The focus on fuel efficiency that has swept across the automotive world has touched the luxury segment, a bastion of high-powered engines. That’s beginning to change, as a number of redesigned luxury models are available with four-cylinder power for 2012. There are also a few new hybrids. A selection of new luxury cars is listed below. All cars are listed in alphabetical order and from the 2012 model year.
Audi A6 ($41,700 – $49,900)
Just a few years ago, the A6 midsize luxury sedan was available with a V-8 engine, but versions of the redesigned 2012 model make do with half as many cylinders as a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder joins the lineup.
- Turbo four-cylinder or supercharged V-6
- CVT or eight-speed automatic
- FWD or AWD
- Available Wi-Fi hotspot capability
- Available LED headlights
Audi A7 ($59,250)
Luxury automakers are somewhat infatuated with four-door cars that look like coupes, and Audi is the latest manufacturer to join the fray with the A7. Its coupe-like profile is convincing, but a large hatch gives it a surprising amount of practicality.
- Supercharged V-6
- Eight-speed automatic transmission
- Seats four
- Standard AWD
- Available Google Earth navigation overlay
BMW 650i ($83,000 – $90,500)
There’s still power to be had in the luxury segment, and the redesigned 650i is a case in point. Available in coupe or convertible form, the 650i has a 400-horsepower, twin-turbo V-8 engine, and enthusiasts will appreciate the available six-speed manual transmission.
- Standard iDrive system
- Rear-wheel drive
- Available 20-inch wheels
- Available head-up display
- Available night vision technology
Buick Regal GS ($34,450)
Buick hasn’t had a reputation for performance cars in years, but the Regal GS aims to change that. It’s powered by a 270-hp, turbocharged four-cylinder that works with a six-speed manual transmission to achieve a zero-to-60-mph estimate of 6.7 seconds.
- Platform hails from Europe
- Manual or automatic transmission
- Front-wheel drive
- Adaptive suspension
- Buick IntelliLink with enhanced smartphone connectivity
Infiniti M35h ($53,700)
Infiniti’s first hybrid, the M35h offers both performance — its gas/electric drivetrain makes a combined 360 hp — and fuel efficiency, as it gets an EPA-estimated 29 mpg in combined driving, which is better than some compact cars.
- Electric-only operation up to 62 mph possible
- Lithium-ion battery pack
- 3.5-liter V-6
- Seven-speed automatic
- Available Bose surround-sound system
Land Rover Range Rover Evoque ($43,145 – $44,145)
Traditionally a maker or big off-road-ready SUVs, Land Rover’s new Range Rover Evoque is something entirely different — it’s a small crossover designed to appeal to new customers. It features a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and is available in two- or four-door form.
- 240-hp four-cylinder
- Six-speed automatic
- All-wheel drive with Terrain Response
- Available adaptive suspension
- Available surround camera system
Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class ($71,300 – $94,900)
Now in its second generation, Mercedes’ coupe-like four-door, the CLS-Class, features all-new styling and a range of forced-induction V-8 engines that are smaller and more efficient than the preceding V-8s but get better gas mileage.
- Standard 402-hp, twin-turbo V-8
- Seven-speed automatic
- RWD or AWD
- High-performance CLS63 AMG model
- AMG version features stop/start engine technology
Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class ($54,800)
Featuring a new face that makes it look like Mercedes’ SLS AMG gull-wing supercar, the SLK-Class roadster gains a turbocharged four-cylinder engine for 2012. Driver-controlled tinting of the optional panoramic roof is available.
- Power-retractable hardtop
- Turbo four-cylinder or 3.5-liter V-6
- Six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic
- High-performance SLK55 AMG model
- Standard Attention Assist drowsy-driver sensor