New products from Big Three headline auto show



The revival of the Big Three U.S. automakers is on display this year at the North American International Auto Show in the form of some hot new models that appear ready to help American manufacturers gain even a bigger share of the market in the next few years.

Ford is showing its top-selling mid-sized sedan, the Fusion, as an all new vehicle. The Fusion has been completely redesigned for the 2013 model year and will go on sale in mid-year. Get the full story and pictures below.

General Motors is touting its new compact Cadillac, called the ATS, to help the American luxury brand create market share at the bottom end of the luxury ranks and go to battle with the vaunted BMW 3-Series.

Chrysler is introducing its first all-new subcompact car in years. Chrysler dusted off the Dart name and attached it to the new car, the Dodge Dart, which, from initial appearance will jump off the showroom floor later this year.

The spectacle, more commonly known as the Detroit Auto Show,  is Cobo Arena will be open to the public from Jan. 14 through Jan. 22 with dozens of new productions vehicles and concept cars designed to show off the design of automakers. For the first time since the auto industry tanked a few years ago, virtually every major automaker selling vehicles in North America will have vehicles on display.

Please enjoy the highlights from what is still the premier auto show in the United States.


Representing the leading edge of a wave of new products and technologies, Acura unveiled three new vehicles at the North American International Auto Show, including a concept version of the all-new gateway to the Acura brand, the ILX luxury compact sedan; a prototype of the 2013 RDX crossover sport utility vehicle; and the NSX Concept, which presages the direction for Acura's next-generation supercar.

Acura also announced that the next-generation NSX will feature Acura's innovative new Sport Hybrid SH-AWD technology and that the vehicle will be developed by Honda R&D Americas and manufactured in Ohio.

"Over the next 24 months the Acura brand will unleash a series of new models that will remake our product lineup and shake up the luxury market," said Jeff Conrad, vice president and general manager of Acura. "Acura will once again defy conventional wisdom to become one of the top luxury brands by creating luxury vehicles based on our own unique values."

Debuting three new models in Detroit heralds the beginning of Acura's second 25 years as a premium luxury-performance automobile brand.

Acura ILX Concept

The Acura ILX Concept is the precursor to an all-new Acura luxury compact sedan scheduled for launch in Spring 2012. To be positioned as the gateway to the Acura brand, the ILX will feature three different powertrains, including Acura's first-ever gas-electric hybrid.

"First time luxury buyers place the highest value on exterior styling, affordability and environmental issues and that's a virtual definition of what we have created with the new Acura ILX," said Jon Ikeda, head of the Acura Design Studio. "The strategy behind this new model is to position ILX as the first opportunity for many young buyers to enter the luxury market."

The lineup of ILX models will include an entry-level model powered by a 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder engine; a high-performance model with a 2.4-liter inline 4-cylinder engine paired with a six-speed manual transmission; and a 1.5-liter gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain, Acura's first-ever hybrid offering.

Acura RDX

Shown as a prototype version of the 2013 RDX, the second generation of Acura's five-passenger crossover SUV will up the ante with a new approach to achieving both advanced performance and fuel efficiency via a new engine, transmission and all-wheel drive system.

The 2013 RDX, scheduled to launch in Spring 2012, will have as standard equipment a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that produces 273 horsepower — 33 more than the outgoing model. For even higher performance and improved fuel economy, the RDX makes use of a 6-speed automatic transmission with a new lock-up torque converter. The RDX also gets a new, lighter all-wheel-drive system that provides the required performance and safety with increased efficiency.

With anticipated EPA fuel economy ratings of 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway, front-wheel-drive models of the 2013 RDX are expected to offer the best fuel economy of any gasoline-powered luxury SUV in its class.

Acura NSX Concept

The dynamically-styled NSX Concept gives an indication of the next great performance vehicle from the Acura brand. Making use of lightweight materials and a mid-mounted V-6 engine, the NSX Concept employs several new technologies for Acura, including application of Acura's innovative new Sport Hybrid SH-AWD (Super Handling All Wheel Drive) hybrid system.

Utilizing an unique 2 Electric Motor Drive Unit with a bilateral torque adjustable control system, the all-new hybrid all-wheel-drive system can instantly generate negative or positive torque to the front wheels during cornering. Acura anticipates the new Sport Hybrid SH-AWD will deliver handling performance unmatched by previous AWD systems.

In addition to the handling benefits of the Sport Hybrid SH-AWD system, a powerful next-generation VTEC V-6 engine with direct-injection works in concert with a dual clutch transmission with built-in electric motor to create supercar acceleration while offering outstanding efficiency.

The new Acura supercar, expected to debut in the next three years, will be developed by an engineering team led by Honda R&D Americas, Inc., and manufactured in Ohio, at a yet to be named facility.


Making its re-entry into the U.S. market for the first time since 2005, the Audi allroad made its debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The new allroad is built on the A4 platform and has been modified to meet the functionality and design elements that define the iconic allroad.

The new allroad wagon features 211 horsepower with 258 pounds-foot of torque that makes it faster and more fuel efficient than its predecessor.

The Allroad is wider, taller and has more ground clearance than the A4 Avant. The Allroad has 27 cubic feet of cargo space, and 50 cubic feet with the seats folded down.

The exterior features a unique single frame grille design with vertical chrome struts, stainless steel skid plates and side sills, and raised aluminum-optic roof rails. Matte finished lower bumpers and wheel arches are standard, while a full paint finish is optional.

The Audi allroad will replace the A4 Avant starting in the 2013 model year, and will be 0.6 inches wider and 2.3 inches taller with 1.5 inches greater ground clearance. The new allroad is 185.9 inches in length with a wheelbase of 110.4 inches. Compared to its predecessor, the new allroad has a longer wheelbase for ride comfort and more headroom for front passengers. The allroad has 27 cubic feet of cargo space and a spacious 50 cubic feet of cargo space with the seats folded down. An optional power tailgate is available. 18-inch wheels are standard, and 19-inch wheels are optional.

