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Taking a virtual tour at Toyota’s booth from 2012 NAIAS

Toyota NS4

Have you missed this year’s edition of the North American International Auto Show? Well, Toyota invites you to do a virtual tour of its booth at the NAIAS event where you will be able to have a look at all of the vehicles that were on Toyota’s booth. It feels like you’re really there, without having to worry about the noise and crowd.

The highlight of Toyota’s booth this year was probably the NS4 plug-in hybrid which previews the next generation of hybrids. Here’s a teaser with the car.

Aside from the NS4, Toyota also brought  the Prius family of efficient vehicles, including the Prius c, Prius v, Prius Plug-in hybrid and the third generation of the Prius. Aside from these, the Japanese automaker brought the FCV-R and the Fun-Vii. The first one is a next-gen fuel-cell practical sedan-type concept fueled by hydrogen, while the latter previews a future in which cars and society are linked to one another.

You can take the virtual tour by heading down to the Toyota Global website

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Chevrolet brings two affordable coupe concepts to NAIAS

Chevrolet Code 130R

This year at the Detroit Motor Show, General Motors brought two Chevrolet sports coupe concepts that offer seating for four while staying on a strict budget. Both concepts were developed based on the feedback that GM received from young consumers in the U.S. in 2011.

Chevrolet Code 130R

The first one wears the name Code 130R which even though looks like its wearing a Corvette face and Camaro tail lamps, its size, proportions and the profile remind us of the BMW 1-Series Coupe but considerably more attractive.

Chevrolet Code 130R

Wearing a red metallic paint with matte anodized rims, the car can be considered as a classic GT and it comes with a rear-wheel drive system and a front-mounted engine. It is motivated by a 1.4-liter Turbo Ecotec engine that features the eAssist micro-hybrid technology developed by General Motors for reducing CO2 emissions and fuel consumption.

Chevrolet Tru 140S

The second concept unveiled at NAIAS this year is the Tru 140S which is a more modern take on a small sports coupe. It has a 1.4-liter Turbo Ecotec power unit and features eAssist with a FWD configuration.

Chevrolet Tru 140S

According to GM, this engine can produce approximately 150 hp and is capable of returing 40 mpg on both concepts. If these concepts will see the light of day, their price will be “in the low $20,000s”.

Chevrolet Tru 140S

Source: General Motors

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Honda/Acura NSX Sports Hybrid Concept debuts at NAIAS

Acura NSX

The Japanese automaker Acura has introduced this year at the Detroit Motor Show yet another concept of the NSX. Honda/Acura have come up with a bunch of concepts over the last few years for a replacement of the legendary NSX that was manufactured between 1990 and 2005.None of these concepts got the green light for production but Acura said that the latest one will see the light of the day within the next three years.

Acura NSX

Acura says that the new generation of the NSX will be developed by an engineering team led by Honda R&D Americas, and it will be manufactured in Ohio but we don’t know the name of the facility where this will happen. Just like the original model, this NSX concept has a mid-mounted V6 naturally aspirated engine that benefits from Acura’s Sport Hybrid SH-AWD hybrid system that has not one, but three electric motors. For those of you that don’t know, SH-AWD stands for Super Handling All Wheel Drive.

Acura NSX

This new VTEC V6 engine benefits from direct injection and is mated to a dual clutch gearbox that has a built-in electric motor. Aside from this, there is a two-motor electric-drive unit that is capable of providing torque to the wheels in the front during cornering in order to improve the NSX’s handling. As you would expect, this NSX concept features a lot of lightweight materials to keep the weight of the car as down as possible.

Acura NSX

Source: Acura

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Audi Q3 Vail debuts at 2012 NAIAS

Audi Q3 Vail

The Ingolstadt-based automaker Audi has brought to this year’s edition of the NAIAS a winter-themed version of the Q3. The company said that the Q3 Vail is a “potential variation on the SUV concept” and has been developed for those customers who like snowboarding and skiing.

