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Nice cars for 2013

Posted by The New N Used Link Team on Sunday, March 31, 2013 Under: Automotive

Acura ILX
Ever since the demise of the RSX, nee Integra, Acura has been without a true entry-level model. (The TSX has become too close to the TL in size, design, and price to perform that function.) Enter the smaller, cheaper ILX. Is it the second coming of the Integra, the frisky subcompact that once attracted young people to the brand? Not really. The ILX has a bit of an identity crisis, as it comes in three distinct iterations. The car is based on the Honda Civic sedan, and although Acura designers did a good job of disguising that fact, we wouldn't exactly call it handsome. The interior, at least, is a wholesale improvement over the Civic's more downmarket cabin. The chassis also has been comprehensively upgraded, with more sophisticated dampers for better ride quality and retuned, quicker steering that's more lively and precise. There's also additional sound deadening and NVH control. The volume-model ILX has a 150-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (up from 1.8 liters and 140 hp in the Civic) that is hitched to an automatic transmission with only five speeds. Acura reaches out to greenies with a hybrid ILX, which lifts the Civic Hybrid's powertrain intact for a 39/38 mpg EPA city/highway rating. The most interesting ILX variant uses the Civic Si as its starting point. Priced at $30,095, it features the Si's 201-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder and a six-speed manual. One problem for the ILX may be that it's not that much cheaper than a TSX: when adjusted for the TSX's extra equipment, the difference is less than $1000.  

On sale Now
Price $26,795-$35,295
Engines 2.0L I-4, 150 hp, 140 lb-ft; 2.4L I-4, 201 hp, 170 lb-ft; 1.5L I-4/electric hybrid, 111 hp, 127 lb-ft 



Acura RLX

Acura RLX Left Side View
Sales of the Acura RL have all but dried up in recent years, so the division (and its dealers) must be eagerly awaiting the new flagship sedan, the RLX. Besides adding a letter to better align its name with most of the rest of Acura's lineup, the new sedan breaks with the past in other ways but not all. It remains smaller than some competitors -- Acura describes it as a mid-size sedan with the interior space of a large sedan. The overall length is the same, but the wheelbase has grown two inches. Again Acura uses a V-6, but it's a new direct-injected engine that displaces 3.5 liters. It makes 310 hp in its base, front-wheel-drive application. The uplevel model is a hybrid, in which the V-6 combines with three electric motors to deliver "more than 370 hp." The hybrid drives all four wheels, in a preview of the Sport Hybrid SH-AWD system expected in the new NSX. Acura is predicting EPA ratings of 30 mpg city and highway for the RLX hybrid. High-tech niceties include four-wheel steering (for the FWD model), two LCD screens, and connectivity that permits Internet radio, Bing search functionality, and audio feeds from Facebook and Twitter.

On sale Early 2013
Price $50,000-$56,000 (est.)
Engines 3.5L V-6, 310 hp; 3.5L V-6/electric hybrid, 370+ hp 



Aston Martin AM310 Vanquish

Aston Martin AM310 Vanquish Front Left Side View
Stepping in for the DBS, Aston's new range-topping AM310 Vanquish looks to improve both performance and usability. The updated 5.9-liter V-12 adds variable valve timing; output rises to 565 hp and 457 lb-ft of torque, which is sent to a six-speed automatic transaxle (no manual this time). A new launch-control system helps drivers race from 0 to 62 mph in 4.1 seconds. The engine sits lower in a new iteration of Aston's bonded-aluminum chassis, which again features adaptive dampers and standard carbon-ceramic brakes. The Vanquish's body takes design cues from the limited-edition One-77 supercar and makes more extensive use of carbon fiber than ever before, including in the hood, front fenders, trunk lid, trunk enclosure, door surrounds, and roof (the last of which may be left exposed if a buyer so chooses). Weight is held to just 3613 pounds and is distributed 50/50 front/rear. Despite casting nearly the same shadow as a DBS, the new Vanquish has a roomier two-place cabin (two-plus-two seating is optional), along with more stowage and a greatly enlarged trunk. Capacitive-touch switches and a new rotary controller lend modern flair to the characteristic Aston Martin jewel-box interior.

On sale Early 2013
Price $280,000 (est.)
Engine 5.9L V-12, 565 hp, 457 lb-ft
Terminal velocity 183 mph 



Audi Allroad

Audi Allroad Rear Left Side View
The original 1999-2005 Allroad made good on its name with a turbocharged V-6 for storming the interstate and an adjustable-height air suspension for tackling the trail. Unfortunately, the Allroad's second act in the United States isn't nearly as versatile. Based on the no-longer-sold-in-America A4 Avant wagon, the new Allroad is essentially a styling exercise that adds matte-finished lower cladding, a bright chrome grille, and brushed metal trim. Mechanically, the only difference between the Avant and the Allroad is a 1.5-inch suspension lift, but Audi is banking on the image of a tougher wagon appealing to a larger set of Americans.

