This week Autocar.co.uk is highlighting the new-for-2012 offerings from each manufacturer and assessing each car’s prospects in a market that is becoming increasingly hotly contested.
Part four, below, uncovers the supercars and performance cars that will be rolled out during the next 12 months.
If you missed part one, which covered city cars and superminis, click here to read it.
Part two examined all the family cars and MPVs, and you can read that by clicking here.
The third instalment rounded up all the hot hatches, coupes and executive cars we’re looking forward to seeing. You can survey those launches by following this link.
For the full 18-page run-down of new cars for 2012, don’t miss this week’s Autocar magazine, which is on sale now.
The tweaked BMW 6-series, due in January, gets a 533bhp 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 and is capable of 197mph thanks to its speed limiter being removed. The Alpina B6 coupé costs £92,850, the cabrio £5k more.
Restricted to an Avant body style only, the new Audi RS4 will be a star of the Geneva show in March. A four-door has been ruled out because it would overlap with the S5 Sportback. Power comes from the RS5’s naturally aspirated 444bhp 4.2-litre V8, the same engine that powered the previous-generation RS4, which went out of production in 2008. Expect the new variant to go on sale in June.
Audi S6, S7 and S8
Three sledgehammer-performance four-wheel-drive Audi super-saloons will spice up the summer this year. The Audi S6, S7 and S8 will all use a new twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8, co-developed with Bentley. The S8 gets the most powerful version, with 513bhp and 470lb ft, sufficient for 0-60mph in 4.2sec and a limited 155mph top speed. The transmission is a beefed-up ZF eight-speed automatic. Prices start at £90k. The S6 and S7 get a lower-powered version of the V8, producing 414bhp and 406lb ft. That’s slightly less power but more torque than the old S6. They both use a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Bentley Continental V8
A new twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine is to be offered in the Bentley Continental GT and GTC. The V8 models will slot in below the existing 6.0-litre W12 Continentals. The V8 produces 500bhp and 487lb ft of torque from 1700-5000rpm, transmitted to the road via a ZF eight-speed automatic. Top speed is 187mph and the 0-60mph sprint takes less than 5.0sec. To help reduce fuel consumption, the V8 employs cylinder deactivation, turning it into a four-cylinder engine on light throttle loads. The order book opens at the Detroit show this month, with prices starting from £120k.
BMW 6-series Gran Coupe
The first in a new range of four-door coupés will go on sale this summer. Based on a lengthened 5-series platform, the BMW 6-series Gran Coupé will feature 6-series coupé styling and an extra pair of doors, à la Mercedes-Benz CLS and Audi A7. Expect a sportier chassis than the 5-series and pricing positioned between the coupé’s and convertible’s. A Geneva show launch is planned.
BMW will slot the M5’s 552bhp twin-turbo V8 into the new 6-series bodyshell in the autumn. Expect similar performance and economy — a 4.5sec 0-62mph sprint and 28mpg — to the M5. However, the BMW M6 will offer a more focused driving experience than the M5. Whereas the M5 is fast and refined, the M6 will provide more feedback through the chassis and steering and not be quite so relaxed to drive. Coupé and convertible body styles will be on sale together.