin-scroll turbocharger, electric supercharger, and 250-bar direct fuel injection system for a grand total of 394 horsepower and 405 lb.-ft. of torque. The inline-six slides in between the F-Pace’s standard four-banger and the SVR’s 5.0L V-8, is a great alternative for power-hungry pilots who don’t quite require the 550 ponies of the SVR. A 48-volt battery is also tucked below the rear load space to aid in quicker acceleration and a smoother, more responsive stop-start function. Performance doesn’t come at the cost of luxury, and the Sport is loaded with creature comforts like Windsor leather performance seats, an ebony suede headliner, smoky charcoal ash veneers, and ambient cabin lighting with 30 different color options.
Pricing unofficial though the F-Pace begins at $52,400. Jaguar Monmouth, 105 NJ 36, Eatontown 877.672.8680 / jaguarmonmouth.com
LAND ROVER RANGE ROVER SPORT FIRST EDITION
THE SPORT BLENDS the capability of an SUV with the turning radius of a hatchback by pairing torque vectoring with all-wheel steering, providing out-of-phase rear-wheel steering at low speeds while turning in-phase for greater stability at high speeds.
A VARIETY OF LEATHER OPTIONS allows buyers to personalize their seats, including grained, Windsor, and soft semi-aniline leather. An available 22-way power front seat with massage function, ventilation, and winged headrests for first-class pampering.
TURN UP THE VOLUME, as the Sport features Land Rover’s Meridian Signature Sound with the latest active noise cancellation systems to bathe passengers in music, not road noise. A 13-speaker system is standard, with the option to upgrade to a 17-speaker, 1700-watt audio powerhouse.
Land Rover’s flagship nameplate and longstanding nexus of muscle and modernity, the Range Rover rolled into 2022 with an all-new ‘do, showcasing avant-garde tech with subdued style points that proved refinement could still dazzle. This year, the third-generation baby Rover (the Range Rover Sport was released in 2004 as an ‘05 model) is aunting a full redesign, borrowing luxuries from its larger brethren, from a sleek, svelte silhouette and a minimalist interior featuring the all-new Pivi Pro infotainment system, to Land Rover’s latest MLA Flex platform, which are 50% increase in overall body and torsional stiffness. But as its name suggests, the Sport was always designed to be the road-hungry, performance variant, and this year it lives up to its moniker. Dynamic Response Pro, unique to the super-limited First Edition trim, augments the maker’s next-gen Dynamic Air Suspension to provide roll control via a 48-volt electronic active system, capable of applying up to 1,000 lb.-ft. of torque across each axle for superb handling and pavement capability. The First Edition also boasts an exclusive twin-turbo 4.4L V-8 with a meaty 523 hp and 0-60 time of 4.3 seconds. An all-electric variant is slated to join the party next year.
$122,975, Land Rover Monmouth, 105 NJ 36, Eatontown / 877.672.8810 / landrovermonmouth.com
CADILLAC CT5-V BLACKWING
A SUITE OF PURPOSEFUL exterior elements helps reduce lift on a track and supports propulsion system cooling, including a rear spoiler, front splitter, mid-body panels, rear di user, fender vents, rocker extensions, and more.
THOUGH THOROUGHLY A PERFORMANCE MODEL, the Blackwing can still handle the highway like a luxury sedan. An army of keen magnetorheological dampers senses the road surface, adjusting accordingly for maximum comfort.
THE MUSCLE OF THIS MAGNITUDE demands exceptional stopping power, so Brembo performance brakes are standard on both the front and rear wheels. The Black wing is the only Caddy to o er carbon-ceramic brakes with cross-drilled rotors for stellar performance that looks damn good, too.
Though tears were shed over the 2019 sunsetting of Caddy’s performance powerhouse, the 640-hp CTS-V, last year’s debut of its rightful successor, the CT5-V Blackwing, provided a tall glass of much-needed solace. It is a meaty muscle car that boasts an updated version of its predecessor’s supercharged 6.2L V-8 along with modern style points for a more grown-up sport sedan. Plush interior materials, upgraded connected tech, and chiseled exterior styling are all welcome niceties, but the reason the Blackwing racked up “best of ” awards across the auto realm is for salacious performance. The juiced-up V-8 boasts 668 ponies and 659 lb.-ft. of torque, to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds with the automatic transmission. But while forgoing a clutch might shave a hair on your time, the standard six-speed manual is an enthusiast’s dream, still rocketing from 0-60 in 3.6 seconds. Designed to easily transition from town to the track, the Blackwing features Caddy’s fast-reacting Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 Suspension, which sharpens the driving performance with up to 45% faster damping response. An electronically limited edition is also standard, using a lighter-weight aluminum housing and enhancements for improved track performance.
