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Volkswagen will unveil the Touareg Hybrid in Detroit

Continuing its trend of going green, with more fuel efficient and economical cars, Volkswagen has just unveiled that it will unveil the new Touareg Hybrid SUV at the Detroit Motor Show, which will happen in January, 2010.

The first hybrid 4×4 from the German automaker will be unveiled and launched in the North American market, where it will take on rivals like the ML450 Hybrid, Lexus RX450h or BMW X6 hybrid. The new model will be powered by a TSI V6 engine, capable of delivering 333 HP, running in tandem with an electric one, which will output 52 HP. According the estimates, the average fuel consumption will be around 9 liters/100 km (26 mpg).

No further details were given, but either way, considering how popular hybrids are these days, the new Touareg might see quite a big success in the countries where it will be launched next year.


Chrysler 200C EV Concept breaks cover in Detroit

It looks like the American carmakers were very well prepared for the Detroit Motor Show, because after GM unveiled the Cadillac Converj Concept, another very good looking electric vehicle was introduced, the Chrysler 200C EV Concept. Though we can’t help noticing a resemblance between the concept and the recently launched Opel Insignia, especially at the front part, the 200C EV (just like the Fisker Karma S Concept, shows that cars can be both environmental friendly and beautiful.

“The Chrysler 200C EV concept represents the perfect blend of provocative design and leading-edge technology, as well as the new Chrysler DNA,” said Frank Klegon, Executive Vice President – Product Development, Chrysler LLC. “Chrysler’s latest concept vehicle combines the benefits of progressive, ENVI Range-extended Electric Vehicle technology – which offers nearly zero emissions during daily commutes – with a design that boasts a combination of modern shapes, a planted athletic stance with classic overtones and an undeniably luxurious interior.”

Using Chrysler ENVI’s Range-extended Electric Vehicle technology, the Chrysler 200C EV is capable of driving up to 40 miles on battery-only power (no fossil fuel is used and there are zero emissions), but the car is also able to have an extended driving range of up to 400 miles, through a small gasoline engine and integrated electric generator that produces electricity. To read more about the technology behind the concept, you can check out the official press release.

So, what can we say, the future looks pretty good. And clean. See more photos of the concept after the jump. (more…)

Convertible Fisker Karma S Concept makes its debut in Detroit

One of the coolest debuts from this year’s Detroit Motor Show was the Fisker Karma S Concept, a plug-in hybrid hardtop convertible which tries to proove that a car can be both environmental friendly and exciting. Based on the same aluminum spaceframe architecture and powered by the same Q-DRIVE powertrain (403 hp from two electric motors) as the Fisker Karma sedan, the car can go up to 50 miles on a single battery charge.

“Our objective is to create a singular design language and heritage around our state-of-the-art Q-DRIVE® powertrain,” said Fisker Automotive, Inc. CEO Henrik Fisker. “The Karma S is an extension of the Fisker Automotive product range of eco-conscious automobiles and sets the tone for our future.” It’s good to see that things are finally getting started with the Karma project, after a lot of talking, Fisker Automotive finally presenting a production ready version of the Sedan in Detroit and now this beauty.

Check out a full photo gallery after the jump. (more…)

Subaru Legacy Concept unveiled at the Detroit Motor Show

After last month’s teaser photo, yesterday the Japanese carmaker has unveiled the Subaru Legacy Concept in Detroit. The car, which previews the next generation Legacy sport sedan, also celebrates 20 years since the first Legacy was introduced (and 3.6 million units sold). Though the teaser photo was really exciting, we can’t say we’re in love with the concept, which is not as sporty or striking as we’d expect. And the concept design’s theme, “Presence” as Subaru calls it, it’s kinda dull actually.

As for the powertrain, details are scarce, Subaru mentioning so far that the Legacy Concept features Symmetrical AWD and is powered by a Horizontally-Opposed 3.6 liter Boxer engine, which should be enough to offer a thrilling ride. We’ll see about that.

