Mercedes revamps the C-Class sedan for 2012 and adds an attractive new coupe to the mix. Both begin with the C250 Sport featuring a new 201-bhp 1.8-liter direct-injection 4-cylinder turbo. The C350 nets a 302-bhp 3.5-liter V-6. Targeting enthusiasts, the top C63 AMG has a 451-bhp 6.2-liter V-8. Sedans also offer a C300 4Matic with a 228-bhp 3.0-liter V-6. Standard 7-speed automatics include a Speedshift multiclutch version for the C63. Redesigned interiors gain new audio with a 5.8-in. color display, Bluetooth and USB port. Coupes receive standard paddle shifters, sport bucket seats and split-folding rear seats. Attention Assist, Adaptive Brake with Hold function, Lane Keeping Assist and Blind Sport Assist are among C-Class safety features.
Mazda has freshened the styling of the Mazda3 for 2012 with a redesigned front fascia and grille and added an all-new engine choice called the SkyActiv-G. This 2.0-liter inline-4 is available with both the manual and automatic transmissions, and offers impressive fuel efficiency: 28 mpg city and 40 mpg highway with the 6-speed automatic in the sedan, while the Mazda3 hatchback offers 28/38 mpg. With 155 bhp at 6000 rpm and a 12:1 compression ratio, the SkyActiv-G is a kick to drive. And this engine comes with its own SkyActiv-MT 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic. Other engines in the model line range from the MZR 2.0-liter with 148 bhp to a 2.5-liter with 167 bhp. The interior has been revised with cloth seat trim, colors and some changes to the instrument panel.
The CTS Sport Wagon is a prime example of how practical can be sexy. Thanks to Cadillac's design language and a versatile platform that translates well to wagon form, you can now afford the extra cargo space (25.4 cu.-ft., 58.0 cu.-ft. total with the rear seats folded) and even the option of all-wheel drive, without going down the lumbering, fuel-guzzling SUV route. Four trims continue to be offered with the Sport Wagon; Base, Luxury, Performance and Premium, the latter two benefitting from an updated version of the direct-injected 3.6-liter V-6 introduced in 2012. Improvements include new cylinder heads, longer duration cams with revised intake ports and bigger valves, as well as lighter and stronger connecting rods. Power levels were effectively increased from 305 bhp to 318 bhp while fuel economy was maintained. The standard engine remains the 3.0-liter V-6, producing 270 bhp and 223 lb.-ft. but has no efficiency advantage over the larger engine. For the 2013 model year, subtle visual tweaks include a new front grille—with two horizontal slats instead of three—and three new metallic exterior colors. Additionally, Cadillac is equipping every CTS model (automatic transmissions only) with Adaptive Remote Start, a feature that allows you to fire up the engine with the key fob—warming or cooling the cabin depending on the ambient conditions—conveniently from anywhere within the remote's range. With standard equipment like a 7-speaker Bose audio system, Bluetooth, a power lift gate, and available options like a sports suspension, limited-slip differential, and Recaro performance seats, the CTS Sports Wagon is simply a vehicle without boundaries.
The second-generation Continental GT Coupe has been on sale for some time but the new GTC convertible has only just arrived. The new car has essentially the same awd underpinnings but with an updated crisper look and interior. The performance and fuel economy have also been improved and some of the features found on the old Supersports edition have found their way into the regular models. For example, the GT now has a wider track, quick-shift technology and 60 percent of its power is sent to the rear wheels. There will also be a limited-edition (100 models) Supersports Convertible Ice Speed Record (ISR) to celebrate the world record of 205.48 mph. It will be powered by a special 631-bhp twinturbo W-12 engine and have some unique styling cues.
The MINI Paceman is the two-door sporty version of the Countryman crossover and is the eighth model in the MINI line-up.
The two-door, four-seat Paceman is available in three different trims: the Cooper with a 121-hp 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder engine, the Cooper S with a direct-injection, 181-hp turbocharged 1.6-liter engine, or the John Cooper Works with a 208-hp version of the Cooper S turbo engine. All trims are mated to either a six-speed manual or optional six-speed automatic transmission. For added all-weather control and road-handling, the Cooper S can also be equipped with the ALL4 all-wheel-drive system, while the JCW is standard with ALL4. Standard safety equipment includes six airbags, electronic traction and stability control and anti-lock brakes. A wide variety of interior trim materials and colours are available, as well as features such as bi-xenon headlights, rear parking sensors, panoramic sunroof, navigation system, harman/kardon audio, and satellite radio. Bluetooth and HD radio are standard equipment.
For 2014, heated mirrors and washer jets are now standard on all trims, and several new packages have been introduced including John Cooper Works interior and exterior packages for the Cooper and Cooper S models.