$91,995. Trinity Cadillac, 374 Sylvan Avenue, Englewood Cliffs / 201.227.1111 / trinitycadillac.com
MERCEDES-MAYBACH S680 HAUTE VOITURE
A BAG COLLECTION will accompany the series car, retailing in early 2023 at Maybach Icons of Luxury stores. Available in different styles and sizes in a limited run, items will be comprised of select materials featured in the vehicle’s interior.
WHEN THE DOORS OPEN, animated Mercedes-Maybach patterns light up via LCD technology, elegantly illuminating both the front and rear areas of the saloon.
THE HAUTE VOITURE is based on the S680, which is powered by a thundering twin-turbo 6.0L V-12, boasting 621 horses and a stout 738 lb.-ft. of torque. It flies from 0-60 in 4.4 seconds with an electronically limited top speed of 130 mph.
After a fruitless attempt in the early aughts, Mercedes-Benz successfully resurrected the Maybach nameplate in 2014 as a mega-premium sub-brand of the Stuttgart maker, featuring a stretched camera-ready wheelbase, unique front grille inspired by pinstripes on a Tom Ford suit, and one of the plushest interiors in autoloom. The Maybach S-Class followed in 2019 to ample fanfare – its rich two-tone paint, cushioned interior, and high-tech toys became a calling card for hedge-fund tycoons and glitterati alike. Following the addition of a new 621-hp V-12 engine in 2022, the big news for 2023 is the arrival of two super limited editions: the S680 by Virgil Abloh, a tribute to the late fashion legend, and the S680 Haute Voiture, essentially a runway spectacular on wheels. Dubbed by Benz as a “select occasion” cruiser, the limited edition series will be capped at just 150 examples worldwide. The exterior is cloaked in a two-tone nautical blue and rose-gold colorway with matching Monoblock wheels. The interior is clad in bouclé upholstery in shades of blue, beige, rose gold, and gold, intermixed with creamy white leather covering the consoles, doors, and scatter cushions, plus linen and mohair mats. In true S-Class fashion, a pair of crystal champagne flutes are housed in the rear console.
Official pricing hasn’t been released for the special edition, but the Maybach S-Class begins at $194,450. Contemporary Motor Cars, 100 Oceanport Avenue, Little Silver / 732.842.5353 / cmcbenz.com
FERRARI PUROSANGUE (2024)
THE PUROSANGUE marks the global debut of Ferrari’s new active suspension technology with Multimatic’s True Active Spool Valve (TASV) system, which optimizes performance, stability, and rides comfort by proactively exerting force to move the entire vehicle body in anticipation of changing road surfaces and driver inputs.
THE INTERIOR IS LOADED with sustainably produced materials, including recycled polyester fabric roof lining, newly formulated Alcantara, and plush polyamide carpeting crafted from recycled fishing nets salvaged from the ocean.
Typically when a brand designs for practicality, certain executables are often shaved to increase cargo volume, MPG, or other appreciated-but-unmoving conveniences. at is emphatically not the case with Ferrari’s newest release, the first four-door, four-seater car to ever don the Prancing Horse. And fear not, enthusiasts – the Purosangue is all thrills. Although Ferrari refuses to use the term SUV, the Maranello maker did delineate the upcoming vehicle will outpower any other vehicle in the crossover segment, boasting 715 horses and 528 lb.-ft. of torque. The Purosangue doesn’t corral more power through turbo or superchargers; each and every pony is derived from Ferrari’s iconic, naturally aspirated 6.5L V-12. Eighty percent of the torque is available at low revs for quick o -the-line acceleration. Pilots will rocket from 0-62 in 3.3 seconds, reaching 125 mph in just over 10. Paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission and cylinder heads borrowed from the formidable 812 Competizione, the engine doesn’t just roar – it devours. The interior is swathed in primo materials, and buyers will have the option to dress up their ride via Ferrari’s generous personalization services, from massaging seats to an electrochromic glass roof (a carbon roof panel is standard). Notably missing is a center-mounted infotainment touchscreen. Ferrari opted to keep things clean and driver-centric, placing controls on the steering wheel.
