With every passing model year, luxury cars continue to evolve and push boundaries, with performance and technology becoming increasingly important factors defining and differentiating the luxury experience. This 2015 overview includes a broad spectrum of new models, from entry-level offerings by established luxury brands to high-end offerings from more mainstream manufacturers. Also included are the latest uber-luxe models at the stratospheric end of the spectrum, packing the ultimate combination of refinement, performance and technology. Let’s look at new luxury for 2015.
Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD
Acura’s flagship RLX sedan added the RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD for 2015 — the most powerful and technologically advanced vehicle ever offered by Honda’s premium brand. The hybrid powertrain combines a 3.5-liter V6 engine with a three-motor hybrid system for a total output of 377 horsepower. The 7-speed dual clutch transmission includes an integrated 35-kilowatt (47 horsepower) electric motor and a rear-mounted Twin Motor Unit includes two 27-kilowatt (36 horsepower) electric motors.
Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD
The RLX Sport Hybrid delivers the power through the Super Handling All-Wheel Drive with electrically-powered torque vectoring. Additional standard equipment includes Acura Head-Up display, electronic gear selection, leather-trimmed interior, Jewel Eye LED headlights, Collision Mitigation Braking System, Lane Keeping Assist and a Blind Spot Information system.
The all-new Acura TLX midsize sport sedan joins the lineup for 2015, slotting between the entry ILX and the top-line RLX, and replacing the TL. The TLX follows the TL as a performance-oriented model, but with additional emphasis on luxury refinement and leading-edge technology. Two engine choices are offered, a 206-horsepower 2.4-liter i-VTEC 4-cylinder combined with an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission (8DCT), and a 290-horsepower 3.5-liter i-VTEC V6 with 9-speed automatic. The 8DCT is the first transmission of this type to be paired with a torque converter.
The TLX equipped with the 3.5 V6 includes electronic gear selector and Precision All-Wheel Steer with available next-generation Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive and Agile Handling Assist. Jewel Eye LED headlights are standard, and the refined interior features alloy and wood trim accents, available Milano leather and available 455-watt, 10-speaker Acura/ELS Studio Premium Audio System.
For the first time in the U.S. market, Audi is offering the A3 as a sedan and convertible, replacing the A3 hatchback that first arrived as a 2006 model. The new A3 sedan is essentially the same size as the original A4 sedan that debuted in 1995. Both the sedan and convertible are available as a 1.8 TFSI FWD and 2.0 TFSI quattro all-wheel drive, while the sedan is also available as the clean diesel A3 TDI Sedan and the high-performance S3 Sedan.
The S3 Sedan is powered by a high-output 2.0 TFSI producing 292 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque, combined with a 6-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission and quattro all-wheel drive. The A3 TDI Sedan is the fuel-efficiency champ, achieving EPA-rated fuel economy of 31 mpg city/43 mpg highway and 36 mpg combined.
New front and rear fascia designs distinguish the 2015 Audi A8/S8, as well as more powerful engine options under the hood. The new design features redesigned LED headlights across the A8 lineup and a new single frame grille that is more 3-dimensional. The Audi A8 is offered in both standard and long-wheelbase versions, powered by four engine choices: a supercharged 3.0T V6, a clean diesel 3.0 TDI, a turbocharged 4.0T V8 and a 6.3-liter W12.
The A8 4.0T increases to 435 horsepower for 2015 and the S8 is powered by a 520-horsepower 4.0 TFSI. All A8/S8 engines are combined with the 8-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission with quattro all-wheel drive. New electromechanical power steering offers greater comfort, improves fuel efficiency and enhances driver-assistance systems.
Bentley Mulsanne Speed
For 2015 Bentley adds the Mulsanne Speed, the ultimate performance version of the Bentley flagship sedan, powered by a revised 6.75-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine designed to improve acceleration, power and torque. Producing 530 horsepower and a massive 811 lb-ft of torque, the new engine propels the Mulsanne Speed to a top speed of 190 mph. Even more impressive, the Mulsanne Speed will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in just 4.8 seconds.
Bentley Mulsanne Speed
The revised transmission is calibrated to deliver instant torque, and new selectable sport suspension and steering on demand enhance driving dynamics. The Mulsanne Speed is distinguished by a dark tint on the matrix grilles and headlights, with a new directional wheel design. With a tradition dating back to the Bentley Boys — who raced at Le Mans in the 1930s — Bentley continues to offer a unique combination of performance and luxury.
BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe
BMW added the 4 Series last year to differentiate the previous 3 Series Coupe and Convertible from the 3 Series Sedan. Ironically, for 2015 BMW adds the 4 Series Gran Coupe to the lineup: a 4-door 4 Series which is still distinguished from the 3 Series by the sloping coupe-like roofline. If it sounds confusing, it’s all good under the hood — the Gran Coupe is offered in 428i and 435i versions, just like the Coupe, with xDrive all-wheel drive available with either engine.
