Cars of 2012 A to Z

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Big, small, petrol, There’s plenty of new metal your way this year. 620 349 January 5, 2012

The brand will expand its model range in February, a self-shifting, twin-clutch transmission to its petrol model, and introducing a new diesel model, also to an auto gearbox.

The company s new 4C car should appear in production at the Paris motor show in but won t make it here until

After a busy 2011 year is expected to be a lot slower for the brand. The Toyota-based Cygnet car still hasn t been for Australia and Drive believes it s which is hardly surprising it s more Toyota than supercar.

The controversial Cygnet was confirmed but it s understood some are back through fear of the brand with a circa-$60,000

As for the rest of the range the V8, Vantage and — expect updates to models that will additional value and, some styling tweaks.

Don t any slowdown from the German as it continues its fight against BMW and for luxury honours.

The highly-anticipated Q3 arrive in the first quarter to on the BMW X1 and Range Rover Evoque. The compact SUV will come a range of petrol and diesel and a starting price in the mid-$40,000

Also due to launch in the first months are the updated A5/S5 and automatic versions of the TT 1.8 TFSI and 2.0 TDI.

The second quarter of the will be crucial to Audi s success with the volume-selling A4 updated. The new model gets a exterior and interior, more petrol and diesel engines and technology.

Another potentially model for Audi s sale hopes launches is the new A1 Sportback, due the middle of the year. The five-door of Audi s smallest car was unveiled at the Tokyo motor show.

It be available with either or five-seats, and boasts more in the back seat than the three-door thanks to a higher

The final arrival for the second will be a completely different Just five examples of the R8 GT will be available for wealthy wanting to feel the wind their hair at super speed.

The A4 range will in the third quarter with the of the A4 Allroad. The Subaru Outback-style will be a new addition to the local range, having previously an overseas-only proposition.

Another will also hit local with the third quarter the A6 Avant will finally the A6 sedan on sale locally. previously been overlooked it was considered unlikely to attract customers against the Q7 SUV, is now confident it can make a success of it

Its specification is likely to match the sedan range with a of petrol and diesel engines.

The quarter will also the arrival of three sporty new the S6 sedan, S7 Sportback and S8. All three are powered by the same all-new twin-turbo V8 but in two different states of

The S6 and S7 use a 309kW/550Nm version coupled to a dual-clutch gearbox. The bigger S8 a more powerful 383kw/650Nm and an eight-speed automatic transmission.

All cars get sportier design including a lower ride new bumpers and grilles and 19-inch wheels.

Following the launch of the new GT last year, 2012 see the introduction of two new variants locally.

The GTC Convertible will arrive in just in time to escape the of summer. The open-air cruiser a 6.0-litre W12 engine that out 423kW and 700Nm mated to a automatic gearbox.

July see the introduction of the much-anticipated Continental GT V8. less power and performance the 12-cylinder version, the V8 is more saving fuel for the heavy and thirsty Continental GT.

The new 4.0-litre in the V8 which will also the entry price of the GT (currently at — is shared with the S6, S7 Sportback and S8 and is good for 373kW and

It ll be a busy year for the German brand, with a range of facelifts, updates and new models due in

First to arrive will be the s biggest seller, the new 3-Series which arrives in February, a new look and a stretched body for space.

The new luxury sedan brings with it a change in for BMW with the higher performance with the 328i (replacing the ditching its six-cylinder engine in of a more efficient four-cylinder The new engine produces 180kW and and uses a claimed 6.3L/100km.

The 320d has increased in price to and now gets fake leather in of the stuff that comes cows, although BMW says are many more features make it better value, an eight-speed automatic and Bluetooth audio streaming. The turbocharged diesel is also a miserly using a class-leading 4.5L/100km but delivering a healthy 135kW/380Nm.

BMW isn t goodbye to six-cylinders just though; the 335i will with a turbocharged 3.0-litre as the flagship (at least until the of the all new M3), delivering 225kW/400Nm.

alongside the 3-Series sedan in is the manic new M5 sedan. The high-performance packs a new 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 412kW/680Nm and is available only a seven-speed dual-clutch auto. The big covers the 0-100km/h sprint in 4.4 seconds, and is expected to be priced at $240,000.

Mid-year, BMW will its first hybrid to its lineup in the of the 5-Series ActiveHybrid. The sedan is by a 3.0-litre turbocharged six-cylinder with an electric motor to a combined power output of

It s fitted with an eight-speed standard, and has a claimed consumption of The 5-Series ActiveHybrid may not be one for golfers, with the boot-mounted battery cutting the cargo capacity 520 litres to 375 litres.

BMW will the four-door coupe segment in with the new 6-Series Gran It will compete against the of similarly swoopy German such as Mercedes-Benz s CLS and Audi s A7, it arrives in the third quarter of sitting alongside BMW s two-door coupe and convertible models an expected starting price of at $175,000.

