Mazda has championed the rotary engine for many years and continues to produce the Renesis twin-rotor Wankel for the RX-8 4-door sports car. Seem confusing? Not really, as Mazda brought out the RX-8 in 2003 and it has proven to be a fun-to-drive sports car that will carry four adults in a pinch. When pared with a 6-speed manual gearbox, the rotary develops 232 bhp, while output drops to 212 bhp when mated to the 6-speed automatic transmission. Ride and handling are smooth and slick, interior comfort is quite high and if you want to have the ultimate RX-8, order the R3 edition with stiffer suspension, Bilstein shock absorbers, a rear spoiler and more.
Volvo has simplified the lineup of its compact sedan and sport wagon. Base models, now designated S40/V50 T5, are fitted with the 227-bhp 2.5-liter turbocharged 5-cylinder engine and 5-speed automatic transmission. Former normally aspirated 2.4i models are discontinued. The top-line T5 R-Design returns, but loses its all-wheel drive variants and manual gearboxes. Standard features increase across the board with a power driver’s seat and auto-dimming mirror for the T5s. R-Designs receive standard power moonroofs and 17-in. alloys along with carryover cues such as a full body kit, leather/Flextech upholstery, sport pedals, unique aluminum inlays and dynamic sport suspension. A navigation system has been added to the optional Multimedia Package.
The Tacoma is Toyota's compact pick-up truck offering - just the right size for all but the most serious contractor.
Toyota Tacoma is available in Regular Cab, Access Cab (extended cab) and Double Cab (crew cab) body styles, in either two or four wheel drive. Regular and Extra Cabs come with six-foot beds; Double Cabs have the choice of a shorter five-foot or six-foot box length. The base engine is a 2.7-liter, 159-hp inline-four mated to a five-speed manual transmission; a four-speed automatic is optional. A 236-hp 4.0-liter V6 is standard on all Double Cabs and optional on 4WD Access Cabs. The V6 is paired with a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic. Standard safety features include four-wheel anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist, vehicle stability control, traction control, side-impact/side curtain airbags, and active headrests.
Even though the traditional pony-car formula is based on a 2-door coupe with rear drive and a V-8 engine, Chevy has grasped the future idea that modern V-6 engines can be lighter and more powerful. So, the result is a 323-bhp 3.6-liter V-6 engine as the base Camaro's powerplant. That's huge power, and feels so, especially with the standard 6-speed manual. The V-8 ZL1 performance model is available with an unbelievably powerful 580-bhp version of the supercharged 6.2-liter V-8. This is the top-line, most powerful Camaro ever, with a 6-speed manual standard, and a 6-speed automatic that saves fuel optional. The SS model is between the standard Camaro and the wild ZL1. All 2012 models have the dark taillight lenses of the 2011 RS.
The LR2 is Land Rover's premium compact SUV, offering a combination of excellent off-road capabilities and classic Land Rover creature comforts.
The LR2 is available in one well-equipped 5-passenger trim level. It is powered by a new 240-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with CommandShift manual shift control; all-wheel drive and Land Rover's unique "Terrain Response" system help the LR2 tackle a wide range of off-road conditions. Standard features include a panoramic sunroof, 18-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control passive keyless push button start, Bluetooth telephone connectivity plus audio streaming and a Meridian audio system with CD player and MP3 capability. Optional equipment includes three-position memory seating, navigation system, adaptive xenon headlamps, and rearview camera. The LR2 is also equipped with a comprehensive array of safety features, including four-wheel anti-lock brakes with brake assist, electronic stability control with traction control and roll mitigation, seven airbags, rear park assist, rear LED brake lights and tire pressure monitoring.
The Land Rover LR2 receives many updates for 2013. The exterior and interior have been refreshed; the powertrain has been upgraded, as well as new technology being offered.