What’s new in the 2012 model year

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INFINITI

JX: Nissan plans to introduce the JX, a seven-passenger crossover, in the spring of 2012 as a 2013 model. The company says the all-new vehicle will have Infiniti’s elegant design, flexible seating with easy access to the third row and advanced technology. The company plans to release more details at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November.

JAGUAR

XKR-S: The 2012 XKR-S coupe is one of the fastest Jaguars ever built, capable of accelerating to 100 miles per hour in 8.7 seconds. It has a top speed of 186 mph. The XKR-S’s five-liter V-8 engine, now in its third generation, has been supercharged to give it 550 horsepower, but also has more precise direct injection to save fuel. The XKR-S gets 22 miles per gallon on the highway. It starts at $132,875, including shipping.

JEEP

GRAND CHEROKEE SRT8: The top-selling Grand Cherokee SUV gets a souped-up version from Chrysler’s Street and Racing Technology (SRT) team. The high-performance SUV will go from zero to 60 in 4.8 seconds with a top speed of 160 mph, which is comparable or faster than many performance sedans. It’s the most powerful Jeep ever with an all-new 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 with 470 horsepower. The company also says it’s the best-handling Jeep ever with a new adaptive damping suspension.

KIA

RIO/RIO5: Kia has redesigned its compact sedan and hatchback, giving them more power — 138 horsepower — while still improving highway fuel economy to 40 mpg. The Rio also has some luxurious options, including a hands-free entertainment system and back-up camera. Pricing hasn’t been released for the Rio, which is expected to go on sale in October, but its predecessor started at $12,990.

CADENZA: Kia’s replacement for the flagship Amanti sedan is expected in the summer. Kia hasn’t released details, but dealers say it will have a more luxurious interior and a 165-horsepower four-cylinder engine or 290-horsepower V6.

LAMBORGHINI

AVENTADOR LP 700-4: The new model has a V-12 engine that puts out 700 horsepower. The four-wheel-drive car can go from zero to 62 mph in 2.9 seconds. It costs $389,995 including shipping.

LAND ROVER

RANGE ROVER EVOQUE: Land Rover is targeting new entry-level customers with the Evoque, a small crossover that comes in either three- or five-door configurations. Land Rover bills the Evoque as its lightest, most fuel-efficient vehicle ever, with highway fuel economy of 28 mpg. But the crossover still has power, thanks to its new 240-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, and off-road capability. It also has lots of luxury features, including a heated windshield and steering wheel. The Evoque starts at $45,995, including shipping.

LEXUS

GS 350/450h: Lexus plans to release both the gas version and the hybrid version of the midsize GS sedan early next year as 2013 models. The GS has a new look, with an aggressive, hourglass-shaped grille and a clean design meant to maximize aerodynamic efficiency. Inside, Lexus put more emphasis on the driver by lowering the steering wheel, improving the field of vision and making the seats more supportive. There are nice perks, too, like 18-way power seats. The 350 has a 3.5-liter V-6 engine with 306 horsepower. The 450h mates that engine to an electric motor, boosting horsepower to 338. Fuel economy numbers haven’t been released, but Lexus says the 450h will have 30-percent better fuel economy than the outgoing GS hybrid, which gets 25 mpg on the highway.

MASERATI

GRANTURISMO CONVERTIBLE: Gets a sport version for 2012 with a 4.7-liter, 444-horsepower V-8 engine, improved handling, new seats and a sportier sound.

GRANTURISMO MC COUPE: Maserati adds a coupe at the top of the MC line and says it’s the fastest and best-handling of its cars. The coupe gets the same 444 horsepower V-8 as the GranTurismo convertible plus aerodynamic body work. It has a top speed of 185 mph.

MAZDA

CX-5: The CX-5 small crossover, due out in February as a 2013 model, has a new 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that is expected to significantly improve fuel economy. Mazda plans to release more details this fall at the Frankfurt Auto Show.

MAZDA5: The 2012 Mazda5, a small, six-seat minivan that went on sale last winter, has distinctive, swooping lines carved into its sliding doors and more interior room. There’s a new, 157-horsepower four-cylinder engine that gets up to 28 miles per gallon. For a sportier ride — or to help you forget you’re in a minivan — there’s a six-speed manual transmission and an optional spoiler. The Mazda5 starts at $19,990, including freight.