Audi Q3 Vail

This concept got its name from the famous winter sports event that is organized in the U.S. Under its hood there’s a 5-cylinder 2.5-liter TFSI power unit that pumps out 314 hp (231 kW) and a peak torque of 295 lb.-ft (400 Nm). This engine is linked to a 7-speed S tronic gearbox which enables the concept to do the 0-62 mph sprint in 5.5 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 162 mph (262 km/h).

Audi Q3 Vail

Some of the car’s special features include the bespoke Energy Red paint that has golden pearlescent particles, while some of the car’s parts are finished in a matt grey quartz-based paint. Other parts of the Q3 Vail wear a high gloss black finish or are manufactured from aluminum. The car comes with wider fenders, a bespoke front grille, along with aluminum rails that have built-in LED lights.

Audi Q3 Vail

The Audi Q3 Vail is riding on 8.5 J x 20 alloys that are wrapped around in 255/45 off-road tires. Both front and rear tracks of the concept are 1.57 inches (40 mm) wider in comparison to the ones of the standard model, while the ride height has been increased by 1.18 inches (30 mm). Other modifications include a specially designed exhaust system that has tailpipes which are integrated in the rear diffuser.

Audi Q3 Vail

Inside the cabin Audi installed Alcantara and leather upholstery, a bunch of aluminum trim parts and red velvet accents. The car’s MMI system is capable of displaying an animation that represents the longitudinal and latitudinal tilt angle of the SUV. Also on board is a charging station which has been integrated into the sidewall of the boot, while a Thermos bottle is placed between the Q3’s front seats.

Audi Q3 Vail

The car also has specially designed flashlights that feature infrared heating and can be used for warming the driver’s hands as well as his ski boots. Other than that, it comes with a boot mat that has heated seat cushions.

Source: Audi

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Mercedes-Benz E300 BlueTEC HYBRID debuts at NAIAS

2013 Mercedes-Benz E300 BlueTec Hybrid

Mercedes unveiled last week at the Detroit Motor Show the most efficient E-Class model ever built, which is also the most efficient large executive car out there. Set to go on sale this summer, the car has a 4-cylinder, 2.1-liter diesel engine that generates 201 hp and is boosted by a 20 kW electric motor.

Along with the lithium-ion battery pack, the car is capable of returning 67.3 mpg UK and has CO2 emissions of only 109 g/km, which is considerably better in comparison to the current class leader, the BMW 520d EfficientDynamics (non-hybrid) that returns 62.8 mpg UK and has CO2 emissions of 119 g/km.

However, we should mention that the BMW costs 30,435 pounds while the Mercedes will cost somewhere around 40,000 pounds. We don’t have any official details regarding the performance of the car, but we should expect a 0-62 mph sprint in approximately 7 seconds.

The Mercedes-Benz E300 BlueTEC HYBRID has a stop/start system and a “ sailing mode” where the power unit is switched off when the car is driven up to cruising speed on the highway, thus allowing the aforementioned electric motor power the sedan. This hybrid system will also be available for the estate model and it doesn’t occupy any of the boot space thanks to its compact configuration.

Source: Mercedes-Benz via Auto Express.co.uk

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Toyota RAV4 EV arrives at NAIAS

Toyota RAV4 EV

Created in partnership with Tesla Motors, Toyota unveiled this week at the 2012 Detroit Motor Show the EV version of the RAV4. As you would expect, the electric model is based on the conventional-powered RAV4 and has a front-wheel drive configuration.

It features a 150 hp electric motor that is linked to a big 50 kWh battery. We say big because the one that the Nissan Leaf has is able to store up to 24 kWh so it’s more than double the size. Charging from a conventional plug socket takes about 12 hours due to the size of the batteries.

With a full charge, the Toyota RAV4 EV is able to provide a range of up to 150 miles and should offer similar performances to a 6-cylinder-powered cars. It will be able to do the 0-62 mph sprint in a decent 9 seconds, on its way to an electronically limited top speed of 100 mph. These are some pretty good figures coming from an electric vehicle.

