While Nissan's Versa sedan came in for a ground-up redo for 2012, the 5-door Hatchback version carries over from the 2011 model year with two models, S and SL. Perhaps to soothe hatchback fans, Nissan ups the ante by adding four new option packages for the S model and then making what was the Premium package now standard equipment on the SL edition. With that upgrade come such extras as the Bluetooth Hands-free phone system, the "Intelligent" key and 16-in. alloy wheels. Opt for the S version and you get the 122-bhp 1.8-liter twincam four with a 6-speed manual or 4-speed automatic. SL models also have the 1.8 but are only fitted with the CVT transmission. Now the Vehicle Dynamic Control system is standard on both S and SL models.
From mild to wild, Mercedes offers E-Class models to suit everyone's fancy. The E350 sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon gain a new 3.5-liter 302-bhp direct-injection V-6 and 7-speed automatic. An unchanged BlueTEC diesel remains a sedan option. E550 models receive a new 402-bhp 4.6-liter twin-turbo V-8. A wagon joins the sedan for the hot E63 AMG treatment including a new 518-bhp 5.5-liter V-8 and 7-speed MCT transmission. The former also features a panorama roof and rearview camera. E-Class safety, infotainment and luxury equipment varies by model. Convertibles are fitted with a 2-piece Aircap wind deflector to help reduce turbulence with the top down. Wagons have standard 7-passenger seating, a power tailgate and rear air suspension.
The new model year 2012 finds Aston Martin offering an even dozen versions of its popular Vantage. From the nearly $200 grand V-12 Carbon Black to the V-8 Vantage N429 Coupe with manual gearbox at $131,600, there is a beautiful sports coupe for any wealthy enthusiast. And the joy of driving an Aston Martin is worth the price of admission. Beautifully finished interiors with leather upholstery, manual or Sportshift gearboxes, and a variety of standard features plus a lengthy list of options make it easy to personalize "your" Aston Martin. New for 2012 are a Garmin satellite navigation system, beam-blade windscreen wipers and a wide range of colors for the brake calipers. With either the V-12 or the V-8, you'll find plenty of driving excitement.
R&T Overview:Audi has revamped its full-size A6 for 2012, which could mean bad news for their competitors. The exterior styling has evolved to join the rest of Audi's familial R8-inspired DNA with the new hybrid aluminum/steel body construction reducing overall weight by 78 lb. versus the previous car. The base A6 now gets the fuel-sipping turbo 4-cylinder mated to a CVT, while the supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 sees a bump of 10 bhp and 15 lb.-ft. of torque. Soon to follow the A6 arrival is the S6, this time powered by a 420-bhp twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 and dual-clutch 7-speed S tronic gearbox, supplanting the previous 435-bhp V-10. Although peak power dips slightly for this über sedan, expect torque and fuel economy to improve, which customers will appreciate.
The 2013 Maserati GranTurismo is a four-passenger Italian grand touring exotic, available as a coupe and convertible. The coupe is available in two trims, the MC and the new Sport, and the convertible is also available in two trims, base and Sport.
The GranTurismo Sport coupe is powered by a 454 horsepower 4.7-liter V8 engine with a 6-speed ZF automatic transmission, while the MC coupe's and Sport convertible's 4.7-liter V8 puts out 444 horsepower and the base convertible 4.7-liter V8 produces 433 horsepower. An electronically-controlled Skyhook suspension automatically adjusts to the conditions of the road. Standard features include Brembo brakes, directionally-adaptive bi-xenon headlights, heated power sport seats, automatic dual-zone climate control, rear parking sensors and a Bose sound system with hard drive and navigation system. The MC includes revised transmission shifting, a tuned exhaust system, sport suspension combined with a special stability program, and unique front and rear fascia and side skirts. The Sport convertible features a modified Skyhook sport suspension, 20-inch alloy wheels, slotted brake discs, a revised exhaust system, and black headlight assembly. The new-for-2013 Sport coupe includes a Sport Skyhook suspension, unique front and rear fascia, redesigned xenon headlamps now incorporating bright LED daytime running lights, dark-tinted rear taillamps, front and rear parking sensors, new front and rear seats, unique interior trim and a redesigned steering wheel. A wide variety of alloy wheels, brake caliper colors, and leather and wood trims are available on all trims.
For 2013, the GranTurismo coupe Sport trim replaces the S Automatic trim. The GranTurismo convertible is carried over.