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 Volkswagen Eos is a unique all-season convertible with an integrated power panoramic sunroof that sets it apart from all other retractable hardtop convertibles on the market.
The 2013 Eos is powered by a 200-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a six-speed DSG automatic transmission. There are four available trims: Komfort, Sport, Lux, and Executive. Standard features include heated front seats, electronic dual-zone climate control, a leather-wrapped multifunctional steering wheel, SIRIUS satellite radio, and Bluetooth Handsfree wireless connectivity. Safety features include active seat-integrated rollover bars, daytime running lights, electronic stability program, hill hold control, a tire pressure monitoring system, and front and side airbags. Steering linked Bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights are standard on all but the Komfort trim.
For 2013, a new Sport trim has been added to the line-up.
Hyundai's compact crossover sport utility vehicle offers quite a range of choices for reasonable amounts of money. The Tucson GL base model has a 2.0-liter 16-valve inline-4 with 165 bhp and 146 lb-ft of torque. Transmission choices are a 5-speed manual or an optional 6-speed automatic that delivers 23 mpg city/31 mpg highway while the manual transmission rates 20/27 mpg. Moving up a notch to the GLS and Limited versions of the Tucson, the power goes up with a 2.4-liter inline-4 rated at 176 bhp and 168 lb-ft of torque. Fuel efficiency here is 22 city/32 highway, and the only transmission is the 6-speed automatic with front-wheel drive. The optional all-wheel-drive model rates 21/28 mpg. The Tucson’s handling response is quite good as independent suspension is used at all four wheels, the steering is by rack-and-pinion and there are stabilizer bars front and rear. Interior appointments are well designed and finished, and there are numerous standard features: power windows and door locks, AM/FM/XM/CD/MP3 audio system, tilt steering wheel, trip computer and more. Moving up to the GLS and Tucson Limited models adds a variety of other extras to make your motoring even more comfortable.
Honda’s unconventional pickup returns for its seventh season with modest changes. A new Sport model receives a unique honeycomb grille, standard foglights, black headlight and taillight housings and special 18-in. alloys. Meanwhile, carryover trims gain a three-bar grille that echoes the Pilot’s. Unibody construction with an independent rear suspension provides a smooth ride. The rather small 5-ft. bed features composite construction, 1100 lb. payload, a dual-action tailgate and hidden storage compartment. A 3.5-liter V-6 with slightly improved highway mpg teams with a 5-speed automatic transmission and full-time awd. The spacious five-passenger cabin can be enhanced with an optional navigation system, rearview camera and Bluetooth.
The Mitsubishi Lancer offers an enticing range of compact cars from practical economy to sensible all-wheel-drive sedan to sporty liftback to rally rocket. The Lancer sports a tidy, sleekish shape with a bold and distinctive shark mouth. Its interior is clean, seating is comfortable, instrumentation is blessedly simple.
Good engines give it good value, with its base model bringing 26/34 miles per gallon City/Highway, according to the EPA. Seven airbags, including one for the driver's knee, help make it safe, in addition to anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, and the mandated tire pressure monitor. Lancer was last redesigned for the 2008 model year.
The 2012 Lancer SE is a new model. It uses Mitsubishi's all-wheel drive system called AWC (all-wheel control), with the proven 2.4-liter engine making 168 horsepower. Ready for the Snow Belt, the Lancer SE comes with heated seats and mirrors.