The good news is that Toyota has already started the production of the car but the thing is that they will make only a few hundred of them while the company evaluates the batter technology provided by Tesla. In addition, they also have to figure out the customer driving habits. The company’s purpose is “to grow trust in the product, and gain experience.”

Aside from this EV, Toyota is also working hard on an electric version of the petite iQ which in the United States will be sold as a Scion starting with this year. This one offers a range of only 50 miles so it probably won’t be sold to the general public. Instead, it will most likely be leased to car sharing schemes and clubs, in an attempt to learn more about how these cars manage to do in today’s harsh traffic conditions. As we reporter in previous articles, the car will be manufacture at one of Toyota’s factories, not at Tesla Motors.

It seems that the automotive industry is going greener and greener, which some consider to be a good thing. We will let you be the judge of that.

Source: Toyota via Auto Express

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Toyota reveals NS4 concept in Detroit

Toyota NS4

The Japanese automaker Toyota has brought to this year’s edition of the NAIAS show an advanced future plug-in hybrid sedan which they’ve called the NS4. This can be considered as a preview of the company’s future design language.

Toyota NS4

We don’t have any details regarding the powertrain of the car but the company said that it is lighter and smaller in comparison to current plug-in hybrid systems, including the firm’s system which can be found in the Prius plug-in model. According to Toyota, this new system is capable of improving fuel economy, the all-electric range and the acceleration of the car, while at the same time shorten the time necessary for recharging.

Toyota NS4

The front grille of the Toyota NS4 has a bold look, while the front bumper is sculpted. We also notice a lower spoiler and the inclusion of LED daytime running lights. At the back we find wraparound lights that have been designed to look like a rear spoiler. The car also features powered swan-wing doors and a trick roofline for optimizing the interior cabin.

Toyota NS4

This interesting concept from Toyota is also fitted with an advanced infotainment system and also a quick preview of the company’s new generation of safety equipment. The center console of the NS4 holds a touchscreen display that has been created to imitate a smartphone. From this touchscreen the driver can control just about all the available controls.

Toyota NS4

We’ve mentioned new safety equipment so let’s talk about the inclusion of a new blind-spot monitor, next-gen pre-collision detection system and adaptive headlights. In addition, it also has a clever pop-up hood so that in case of a pedestrian collision it can automatically raise the rear of the hood in order to help prevent head injuries.

Toyota NS4

To improve the NS4’s fuel efficiency, the Japanese engineers from Toyota have developed a new glass technology which is more aerodynamic and lighter, while at the same time being more resistant to fogging and rain for improving the visibility. The automaker has also ditched the conventional mirrors in favor of cameras that Toyota says provide a wider field of vision.

Source: Toyota via Autocar.co.uk

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Nissan Pathfinder concept revealed at 2012 NAIAS

Nissan Pathfinder Concept

Nissan revealed a concept of its successful Pathfinder model at the 2012 Detroit Motor Show, a concept that previews the production version which will be out this fall. The most significant change in comparison to the current third generation model would have to be the unibody construction, compared to the body-on frame architecture of the outgoing model. This isn’t the first time when Nissan uses the unibody construction as the first generation model had this setup.

Nissan Pathfinder Concept

With the new generation, Nissan is attempting to give the Pathfinder a more crossover appearance, instead of the rugged styling of the third generation version. Inside the cabin it is going to be more luxurious and should pack a bunch of technological goodies. The automaker mentioned that the legroom will be excellent for all three rows, while the cargo room behind the third row of seats will be ample.

Nissan Pathfinder Concept

Under the hood of the Nissan Pathfinder there will be a V6 engine which will be mated to a new generation of the continuously variable transmission, which should make the Pathfinder the most fuel-efficient seven-passenger car on the market, according to the automaker. The car is projected to be 25% more fuel efficient in combined city/highway driving in comparison to the outgoing V6.