The 6-Series Gran will be available in three levels: the 640i, which is by a six-cylinder turbo engine 235kW/450Nm; the 650i, with a twin-turbo V8; and the 640d, which a six-cylinder twin-turbo diesel 230kW/630Nm, however it is not yet confirmed for

The 6-Series two-door coupe and will receive a halo M the M6, late in 2012. It s expected to be by a 4.4-litre twin turbocharged V8 out 412kW/680Nm.

Other changes to the BMW in 2012 include facelifts for the X6 SUV due on sale in the third quarter, the awkward looking X1 will receive a facial update in the year.

BMW s alternative-powered i-Series will be previewed throughout the however there will be no movement in Australia in 2012.

The Chinese brand is looking to for at least the first part of according to the brand s importers, Automotive. Don t expect any new models, but the J1 city car and J11 SUV may receive much-needed variants during the year.

likely some time the year is stability control, would finally green-light the for sale in Victoria; the lack of the avoidance system that is with significantly reducing rates has so far seen Chery from Victoria. It s likely to first on the Corolla-sized J3 before its way on to the even smaller J1 and J11 SUV.

It will be another quiet for the struggling American brand, but the one new model on its arrival schedule is the important. The new 300C range is set to locally in June and should a much-needed boost to the brand.

The range will feature the s new Pentastar V6 petrol engine and the V6 diesel used in the Jeep Cherokee.

Chrysler Australia has to be aggressive on pricing and specification to the car its best chance in the flagging car market.

But while those two are to make up the majority of sales, the grabber will be the new SRT8. by a 6.4-litre Hemi V8 the range-topping will have its sights set on sales from HSV and FPV.

specifications haven t been but in America the Hemi pumps out and 637Nm to comfortably put ahead of the competition; at least in the grunt But it s not all about power with brakes and forged alloy to help it get around corners.

has a busy year lined up as it to roll out a new DS line of more offerings.

The DS4 hatch, a more version of the C4 with a longer list, is scheduled to arrive in The local line-up will three models: a 115kW, petrol automatic version, an 1.6-litre turbo diesel and a range-topping 170kW 1.6-litre model matched to a six-speed

The DS4 will be joined by the larger DS5 in June. Conventional diesel and versions will be available to with, although a hybrid version could arrive the end of the year.

Also on the agenda for is the C4 Air Cross, which should in September. The compact SUV, is based on Mitsubishi s ASX, is to be available in front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive Mitsubishi sells the ASX from for 2WD models, but expect a premium for the badge.

There will be new engines for the Picasso people-mover and the C5. The will get a new diesel variant 20 per cent more power the current engine, while the 1.6-litre petrol engine in the DS4 provide the power for a new cheaper C5 starting at $35,990.

It looks Dodge is lining up for another year with no new models in. The only good news is the successful Dodge Journey an update in December 2011, a new interior and the 3.6-litre Pentastar V6.

The four-seat, four-wheel-drive FF arrives in priced from a cool plus on-road costs. by a 6.3-litre, 486kW V12, the FF is to offer fans of the Prancing a more practical alternative to the s hard-edged sports cars.

describes it as a decisive break the past , and says the combination of space, added practicality and traction will appeal to who want to use their Ferrari day.

The FF will be followed in by the Spider version of the stunning 458 The Spider is more performance-focused the grand tourer California, and come with a price tag of $600,000.

At about the same the California is expected to get an engine and upgrade that will it in line with the 458. The currently has a 4.3-litre V8 putting out while the 458 has a 4.5-litre V8 putting out

Production of the 599 finished a couple of ago so there could be a new model at the Geneva motor show next year. It would be to reach our shores before the end of year, though.

Fiat s 500 will get an engine update in the quarter of the year. The new TwinAir are just 875cc and have two cylinder, but put out a respectable 63kW and They also use less than the Toyota Prius sipping just 3.6 litres per

Fiat claims performance is on par the 1.4-litre engines they but with 30 per cent better consumption. The engines will be to self-shifting gearboxes and will be on both the hatch and 500C

In other news, the Abarth is now available with a self-shifting

The struggling locally-produced Falcon car will get another shot in the arm in the of the its first four-cylinder Falcon in the s 50-year-plus history.

To be known as the EcoBoost, the long-running 4.0-litre engine makes way for a 2.0-litre four-pot powerplant that the part on paper, producing 177kW of power and a decent of torque.

We’re yet to see the figures for the version of the engine, but by all accounts, it pretty well and is claimed to fuel along the way. As for expect them to be about the as those for the six-cylinder.

Meanwhile, the Kuga soft-roader — a for the aging Escape that the gong as Ford Australia’s selling passenger car — in March.

The car maker has already the beans on the two-model line-up will include Bluetooth, control for various functions, an audio system, cruise and keyless start.

