The Toyota Camry is America’s best-selling sedan. So if you take this already proven platform, pile on luxury features and bestow it with buttery-smooth refinement, you’re bound to have a winner—and Lexus does with its ES 350. True, its styling is conservative—but it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Leather-trimmed seating, a one-touch tilt/slide power glass moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, 10-way power front seats and a power tilt and telescoping steering wheel are all standard. In fact, the ES 350 only comes one way: loaded, with a variety of options and packages. A new limited-production ES Touring Package offers 17-in. wheels, heated and ventilated front seats, navigation, Saddle Tan leather and Brown Walnut wood trim.
The Equus is an all new model from Hyundai, developed specifically for the upper-echelon of the automotive world.
The Equus is a large luxury four door sedan offered in Signature or Ultimate trims. Its 429-hp 5.0-liter V8 sends power to the rear wheels via a SHIFTRONIC eight-speed automatic transmission. The Signature trim seats five, while the Ultimate provides luxury amenities for four. The exterior features 19-inch chrome alloy wheels, power moonroof, auto-dimming exterior rearview mirrors that automatically tilt-down in reverse, HID headlights, and more. The interior boasts power heated leather seating, massaging driver seat with memory, wood inserts, voice-activated navigation and a luxury audio system.
R&T Overview:It’s no secret that the 444-bhp 2012 Boss 302 has garnered rave reviews, even if its limited production means price negotiation will be virtually nonexistent. And though otherwise mostly a carryover for 2012, we think Ford’s Mustang has never been better. Its base 305-bhp Ti-VCT V-6 is good for up to 31 mpg highway, while the Mustang GT’s 5.0-liter Ti-VCT V-8 generates 412 bhp and up to 26 mpg highway. Handling and braking are now fully on par with power output, and interior refinement is worlds ahead of Mustangs of yore—and the pony car competition. New options for 2012 include selectable steering effort, made possible by electric power-assist steering (EPAS). And the supercharged 550-bhp Shelby GT500 is back with optional Recaro bucket seats.
The 2012 Subaru Outback is available with a choice of two engines, three transmissions, with Base, Limited or Premium trim levels.
Outback 2.5i models ($23,295) come with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and 6-speed manual transmission or CVT ($24,295). Standard equipment for 2.5i includes cloth upholstery, manual air conditioning with air filter, six-way manually adjustable driver seat, four-way manually adjustable passenger seat, 100-watt AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio with four speakers and auxiliary jack, remote keyless entry, power locks, power windows, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, three power outlets, anti-theft alarm, 16-inch steel wheels, and 215/70R16 tires. A new alloy wheel package ($995) also includes fog lights and an All-Weather Package (two-stage heated front seats, heated exterior mirrors and windshield wiper de-icer).
Outback 3.6R ($28,295) comes with the 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine and 5-speed automatic transmission. Aside from the larger engine and automatic transmission, standard equipment on the 3.6 R is similar. It does come standard with 225/60R17 tires on 17-inch alloy wheels, and a few more interior amenities. No options are offered.
Premium trim for the Outback 2.5i manual ($24,795), 2.5i CVT ($25,795) and 3.6R ($29,495) upgrades each of them to a 10-way power driver seat, fog lights, leather-wrapped steering wheel, 17-inch alloy wheels with 225/60R17 tires and other features. New for 2012 is a six-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with Radio Broadcast Data System (RBDS), Bluetooth audio streaming and hands-free phone connectivity, iPod control capability, and a USB port in addition to the auxiliary input jack. Options include the All-Weather Package ($500), also available bundled with a moonroof ($1,945). Also available is the new harman/kardon stereo from the Limited (see below), but it must be combined with the All-Weather Package ($1,795), a moonroof ($1,945), or both ($3,240).
History repeats itself as a roadster joins the flagship SLS AMG gullwing coupe. As modern interpretations of the legendary 300SL, both are constructed by AMG using lightweight aluminum space frames. A handbuilt 563-bhp 6.2-liter V-8 with dry-sump lubrication mated to a carbon-fiber driveshaft and 7-speed DCT transaxle launches the limited-production sports car to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds. The roadster's power softtop opens or closes in 11.0-sec. flat up to 30 mph. Airscarf heating and a removable wind deflector are included, yet with a top speed of 197 mph, it may be wise to leave the latter at home. New features include Blind Spot Assist, 3-mode adaptive suspension and AMG Performance Media with driving telemetry and G-force measurement.