More photos and a video after the jump. (more…)

Cadillac Converj electric Concept debuts in Detroit

The Cadillac Converj concept, which debut a couple of days ago at the Detroit Motor Show is GM’s view of the future of luxury transportation. The four-seater coupe is powered by Cadillac’s Voltec electric propulsion technology, made up of a 16 kWh, T-shaped battery, an electric drive unit and a four-cylinder engine generator. The thermally managed battery contains more than 220 lithium-ion cells, offers a 40 miles range and it takes about three hours to fully recharge, at 240V or three hours from a 120V outlet. You might say that the 40 miles range is really low, but the concept also has an ‘extended-range mode’, which reacts when the battery is low. Basically, this means that a flex-fuel powered engines starts creating energy to power the car until it is refueled or the batteries are recharged. The electric drive unit delivers 120 kW (163 hp), 273 lb.-ft. (370 Nm) of torque and is able to take the Converj up to a top speed of 100 km/h (62 mph).

This sounds really good (read full details in the official press release), not to mention the concept looks absolutely amazing, making the Tesla Roadster look like a frog. It’s finally good to see that, in order to save themselves, GM has to “reinvent” their approach on the car market. And this first step is really promising.

Check out more photos of the Cadillac Converj concept after the jump. (more…)

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2010 Lexus HS 250h Luxury Hybrid unveiled in Detroit

The 2009 Detroit Motor Show marked the debut of the 2010 Lexus HS 250h, “the world’s first dedicated luxury hybrid” according to the Japanese carmaker. Placed between the IS luxury sport sedan and the ES luxury sedan, the HS will offer a hybrid choice for entry-luxury car customers. The HS 250h is powered by Lexus’ first four-cylinder engine, the 2.4 liter unit which is a part of the Lexus Hybrid Drive System which generates a total of 187 hp.

Though looking a little better than the rest of the hybrid pack, this is definitely not the most beautiful Lexus around. Like the guys from Carscoop point out, the car shares a lot of styling elements with the new European Toyota Avensis, but still has that chuncky look all hybrids have.

The Lexus HS 250h, which is expected to return a fuel efficiency more than 30-percent better than any current Lexus vehicle and is scheduled to hit US showrooms this summer. For more details on the car, check out the official press release.

And enjoy a full photo gallery after the jump. (more…)

Volkswagen Concept BlueSport debuts in Detroit

In Detroit, under the title “Volkswagen celebrates comeback of the compact roadster”, the German carmaker presented the Concept BlueSport, which is a modern sports car aimed at offering “maximum driving fun with minimal fuel consumption”. “The BlueSport proves to be a compact and passionate car with a clear Volkswagen signature. The car offers pure dynamics with a powerful 180 PS Clean Diesel engine that is combined with the characteristic Volkswagen philosophy of efficiency,” said Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagen’s Chairman of the Board. So, what does the BlueSport offer?

Under the hood, there’s a 180 hp (132 kW) Clean Diesel TDI featuring commonrail injection and downstream NOx storage catalytic converter which, mated to a 6-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission, is able to take the roadster from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.6 seconds and up to a top speed of 226 km/h (140 mph). The fuel consumption figures also look great, with only 4.3 l/100 km (54.7 US mpg), the Concept BlueSport featuring two new technologies, part of the so-called Eco mode (automatic start-stop system and energy regeneration), which lower the fuel consumption by 0.2 liters per 100 km.

The Concept BlueSport also looks very good, the show car having a Flex Silver exterior finish with an orange fabric convertible top, while the interior features, among others, an easy to operate touchscreen and leather upholstered seats in lightweight construction with their single-piece seatbacks.

