Green is everywhere this year at the Detroit Auto Show. A sea of hybrids and electric vehicles has flooded the show floor — and every single manufacturer is responsible. This overflow of fuel-efficient automobiles promises big things for the future of mobility. To illustrate the trend, 7 out of our top 10 are either fully electric or hybrid powered vehicles. Here they are the in alphabetical order:
Audi executives claim that the “e-tron” name, which will soon designate the brand’s electric vehicles, will become as widely recognized as “quattro” in just a few years. In the meantime, they showcased a second e-tron prototype in the form of a TT-sized two-seater with a pair of 150 kW lithium-ion batteries. The available range is 250 kilometres in optimum conditions. The chassis is made of aluminum, just like the body panels, except for the doors, hood and trunk lid (carbon fibre). With 0-100 km/h times of under 6 seconds, this mean green machine obviously idolizes the R8 supercar.
Will it go into production? Audi say it’ll reach the production lines in 2012, although expect a more “civilized” variant. Read more…
Disguised as a stylish 1-Series coupe, the ActiveE concept uses an electric drive system delivering 125 kilowatt and 249 N.m of torque as soon as you dip the throttle. The car sprints from 0 to 60 km/h in 4.5 seconds and from 0 to 100 in less than 9 seconds. Only three hours are needed for a full charge of the lithium-ion battery, which provides a range of up to 160 kilometres (in gentle driving, of course).
Will it go into production? Later this year, select BMW customers will take delivery of pre-production models for evaluation purposes. By 2015, a first production electric car will hit the market.
The electric crossover van from BYD is not new. Actually, the model made its debut at this very same event a year ago, flashing its exclusive lithium-ion iron phosphate battery.
Will it go into production? Market release is scheduled for late 2010, an ambitious goal for a company that also aspires to become the leading car maker in China within the next 5 years and across the globe within the next 15! Representatives explained that early availability would be limited to a few hundred units. I guess they believe in the old Tibetan proverb which goes something like this: “Slow oxen, patient land”!
Cadillac signals its intention to kill two birds (DTS and STS sedans) with one stone (XTS). This new plug-in hybrid concept using a 3,6-litre, direct-injected V6 makes a bold statement with the brand’s latest design cues and marks a radical departure from your grandfather’s Fleetwood. Of course, a production model based on the XTS would likely do without the fancy 20-inch wheels.
Will it go into production? Yes! Announced as a 2012 model, it will share many similarities with the XTS shown in Detroit. Watch the video…
The Chrysler Delta is nothing more than a marketing ploy to gauge US consumer interest in a large hatchback. In fact, you may want to call it a rebadged Lancia Delta. At least the company didn’t stamp an “Imperial” logo on the trunk of a Maserati Quattroporte! Viva Italia!
Will it go into production? Forget it.
The next-generation Focus has been designed and engineered in Germany as a true “global” car. Under the bonnet is a 2,0-litre, 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine combining advanced direct injection with turbocharging, not to mention a 6-speed, twin-clutch PowerShift transmission. An electric variant is also being developed. What an evolution from the old Tempo!
Will it go into production? Yes. The car will arrive in showrooms in early 2011. Read more…
GM’s first counter-strike to Toyota’s Scion might not wear a golden bowtie after all. The GMC Granite concept is shorter than the Chevrolet HHR and reportedly rides on a variant of the Cruze’s platform. The side doors swing in opposite directions to provide generous access to the cabin. Young folks should love it!
Will it go into production? GM stays mum for now. Better keep your fingers crossed! Watch the video…
The CR-Z is the first affordable AND roomy hybrid two-seater for the city. It’s also a fun and sporty alternative to the iconic smart fortwo. Fuel economy is a bit lower, though, with a Jazz-derived 1,5-litre engine mated to Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) technology. A 6-speed manual gearbox and a CVT will be available.
Will it go into production? The CR-Z has already been announced for mid-2010! Read more…
Here’s what a scaled-down Prius might look like. Such an addition to the Toyota lineup would fall under the “Hybrids-Purely Hybrids” category. The manufacturer claims that hybrid car buyers look to stand out and make a statement with their rides, hence the need for a stand-out car. Penned by Toyota’s French design studio, the FT-CH is both shorter and wider than a Yaris. As for power, the engine bay remains empty… for now.
Will it go into production? Toyota executives say no, but should we believe them? Read more..
Volkswagen is quickly becoming a master in the fine art of mouth-watering car design. With the NCC (“New Compact Coupe”), the Wolfsburg-based manufacturer gives a small preview of the future Jetta and points to the possible addition of a two-door model. In keeping with the theme of this year’s NAIAS, the NCC relies on a thrifty hybrid powertrain which combines a tiny but spirited 4-cylinder (both supercharged and turbocharged) with a battery-fed electric motor. Total output is rated at 130 kW, enough to reach 100 km/h in just a tad over 8 seconds.
Will it go into production? Let’s hope so. Read more…