On this Valentine’s Day, we are encouraged to recognize the ones we love in life. As an automotive fan, this day draws me (and the vast numbers of people like me) to an understanding of our passion.
For what is merely a four-wheeled machine to some, car fans identify their vehicles (or a single selected vehicle) as an emotional creature. A mechanical creature that needs to be properly cared for, a happy automobile rewards an owner with years of service and respect. It’s clear that this shared commitment in life between a person and their vehicle could be as strong as anything between humans.
While there is no shortage that would inspire such love and passion, the following selection is an isolated variety of 2012 cars likely to spar some specific emotions:
Returning to the days when the Cadillac name stood for the highest level of luxury obtainable, the CTS Sedan rekindled admiration for American-based premium vehicles. American car buyers reacquainted themselves to the magic of American luxury bringing heat back to a once ice-cold love affair.
For 2012, the Cadillac CTS vehicle range of Sedan, Coupe and Sport Wagon makes a desirable flexibility to how you wish to experience your romance. Refreshed this year with a more defined grille design, the Cadillac CTS addresses the road with an increased sense of purpose. Standard or available equipment such as dual-zone climate control, leather-trimmed steering wheel, Recaro sport seats and an audio system featuring Bose 5.1 Surround sound are some just rewards the 2012 Cadillac CTS delivers to occupants. Taking nice, long drives along beachside road, the CTS will beat with a 270 horsepower 3-liter V-6, 318 horsepower 3.6 liter V-6 or the pounding 556-horsepower from the CTS-V’s 6.2 liter supercharged engine.
The lesson of the Cadillac CTS Sedan is now being applied across General Motors’ top luxury brand. Premiering at the recent auto shows in Los Angeles and Detroit, the vision of Cadillac has been cemented with the larger XTS and the premium compact ATS model.
Symbolizing the foriegn love from afar, the Fiat 500 has been brought to the United States through a forced marriage between the Italian automaker and Chrysler. Since being sold since late 2010, the Italian subcompact brings style and character few American or Japanese-badged economy cars project. While its standard 1.4 liter inline-4 engine pales to the momentum of other economy cars, touring the city in a Fiat 500 is a charming trip even in the harshest climates of city driving. After only a short time in the US market, the Fiat 500 is also quite a fashionista that exploits the latest trends in aesthetic and (thankfully for some) performance. The new Gucci trim level of the Fiat 500 brings a defining exterior colouring and a two-tone Frau leather interior. Adding a striking sense of aggression to the Fiat 500, the Abarth model features a supercharged engine that pumps out 160 horsepower while riding on a sport-tuned suspension.
In 2012, the fourth-generation BMW M3 is bidding a farewell as the heir apparent is being prepared to succeed the 414-horsepower vehicle. Furnishing some of the best equipment to become one with the performance-oriented driving, the BMW M3 brings a sense of nurturing control few people get to appreciate in life. Derived from the passion of motorsports, the BMW M3 Coupe incorporates the functional use of carbon fiber while cross-drilled brake rotors and a Competition package that lowers the ride height for even greater stability is found also on the convertible version. When the time comes to sail towards a latest adventure, the 2012 BMW M3 is set in motion through a 6-speed manual or 7-speed M Dual Clutch transmission channelling the 4-liter V-8’s high performance push towards a personal Xanadu.
While parting will be sweet sorrow for the 2012 BMW M3, questions for what the future has in store for the next M3 car sparks optimism for a being even more in touch with the motorist.
Chevrolet Corvette Convertible
Delighting several generations of American sports car enthusiasts, the Chevrolet Corvette is a certified icon and a prevalent sight in any budding car lover. Pleasing the American roadways since 1953, the fiberglass sports car has always been an intimate way to soar through traffic. Originally propelled by a six-cylinder called the Blue-Flame powerplant, hot-looking name vanished when the V-8 engine first warmed the sports car’s engine compartment. For 2012, Chevrolet’s more prestigious vehicle rewards driver and passenger with better seat design as well as an optional nine-speaker Bose audio system.
