Just like you, we always want to know what's coming next from Detroit, Tokyo, Stuttgart, Munich, Los Angeles, and all the other places where automotive engineers and designers dream and scheme on our behalf. Car companies, of course, are loath to share information on new products lest their competitors try to copy them--or you decide not to buy the cars they already have on dealer lots. Car companies, though, are simply groups of people, and some of them have a hard time keeping secrets. So, we poke, we prod, we cajole, and we uncover information that becomes the basis for our annual Sneak Preview issue. As always, some of our information is educated guesswork based on hints, insinuations, hunches. Make no mistake, though, these cars are on their way, even though details may change. Ladies and gentlemen: our list of 136 cars coming over the next few years...
2010 Aston Martin DBS Volante
For 2010, Aston's hard-core, 007-approved DBS coupe gets in touch with its hard-core, 007-approved feminine side. The breezy DBS Volante convertible is more than 250 pounds heavier than the coupe and packs the same 510-hp V-12 and aft-mounted six-speed manual or six-speed manu-matic. The 191-mph convertible offers two-plus-two or two-plus-cargo seating arrangements beneath its fabric soft top, which stows away in a spry fourteen seconds and at speeds up to 30 mph - perfect for driving alongside the Promenade des Anglais, no?
2012 Aston Martin Lagonda
Lagonda is one of those medieval British automotive nameplates, like Daimler and Wolseley, that when mentioned to all but the most anglophilic American motorhead is pretty much guaranteed to produce a blank stare. Europeans, however, apparently still go all Jell-O-legged over the mothballed, 104-year-old marque, and Aston Martin (which purchased the Lagonda name in 1947) plans to revive it for the 2012 model year with a twenty-first-century SUV based on the Mercedes-Benz GL. Behind a bulldozer front end will rumble some version of the 6.0-liter V-12 in the DB9.
2010 Aston Martin Rapide
With due deference to the 1990 Nissan Maxima, the Aston Martin Rapide is the real four-door sports car. Essentially a stretched DB9 coupe, the Rapide takes its spiritual guidance from the DB4-derived 1961-64 Lagonda Rapide. Admittedly, the original Rapide was a huge flop, but its modern namesake has the beauty - and the brawn - to be a hit. A 6.0-liter V-12 from the DB9 produces about 480 hp, which should be sufficient for 180 mph. Aficionados of the brand will be interested (or depressed) to note that the Rapide will be the company's first car built outside the U.K.; it'll emerge from the prolific Magna Steyr plant in Austria.
2010 Aston Martin One-77
The $1.5 million One-77 debuts for 2010 with a 7.3-liter V-12, a carbon-fiber monocoque, and aluminum body panels. Production is limited to a scant 77 units. Because, you know, there may be only 77 millionaires left by this time next year.