The higher-spec will get dual-zone climate a sunroof, and standard reversing — important in a class of where rearward visibility is an

As for the tiny, Indian-built Figo car? Ford Australia it has no current plans to introduce the cheapie during 2012.

s other upcoming Indian-made the Fiesta-based Ecosport compact SUV be unveiled this month, but it s not to arrive until 2013.

The off-again importation of Chinese Foton appears to be on again, a possibility the range of utes as Tunland could be in dealerships in

The previous would-be importer away from the brand it says the Chinese head would not supply vehicles at a price.

However, a new Queensland-based is working to secure a dealer with the aim of bringing in a range of to compete with the likes of rival Great Wall

A fresh-faced FPV range makes its alongside the restyled Falcon FG II early next year, but Ford’s go-fast division is its plans under wraps.

The introduces styling tweaks to the brand more in line the Mondeo-esque kinetic signature creeping across the entire brand. Apart from the changes on the outside, expect a control panel, and on upmarket a green route calculator for the navigation system.

Turning the clock may give a few small as to what to expect on the limited-edition this year — marks the 45th anniversary of the XR GT, so an anniversary showpiece could be in the

Already on sale in Western Chinese brand Geely was due to out across the Eastern seaboard in 2011, but the brand s importer, the Hughes Group, says Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane are not to see Geely cars on their until late in 2012.

Geely news includes the of the tiny Panda city which was due on sale in Australia in but the plans have been by Geely head office.

In its Geely will bring the EC7 a sedan which recently a four-star EuroNCAP crash and the CE, a Corolla-sized sedan and hatch replaces the MK which is currently on in WA. Both of those cars are due in the quarter of 2012.

Australia s highest-selling Chinese Great Wall Motors further expand its range in with a range of new engines and scheduled for the first part of the

The V-Series ute will be offered a diesel four-wheel-drive powertrain in the quarter, followed by the X-Series which will get a diesel variant in the first quarter and an oil-burner in the second.

Great will also bring a new car either the Yaris-sized C10 city or the Corolla-sized C30 sedan/hatch which be offered with both and CVT transmissions late in the year.

The focus over for Holden the next 12 months will be a buzz around its plug-in hatchback, the Volt, which is due to in the last three months of the

The Volt is expected to cost $60,000 and is fitted with an motor capable of travelling 60 to 80 while a petrol engine additional charge to extend the s range up to around 500km.

In Holden will also out a new dedicated LPG system for its Commodore, has been repackaged to remove on the family car s cavernous boot

A sedan version of the Barina car will slip into the shortly afterwards, featuring the simple one-model, two-transmission as the hatchback already on the market.

The Colorado ute was initially expected in the year but flooding in Thailand it is produced) has delayed the launch towards the middle of the year. is hoping to be able to offer the range of single and dual plus petrol and diesel at its launch.

The Colorado 7 — SUV to be spun off the same ute platform sneak in before the end of the year but otherwise arrive early in

After a relatively quiet this year is a big one for Honda.

It in March, with an all-new sedan arriving, powered by petrol engines as well as an hybrid drivetrain. The ninth of the small car will include that will help save fuel, much the car maker already does in its hybrid hatchback.

Later in the will mark the arrival of a new version of the Civic. The car maker be hoping this generation of the car will have a stronger presence than its predecessor.

the version of the car that will go on in Europe is expected to offer and hybrid engines. Nothing yet is for Australia.

A new version of the CR-V soft-roader arrives in the second of the year, with exact dependent on when the recovery 2011’s devastating Thai is completed.

The all-new CR-V more conservative styling, but a few carry-over design cues to that it is still the CR-V. a 2.4-litre petrol version a redesigned all-wheel-drive system, as as a front-drive version powered by a petrol engine but without the underpinnings.

The performance arm of Holden plays its cards extremely to its chest, so no admissions from the of a range of Commodore-based V8s on what may or may not be

But with the brand gearing up to its 25th anniversary there s doubt there will be popping of champagne corks will involve a range of edition models.

No word on a new engine will arrive the special editions, though, our spies tell us it s unlikely. the power of the HSV V8 engines hasn t much in recent years, of its main rival, FPV, with the addition of a supercharged V8.

HSV is working on a supercharged engine, best guesses have it in 2013. Still, HSV has been a leader with the introduction of new (consumer-friendly data logging the most obvious) so it would be to assume there could be in the wings when it comes to the wow

February marks the start of an year for the Korean car maker the arrival of the funky Veloster coupe in February.

It’s a bit the Mini Clubman, in that it has a suicide door on the driver’s to give access to the rear It won’t have the fireball the bonnet to match the looks, as likely to use the already familiar four-cylinder petrol engine to either a six-speed auto or gearbox.

About half way the year we can expect the second-generation i30 hatchback.

Essentially the Elantra without the boot, the i30 fills an hole in the Hyundai line-up as one of the sellers for the brand.

