North American International Auto Show 2013 (1)

US and European OEMs: the emphasis shifts to performance and style

2013/02/08

Summary

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Overhead View This is the first report from the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) 2013 held January 14-27 in Detroit, Michigan, USA.

 The tone of this year's auto show was more positive than the past few years as the US auto industry is in the middle of a slow and steady recovery. However, optimism was muted as companies are still worried about economic progress in Europe and ongoing fiscal debates in US government.

 While most companies exhibiting at the show were displaying green technologies in the form of electric, hybrid, or fuel cell vehicles, these were not as prominent as in the previous few years. The emphasis has shifted to performance and style, while focusing on the practical. Most concept and prototype vehicles are near-production designs and will be in the market within the next year or two. Gone are the whimsical and extravagant design concepts that had little chance of ever making it to production.

 From an artistic standpoint, the generous use of LED lights continues to permeate the designs of several models, from entry level to high-end offerings. More manufacturers are introducing tiny cameras and sensors to their models. This report focuses on the vehicles displayed by the major North American and European carmakers at the 2013 North American International Auto Show. A second report will be released highlighting cars shown by Japanese and Korean manufacturers.


 Related reports:
NAIAS 2012 Japanese OEMs, US OEMs, European/Korean OEMs



GM debuts new 1500 Pickups, Cadillac ELR and Corvette Stingray

2014 Chevrolet Silverado and 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 Pickup Trucks

 Previously revealed to the media but making their public debut at the North American International Auto Show were the all-new 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups. Both trucks offer three engine options that incorporate direct fuel injection, cylinder deactivation and continuously variable valve timing. All can switch to four-cylinder operation to improve efficiency during light driving loads.

Chevrolet Silverado Chevrolet Silverado Interior
Chevrolet Silverado Chevrolet Silverado Interior

 

2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra Engine Options
Powertrains 4.3L V-6 EcoTec3 (LV3) 5.3L V-8 EcoTec3 (L83) 6.2.L V-8 EcoTec3 (L86)
Displacement (cu in / cc): 262 / 4301 325 / 5328 376 / 6162
Bore & stroke (mm): 99.6 x 92 96 x 92 103.25 x 92
Block material: cast aluminum cast aluminum cast aluminum
Cylinder head material: cast aluminum cast aluminum cast aluminum
Compression ratio: 11.0:1 11.0:1 11.5:1

Source: General Motors


GM 5.3L V-8 EcoTec3 Engine
GM 5.3L V-8 EcoTec3 Engine


 The rear bumpers of both trucks have an integrated corner step to aid in entering into the truck. A complimentary hand grip in the top of each side of the truck bed further assists access to the new 6.5 foot pickup box.

 Four-wheel disc brakes with GM exclusive Duralife brake rotors are new this year. The hardened and strengthened surface reduces corrosion, lasting twice as long as conventional rotors. They also provide quieter braking with less vibration, further enhancing the driving experience.

 Changes to the exterior of the Silverado can be described as subtle with slightly more aggressive lines, using aerodynamic improvements to help fuel economy. The strong wheel flares can accommodate 17 or 20 inch wheels, with 22 inch wheels available as an accessory. The hood features "twin power domes" that guide air over the windshield wipers for reduced wind noise. A new option is the power rear sliding window with defroster.

 All Sierra models have chrome grille surrounds and premium black wheel arch moldings. Different trim levels feature chrome belt moldings, mirror caps and door handles, as well as unique wheel designs and grill details. The hood is aluminum, saving approximately 17 pounds versus a comparable steel hood.

GMC Sierra GMC Sierra Interior
GMC Sierra GMC Sierra Interior

 

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Sports Car

 One of the most popular introductions this year was the 7th generation Corvette, and only the third one to bear the Stingray name. This highly-anticipated vehicle was immediately distinguishable as a Corvette, despite only sharing two parts with the previous generation.

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Front View Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Overhead View
Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Front View Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Overhead View


 A new LT1 6.2L Small Block V-8 will produce approximately 450 hp (335 kW) and 450 lb-ft of torque (610 Nm). The new engine combines direct injection, Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation), continuously variable valve timing and an advanced combustion system that delivers more power with less fuel.

 The Stingray accelerates from 0-60 mph in less than four seconds. It is also expected to be the most fuel-efficient Corvette, exceeding the EPA-estimated 26 mpg (9.05 l/100km) in the current model.

