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NAIAS 2012

The E-Bugster cabriolet

The lineage of the e-bugster electric vehicle goes all the way back to the noble aspirations of the peoples' car, and Volkswagen's very name, so it is very fitting that the E-Bugster looks likely to form the basis of a range of E-Bugster electric vehicles. Appropriately being shown in the the only market that has embraced electric mobility on any scale, we first saw the E-Bugster as a coupé at Detroit in January, but this time in Beijing, the hard-top has been removed, previewing a future Beetle Cabriolet  Read More

Nissan is debuting its e-NV200 electric minivan concept at the North American Internationa...

Five years ago at the Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan unveiled its clever NV200 minivan concept that incorporated a mobile office and a slide-out cargo compartment. It has since gone into production, losing the office and slide-out, but boasting what Nissan claims is the largest load space in its class. Last year, the automaker announced that it would begin testing of an electric version of the van. Now, the public can get a feel for what a consumer electric NV200 might be like, up close and in person, as the e-NV200 concept makes its world debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.  Read More

Honda's Accord Coupe Concept unveiled at NAIAS 2012

Even without taking into account Japan's recent natural disasters, Honda has struggled of late, seemingly having lost its prominence as a technology innovator. With much riding on next year's models, there was a lot of interest when Honda took the covers of the new Accord Coupe Concept at the 2012 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) recently, revealing the first official glimpse of a new styling direction, as well as revealing a host of claimed new technologies for the all-new, ninth-generation 2013 model, set to go on-sale this fall in America.  Read More

Toyota's NS4 advanced plug-in hybrid concept that was unveiled in Detroit this week

Toyota's NS4 advanced plug-in hybrid concept that was unveiled this week at the 2012 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit is the brainchild of Toyota engineers who were given the task of designing a new mid-size concept for potential launch in markets worldwide by 2015. While the NS4 concept is a dedicated plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), Toyota says it isn’t part of its Prius family, with a next-generation Hybrid Synergy Drive plug-in system that is not only smaller and lighter, but is also more fuel efficient, boasts better acceleration and a longer all-electric range than the current system.  Read More

The lines of the Chrysler 700C are highly distinctive

Chrysler showed an interesting concept without much fanfare at Detroit's NAIAS this week. The 700C is being evaluated by Chrysler as the design direction for the next generation minivan. It's a bold effort to give some style to the boxy people mover market and public opinion will now decide if the angled B-pillar and huge wheels will see production.  Read More

Tata Technologies has unveiled its eMO EV concept car, that is designed to sell for US$20,...

You could be forgiven for thinking that an electric car called the eMO would be dark-colored, inspire sulkiness in its drivers, and play nothing but My Chemical Romance on its stereo. In this case, however, eMO stands for "Electric MObility study," which is just what India's Tata Technologies designed the concept car as - a study in practical, cost-effective electric city/urban transportation. The vehicle is currently on display at the North American International Auto Show as part of this year's Michelin Challenge Design exhibit, in which participants were asked to design "a personal, ground-based vehicle that can transport between two and 10 people, meeting the anticipated needs of select cities in 2046."  Read More

VW's electric E-Bugster in Detroit

Volkswagen will this week unveil its two-seater E-Bugster concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. There are no prizes, I'm afraid, for deducing from the entomological etymology that this is an all-electric variant of the classic VW Beetle. Kudos, though, if you identified that the name betrays the E-Bugster's shared DNA with the Ragster, VW's 2005 concept which itself informed the conventional Beetle of today. But enough on the name, let's take a look at the specs.  Read More

The 2013 Dodge Dart

Though claims by Dodge that its new Dart is a "revolutionary" car fall somewhere between delusional gibberish and being purposefully misleading, the Dart is almost certain to be a sales success in the American compact sedan marketplace. The replacement for the Dodge Caliber is basically a reworked Alfa Romeo Giulietta and has been created specifically as an American-made Chrysler based on a Fiat platform returning better than 40 mpg. At US$16,000, the Dart is economical, sporty and very price-competitive.  Read More

The smart for-us concept electric vehicle

Just last month, the designers at smart decided to tease us by releasing some sketches of a concept electric vehicle that they had actually created, known as the for-us. While the front of the vehicle looked quite a bit like the existing fortwo, the Subaru Brat-like mini rear cargo bed definitely gave it a unique car-truck-combo appeal ... or repulsion, depending on the observer. Well, with the start of the North American International Auto Show 2012 this week in Detroit, the curious need no longer wonder what the actual vehicle might look like, as it is proudly out on display.  Read More

The Lexus LF-LC Hybrid Sports Concept

The annual North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) can usually be counted on the produce at least one über-desirable concept car and the 2012 show currently underway in Detroit looks to have already met that quota thanks to Lexus with its LF-LC Hybrid Sports Coupe Concept. While the concept car itself might not be making it into showrooms anytime soon, Lexus’s Karl Schlicht says the hybrid 2+2 sport coupe created by California’s Calty studio “hints at the design cues that are coming in a wave of new Lexus models over the next two years.”  Read More

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