by Scott Corlett
Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
Have a big posse to storm West Hollywood? Look no further than the four-door version of the Jeep Wrangler, which will hit dealer lots this fall. Shed the 4-D’s three-piece top, slide on the big Prada shades, and grab the double-decaf-soy lattes and you’re ready to tango with the toughs that hang in front of 24-Hour Fitness on Santa Monica. Buffed Angelinos and Charlie’s-Angels-wannabes alike will love this easy-in, rolling, open-air stage.
We’re huge fans of Bravo’s Project Runway, the fashion world equivalent of Monday night football. This season’s winning designer, Chloe Dao of Houston, Texas, took home a Saturn Sky (along with $100,000 and the satisfaction of besting a bevy of cloth-cutting cuties). The fact that the marketing folks at GM sponsored this program speaks volumes about the target demographic of this reasonably priced, tight-fitting sun machine. Not only is the Sky nicely clad, it runs hot—the turbocharged Redline version makes 260 horses. Look for the Sky this fall.
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet.” Unless you’re taking European delivery, the wait for the all-new Volkswagen Golf will be a killer. The marketing volks at VW have decided that we Americans connect better with automobiles named for animals—the Beetle, for example—as opposed to vehicles tagged with esoteric monikers like the dead-on-arrival Phaeton and the sluggishly selling Touareg. This hot subcompact, already sold in Europe under the Golf badge, launches this summer in the US as the Rabbit—a nameplate resurrected from a shallow grave in the VW pet cemetery. Time will tell if this is a story more Shakespeare or King.
Lexus LS 600h
At the Detroit Auto Show in January, the launch of the all-new Lexus LS 460 flagship sedan—whose panoply of razor-sharp features include a class-leading eight-speed transmission and a built-in, iPod-like, 4000-song hard-drive—cut to the quick of European and American automotive executives. At the New York Auto Show, Toyota’s management rubbed sea salt straight into those still-fresh wounds. Scheduled to arrive this spring, the LS 600h will be the most luxurious hybrid on the road and its dynamic duo of a 5.0-liter V-8 engine and a magnet-electric motor will generate more than 430 horsepower. Toyota’s engineers will deliver V-12 power at a V-8 fuel economy years ahead of German and American competitors. Ouch—that’s gotta sting.
Bentley Continental GT Convertible
If you’re more Rodeo than rodeo, we suggest that you consider the Bentley Continental GT Convertible. This whisper-quiet, blue-blooded coupe, with an interior chock full of supple leather and polished hardwood, is perfect for those top-down shopping trips in Beverly Hills or Miami-Dade. How much will this 552-horsepower ragtop set you back? Yes, if you must ask, you can’t afford it; but, here’s a hint: for the money, you can find a sun-drenched, ocean-side, two-bedroom condo in South Beach faster than the time required for this Bentley’s finely crafted cover to retract.