Detroit Auto Show 2012 (2) : US OEMs
GM and Chrysler exhibit small cars while Ford showcases hybrid vehicles
The 2012 North American International Auto Show (Detroit Auto Show) was held in Detroit, Michigan on January 9-22, 2012. The exhibition report has been broken down into three reports. This is the second report that covers concept cars and commercial models (planned to be launched) exhibited by US OEMs. US companies including GM, Ford, and Chrysler/Fiat Group (Detroit 3) and some electric vehicle manufacturers such as VIA Motors exhibited their products. The Detroit 3 showcased eco-friendly models such as hybrid vehicles (HVs) and electric vehicles (EVs) and new small passenger cars and compact SUVs.
Detroit Auto Show 2012 (3): Korean and European OEMs (Feb. 2012)
GM: exhibits multiple models including new models - Encore compact SUV and Cadillac ATS - and New Malibu
GM exhibited products under Cadillac brand, a high-end brand, Chevrolet, which deals with sports car, SUVs, and compact cars, and Buick, which markets midsize passenger cars and SUVs, at a separate booth of each brand.
2013MY Buick Encore, a small crossover model
GM showcased the Buick Encore, which is a 5-seat small crossover model that is scheduled to be launched at the beginning of 2013. Its wheelbase measures 2,555mm and the front and rear tread measure both 1,540mm, which are about the same size as that of Toyota RAV-4 (2,560mm and 1,560mm, respectively). One-class higher features such as a remote engine start and a dual-zone air conditioner are available as standard equipment or as an option. The model comes with a 140hp 4-cylinder 1.4-liter turbo engine and a compact 6-speed AT, which is developed for small cars, a highly-efficient alternator, and an electronic return-less fuel system as standard equipment. The company plans to assemble the model in Korea.
2013MY Buick Encore
2013MY Chevrolet Malibu Eco
GM exhibited the 2013MY New Malibu, which is the biggest-selling model in the US along with the Chevrolet Cruze (about 200,000 a year). By using a comparative advertisement with Toyota Camry, GM attracted attention to the excellent fuel economy of the New Malibu. The model comes with a direct-injection 2.4-liter engine (182hp/172lb-ft) and a 6-seed AT. It is equipped with a mild-hybrid system called eAssist, which consists of a start-stop system, a regenerative braking system, a motor-generator unit (which provides up to 15 kW of electricity/about 11kW (15hp)of electric power assistance), and a Li-ion battery (115V, 0.5kWh, max. output of 15kW). The system has already been used in the Regal and the LaCrosse under Buick brand. The city/hwy fuel economy is 25/37mpg, which is improved by +3 and +4 mpg, respectively, from the 2012MY model.
GM will market the New Malibu around March 2012, beginning with the Malibu Eco, which features eAssist system. Around the summer of 2012, it plans to launch a model with a 2.5-liter gasoline engine and then, a little later, a model with a 2-liter turbo engine.
2013MY Chevrolet Malibu Eco
A direct-injection 2.4-liter Ecotec engine with eAssist and a Li-ion battery that are used in the 2013MY Malibu Eco
Chevrolet Sonic RS
GM will add a RS version, which targets a new generation driver, as the 2013MY model to the Sonic sub-compact car, which it started producing at a plant in Michigan in 2011. The Sonic RS downsizes its engine from a 1.8-liter engine (138hp) to a 1.4-liter turbo Ecotec engine (138hp) with intercooler, which is used in Chevrolet Cruze, thus improving the city/hwy fuel economy by 4mpg and 5mpg to 29mpg and 40mpg, respectively. The shape of the front and rear bumpers, front grille, and aluminum wheel of the RS are also changed. A sedan and hatchback models of the Sonic are available, while only a hatchback is available for the Sonic RS.
