Best cars of 2018 From Porsche to Aston Martin Mercedes and more

Porsche 911 GT2 RS, Aston Martin Vantage, Ferrari 812 Superfast, Lamborghini Urus, Mercedes Maybach... the list of statement cars that debuted in India this year has never been more impressive. Here's our list of the best SUVs, performance cars and luxury sedans

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2018 has been a very exciting and busy year in terms of new cars launches, with all major automakers bringing their latest and greatest offerings to the Indian market. While we saw some high-profile launches like the new Audi A8 get pushed to an early 2019 release, the likes of the highly anticipated Lamborghini Urus and Mercedes-Maybach made their way to Indian shores with much fanfare. Some ultra exotic machines also made their India debut this year: Like the Porsche 911 GT2 RS, Aston Martin Vantage and the Ferrari 812 Superfast. The year started with the 2018 Auto Expo, where we got a hint of the exciting lined up for the year, and was perfectly bookended by the launch of Mercedes-Benz CLS.

Here are the best luxury cars that launched in 2018.

PERFORMANCE CARS

Ferrari 812 Superfast

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The Ferrari 812 Superfast was unveiled in 2017 at the Geneva Motor Show as a successor to the F12berlinetta. The front mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive grand tourer is powered by a naturally aspirated V12 engine making 789bhp of peak power and 718 Nm of peak torque, which is enough to propel the car from 0-100kmph in just 2.9 seconds and hit a top speed of 340kmph. The design of the 812 Superfast is an evolution of the F12, which has been updated to look sharper and more aggressive than before. Ferrari also updated the electronic package from F12 to make the 812 Superfast’s power more accessible and easier to control. Along with rear-wheel steer, the 812 Superfast is equipped with a host of active aerodynamic aids that add downforce while reducing drag.

Price: Rs 5.20 crore

Jaguar F-Type 2.0-Litre Ingenium

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Jaguar added a new entry-level variant to its F-Type racing-GT car range. In addition to the big and loud V6 and V8 engine options, you can now also have the F-type with a smaller, more retrained engine. The entry-level F-type is powered by a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder petrol unit which belongs to the JLR’s Ingenium series of modular engines. The engine is tuned to produce 296bhp and 400Nm of peak torque. It is only available with an 8-speed automatic gearbox that sends the power to the rear wheels. Jaguar also claims that the engine is lighter by 52kg in comparison to the V6 engine, which improves the weight distribution of the car while also improving its handling. Available in both coupé and convertible body styles, the entry-level F-Type will be in competition with the Porsche 718. A lower price tag, however, may just make it more accessible and win the race.

Price: Rs 90.93 lakh

Mercedes-AMG E63 S

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The Mercedes-AMG E63 S 4Matic + name might be a mouthful, but it can simply be referred to as the most potent version of the E-Class-based super saloon. While it is available in two different variants in the international markets, the German automaker is only offering the more powerful S variant in India. Although it looks incredibly similar to the standard E-Class from the outside, features like the new single slat grille, redesigned front bumper housing slightly larger air intakes and a sporty exhaust setup at the rear along with matte-black AMG 20-inch alloy wheels set the two apart. The E63 S is powered by the familiar twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine that produces 603bhp and 850Nm of peak torque. The engine is mated to a 9-speed dual-clutch transmission
which channels the power to all four wheels. The E63 S is claimed to accelerate from 0-100kmph
in just 3.4 seconds.

Price: Rs 1.5 crore

Sedans

Lexus LS 500h

LS500h

The LS luxury sedan, while changing and evolving over the years, has served as the flagship model of the Lexus range for almost three decades. Lexus took the wraps off the fifth-generation model last year at the North American International Auto Show, and it looks edgier and sportier than ever. Loaded with all the creature comforts you would expect from a luxury saloon the all-new LS is now longer and lower than it predecessor and features the new Lexus design language. The front is dominated by the massive spindle grille which is built using 5,000 individual surfaces. It is flanked by two slim Z-shaped headlights that look like lightning streaks. The flagship has a coupe-like silhouette thanks to the fastback roof style and a shapely C-pillar. Lexus launched the LS 500h in India earlier in January this year. It gets a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine which works in combination with two electric motors to provide a combined output of 350bhp.

Price: Rs 1.77 crore

BMW 6-Series GT

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Traditionally, India only gets the long-wheelbase versions of flagship luxury sedans, which leaves a huge gap in between the range-topping models and the mid-size luxury sedans. Mercedes-Benz introduced the E-Class LWB version to attract buyers in that segment and immediately got huge success. BMW launched the 6-Series GT as a direct competitor to the stretched E-Class. The new 6-series Gran Turismo is placed above the standard 5-Series sedan and its wheelbase is exactly the same as the standard-wheelbase 7-Series sold in Europe. However, it’s about `7 lakh more than the equivalent 5-Series. Inside the cabin, the focus is on the rear seat passengers, rather than the driver, and packs more goodies than the 5-Series. Along with enormous legroom at the rear, it gets two screens plus electric sunblind and soft cushions and reclining rear seats. The 6GT is also equipped with air suspension for smooth and supple ride. The 6-Series GT is available in the 630i trim, which gets a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that produces 258 horsepower.

