1. Jaguar F-Type
Rs 50 lakh to Rs 55 lakh
This is one of those cars that come along once in a lifetime. Built to carry on the legacy of the Jaguar E-Type, probably the most beautiful car in the world, the F-Type should create just the same tizzy over its styling. It's got both convertible and coupé body styles and Jaguar India will release the car in India late in 2013. A choice of three sporty petrol engines gives a range of performance options. At the entry level is a new 3.0-litre V6 supercharged engine with 340 horses and a claimed 0-100 kmph time of 5.1 seconds. One step up the ladder, you get 370 horses out of the same 3.0-litre engine, which is good enough to give it a 0-100 kmph blitz in 4.8 seconds.
2. New Honda CR-V
Rs 24 lakh to Rs 26 lakh
Once a much-desired SUV, the CR-V has fallen from grace due to its high sticker price and low efficiency. When petrol is expensive, it could hope to keep ticking for only so long. 2013 will see the all new CR-V but, more importantly, we hope it will have diesel power. This may not happen immediately, but the 2.2-litre i-DTEC diesel will come. At present, the diesel option is offered only in Europe, but given that Honda India has realised its survival is tough without diesel engine options, we hope the diesel CR-V too makes its presence felt here. The 2013 CR-V comes with new styling, better interiors, improved dynamics (thanks to an improved chassis, as well as an improved all-wheel drive).
3. Volvo V40 Cross Country
Rs 35 lakh to Rs 40 lakh
Somewhere in between a hot hatch and a Mini is the Volvo V40 Cross Country. This may conjure up confusing images, but let us assure you that this has all the goodness of the V40 hatchback, with the comfort and convenience of a large estate of crossover.
You get fantastic space, comfort and luxury mated to great performance. At least that's what we expect from the T5 turbo-charged petrol. This unique 5-cylinder engine offers 254 Hp and 400 Nm of torque. Along with all wheel drive, that comes as standard across the range, you get fantastic dynamics. But, of course, Volvo India is well aware of the Indian connection to diesel and there will definitely be a diesel engine in the mix as well. The Cross Country will have Volvo's full range of safety technology.
4. Audi S5
Rs 60 lakh to Rs 65 lakh
For the entry-level enthusiast who needs everyday convenience matched by weekend racer urges, there are few cars that come close to the S4. Bigger brother S5 should then be an even more potent dose of the same adrenaline shot. Subtle styling with minor sporty accents hide the shocking pace that lurks beneath the hood. Flagship variant has a 4.2-litre turbocharged petrol that's good for 349 horses. But if that's too much for you, a just-as-glorious V6 can also be had with an equally impressive performance. Interiors are sportier still, but you can place four passengers and drive home without jarring any internal organs. With a full-time four-wheel drive, Audi calls it 'quattro'; expect superb and confident handling.
5. Mercedez-Benz A-Class
Rs 18 lakh to Rs 20 lakh
The not-so-little hatchback from Stuttgart is a real scorcher. It looks fantastic and has one of the funkiest interior spreads seen on a Merc till date. It will soon be available in India and we hope it is manufactured here, which means a lot more people can finally touch the star. Its styling, unlike other Mercs, isn't deceiving where performance is concerned. The sporty, well-toned exteriors match the engine spec, be it petrol or diesel. Expect scintillating in-line four cylinder engines, a 1.6-litre petrol and a 1.8-litre diesel.