2013MY Chevrolet Sonic RS, which is scheduled to be launched in the second half of 2012
GM also showcased two concept cars for young customers - the 2-door Chevrolet code130R and TRU140S. The company interviewed about 9,000 "Young Potential Customers" to ask what kind of new cars they would like to drive. Based on the results, the company made two concept coupes. The code130R, a 4-seat rear-wheel-drive coupe, has a muscular style that is assumed to come with eAssist turbo engine. The other 4-seat front-wheel-drive sports coupe, the TRU140S, share the same platform with Chevrolet Cruze. It comes with a direct-injection engine with a start-stop system. It has a streamlined, mild image. The car maker has no plan to mass-produce the models at the moment.
GM will start producing the New Cadillac ATS in Michigan in the summer of 2012. The Cadillac ATS is a high-end small 4-door sedan. It significantly reduces weight by using aluminum engine hood, magnesium engine mount bracket, and high-tensile steel to less than 3,400lbs (1,542kg), which is the lightest in this class. It is assumed to compete with models including BMW 3 series. A rear-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive models will be available.
It is said that GM's engineers conducted thorough experiments on handling performance and test runs repeatedly by using the Nurburgring Circuit in Germany. To the ATS, a 4-cylinder engine and a 6-cylinder engine and a 6-speed AT and a 6-speed MT are available. The core specifications of the engines are shown in the table below. The maximum output per liter (130hp/L) of the 2-liter turbo engine is as high as that of Subaru Impreza WRX (305hp/2.5-liter turbo) and Nissan GTR (530hp/3.8-liter twin-turbo) (both of which are US versions)
Specifications of the engines used in Cadillac ATS
|2.0-liter Inline-4 turbo||2.5-liter Inline-4||3.6-liter V6|
|Max. output (estimation by GM)||270hp||202hp||320hp|
|Max. torque (estimation by GM)||260 lb･ft||191 lb･ft||267 lb･ft|
|Type of turbo||Twin scroll (with intercooler)||no||no|
|Valve drive||DOHC, VVT||DOHC, VVT||DOHC, VVT|
VVT: variable valve timing
2013MY Cadillac ATS
Body frame of the 2013MY Cadillac ATS
Chevrolet MIRAY concept car
GM exhibited the MIRAY concept car, which is a 2-seat sports car that is designed by GM Advanced Studio in Seoul, Korea. The MIRAY, which means "Future" in Korea, was unveiled at the 2011 Seoul Motor Show. The model features a near-futuristic exterior. Its powertrain adopts a HV system that consists of a 1.5-liter turbo engine and two motors (2x15kW) that drive the front wheels, and a Li-ion battery (1.6kWh). The model is also said to feature a start-stop system and a regenerative braking system.
MIRAY 2-seat sports car concept
Main gasoline engines that GM exhibits
|2.0-liter Inline-4 turbo||2.4-liter Inline-4||3.6-liter V6||6.0-liter V8||6.2-liter V8 supercharger|
|Main models that use the engine||Buick Regal||Buick LaCrosse||Cadillac CTS||Cadillac Escalade Hybrid||Chevrolet Camaro ZL1|
|Type||Direct-injection 4 valve DOHC||Direct-injection 4 valve DOHC||Direct-injection 4 valve DOHC||2 valve OHV||2 valve OHV|
|Variable valve timing system (VVT)||With VVT||With VVT||With VVT||With VVT||no|
|Characteristics||Intercooler Twin scroll turbo||With eAssist system||Two-mode Hybrid||Water-cooled supercharger|
|Fuel economy (city/hwy)||18/29 mpg||25/36 mpg||18/27mpg||20/23mpg||14/19mpg|
|Transmission||6-speed AT||6-speed AT||6-speed AT||4-speed AT||6-speed MT|
2.0-liter Inline-4 turbo gasoline engine used in the Buick Regal
2.4-liter Inline-4-cylinder gasoline engine with eAssist used in the Buick LaCrosse
3.6-liter V6 gasoline engine used in the Cadillac CTS
6.0-liter V8 gasoline engine used in the Cadillac Escalade Hybrid
6.2-liter V8 supercharged gasoline engine used in the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Ford: exhibits HV and PHV versions of the New Fusion, its main midsize sedan, and also showcases Focus EV
Ford unveiled the new 2013MY Fusion, its main model. The Fusion midsize sedan competes with models such as GM Chevrolet Malibu, Toyota Camry, and Honda Accord; Ford attracts attention to the Fusion's excellent fuel economy. The model features a significantly-changed front design with a large front grille, which is like that of high-end models in Europe. In order to improve fuel economy, the company lowered its engine displacement, while turbocharging makes a small engine powerful enough. The current model uses an Inline-4 2.5-liter/V6 3.0-liter naturally aspirated engine, whereas the new model comes with a 1.6-liter/2.0-liter turbocharged EcoBoost engine. The city/hwy fuel economy of a 1.6-liter model is 26/37mpg, which is improved by 3 and 4mpg, respectively, from the current 2.5-liter model.