Audi unveiled a themed vehicle, the Audi Q3 Vail with an output of 314 horsepower. The compact SUV, which is named after the famous winter sports venue in the United States, is aimed at winter sports enthusiasts.

The Audi Q3 Vail, named after the Colorado ski resort, represents a new, potential variation on the SUV concept. The themed vehicle has been designed for young fans of winter sports who love skiing or snowboarding. It is a sporty and robust compact SUV offering many practical attributes, an elegant appearance and individual design highlights.

The themed vehicle is painted in the color developed specially for it — Energy Red. The red paint contains golden pearlescent particles. The add-on body parts are in matt gray quartz-based paint, and underline the vehicle’s robust and rugged appearance. The high-gloss package, a characteristic feature of the model line, enhances the area around the windows with eye-catching elements in aluminum and high-gloss black.

The 2.5-liter five-cylinder TFSI engine matched to a seven-speed S tronic transmission can accelerate from 0 to 62 in 5.5 seconds.


Two new Bentley Continental V8 models will be unveiled at the North American International Auto Show. The new 4.0 liter, twin turbocharged V8 Continental GT coupé and GTC convertible achieve exceptional standards for power-to-emissions in the high luxury sports car sector.

The new Bentley V8 engine delivers maximum power of 500 horsepower at 6000 rpm and a peak torque of 487 pound-feet which is available across virtually the entire rev range from 1700 to 5000 rpm, providing exhilarating performance and effortless power delivery in the Bentley tradition. Combined with a new close-ratio 8-speed automatic transmission, this translates into a sub-5 second acceleration time for the 0-60 mph and a top speed of over 180 mph.

At the same time, the new V8 Continental models achieve outstanding levels of fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions for the luxury performance sector and are capable of traveling over 500 miles on a single tank of gas. Full and official figures will be released in early 2012.

The arrival of the new V8 Continental models fulfills Bentley’s environmental commitment to produce a new powertrain that delivers a 40 per cent improvement in fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions.

The new V8 engine features variable displacement with a highly sophisticated engine management system, ensuring a seamless and imperceptible transition from V8 to V4 mode under light throttle load.

The high-technology V8 also features high pressure direct injection, low friction bearings, thermal management, energy recuperation via the charging system, and innovative turbo charger packaging for greater efficiency.

The new V8 engine will be available in two models; the Continental GT and the Continental GTC. Expressing their potent, muscular character, these models are distinguished by a black gloss matrix grille with chrome frame and centre bar, a red enamel Bentley ‘B’ badge, and a black matrix three-segment lower front bumper divided by distinctive body-colored strakes.

At the rear, unique chromed ‘figure eight’ exhaust tailpipes, a dark lower valance and red enamel ‘B’ trunk lid badge emphasize the sporty, contemporary identity of the new V8s.

The two new Continental models will be offered beneath the flagship 6.0 liter,12-cylinder engined Continental GT and GTC, which continue to excite customers with a combination of silken refinement and the ultimate power of the twin-turbocharged W12 Continental engine that, in its most potent form, delivers 631 horsepower.

Both new models feature a state-of-the-art, all-wheel drive system.


The 2012 BMW ActiveHybrid 5 arrives is the U.S. in late spring giving the affluent another opportunity to portray themselves as doing the right thing. Based on the 535i sedan ActiveHybrid 5 uses BMW’s twin turbo 3.0-liter inline six matched to an electric drive system powered by a lithium-ion battery and an eight-speed automatic to produce 335 combined horsepower. Top speed in electric drive is 37 mph.

BMW hopes the near $62,000 ActiveHybrid5 gets better traction in the U.S than the ActiveHybrid6 that came and went faster than you can spell ActiveHybrid.


Buick introduced the all-new 2013 Encore — a luxury small crossover that delivers Buick’s signature style, interior acoustic refinement and collection of luxury amenities in a maneuverable, versatile and efficient package.

“Buick Encore is a great-looking, smart choice for those who want luxury crossover amenities in a more maneuverable and agile vehicle,” said Tony DiSalle, U.S. vice president of Buick Marketing. “It represents a luxury alternative for a new audience of Buick customers, and delivers features and flexibility not typically found in vehicles of its size today.”

"This vehicle is going to play in white space," says DiSalle. "There aren't direct competitors in a luxury small crossover in the United States today."

Built on a version of the same front-wheel-drive platform that underpins the Chevrolet Sonic subcompact, the five-seat Encore is 168.5 inches long. That's nearly 20 inches shorter than a Chevrolet Equinox. The Encore's 70-inch width is 2.5 inches narrower than that of the Equinox.

Buick models continue to gain in popularity, with two consecutive years of higher retail sales. The Encore joins Verano — Buick’s third all-new sedan in three years – to round out the brand’s lineup and continues the momentum established by the Enclave crossover almost five years ago.

With room for five and up to 48.4 cubic feet (1,372 liters) of storage space with the rear seat folded, the Encore offers substantial cargo capacity along with the confident, higher driving position, all-wheel-drive capability and contemporary styling of a crossover.

The Buick Encore is powered by an efficient, power-dense Ecotec 1.4L turbocharged four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission. It generates an estimated 140 horsepower and 148 lb.-ft. of torque between 1,850 rpm and 4,900 rpm. The wide rpm range for the maximum torque — a specific trait of turbocharged engines — helps it deliver a better driving experience and performance.


The all-new 2013 Cadillac ATS compact luxury rear wheel drive sedan will be among four General Motors’ concept or production vehicles making world premieres at the 2012 North American International Auto Show.

“ATS is a crucial part of Cadillac's expansion,” GM Senior Vice President of Global Product Development Mary Barra told the Automotive Press Association on Friday. “ATS enters the biggest market segment in the global luxury car industry, both in terms of volume and importance.

