Best new car of 2012 shortlist announced

The magazine has asked its readers to choose the car they think is the most exciting new car in 2012 and the 15-strong shortlist throws up several different types of car.

The Renault Zoe is the only electric car in the list. The Clio-size supermini will arrive in summer 2012 and comes with a sub-£13,000 price tag and unique interior which features both calming lights and smells.

It is joined by the more conventional Peugeot 208, a small supermini designed to replace the current Peugeot 207 and boasting impressive fuel economy and a sleek new design based on Peugeot’s new front end.

Ford has two models in the shortlist; the new Ford Kuga will be based on the Ford Vertrek concept unveiled in 2011 and the new Ford B-Max, a compact MPV based on the Ford Fiesta which includes clever sliding doors and road-tax free engine options.

Vauxhall’s single entry is towards the performance end of the market. The 155mph Vauxhall Astra VXR, complete with sports body kit and three-door coupe body style.

However, one of the favourites for the award will be the Jaguar C-X16. Touted as a successor to the iconic Jaguar E-Type, the C-X16 is perhaps more of a standalone two-seat sports car.

It borrows some of its exterior design from the stunning Jaguar C-X75 supercar concept and comes with a hybrid engine layout delivering up to 375bhp.

The Jaguar C-X16 will be direct competition for the Porsche 911 and is one of the most anticipated new cars from the Big Cat for several years.

What Car? readers will vote for their most exciting new car of 2012 and the winner will be announced early in January.

The 2011 title was awarded to the new Range Rover Evoque prior to its UK Land Rover dealership launch in September 2011.