BMW 4 Series Gran CoupeThe 428i is powered by a 240-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder unit and the 435i offers a 300-horsepower twin-turbocharged inline six cylinder, both combined with a standard 8-speed automatic. The 4 Series Gran Coupe is offered in Sport, Luxury and M Sport trim levels.
BMW 6 Series
As an early 2016 model, the BMW 6 Series receives subtle exterior updates (tweaks to kidney grilles, headlights, mirrors and exhaust), and continues to be offered in three distinct body styles—Coupe, Convertible and 4-door Gran Coupe. The 640i is powered by a 315-horsepower turbocharged inline six cylinder, while the 650i receives a 445-horsepower turbocharged V8. Both engines are mated with a standard 8-speed Steptronic sport transmission with available xDrive all-wheel drive.
BMW 6 Series
The new Black Accent Package includes high-gloss black bars for the kidney grille, high-gloss Shadow Line trim, high-gloss black exhaust tips and 20-inch bi-color multispoke wheels. The range-topping M6 is available in all three body styles, powered by a 560-horsepower M TwinPower Turbo V8 combined with either a 6-speed manual or 7-speed M Double Clutch Transmission with Drivelogic.
The 2015 BMW M3 Sedan marks the fifth generation of the iconic BMW high-performance sport sedan, joined by the first-ever M4 Coupe and Convertible with the 3 Series/M3 name now exclusive to the sedan. The M3 and M4 both share the same powertrain, with the previous generation V8 engine replaced by a new turbocharged M TwinPower 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder producing 425 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque over a wide power band. Both the M3 Sedan and M4 Coupe will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in just 4.1 seconds with the standard 6-speed manual transmission, and in 3.9 seconds with the optional 7-speed M Double Clutch Transmission.
Aerodynamic design and lightweight materials are incorporated into the cars to create a finely balanced chassis. Dynamic performance is enhanced by Active M Differential, aluminum suspension components, electromechanical steering system Adaptive M Suspension and M Dynamic Mode for the stability control system. The new M3 Sedan and M4 Coupe are sophisticated track cars that are right at home every day on the street.
Cadillac ATS Coupe
Cadillac’s first compact luxury coupe, the ATS Coupe joins the lineup alongside the ATS Sedan for the 2015 model year. With a crisp, elegant design, the ATS Coupe is one of Cadillac’s lightest and most agile models ever offered, engineered to deliver a sporty, fun-to-drive experience. The ATS Coupe offers the choice of either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, powered by either a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder producing 272 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, or a 3.6-liter V6 producing 321 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque.
Cadillac ATS Coupe
The optional driver-adjustable FE3 sport suspension includes Magnetic Ride Control, a mechanical limited-slip differential, high-capacity engine cooling system and 18-inch summer-performance tires. Inside the ATS Coupe features a driver-focused cabin with interior color themes with unique accent trim materials ranging to create different environments. Available interior features include OnStar 4G LTE connectivity with built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, text-to-voice text message conversion, 5.7-inch three-window instrument panel cluster display and full-color head-up display.
On sale in spring of 2015 as an early 2016 model, the Cadillac ATS-V is offered in both coupe and sedan versions, powered by a turbocharged V6 to produce a car that is track-ready yet still a sophisticated luxury car for the street. The ATS-V is powered by a Twin Turbo 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces 455 horsepower and 445 lb-ft of torque for a top track speed of 189 mph and zero-to-60 mph acceleration in 3.8 seconds.
The engine is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission with Active Rev Match, no-lift shift and launch control or an 8-speed automatic transmission with launch control and Performance Algorithm Shift. Other upgrades include Brembo high-performance brakes, third-generation Magnetic Ride Control suspension, integrated chassis controls for touring or track and driver-selectable driving modes.
MSRP: To be announced
When it launches in late summer 2015, the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V will be the most powerful car in Cadillac’s 112-year history. The third-generation CTS-V challenges the most high-performance luxury cars in the market with a top speed of 201 mph and zero-to-60 mph acceleration in 3.7 seconds. The new CTS-V is powered by a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine that produces 640 horsepower and 630 lb-ft of torque, backed by an 8-speed paddle-shifting automatic transmission with launch control and Performance Algorithm Shifting.
Standard equipment includes a carbon fiber hood, Brembo high-performance brakes, third-generation Magnetic Ride Control suspension, integrated chassis controls for touring or track, driver-selectable driving modes and Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires with tri-compound technology. The interior features sueded microfiber accents, matte-finish carbon fiber trim and available Recaro seats.