LT1 6.2L V-8 VVT Chevrolet Corvette Aluminum Frame
LT1 6.2L V-8 VVT Chevrolet Corvette Aluminum Frame


 Lightweight materials can be found throughout the vehicle including a carbon fiber hood and removable roof panel; composite fenders, doors and rear quarter panels; carbon-nano composite underbody panels and a new aluminum frame. The use of these materials helped achieve a 50/50 weight distribution of the vehicle. Laser welding is used in the joining process to eliminate heat distortion.

 The low front end leads the eye to the nicely rounded grille which is intended to decrease drag. The rounded tail lights, which have been around since 1961, have been replaced by a modern slanted rectangular shape that complements the wide aggressive stance. The gently curved front fenders, hood and roof flow nicely and pick up cues from the original 1963 Stingray.


Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Rear View
Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Rear View

 

2014 Cadillac ELR Plug-in Hybrid

 The ELR is Cadillac's first battery powered luxury car which puts it in competition with other luxury electrics like the Tesla Model S and the Fisker Karma. The vehicle essentially uses the same technology as the Chevrolet Volt plug-in range extended vehicle. The ELR can run in electric mode for approximately 35 miles (3 fewer than the Volt) before seamlessly switching to gasoline mode. The overall range is about 300 miles.

 ELR's forward-leaning stance is practically unchanged from the Converj concept that previewed in 2009. The ELR intends to continue the "Art & Science" design theme that Cadillac has been using for about a decade. The long vertical head lamps, lengthened tail lamps and the sharp lines tie the design to the brand family. The vehicle also introduces a power-assisted sliding cup holder cover, noise cancellation audio technology and Cadillac's CUE entertainment system.

Cadillac ELR Cadillac ELR Rear View
Cadillac ELR Cadillac ELR Rear View


 One feature of the ELR is a paddle on the wheel that deploys the regenerative braking. Deploying this feature in sporty driving (around curves for example) will mimic the effect of a downshift. This is an interesting spin on incorporating a performance feature as a green technology.

 The Cadillac ELR will likely be priced above the Volt when it goes on sale, leading to speculation that it will be produced in relatively low volumes. It will be made at the Detroit Hamtramck plant with production starting around the fourth quarter of 2013.

 

 



Ford shows versatility and style with the Ford Transit, Ford Atlas Truck, and Lincoln MKC Crossover

2014 Ford Transit / Transit Connect Commercial Vans

 The full-size Ford Transit van is set to replace the Ford E series of vehicles in the US. The Transit series offers many build options and can be configured to meet the needs of anything from large families to small businesses and commercial fleet customers.

Ford Transit Connect Wagon Ford Transit Full-size Cargo Van
Ford Transit Connect Wagon Ford Transit Full-size Cargo Van


 The vehicle can be configured in 3 body lengths, 4 body types, 3 roof heights, and 2 wheelbases. The Transit Connect Wagon offers seating configurations for 5 or 7 passengers. Fold flat capabilities can accommodate over 100 cubic feet of cargo space in the Transit Connect Wagon. The Transit Connect compact van can handle up to 130 cubic feet of cargo space, a 1,600-pound payload, and 2,000 pounds of towing capacity. The rear doors are available as a lift-gate or side hinged doors, with sliding doors along the sides.

2014 Ford Transit Options
Roof Height Options
Vehicle heights 83.2", 100.8", 110.2"
Interior cargo heights 55.8", 72.0", 81.5"
Body Length Options
Wheelbase 129.9", 147.6", Extended length
Body Types
Styles Van, bus, chassis cab, cutaway

Source: Ford Motor Company


 The Transit full-size van uses high-strength and Boron ultra-high strength steel. The new design offers nearly 500 cubic feet of cargo capacity, more than double the current E-series van.

 Ford claims that the Transit van and wagon will have best-in-class fuel economy, and the lowest operating costs among the segment. Look for these to hit US dealer lots in fall 2013 and the Transit in early 2014.

 

Ford Atlas Pickup Concept (2015 Ford F-150)

 The Ford Atlas Concept shows off Ford's future design intention of the best-selling F-Series pickup trucks. The wide stance is strong, sturdy and aggressive, with a liberal use of chrome in the front grille. The large arches over the wheels are intended to enhance the toughness of the design, while keeping it recognizable as a Ford pickup. There is extensive use of LED lights for better illumination in the head lamps & tail lamps and along the cargo box for convenience.