Source: Nissan

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2012 Detroit Motor Show – Acura RDX Concept

2013 Acura RDX Concept

Acura unveiled this week in Detroit the RDX concept which previews the next generation of the model that is scheduled to go on sale later on this spring. This is a five-seat crossover that will be fitted with a new all-wheel drive system. Another novelty of the model would have to be the V6 3.5-liter engine that produces 273 hp, which is 33 hp more in comparison to the current model.

2013 Acura RDX Concept

The power unit is going to be mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox that will increase the RDX’s mileage. Fuel efficiency will be further improved thanks to the installation of a lighter AWD system and the lock-up torque converter. The 2013 Acura RDX will be able to return 20 mpg in the city while on the highway it should do 28 mpg. Needless to say, the front-wheel drive version will be the most frugal RDX.

2013 Acura RDX Concept

The new model will have a longer wheelbase as well as a wider track which will probably improve its stability and it should also increase the cornering speeds. The crossover will be fitted with Amplitude Reactive Dampers that should improve the car’s handling. Aside from this, Acura’s engineers will be fitting the new generation of the RDX with a motion adaptive electric power steering system.

2013 Acura RDX Concept

On the outside we notice a bunch of styling changes that all provide a more sculpted look which should be considered more appealing. Acura says that the materials used inside  have been improved and the company’s Active Sound Control team has worked hard to make the interior cabin as quiet as possible. We should expect to find an increased cargo space, more passenger room and a power rear tailgate.

2013 Acura RDX Concept

As far as the goodies are concerned, the new 2013 Acura RDX will come with keyless access, AcuraLink Satellite Communication System, Pandora internet radio with SMS function, start button and a new navigation system which will feature voice recognition. The driver will benefit from the rerouting system as well as real-time traffic and weather information. For storing music and satellite navigation information, the car will come with a 60GB hard drive.

Source: Acura via ZerCustoms

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Volkswagen E-Bugster launched at 2012 NAIAS

Volkswagen E-Bugster

Volkswagen revealed this week during the Detroit Motor Show the E-Bugster concept which is based on the new generation of the Beetle and it is considered to be a preview of the upcoming Beetle Cabriolet and the company’s electric powertrain technology.

The electric powertrain of this concept consists of a 114 hp motor that generates 199 lb.-ft of torque. VW installed the lithium-ion battery on the rear side of the vehicle and it has a curb weight of 315 kg. The E-Bugster can be driven for distance of up to 80 miles, and it needs only half an hour to fill up the batteries to their 80% capacity.

Source: Volkswagen via Autocar.co.uk

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2012 Toyota Prius C debuts at NAIAS

2012 Toyota Prius C

The Japanese automaker Toyota has officially unveiled the Prius C compact hybrid hatchback at this year’s edition of the Detroit Motor Show. This is the fourth member in the Prius family and will be the most affordable hybrid from Toyota, with a base price tag of less than $20,000.

The car is considerably smaller in comparison to the mid-size Prius hatchback and Toyota expects that it will have a combined EPA rating of 50 mpg. The automaker is highlighting the C’s 53 mpg EPA rating which is the highest one among non plug-in cars commercialized in the United States. Its highway rating is of 46 mpg, which means that the combined rating is 50 mpg.

2012 Toyota Prius C

Toyota has said that the new Prius C is a subcompact model and it is 19 inches shorter in comparison to the regular Prius hatchback, almost 2 inches lower and 2 inches narrower. It will also be more than 500 pounds lighter than the standard Prius hatchback. According to the automaker, every single element of the Hybrid Synergy Drive system has been redesigned in order to lower the weight and the size of the parts. This more compact hybrid system is also implemented in the European version of the Yaris Hybrid.