It’s not yet, but 2012 could herald the introduction of the Veloster a turbocharged 1.6-litre engine. It add the sparkle under the bonnet to up the svelte lines of the compact

Nissan s luxury brand launch in Australia in the third of 2012. Going up against BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz, will have its work cut out for it as it again tries to find a in the Australian market.

Infiniti s will be spearheaded by the FX performance , an eye-catching, boldly designed SUV will be pitted against BMW s X5 and X6, s Q7, and even Porsche s Cayenne.

The FX will likely be offered in trim levels: the FX37, a petrol V6 with 235kW/360Nm; the a 3.0-litre turbo diesel V6 175kW and 550Nm; and the top-end which is powered a 287kW/500Nm V8 and can sprint from standstill to in just 5.8 seconds.

Expect lists of standard equipment, leather interior trim and overtly large wheels. The FX should start close to the mark.

Infiniti will bring the G37 coupe and hard-topped which is based on the stretched of Nissan s 370Z. The sporty four-seater features a 3.7-litre V6 about 240kW of power and of torque which is mated to a Nissan-sourced seven-speed automatic.

It likely be priced close bigger-engined versions of Audi s A5 and BMW convertibles, with a starting of more than $100,000

Infiniti will also a luxury sedan to take on s A6, BMW s 5-Series, Lexus s GS, Jaguar s XF and s E-Class.

The M sedan range is to be offered with a choice of engines: the M37, a 3.7-litre V6 model with 235kW/360Nm; the with a 3.0-litre turbo producing 175kW/550Nm; and a high-performance variant with a 3.5-litre V6 engine and a 50kW electric which produce a combined and 358Nm.

Long equipment are likely to be standard, and the M range start at just over

Isuzu s new D-Max ute will in the second quarter of 2012.

The brand s new Thai-built ute has undergone a redesign, with updated that gives the D-Max a muscular stance than the model.

It s bigger, safer and powerful the existing model, the 3.0-litre turbo diesel now 130kW of power and 380Nm of (up 10kW/20Nm). It ll be available with a manual or five-speed automatic

The D-Max will be available in space- and dual-cab body with two- and four-wheel-drive expected.

A seven-seat SUV version, to Mitsubishi s Triton-based Challenger could also appear the end of the year.

March will see the of Jaguar s XKR-S Convertible.

by a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine 405kW of power and 680Nm of the drop-top version of the XKR-S the manic performance of coupe with a 0-100km/h time of 4.4 seconds.

Jaguar presumably opted for a top rather than a folding roof to save weight. The opens and closes in 18 seconds, and the impact on the car s kerb weight is 42 kilograms. Jaguar claims despite losing its roof, the is the stiffest car in its class thanks to its aluminium architecture.

Along chopping off the roof, Jaguar has a number of adjustments to the underpinnings. The XKR-S gets revised and rear suspension that claims means increased precision and control without comfort .

It also receives a stability control system allows the enthusiastic driver to exploit the exhilarating handling .

may also add a wagon body to the XF range by late 2012.

the Sportbrake, the Jag-wagon is likely to be at the Geneva motor show in but is still under consideration for If it does, a starting price of $85,000 is likely to compete Germany’s trio of large wagons, including the Audi A6 the BMW 5-Series Touring and the Mercedes-Benz Estate.

The rear cargo should offer ample space, which means a of about 560 litres to rival the BMW and wagons.

The Sportbrake is likely to be by a similar engine line-up to the XF which includes 3.0-litre V6 and diesel units, a naturally 5.0-litre V8 and the recently launched turbo-diesel four-cylinder.

America s drive brand will the year strongly with two updates and a new model.

January see the re-introduction of the new Compass. The compact SUV sit alongside the ageing Patriot and an all-new design inside and out as as changes under the skin.

scheduled for January is the arrival of the V6-powered Wrangler. The rugged will get the more powerful and efficient petrol engine.

It ll sell in small numbers but the Cherokee SRT8 will the Jeep brand a new hero when it arrives in March.

It use the same 347kW/630Nm 6.4-litre V8 found in the Chrysler 300C making it a bahnstormer, at least in a line.

Kia has finally added a variant of its mid-size Optima after having to make do a single Platinum model it arrived 12 months ago.

from $30,490, the Optima Si is cheaper than the Platinum $36,990) and is powered by the same 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol mated to a six-speed automatic

Notable differences include trim (instead of leather) manual seating adjustment, 17-inch alloys, and the absence of the s LED daytime-running lights and dual

From mid-February Kia will add two new body variants of its recently Rio light car. A three-door and four-door sedan will the five-door with the choice of familiar trim levels: S, Si and

Finally, an updated Sorento soft-roader will arrive in the third quarter featuring and suspension changes in its quest to on class leaders such as the Territory and Toyota Kluger.

its $754,000 Aventador flagship in full swing, the House of the Bull will continue to set wagging with two more of its Gallardo entry level

Priced from $451,800, the Gallardo LP550-2 Spyder speak for convertible arrives in some $63,000 less its all-paw sibling, the LP560-4.

around the same time be the most extreme Gallardo the track-focused LP570-4 Super Stradale.

