2012 BUZZ Car Madness Part 4 - Mid-Majors Bottom Bracket

The NCAA Tournament for car guys is brought to you by CarBuzz, the #1 application for automotive news. Words by Phillip Harbor.

BUZZ Car Madness, the automotive-nerd edition of NCAA March Madness, is rolling along with the bottom half of the Mid-Major Bracket. Consisting of economy and pedestrian production cars, there are a couple performance rides that didn't quite make the grade in the Powerhouse Bracket and were thrown in here as well to compete against the pack. Winners yesterday included #1 Touring Superleggera Disco Volante, #4 Jaguar XF Sportbrake, #5 2013 Porsche Boxster and #8 MINI JCW Countryman.

Mid-Major Bracket - Game 5: #6 Seed ItalDesign Brivido vs. #11 Seed Chevrolet Cruze Station Wagon The stunning ItalDesign Brivido runs on a hybrid system featuring a 3-liter 6-cylinder gasoline engine paired to an electric motor good for a total output of 360hp. The all-new design takes on the Chevy Cruze Wagon, a new variant which features the family's entire lineup of 5 powerplants. The Cruze Wagon features 1,500-liters of space, all of which won't make it to the U.S. as this model is destined for foreign markets only.

You Might Also Like
Stunning Retro Concepts That Should Have Been Made
Stunning Retro Concepts That Should Have Been Made
The Ultimate Dream Car Garages
The Ultimate Dream Car Garages

The Cruze front-end with a generic wagon rear doesn't come close to the Brivido's gull-wing door design and its futuristic interior and rear. Winner: #6 Seed ItalDesign Brivido

Mid-Major Bracket - Game 6: #3 Seed Maserati GranTurismo Sport vs. #14 2012 Hyundai i20 Facelift In the NCAA West bracket, #3 Marquette beat #14 BYU 88-68. Much like Marquette, the Maserati GranTurismo Sport just has too many weapons for the Hyundai i20 Facelift. We are talking a 4.7-liter V8 which develops 453hp and 383lb-ft of torque for a 0-62mph sprint of 4.8 seconds and a top speed of 186mph. The redesigned i20 hatch boasts a 90hp 1.4-liter U-II diesel engine. The blowout is on and the Maserati GranTurismo Sport heads into round two against the ItalDesign Brivido. Winner: #3 Seed Maserati GranTurismo

Mid-Major Bracket - Game 7: #7 Seed Audi A3 Hatch vs. #10 Seed Ford Fiesta ST Game #7 features a battle of hatches, one from Audi and a hot one from Ford. The Ford Fiesta ST's rear lip spoiler and distinct character line on the side equal out the Audi A3's excellently-aggressive front-end and its slick, powerful profile. The ST's interior features a pair of racing seats, gripped pedals and a high-tech center console and display. The A3 stays a bit more conservative on the interior but Audi's leather wrap, pop-up display screen and the wireless phone-charging "Audi Phone Box" are nice touches.

The A3 utilizes three engines, the top of the line motor being the 180hp 1.8-liter TFSI with pricing around $30,000 (£19,000). The Fiesta ST packs a 1.6-liter EcoBoost four pot with 180hp and 177lb-ft of torque and should be priced between $13,200-17,500. The latter is cheaper, just as fun and looks just as good. The Fiesta ST pulls a Xavier over Audi's Notre Dame. Winner: #10 Seed Ford Fiesta ST

Mid-Major Bracket - Game 8: #2 Seed Mercedes-Benz A-Class Hatchback vs. #15 Seed SsangYong Actyon Sport The Mercedes-Benz A-Class is an aggressive five-door hatch built to rival the BMW 1-Series and give the three-pointed star brand a luxury hatchback in their lineup. The FWD configured model makes 208hp out of its top-end 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. Two more gasoline engines and two more diesels are also available. The SsangYong Actyon Sport is production-ready and runs on a 155hp e-XDi active diesel engine with 265lb-ft of torque.

The pick-up features heated leather seats, a mesh radiator grille, restyled front fascia and a large bed. The A-Class hatch has made waves all throughout the world and should be a fun ride with a big price tag, but it boasts luxury and a driving experience that the Actyon Sport just doesn't. Winner: #2 Seed Mercedes-Benz A-Class Hatchback Stay tuned for the Sweet 16 of the 2012 BUZZ Car Madness.

Gallery

9
PHOTOS