On sale Now
Price $40,495
Engine 2.0L turbo I-4, 211 hp, 258 lb-ft
Marketing magic Some rugged-looking trim multiplies wagon sales. 


Audi RS5

 Audi RS5 Rear Right View
Audi's RS badge denoting the ultimate performance models by Quattro GmbH  has been a rare sight on U.S. roads. An RS6 sedan was a one-year-only offering in 2003, the RS4 sedan and convertible were sold in 2007-2008, and the TT RS arrived last year. For 2013, we're going to get another RS model, the RS5 coupe, to face off against the BMW M3 and the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG. The normally aspirated 4.2-liter V-8 from the S5 coupe is now good for 450 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque in the RS5. It is paired with a seven-speed S tronic transmission and, naturally, Quattro all-wheel drive -- but this is an enhanced version that can send as much as 85 percent of the torque to the rear wheels (the default torque split is 40/60 front/rear). To telegraph that performance visually, the RS version gets a unique lower fascia, diffusers, grille, and flared fenders; a rear spoiler deploys automatically at 75 mph. To make the same point aurally, there's an optional sport exhaust. With the RS5, Quattro GmbH is speaking a little louder in the U.S. market.

Bentley Continental GT V8

Bentley Continental GT V8 Front Right View
Ever since the Continental GT debuted for 2003, it and all its variants  have been powered by the Volkswagen Group's oddball W-12 engine. Although company execs still see the twelve-cylinder engine as an important aspect of the brand, Bentley is now offering a V-8 in the Continental GT and GTC convertible, environmental concerns (chiefly in Europe) being the incentive. The 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 isn't exactly a fuel-economy champ, although the GT V8's 15/24 mpg EPA numbers certainly are better than the GT W12's 12/19 figures. For an environmentally clearer conscience, V8 buyers sacrifice 67 hp and 0.2 second in the sprint to 60 mph (now 4.6 seconds). On the upside, however, they save $19,250 (coupe) or $21,400 (convertible) while doing their part to save the earth.

On sale Now
Price $176,725/$194,125 (GT/GTC)
Engine 4.0L twin-turbo V-8, 500 hp, 487 lb-ft
U-Turn First-ever Continental GT with fewer than twelve cylinders under the hood. 



BMW was the first premium brand to introduce a compact SUV the X3  and now it's the first to go even smaller. The subcompact X1 was supposed to come here last year, but strong demand elsewhere delayed the pint-size SUV's arrival. Now, however, BMW is ready to take the plunge. The X1's exterior is a dead ringer for the X3, and the resemblance continues un-der the hood, where the X1 uses the same two engines: a 241-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged four (28i) and a 300-hp, 3.0-liter turbo in-line six (35i). The former is paired with BMW's eight-speed automatic transmission and can be rear- or four-wheel drive. The six-cylinder gets a six-speed automatic and is four-wheel drive only. With either engine, an M Sport package (sport suspension, sport seats, unique wheels, and special trim) can be added. The rear-wheel-drive 28i is exclusive to the X1; it gets 24/33 mpg city/highway. All-wheel-drive versions of the X1 are within 1 to 2 mpg of the X3. Comparing like powertrains, X1 buyers will save $5000 to $6000 over an X3. The rear-wheel-drive X1, which at $31,545 will be the least expensive BMW, just edges out the 128i. That alone ought to guarantee the X1 an audience.

On sale Late 2012
Price $31,545/$33,245/$39,345 (sDrive28i/xDrive28i/xDrive35i)
Engines 2.0L turbo I-4, 241 hp, 260 lb-ft; 3.0L turbo I-6, 300 hp, 300 lb-ft
Smaller than... an X3, by 7.1 x 3.3 x 4.6 inches (L x W x H).

Buick Encore
Based on the Chevrolet Sonic architecture, the Encore is tiny by Buick standards -- or by almost any standards. It's more than a foot shorter than a Verano, and its 100.6-inch wheelbase is only 1.2 inches longer than a Sonic's. Powering the Encore is GM's 1.4-liter turbo four-cylinder, which will bring to bear an estimated 140 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque on the crossover's 3190 pounds (3309 pounds with all-wheel drive). Active noise cancellation  a first for Buick should help drown out the engine's droning, allowing occupants to concentrate on their stylish surroundings. The cabin features blue ambient lighting, a seven-inch touch-screen radio, available leather, and a choice of three color schemes. As for the exterior, the Encore's undulating lines and tall-boy proportions may look odd in America's wide open spaces, but they should appear just right in the crowded urban environs of Shanghai and Beijing, which is probably far more important. 


In : Automotive 

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