The Chrysler 300 sedan is redesigned for 2015 with a new bold new “Face of Chrysler” grille, signature LED lighting, unique finishes and new wheel designs. The TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission is standard with all engines and delivers 31 mpg highway with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine. The Chrysler 300 Limited offers heated leather seats, Uconnect with voice commands, 8.4-inch touchscreen and full-color driver information display, starting at $31,395. The new Chrysler 300C Platinum features quilted Nappa leather, hand-sanded wood, an ultra-premium Poltrona Frau leather-wrapped instrument panel and console, platinum-chrome exterior details and 20-inch wheels.
The new Chrysler 300S features unique blacked-out accents, large 20-inch Hyper Black finish wheels, more athletically-sculpted side sills, a decklid spoiler and a higher-output Pentastar V6 engine with 300 horsepower and 264 lb-ft of torque. The Sport button enables sport-tuned steering; pedal, engine and transmission calibration; and rear-biased torque when equipped with all-wheel drive.
Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Powered by the supercharged 707-horsepower 6.2-liter HEMI Hellcat engine, the 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat definitely tips the balance toward performance over luxury. Described by Chrysler as the quickest, fastest, most powerful sedan ever, the Charger SRT Hellcat has achieved an NHRA-certified quarter-mile elapsed time of 11.0 seconds and a top speed of 204 mph. The TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission handles the 650 lb-ft of torque from the Hellcat engine and delivers 160-millisecond shifts.
Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
The Charger SRT Hellcat includes 15.4-inch Brembo two-piece rotors with 6-piston calipers, 3-mode adaptive suspension and Pirelli P Zero tires on 20 x 9.5-inch forged aluminum wheels. New SRT Performance Pages allow the driver to control horsepower, transmission shift speeds, paddle shifters, traction and suspension.
The 2105 Hyundai Genesis is the second generation of Hyundai’s flagship premium sedan. Genesis features a new design theme with a hexagonal grille, a pronounced crease line running down the side of the car, a sporty C-pillar shape and a dynamic rear view with full LED taillights. The interior is designed to be spacious and comfortable, with simplified switches and instrument panels providing an intuitive feel. The new Genesis is powered by either a 420-horsepower 5.0-liter V8 engine or a 311-horsepower 3.8-liter V6, both combined with an 8-speed automatic transmission.
The 2015 Genesis is offered with either rear-wheel drive or new HTRAC All-Wheel Drive, a new multi-mode system with an electronic variable-torque-split clutch with active torque control between the front and rear axles. The new platform is more rigid, with new multi-link front and rear suspension for improved dynamic performance and ride comfort.
Jaguar F-Type Coupe
For the 2015 model year, the all-aluminum F-Type Coupe joins the Jaguar lineup alongside the F-Type Roadster — the most capable, performance-focused sports car ever produced by Jaguar. At the top of the range is the F-Type R Coupe, powered by a 550-horsepower supercharged 5.0-liter V8 engine combined with an 8-speed Quickshift transmission with manual sequential shifting.
Jaguar F-Type Coupe
The Coupe is capable of accelerating from zero to 60 mph in 4.0 seconds with a top speed of 186 mph. It features Jaguar’s second-generation Electronic Active Differential, which works together with a new Torque Vectoring by Braking system. The F-Type S Coupe is powered by a 380-horsepower 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engine, with the F-Type Coupe powered by a 340-horsepower version of the engine.
The K900 is Kia’s new flagship rear-drive sedan with a striking design that leaves a bold impression, from the vertical mesh grille to the swept roofline and high decklid. Standard HID headlights and optional LED headlights are surrounded by soft-glow LEDS and enhanced with Dynamic Bending Lights, which adjust the headlights to follow road curves. At the rear, the trapezoid taillights offer diffused LEDs for the brakes and bright LEDs for the turn signals.
The K900 is powered by a 420-horsepower V8 engine mated with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Inside the K900 offers comfort and luxury with standard heated and ventilated seats for the driver and front-seat passenger, as well as heated seats for outboard rear-seat passengers. The VIP+ package includes a 12.3-inch configurable LCD screen allows the driver to choose different themes based on the drive mode selected; the package also includes Kia’s first head-up display.
The 2015 Lexus RC is an all-new coupe that combines an aggressive design with the promise of dynamic performance. The RC follows the current GS midsize luxury sedan and the new IS sport sedan in the Lexus lineup. The rear-wheel-drive RC 350 is powered by a 306-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine mated to an 8-speed Sports Program Direct Shift transmission, while the RC 350 AWD uses a 6-speed automatic.
