C-E of new cars

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Chevrolet Camaro Convertible

From the sub-£10k Dacia Duster to the hi-tech Citroen DS5, here's C to E of the hottest new cars for 2012

Chevrolet Camaro Convertible
On sale: March
Price: £39,995

Chevrolet’s drop-top muscle car will be coming to the UK in top-spec SS form. That means a 426bhp 6.2-litre V8 and 0-62mph in only 4.9 seconds. Standard kit includes leather trim, 20-inch alloys and rear parking sensors, although the car will only be available in left-hand drive.

Read our first drive >>

Chevrolet Camaro Coupe
On sale: March
Price: £34,995

Appearing alongside the Aveo in Chevrolet dealers next year, the Camaro has been heavily revised for Europe, with retuned suspension to improve comfort. Power comes from a 426bhp 6.2-litre V8, 0-60mph takes 4.9 seconds and it’s only available in SS trim.

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Chevrolet Colorado
On sale: September
Price: £20k (est)

Your choice of pick-up trucks in the UK is limited to a few models, such as the Mitsubishi L200 and VW Amarok, but Chevrolet will be adding to that list with the chunky Colorado. We expect 2.5 and 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel engines to be available.

Chevrolet Cruze facelift
On sale: June
Price: £14,000 (est)

A minor facelift to Chevrolet’s Cruze will see a slightly redesigned front end, with new foglights and a more prominent badge for the cut-price Vauxhall Astra rival. Other improvements include a more efficient 2.0-litre diesel engine and a step up in interior quality.

Chevrolet Cruze Estate
On sale: June
Price: £14,000 (est)

As well as the saloon and hatchback Cruze models, Chevrolet will introduce a more practical estate, too. Power will come from a 161bhp 2.0-litre VCDi engine and there will be plenty of standard equipment, including cruise control, 17-inch alloys and climate control.

Chevrolet Malibu
On sale: November
Price: £18k (est)

The Malibu is based on the same platform as the Vauxhall Insignia and will be available with a 2.0-litre petrol or 2.4 diesel engine. It’s already on sale in the US and China, but UK buyers will have to wait until late next year to get behind the wheel.

Chevrolet Volt
On sale: March
Price: £28,000 (est)

Next year looks set to be dominated by a wave of plug-in electric vehicles, and one of the first to arrive in the UK will be the Chevrolet Volt. Underneath, it’s the same as the Vauxhall Ampera , so it’s powered by a 150bhp electric motor with a 1.4-litre range-extending petrol engine that never directly drives the wheels, but tops up the batteries instead. A full charge gives a 40-mile range, which Chevrolet says is plenty for most daily commutes. After this, the petrol engine recharges the batteries to keep you on the move if you want to travel further. That means owners will never have to worry about getting stranded, leaving them free to enjoy the Volt’s relaxed driving character, practicality and low running costs.

Read our first drive >>

We’ve driven it…
Jon Morgan, Staff writer: “Well, almost! I’ve already driven the Volt’s sister car, the Vauxhall Ampera, so I know the Chevy will be a winner. Why? It’s relaxing and fun to drive, and there’s none of the range anxiety you get with pure EVs.”

Chrysler 300C
On sale: May
Price: £35k (est)

The new 300C will be a giant step forward for Chrysler, offering a more comfortable and quiet drive with a higher-quality interior. There’s no petrol V8, though – instead, the car will be available only with a 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel. But it will eventually be offered with a newly developed eight-speed automatic gearbox.

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We’ve driven it…
Paul Bond, Road tester: “It may not get a big V8, but the 300C is still an enjoyable executive. In the market? Wait for the smooth eight-speed auto.”

Citroen C4 Aircross
On sale: September
Price: £17k (est)

Based on the Mitsubishi ASX, the Aircross is designed to take on the big-selling Nissan Qashqai and will come with a choice of two or four-wheel drive. Engine options comprise 113bhp 1.6 and 148bhp 2.0-litre petrols, or 108bhp 1.6 and 148bhp 1.8-litre HDi diesels.

Citroen DS3 Ultra Prestige
On sale: March
Price: £18,000 (est)

Built to celebrate the DS3’s success, the Ultra Prestige comes with dark chrome wing mirrors and 17-inch charcoal grey alloy wheels. The biggest changes are in the cabin, which gets a white leather dash and leather sports seats that gradually blend from white to black.

Citroen DS5
On sale: March
Price: £28,000 (est)

The newest member of Citroen’s DS family is billed as a rival to cars like the Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall Insignia. It looks like a hatchback mixed with an estate and features a slightly raised ride height, plus a high-quality cabin with plenty of stylish touches. The big news under the bonnet is the diesel-electric HYbrid4 drivetrain that combines a 163bhp engine with a 34bhp electric motor to create a four-wheel-drive DS5 capable of 0-62mph in 8.6 seconds while emitting only 99g/km of CO2. In Issue 1,187, we said: “The cabin is as stylish and well built as those of its German rivals. The newcomer is also great fun to drive, as well as being perfect for covering a huge number of motorway miles.”

Read our first drive >>

We’ve driven it…
Luke Madden, Motoring writer: “The DS5 is one of the most remarkable cars I’ve driven this year: the interior is genuinely luxurious and the Hybrid4 engine is brilliant. At around £28,000, it’s not cheap, but it really looks sensational out on the road.”

Dacia Duster
On sale: November
Price: £10,000 (est)

Based partly on the previous-generation Renault Clio, the Dacia Duster is available in two and four-wheel-drive variants. Renault’s Romanian budget brand will offer the Duster at a price that undercuts rivals such as the Skoda Yeti and Nissan Qashqai – expect it to start at £10,000. That will buy an 85bhp 1.5-litre front-wheel-drive diesel version. We’ve driven the Duster – it rides and handles well, plus offers plenty of interior space and off-road ability.

Read our first drive >>

Eterniti Hemera
On sale: April (orders)
Price: £150,000

When new British car maker Eterniti Motors launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show back in September, it certainly raised a few eyebrows. Its first model will be the Hemera, which is based on the Porsche Cayenne Turbo but has been stripped down and rebuilt to Eterniti’s own specification. The production model will debut at the Beijing Motor Show in April and the firm has plans to sell 80 cars in 2012.

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