Check out more photos of the Volkswagen Concept BlueSport after the jump. (more…)

Audi Sportback Concept previews the future A7

At the Detroit Motor Show, which is happening as we speak, the Audi Sportback Concept was unveiled. Though the German carmaker didn’t confirm, the concept most likely previews the future Audi A7 four-doors coupe. A proof that the project is quite advanced is the technology behind the Sportback concept. Under the hood there’s a 3.0 liter V6 TDI clean diesel which delivers 165 kW (225 hp) and 550 Nm (405.66 lb-ft) of torque and with only 156 g/km (251.06 g/mile) of CO2 emissions, it meets the emission standards of all 50 U.S. states and the Euro 6 standard scheduled to take effect in 2014.

Featuring a new 7-speed tiptronic gearbox and quattro permanent all-wheel-drive system, the Audi Sportback Concept is able to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in under 7 seconds and up to a top speed of 245 km/h (152 mph), while managing to achieve a fuel consumption of 5.9 l/100 km (39.87 US mpg), which is, we must say, incredible.

The car looks pretty good, with several styling influences from other VW Group cars (the headlights are similar to those from the Audi R8, while the rear part reminds us of the awesome Lamborghini Estoque, even though Audi mentions that it’s inspired by the A5).

And now check out a complete photo gallery after the jump.

Update: We’ve also added a short video of the concept, released by Audi. (more…)

The new Shelby GT500 based on the 2010 Ford Mustang

With the new 2010 Ford Mustang unveiled about two months ago, it was just a matter of time before we got to see the new Shelby GT500. With its debut scheduled for the Detroit Motor Show next week, the most powerful car to come out of Ford’s Special Vehicle Team (SVT) is powered by a supercharged and intercooled 5.4-liter dual overhead cam V8 engine which is expected to deliver 540 hp and 510 ft-lb of torque.

Among the new features the 2010 Shelby GT500 sports are: nww gearbox enhancements which allows the car to deliver improved acceleration performance and better highway fuel efficiency, aggressive new exterior design with new functional details, such as the hood extractor to remove heat from the engine and “Gurney Flap” spoiler to tune rear downforce and a new exclusive interior featuring genuine materials such as real leather in all seats, real aluminum on the instrument panel and Alcantara inserts on the seats and steering wheel.

Built at the Auto Alliance International Plant in Flat Rock, Michigan, the 2010 Shelby GT500 will be available in dealerships this spring.

More photos after the jump. (more…)

2010 Cadillac SRX officially unveiled before Detroit debut

Yesterday, GM has unveiled the new 2010 Cadillac SRX, one week before the car’s official debut at the Detroit Motor Show. The new mid-size luxury crossover follows Cadillac bold design philosophy and, to be honest, it looks pretty good. Under the hood, the vehicle will be powered by a new 3.0 liter V6 engine (a smaller displacement version of the 3.6 liter V6 from the CTS) with direct injection and variable valve timing, which delivers 260 hp and is mated to a Hydra-Matic 6T70 six-speed automatic transmission that helps save fuel by lowering the engine’s rpm at constant highway speeds.

Because it’s a crossover and owners might want to take it out on more rough terrain, the SRX will be also be availabe with all-wheel-drive systm with rear eLSD. “In icy or wet conditions, the system can transfer up to 100 percent of torque to the wheel that has more grip, while the eLSD also gives the driver enhanced control when cornering hard or completing a high-speed maneuver, such as a lane change, by momentarily applying more or less torque to either of the wheels to help the rear of the vehicle more closely follow the direction of the front wheels. The suspension includes a real-time damping system in conjunction with AWD that adjusts shock damping rates in response to road conditions for a smooth ride quality.

The SRX will also have plenty of safety features, such as the use of martensitic steel in the fully enclosed rocker sections which improves the protection in the case of side impacts, standard head curtain side air bags, standard front seat-mounted pelvic/thorax side air bags, front safety belts with dual pretensioners and load limiters, rollover mitigation sensors, a pedal release system, trailer stability assist. The SRX was also designed to meet European pedestrian protection standards; and the front bumper is positioned for greater compatibility with car bumpers.