Pricing is unoffical, but early speculation puts it around $400,000. Ferrari of Central New Jersey, 816 Route 1 North, Edison / 732.248.9100 / ferrariofcentralnj.com
JEEP GRAND WAGONEER L OBSIDIAN
THE GRAND WAGONEER might be packed to the gills in luxuries, but it’s still ready to shred mountains with Jeep’s Quadra-Drive II 4×4 system, featuring active low range and rear electronic limited slip is essential, allowing 24 inches of water fording. Air suspension delivers up to ten inches of ground clearance.
HIGH-TECH GOODIES ABOUND, including a head-up display, 360-degree surround view and night vision cameras, up to 75 inches of total screen surface, and available Amazon Fire TV.
THE OBSIDIAN’S BLACKOUT TREATMENT includes 22-inch wheels with black inserts and a black grille, along with badging, exterior mirrors, and window trim all coated in midnight. Inside find generous black décor including dark-hued chiseled-metal instrument panel trim and piano black appliques.
In the mid-‘60s, long before luxury SUVs became an integral component of the American automotive marketplace, Jeep made the audacious decision to release a premium version of its full-size Wagoneer, boasting amenities that were then unheard of in a truck-like vehicle, from power brakes and steering to air conditioning and gold-tone body panels. The Super Wagoneer served as the precursor to the 1980s Grand Wagoneer, which became the go-to choice for vineyard owners and oil moguls alike until it was discontinued in the early ‘90s. In 2021, Jeep celebrated the return of the OG luxury SUV, reimagining the flagship full-size for the 21st century. Modern features like teak wood accents, massive digital screens, and a 23-speaker McIntosh audio system sent autodom into a frenzy. e carnivorous three-row SUV is sliding into its second year with a handful of updates, including the debut of the L, which adds an additional 12 inches in length and 15.8 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the third row. Both wheelbases can opt for the new Hurricane Twin Turbo 510 engine, a 3.0L inline-six boasting 510 hp and 500 lb. ft. of torque (the base model is still equipped with the carryover 6.4L V-8). Along with its “shorter” cousin, is available in three trims: base, Series II, and Series III, and offers a broody Obsidian edition package that cloaks the SUV inside and out in midnight accents.
$103,230. Route 46 Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, 1655 US 46, Little Falls / 973.339.7752 / route46chryslerjeepdodge.com Route 130 Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, 1153 Route 130, Robbinsville / 609.686.2200 / route130chryslerdodgejeep.com
LAMBORGHINI HURACÁN STERRATO
WHEN GOING OFF PAVEMENT, Rally Mode adjusts the suspension for low grip conditions by slackening stability control intervention, allowing big drift angles on loose surfaces like dust and sand.
POWERED BY THE SAME V-10 that feeds its road-favoring brethren, the Sterrato flaunts 601 horsepower (slightly less than the Huracán because of the air intake system) and 413 lb.-ft. of torque. It blasts from 0-62 in 3.4 seconds despite its heavy Bridgestone Dueler All-Terrain tires.
SWAPPING THE HURACÁN’S Potenza Race tires for heavy Bridgestone Dueler All Terrain tires wasn’t a simple process, noted Lamborghini’s CTO Rouven Mohr. “It was very challenging from a tire point of view to have a setup that was also stable at high speed. But although the limits are obviously lower, the car is also fun to drive on road; it is very progressive.”
The term off-road is usually tethered to a truck, beefy SUV, or particularly intrepid crossover. But supercar? Although the two designations have long been mutually exclusive, Lambo is shattering all previously held norms with the introduction of the trail-hungry Sterrato. The Italian super marque is the first teased concept in 2019, presented as a rally version of the delicious Huracán. Featuring a front skid plate, wide track, lifted suspension, and re-tuned all-wheel drive system (lest we forget the rapacious 5.2L V-10), the Sterrato concept was the talk of autodom for months, and this year, its officially coming to life. The last Lamborghini to house the beloved 5.2L V-10 engine (originally developed for the Gallardo in 2003), the all-terrain super sports car can transition from the boulevard to the Badlands with ease, boasting an additional 1.7 inches of ground clearance over the Huracán, plus aluminum front underbody protection, reinforced sills, and sturdy wheel arches. When taking on the dirt, a rear hood air intake helps supply the engine with clean air. At the Sterrato’s buzzy reveal during Art Basel in Miami, Lamborghini Chairman and CEO Stephan Winkelmann described the rule-defying roadster as “a radical and original interpretation of the super sports car concept but, in terms of performance, the Sterrato belongs in the world’s most dynamic and exciting driving environments.” Production begins this February, and will be limited to 1,499 units. Pricing unofficial. Lamborghini Paramus, 401 NJ-17, Paramus / 888.264.0370 / lamborghini.com/en-en/dealerships/ lamborghini-paramus
PORSCHE 911 CARRERA T
SHAVING WEIGHT took myriad forms, including the adoption of thinner glass and a smaller battery, plus sound insulation reduction and the elimination of the rear seat.
