2006 Wheels

by Ian Harding

So far, the vehicles of 2005 have proven themselves to be worthy market competitors. Well, some have. Everything from Acura?s RSX and Infiniti?s G35 Coupe, to BMW?s 3-Series and Mercedes-Benz?s C-Class. Each has been hot on the selling list so far this year, but will they remain on that list when the 2006 models roll onto the streets. With over fifty returning models and just as many new models ready to set their mark, here is a sneak peak into what is up coming on the road ahead for 2006.

Ferrari 575

Let?s start off with the Aston Martin DB9 Volante. Not a common car, but truly one worthy of mention. Boasting a 48 valve DOHC V-12 engine with 450 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, the Volante will be looking to follow in its 2005 model?s footsteps. With 180 more horsepower than the smaller V8 Vantage, the Volante can push a top speed of 165 mph. Inside it houses plenty of leather and polished wood, and seconds after pushing the crystal starter button the Aston Martin logo displays itself on the right instrument panel while to the left it presents the message ?Power. Beauty. Soul.? Once you?re rolling, the six-speed manu-matic transmission is sure to make the ride from 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds a moment to remember, no matter how many times you do it. Keep your eyes open for this one, for if you see it, it will be only for a brief second.

Audi RS4

Next on the list is the Bentley Continental Flying Spur. With a top speed of 194 mph, the Flying Spur is currently listed as the fastest sedan on earth. Even though it weighs in at 5256 lbs (that?s only a mere 600lbs less than a Hummer H3), the Spur?s 6.0-litre W-12 producing 551 hp is enough to send the Spur from 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds. Loaded with leather and every possible luxury feature you can think of, plus more, the Spur is going to be popular with the kids on the playground who can fork out the $164,000 needed to place one in the driveway. By the way, that?s close to $200,000 CAN.

Mitsubishi Eclipse

In January 2005 BMW introduced the M5 in Europe. At the time it was the most powerful BMW road car they had ever built. For 2006 BMW is right on track with the new M6. ?New? being used subtly since the M6 is pretty much a carbon copy of the M5. Even though the M5 will continue into 2006, the manual M6 is predicted to be the most desirable GT on the planet. So what?s so different? The biggest difference is that the M6 is considerably lighter than the M5 making it much faster and much more agile at it?s peak speeds. Sporting an un-painted carbon-fiber roof panel, the M6 carries a 7-speed V-10 that harnesses 507 hp. The M6 manual GT will be available in Spring 2006, so you had better start saving! They?ll go like hot-cakes, I tell you what.

Built in the United States, the new 2006 Eclipse and Lancer Evolution IX are finally starting to come together. The Lancer has always been a wolf in sheep?s clothing, but the Eclipse is starting to have more of an impact on drivers as well. With a new body for the Eclipse, it has stepped up it?s handling and ride-comfort, probably making old Mercury Cougar drivers question their desires (since the new Eclipse has a shocking similar resemblance to the Cougar). The GT version of the Eclipse has a 263 hp 3.8-litre V-6 while the Lancer Evolution has a turbocharged engine giving it 286 hp and 289 lb-ft of torque. The Eclipse Concept car was definitely one the favorites at this years Calgary International Auto Show. The ?06 Eclipse (modeled from the concept, but not entirely the same), which is now available, is sure to find it?s way onto the busy streets of tomorrow.

Jeep SRT8

In the past five years, Subaru has changed the front-end design of its Impreza three times. There is also a new look coming for 2007. The new front-end features a three-section mesh-type grill which is apparently inspired by the company?s aircraft heritage. In the mean time, the Impreza WRX STi will continue to be the raw meat. With a stiff suspension and the best six-speed shifter available, the WRX STi is truly an automobile for those who love to drive. Its turbo 2.5-litre 300 hp engine delivers an equal 300 lb-ft of torque to its all-wheel drive frame. Watch out Porsche, the Impreza WRX will be looking to edge you out in competitions around the globe? as it did in 2005.

There are plenty of other new vehicles that will be available as well. Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep are increasing their SRT collection with the addition of the 300C SRT8, the Grand Cherokee SRT8 (claimed to be the fastest Jeep to date), the Magnum SRT8, and the Charger SRT8. Dodge even has a Ram MegaCab in the new lineup. There are also the stylish Mercedez-Bens S65 AMG and the SLK55, the sporty new Chevrolet Cobalt SS, a new Volvo C70, and the impressive Audi RS4. Pontiac has the new Soltice convertible as well as the G6, Jaguar has the new XK 4.2 model, and Volkswagen has its Jetta GLI, which is set for release.

Lotus Exige **

Oh yeah, and we can?t forget about the Hybrids. Lexus has two models new for 2006 that are sporting the Hybrid engine. The Lexus GS 450h Hybrid and the RX400h Hybrid. They won?t come cheap though. The 2005 Toyota Highlander Hybrid currently runs around $60,000 CAN, so you can just imagine what the Lexus hybrids will cost. Enh, you save money in gas though right? At any rate, the vehicles of 2006 are sure to be eye openers. Some go on sale in the spring, but others are earlier, so be sure to check out your favorites. Oh and mark these dates on your calendar; 2006 Detroit International Auto Show, January 8 ? 22 ? it?s gonna be one helluva show.

**Editors note: If anyone ever wants to surprise me with a really nice gift, this will do just fine thank you. ;)

  • 2006 Wheels
  • by Ian Harding
  • Published on September 1st, 2005
Care of seriouswheels.com

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