Ford Atlas Pickup Concept (2015 Ford F-150) Ford Atlas Dual-Purpose Tailgate Step and Cargo Cradle
Ford Atlas Pickup Concept (2015 Ford F-150) Ford Atlas Dual-Purpose Tailgate Step and Cargo Cradle


 Among some of the gas-saving features are a retractable spoiler underneath the front bumper, "active grille shutters" behind the grille and "active wheel shutters" between the wheel spokes. These are designed to stay open at low speeds to enhance styling and to shut automatically to increase fuel economy at higher speeds. The sides include power running boards to assist with vehicle entry while at rest. These retract against the truck while moving to further enhance aerodynamics.

 The tailgate step doubles as a cargo cradle for extra-long cargo such as ladders, boards, or even a kayak. The roof has a rubber pad on top for these oversize items to rest upon without scratching the paint surface.

 To enhance visibility, a 360 degree camera gives the driver a birds-eye view when maneuvering into tight parking spaces. Dynamic Hitch Assist allows the driver to use the in-cabin information screen to easily line up the hitch to the trailer. Trailer Backup Assist helps the driver back-up a trailer by simply twisting a knob.


2013 Ford F-150's cutaway model
2013 Ford F-150's cutaway model

 

Lincoln MKC Crossover Concept

 The Lincoln MKC small crossover concept is targeted toward the "cultural progressives"; people who are open to new ideas and experiences. This model will likely appeal to family or pre-family couples who want to purchase their first luxury vehicle. Lincoln is also banking on this to appeal to people who wish to downsize from larger SUVs to "simplify their lives".

Lincoln MKC Crossover Concept Lincoln MKC Crossover Concept Interior
Lincoln MKC Crossover Concept Lincoln MKC Crossover Concept Interior


 The exterior features white metallic tri-coat paint, 20-inch premium chrome wheels and a panoramic roof that runs the length of the vehicle. The low roofline elongates the vehicle, but may impose a bit on rear seat headroom. The split front grille sweeps up nicely toward the LED head lights while the one-piece continuous taillight adds to the sleekness of the overall design.

 The interior is well done with premium leather and the Lincoln logo is subtly incorporated into the floor mats and speaker mesh. Other details include reconstructed natural wood infused with metallic flakes on the steering wheel, upper instrument panel and door panels to provide a glistening effect. These attributes are intended to reinforce Lincoln's theme of "elegant simplicity". According to a representative at the show, this vehicle will evolve and appear at the New York and L.A. auto shows as it approaches production.

 

Ford EcoBoost Engines

 Ford exhibited several versions of its fuel saving EcoBoost engines at the North American International Auto Show. Ford uses high pressure direct injection, turbo power, and advanced powertrain controls to get up to 20% better fuel economy and 15% lower CO2 emissions from its conventional gasoline engines.

Ford 1.0L EcoBoost® I-4 Engine Ford 1.6L EcoBoost® I-4 Engine
Ford 1.0L EcoBoost I-4 Engine Ford 1.6L EcoBoost I-4 Engine
Ford 1.6L EcoBoost® I-4 Engine Ford 1.6L EcoBoost® I-4 Engine
Ford 1.6L EcoBoost I-4 Engine Ford 1.6L EcoBoost I-4 Engine


 EcoBoost is Ford's strategy to provide technologically advanced, high-output, smaller-displacement powertrains that deliver high-performance and better fuel economy. Versions of this engine can be found from the 1.0-liter three-cylinder in the European Fiesta & Focus to the 3.5-liter six-cylinder available in the F-Series pickup truck.

EcoBoost Engine Specifications
Engine Type 1.0-liter EcoBoost inline three-cylinder 1.6-liter EcoBoost inline four-cylinder 2.0-liter EcoBoost inline four-cylinder 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6
Vehicles 2013 Europe Fiesta, B-MAX, Focus and C-MAX, 2014 NA Fiesta 2013 Escape, 2013 Fusion, 2014 Fiesta ST, 2014 Transit Connect 2013 Escape, 2013 Explorer, 2013 Fusion, 2013 Taurus, 2013 Edge, 2013 Focus ST 2013 F-150, 2014 Transit Cargo Van
Configuration Cast iron block and aluminum heads Aluminum block and heads Aluminum block and aluminum heads Aluminum block and heads
Bore x stroke 2.83 x 3.23 in. 3.11 x 3.20 in. 3.44 x 3.27 in. 3.64 x 3.45 in.
Displacement 61.9 cu. in./999 cc 97.4 cu. in./1,596 cc 122 cu. in./1,999 cc 214 cu. In./3,496 cc
Compression ratio 10.0:1 10.1:1 9.3:1 10.0:1
Horsepower 125 @ 6,000 rpm 178 @ 5,700 rpm 240 @ 5,500 rpm 365 @ 5,000 rpm
Torque 170 lb-ft 177- 184 lb-ft, depending on model 270 lb-ft@ 3,000 rpm F-150: 420 lb-ft@ 2,500 rpm