Priced between and $590,000 (before on-road the final Gallardo derivative also be the ageing model s expensive and exclusive, with 150 examples built.

The 1340kg Trofeo features a race-style package including a huge carbon-fibre rear spoiler and removable engine cover and is by an unchanged 419kW/540Nm 5.2-litre

With the all-new Range expected to arrive back weight-loss boot camp time in 2013, it will be a bit of a year for the British off-road

The only excitement will be a refresh of the Land Rover 2, due in about November. Expect visual tweaks to the exterior and repackaging inside the mid-size but nothing significant happening the bonnet.

The all-new GS is one of the most new Lexus models and spearheads a revival that s aimed at revive lacklustre sales. The sedan will arrive in to take on Germany s trio of luxury sedans, followed by the hybrid in June.

Lexus is tipped to offer its first GS model in the second half of the With an estimated price of $80,000, the 2.5-litre GS250 directly compete with the four-cylinder variants of the Audi A6, BMW Mercedes-Benz E-class and Jaguar XF.

s luxury brand has committed to more F-Sport variants its range featuring sportier already available with the CT and IS These model lines include the GS and LS sedans as well as the RX soft-roader.

Following its global at the Detroit motor show month, Lexus will introduce a facelifted version of the LandCruiser-based LX570 off-roader in

Meanwhile, Lexus will a fresh-faced RX soft-roader at the Geneva in March, which is likely to here sometime mid-year.

the next generation of the LS flagship is expected to make its international at September s Frankfurt motor with Australian deliveries from early next

Lotus s supercharged Evora S get a new Serial Precision Shift automatic transmission with shifters in the first quarter of the

A self-shifting version of the Elise also arrive next while in the third quarter the V6 lands Down Under a supercharged V6 putting out 257kW and to launch the car from 0-100km/h in 3.5

Australia has also put up its hand for the Evora GTE, and that conceivably make it here the end of the year.

The GranCabrio Sport this month. It uses a powerful and more fuel version of the 4.7-litre V8 in the standard with power rising to and torque to 510Nm. The car s transmission and have also been to improve performance, while styling cues give it a aggressive appearance.

A new version of the sedan should arrive in towards the end of the year, but won t make it until 2013.

In addition to body styles of its BT-50 vehicle this month, will launch one of the most cars of 2012, the CX-5.

in the first quarter, the all-new soft-roader will have a price below $30,000 and in for the CX-7 as Mazda s entry-level

Combining Mazda s latest fuel-saving technologies, the CX-5 is to become the most fuel-efficient in its segment. On the European cycle, a front-wheel-drive diesel CX-5 as little as 4.5L/100km.

The 2.2-litre engine produces 129kW of and a V8-like 420Nm of torque just 2000rpm.

The CX-5 be available with the choice of or new diesel power as well as a manual or redesigned six-speed transmission.

Mazda has yet to confirm economy details for the new generation 2.0-litre petrol engine to 118kW/208Nm in AWD form), which is with the Mazda3 SP20

The brand with the three-pointed will have a busy half of this year the arrival of five models.

out of the gate is the drop-top version of the SLS AMG in Janaury.

The SLS AMG Roadster eschews the Gullwing s top-hinged doors for conventional and a canvas roof and is powered by the 420kW/650Nm 6.2-litre V8. Despite a 40kg weight penalty, the matches the Gullwing s claimed km/h time of 3.8 seconds.

from $487,500 (plus and dealer costs), the SLS Roadster is more expensive than the

More AMG models will with the SLK55 AMG roadster and the exclusive C63 AMG Black Series (from $245,000), which has sold out before it arrives in

Mercedes-Benz s fastest-ever C-Class from 0-100km/h in 4.2 seconds seconds faster than the C63 Coupe) courtesy of a 380kW/620Nm V8 up by 44kW and 20Nm.

April also see the arrival of the all-new hatch and ML-Class SUV.

to be priced from around the longer, wider and roomier will be offered with the of petrol and diesel engines. It also come standard an anti-collision warning system seen in far more expensive

The redesigned ML-Class is bigger and efficient than its predecessor and come with four-cylinder for the first time in Australia.

The new BlueTec is powered by a 150kW/500Nm turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine uses just 6.0L/100km (on the cycle), which makes it as efficient as a Toyota Hybrid

An ML63 AMG performance variant arrive featuring the performance arm s 386kW/700Nm 5.5-litre twin-turbo V8, is claimed to be almost 30 per cent efficient than the current s naturally aspirated 6.2-litre V8.

At the end of the economy scale, the production of the diminutive A-Class will its global debut at September s motor show before in local showrooms sometime late this year and 2013.

The A-Class will be a departure from the tall, design of its predecessors and feature sleek styling and a more cabin.

