EASY LIKE SUNDAY MORNING
Looking for the coolest sports cars for the summer? Sean Li picks out the cream of the crop, from exotics and SUVS to practical but still sporty models soon to hit the roads
Aston Martin DB11
Few marques have such a cool factor attached to them as Aston Martin. It’s not just because it’s the car of choice for a certain secret agent, but it’s the understated way that Aston Martin presents itself. After a year or so of internal restructuring, the brand is back with a twin-turbo V12 engine in the new DB11, and a new design that’s immediately recognisable but distinct from its previous models. It remains to be seen how well the engineers in Gaydon have managed the transition to turbocharged engines.
The Bentley Bentayga has an interesting history. A prototype was unveiled in 2012 to very mixed reviews, primarily on its aesthetics. At the time, Bentley promised it would improve before the production version. Now that the Bentayga has been formally unveiled, the jury is still out. Let’s just say that it’s an acquired taste—but there’s an undeniable appeal to the Bentayga if you’re keen on the SUV segment, especially with one that can reach 300km/h and still has true off-road capability. The interior is spectacular, with all the hand-finished leather you’d expect, and even an option for a tourbillon clock in the dash that has an automatic winding mechanism. Unfortunately, that option may be sold out by the time you place your order.
At one point, BMW’S tag line was “the ultimate driving machine.” The M series has always represented the epitome of the true driver’s car—one where the controls seemed directly wired to your brain. As the M cars matured, though, there was a middle-age shift where the performance was still there, but with a little aloofness. Not so with the M2, which seeks to redress the balance and bring back the original spirit of the M series. It’s more compact, but a true M car through and through. Thankfully, it’s even available with a manual gearbox; don’t hesitate to tick that option if you’re so inclined.
Ferrari GTC4 Lusso
The Ferrari GTC4 Lusso is the successor to the marque’s first four-wheel-drive car, the FF, and a true four-seater to boot. While the California is said to be a 2+2, you’d be hard-pressed to seat four people comfortably unless they’re all of a diminutive stature. The GTC4 Lusso brings an updated design while the mechanics are still crammed with lots of acronyms derived from Ferrari’s racing division. I’d urge you to test-drive the GTC4 Lusso (or the FF while you wait for the Lusso to arrive in Hong Kong), as it will definitely open your eyes to what an all-round Ferrari is—providing the exceptional performance and heritage of the prancing horse, but in full comfort for you and your passengers.
The original Honda NSX dates back to 1989—a time when Honda enjoyed much success as a Formula 1 engine builder, but was better known for its family saloons and a few hot hatchbacks than its road-going sports cars. At the time, though, Honda had much higher aspirations. With the help of the late Ayrton Senna, it developed the NSX—A wake-up call to the exotic brands who hadn’t considered competition coming from the Pacific. It went dormant for some 10 years, but Honda is bringing it back, stuffed with all the latest technologies: a lightweight chassis, four-wheel drive through a nine-speed dualclutch gearbox (remember when we could make do with five speeds?) and a 550bhp hybrid engine.
Lamborghini Huracán LP610-4 Avio
The Huracán made landfall just two years ago and has been a roaring success for the Sant’agata Bolognese brand. Gone were those criticisms that Lamborghinis could be difficult to drive; the Huracán provided the performance that one would expect, as well as the instantly recognisable styling—you don’t get a Lamborghini if you’re trying to make a discreet entrance—but with a polarised personality, being easy to drive and almost docile in city traffic. If you’ve ever wanted your exotic car to remind you of a high-performance jet, or feel that too many of your neighbours have “regular” Lamborghinis, the new limited edition Huracán LP610-4 Avio is for you. Inspired by jet fighters, the Avio will be available in five distinct colours, complete with racing stripes and a specific L63 emblem (for Lamborghini’s founding date in 1963) embroidered on the seats. Only 250 will be made, giving you a distinct advantage in the exclusivity category for a Sunday morning drive.
If you’re particularly fond of Italian exotics and SUVS, don’t wait for Ferrari; the company has stated categorically that it’s not going to build one. Lamborghini is (in the form of the Urus) but you’ll have to wait at least two years before the first deliveries. In the
DESIGNER STYLE The Maserati Levante is a capable off-roader, with an interior designed by Ermenegildo Zegna