It is already clear: 2012 will be a great year for the automotive industry. More than 160 new models and versions are ready on the starting blocks, equipped with a wide range of technological features. It is equally certain that despite all the fuel-saving efforts, cars do not lose on performance, luxury and driver’s comfort.
All brands offer great variety of models in 2012
The old motto of Mercedes (“Within a hailing distance behind the fashion “) is already outdated. Today the Swabians do not follow the latest style but simply set the trends themselves. After the first four-door coupe in 2004, we see the coming of another sport wagon based on the second-generation CLS Shooting Brake. With its elegant design, the wide range of engines and optional all-wheel drive, the Shooting Brake is supposed to close all those gaps that the R-Class could never quite fill. The new Mercedes-Benz has a more muscular composition. If the first CLS clearly resembled an Italian car, this one definitely looks Germanic, with flared rear wheel arches and squared-off corners.
At the end of 2012 the new Mazda 6-series will slip out of the factories dressed in a Takeri style outfit. It comes with improved aerodynamics, lighter weight and economizing fuel-efficient engines.
Also BMW comes out with its new 6-series version, which is analogous to the Mercedes-Benz CLS. In June 2012 the market will see this elegant four-door prototype with the CS coupe-like design. It will be armed with six and eight-cylinder engines.
In September we will also see the second version of the 3-series station wagon, where the volume of the interior and the trunk will be significantly enlarged.
VW Passat for the first time sets an off-road version. A definite rival to the Audi Allroad, Passat Alltrack shines with a four-wheel drive, rough-road suspension and other rustic attachments.
Mercedes converts their A-Class short microvan to a high and relatively conventional one. Only the front-wheel drive and the transverse engine are remaining. The design distinctly resembles the style of Audi A3 and BMW 1-series.
In the middle of 2012 we will get the new prototype from the Renault Megane series. The design features an outstanding new front and a higher quality interior. It is issued with small turbo gasoline engine instead of the previous 1.6-liter one.
Numerous compact car innovations.
While the improvements that we saw in the VW Golf VI were little more than a facelift, the seventh generation of this bestseller is completely revised both visually and technically. The addition of more chrome, the use of brighter lights and the muscular appearance clearly outline the high quality. The model also incorporates a longer wheelbase and a bigger exterior length, thus creating a noticeable increase in the rear legroom. There is even a greater range of engines to choose from, including the natural gas and electric hybrid versions coming in 2013.
The new VW TDI and GTI models demonstrate an increase of about 10 hp. Also the 1.4 TSI despite of its 140 hp competently meets the future Euro 6 emissions standard. Because of the lowered production costs, the prices of VW will remain almost unchanged.
The tempting and sporty SEAT Leon uses the technology behind Audi A3 and VW Golf. In 2012 it comes out with two-door and station wagon models. Also a notchback version will be available under the name of Toledo.
This year Volvo is releasing their four-door C30 hatchback resembling the style of the Audi A3 Sportback. It is a continuation of the XC version with an option for a front or all-wheel drive.
Chic minis and speedy convertibles
Smaller on the outside, bigger on the inside: After the growth that occurred in the last model change, the Peugeot 207 successor is seven inches shorter and around 110 kg lighter. The refurbished engine demonstrates the best drag coefficients thus reducing the fuel consumption and gas emissions. Peugeot introduced the new three-cylinder gasoline engine with 68 and 82hp. This version will emit only 99g of CO2 per kilometer. Other improvements are the more leg room and the larger rear luggage compartment (285 liters instead of the previous 270). The steering will is positioned higher for a better comfort.
In March we will get the new Audi Sportback, it will have with two rear doors as an addition, and a little more headroom.
With a simpler design and some retouching the VW Up turns into the cheaper Skoda Citigo. A SEAT-rebadged version will also be available, called the SEAT Mii (successor of the SEAT Arosa). All of them are based on the short wheelbase version of the Volkswagen Group MQB platform.
In March 2012 the fourth-generation of Renault Clio will be launched. This model will definitely attract the audience with its swinging design and economical engines. The 2013 version will be powered by a smaller three-cylinder engine.
The classic SL remains a fixture in the Mercedes range. After ten years of operation now a new generation is waiting to be released. It will combine great comfort with sporty dynamics under a retractable hardtop. This version is accompanied with an intelligent lightweight construction, sophisticated suspension, and a completely renovated engine.
In March we will also witness the release of the new V6 and V8 direct injection engines having around 340-435hp. Little later in the year we expect the AMG models SL 63 (5.5-liter V8) and SL 65 (six-liter V12 with 630 PS).
The third generation of the mid-engined sports car Porsche Boxster will be much stronger and even more economical, nevertheless it will retain its soft roof. However even when the textile reference suggests a conventional soft top, the new Porsche 911 Cabriolet for the first time will have a multi-piece, retractable hardtop.
Just in time for next summer, the new VW Beetle lays off its tin roof in favor of a cloth cap. The Beetle will fly equipped with 122-211hp engines. The vehicle offers a 240 liters of cargo space and comes with 5-speed manual or optional 6-speed automatic transmissions.
Innovations in the SUV area
The new Subaru Forester 2012 has some modest exterior styling revisions. It continues with its classic crossover look, emphasizing its long hood and tall roofline.
Subaru Forester 2012 comes armed with an all-wheel drive and ABS brakes. Compared to previous versions, its basic shape and dimensions are not changing. The Forester remains around 4.55 meters (179 inches) long, bumper-to-bumper. This reasonable size enables the Forster to fit in any garage and makes it an ideal vehicle for parking-space-destituted urbanities.
In 2012 we are also getting the 4.30 meter long Opel Corsa-based SUV. The German engineers in Rüsselsheim decided to use the Gamma II platform as the basis for the vehicle. This will be the first time when an Opel badged car is using this type of platform. As for engines, the SUV will rely on a four-cylinder 1.4-liter turbo petrol with 120hp or 140hp; a 1.6-liter petrol with 180hp; and a four-cylinder 1.7-liter diesel engine with either 110 or 130hp.
This year we will also witness the appearance of the fourth generation of Honda CR-V SUV. This 4.60 meter long beast comes with powerful engines and an optimized design. However it only offers the all-wheel drive option.
50 percent more cargo volume and a third row of seats are some of the highlights of the new Toyota Prius van offshoot. The mechanics is identical to the Prius five-door hatchback. Only the body is designed to be longer and taller in order to accommodate the third-row seat. This time Toyota are also offering a hybrid option.
Expected to be released around April or May, the Ford B-Max small van will be adorned with plenty of new technology, including the provision of rear sliding doors.
Also in order to boost fuel efficiency the B-Max will be equipped with an impressive 1.0 liter EcoBoost engine. The manufacturers suggest that the CO2 emission levels for the vehicle will be less than 100 g/km, making it potentially the most eco-friendly car in commercial use.
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