Mini will a pair of new models in February. The Coupe and Mini Convertible not to be with the Mini Cooper and Cabriolet boast slightly slippery styling and are aimed at the style-conscious and/or performance-focused end of the

The helmet-head coupe will be at $42,990 in Cooper S guise, by a 1.6-litre turbo four-cylinder 135kW and 260Nm. A more and faster John Cooper version is also due to debut, to be priced about $50,000.

The version is due on sale at the same and while pricing isn t yet confirmed, you expect it to cost at least more than the Coupe in Cooper S and JCW guises.

Mini also reveal a production of the high-riding three-door Paceman a more compact version of the SUV. While it will be in the first half of the year, the new may not make it here in 2012.

INFINITI M Electric Cars

updated the majority of its model late in 2011 the start of the will be a quiet time for But there are two major developments for the second half of year.

The Colt city car will be by an all-new model, reviving the Mirage nameplate.

Revealed at the Tokyo motor show the hatch has a strong focus on economy. There will be two choices, a 1.0- and a 1.3-litre petrol, both mated to a CVT to keep fuel consumption

Although the company hasn t official figures it has declared it to hit 3.3L/100km in the Japanese-spec model. If the version achieved the same it would make it the most petrol-powered car in the company.

There is the possibility that a petrol-electric version of the Outlander SUV could be on by the end of the year. Mitsubishi Australia t commented officially but there a strong chance that the known as PX-MiEV II will hit showrooms this year.

has confirmed there will be round of updates across its later in the year as 2013 come on stream. There also be a number of limited sale models.

The Japanese is set have an electrifying year in with the Leaf electric car around June priced $51,500.

The plug-in hatchback won the World Car of the Year award, the Corolla-sized five-seater offering a of up to 160km on a single charge. Its electric drivetrain produces of power and 280Nm of torque, and says it can charge in about hours from a standard plug.

Mid-year will see the arrival of Nissan s new Almera sedan. It may be offered with a of 1.2-litre three-cylinder or 1.5-litre petrol engines as are currently in the Micra hatchback on which it s

The Almera will compete four-door versions of Ford s Hyundai s Accent and Kia s Rio. it to start under $20,000.

will also the Pulsar in 2012 (it will replace the unloved Tiida), with the new car due to arrive late in the year, in sedan and hatchback body Pricing and equipment details t available as yet, but Nissan says it hopes to offer a Nismo version which may back the iconic SSS nameplate as of the new Pulsar lineup.

The brand s car hero, the GT-R, will another yearly update March. This time the GT-R will gain power (again!), with the twin-turbo V6 now good for 405kW and of torque (up from 390kW/612Nm). A few updates will also including an upgraded stereo and instrument cluster.

The long-overdue for the Patrol 4WD is also due to arrive, Nissan has put this in the maybe for 2012.

Another model to arrive late in 2012 is the SUV, which promises to be car-like than the current model as it will revert to a chassis rather than the truck-like ladder-frame version.

doesn t have a great record for premium brands Saab or Cadillac spring to but it s hoping for different fortunes Opel, which is designed to the might of Volkswagen.

So it s a massive is in store for the new-to-Australia Opel, the arm of General Motors.

Several of its have been here wearing Holden badges Astra and Vectra, to name a few so the company will leverage badge recognition, especially for the and fondly remembered Astra

But there s a big challenge ahead in a new brand and convincing customers to pay prices for cars that sat at the more affordable end of the market.

will hit the market hard in the second half of the year a launch that includes and tourer (wagon) variants of the Astra, three- and five-door of the light Corsa (formerly the and the debut of the mid-size Insignia in and tourer body styles.

The local arm is also keen to the Astra GTC a turbocharged three-door model — as a hero car for its but is yet to lock it in.

The French giant launch its third SUV in the space of two in May, with the compact Like the 4007 (which is bigger go figure. ) it s based on a in this case the ASX. styling gives it a Peugeot but under the skin it s pure

Expected to kick off around or under $30,000 in a bid to grab a of Australia s fastest-growing market the price-leading base model be a petrol model that the front wheels only but it s that all-wheel-drive and a choice of or diesel engines plus a level of specification will be elsewhere in the range.

Later in the year Peugeot reveal the 208 city hatch at the motor show. The replacement for the 207 is expected to offer fuel-efficient petrol engines plus at one diesel option, and variants be priced both below and $25,000.

Peugeot Australia is petitioning its head office for the HYbrid4 version of its 3008 for which it put up its hand two years ago and is waiting in the hope it will in 2012.

It will also out upgrades to its Partner and Expert commercial vans in August more gear, Euro 5 engines and new transmissions.

It s a big year for with the arrival in March of the new 911, codenamed 991.

The 911 it s the biggest ever change to the model will initially be as the Carrera and Carrera S coupes.

rises in the order of 3 to 4 per cent the soon-to-be-superseded 997 models will be by the addition of a fuel-saving stop-start and other fuel management plus the company’s first manual gearbox and increased use of aluminium panels.