Source: Ford Motor Company and MarkLines


 Ford is expected to continue to improve its EcoBoost engines to help meet rigorous new fuel economy standards in the US. It is offering a variant of this engine as an option in virtually all of its North American vehicles.

 

 



Chrysler-Fiat: safety and luxury define the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Maserati Quattroporte

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Cherokee SRT Sport Utility Vehicles

 The very popular Jeep Grand Cherokee will be offered in four variations, the Laredo, Limited, Overland, and top-of-the-line Summit. Each version offers unique exterior styling, colors, and standard features depending on the buyer's preference.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT
Jeep Grand Cherokee Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT


 The Grand Cherokee has three engine options: a 3.0L V-6 turbo EcoDiesel, a 3.6L V-6 Pentastar, and a 5.7L V-8 Hemi. The turbo diesel is a new option for Jeep, benefiting from its relationship with Fiat. It produces 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. It is expected to achieve a best-in-class 30 mpg highway with a driving range of more than 730 miles. A new Eco Mode feature optimizes the Grand Cherokee transmission's shift schedule. It also manages cylinder deactivation and throttle sensitivity in the V-8 models.

 Also new is an 8-speed automatic transmission which improves towing capability and fuel economy. Another benefit is a lower crawl ratio of 44.1:1 to aid in climbing over obstacles when equipped with a two-speed transfer case. This is a 46% improvement over the previous model.

 The SRT (Street and Racing Technology) is the high-performance version incorporating the powerful 6.4-liter HEMI V-8. This engine provides 470 horsepower (351 kW) at 6,000 rpm and 465 lb-ft (630 Nm) of torque at 4,300 rpm. The SRT also features a launch control system controlled by a button behind the new T-handle shifter. Launch control mimics a professional driver's inputs by bringing engine, transmission, driveline, stability control, and suspension in line. The result is improved and consistent straight-line acceleration.

 

Chrysler 300S Turbine Design Concept

 The 300S Turbine edition was a surprise concept at this year's North American International Auto Show. It celebrates the 50th anniversary of the 1963 Chrysler Turbine show car.

Chrysler 300S Turbine Design Concept Chrysler 300S Turbine Design Concept
Chrysler 300S Turbine Design Concept


 The car features copper exterior paint in a matte finish, a gloss black painted roof, 22 inch turbine shaped wheels with polished face, billet grille, darkened head lamps and tail lamps, and platinum side mirrors. It is uncertain if these design features will be added to future "S" version Chryslers.

 

2013 Fiat 500 Turbo Version

 Fiat showed off the turbo version of the 500 for the North American market. It features a 1.4L 16V Multiair turbocharged engine with twin intercoolers. This combination delivers 135 hp and 150 lb-ft of torque. To enhance performance, the vehicle comes with a sport tuned suspension, performance braking system, electronic stability control and a five-speed manual heavy duty transmission.


Fiat 500 Turbo
Fiat 500 Turbo


 From a design standpoint, the vehicle comes with unique black pocketed 16-in aluminum alloy wheels, red brake calipers, and gloss black head lamp and tail lamp bezels. The interior features a leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated audio controls.

 

2014 Maserati Quattroporte Luxury Sedan

 Maserati once again graced the halls of Cobo Hall with the world premiere of the Maserati Quattroporte. This all-new version is lighter, larger, and more luxurious than its predecessor. Its top speed of 191 mph rivals that of most two door supercars.

Maserati Quattroporte Maserati Quattroporte
Maserati Quattroporte


 Options are comprised of a newly-developed direct-injection, turbocharged family of engines that includes a 3.8-liter V-8 and a 3.0-liter V-6. Both are accompanied by an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission.

