TRYING to keep abreast of all the comings and goings at Volkswagen in 2012 must have seriously tested the German marque's dealer network.
The new up! three-door compact city car started to make its presence felt in March, followed by first deliveries of the new Beetle in April.
That same month saw the revised CC Coupé make its way to dealers, while in May, a new Passat Alltrack four-wheel-drive estate was added to the range.
June saw a GTI version of the new Golf Cabriolet hit the streets and the five-door Up! made its UK debut in July.
One of the star acts was undoubtedly the new CC, now missing its Passat tag as VW strived to take the model more upmarket and give it an identity of its own.
Basically a heavily-revised version of the Passat CC introduced in 2007, it retained the sporty coupé styling of its predecessor while adding a host of individual touches to move the model on.
On the outside, the new nose took on the VW family trait which also helped make the car appear wider.
The new chrome grille was flanked with light clusters which incorporated running lamps while high-intensity LEDs were fitted to the rear for added safety.
Inside, the finish was top quality so you immediately realised you were being cocooned in a premium-quality machine without a silly premium price tag and there was masses of space for five adults.
Competitively priced, the CC was offered in standard and GT trim that had a generous standard specification list that included touchscreen sat nav system, 2Zone climate control, DAB digital radio, iPod and Bluetooth connectivity, 17-inch alloy wheels, bi-xenon headlights and brake energy recuperation.
Safety features included a driver alert system, ESP electronic stabilisation programme and four-way adjustable front head restraints which reduced the risk of whiplash.
The flagship GT came beautifully appointed, with full Nappa leather upholstery with heated front seats, three-mode adaptive chassis control, cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, 18-inch alloy wheels, front fog lights and heat-insulating and sound-deadening tinted glass fitted as standard.
The entry-level CC came with VW's powerful 157bhp 1.8 TSI petrol unit, while a 207bhp two-litre engine was reserved for the GT trim model. However, it was the pair of two-litre diesel variants - both featuring BlueMotion Technology - which proved to be the models of choice.
The 137bhp standard-bearing powerhouse of the VW group proved the most popular. And it was easy to see why, with its gutsy 130mph performance offering masses of torque coupled with 60mpg economy and low 125g/km emmisions.
The more-powerful 177bhp version was even faster and pulled like a train. Yet fuel economy was not excessively compromised with its claimed 57.6mpg.
This version also featured Volkswagen's XDS box of tricks, which worked in conjunction with the traction control system to electronically mimic a mechanical differential. The end result was sharper handling and better grip, so that's the one to look out for.
A manual 2012 62-plate two-litre diesel model in GT spec with around 50,000 miles on the clock will set you back anything from £9,840 to £12,630. Move on to 2013 and 63-plate models showing around 40,000 miles and you will have to pay from £11,245 to £13,990.
Twin-clutch DSG automatic versions will carry a premium of up to £600 over the above prices.