With 2011 models being shipped off dealership lots with incentives stacked in the truck, 2012 models are already showing up before the end of the year. There are a multitude of amazing vehicles poised to rearrange your garage, from high-tech fuel-sippers to high-tech asphalt shredding machines; below are a few of those cars.
2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302
With the return of the 5.0-liter V-8 engine last year in the 2011 GT Mustang, Ford jumped on the opportunity to recreate another automotive legend, the Boss Mustang. Even though the Boss packs the same engine as the less-trim GT, it packs 32 more horsepower for a total of 444.
What makes the Boss such a 2012 all-star is its handling. Even though it uses very archaic solid rear axle, it can cut canyons with German sports car precision – so much that the perennial driver’s car, the BMW M3, has a new, legitimate competitor on the track.
Offered in both base and Laguna Seca trims, the Laguna Seca famously named for the California race track of the same name, even the Boss Mustang tries to remain affordable to just about everyone.
For $40, 310 without the dealer markup many dealers, the Boss 302 packs American grunt and brawn of muscle cars past while still feeling composed enough for the German Autobahn.
2012 Audi A7 3.0T Quattro
Designated as a four-door coupe, the Audi A7 defies automotive logic. It has four-doors, but only seats four while maintaining a coupe-like fastback design. It has the power of a rear-wheel-drive sports sedan while pushing power through Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system.
The four-door coupe segment has only, until recently, been occupied by the A7. A new player in the segment is the Mercedes-Benz CLS, which packs a V-8 engine and Mercedes’ techno-gadgets.
The A7 is powered by a supercharged 3.0-liter engine producing 310 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque; though power and handling are not what dignifies the A7 from other cars – its design.
Audi’s interior is opulent, with real oak trim and leather wrapped seats, pack with Audi’s own gadgets and driver aides. All of this accents the A7’s distinct fastback styling and presence within the four-door coupe segment.
2012 Chevrolet Sonic
The small car segment is getting surprisingly crowded over the last few years as automakers strive to offer consumers more fuel-efficient choice while still delivering styling, technology, and performance.
Chevrolet has never had a successful small car that was able to compete with its Japanese counterpart offerings. But in this fuel-conscious and high-gas price society; Chevrolet and General Motors could not let its ailing Aveo remain in the marketplace while competitors like the Ford Fiesta, Kia Rio5, and Honda Fit steal market share.
Chevrolet’s Sonic will make customers forget that other car, whatever it was called.
The Sonic offers a unique digital-analog instrument cluster reminiscent of one from a motorcycle. What is unique about the Sonic is that it offers a class leading 138 horsepower turbocharged engine while still offering a manual transmission for those that enjoy a more connected car experience.
The Sonic ultimately shows Chevrolet’s opening salvo into the small car segment and it is a glowing salvo indeed.
2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor
Ford surprised the automotive world by building a factory built off-road monster of a machine.
Designed by Ford’s Special Vehicle Team, the Raptor was built with competing in the Baja 1000 off-road race and winning in mind.
The Raptor can blast through the uncharted desert at 100-mph-speeds and with a factory warranty; all for around $44,000; surprisingly, a bargain in the off-road truck world.
Its competition is non-existent. Its abilities are unmatched by any other factory truck on the market. The closest competitor is from Ram in the form of a conversion kit from MOPAR. But who wants to put effort and time into an off-road vehicle, when one could just drive one off the lot?
Even though most Raptors will never see a speck of dirt and the most treacherous terrain they will face is the Whole Food Market parking lot, Ford has proven that if you build a vehicle as insane and unnecessary as the Raptor, people will buy them.
The vehicles listed here prove that cars remain an integral part in American culture and society, that the basics of the automobile, design, performance and technology, are essential for a vehicle to strive in the 21stcentury.