“It’s a segment dominated by German cars, including the BMW 3-series, Mercedes C-Class and Audi A4, so we’ve developed a compelling and convincing new challenger,” she said.

ATS marks the debut of a new rear-wheel-drive-based architecture designed for agile, quick-and-fun driving dynamics and advanced technology. The ATS goes into production next summer at the Lansing, Mich., Grand River Assembly plant.

Barra, who was named to her position about a year ago, oversees a $15 billion operation currently designing and engineering 113 major product programs globally “from concept to production… mini-cars to full size body-on-frame trucks…and everything in between,” she said.

Barra said she has spent much of her time seeking and executing efficiencies in the way GM develops products.  Core architectures – the basic building blocks of new vehicles – accounted for 30 percent of volume when she took over. Today, the same architectures cover 48 percent of volume.

“We’re targeting 60 percent by 2014… and 90-plus percent by 2018,” she said. “It’s a similar story with our engine platforms. As recently as 2009, we built 20 different engine platforms around the world. Over the next several years, our goal is to reduce that to 10.”



A hotter Chevrolet Sonic is about to sound off — the 2013 Sonic RS. It goes on sale in late 2012, after making its public debut at the North American International Auto Show.

The new RS amplifies the Sonic’s youthful style and driving experience with unique exterior and interior features matched with a 138-horsepower Ecotec 1.4L turbo engine. Sonic is the only vehicle in its segment to offer a turbocharged powertrain.

“The new Chevrolet Sonic RS pushes Chevrolet’s performance heritage in a new direction, for a new generation of drivers,” said Chris Perry, vice president of Global Chevrolet Marketing. “It takes the Sonic’s great design and latest connectivity features and combines them with a more performance-oriented look and feel.”

While the engine in the RS version is the same as the standard Sonic, it remains the only turbocharged engine among subcompact cars. Also, special gear ratios for the six-speed manual transmission and a more aggressive final drive ratio for the automatic give the Sonic RS a sportier feel than non-RS models.

The Sonic RS also comes with MacPherson strut front suspension with coil springs, a stabilizer bar, a more robust rear suspension and four-wheel disc brakes.

The Sonic RS is offered exclusively in the five-door body style. Chevrolet’s exclusive MyLink infotainment system is standard. It enables navigation directions downloaded through a smart phone to be shown on the radio’s large display, and offers the personalized connectivity of Pandora and Stitcher Internet radio.

The more-aggressive look of the Sonic RS is inspired by the concept that debuted in Detroit in 2010. The Sonic RS will be available in Victory Red, Summit White, Cyber Gray Metallic and  Black Granite Metallic, which is a new exterior color for the 2013 Sonic.

“The Sonic RS remains true to the progressive spirit of the concept and brings an unmistakable attitude to the segment,” said John Mack, design director for the Sonic. “From every angle and every touch point, it is a car that is unabashed in its performance statement – and one that drives Chevrolet’s performance legacy into its second century.”

One of the most-dramatic cues from the concept carried into the production model is the Sonic RS’s front fascia, which has a deep air dam design that enhances the car’s road-hugging stance. Vertical intakes at the edges of the fascia reinforce the wide, low proportion and house the fog lamps.

Chevrolet  introduced two concept coupes at the 2012 North American International Auto Show aimed at inspiring next-generation buyers to take the wheel and suggest ideas for a car they can co-create.

“Chevrolet has always stood for making the aspirational attainable for all generations” said General Motors North America President Mark Reuss. “These two concepts interpret that vision for a new generation. We’re seeking out our newest customers’ opinions, listening to their advice, and engaging them in new ways.”

According to U.S. Census data, there are 80 million American consumers approaching 30. They represent 40 percent of today’s potential car-buying public and a combined $1 trillion in purchasing power.

Over the past year, Chevrolet has conversed with young consumers across the United States.  Based on their feedback, the Chevrolet concepts explore the styling and functionality this group of new buyers says they are looking for in a car.

Code 130R (photo above), the first Chevrolet concept, is a four-seat coupe with a simple upright profile.   Painted in an all-new red metallic paint with matte anodized gold wheels, Code 130R features heritage performance-inspired styling and rear-wheel drive. With an aggressive front fascia, Chevrolet fender flares, straight body side and Chevy crossflag emblem, Code 130R makes a link  to Chevrolet’s performance heritage.

Code 130R’s designers conceived the turbocharged engine to be tuned to work in tandem with eAssist technology.  By shutting off the engine at stops, recapturing braking energy, and smoothing torque during acceleration, this concept takes automotive electrification to the next level and balances turbocharged performance with  fuel economy.

Tru 140S (at right), the second Chevrolet concept is a front-wheel-drive, “affordable exotic” four-seat sporty coupe. The three-door hatchback was designed to be an attractive-yet-affordable sports car. Shown in an all-new matte white with Chevy performance chrome wheels featuring crossflag emblems, Tru 140S is designed to look confident, exotic, expensive and fast. Tru 140S is based off the same platform as the Chevrolet Cruze and the groundbreaking Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range.

Tru 140S designers want to demonstrate technologies typically found in more expensive cars, including direct injection and a starter-based stop-start technology, balancing internal combustion and electrification to deliver high value and improved fuel economy.

The concepts share attributes younger buyers say they value:

    • Sedan-sized functionality in performance coupe form that seats four passengers
    • Interior connectivity and convenience featuring innovative storage, WiFi, smart phone integration with Chevrolet MyLink and heads-up display
    • 40 MPG with a 1.4L Turbo Ecotec engine with approximately 150 horsepower
    • Possible production price range in the low $20,000s

“Young customers tell us they want functionality with coupe-like aesthetics. Both the Code and Tru body styles resonated with this audience,” said Frank Saucedo, director of the GM North America Advanced Design studio in Los Angeles where the two concepts were developed.