 The "Q4" system is a first on the Quattroporte. This system automatically redistributes torque instantly from full rear-wheel drive at high speeds to a balanced 50/50 distribution between the front and rear wheels when traction is needed. Also contributing to its performance is the near 50:50 weight distribution, a double-wishbone front suspension, and a state-of-the-art five-link rear suspension.


Maserati V-8 Engine
Maserati V-8 Engine

 This vehicle will be built at the all-new Torino, Italy plant with possible release in February or March 2013. A Maserati spokesperson indicated that a convertible version is likely to make an appearance this summer.

 

 



Tesla enters SUV segment with Model X Concept

2014 Tesla Model X Sport Utility Concept

 A very popular display at the NAIAS was the Tesla Model X concept. This very sleek utility vehicle adds another segment to Tesla's pure electric offerings. The windshield extends up and sweeps over the roof seamlessly. The small headlamps appear to be squinting, enhancing the smoothness of the overall design.


Tesla Model X Concept
Tesla Model X Concept


 Unique to the Model X are the "Falcon Wing" side doors, allowing easy access for passengers to step into the second and third rows. The two-toned interior is nicely adorned with attractive high-end leather adding to the overall luxurious feel. An oversize touchscreen in the center of the dashboard displays information and entertainment options. The Model X is expected to be available in early 2014.

 

 



VW introduces CrossBlue and Passat Concepts; Audi takes performance to a new level; Bentley exudes extravagance

VW CrossBlue SUV Plug-in Hybrid Concept

 VW showed off its seven seat mid-size crossover plug-in hybrid concept CrossBlue at the NAIAS. The appearance is masculine and features a style line along the side that connects the head lamp to the tail lamp. The air intake is integrated into the long hood which sweeps down to a relatively short front overhang.

 The VW CrossBlue is purely electric on short trips and takes advantage of a clean 2.0-liter clean diesel engine (TDI) for longer trips. Energy is recuperated during braking, coasting, and hill descents. The front axle is powered by a 40kW electric motor/alternator and the rear axle is powered by an 85kW motor/alternator. The front electric motor is driven directly by the engine and acts as a generator to charge the battery.

VW CrossBlue Concept VW CrossBlue Concept Rear View
VW CrossBlue Concept VW CrossBlue Concept Rear View


 The CrossBlue offers three driving modes: classic hybrid, Eco or Sport. The engine and motors are separated from the drive train when the driver lifts his foot from the gas pedal, releasing engine drag torque. Electric range is approximately 13.7 miles with 75 mph top speed in electric mode. Fuel economy is rated at 89 mpg.

 

VW Passat Performance Concept

 VW also showed the Passat Performance Concept. A 1.8L turbo diesel engine puts out approximately 250 horsepower. Although this produces more power than a standard version, it is in-line with competing models. There isn't much to distinguish it from a normal Passat except for the dual exhaust pipes and the 19-inch wheels. The interior features some carbon fiber accents and two-toned black and silver seats. VW is likely displaying this concept to gauge interest in a potential production version.


VW Passat Performance Concept
VW Passat Performance Concept

 

2014 Audi RS 7 Sportback Midsize Performance Sedan

 The RS 7 made its world debut in Detroit, showcasing an attractive design, impressive technology and a sporty feel. The 4.0 TFSI twin-turbo V-8 engine produces 560 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. It takes off from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in just 3.9 seconds, and the speed governor can be deactivated to permit a top speed of 305 km/h (189.52 mph). This makes it the fastest and most powerful car that Audi builds. Like other offerings in the brand, the RS 7 comes with quattro all-wheel drive and an eight-speed Tiptronic transmission.

Audi RS 7 Sportback Audi RS 7 Sportback rearview
Audi RS 7 Sportback Audi RS 7 Sportback rearview


 Often seen on trucks, the RS 7 has a "cylinder on demand" feature that can deactivate four cylinders at low to medium loads by closing their valves via electromechanical actuators. This can increase fuel economy by as much as 10%. To improve driver comfort and handling, the adaptive air suspension lowers the body by 20mm and adaptive damping adjusts the suspension to road conditions.

 The vehicle on display was a beautiful Suzuka gray metallic color. The interior was black Valcona leather with rock gray contrast stitching. Optional 21-inch wheels in 5-spoke blade design were showcased. The Sportback has a high-gloss black protective grille with honeycomb structure and add-on parts in matted aluminum, creating an elegant industrial feel. All these technology and design details add up to a price tag approaching $100K.