MERCEDES-BENZ

C-CLASS: A two-door coupe is new for 2012, and the four-door sedan has been refreshed with new bumpers, front grille, headlights and an aluminum hood. The interior also was redesigned. There’s a choice of two new direct fuel injection engines with a seven-speed automatic transmission. Depending on trim line, available engines include a turbocharged 1.8-liter, 201-horsepower four-cylinder and a 3.5-liter V-6 with 302 horsepower. The high-performance C63 AMG has a 6.3-liter V-8 with 451 horsepower.

CLS-CLASS: The four-door coupe is all new for 2012 with all models powered by new biturbo direct-injection V8 engines. The CLS550 is powered by a 4.6-liter V-8 with 402 horsepower, yet it gets 17 mpg in the city and 26 on the freeway. The CLS63 AMG has a stop-start system that stops the engine at traffic lights and restarts it almost instantly when the light turns green. The high-performance version has a 5.5-liter V-8 with 518 horsepower. An optional performance package raises output to 550 horsepower.

M-CLASS: The all-new third generation of the SUV hit showrooms earlier in the summer. It sits about an inch lower than its predecessor and is slightly longer and wider. The ML350 BlueTec diesel version has more power than in the past with 240 horsepower, while the ML350 4Matic gets a new direct-injection V-6 engine with 302 horsepower. It starts at $49,874, including shipping.

SLK-CLASS: The third-generation small SLK Roadster is new for 2012. The SLK250 is powered by a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine that has 201 horsepower, while the SLK350 is powered by a 3.5-liter, 302 horsepower V-6. The high-performance SLK55 AMG is the most powerful SLK ever, with a 5.5-liter V-8 with 415 horsepower, and it can go from zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. It also features cylinder shutoff to get better gas mileage. The SLK starts at $55,675, including shipping.

MINI

COUPE: The mini-car from BMW that made tiny trendy comes out with its first two-seater, the Mini Coupe. Powerplants range from a 121-horsepower four-cylinder in the Coupe and 181 horsepower in the Cooper S Coupe to the MINI John Cooper Works Coupe, with 208 horsepower. The car has a hard-shell, sloping roof and rear spoilers, as well as a hatch and 9.8 cubic feet of luggage space.

MITSUBISHI

LANCER: SE model gets all-wheel drive with its 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and a snowbelt state focus. Heated seats and 16-inch alloy wheels are added. Pricing hasn’t been released, but the 2011 model started at $15,295.

NISSAN

GT-R: Nissan has modified the 3.8-liter, V6 engine on the 2012 GT-R sports car so it now gets 530 horsepower, compared to 485 on the previous model. To reduce air resistance, Nissan has enlarged the grille openings and added lighter weight, aluminum-forged 20-inch wheels. The GT-R will also be available in a new “Black Edition,” with custom black-and-red leather seats and metallic black wheels. The car also gets slightly better fuel economy — 23 miles per gallon on the highway, compared to 21 on the 2011 model. The 2012 GT-R is available now at 650 select Nissan dealers, starting at $89,950.

VERSA: Nissan has redesigned the Versa small car from the ground up. It has a new, lighter underbody for more nimble driving, a new, more fuel-efficient engine and transmission, and a more aerodynamic design. Nissan says the Versa will get 30 miles per gallon in the city and 38 on the highway, an improvement of around 4 mpg over its predecessor. The 2012 Versa went on sale in August and starts at $10,990, excluding shipping, for a manual transmission and hand-cranked windows. If you want power windows and an automatic, the Versa SV starts at $14,560.

PORSCHE

911 CARRERA: The seventh generation of the 911 Carrera, due out in February, is 4 inches longer but 100 pounds lighter thanks to its new aluminum and steel frame. Porsche said the 350-horsepower, 3.4-liter boxer engine will also save more fuel than previous models, thanks to an automatic stop/start function that reduces engine usage, and other improvements. The sportier 911 Carrera S will have a 400-horsepower, 3.8-liter boxer engine, an improvement of 15 horses over the previous model. The 2012 Carrera will be officially unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September. The 911 Carrera Coupe will start at $82,100, excluding shipping, while the Carrera S will be $14,000 more.