Chrysler is showing a concept vehicle called the 700c. Behind its unusual styling and rounded, elongated leaf-like windows, the vehicle is a minivan. The big question — is this the design direction that Chrysler is going to take for its next people mover? Minivans have been Chrysler’s signature product and much of the company’s bread and butter since its first models gained a following in the 1980s. But minivans have lost favor with buyers and perhaps this type of rethinking may be necessary to bring customers back into the fold.


Dodge is developing a new compact car to go head-to-head with the Chevrolet Cruze and Ford Focus, and has revived a storied name for the new sedan, the Dart. It will be on display at the Detroit show.

The original Dart was built from 1960 through 1976 as an economical family car that could easily be transformed into a performance car during the muscle car era.

The Dart will enter the marketplace as a 2013 model.

Dodge says the Dart, "redefines performance in the compact car segment with an all-new, state-of-the-art four-door sedan delivering class-leading aerodynamics.

"With Alfa Romeo DNA and Dodge’s passion for performance at its core, the all-new 2013 Dodge Dart is a thoroughly modern vehicle that’s fuel-efficient, beautifully designed and crafted, agile and brings fun back to driving in the segment."

Dodge officials say that similar to the Dodge Dart of the late 1960s, the 2013 Dart offers a special blend of style, performance and innovation. The Dodge brand leveraged its nearly 100-year history of passion for building high-quality, innovative vehicles that stand apart in performance and style, as well as from its partner Fiat’s global compact car expertise, to develop the all-new Dodge Dart.

The all-new Dart is the first Chrysler Group vehicle based upon a Fiat architecture — adapted from the award-winning Alfa Romeo Giulietta.

The all-new Compact U.S. Wide (CUSW) architecture underpinning the Dart is a state-of-the-art architecture with an industry-leading 68 percent of the body composed of high-strength steel, resulting in a very strong and rigid structure. Combined with responsive steering, four-wheel independent suspension, and available 18-inch wheels, the Dart brings fun back to driving in the compact car segment.

According to a Dodge press release, eye-catching exterior proportions are set off from every angle by dynamic lines and curves, along with advanced technology, to deliver class-leading aerodynamic performance. The personality-packed front view is instantly recognizable as an all-new Dodge with its tailored split-crosshair grille, projector headlamps and fog lamps and accentuated fenders. Signature Dodge full-width LED ‘racetrack’ tail lamps and class-exclusive integrated dual exhaust – both inspired by Dodge Charger — accentuate the athletic and muscular stance of this dynamic and passionate new design.

Only teaser photos were provided. The car likely will be shown for the first time at the Detroit Auto Show in January.

There will be three engine offerings — a new Tigershark 16-valve 2.0-liter engine, a 16-valve 1.4-liter MultiAir Intercooled Turbo engine, and a new Tigershark 16-valve 2.4-liter MultiAir four cylinder engine. These three engines will be combined with three transmission choices.

The Dart, which will replace the slow-selling Caliber in the Dodge lineup, will be made at Chrysler Group’s Belvidere Assembly Plant in Belvidere, Ill. The company is in the process of investing $600 million dollars to support the production of future products, including the 2013 Dodge Dart.


Ford’s all-new Fusion, introduced at the Detroit show, brings alive the next generation of more expressive vehicles from Ford and is the first sedan to offer gasoline, hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions — each expected to deliver top fuel economy and an engaging driving experience.
Featuring a sleek silhouette and fresh face, the all-new Fusion is the latest in a series of vehicles from Ford – following the 2011 Fiesta subcompact and 2012 Focus small cars – developed to satisfy customers everywhere who want leading fuel efficiency, helpful technologies and game-changing looks.
“Our vision for Fusion was clear — deliver the very best of what One Ford stands for,” said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president of Global Product Development. “We brought our global teams together around a blank slate with the charge to develop a midsize car with groundbreaking design and jaw-dropping fuel economy – one that featured technologies to help make our customers safer and better drivers. This car is the result.”
Fusion is revealed in North America in S, SE and range-topping Titanium series and points to the next Ford Mondeo for world markets.
The new Fusion is expected to deliver best-in-class fuel economy across customers’ choice of gasoline, hybrid and plug-in hybrid sub-segments, following through with the commitment by Ford to be the fuel-efficiency leader — or among the leaders — with each new model brought to market.

Ford says that the Fusion brings the broadest selection of fuel-efficient powertrains in the midsize car segment. It offers hybrid and plug-in hybrid alternatives, a pair of EcoBoost four-cylinder engines, a normally aspirated four-cylinder engine, an automatic start stop system to shut off the engine at stationary idle, front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive applications, and a choice between automatic and manually shifted six-speed transmissions.
The 1.6-liter EcoBoost is expected to deliver best-in-class four-cylinder non-hybrid fuel efficiency of 26 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. The 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine — paired with a paddle-shifted six-speed SelectShift Automatic transmission, available 19-inch wheels and tires, and all-wheel drive with the ability to send additional torque to the rear — is the Fusion performance option.
The Fusion Hybrid — 2010 North American Car of the Year — continues to innovate and evolve with all-new lithium-ion batteries that save weight and generate more power than previous nickel-metal hydride batteries, while raising maximum speed under electric-only power from 47 mph to 62 mph.
Fusion Hybrid also features an all-new 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder gasoline engine, significantly downsized from the previous 2.5-liter unit while maintaining performance standards. This innovative powertrain is anticipated to deliver best-in-class fuel economy of 47 mpg in city driving and 44 mpg on the highway.
Fusion Hybrid fuel economy stands to outperform the 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid by 4 mpg city and 5 mpg highway and the 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid by 12 mpg and 4 mpg, respectively.
Topping the fuel-efficiency ladder is the Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid, aiming to be the most fuel-efficient midsize car in the world. Arriving this fall, Fusion Energi is anticipated to deliver more than 100 MPGe, a mile per gallon equivalency metric for electrified vehicles. This is 8 MPGe more than the Chevrolet Volt and 13 MPGe more than the projected efficiency of the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid model.
The next-generation Fusion 1.6-liter is the first automatic-transmission Ford product offered with an automatic start stop system. It shuts off engine power smoothly when the car is stopped and seamlessly restarts as the driver releases the brake pedal, helping Fusion to reduce fuel consumption and emissions by approximately 3.5 percent.


