R&T Overview:When you build one of today's most potent performance cars, how do you make it better? Easy. Up the horsepower, which is what Nissan has done with the GT-R. By increasing turbocharger boost pressure, modifying valve timing and the fuel-air ratio, then cutting exhaust backpressure, the 3.8-liter V-6 ups horsepower from 485 to 530 and torque from 434 lb.-ft. to 448...laid down via the ATTESA E-TS all-wheel-drive system. To go with the added power comes revised exterior styling, which cuts the coefficient of drag to 0.26 and adds 10 percent more downforce. There are two GT-R models, Premium and, new for 2012, the Black Edition. The latter has a unique seat trim, interior colors and 6-spoke wheels. Two exterior colors are added: Deep Blue Pearl and Jet Black.
The dramatic-looking XJ sedan was introduced last year to much acclaim. Thanks to its lightweight aluminum construction, it is actually slightly lighter than the smaller XF. It also features a full-length panorama sunroof, which makes the interior even more light and airy—which appeals to those who drive and those who are being driven. The XJL has a longer wheelbase giving rear-seat passengers an extra 5 in. of leg room. It is only this model that gets any significant changes for 2012. A new Rear Seat Comfort Package, standard on the XJL Supersport, includes electric reclining, lumbar adjustment and massage functions. An Executive Package adds even more luxury for those who want to be chauffeured. The XJ has the same lineup of three 5.0-liter V-8 engines as the XF.
The Nissan Maxima is a sport sedan with a sleek exterior and modern interior. This newest version maintains the trademark stylish, sporty look and feel while still providing comfortable luxury features that Maxima owners have come to expect.
The Maxima is offered in two trims: 3.5 S and 3.5 SV. A 290-hp 3.5-liter V6 engine powers the front wheels via a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Standard safety fare includes; traction control, stability control, dual-stage front airbags, front seat side-impact airbags, full-length overhead curtain airbags, front seat active head restraints, and a tire pressure monitor. Available technology includes a voice-activated navigation system, rear camera, dual-panel moonroof, XM NavTraffic, XM NavWeather, and a 9.3 GB Music Box hard drive.
The Lexus CT 200h isn’t a car for everyone–but for a select few, it is a car that does everything. It’s sleek and attractive, yet its wagon layout offers real-world practicality. It offers luxury amenities, but also impressive fuel economy thanks to its hybrid powertrain. But this is no Lexus-branded Toyota Prius; Lexus points out that the CT200h was specifically developed as a driver’s car with a sport-tuned suspension and “highly focused” driving position. In addition to EV, Eco and Normal drive modes, the CT200 offers a Sport mode that maximizes engine revs and quickens the electric-assist power steering. Standard features include SmartAccess keyless entry, dual-zone climate control, six-speaker audio and Bluetooth interface. Navigation is optional.
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.