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NAIAS 2008

2009 Cadillac CTS-V

Set to hit the market in Q4 2008 and to be sold for the first time in markets outside North America, Cadillac's new addition to the high-performance V-Series line - the 2009 CTS-V - boasts an array of performance enhancing technologies built around a new 6.2L LSA supercharged V-8 engine producing an estimated 550 hp (410 kW) and 550 lb.-ft. (745 Nm) of torque. These include an industry-first Performance Traction Management program, a new automatic transmission with paddle-shift control and a Magnetic Ride Control system that utilizes electro magnetic shocks and electronic sensors at each wheel to deliver what's billed as the world’s fastest-reacting suspension. The cars' blend of luxury and performance extends to an extensive on-board infotainment suite that includes a 40-gigabyte hard drive, factory-installed Bluetooth, Bose digital surround audio and an advanced navigation system.  Read More

Ford Explorer America concept demonstrates EcoBoost engine technology

A cute showcase platform for the for the 20-30 percent better fuel economy, lower emissions and no compromise performance promised by Ford's soon to be introduced EcoBoost technology, the Explorer America concept aims to demonstrate the sustainable, flexible future of the company's iconic SUV with fuel-saving features like electric power assisted steering and a multifunctional interior layout that includes single-touch, stackable sliding seats, a work table (complete with seats) that deploys from the tailgate and an instrument panel that integrates a three-dimensional compass navigation unit with a topographical map. Using the turbocharging and direct injection Ecoboost technology, the 4-cylinder 2-liter engine delivers 275 hp and 280 lb.-ft. of torque or, in a 3.5-liter V-6 format, about 340 hp.  Read More

The US$80K Fisker Karma luxury plug-in hybrid sports car

January 16, 2008 We’ve written before about the coming of Fisker Automotive and its highly credentialed designer/CEO Henrik Fisker, though we weren’t exactly expecting a hybrid when the premium sports car company announced its first production car at NAIAS. The Fisker Karma is a four-door plug-in hybrid with a solar panel roof, regenerative braking, a light weight body, does 0-60 mph in less than 6 seconds and will have a top speed beyond 125 mph when it goes on sale late in 2009 for a projected US$80,000. The drive train is entirely electric though the car has a small gasoline engine that runs the generator, which charges the lithium ion battery pack. This allows the car to be driven for up to 50 miles a day provided the car is charged every evening.  Read More

Lexus LF-A Roadster Concept

January 15, 2008 In more news from the 2008 NAIAS, Lexus has taken the wraps off a roadster-version of its LF-A sports car concept. The open-top supercar uses a "front-mid" configuration of the high-revving, 500 hp V10 engine from company's LF-A coupe, first unveiled in Detroit back in 2005, and the body is also based on the Coupe's carbon-fiber and aluminum structure with the addition of a speed adaptive rear wing.  Read More

Hummer HX concept

January 15, 2008 Talk about hitting the ground running - three young design students, fresh out of college, fronted up for their first day of work at GM and instead of a week of fetching coffees, their first assignment was to produce concepts for a new, compact, youth-oriented off-road Hummer. The three students' input drove the design of the new Hummer HX concept, which has sparked a lot of excitement among Hummer fans. Open-topped, with a configurable rear roof section, removable body panels and an E85-capable engine, the HX concept will debut shortly at the 2008 North American International Auto Show – and it's rumored to be the base for the upcoming H4 production SUV.  Read More

Saab 9-4X BioPower Concept

January 14, 2008 Drawing on design elements showcased in the Aero X concept and hinting at the company's plans to enter the crossover vehicle segment, Saab unveiled its four-seat 9-4X BioPower Concept at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). The Concept's key features include the use of a four-cylinder, 2.0-liter, 300 horsepower (221 kW) BioPower turbo engine coupled with the Saab XWD powertrain already available in the 9-3 range.  Read More

Mazda’s new, production-ready 180mph Furai Concept

Mazda unveiled the latest in its series of Nagare concept cars at North American International Auto Show yesterday - the Furai P2 concept celebrates 40 years of rotary engine development at Mazda plus the company’s international motorsport heritage with the raciest interpretation of Nagare design language to-date. The ethanol-burning, three-rotor rotary Furai is more than just a design exercise, having seen 180 mph on the racetrack and with strong hints that it is ready for production. The Furai concept serves as a turning point in the Nagare developmental process - while the four previous concept cars explored different ways to express Mazda’s emerging design philosophy and to explore an aesthetic, this one is all about function – every last texture and detail serves some functional purpose.  Read More

Toyota's versatile Compact A-BAT Concept Vehicle

January 14, 2008 Toyota rolled out a concept vehicle with direct roots to its heritage at NAIAS this week. The hybrid A-BAT is positioned below the Toyota Tacoma, and integrates truck features with car fundamentals, providing roominess, style and our favorite characteristic, versatility. The compact pickup architecture is designed to be equally as capable of manoeuvring the suburbs as dirt roads, as comfortable for long commutes as it is for road trips, as accommodating of outdoor toys as home improvement supplies. Inside the A-BAT has a retractable portable navigation unit, Wi-Fi Internet, portable device assistant synchronization, a hard drive for digital music and solar panels on the dash recapture energy from the sun to assist in the charging of the navigation unit, portable power pack and backlit information displays.  Read More

Audi adds a sportier version of the TT sports car

January 11, 2008 The ‘S’ emblem that spells extraordinary performance in the Audi range graces the TT for the first time this month in a new, even more focused version of the iconic sports car debuting at the North American International Auto Show (January 19-27). Available mid-2008 in both Coupe and Roadster body styles, the TTS earns its esteemed badge through the adoption of a specially developed, 272bhp Turbo FSI petrol engine complemented by state-of-the-art chassis technology.  Read More

Nissan FORUM Concept

December 21, 2007 In a further exploration of the theme of automobile as communal space displayed by the Round Box Concept shown in Tokyo this year, Nissan will unveil its FORUM concept at the 2008 North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January. The FORUM integrates a number of design features and communications technologies aimed at creating a family-friendly environment including trackless sliding side doors, the elimination of traditional B-pillars, versatile second row "Turntable Seating", an advanced Bose® Media System, multi-camera external monitoring, a built-in microwave and a "Kids Cam" monitoring system which allows adults to keep an eye on back seat mayhem via 2nd and 3rd row cameras mounted in the headliner and connected to the main instrument panel LCD display.  Read More

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