 Honda unveiled its Accord Coupe Concept providing the first official glimpse of the athletic styling direction, as well as revealing a host of new technologies for the all-new, ninth-generation 2013 model, set to go on-sale this fall.

The 2013 Accord will feature three all-new powertrains, including the first U.S. application of both a 2.4-liter direct-injected engine and two-motor plug-in hybrid system from Honda's suite of next-generation Earth Dreams powertrain technologies.

In addition, the V-6 Accord will be the first Honda sedan to feature a new 6-speed automatic transmission. Both the Accord sedan and the Accord coupe models are expected to achieve class-leading fuel economy ratings and will be available with a number of innovative new safety and technological features.  

"Marking the 30th anniversary of U.S. production, this new ninth-generation Accord will raise the bar again through a tour de force of new Honda powertrain and safety technologies, geared to ensure that Honda and the Accord continue to lead in fuel economy, safety and fun-to-drive performance," said John Mendel, executive vice president of sales for American Honda.

The Accord Coupe Concept features an athletic styling direction for Honda's best-selling model. The front bumper's dynamic lines are highlighted by a revised four-sided honeycomb grille and deeply set multi-reflector headlights. Lower fog-light spoilers are accented by crystallized chrome inlays.

The Accord Coupe Concept's 20-inch, machine-finished, 5-spoke wheels contribute to its solid stance. The rear taillights aggressively sweep into the body, while a trunk -lid spoiler and large exhaust finishers integrated into the bumper underscore the Accord Coupe Concept's muscular exterior.

While the Accord Coupe will remain similarly sized, the Accord sedan will feature a more compact exterior footprint, adding to its sportier appearance. A shortened length and reduced weight will also give the 2013 Accord sedan more responsive handling and improved driving dynamics. Both the 2013 Accord sedan and coupe will retain the current model's current cabin space.

The Accord will offer three all-new powertrains for the 2013 model year. The sedan and coupe will be the first models in the U.S. to receive the new Earth Dreams 2.4-liter, 16-valve DOHC i-VTEC four-cylinder engine featuring direct- injection (DI). The engine will be paired to a 6-speed manual transmission or a new Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).

The all-new 2.4-liter DI engine generates significant performance improvements compared to the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine it replaces, producing more than 181 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. In addition to an overall improvement in fuel economy compared to the 2012 model, the new four-cylinder-equipped 2013 Accord models are targeted to deliver class-leading fuel economy.

The 2013 Accord sedan and coupe will also be offered with a re-engineered 3.5-liter, 24-valve, SOHC, i-VTEC V-6 engine, paired to a new 6-speed automatic transmission or an available 6-speed manual transmission. The new V-6 engine generates an increase in horsepower and torque over the current model.

The 2013 sedan and coupe models equipped with the 6-speed automatic transmission will utilize Honda Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) technology and are targeted to achieve class-leading fuel economy1 along with an overall improvement in fuel economy compared to the outgoing model.

The 2013 Accord lineup will also feature the first application of a new two-motor plug-in hybrid system to the sedan. The Honda two-motor hybrid system moves continuously through three modes — all-electric, gasoline-electric and direct-drive — to maximize driving efficiency and fuel economy.

In all-electric mode, the 2013 Accord Plug-In Hybrid will use a 6 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery and a powerful 120 kW electric motor to achieve an all-electric range of approximately 10-15 miles in city driving scenarios and a top speed of 62 mph. Fully recharging the battery will take less than four hours using a 120-volt, outlet and less than 1.5 hours using a 240-volt charger.

In the gasoline-electric hybrid mode, the Accord is powered by its fuel-efficient 2.0-liter, i-VTEC inline four-cylinder, Atkinson cycle engine, paired with an electric Continuously Variable Transmission (E-CVT).



For 2013 the Genesis coupe gets a new face, similar  to the Veloster from the grille to the bumpers to the headlamps. The turbo 2-liter now sports 65-horses more than the 2012 model at 275 and the 3.8-liter V6 now muscles up 44 more horses to 350. The new look gives the already aggressive Genesis an even stronger persona and a more handsome demeanor. Hyundai is without question keeping the competition on their design toes.


Designed at Toyota’s Newport Beach design center, Calty, Lexus describes this concept, the LF-LC, as a redefinition of the brand with “…avant-garde beauty and unequalled technology.” Using Advanced Hybrid Drive in a swoopy sports coupe package is sure to make ‘green-hearts’ pitter-patter.


The Lincoln MKZ Concept signals a significant step in Lincoln’s reinvention, providing a clear vision of its next-generation vehicles.
“With the Lincoln MKZ Concept, we are not introducing a new car. We are essentially introducing a new brand,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford Motor Company group vice president for Global Product Development. “The MKZ Concept is the next step in the reinvention of Lincoln, something we’ve been quietly but aggressively pursuing.”
The MKZ Concept strongly hints at the production model arriving in dealerships later this year, as well as Lincoln’s design future.
“The MKZ Concept’s shape is a vision of simplicity completed with just a few strokes,” said Max Wolff, Lincoln design director. “Our movement as a brand is toward something we call elegant simplicity. It’s something warmer and more restrained, which is moving away from complex designs and traditional luxury.”
Warm hues are evident in every aspect of the new vehicle’s Cognac-colored exterior. The deep finish is achieved with a rich base coat covered in multiple layers of tinted clear-coat finishes.
By retaining key, recognizable brand design elements, the MKZ Concept remains clearly identifiable as a Lincoln. One example is the more refined interpretation of the split-wing grille, introduced on the 1938 Lincoln-Zephyr.