The drop-top of the 991 911 arrives one month later, in but the halo 911 Turbo model arrive for at least another

An all-new Boxster convertible break cover internationally in and is expected here in the second of the year. Expect a similarly change to what occurred the new 911, although the styling continue in the same vein.

the Cayman — a coupe of the Boxster is unlikely to be refreshed 2013 at the earliest.

Porsche expects to roll out the range-topping GTS of its four-dour sedan, the Panamera, in

The struggling Malaysian car maker launch two all-new models its since 2009 — its first people-mover, and a facelift of its basement light car, the

The Exora seven-seater is due to arrive in the of the year with two models will feature stability and at least four airbags. It be aimed at Kia s Rondo7 and priced to the Korean.

Around the same Proton will wheel out a replacement for its Persona small which it says will the unnamed new model into the car class. It will arrive in form only, with a version due in early 2013.

The S16 be updated early in the year, adding a second (front as well as standard anti-lock and stability control. Pricing is not but will be more expensive its current $11,990 sticker, more challenges against its which include the hard-charging brands such as Chery.

to the Persona s mid-year replacement, the will launch the Persona in March. The range-topping model feature a higher equipment including leather seats and a CVT plus some cosmetic

Basking in the glory of an almost refreshed model range, plans a quiet year will be highlighted only by the in the second quarter of an all-electric of its Fluence small sedan.

the Fluence ZE (zero emissions), the sedan has been stretched to fit a bank in the boot, and it will be the electric car to arrive in Australia of swapping its battery pack for a one rather than submitting to a recharging process.

While the is getting on in life (it s been on here since 2004) the more affordable (relatively of course) Ghost is still fresh, and the range is set to expand in with the arrival of the Extended

Measuring 17cm longer the already large Ghost it arrive around March, all that length into legroom, which stretches to a 33cm. Power comes a 6.6-litre twin turbocharged V12 ll launch the luxury limousine to in just five seconds.

with the stretch, though, is eager to point out that the is still a metre shorter the flagship V12-powered Phantom, a car sells for upwards of $1 million.

The brand had a relatively busy with two new models, the Yeti and the arriving in local showrooms.

year it will expand the of models offered for the new nameplates, a petrol all-wheel-drive version of the arriving in the first quarter of the The Fabia city runabout get an automatic version in the second while a wagon variant and a hot — the vRS will launch in the quarter.

The Fabia vRS is powered by the 1.4-litre supercharged and turbocharged that powers the Polo The 132kW engine will be to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic steering wheel-mounted shift Skoda says it will from 0-100km/h in a lively 7.3

Nothing new for 2012 but expect the ForTwo in 2013, which kickstart a revival of the city car

The other Korean brand’s focus will be the relaunch in of its Actyon dual cab ute featuring specification levels Tradie, and SPR. No pricing detail is yet but Ssangyong says it will be in the rejuvenated workhorse ute market has seen several new and refreshed in the past 12 months.

The Actyon ute follow the company s dedicated to mantra with no petrol offered, but will be available in and 4×4 style with a of a six-speed manual or Australian-sourced auto. Other, unspecified upgrades are likely to be applied in the range throughout the year.

It s a big for Subaru, with the arrival of the all new hoped to lift the small car s in one of the most competitive and, the largest segments in the country.

Set to the sales might of the Mazda3, Corolla, Holden Cruze and Golf, the new Impreza brings a new and more upmarket interior as as fuel saving features an engine stop-start system. To be by a 2.0-litre engine driving all wheels, the turbocharged WRX and STi models won t until 2013.

Prior to the of the Impreza, though, will be its cousin, the XV. The Subaru XV uses the and mechanicals of the Impreza but sits the that before and with tough-looking styling additions to it an alternative to the bigger compact such as the Honda CR-V, RAV4 and Subaru s own Forester.

But the big for Subaru is the June arrival of the the brand s first ground-up car (as opposed to regular car made to go in more than a decade.

developed with Toyota (it be selling the almost identical 86 Subaru will initially the challenging task of explaining the four-wheel-drive systems it s largely its brand on need not apply in case.

Once over though, there s a great little sports car to be had and all for less $40,000. The 147kW 2.0-litre may look modest on paper but for perky performance once to the lightweight two-door body.

car maker expecting a quiet although for Suzuki it starts a bit of a bang.

Suzuki will the Swift Sport early year — a higher-powered version of its small city When it arrives in March it get rid of the low-out 1.4-cylinder engine in more civilised Swifts, it with a 100kW 1.6-litre A six-speed manual is already but Suzuki has already hinted at a version, too.

We also had to ask about the Kisashi a vehicle mooted as a potential for Australia after it was shown in form earlier this The response? We like your is the terse reply.