The F Sport offers distinctive exterior and interior styling, standard Adaptive Variable Suspension system and the available Lexus Dynamic Handling system, which includes rear-wheel steering. The RC F is the most powerful Lexus V8 performance car ever, motivated by a 467-horsepower version of the F-tuned 5.0-liter V8, combined with a close-ratio 8-speed Sports Program Direct Shift transmission and available Torque Vectoring Differential.
The top selling model for Mercedes-Benz worldwide, the C-Class is all new for 2015 with a lightweight design, excellent aerodynamics and new economical engines. The C300 4MATIC is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter direct-injection 4-cylinder engine producing 241 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque, while the C400 4MATIC is powered by a biturbo 3.0-liter V6 producing 329 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque.
A rear-drive C400 will arrive early in 2015. The interior design demonstrates a bold new approach from Mercedes-Benz. It combines the style of Mercedes-Benz sports cars with a new one-piece center console that sweeps from the center air vents to the center armrest. A freestanding display anchors the console. The C-Class is the first vehicle in the segment to offer an optional air suspension.
The Mercedes-Benz CLS spawned the four-door coupe segment ten years ago, and the 2015 model receives a new chrome diamond grille, a new front bumper with large air intakes, slightly darkened taillights and a new biturbo 3.0-liter V6 engine. New available MULTIBEAM LED headlight technology can optimally adjust the light distribution instantly and automatically to virtually any traffic situation for broad and bright illumination of the road surface and edge of the roadway without impacting other drivers.
The lighting system uses a camera on the windshield and four control units to calculate the ideal light pattern 100 times per second and controls all 24 high-performance LEDs in each LED module. The CLS 400 and CLS 400 4MATIC are added, powered by a biturbo 3.0-liter V6 producing 329 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque. A new 9-speed automatic transmission with hydrodynamic torque converter is offered for the CLS 550 and will be added to other trim levels.
Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe
The 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe marks the return of a coupe to the S-Class lineup, replacing the previous CL-Class Coupe. The new S-Class Coupe is offered in S550 4MATIC Coupe, S63 AMG 4MATIC Coupe and S65 AMG Coupe versions. The S550 4MATIC Coupe is powered by a 4.7-liter V8 biturbo engine producing 449 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque, while the S63 AMG 4MATIC Coupe gets a hand-built AMG 5.5-liter V8 biturbo engine that produces 577 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque.
Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe
The S65 AMG Coupe is powered by a hand-built AMG 6.0-liter V12 biturbo engine that produces 621 horsepower and 738 lb-ft of torque. Standard equipment includes Collision Prevention Assist Plus, Magic Vision Control, an AIRMATIC Suspension System, a Burmester High End Sound System with 590 watts and 13 speakers, a panorama sunroof, LED ambient lighting, a rearview camera and Nappa leather upholstery.
The 2016 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class goes on sale in April 2015 as the first model to combine the Mercedes-Benz S-Class legacy with the heritage and prestige of the Maybach nameplate. The Mercedes-Maybach S600 is eight inches longer than a standard S-Class and offers unmatched interior appointments and extensive individualization to fulfill the requirements of the most discriminating customers. Powered by a V12 biturbo engine that produces 523 horsepower and 612 lb-ft of torque, the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class is the quietest production sedan for rear-seat passengers.
Standard equipment includes a Driver Assistance Package, Magic Body Control, Night View Assist PLUS, a Warmth and Comfort Package with a heated windshield, Head-Up Display, LED Intelligent Lighting System, a Burmester High-End 3D Surround Sound System, Executive Rear Seat Package, Rear Seat Entertainment System and the Air Balance Package.
Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II
The Ghost Series II offers the latest technology from Rolls-Royce with subtle design updates. Restyled LED headlights surrounded by daytime running lights blend with revised surfaces at the front of the car. A wake channel in the center of the hood tapers back from the Spirt of Ecstasy hood ornament.
Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II
Ghost Series II features onboard Wi-Fi to make it a connected, luxurious place to conduct business, while Satellite Aided Transmission ensures the car automatically adapts to its surroundings to augment the driving experience. Updates to navigation systems and user interface ensure that Ghost’s features are always accessible, and the optional Bespoke Audio system touts itself as the most engineered and finest audio system available.
The Volvo S60 gets updated in the middle of the 2015 model year with new engines, a new transmission and new standard equipment. The S60 T5 Drive-E is powered by a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged engine that produces 240 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, combined with a new 8-speed Geartronic automatic transmission.
The S60 T6 Drive-E is powered by a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged engine that produces 302 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, combined with a new 8-speed Geartronic automatic transmission. New technology includes ECO+ Start/Stop technology, new electric power steering, new optional Park Assist Pilot, Lane Keeping Aid added to the Technology Package and a new 19-inch Sport Package that includes paddle shifters, 19-inch alloy wheels and Sport Chassis.