The sedan’s profile is dominated by a long, sleek and sweeping roofline that allows the design to break away from the traditional sedan three-box shape. The lengthening of the roofline enables a more flowing, elegant and more naturally aerodynamic appearance.
A panoramic glass roof spans uninterrupted from the windshield to the top of the backlight. Integrated into the sedan’s aluminum and boron steel superstructure, the fixed-glass expanse extends to the side roof rails of the cabin, creating an airy, open interior.
LED technology enabled an extremely thin and distinctive full-width taillamp graphic. Exhaust tips are cleanly integrated into the rear fascia.


Mercedes-Benz is rolling out a new SL roadster this spring as a 2013 model. It will be on display at the Detroit show.

The two-seat SL, a longtime flagship for the German luxury car maker, grew out of the company’s sports-car racing program of the early 1950s. The all-new SL continues a tradition that began 60 years ago. For six decades the letters "SL" have been synonymous with a blend of sport, style and comfort — infused with groundbreaking innovation. For the first time, the SL is being produced almost entirely from aluminum and consequently weighs considerably less than its predecessor.

Its highly rigid all-aluminum bodyshell provides the basis for sporty handling that has been taken to an entirely new level, coupled with outstanding body roll and ride characteristics.

The SL for decades has been a rather heavy, feature-laden luxury car with little of its original racing heritage in evidence. With the coming model, built mostly of aluminum, the company plans to recapture some of the earlier cars’ spirit.

Compared with its predecessor, which was little changed for a decade, the 2013 is designed to be more agile and athletic. The new aluminum body weighs 242 pounds less than it would using the steel of the previous SL. Overall, the 2013 SL550 weighs about 275 pounds less than its predecessor.

Even better driving dynamics come courtesy of the new direct injection engine, which is more powerful and economical than the outgoing generation.

A new 4.7-liter V-8 engine in the SL550 puts out 429 horsepower. Acceleration form zero to 60 mph takes 4.5 seconds.

Other new features include the unique FrontBass system, which turns the luxury sports car into a concert hall — with the top down or up — and the highly efficient MAGIC VISION CONTROL.

"There are around 900 million cars in the world and thousands of models. But there is only a handful of automotive icons. Our SL is one of them: It has class, it has style, it is the ultimate in comfort and luxury," said Dr. Dieter Zetsche, head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.  "And it combines all that with an incredibly sporty and dynamic character. You would struggle to find a car that embodies Gottlieb Daimler's aspiration more perfectly than our new SL - the best or nothing."

Mercedes says that compared with its successful predecessor, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL offers considerably more comfort and athletic character, setting new standards in the luxury roadster class. This includes amazing everyday usability, making the SL the most versatile of all sports cars. In short, anyone talking about the new SL is surely talking about the ultimate in passionate, refined motoring.

Not one but two E-Class hybrids will be on the stand. One, the gasoline-electric E400 and the other a diesel-electric E300 Bluetec Hybrid. Both feature a 20kW electric motor with a lithium-ion battery pack, producing 184-pound feet of torque. The E400 matches the 20kW to a 3.5-liter V6 good for approximately 24 mpg in the city. The E300 3.0-liter turbo-6 on the Euro test cycle combined hwy/city is being projected at 56 mpg. Mercedes and Volvo are expected to be the first two manufacturers to offer diesel-hybrid production models in Europe.


Not one, not two, but three choices for the new 2012 Mini Cooper roadsters: the basic 1.6-liter Cooper; a 1.6-liter turbo Cooper S; and the top-of-the-line John Cooper Works round out the selections. The roadsters will range in price from $25,750 to $35,900 including destination charges. That’s at least $60,000 less than the Porsche models — of course they go faster, but you still get the wind in your hair experience from Mini.


The worldwide debut of two concept vehicles will highlight Nissan’s presence at the upcoming 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. An all electric van concept, which underscores Nissan’s leadership in zero emissions vehicles and the Nissan Pathfinder preview concept, which provides a sneak peek at the next generation of one of Nissan’s longest running nameplates in the U.S., will be unveiled at the auto show.

The Pathfinder Concept will preview the all-new look, style and attitude that Nissan will bring to the SUV segment when the next-generation Pathfinder goes on sale in fall 2012.

Sharing the drive system with Leaf, the new e-NV200 concept van is being prepped to go up against the Ford Transit Connect Electric. Both vehicles in gas mode are already competing for the Taxi market in most major cities around the country, so battling out plug to plug is nothing new for the small, high utility vans. E-NV200 sports an 80kW motor and lithium-ion battery pack. It’s a cool van that should do well in the BEV van segment.

A Nissan NV outfitted as a “Food Truck” with a local Detroit flair will showcase the vehicle’s flexibility and user-friendly features, but acts as a culinary cornerstone for media hospitality throughout both press days.


After showing the hardtops at Los Angeles you can tell spring is near with the introduction of the Porsche 911 cabriolets, the Carrera and Carrera S. Naturally there is plenty under the hood with the 3.4-liter direct injection flat-6 in the Carrera and the larger 3.8-liter version in the Carrera S. But we know all that; the key here is now you’ll go fast with the top down and the wind blowing your hair. That’s fun.


Scion unveiled its Scion Racing/GReddy FR-S race car during the auto show. The FR-S will be competing in the 2012 Formula DRIFT series with veteran driver Ken Gushi behind the wheel.

The 600-horsepower FR-S race car is the result of a collaboration between Scion Racing and GReddy, a performance-products company that has been involved with Toyota and racing for over twenty years.

The race car is inspired by the 2013 Scion FR-S, a compact rear-wheel-drive sports car that will go on sale in the spring of 2012. The high-performance coupe is the fifth model to join the Scion family.

