Date:01/10/12 Writer: Robert Cooke Photos: BeeCeePhoto Venue: Cobo Center, Detroit MI Event: NAIAS 2012
Back to the Future, Via the Cloud What a difference a day makes. Press previews of this years North American International Auto Show at Detroit’s COBO center began January 9th, and red headed step-sister like the committee granted my press pass for one day only, on Jan 10th. Upshot; I don’t get to cover the press conferences being held thru-out the day Monday, or attend any of the press junkets that evening. So much for media credentials from the committee. Anyhoo… what’s a savvy media junkie to do? I went out and shot something! No point in wasting a whole day when there’s public events to cover in the front hall of COBO Center.
The Delta sponsored flying car wasn’t the high point however, the concept car display had enough new designs and actual models, along with a concept car engineered to be an actual production vehicle capable of seating four adults and running off the electric grid. TATA motors COO Warren Harris pointed out the EV qualities along with the futuristic polymers of the carbody- complete with embedded colors, which did away with the need for a traditional paint factory infrastructure, thereby eliminating a major source of pollutants in the manufacturing process. The other EV designs on hand featured sporty interiors, washing machine box like designs (see Honda’s P-NUT, below) while the booth walls had conceptual renderings that ran the gamut from design
competition entries to scale models that reminded one of the POD racers from Star Wars. The future was on the walls…. All this was only a preview of what was to become the dominant theme of this years auto show, the continued proliferation of EV’s (Electric Vehicles) designed from the ground up to have extended range, fast charge time and have looks on a par with the current crop of Hybrids being offered by every auto manufacturer on the main floor of COBO hall. With just over 3 football fields of cars to checkout, I knew that I’d been given the red-headed treatment at the onset, no way was one day enough to cover all the concepts and still find time to check out my favorites.
The first concept car I went to checkout was the one featured for it’s laser lights and the Logo that said check me out. The BMW i8 concept EV uses lasers that illuminate ARGON gas in the headlight housing, a sleek windswept design that’s mostly transparent and doors that deftly lift up like a clamshell. Ben and Christian, the product specialists assigned (read:Well dressed security) to keep our questing hands from opening doors that wouldn’t survive a week in product testing quickly pointed out that this was not a production car so standard rules (do not touch) applied and the barricade around the car was just that, a do not cross line.
Lexus So what about the cars you can touch? I went for the next car on my list, the Lexus Supercar concept, the LFA. The shared conceit of the LFA and the LF-LC make headturn stops as we went by the booth so I swapped lenses for a closer look. Side by side, the covers are similar, but getting up under the grille is where the differences are.
The LFA, Lexus’ first supercar, correctly chose red for the uniform of the day. The 0-60spec of 3.6 sec is really all you need to make a judgement on this 202max MPH 10cylinder 505hp beastie with double wishbone front suspension riding on 20” tires and running a 6 speed ASG automated sequential gearbox capable of 202MPH in sixth gear. Not shabby for a street legal machine running 95octane or better unleaded fuel for a rated LEV2-LEV emissions certification. When Ma Kent knitted the first suit for her little illegal alien, she chose the red blankie for the yarn and the first ‘supersuit cape’ was red, so I’m not hating on Lexus for putting that color out on the floor. The headlight and rear trim package make for a very respectable ‘Hot Rod’ look and places this car in the category of street machines designed to come to your rescue the American way, with Safety being the tagline, as in “The Future of….” curtesy of Lexus engineering.
The Sister to this, The LF-LC Concept, pushes it’s own bar and very nearly succeeds in upstaging the newest crop of Hybrids that Lexus has introduced for the 2012 model year.
A ‘Supercar” in it’s own right, the LF-LC visits lines shares with many racecars of yesteryear, the windstream front grille is evocative of custom rigs and the LED headlamps are a far cry from Mr Edisons carbonized thread filaments when the then king of the electric car reigned; so how much of this package is just good looks as opposed to looking good on the road or track? Is this a Hybrid built to last? Will it become a true EV? With all the bling of a true copycat, this 2+2 Hybrid concept was conceived at the company’s Newport Beach, Calif design studio and follows the LF-GH concept that made it’s debut at the 2011 New York auto show. But with styling that mimics the LFA, this stylish sports coupe is destined for the production line and will be in the showrooms soon enough. I guess I’ll have to wait for the NY auto show to get in the drivers seat and do a test drive on this one. Acura NSX Concept The dynamically-styled NSX Concept gives an indication of the next great performance vehicle from the Acura brand. Making use of lightweight materials and a mid-mounted V-6 engine, the NSX Concept employs several new technologies for Acura, including application of Acura's innovative new Sport Hybrid SH-AWD® (Super Handling All Wheel Drive™) hybrid system. Útilizing an unique 2 Electric Motor Drive Únit wîth a bilateral torque adjustable control system, the all-new hybrid all-wheel-drive system can instantly generate negative or positive torque to the front wheels during cornering. Acura anticipates the new Sport Hybrid SH-AWD® will deliver handling performance unmatched by previous AWD systems. In addition to the handling benefits of the Sport Hybrid SH-AWD® system, a powerful next-generation VTEC® V-6 engine wîth direct-injection works in concert wîth a dual clutch transmission wîth built-in electric motor to create supercar acceleration while offering outstanding efficiency.