ROLLS-ROYCE

GHOST: Gets an extended wheelbase model with an additional 6.7 inches of interior space over the standard Ghost. It costs $290,000.

SAAB

9-5: Gets a wagon version and choice of two engines, a 2-liter four or a 3-liter V-6. So far, it’s unclear how Saab’s bankruptcy protection filing in early September will affect sales, but Saab says the filing doesn’t affect Saab North America.

SCION

SCION iQ: Scion’s iQ minicar, which has been sold as a Toyota in Europe and Asia since 2008, goes on sale on the West Coast in October and will come to the rest of the country over the following six months. It’s 120 inches long, or about 4 inches longer than the Fiat 500, and its 94-horsepower engine gets 37 miles per gallon. It starts at $15,995, including shipping.

FR-S: Scion debuted a concept version of this rear-wheel-drive sports car at the New York Auto Show in April, and said something very similar will be out next year. Scion is using a Subaru 2.0-liter boxer engine, because of its flat size and shape, but few other details are known. Scion says the car will cost less than $30,000.

SUBARU

IMPREZA: The fourth-generation of the compact debuts with new four- and five-door designs, more agile handling and better fuel economy. A new 2-liter engine gets the all-wheel-drive car to 36 mpg on the highway and 27 in the city, 30 percent better than its predecessor. Trunk and cargo room are increased. The Impreza starts at $18,245, including shipping.

TESLA

MODEL S: Electric car maker Tesla hopes to extend its customer base beyond its Roaster sports car with the Model S, a sedan due out in the middle of 2012. The sedans will cost around $50,000 — half the price of a Roadster — and will allow drivers to get different battery packs based on their needs, from one that gets 160 miles per charge to one that gets 300. Tesla said it had 5,300 reservations for the sedan at the start of this summer; it plans to produce 5,000 Model S sedans in 2012.

TOYOTA

CAMRY: Toyota unveiled the new Camry sedan in August. It’s quieter and roomier than the 2011 model and gets significantly better fuel economy. The four-cylinder engine gets 35 miles per gallon on the highway, while the hybrid version gets 41 mpg. Toyota will also offer Entune, a new entertainment system that lets drivers connect to mobile phone applications like Pandora through voice commands or a touch screen. The Camry goes on sale in October and starts at just over $22,000, including shipping.

PRIUS V: The five-passenger, wagon version of the wildly popular Prius hybrid goes on sale in October, a launch that was delayed by several months because of the earthquake in Japan. The “V” stands for “versatility,” with 6 more inches of cargo space. It’s also slightly taller and wider. The Prius V is expected to get 42 miles per gallon. Toyota hasn’t announced the price.

YARIS: The three-door and five-door hatchback versions of the Yaris small car are getting a makeover. They’ve got a sportier design and are nearly 3 inches longer than the 2011 models, improving cargo space. The Yaris starts at $14,875, including shipping.

VOLKSWAGEN

JETTA: Gets a GLI high-performance version for 2012 with a starting price of $23,495, excluding shipping. The GLI is powered by a 2-liter turborcharged gas engine with 200 horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, with a dual clutch automatic optional.

GOLF: Golf R version arrives early next year with a high-output version of the 2-liter turbocharged four, with more than 250 horsepower.

NEW BEETLE: The company’s iconic Beetle gets a squat, sloped design for 2012 with 2.5-liter five-cylinder and 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engines. The 170-horsepower in-line five-cylinder engine gets 22 mpg in the city and 29 on the highway. Prices start at $18,995 excluding shipping.

PASSAT: The midsize Passat is all-new with a significantly lower price than its predecessor at $19,995, excluding shipping. The base model has a 170-horsepower 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine. It also comes with a 2-liter TDI diesel, a turbocharged 140-horsepower 2-liter four-cylinder engine and a 3.6-liter V-6 with 280 horsepower.

TIGUAN: The small crossover SUV gets an update with a sleeker look, and a redesigned grille and redesigned taillights. The transmission was also tweaked to improve fuel economy.

VOLVO

S60: The 2012 S60 midsize sedan has a sportier design and improved fuel economy, now up to 30 mpg. The base engine is a five-cylinder with 250 horsepower. Volvo is also offering the world’s first pedestrian detection technology. The S60 starts at $32,025, including shipping.