While the 505-horsepower Z06 and 638-horsepower ZR1 models will send some motorists to a sensual delight of pure performance, the base Corvette as well as the GS model provides much of the same allure. Best feature with the lower level 440-horsepower Corvettes is the availability of a convertible. The shear rush of air over the Corvette convertible’s open top and the undisturbed sound of the 6.2 liter V-8 engine’s power is a motoring orchestra at speed. In keeping with couples celebrating great moments together, the 2012 model year Chevrolet Corvette also offers a Centennial Edition trim package honouring 100 years of Chevy’s automotive greatness. Looking ahead to 2013, a Corvette 427 Collector Edition will be available as a tribute to the 60th anniversary of this popular American sports car.
Surviving almost 60 years, the Chevrolet Corvette has weathered some of the worst conditions in the North American auto market while still entertain us. With rising standards for fuel economy, the future of the Corvette will consist of smaller displacement engines. However, as the C7 Corvette will change for the times, time will always welcome America’s favourite sports car.
Range Rover Evoque
A stylish yet rugged new vehicle, the Range Rover Evoque uses its English charm to win over premium crossover utility customers. Smaller than its long-enduring Range Rover vehicle, the Evoque presents an all-new interpretation of the established marque. Priced about $36,000 less and weighing over 2,000 fewer pounds than its big brother, the smaller Range Rover Evoque encourages drivers to re-examine their expectations.
In the case of the Range Rover Evoque, the vision of new love is moved by a 2-liter supercharged engine supplying 240 horsepower to an all-wheel drive, all-weather drivetrain. Providing the security of all-weather traction, a full array of electronic assists including Hill Climb Assist, Engine Drag torque Control and traction control gives the Evoque’s occupants a greater sense of safety. For a civilized, comfortable travel, an adaptive suspension system featuring MagneRide assures every journey in the Range Rover Evoque will be free from excessive shakes and rolls.
Named after a feral horse, the Mustang automobile debuted in mid-1964 as a vehicle capturing the spirit of the once-domesticated, free-roaming animal. The Ford Mustang became an immediate hit in the automobile marketplace by activating on a developing love affair that baby-boomers had with performance at a reasonable price. Always fitted with less expensive, lower performance six-cylinder engines, a V-8 engine became the ideal way many owners accept the Ford Mustang. In 2012, 414 horsepower is summoned from a 5.0 liter V-8 powerplant for the Ford Mustang GT models.
In modern times, the Ford Mustang has grown as a two-door coupe or convertible that could take on many forms. From a tame stock offering, the wildest Mustangs have comes from performance legend’s Carroll Shelby’s tuner shops. The Ford Shelby GT500 is a passionate performer that delights its handler with as much enthusiasm as it battles its pony car rival. As the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 emerged in bettering the 2012 Shelby GT500’s 550-horsepower, the 2013 model year version of the modified Ford Mustang rebooted with 650 horsepower.
Audi TT RS
For the North American market, the Audi TT RS represented a love denied by a parental unit. Released in Europe as Audi’s first compact car offering with an RS badge in 2009, the TT RS was kept away from North American until the 2012 model year. As Audi fan boards erupted with enough fury to finally convince the German premium car builder to bring the TT RS stateside, the rest of the automotive crowd in the United States were finally able to connect with the small sports car that created such a fuss.
Powered by a 2.5 liter inline 5-cylinder engine, 360-horsepower coupe, delivers a full array of enhancements distinguishing itself from the TT or TTS models. Modified bodywork gives the TT RS sports car a slippery 0.32 drag coefficient to cut through air. Entrusting its horsepower to quattro all-wheel drive and a 6-speed manual transmission, the Audi TT RS’ romantically encounters the road surface with 0 to 62 mile-per hour time in only 4.3 seconds. A limited run vehicle, the Audi TT RS is a love that only a handful of individuals can capture.
Information source: Audi AG, BMW, Chrysler Group, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Jaguar Land Rover
Photo Source: Chris Nagy, General Motors