In addition to the gasoline-powered model, a HV and a PHV that is called "Fusion Energi" of the Fusion will be made available. The company plans to start marketing a gasoline-powered model and a HV version in the second half of 2012 and a PHV at the beginning of 2013. Ford will also feature in the Fusion MyFord Touch, an in-car communications system that it jointly developed with Microsoft. While driving, the driver can operate the system only with voice commands including exchanges of information such as text messages with cellular phones and communications equipment.
Specifications of the engines used in the Fusion (Fusion is assembled at the two plants in Michigan, USA, and in Mexico)
|1.6-liter Inline-4 EcoBoost||2.0-liter Inline-4 EcoBoost||2.5-liter Inline-4 Duratec||(Reference) 2.5-liter Inline-4 (Toyota Camry)||(Reference) 2.4-liter Inline-4 (Hyundai Sonata)|
|Specifications||Direct-injection 4 valve DOHC 1.6-liter Intake and exhaust VCT||Direct-injection 4 valve DOHC 2.0-liter Intake and exhaust VCT||4 valve DOHC 2.5-liter Intake VCT||4 valve DOHC 2.5-liter Dual VVT||Direct-injection 4 valve DOHC 2.4-liter Dual CVVT|
|Country of origin||UK||Spain||Mexico||USA||USA|
|T/M||6-speed AT (Option: 6-speed MT)||6-speed AT with paddle shift||6-speed AT||6-speed AT||6-speed AT|
|Max. output (estimation)||179hp||237hp||170hp||178hp||198hp|
|Max. torque (estimation)||172lb･ft||250lb･ft||170lb･ft||170lb･ft||184lb･ft|
|city/hwy fuel economy (planned)||26/37 mpg||23/33 mpg||23/33 mpg||25/35 mpg||24/35 mpg|
VCT: variable camshaft timing VVT: variable valve timing CVVT: continuously variable valve timing
Specifications of HV/PHV versions of the Fusion
|Fusion HV||Fusion PHV||(Reference) Camry HV||(Reference) Hyundai Sonata HV|
|Engine||Atkinson-cycle 2.0-liter||Atkinson-cycle 2.0-liter||Atkinson-cycle 2.5-liter||Atkinson-cycle 2.4-liter|
|System max. output||185hp (estimation)||185hp (estimation)||200hp||206hp|
|HV system||Regenerative braking with start-stop system||Regenerative braking with start-stop system||Regenerative braking with start-stop system||Regenerative braking with start-stop system|
|Battery||Li-ion battery||Li-ion battery||Nickel metal hydride battery||Li-polymer battery|
|city/hwy fuel economy (planned)||47/44 mpg||100 mpge (PHV mode)||43/39 mpg (LE model)||35/40 mpg|
Ford exhibited a concept car of the New Lincoln MKZ, which it is scheduled to launch in the second half of 2012. The Lincoln MKZ is a midsize sedan that shares the same platform with the above-mentioned Ford Fusion. From the current box-shaped design, the design of the model has come close to a rounded style that is similar to that of the MKS full-size high-end sedan, which is one class higher model. Ford says that it changed the design of the MKZ from the current "Complex" to "Elegant Simplicity". For the MKZ, the company plans to adopt the features such as fuel-efficient EcoBoost engine and variable dampening suspension, which are used in the MKS, a large sedan and the MKT, a crossover SUV. MKS and MKT will also undergo a facelift in 2012 as the MKZ will.