The 2010 Cadillac SRX production is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2009 and the first cars will hit dealerships soon after that. Check out more photos after the jump. (more…)

Subaru Legacy Concept to debut next month in Detroit

The 2009 North American International Auto Show will mark the debut of the Subaru Legacy Concept, a vehicle which has two purposes: one is to celebrate 20 years since the Legacy was introduced for the first time and second is to preview the Japanese carmaker’s next generation midsize sedan, which is scheduled to debut in early 2010. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until the show to get more details on the car, because all we have so far is this teaser photo (looks good, though) and some rumors that a new 3.6-liter flat-6 engine will power the car. But stay tuned, because we’ll let you know once we find out more about the car.


Nissan and Infiniti decide to pull out of Detroit Motor Show

Things start to look really bad for the upcoming Detroit Motor Show. After last week Ferrari, Land Rover, Rolls-Royce, Suzuki and then Mitsubishi announced they won’t bring any cars to the show, today Nissan and Inifiniti also announced their decision to pull out of the motor show. The Japanese carmaker said that they’ve unveiled the 370Z and the new Cube at the LA Show and a presence in Detroit is not necessary at the moment, due to the “depressed economy”. They’ve also cancelled their appearance at the Chicago Motor Show, in February. So, more bad news for Detroit organizers and, considering there’s more than a month left until the show, we’re wondering if Nissan will be the last company to pull out of the show.


Volvo releases S60 Concept teaser photo

At the Detroit Motor Show, next January, Volvo will unveiled the S60 Concept, a car which previews the next generation S60, which is scheduled to debut in 2010. After about month ago they released a teaser photo showing the car’s unique Orrefors crystal interior, today we have the first photo of the car’s coupe-like exterior styling.

“The concept car’s design gives a visual promise of enthusiastic driving characteristics and I can assure you that the all-new S60 will deliver a sporty drive like no Volvo before,” says Stephen Odell, President and CEO at Volvo Cars.

“The inspiration comes from the Swedish coastline’s cliffs and seas. An exciting blend of drama and sensuality,” explains Volvo Cars’ design director, Steve Mattin. “This concept car takes our design DNA to the next level. We’re talking about a ‘Dramatic New Approach’, meaning that we gradually turn up our cars’ visual volume. The concept car’s exterior gives a clear indication of what customers can expect of the all-new S60. On the inside we’ve been even more daring – there the focus has been on creating a vision of the future in the slightly longer perspective.”


Several carmakers canceling Detroit appearance

The Detroit Motor Show, which will open its doors on January 11, is the United States largest motor show and is visited by houndreds of thousand visitors every year. However, it look like for some carmakers, having a stand here is not an option anymore, Ferrari, Rolls-Royce, Land Rover and Suzuki announcing they’ve withdrawn from the 2009 show.

“It’s a purely economic decision,” said Suzuki spokesman Jeff Holland, adding that “this is no reflection on the people of Detroit or on the city.” Suzuki, whose US sales declined 12% so far this year (around 100,000 units sold) decided to cut costs and give up on a Detroit show stand, instead, the Japanese carmaker said it will hold a small dinner for reporters before the show. The other carmakers also said money was the most important reason behind their decisions, especially with them not having any new cars to show.

So, after last week we told you about GM canceling any press events for the LA Auto Show, now this, it looks like the motor shows will suffer in the future, and carmakers that won’t having anything really important to show will probably decide to withdraw from motor show and spend their money elsewhere.


Nissan NV2500 light commercial truck concept to debut in Detroit

Nissan North America has released a photo of the NV2500 concept, which will make its world debut at next year’s Detroit Motor Show in January. The light commercial truck concept, beside being one of Nissan’s largest concepts ever presented, will also preview the Japanese carmaker’s entry into the North American Commercial Vehicle market, which will happen sometime in 2010. This comes after Nissan has already announced plans to invest $118 million at its Canton, Miss., plant to build the trucks. That’s about all we have so far on the concept, because Nissan didn’t give too many details, more info coming at the concept’s official launch in January.