In response to a large volume of FR-S hand-raisers, Scion also announced that it will launch a special program called “First 86.” The program will give 86 lucky people the opportunity to be among the first to own the Scion FR-S. The selected 86 owners will take delivery of their car before it goes on-sale to the general public. Starting Jan. 12 at Noon EST, FR-S enthusiasts will have 8 hours and 6 minutes to submit their request at ScionFirst86.

Scion also announced that its 2013 FR-S will be the first car to offer a connected infotainment audio system called BeSpoke, powered by Pioneer’s Zypr. Scion’s BeSpoke aims to offer a higher level of connectivity with features that drivers have been asking for such as access to a wide variety of personalized content and services.

“Beginning last year, all Scion models come standard with Bluetooth Hands-Free and HD Radio™ Technology,” said Jack Hollis, Vice President Scion. “Scion’s new BeSpoke system will take in-car technology to the next level, offering owners the ability to be more connected.”

The FR-S — which stands for Front-engine, Rear-wheel drive, Sport — is Scion’s definition of an authentic rear-wheel-drive sports car with exceptionally balanced performance and handling, compelling style, flexible utility and surprising MPG.

“Serving as a laboratory for Toyota, Scion is always experimenting with new things,” Hollis said. “The brand is iconic with the xB, adrenalized by the tC, and groundbreaking with the iQ. The FR-S will no doubt serve as the halo car, expanding Scion into a new dimension of driving performance.”

Inspired by the AE86 Toyota Corolla, the FR-S is designed around the core goal of achieving “Pure Balance,” which begins with the strategic use of the world’s only flat boxer engine in a front-engine, rear-wheel drive configuration. The engine’s compact size and flat shape allow it to be mounted mid-ship and extremely low, giving the car a dynamically favorable front-to-rear weight ratio of 53:47, and a low center of gravity comparable to some exotic supercars.

The FR-S’s 2.0-liter, naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine is the result of a joint development between Toyota and Subaru. The partnership begins by combining Subaru’s newly developed horizontally opposed engine and Toyota’s cutting-edge D-4S injection system, which incorporates both direct and port injection. The D-4S system, partnered with a high 12.5:1 compression ratio, results in an impressive 200 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque.


Smart is turning the automotive world upside down once again and challenging ideas about what an urban pickup should look like. In a tongue-in-cheek manner the for-us signals that this is the right car for the young and young-at-heart with active lives who attach importance to low emissions and taking up minimum road space.

Smart has revealed a series of sketches depicting a compact, zero-emissions pickup concept that will make its public debut at the Detroit auto show.

Called the For-us, a name chosen to indicate its suitability for the pickup-loving U.S. market, the electric-powered two-seater was conceived as part of plans to extend the scope of the Smart lineup. There's no word on production intent.

The smart for-us translates the practical loading concept of a pickup to the reality of 21st century urban traffic for the first time. At 139.7 inches in length, 59.3 inches in width and 66.0 inches in height, the For-us is substantially longer and higher than the existing Fortwo. It also rides on a wheelbase that was extended by 24.1 inches over that of Smart's signature two-seat city car at 97.6 inches, while the tracks were pushed out by two inches both front and rear, at 52.6 inches and 56.5 inches, respectively.

Employing styling cues established on the smaller Smart For-vision concept revealed in September at the Frankfurt motor show, the For-us uses an electrically powered cargo tray that extends by 11 inches at the rear to ease loading. Traditional Smart elements include largely unadorned body panels and a two-tone color scheme. There's also a break from the brand's tradition, with borderline rugged elements to play up the pickup demeanor.

Inside, there is a basic layout with a 35.4-inch long cargo tray with an integrated docking station. It will be used on the concept car bound for Detroit to provide electrical energy to two Smart e-bikes.

The electric drive of the smart for-us is based on the innovative drive concept of the smart fortwo electric drive, which will be launched in the spring of 2012.


The BRZ Sports Coupe is the kissing cousin to the Scion FR also making a debut here in Detroit. The BRZ shown as a concept in Los Angeles takes the wraps off the U.S. version production model. With a new horizontally opposed Boxer engine making 200-horses and a low center of gravity the BRZ is sure to provide a sports car handling experience. Considering its light weight the 2+2 is also bound to have the quickness needed for the sports car buyer not wanting to break the bank.


Toyota will present the North American debut of the Prius c hybrid at the Detroit show. The Prius c gives the Prius lineup of cars a subcompact. It is nearly 20 inches shorter than the standard Prius at 157.3 inches and will operate with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine.

It will go on sale in the spring, positioned as an entry into the Prius family appealing to youthful shoppers seeking fuel efficiency, technology, and spirited driving dynamics in the subcompact segment.

The Prius c will offer:

    • Expected class-leading fuel economy of 53 mpg in the city, which is the highest city mpg of any non-plug-in vehicle.
    • Proven hybrid technology, with 14 years of heritage, available at a more accessible price.
    • A high degree of convenience features and premium in-car electronics, uncommon in a five-door configuration, creating a less compromised compact-car experience.

Toyota revealed the NS4 advanced plug-in hybrid concept vehicle, Toyota's vision for future mobility with a focus on connectivity and the human interface. 

Toyota engineers were challenged to design a new mid-sized concept for potential global market introduction by 2015. The NS4 concept is a dedicated plug-in hybrid, separate from the Prius family, designed with future mobility requirements in mind.

"In this digital age, cars are becoming another spoke in the wheel of our electronic connectivity," said Jim Lentz, TMS president and chief operating officer.  "NS4 demonstrates Toyota's take on the human connection to the car with technology that considers both emotional and rational relationships, person-to-car and car-to-society."

NS4's advanced powertrain targets a next-generation Hybrid Synergy Drive plug-in system featuring reductions in component size and weight with improved overall fuel economy, better acceleration and longer all-electric range, while maintaining a short charge time. 