The company has installed the fuel tank and the nickel-metal-hybrid battery pack under the rear seat, allowing for a deeper rear load bay in comparison to the one available for the bigger Prius hybrid which has its battery pack located under the car’s rear deck. According to Toyota, the C is capable of offering 17.1 cubic feet of cargo.

2012 Toyota Prius C

Toyota’s new model features an Atkinson Cycle 1.5-liter gasoline power unit that generates 73 hp and comes with a 60 hp (45 kW) electric motor-generator, which means that the total output is of 99 hp. Just like all of the recent Prius models, the driver of the C can switch between Normal, Eco and EV drive modes. At speeds of up to 25 mph, the 2012 Toyota Prius C can travel for less than a mile.

Scheduled to go on sale this spring, the car will be available with four different trim levels, while the cheapest model will set you back somewhere around $19,000. As standard, the car will feature a generous 3.5-inch color TFT information display, as well as iPod connectivity via USB port and Bluetooth hands-free mobile phone capabilities.

2012 Toyota Prius C

Also in the car’s standard configuration will be the automatic climate control, remote keyless entry, along with telescoping and tilting steering wheel with built-in audio controls. Those who want extra goodies can get the Prius C with 16-inch alloy wheels, a navigation system and Display Audio with the company’s own Entune infotainment and connectivity system.

Source: Toyota via Green Car Reports

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2013 Cadillac ATS debuts at Detroit Motor Show

2013 Cadillac ATS

Here it is, the new rival for the BMW 3-Series. It is Cadillac’s response to the German sedan and it’s called the ATS. The new model is 0.3 inches longer than a 3-Series and it is developed on a new corporate architecture which General Motors called Alpha. This offers support for rear- and all-wheel drive configurations, both of them being available for the ATS.

2013 Cadillac ATS

Designed to rival the luxury compact sedans from all over the world, the all-new 2013 Cadillac ATS features a five-link rear and front struts, along with a variable-assist electric power steering developed by ZF and disc brakes on all four wheels. We should mention that the more expensive variants of the car will have Brembo disc brakes to provide the stopping power.

2013 Cadillac ATS

The car can be fitted with 17- or 18-inch rims with 225/35ZR19 all-season run-flat tires for those who can pay the extra buck. Also an optional feature will be the driver-adjustable FE3 sport suspension that features Magnetic Ride Control real-time damping.

2013 Cadillac ATS

The entry-level model is equipped with a 4-cylinder 2.5-liter engine that develops 200 hp and a peak torque of 188 lb.-ft. For more money you could get the turbocharged 4-cylinder 2.0-liter that generates 270 hp and a maximum torque of 260 lb.-ft, while the most powerful engine will be the V6 3.6-liter engine that pumps out 318 hp and 267 lb.-ft. All of these DOHC engines are direct injected, while the transmission options include a 6-speed manual (Tremec M3L TR3160) and a 6-speed automatic (Hydra-Matic 6L45).

2013 Cadillac ATS

The cabin of the 2013 Cadillac ATS is trimmed in a mixture of wood, metal, leather and carbon fiber. Also on board is an LED gauge cluster, a push-button start, ambient lightning, satellite radio, along with optional performance seats that have power-adjustable bolsters. There’s also a generous 8-inch LCD multi-touch screen part of the CUE infotainment system that can pair data from a smartphone or any other type of mobile device that has Bluetooth support.

2013 Cadillac ATS

For those with big pockets, the ATS can be fitted with an impressive reconfigurable full color head-up display, a powerful Bose surround sound audio system, satellite navigation, along with front + rear automatic brakes that have short range radar and ultrasonic sensors. In addition, the 2013 Cadillac ATS will be available for order with a side blind-zone alert, lane departure warning, forward collision alert, adaptive cruise control, adaptive headlamps and a rear back-up camera.

2013 Cadillac ATS

The looks? We’ll let you be the judge of that. Personally, I’m not a big fan of the back. The rest of the cars looks nice, but it’s not a BMW 3-Series.

Source: General Motors via Inside Line

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