F-H of new cars


Ferrari 599

Our rundown of 2012's hottest new cars continues with letters F to H, with highlights including the new Honda Civic and Focus ST

Ferrari 599
On sale: April
Price: £225,000 (est)

The Ferrari 599 successor arrives at the Geneva Motor Show in March. It gets an updated version of the FF’s 6.3-litre V12 that should produce around 700bhp. Thanks to a lightweight aluminium chassis, it should accelerate from 0-62mph in around three seconds.

Ferrari California
On sale: February
Price: £150,000 (est)

The visual changes to the California are expected to be almost unnoticeable, but there will be a few important tweaks under the skin. The 4.3-litre V8 engine will get an extra 30bhp, taking total power output to 490bhp. The convertible’s kerbweight will be cut by around 35kg, too, thanks to more liberal use of aluminium in the chassis. In addition, the magnetic dampers will be upgraded to improve handling.

Ferrari F70
On sale: September
Price: £750,000 (est)

The previous range-topping Ferrari – known as the Enzo – was the marque’s ultimate road car. The new model promises to be equally impressive, with an ultra-stiff but lightweight carbon fibre chassis and an enormously powerful engine, likely to be an all-new twin-turbocharged V8 with at least 700bhp.

Fiat Panda
On sale: February
Price: £8,500 (est)

For the latest Panda, Fiat has replaced or updated every single part. The car has grown and is now 3.65 metres long – that’s 10cm more than the Fiat 500 – with plenty of space for five adults. The interior is flexible, too, with a split-folding rear seat that slides back and forth and a front passenger seat that folds flat to form a table. Topping the engine range is
a pair of TwinAirs. A normally aspirated version delivers 64bhp, while a turbocharged model boosts that figure to 84bhp. Both get stop-start as standard. Although Fiat has yet to release official economy figures, the cars are tipped to return 70mpg and emit less than 100g/km of CO2.

Read our first drive >>

Fiat Punto Evo TwinAir
On sale: February
Price: £12,000 (est)

It’s update time for the Punto in 2012. It will get Fiat’s 900cc TwinAir two-cylinder engine in its more powerful turbocharged form, producing 84bhp. Performance won’t be blistering, but the sub-100g/km emissions and 60mpg fuel economy will be major selling points.

Fisker Karma
On sale: May
Price: £90,000 (est)

Fisker has plans for expansion, and a right-hand-drive Karma arrives in May. It’ll get an updated exhaust system to reduce engine noise, following criticism of early cars. The range extender is capable of 0-62mph in 5.9 seconds thanks to its pair of 199bhp electric motors and a four-cylinder engine.

Read our first drive >>

We’ve driven it…
Jack Rix, Deputy motoring ed: “Good to hear Fisker is developing a new exhaust system for the Karma – the car I drove sounded pretty harsh. The rest impressed, though. I loved electric-only Stealth mode, which was super-smooth and perky.”

Fisker Surf
On sale: June
Price: £90,000 (est)

Based on the Karma, the Surf is a more practical shooting brake-style estate. It uses the same range-extending hybrid powertrain, offering an identical 5.9-second 0-62mph time and more than 100mpg in electric-only ‘Stealth Mode’. Fisker hopes to tempt people out of conventional estates and sports cars.

Ford B-MAX
On sale: September
Price: £12,000 (est)

At last, Ford is gearing up to replace the underwhelming Fusion with a supermini MPV that will give the Honda Jazz a genuine rival. The new B-MAX is based on the latest Fiesta, yet features sliding doors as well as a spacious five-seater interior. The lack of a central B-pillar should make getting in and out of the newcomer easy. Expect a range of petrol and diesel engines, but the star of the show will be a new 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost.

Ford Fiesta ST
On sale: November
Price: £17,500 (est)

Ford is finally introducing a hot ST version of the new Fiesta. The standard car’s been our favourite supermini for years thanks to its sharp handling, and now it gets a 178bhp 1.6-litre turbo engine to match. That means 0-62mph in less than seven seconds and a top speed around 140mph. However, it will also be efficient, returning around 40mpg and emitting 140g/km
of CO2. The rally-inspired looks include a front splitter, rear diffuser and alloys.

Ford Focus EcoBoost
On sale: April
Price: £16,500 (est)

Could three be the magic number for the Focus? Ford is set to launch a new 123bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo in the spring. It will become the cleanest petrol car in the range, with economy of 56.5mpg and 114g/km CO2 emissions. The engine will also appear in the C-MAX.

Ford Focus Econetic
On sale: April
Price: £18,000 (est)

With tax-free sub-95g/km CO2 emissions and 80mpg-plus fuel economy, the new ECOnetic model will be the Focus to go for. It features a 105bhp 1.6-litre TDCi diesel engine enhanced by improved aerodynamics, reduced friction, a regenerative braking system and stop-start.

Ford Focus EV
On sale: December
Price: £25k (est)

At last, Ford is launching a rival to the Nissan Leaf. Powered by a 123bhp electric motor, the Focus EV has a top speed of 84mph and a range of around 100 miles. Fast-charging the zero-emission hatch will take only four hours. From a household socket, it will take up to eight.