 

2014 Audi SQ5 Sport Crossover

 Also making a world premiere is the Audi SQ5 sport crossover. This Audi will be powered by a gasoline V-6 producing 354 hp (260 kW) and 346.65 lb-ft (470 Nm) of torque. It goes from zero to 100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 5.3 seconds on its way to a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). An eight-speed Tiptronic transmission and quattro all-wheel drive with torque vectoring enhance the SQ5's performance.

Audi SQ5 Audi SQ5 Interior
Audi SQ5 Audi SQ5 Interior


 The color on the display vehicle was an attractive Estoril blue crystal. The platinum gray radiator grille with horizontal double bars, the distinctive bumpers and the roof spoiler are particularly eye-catching. The interior has carbon inlays, wood inserts and fine Nappa black leather with silver sport seats. One common feature of the Audi family is the sport steering wheel which flattens at the bottom.

 The SQ5 is scheduled to arrive at US dealerships in the third quarter of 2013. It is expected to be loaded with extensive features as standard equipment.

 

2013 Audi RS 5 Cabriolet

 Although not a major refresh, the RS 5 Cabriolet exhibits a number of features that are designed to reduce weight. The brakes feature "wave rotors" which use less material than standard rotors. Instead of a traditional circular-shaped rotor, the wave rotor has s-shaped curves, removing material without impacting performance. Special reinforcements contribute to the convertible's high rigidity while aluminum front fenders compensate for some of the added weight of the reinforcements. The refreshed RS 5 Cabriolet is due to go on sale in spring 2013.

"Wave Rotors" on the Audi RS 5 Cabriolet Audi RS 5 Cabriolet
"Wave Rotors" on the Audi RS 5 Cabriolet Audi RS 5 Cabriolet

 

2013 Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible

 At prices starting at $238,700, the Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible is targeted for the very exclusive high-end market. It features a 12-cylinder 6.0 liter turbocharged engine that delivers 616 hp. It can reach speeds up to 202 mph and goes from 0-60 mph in 4.1 seconds. The vehicle on display had a dark-tinted grille & front bumper, 21-inch alloy wheels and retailed for $257,985. Bentley wisely kept this vehicle on a protected platform, and a safe distance away from the general public.


Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible
Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible

 

 



Daimler presents refreshed E-Class, B-Class Electric Concept

2014 Mercedes E-Class Vehicles

 Mercedes made a splash this year by launching a significant refresh to the E-Class series. The most notable change has been to the front of the vehicle. The quad-style head lamps, which have been part of the vehicle design since 1995, have been dropped in favor of a more contemporary single light assembly. There are two grille options: the standard version with a three-louver look and star on the hood, or an incorporated sporty radiator with a large central star. Other changes include optional LED headlights and broad LED taillights.

Mercedes E-Class Coupe Mercedes E-Class Convertible
Mercedes E-Class Coupe Mercedes E-Class Convertible


 The E-Class incorporates 11 electronic aids to the "Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive" system that can prevent accidents with crossing vehicles or pedestrians. This includes "binocular vision" which includes a camera mounted behind the rearview mirror that generates a three-dimensional image to identify potential hazards. Other cameras aid in Active Lane Keeping Assist, to prevent accidents with oncoming traffic.

Binocular Vision: E-Class Hybrid Sedan Side camera: E 63 AMG
Binocular Vision: E-Class Hybrid Sedan Side camera: E 63 AMG


 The broad selection of engines is comprised of six highly-efficient gasoline and diesel versions. Most notable is the new 2.1L 4-cylinder diesel engine that replaces the 3.5-liter V-6 diesel currently offered in the rear-drive-only E350. The new engine produces 190 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. Other engine options include a 3.0L twin-turbo direct-injection V-6, a 402-horsepower twin-turbo V-8, and a diesel hybrid variant.

Mercedes E-Class Sedan Mercedes E 63 AMG
Mercedes E-Class Sedan Mercedes E 63 AMG


 The BlueDIRECT four-cylinder gasoline engines with spray-guided direct injection put the new E-Class vehicles among the highest-ranked cars in terms of fuel economy. An E400 hybrid powered by a 302-hp V-6 paired with a 27-hp electric motor is also available. Fuel economy is estimated at 24/30 mpg (9.8-7.8 L/100 km) city/highway. Stop-start technology further reduces fuel consumption.