The fledgling car maker is settling into in Australia during 2012 and awaiting the arrival of its much new luxury car contender, the Model S.

better appointed and generally useful than the Lotus-based that put Tesla on the map, the S won t arrive here until

But already 60 Australians have put deposits of at least $6000, Telsa planning to increase the list throughout the year. The brand will also to set up a store, which it says be in a high traffic area and be like an Apple store a traditional car dealership.

The Japanese will launch a bevy of new this year including hybrids plus the return of a sports car the rear-wheel-drive 86.

Facelifted of the world s best-selling hybrid, the and RAV4 compact soft-roader arrive in March, with the featuring sharper front-end and a more refined cabin. The upgrades will be mainly with revised frontal and extra standard equipment, but no in efficiency, which continues at

Toyota s hybrid offering be broadened with two new Prius the all-new compact Prius C in March and the Prius V wagon around May.

The Yaris-sized, Prius C (as in City) will the company s entry-level hybrid and will target younger It is expected to use less than of fuel from its 1.5-litre drivetrain, which will it one of the most fuel efficient on the market.

The seven-seat Prius V Versatility) uses a more and more expensive lithium-ion to free up space for the foldaway seats. Like the regular hatch, the Prius V is powered by a petrol engine and an electric to produce a combined 100kW consuming 5.6L/100km in the US.

Toyota s Aurion sedan will feature a face similar to the RAV4 when it comes on around the same time. to be around 50 kilograms lighter the current model, the V6-powered fighter will continue as a restyled version of the Camry but feature more formal and rear styling and a more interior.

While technical remain few, the updated of the slow-selling Hybrid Camry benefit from even Australian engineering input and a 17 per reduction of fuel use over the model to 5.0L/100km.

Meanwhile, the 86 — its name harks to the rear-wheel-drive AE86 Corolla of the — goes on sale in June with an expected starting price.

Developed in with Subaru, the 86 two-door is by a Subaru-sourced 147kW/205Nm 2.0-litre aspirated four-cylinder boxer

Finally, the 11th generation hatch will arrive in to rival the giant-selling Mazda3 car. Toyota s volume-selling is expected to continue to be sourced Japan, at least initially, shifting to Thailand.

You could Volkswagen for having a quiet on the launch front in 2012, a frantic couple of years in nearly every model in its has been updated and many added.

But the German brand isn t on its laurels. The new model activity off in January with dealerships stock of the sporty Scirocco Some cars arrived last year, but this will be the first full on sale for the turbocharged sports

The car, which is powered by the 188kW engine as the Golf R, was overseas in 2008 but local originally baulked at importing it for of cannibalising sales of the Golf R With the three-door Golf now the Scirocco has been deemed for local consumption.

Prices at $47,490 for the six-speed manual and for the six-speed dual-clutch auto.

At the end of the scale, the company s workhorse ute, the Amarok, will get an automatic transmission by the middle of the The new transmission is a traditional torque-converter rather than the dual-clutch favoured on other vehicles in the VW

It will only be available on 4WD and will bring with it a torque output and greater ability. Expect a $2500 over the manual version.

expected to arrive in mid- is an updated version of the Volkswagen CC. The new model will be simply the Volkswagen CC and will be offered a five-seat option, an admission the four-seat layout of the previous wasn t to everyone s tastes. the 2.0-litre diesel and 3.6-litre V6 options to continue.

Another derivative, the Alltrack, should arrive before mid-year. to rival the Subaru Outback, the gets a higher ride and the option of all-wheel-drive on some The line-up should include two engines putting out 103kW and and two petrol ones, the 118TSI and the from the Golf GTI.

a premium over the Passat

The most significant new model for will arrive at the end of the year in the of the diminutive Up city car. The car be VW s cheapest model, with a price tag that will see it it beneath the Polo.

The car will be available as a three-door, powered by a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder petrol that will put out either or 55kW. No word yet on whether a version of the Up will be offered

But that s not the end of the new model launches for VW. A sportier Beetle will in before the end of the year. Engine are likely to mirror those on the Golf, potentially kicking off a fuel-sipping 77kW, 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol unit and 90kW, 118kW and 147kW variants, as well as a 103kW

Dual-clutch autos will be the only choice of transmission. In the Beetle is priced below the Golf model, but whether translates to Australia remains to be

It s a quiet year for Volvo the arrival of new models and model in 2011. While the new Golf-rivalling hatch tipped to be called V40 be unveiled internationally earlier in the it won t arrive here until year.

Expect the usual of annual updates (model 13) about October.

Yet another brand will be rolled out in from April 2012. The commercial vehicle brand compete directly against Wall Motors, selling a of utilities at attractive-to-tradies prices.

The ZX which may or may not go by their Chinese Grand Tiger will be available in petrol manual with a choice of single and body styles as well as and 4×4 drivetrains.

A number of the Tigers are already in Australia assessment from automotive group Prodrive, which is to give input on the suspension, and load carrying.

The brand s WA-based John Hughes says there will be 50 servicing the ZX Auto brand by with a number scattered the major centres on the Eastern

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