Price: Rs 58.90 lakh

Mercedes-Maybach S650

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In 2014, Mercedes announced the revival of the Maybach moniker which made a comeback as a sub-brand of the current generation Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The German automaker launched the flagship luxury limo in India in February this year at the Auto Expo, introducing it as the first variant of the face-lifted S-Class. In terms of design changes, it gets an updated front-end, a revised bumper and larger air dams, along with 20-inch alloy wheels instead of the 19-inch. Inside, the passengers are pampered to their fullest with cyclical hot stone massages and fragrance filled ionised air while being driven in a cocoon of utmost of comfort and silence. It is powered by an AMG-tuned 6-litre V12 biturbo engine that makes close to 620 bhp and a monstrous peak torque of 1,000Nm. The Maybach S650 was the first car from Mercedes to get a Bharat Stage VI engine, and it is built in India, making it the only other place outside Germany to manufacture the Maybach.

Price: Rs 2.73 crore

SUVs

Volvo XC40

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Volvo’s newly updated 60- and 90-badged cars are probably some of the best looking and loaded automobiles on sale, but they are often criticised for looking awfully similar to each other. However, the Swedish automaker made it a point to make its new XC40 stand out from the rest by giving it fresh styling without straying from the brand’s design DNA. Squarely aimed to win over a young demographic, Volvo went beyond its usual styling formula to give the XC40 two-tone exterior paint schemes along with bright and peppy colour options. Unlike the XC60 and XC90, the compact luxury crossover is built on a brand-new platform called ‘compact modular architecture’. In typical Volvo fashion, the cabin of the XC40 is loaded to the gills with top-notch luxury and safety features. While the design of the interior has a clear influence from its bigger siblings, it does have subtle design elements that will attract younger customers. India gets only the 2.0-litre D4 diesel engine that generates 190PS of power and 400Nm of peak torque.

Price: Rs 39.9 lakh

Lamborghini Urus

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Lamborghini became one of the early luxury sports car companies to respond to the ever-growing demand in the SUV segment and launch its first ever SUV: The Lamborghini Urus, a supercar in the garb of a tall-bodied crossover. Needless to say, Lamborghini has given birth to a whole new segment of ‘hyper SUVs’. While the brand's Huracan and Aventador are best suited for butter smooth roads, Urus has no such constraints. This opens Lamborghini to many untapped markets where public roads aren’t the best, including India. The Urus carries the distinct Lamborghini styling, including the iconic wedge shape and slim headlights and tail lamps. It is powered by a specially-developed 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 engine that produces 650PS of power and 850Nm of torque. Lamborghini launched the Urus in India with a starting price of `3.1 crores, earmarking 25 units for the country in the first batch. The Italian marque has already sold all of them, and now the company is hoping India breaks into its top 10 global markets by 2023.

Price: Rs 3.1 crore

Audi Q5

Audi-Q5

Audi India started the year by launching the second-generation Q5 in its diesel variant in January, followed by adding the petrol version later in June. The mid-size luxury crossover sits in an overcrowded segment, competing against the likes of BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC, and the new Volvo XC40. In terms of styling updates on the outside, the German automaker borrowed the design cues from it’s bigger-sized Q7, giving the new Q5 sharper and more aggressive lines. The massive single-frame trapezoidal grille is the highlight of the completely new front-end that also features restyled LED headlamps. The third-gen Q5 also gets a bolder-looking shoulder line which makes it look sportier than the previous generation. On the inside, the cabin has also been given a makeover. It gets Audi's signature 12.3-inch virtual cockpit instrument cluster, along with an updated 8.3-inch MMI infotainment system that features a trackpad and four toggle buttons instead of a control knob. While the diesel 2.0-litre TDI unit has been carried over from the previous generation, the new Q5 gets a 7-speed S tronic automatic transmission which offers smoother gearshifts.

Price: Rs 55.27 lakh

Porsche Cayenne

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In 2002, Porsche decided to jump into the luxury SUV segment by launching the Cayenne. Fifteen years later, Cayenne continues to be one of Porsche’s top-selling cars. The brand revealed the third-generation Cayenne last year, and after minor delays, the latest version of the mid-size luxury SUV was launched in India in October. While the new Cayenne isn't radically different in terms of aesthetics, it comes with a revised chassis and a host of other mechanical upgrades. Design changes include a reworked front grille, Porsche’s signature four-point LED DRLs in the headlamps, which also feature the Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS), and Panamera-like continuous light-strip between the taillights. India gets three variants, which includes the E-Hybrid and range-topping Cayenne Turbo that comes with a 4.0-litre twin-turbo, V8 petrol engine generating 550hp and 770Nm of torque.

Price: Rs 1.19 crore

Range Rover Evoque Convertible

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While most hardcore 4x4 SUVs don’t have a roof, Range Rover experimented with the unconventional idea of a convertible luxury SUV by creating the two-door Evoque with a foldable top. The top-down version of the British automaker’s entry-level crossover features a fabric roof made of five layers of polyacrylic material to provide thermal and acoustic lining. The roof folds in just 18 seconds and can be operated at speeds up to 48kmph. Despite housing the folding roof along with the space-saver tyre, it has a decent 251-litre boot, big enough to fit in luggage for a short weekend trip. The Evoque Convertible shares its underpinnings, powertrain and
a host of other features with the standard five-door Range Rover Evoque. But it also comes brimmed to the top with many other features. The Range Rover Evoque is available in India exclusively in the HSE Dynamic trim. It is powered by the new 2.0-litre Ingenium petrol engine that puts out 237bhp and develops a peak torque of 340Nm. The engine comes mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission as standard.

Price: Rs 69.53 lakh

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