 The performance minded E 63 AMG is the most powerful E-Class model ever with a maximum power of 585 hp. The permanent all-wheel drive 4MATIC system is standard on the top-of-the-line S-model and available on other AMG versions as an option.

 The new E-Class will be produced at Mercedes-Benz's plant in Sindelfingen, Germany.

 

2014 Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive Concept

 Mercedes is taking a look at a pure electric variant with the five-passenger B-Class Electric Drive Concept. This vehicle protects the lithium-ion battery in the "Energy Space" under the rear compartment of the vehicle. Initial testing in Europe has this vehicle producing 134 hp and 229 lb-ft of torque. Top speed is expected to be 90 mph with a range of approximately 100 miles.


Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive Concept
Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive Concept

 

 



BMW continues performance heritage with the 4-series Coupe, M6 Gran Coupe and MINI JCW Paceman

2014 BMW 4-Series Coupe Concept

 BMW continues its "Driver Experience" theme with the world premiere of the 4-Series Luxury Sport Coupe Concept. With BMW's description of "flowing elegance and powerful presence", the new 4-Series was created to replace the coupe and convertible versions of the 3-Series sport sedan. This version is approximately 3 inches longer and 2 inches wider than the current 3-Series coupe.

BMW 4-Series Coupe Concept BMW 4-Series Head Lamps
BMW 4-Series Coupe Concept BMW 4-Series Head Lamps


 The hexagon shaped LED headlights add to the BMW's driver oriented geometry theme. The low roof line, beefy hood, and long horizontal lines give this vehicle a very distinguished and athletic look. The vents behind the front wheels, called "Air Breathers" are functional and are designed to reduce drag. The front grille also closes to improve aerodynamics.

 BMW is taking a big risk by abandoning the 3-series name on the coupe and convertible. Consumers have a long history with this name, so it might be difficult for them to adjust to this change. BMW is countering this by saying that this car is unique enough to warrant a new name. The version shown in Detroit is approximately 90% of what the production version will look like.

 

2014 BMW M6 Gran Coupe Performance Sedan

 BMW describes the M6 Gran Coupe as "athleticism and aesthetics in their purest form." The Gran Coupe is the third body variant of the M6 high performance sports car. Under the hood lies a 4.4 liter, 32 valve, V-8 engine with TwinPower turbo technology. This generates 412 kW/560 hp and peak torque of 680 Newton meters (500 lb-ft). BMW testing puts the 0-60 mph performance at 4.1 seconds. Power is transferred to the rear wheels via a seven-speed M Dual Clutch Transmission.

BMW M6 Gran Coupe BMW M6 Gran Coupe Interior
BMW M6 Gran Coupe BMW M6 Gran Coupe Interior
BMW M6 Gran Coupe Rear View
BMW M6 Gran Coupe Rear View


 Safety features consist of a driver assistance package that include lane departure warning, active blind spot detection, and side and top view cameras. Rear view camera assist parking and night vision aids with pedestrian detection. A head-up display keeps the driver focused straight ahead.

 The exterior color is a very sleek silver metallic matte paint finish. The roof panel is comprised of a carbon fiber composite material. The trunk release is cleverly hidden underneath the BMW logo. The interior features chocolate brown leather seats, chestnut wood and carbon-like accents throughout the cabin. Overall, the execution is very refined and in line with BMW's reputation for precision.

 

2013 MINI John Cooper Works Paceman Crossover

 The Paceman becomes the seventh body type offered in the MINI. The Paceman is a two-door four seater with an aerodynamic roof that slopes downward. It is sportier complement to the four-door Countryman. As a tribute to British Racing legend John Cooper, this version is specifically tuned for performance. The 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder intercooled aluminum engine produces 208 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque. The ultra-exclusive GP model has 211-horsepower and a weight-saving two-seat layout with top speeds of 150-mph. Mini plans to build only 2,000 of the Works GP version, with only 500 to be sold in the US.

MINI John Cooper Works Paceman MINI John Cooper Works Paceman Engine Compartment
MINI John Cooper Works Paceman MINI John Cooper Works Paceman Engine Compartment


 There are six available color options in this MINI line. The vehicle on display at the North American International Auto Show had black metallic paint, 18 inch alloy wheels, a black mesh grille, front fog lamps, body colored sport bumpers, polished exhaust tips and a rear spoiler. This vehicle looked like it would feel right at home on the race track.

<Automotive Industry Portal MarkLines>