Join us in a quick look ahead to the upcoming cars of 2012.
With the New Year now just days away, we here at Leftlane thought it would be the perfect time to look forward to the upcoming cars of 2012.
Picking the top 10
In order to create this list, we posed a simple question to our Leftlane editors: Which cars are you most looking forward to in 2012?
In order to keep everyone on the same page, we limited nominees to vehicles that we have either seen or heard about, but won't hit the market until sometime in 2012. We also ruled out any 2013 vehicle that we have already had the chance to drive.
So, are you looking forward to the same vehicles we are? Have a look at our top 10 list and then let us hear your comments!
The 10 cars we're most looking forward to in 2012
1. 2013 Infiniti JX35. Soccer moms, rejoice! The JX35 fills the long-ignored sweet spot of the luxury crossover segment by offering three rows of seating in a relatively compact footprint. Throw in available all-wheel drive and a starting price of about $40,000 and the JX should make the awkwardly-styled Lincoln MKT all but obsolete.
2. 2013 Ford Shelby GT500. 650 horsepower, 200+mph top speed, 'nuff said. Offering the performance of a true super car at the price point of a mid-size luxury sedan, the 2013 Shelby GT500 could go down in history as the ultimate 'bang for your buck' performance car. Sure most will likely end up backwards in a ditch, but the GT500 will be fun while it lasts.
3. 2013 Cadillac ATS. Essentially a CTS in a more manageable size, the ATS will give Cadillac its first true 3-Series competitor. The ATS will arrive in sedan form, but we've heard the car will eventually be offered as a coupe and convertible. Throw in a potent V-Series model and Cadillac might just have the perfect recipe for stealing sales away from BMW.
4. 2013 Cadillac XTS. Filling the void left by the now-departed STS and DTS, the XTS is most notable for ushering in Cadillac's new Cadillac User Experience - or CUE for short - infotainment system. CUE will likely leave Cadillac's typical demographic wondering where the tape deck is, but the brand's younger buyers will enjoy its touch screen controls and ability to stream Pandora internet radio.
5. 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth. Offering 160 horsepower from a turbocharged 1.4L engine, the Fiat 500 Abarth's formula doesn't appear to be all that different from stuffing a rabid dog into a shoe box. Boasting 60 more horsepower and 72 lb-ft more torque than the standard car, the diminutive 500 Abarth should be an absolute hoot to drive. A bloated price tag could somewhat spoil the fun, but the 500 Abarth promises to be the ultimate urban commuter.
6. 2013 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. The Shelby GT500 may have stolen some of its thunder, but we're still looking forward to the 580 horsepower Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Not only does the ZL1 promise to be a straight-line beast, but the coupe was able to lap Germany's fame Nurburgring in just 7 minutes and 41 seconds. We also dig its old school nameplate.
7. 2013 Dodge Dart. Although the Dodge Caliber was a total disappointment, we have high hopes for the Dodge Dart. Set to be the first Chrysler vehicle to ride on a Fiat platform, the Dart promises to serve up a good blend of performance and economy (courtesy of a new nine-speed automatic gearbox) as well as good looks. The compact segment is as competitive as ever, but the Dart looks to have what it takes to be a sales success.
8. 2012 Porsche 911 convertible. Some will say that removing a car's top completely ruins it, but we don't think this will be the case with the new 911. In fact, we think it will make it better. Why? Better access to the 911's intoxicating flat-six exhaust note.
9. 2013 Scion FR-S. After years of producing yawn-inducing appliances, Toyota is back in the affordable sports car business, even if it is just across the street at the Scion dealership. Still, the FR-S ticks all the right boxes -- 200 horsepower engine, six-speed manual and rear-wheel drive -- and should arrive with a sticker price near the $20,000 mark.
10. 2013 Ford Fusion. Okay, so we don't know anything about Ford's all-new Fusion -- including what it will look like -- but we know it will finally arrive at the 2012 Detroit auto show. The new Fusion will serve as the basis for the next-generation Euro-spec Mondeo, so that should ensure the Fusion is a competent handler. We also have a feeling that Ford will do everything it can to top the Toyota Camry Hybrid's segment leading 43mpg.