GREY IS THE T’S FAVORITE COLOR, and several dark grey accents are sprinkled throughout the vehicle, from the upper and lower mirror covers to the model designation on the doors. Even the wheels are cast in Titanium Grey, measuring 20 inches in the front and 21 in the rear.
First unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1963, the holy 911 is sports car royalty, the coupe of choice for generations of motorcar enthusiasts. Now in its eighth generation, Porsche’s halo car is reintroducing the Carrera T model for 2023, a touring variant that adds “driving pleasures and performance” goodies while trimming weight, ride height, and luxuries. The result is a true purist’s sportscar, a retro rider inspired by the original Carerra T of the late ‘60s. The model slides in between the base Carrera and meatier Carerra S, and though it packs on performance-enhancing features like a mechanical limited-slip differential with torque vectoring and Porsche’s PASM Sport Suspension (which lowers the ride height by 10 mm), the T still clocks in at 100 lbs. lighter than the base Carrera. It’s fed by a 3.0L twin-turbo six, generating 379 ponies and 331 lb.-ft. of torque with a top speed of 181 mph. Two transmission options are on tap: the PDK dual-clutch auto on the Carrera base, offering a lightning quick 0-60 time of 3.8 seconds. But if pilots are willing to give up half a second, a track-starved seven-speed manual puts the power in your left foot for unparalleled open-road thrills.
$116,600, Porsche Monmouth, 280 NJ 36, West Long Branch 732.734.8505 / porschemonmouth.com
BENTLEY BENTAYGA ODYSSEAN EDITION
THE BENTAYGA is a trendsetter, as the full Bentley lineup will be offered with hybrid powertrains by 2025, coinciding with the launch of the first-ever Bentley BEV. Through the maker’s Five in Five plan, Bentley will launch a new electric model every year between 2025 and 2030.
YOUR IDEAL SEAT POSITION is all but guaranteed with Front Seat Comfort Specification, offering up to 22-way adjustability, plus heating and ventilation, of course.
A FIRST for the second-generation SUV, the Bentayga features a posh three-color leather scheme, layering different shades of hide for a rich, textured effect. Deep autumn and light linen hues are standard, while buyers choose the third hue from a collection of five different colorways.
The ultra-luxury marque’s journey toward a more sustainable future includes a meaty $2.5 billion investment into transforming its entire product portfolio into cleaner, environmentally conscious motorcars of tomorrow – without slashing glamour and grandeur. Case in point: the recently launched Bentayga Odyssean, a stunning example of ethical luxury. A follow-up to 2021’s Flying Spur Odyssean, which pulled design inspiration from the EXP 100 GT concept car, the highly exclusive special edition Bentayga will be limited to just 70 examples worldwide. A hybrid powertrain combines a 3.0L V-6 with an electric motor for 456 ponies and 516 lb.-ft. of torque, propelling the SUV from 0-62 in 5.3 seconds. A new 18 kWh battery adds a short EV range – roughly 28 miles – a slight bump over last year’s Bentayga hybrid. But Bentley’s pledge to turn green into gold doesn’t shine in the powertrain alone. The Odyssean features a portfolio of ultra-premium yet ethically crafted materials: natural leathers, 100% British wool tweed, and a gorgeous open pore Koa veneer that uses 90% less lacquer than traditional glossy veneers. Production will kick off this fall.
Inquire for pricing. Bentley Paramus331 Route 4Paramus / 855.638.1080 / bentleyparamus.com
MASERATI GRECALE TROFEO
A NEW, TECH-SAVVY DIGITAL CLOCK can be programmed to function as a g-meter, compass, or even a digital assistant that responds to voice commands, serving as your in-car concierge.
A SUITE OF DRIVING MODES – O road, GT, Sport, and Comfort – switch between dirt-climbing capability, track-shredding sportiness, and pillowy comfort. Trofeo-exclusive Corsa Mode heightens performance with more responsive pedals and quicker shifts.