Ford Focus ST
On sale: July
Price: £25,000 (est)

Available as a five-door and an estate, the new Ford Focus ST will have a 247bhp 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder engine driving the front wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox. Expect a 155mph top speed and 0-60mph in six seconds. That’s 5mph and six-tenths faster than the old 222bhp 2.5-litre five-cylinder ST. And it’ll be more economical, too. A Torque Steer Compensation system works with the electric power-steering to stop the steering wheel tugging under hard acceleration. Then there’s a three-stage ESP system that can be set to fully on, fully off or somewhere in between.

Ford Kuga
On sale: Summer
Price: £22,000 (est)

The all-new Kuga will come with two or four-wheel drive and be powered by a range of EcoBoost turbo petrol engines – including a 148bhp 1.6-litre – as well as 1.6 and 2.0-litre versions of Ford’s TDCi diesel. The latter deliver 114bhp, 138bhp and 161bhp. Ford has answered criticism of the current car by improving practicality. The new model has a maximum load area of 1,928 litres – that’s 600 litres more than before – as well as extra rear space for passengers. Additional new technology includes a hands-free bootlid that allows drivers with their hands full to sweep their foot under the rear bumper to open the boot. Factor in a precise drive and it should be a winner.

Ford Ranger
On sale: January
Price: £20,000 (est)

Ford will introduce its rugged Ranger pick-up model to the UK next month, with a 2.5-litre diesel engine producing 141bhp. A larger 3.0-litre diesel offers 153bhp. Buyers can choose from single-cab, double-cab or super-cab models, seating from two to five.

Honda Civic
On sale: January
Price: £16,495

All-new Civic gets an evolutionary design but big changes beneath the skin. Retuned suspension means it now rides better than ever and is more agile and grippy, too. The 1.8-litre petrol and 2.2 i-DTEC diesel engines deliver improved economy, and an efficient 1.6 i-DTEC arrives later in 2012. When we drove the car earlier in the year we were worried it would struggle against more capable rivals. We said: “The new Civic doesn’t feel like it stands out, and while Honda’s loyal customers are likely to be very happy with it, the company could find it doesn’t attract many new buyers.”

Read our first drive >>

We’ve driven it…
Jack Rix, Deputy motoring editor: “The new Civic is much more refined and comfortable than the car it replaces, and the forthcoming green 1.6-litre diesel means it can finally compete with the VW Golf BlueMotion and Ford Focus ECOnetic.”

Honda CR-V
On sale: December
Price: £22k (est)

As we found in our early drive of the new CR-V in Japan, it’s more of a tentative step forward than a revolutionary leap. Nevertheless, it looks good, is powered by efficient engines and has a practical cabin. It’ll face stiff competition from Ford’s new Kuga, though.

Read our first drive >>

Hyundai i20
On sale: June
Price: £10,000 (est)

The Ford Fiesta rival gets a fresh look and improvements to interior quality and engines for 2012. Its front end will be more rounded to bear a stronger resemblance to the all-new i30 – also due in 2012 – while emissions and fuel economy will be improved across the range.

Hyundai i30
On sale: April
Price: £16,000 (est)

With a more daring design than the car it replaces, the new i30 finally looks the part – and it drives very well, too. When we got behind the wheel, we were impressed with how refined and grown-up it felt. A real challenge to class leaders like the VW Golf.

Read our first drive >>

We’ve driven it…
Steve Fowler, Editor-in-chief: “The 2.0-litre diesel’s comfort and refinement amazed me. The cabin’s very spacious and build quality is top-notch.”

Hyundai i40 saloon
On sale: January
Price: £17,395

We’re fans of the Tourer estate version of the i40, and now Hyundai is launching a saloon. Starting at £17,395 for the 1.6-litre petrol Blue Drive, the range tops out at £24,895 for the 1.7-litre diesel Premium model. We’ve driven the diesel, and think it’s an excellent family car.

Hyundai Veloster
On sale: February
Price: £17,995

This stylish VW Scirocco rival can certainly turn a lot of heads. The coupe is practical, too, with two doors on the passenger side to help entry and exit. Under the bonnet lies a 138bhp direct-injection 1.6-litre engine, but unfortunately this is a weak link as it’s sluggish, noisy and requires a lot of revs. Apart from that the Veloster drives well, with plenty of agility, a smooth ride and not much body roll. If the steering had more feel, it could be a real rival for established coupes. Standard kit is good, and if you were to specify a Scirocco to the same level you’d pay £3,000 more, so the Hyundai offers good value. With a 201bhp turbo due later in 2012, it could finally have the engine it deserves, too.

Read our first drive >>

Hyundai Veloster Turbo
On sale: August
Price: £23,000 (est)

If the standard 138bhp 1.6-litre Veloster sounds a bit soft, Hyundai has a treat for you next summer. A turbo version of the same engine will be fitted to the coupe, producing a juicy 201bhp. That puts the car almost on a par with VW’s 207bhp Scirocco 2.0 TSI.


Chart position: 3

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