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.
Taller, wider and longer the Toyota 4Runner is a sport utility vehicle that combines true off-road competence with everyday driving comfort, refinement and safety. Refreshed and updated inside and out for 2014 the mid-size 4Runner is a distinctive choice in the SUV market.
The SR5 and Limited trims are available in rear- or four-wheel drive. A Trail Edition with rear locking differential, crawl control, rock rails and moonroof is only available in four-wheel drive. Each trim has a five-speed automatic transmission and a 270-hp 4.0-liter V6 engine. An optional third-row seat expands passenger capacity to seven. Stability control, traction control, 12 airbags and roll-over sensors are standard. The 4Runner now includes Toyotas' Entune Audio Plus infotainment system and a rearview camera as standard equipment. Premium audio with navigation, SmartKey keyless entry with pushbutton start, front and rear sonar system, and a power moonroof are all available features.
At press time, BMW hadn't yet shown the 3 Series replacement, but we've seen spy photos of it for over a year. Not surprisingly, the current generation has received little change for 2012, as all development is ongoing for the new car. The coupe, retractable hardtop convertible and sedan versions of the 328, 335 and M3 continue as they are with some package changes and the standard inclusion of Bluetooth. Gone for 2012, however, is the M3 sedan and turbodiesel engine option. A 328i Wagon remains the least expensive variant of the 3 Series. The M3 Convertible will receive a new $5000 Individual Composition Package option with four unique paint colors and interior trim choices to help make it more distinct.
It's official, Fisker is ramping up to deliver customer vehicles. The Karma EVer sedan should be in full production swing by the first quarter of 2012. The plugin series hybrid sports sedan is purely electric driven, but with a GM-sourced 2.0-liter gasoline generator to extend its range-i.e., Electric Vehicle Extended Range. Nominal range is 50 miles in pure electric and another 250 on gasoline. Our impressions during an early prototype test drive are that its 22-in. wheels aren't all for show and its chassis has sporting potential. The factory is claiming a sub- 6-second sprint to 60 mph. From a luxury front its 4-place seating looks to compete with Porsche's Panamera, but we're a little skeptical having found its general solidity a little Lotus-like.
The Lancer is Mitsubishi's answer to the compact segment, and with numerous trim levels, there's sure to be one that interests you. Starting from the bottom, the DE model returns unchanged, but the ES features new interior fabrics and 16-in. wheel covers. The SE sedan will come equipped with all-wheel drive and the race-proven All-Wheel-Control system. Top-level GTS models get a name change; they'll now be called GT, and they are fitted with Ralliart front fascia, new 18-in. alloy wheels and interior fabrics, soft-touch door trim and instrument panel trim. The Evo GSR, Mitsubishi's turbocharged all-wheel-drive top-level sports sedan, gets an upshift light in the instrument panel, while the MR will let you know when you're driving economically with an Eco light.