THE FUTURISTIC INTERIOR features a 12.3-inch TFT cluster, two large central angled displays divided by a digital gear shifter, and an optional head-up display. A third screen serves the rear-seat passengers.
Last spring, the Italian supermaker announced its version of the “everyday exceptional,” a smokin’ SUV that “strikes the right balance between versatility, elegance, performance, and innovation, guaranteeing performance, comfort, and safety, all at the same time.” Enter the Grecale, only the second high-rider in Maserati’s 109-year history. One size down from the mid-size Levante, which debuted in 2016, the compact crossover will feature the largest powertrain range in the Trident lineup, offering a pair of four-cylinder mild hybrid engines, a high-performance 3.0L V-6, and a full EV, the latter slated to arrive next year. The Trofeo will be the only variant to feed solely on petrol. Its rapacious twin-turbo V-6 is based on the hallowed Nettuno engine in the MC20 supercar, and delivers a hair-raising 523 horses and 457 lb.-ft. of torque. Maserati promises a 3.8-second 0-60 time on the Grecale performance model, with a top speed of 177. The Trofeo comes standard with full-grain leather, 21-inch tires, and Brembo brakes, plus optional goodies like a head-up display, a 21-speaker Sonus Faber sound system, and a suite of active safety tech.
Gasoline variant begins at $76,200. Maserati of Monmouth, 807 NJ 35, Ocean Township / 732.884.0511 maseratiofmonmouth.com
ACURA INTEGRA A-SPEC
THE A-SPEC STUNS with sportier bodywork, 18-inch wheels, and a six-speed manual, available with the Technology Package. Other goodies in the package include an adaptive suspension system, large digital gauge display, a 16-speaker ELS stereo system, and a wireless phone charger.
IT’S THE RETURN OF A LEGEND, as the Integra was one of Acura’s launch models when it debuted in the U.S. in 1986 (at the time, it was available in three and five-door configurations). Throughout its production run, the Integra was highly regarded for its handling and performance, collecting a mound of awards and recognitions over the years.
The Japanese luxury maker marked the dawn of 2023 with a glorious New Year gift: the resurrection of one of its most storied nameplates, the effervescent Integra, the brand’s entry-luxury coupe that enjoyed a glorious heyday in the ‘90s before shifting trends gave it the ax. But it’s back, friends, this time as a turbo-charged hatchback and welcome standout in the current sea of SUVs. While the new four-door shares its underpinnings with the redesigned Honda Civic, it earns its luxury stripes in myriad ways, from high-tech goodies like a head-up display, ELS premium audio system, and a Wi-Fi hotspot, to performance upgrades like adaptive dampers on the suspension – all of which are not available on the Honda variant. The Integra is powered by a twin-turbo 1.5L four-banger that outputs 200 ponies and 192 lb.-ft. of torque, plenty of pep for its slim 3,073-lb. curb weight. There are two transmission choices available, a quick-response CVT with paddle shifters and a segment-exclusive six-speed manual with automatic rev matching. Acura confirmed the gift will keep on giving as a performance-oriented Type S will follow in 2024.
$36,300. Precision Acura of Princeton, 3001 US 1, Lawrenceville / 609.535.2926 / precisionacura.com
INFINITI QX60 AUTOGRAPH
EXECUTIVE-LEVEL LUXURY will cost you a passenger, as the Autograph trim eliminates one seat, bringing the total down to six. Every other model features seating for up to seven.
THE SECOND YEAR brought a handful of minor enhancements, including standard wireless phone charging on all grades, a new frameless rearview mirror, and new gloss black or dark gray accent colors on the lower bumper. The QX60 is also receiving Infiniti’s newly launched integrated maintenance plan, covering oil changes, tire changes, and inspection fees for up to three years.
FRONT-WHEEL DRIVE is standard, but intelligent all-wheel drive is available on all grades so you’re ready to take on Northeastern winters. The system features an advanced direct coupling engagement that quickly transfers up to 50% of its available power to the rear wheels for better traction.
