New cars for 2012 - Part 3 - Executive and luxury: BMW - Chrysler
What is it? BMW’s ‘CLS’ combines style with strong engines
Price from £61,380
On sale June
BMW calls the new 6 Series Gran Coupe a ‘four-door coupe'.
It's a rival for the Audi A7 Sportback and Mercedes-Benz CLS and is based on the 6 Series coupe.
The Gran Coupe is 113mm longer, however, with all of the increase accounted for by a longer wheelbase.
The front and rear of the Gran Coupe are virtually identical to those of the 6 Series coupe, although there are minor changes to the bumpers. Despite the two extra doors, the sleek roofline and frameless side windows maintain a coupe-like look.
The Gran Coupe's ‘4+1' cabin has four full-size seats and a smaller central rear seat. Much of the interior is shared with the 6 Series coupe, with the same dash design that's angled towards the driver.
Three turbocharged engines will be available: the 640i has a 316bhp 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol unit, while the 650i has a 444bhp 4.4-litre V8. The diesel option is the 640d, which has a 309bhp 3.0-litre six-cylinder unit. Power is sent to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
Prices start at £61,380 for the 640i SE (£1815 more than the equivalent coupe model) and rise to £75,130 for the 650i M Sport.
What is it? Plusher ‘European’ interior and lots of space for less money
Price from £35,000
On sale March
Chrysler is promising ‘Audi A8 space for A6 cash’ with the latest 300C saloon. Two V6 diesel engines will be offered, with 188bhp and 236bhp. They’re equipped with a five-speed automatic transmission, although an eight-speeder is slated to arrive before the end of 2012. We’d consider waiting for that because the occasionally clumsy five-speeder is the weak link in a pretty decent package.
The cabin is indeed huge, with lots of rear legroom. It’s reasonably well finished, and cruising refinement is good. The standard kit list should be generous, too.
At 185g/km, the Chrysler makes little sense on efficiency grounds against the German opposition, and oddities remain, such as the lack of folding rear seats. However, the 300C does offer lots of cabin space for the cash.
Jaguar XF Sportbrake
What is it? The XF Sportbrake is the long-rumoured estate version of the XF saloon.
Price from £32,000 (est)
On sale Autumn
The XF Sportbrake is the estate version of the XF saloon. Our image shows a disguised prototype serving as Santa’s festive transport.
The XF Sportbrake is likely to be unveiled at the Geneva motor show in March, before going on sale later in 2012.
The XF Sportbrake has a sloping roofline that means it’s not likely to match the bulkier Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate for outright capacity. We wouldn’t expect the XF Sportbrake to fall too far short of the Audi A6 Avant and BMW 5 Series Touring for space, however.
The XF Sportbrake’s engine range is likely to be the same as the saloon’s, including 2.2-litre four-cylinder and 3.0-litre V6 diesels. An XFR version - with a supercharged V8 petrol engine - is yet to be confirmed.
- Executive and luxury: BMW - Chrysler
- Executive and luxury: Lexus - Mercedes
- SUVs: Citroen - Dacia
- SUVs: Ford - Hyundai
- SUVs: Mazda - Mercedes
- SUVs: Mercedes - Vauxhall
- SUVs coming in 2013
- Coupes & convertibles: Ferrari - Jaguar
- Coupes & convertibles: Mercedes - Mini
- Coupes & convertibles: Porsche
- Coupes & convertibles: Subaru - Vauxhall
- Coupes & convertibles coming in 2013
- Performance cars: Audi - Ford
- Performance cars: McLaren - Vauxhall