One of the longest running sports cars in existence, the latest Porsche 911 - codenamed the 991 – goes on sale in the UK from December 2011. Featuring a lower roof, more bulbous headlights and sharper taillights, the front track is also wider, improving handling. The engines have received several tweaks too. The standard Carrera's 3.6-litre flat six cylinder engine is replaced by a smaller 3.4-litre that is more efficient but produces more power at 345bhp. The 3.8-litre found in the Carrera S now produces 394bhp.
The Volvo V40 means that Volvo finally has a five-door hatch to take on the BMW 1 Series, Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz A Class. Despite its estate looks, it's an all-new premium hatch that replaces both the S40 saloon and V50 estate. The V40 boasts an impressive level of standard-fit safety equipment, including the world's first external pedestrian airbag.
The Sportback is the most practical member of Audi's stylish and upmarket A5 family. It joins the A5 Coupé and Cabriolet editions, but adds the practical appeal of four-doors and a spacious boot, accessed through a large hatchback. Audi claims the A5 Sportback has no direct rivals, yet both new BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class come close. And while there is much to recommend the A5's beautiful design and roomy cabin, you might not like the firm ride, and the Sportback is not the best A5 to drive.
The all-new Chrysler 300C is available with a single 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine that produces 236bhp. While it retains its predecessor's muscular body styling, it is definitely more understated, boasting a different grille design and slimmer headlights. The latest version gets a five-speed automatic gearbox, while the top-spec Executive model is fitted with 20-inch alloy wheels and Chrysler's Forward Collision Warning system. The interior displays a more luxurious feel than its predecessor, while the 8.4-inch colour touchscreen is a generous addition. The new Chrysler 300C goes on sale in June 2012 and will go head-to-head with the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, BMW 5 Series and Audi A6 - with prices starting at around £35,000.
The new Suzuki Swift Sport is a hot hatch aimed at buyers looking for strong performance combined with maximum value for money. Competing against the Renaultsport Twingo and Ford Fiesta Zetec S, the hot Suzuki comes with a bargain price tag of under £15,000. Powered by a 134bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine and featuring firmer sports suspension the Swift is very entertaining to drive on twisty, narrow roads - so much so, we named it CarBuyer's 2012 Best Hot Hatchback. It also has a good quality interior and generous cabin space for such a small car.
The FF is a radical departure for Ferrari, as it's the first four-wheel-drive car that the Italian manufacturer has ever produced. It's powered by a 6.3-litre V12 engine and is capable of speeds over 200mph. The distinctive bodywork was designed by Pininfarina, and the FF offers levels of comfort and space which have never previously been seen in a Ferrari.
The Chevrolet Camaro is available as a two-door coupe or this convertible version, which has been fitted with the 400bhp 6.2-litre V8 engine from the Corvette. This means it's capable of going from 0-62mph in just 5.6 seconds and on to a top speed of 155mph. The Camaro is only available in left-hand-drive, which means it will have limited appeal in the UK. And although it has a relatively low price tag of around £40,000, running costs will be sky high - Chevrolet claims it can return 21.5mpg and emit 304g/km of CO2. But the Camaro is sure to grab attention, whatever the occasion.
The Vauxhall Astra VXR is the most powerful front-wheel-drive hot hatch currently on sale. That's because under the bonnet there's a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine with 276bhp that means it's good for 0-62mph in just 5.9 seconds.
The VXR is based on the beautiful Astra GTC, which is a very good starting point. However, Vauxhall has beefed it up with a muscular bodykit, huge alloy wheels and a rear spoiler. There's also a mechanical limited-slip differential for improved traction when exiting corners, while Vauxhall's HiPer Strut front suspension is designed to make the VXR even more stable on the road.
The new Lexus GS is a fresh start for Toyota's luxury brand. Not content with a reputation for luxurious, reliable and well-equipped cars, Lexus now wants to inject a bit of excitement into its brand and says all new models will look more stylish and be more fun to drive. So the BMW 5 Series rival gets a totally redesigned body with a sharp-looking front end that features LED daytime running lights and a neat grille. Under the skin, the totally new chassis features adaptive suspension and, on F Sport models, lots of gadgets aimed at improving the handling. As for engine choices, Lexus has updated the GS 450h flagship hybrid, and brought in a new entry-level 208bhp 2.5-litre V6 petrol called the GS 250. There is still no diesel, though – Lexus says it will try to compete with cars like the BMW 520d by offering an all-new small petrol hybrid later in the GS' life.
The SEAT Mii is the Spanish firm's version of the Volkswagen up! and Skoda Citigo. The Mii is easily recognisable as a SEAT thanks to its narrower grille design and larger headlights. At the rear, the glass tailgate is replaced by a metal version while SEAT's own unique tailights are also different. The interior is spacious for such a small car, the five-door version also adds decent practicality. Under the body, changes to the existing up! platform and running gear are minimal. The same 1.0-litre petrol engines are available in either 60bhp or 75bhp form, both capable of around 60mpg. Priced slightly less than the Volkswagen up!, the Mii looks like a relative bargain, especially when compared to the Toyota Aygo and Citroen C1.