As consumer trends continue to shift toward higher ground clearance and more spacious interiors, Infiniti has stepped up its SUV game over the past few years, notably with the recent overhaul of its midsize high-rider. Fully redesigned last year for 2022, the QX60 features fresh exterior styling points along with an all-new interior that blends high-tech toys with pomp and posh. The power is respectable, fed by a 295-hp 3.5L V-6 that’s paired with a new nine-speed automatic transmission. But the real story is the cabin, outfitted with ultra-luxe textiles and sound-deadening materials for one comfy, quiet ride. Massaging seats, heated headrests, and tri-zone climate control with an air purifier are all options, as is a 17-speaker Bose premium stereo system. It’s relatively thrifty for a luxury SUV, starting in the mid $40s, but the top-end Autograph adds a platter of luxury features well worth the additional $16,000, including semi-aniline leather seats, Smart Rear View Mirror, black Obsidian contrasts, and a 10.8-inch head-up display. Caravaning more than a full frisbee team? Note the QX60’s big brother, the flagship QX80, is prepping for a full makeover in 2024.
$62,600. Edison Infiniti, 842 US-1, Edison / 732.867.2777 / edisoninfiniti.com
MITSUBISHI ECLIPSE CROSS SEL
STANDARD ACTIVE SAFETY features keep the vehicle on constant alert, including Forward Collision Mitigation with pedestrian detection and Lane Departure warning. All trims above the base throw in Automatic High Beams and rain-sensing wipers. Blind Spot Monitor, Lane Change Assist, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert are also standard on the SEL.
When Mitsubishi’s mid-sized Outlander rolled out a hot new redesign for 2022, it’s seductive styling immediately sent autodom into a frenzy, with critics and enthusiasts alike fanning over its newfound muscle and chiseled bodywork. But the Outlander wasn’t the only Triple Diamond-bearing machine to unveil a more grown-up ‘do last year. After taking a one-year hiatus in 2021, the compact Eclipse Cross (the Japanese maker resurrected the iconic Eclipse nameplate for model year 2018, planning its global debut around the 2017 solar eclipse’s “path of totality” in Salem, Oregon), rolled into 2022 with sleek exterior updates, including revamped front and rear-end treatments reminiscent of its Outlander sibling, plus a slew of interior upgrades, such as new leather upholstery and a bigger infotainment screen. This year, the sassy high-rider adds a new 18-inch alloy wheel design, standard LED lights, and Mitsu’s motorsports-inspired Super All-Wheel Drive, which couples an electronically controlled center differential with brake force to precisely distribute torque for razor-sharp cornering. A Ralliart-branded special edition is slated to join the lineup this year.
$29,495. Bell Mitsubishi, 1500 US 1, Rahway / 732.482.9199 / bellmitsubishi.com
FORD MUSTANG GT (2024)
THE ALL-NEW MUSTANG launches with 11 exterior color options including two new shades, Vapor Blue and Yellow Splash, complemented by new stripe colors and designs. Buyers also can choose from three Brembo brake caliper color options: black, red, and Grabber Blue, plus an all-new lineup of alloy wheels, ranging from 17 inches on base models to 19-inch for the GT with optional 20-inch alloy wheels.
A HIGH-TECH, fighter jet-inspired cockpit would make Maverick proud, offering the driver two flowing and curved displays, both customizable to show different animated designs along with new drive mode-dependent visuals.
EACH MODEL in the Mustang lineup carries its own unique front end. The GT is differentiated from EcoBoost models by larger, more aggressive grille openings, engineered to reflect the increase in power and performance by allowing more airflow. The car’s aerodynamics are optimized further with the addition of new hood vents and a redesigned front splitter.
After six decades in the race, Detroit’s star pony is launching an all-new look for 2024, featuring bolder body exterior styling, upgraded interior (including a futuristic fighter-jet cockpit), and a pair of improved powertrains for high-revving power and sharper handling. Even in the age of the SUV, Ford is going all in, with its CEO Jim Farley stating, “Investing in another generation of Mustang is a big statement at a time when many of our competitors are exiting the business of internal combustion vehicles.” The seventh-gen Mustang boasts two new engine options: a turbo-charged 2.3L EcoBoost outputting 315 ponies, and a thundering 5.0L Coyote V-8 on the GT, now cranking out an estimated 480 hp for the most powerful stallion ever. A segment-first feature that will have even track novices drifting like Vaughn Gittin Jr. is the electronic drift brake, which unlocks the rear-wheel-drive Mustang’s drifting potential through a genuine mechanical hand brake, available with the Performance Package on all models. Pilots also have the option of a 10-speed automatic tranny and six-speed manual, and they can once again forgo a fixed roof for a drop-top, Shore-loving variant. The first deliveries are expected this summer.
Pricing unofficial. Quality Auto Mall, 55 NJ 17, Rutherford / 201.935.2400 / qualityautomall.com