We all know the Super Duty is a rugged workaholic but, this year, Ford gussies it up for a night on the town with an available new Platinum series that will exceed even the Lariat and King Ranch for upscale content. It's available in Crew Cab only, and powered by either a 6.2- liter sohc gasoline engine or the amazingly quiet 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel. The Platinum has unique exterior touches like a perforated satin-chrome mesh grille and 20-in. polished aluminum wheels. Inside are 10-way-power leather captain's chairs, a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel and a navigation system viewed on the 8-in. screen of MyFord Touch, which is new throughout the Super Duty lineup and optimized even for users who may be wearing work gloves.
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 Infiniti G37 is available as sedan, a coupe, or hardtop convertible. Responsive and agile, the G37 has a sporty flare while offering a comfortable ride and a luxurious interior.
The rear-wheel drive G37 is named for its 3.7-liter V6 engine, available with between 325 and 330 horsepower depending on the model. This smooth, powerful engine comes with a seven-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission. The G37 comes in Premium, Sport, or Premier trims depending on model. Styling of the G series is aggressive yet subtle with abounding curves and the heritage is apparent in both design and performance. Standard safety features include six airbags, traction control and four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes. Optional is an intelligent cruise control system that matches the speed of the car ahead and an upgraded audio system with Bose sound.
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.
Those who live life large and want a coupe to match would do well to consider the Mercedes CL-Class. Loaded with luxury and charisma, the CL550 sports a 4.7-liter bi-turbo direct-injection V-8 with 429 bhp and 4Matic all-wheel drive. The C63 AMG ups the ante with a 536-bhp 5.5-liter V-8, Eco stop-start technology, 7-speed multiclutch automatic transmission, sport suspension and unique styling cues. Moving up to the CL600 nets a 5.5-liter V-12 with 510 bhp. The range-topping CL65 AMG boosts 6.0-liter V-12 output to 621 bhp. A new spotlight function for the Night View Assist Plus safety feature coordinates infrared headlights and a night-vision camera to identify and warn roadside pedestrians while alerting the driver on a display screen.