The NS4 concept signals a new styling direction for the Toyota brand aimed at creating an emotional connection with consumers.  NS4 styling lines reflect a new take on the aerodynamics of the modified triangle, with a low height and cabin-forward tilt.  The distinctive open trapezoid grill is accented by a floating lower spoiler and wing-like daytime running lights wrapping around to a sculpted fender.  Rear lamps wrap around the sides of the vehicle to quarter sections layered into blistered fenders, while the rear lamp wings create a sharp edge and the effect of a rear spoiler.

The A-pillars are ultra thin for improved driver visibility while maintaining roof crush integrity.  The roof line profile, lift back design and powered swan-wing doors create greater accessibility and efficient functionality.

Traditional vehicle development cycles average four years, but this is rapidly changing in the digital age.  Vehicles have become another communication hub in the connected-consumers lifestyle and automakers must integrate the latest technologies into their product offerings.  In fact, connected vehicles are the third-fastest growing technological device, behind smartphones and tablets.

Toyota has formed special alliances with technology leaders such as Microsoft, Intel and Salesforce to explore the creation of seamless vehicle interfaces with emerging technologies.  These alliances will help ensure Toyota is at the forefront of this emerging sector of the automotive market.

The NS4 concept's Human-Machine Interface (HMI) provides a user interface built around a multi-touch screen with the look and feel of a smartphone.  The simple, intuitive operation conveys information quickly while minimizing distractions and maximizing driver awareness. 

The multimedia and vehicle-controls enhancement also will direct air conditioning, audio, battery-charge and navigation functions.  The HMI system is even capable of "learning" driver preferences and habits to anticipate driver responses in specific environments and situations.  This concept represents a truly connected vehicle, offering the latest technology in a responsible and convenient package. 


You’ll find the guts of the upcoming Golf EV Blue-e-motion in the concept Beetle E-Bugster as it uses the 85kW and lithium-ion battery to produce 199 pound-feet of torque. You’ll also find a similar assortment of gauges that will colorfully tell you everything you need to know about driving you all-electric vehicle. It is said that the E-Bugster is capable of a range of 100 miles, but talk is cheap. The Beetle exterior gets a lower roofline, a flatish windshield, shallow artsy side windows and LED running lamps.

Volkswagen is presenting one of the world’s most efficient automobiles at the North American International Auto Show — the Jetta Hybrid. Powering the all-new model is a high-tech turbocharged gasoline engine mated to a zero-emissions electric motor.

While this hybrid union enables impressive driving performance with a class-leading 0-60 mph time of less than 9.0 seconds, the new Jetta Hybrid also delivers an estimated combined fuel economy figure of 45 mpg. This means that the sporty hybrid consumes about 20 percent less fuel than a similarly-powered sedan with a conventional drivetrain.

In city traffic, the fuel economy advantage climbs to a little over 30 percent. In addition, the Jetta Hybrid can be driven in pure electric mode at speeds of up to 44 mph and for up to 1.2 miles depending on operating conditions.

For the first time in the U.S. market, Volkswagen is using its acclaimed 1.4-liter turbocharged gasoline powerplant, which weighs just 216 pounds. The downsized four-cylinder engine develops 150 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque delivered from just 1400 rpm up to 3500 rpm. Combined with the 20 kW (27 hp) electric motor, the system ensures that the new Jetta Hybrid is a genuinely sporty vehicle.

As in the Touareg Hybrid SUV, the Jetta Hybrid features a clutch that decouples the gasoline engine from the drivetrain when in pure electric drive or coasting modes.

A lithium-ion battery supplies the energy to the electric motor. The compact 220-volt, 1.1 kWh battery is integrated behind the rear bench seat and weighs less than 80 pounds. The battery consists of 60 individual cells with a combined energy capacity of 5 Ah. The frequency of the discharge and charge cycles in hybrid operation requires high-performance battery cooling, which is handled by a fan mounted directly on the device. The battery also has its own management system that performs safety, diagnostic, and monitoring functions as well as temperature management. The battery is disconnected when it’s not in use or if the car is involved in a collision.

Power is taken to the front wheels via a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission that operates automatically and efficiently, as well as providing super-fast shifting. Downsizing was achieved here, too: at 163 lb, the DSG transmission weighs significantly less than a conventional automatic and is also much more compact in its construction. Thanks to its lightweight drive components, the weight of the Jetta Hybrid was only increased by 221 pounds despite the addition of a battery system. The car weighs in at less than 3310 pounds, which is low for a hybrid vehicle.


Volvo is showing its XC60 gasoline plug-in hybrid concept featuring technology that eventually will go on vehicles destined for the U.S. and Chinese markets. At the touch of a button, the driver decides how the available power from the combination of the gas engine and the electric motor is to be utilized.

The driver chooses the driving mode via three buttons on the instrument panel. The buttons give the car three distinct temperaments: Pure, Hybrid or Power.

"The technology in the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept is as ingenious as it is unique," says Stefan Jacoby, president and CEO of Volvo Car Corporation. "You can make really green progress on the road without compromising on any of the luxury car's renowned properties. No other manufacturer has succeeded in delivering fuel economy and electrical range on this level in a capable, spacious performance car with 350 horsepower on tap."

The concept has a range of as many as 600 miles in hybrid mode and can go as many as 35 miles on the electric motor. Combined fuel economy is more than 50 mpg, Volvo said.

It has a 280-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine and a 70-horsepower electric motor.

The electric motor is in the rear axle and is powered by a lithium ion battery pack that sits under the floor. Volvo said recharging takes 3.5 hours from a 220-volt outlet, and 7.5 hours using the standard 110-volt outlet in U.S. homes.

The new gasoline engine is combined with a new eight-speed automatic transmission.

Volvo's first production hybrid, a diesel-electric V60 Plug-in Hybrid, will go on sale in Europe this year. Volvo said a gasoline hybrid will go on sale in the United States but did not provide a date.