2013MY Lincoln MKZ Concept
In 2011, Ford announced that it would start marketing only HV and PHV (C-MAX Energi) versions of the C-MAX 5-seat compact MPＶ in the US in the second half of 2012. Originally, the company had planned to sell a gasoline-powered model, which it markets in Europe, in the US. It showcased these two models (HV and PHV) at the Detroit Auto Show this year. Like Ford Fusion, the only differences in the exterior between the HV and the PHV is the logos on the front grille and the lift gate (Hybrid or Energi) and whether there is a charging port flap on the front, left fender or not.
The HV and the PHV versions come with a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle engine, an electronically-controlled CVT, two motors and a Li-ion battery. The city/hwy fuel economy of the HV is 41/36mpg (estimation). The company says that the cruising range of the PHV is targeted to be more than 500 miles.
Ford C-MAX Energi (PHV)
Ford added the EV version to the Focus, starting production in 2011. The gasoline-equivalent fuel-economy of the Focus EV is said to be 100mpge for the first time as a 5-seat EV. In addition, due to the faster 240V charging technology, it takes three to four hours to charge the battery, which is about half the time required by the Nissan Leaf. The Focus EV can extend the cruising range further by charging the battery several times in a day. It can be charged using a 120V household outlet. Ford started accepting orders for the Focus EV in three States - California, New York, and New Jersey - in November 2011. The company will begin to accept orders in other 15 states in 2012. The specifications of the Focus EV are as follows:
Max. output: 143hp, max. torque: 184lb-ft, max. speed: 84mph, capacity of a water-cooled Li-ion battery: 23kWh
The battery cell is made by Korea-based LG Chem. The battery is assembled by LG Chem's subsidiary, Compact Power Inc (Michigan, USA).
Ford Focus EV
2013MY Lincoln MKS＆Lincoln MKT
Ford exhibited the 2013MY Lincoln MKS, a full-size high-end sedan, and the Lincoln MKT, a full-size crossover SUV, which it plans to apply a facelift and to start marketing in the summer of 2012. The MKS renews the engine hood and front bumper, and the design of the interior. It comes with a continuously controlled damper, which is called CCD (continuous controlled damping), for the suspension system as standard equipment, thus achieving ride comfort and motion performance. The output of a V6 3.7-liter engine is improved to 300hp (+26hp), beginning with the 2012MY model. Then, the highway fuel economy is improved by 3mpg and the city/hwy fuel economy is to 19mpg/28mpg.
The MKT crossover SUV has changed the design of the front grille and the bumper to new ones. A 355 hp EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6 turbo engine is available as an option to the MKS and the MKT. CCD is available to the MKT with this EcoBoost engine. In order to reduce weight, compression molded resin composite parts are used for the trunk lid of the MKS sedan. The inside panel and outside panel of the lift gate of the MKT is made of magnesium and aluminum, respectively.
2013MY Lincoln MKS
2013MY Lincoln MKT
Chrysler/Fiat Group: unveils the Dodge Dart, which shares the same platform with Fiat
2013MY Dodge Dart
Chrysler exhibited the 2013MY Dodge Dart, a compact sedan that shares the same platform with Alfa Romeo Giulietta (Alfa Romeo is under the umbrella of Italy-based Fiat). The Dodge Dart is longer and wider than the Giulietta, securing the interior space. Although it is a small car, the Dodge Dart has a luxurious design for the interior and the exterior as it adopts an LED tail lamp and a large liquid crystal panel in the instrumental panel. In addition, high-tensile steel is used in the 68% of the white body in order to improve the rigidity of the vehicle body. Users can choose from three engines - a 1.4-liter turbo engine with intercooler, 2.0-liter and 2.4-liter engines that are called Tigershark - and from three transmissions - 6-speed AT, 6-speed MT, and 6-speed DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission). An electro-hydraulic variable valve lift technology (called MultiAir), which Fiat has developed, is used on the intake side of a 1.4-liter turbo engine and a 2.4-liter engine in order to improve fuel economy and output and to reduce CO2 emissions. The Dart is scheduled to be launched in the summer of 2012.
2013MY Dodge Dart (front perspective view)
2013MY Dodge Dart (rear)
2013MY Dodge Dart cutaway model for interior
Specifications of engines that are used in the Dart
|2.4-liter Inline-4||2.0-liter Inline-4||1.4-liter Inline-4 turbo||(Reference) 1.4-liter Inline-4 (used in the Fiat500)|
|Specifications||4 valve SOHC 2.4-liter||4 valve DOHC 2.0-liter||4 valve SOHC 1.4-liter||4 valve SOHC 1.4-liter|
|MultiAir system||With MultiAir||no||With MultiAir||With MultiAir|
|Max. output (estimation)||184hp||160hp||160hp||101hp|
|Max. torque (estimation)||171 lb･ft||145 lb･ft||184 lb･ft||98 lb･ft|
|city/hwy fuel economy (planned)||Not announced as of January 2012||27/34 mpg(6-speed AT) 30/38 mpg(5-speed MT)|
MultiAir system: An electro-hydraulic variable valve lift technology (intake side), which Fiat developed
Tigershark 2.4-liter Inline-4 gasoline engine
Tigershark 2.0-liter Inline-4 gasoline engine
1.4-liter Inline-4 turbo gasoline engine used in the Dart
1.4-liter Inline-4 gasoline engine used in the Fiat500
700C minivan concept
Chrysler has about 50% share of the minivan market in the US; the Town & Country and the Dodge Grand Caravan are popular models. The company exhibited the 700C concept at this Motor Show. As compared to box-shaped minivans, the position of the engine hood and the height of the model are lower. The curved line from the windshield to the roof and the line at the back part of the driver's seat window are designed into two parallel curved lines. The 700C, which was showcased this time, is a concept car. It is still undecided whether this aerodynamic style is adopted in the new Chrysler minivan.
Chrysler 700C concept
Tesla Motors: exhibits Model S EV
Tesla exhibited the Model S EV and its chassis. The model uses a multi-link aluminum front and rear suspension. The Model S is a 7-seat (five adults and two children) 4-door sedan. A Li-ion battery with three capacity options is available. With a Li-ion battery having the highest capacity of 85kWh, the cruising range is up to 300 miles (480km). The company will produce the Model S by using some part of the former plant of NUMMI (a former joint venture company between GM and Toyota). The production volume will be 20,000 units a year, 5,000 units of which it plans to produce in 2012. The model is scheduled to be launched in the US in the summer of 2012.
Tesla Motors Model S (front view)
Tesla Motors Model S (rear view)
Chassis of Tesla Motors Model S (the rear part of the vehicle is shown in front)
VIA Motors: converts production vehicles to Extended-Range EVs (trucks) by adding a Li-ion battery and a motor
VIA Motors is a venture company that, based on GM's heavy pickup trucks, SUVs, and vans, changes a gasoline engine to generation-only engine and uses a 24kWh Li-ion battery and a 402hp motor, power generator, and control unit in those models to convert them to and market them as Extended-Range electric vehicles (PHVs), which is the same as GM Volt. VIA exhibited three models for the first time in the Detroit Auto Show. Without using the engine, the model can run up to 40 miles in the EV mode. An attachable interface, which, by generating electricity with the engine, can supply it for home (during blackout) or outdoor activities, is available. The cruising range is up to 400 miles (about 640km). The average fuel economy is 100mpg. The company plans to start selling the product to corporations in 2012.
Extended-Range EV, which is based on GM's pickup
Interface for supplying electricity
CODA Automotive's EV
Coda Automotive is a venture company that, based on the body of compact sedans made in China, manufactures EVs. The company announced that it would start production in November 2011 and begin selling the product in February 2012. Many of the components are made in China. The final assembly is conducted at a plant in California, USA. With a Li-ion battery and a motor (134hp/221lb-ft), its EV can run up to 150 miles (battery capacity: 36kWh) on a full charge. The batteries installed under the floor and below the rear seat weigh about 300kg. It takes six hours to fully charge the battery (220V).
See-through model of CODA EV
Control units in the trunk (made by Lear)
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