SCION When Scion introduced it’s boxy hatchbacks to the American market it generated a lot of buzz, but what’s next from this upstart? Scion Racing has a model on the floor here in Detroit that had a bit of economy racing look that bears a close watch this year. This is nothing like the commercials we’re used to seeing from Scion. This is more Tokyo Drift but here at home and in your driveway. Scion Racing Debuts FR-S Race Car
Scion unveiled its Scion Racing/GReddy FR-S race car during a press conference at the 2012 North American International Auto Show. The FRS will be competing in the 2012 Formula DRIFT series wîth veteran driver Ken Gushi behind the wheel. The 600-horsepower FR-S race car is the result of a collaboration between Scion Racing and GReddy, a performance-products company that has been involved wîth Toyota and racing for over twenty years. The race car is inspired by the 2013 Scion FR-S, a compact rear-wheel-drive sports car that will go on sale in the spring of 2012. The high-performance coupe is the fifth model to join the Scion family. Called the ultimate entry-level sports car by autoweek magazine, the rear seats flip up to fit 4 racing slicks and a jack for a visit to the local track on the weekend, where you can indulge your inner Super Mario Bros and listen to the sound of the intake while guzzelling hi-octane un-leaded. It’s 19inch superlight Volk Racing G12 wheels wrapped by Hankook V12 Max Performance rubber should make this $25,000 200hp 2.0 liter type-S street buggy just the thing to park at the local drive-thru and pickup milk shakes for the ride home. GReddy is a tuner-parts company based in Irvine, Calif known for Nissan 350Z turbo kits and numerous other aftermarket parts, they got the car in November and turned it into the aftermarket beauty that arrived in Detroit, albeit after the car had made it’s initial debuts in Tokyo (as a Toyota 86, and a Subaru BRZ) and it’s North American Debut as a Scion FR-S in Hollywood, and what a debutante they’ve turned out! Installing a Greddy Spectrum Elite exhaust, and doing an interior rewrap with a matching color blend to the circle of blue on the tips of the dual titanium outlets along with seats redone to perfection, this will assuredly be in demand when it ships in the spring. While Subaru says there’s no room under the hood for a Turbo, that won’t stop a legion of weekend car nuts from making them eat their lunchboxes.
When Scion introduced it’s boxy hatchbacks to the American market it generated a lot of buzz, but what’s next from this upstart? Scion Racing has a model on the floor here in Detroit that had a bit of economy racing look that bears a close watch this year. Nothing like the commercials we’re used to seeing from Scion.
Toyota A true concept car is usually one that hasnâ€™t evolved much from itâ€™s clay model roots, but this one is truly unique.
The Toyota FUN-VII has a skin that projects images from an internal player, enabling advertising, or just pictures of your flowers to be displayed on the skin.
Toyota Reveals NS4 Advanced Plug-In Hybrid Concept
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (TMS), today revealed the NS4 advanced plug-in hybrid concept vehicle at the 2012 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. The NS4 signifies Toyota's vision for future mobility wîth a focus on connectivity and the human interface. Toyota engineers were challenged to design a new mid-sized concept for potential global market introduction by 2015. The NS4 concept is a dedicated plug-in hybrid, separate from the Prius family, designed wîth future mobility requirements in mind. 'In this digital age, cars are becoming another spoke in the wheel of our electronic connectivity,' said Jim Lentz, TMS president and chief operating officer. 'NS4 demonstrates Toyota's take on the human connection to the car wîth technology that considers both emotional and rational relationships, person-to-car and car-to-society.'
Maserati While Tuesday was a day for photo ops on the show floor, there were a few odd press conferences, with the biggest news for Detroit being the announcement by Harald J. Wester, President and CEO of Maserati SPA that the Kubang luxury SUV concept will be built in North America in cooperation with Chrysler. This means job creation with a brand that has seen growth in it’s largest market, sales over 2010 in N.A. are up 21% for a company that first introduced the Kubang Concept at NAIAS 2003, when few others were unveiling sport luxury SUV’s. The Marque of the Trident, Maserati’s icon, will benefit from the synergy with Fiat-Crysler to create Maserati’s interpretation of a sport Luxury SUV that is unquestionably Maserati in picture-perfect continuity with the brands core values of sportiness, elegance, glamour, luxury, performance and craftsmanship of the highest order.
Maserati Trident logo
Trident reflected off fender of Kubang
The Cloud in the future. As we shift away from the ICE vehicle to the EV , we are going back to the heyday of the electric car. The 1900’s was when the last shift occurred and like fashion, all things are new again. A recent report from IBM detailed that at the beginning of the 20 th century, more automobiles in the United States were powered by electricity than by gasoline. However, the need for longer travel ranges, desire for a more affordable fuel source and lack of a reliable power infrastructure soon led to the dominance of the gas powered internal combustion engine. A century later, a new set of concerns are driving a move away from gasoline back to electricity as a source for automotive power. In just a few short years, we’ve seen GPS devices appear, and quickly become obsolete, along with various sales paradigms (see VZ Navigator, Garmin) due to technology growth. The latest in GPS devices communicate with other drivers’ devices and relay information on traffic and delays, presaging the latest advances in connected vehicles. The vehicle of 2020 will be a communication wonder. As another node on the internet cloud, the vehicle of the future will connect with other vehicles, with the transportation infrastructure and with homes, businesses and other sources. IBM’s study predicts that innovation will emerge mostly from software, electrical systems, sensors and driver-assistance services that improve safety and the overall driving experience while a new level of owner/vehicle personalization and customization is delivered. What is Cloud computing? Cloud computing is an emerging computing model that offers users access to their applications from anywhere, with any connected device. The services themselves are in data centers where computational resources can be dynamically provisioned and shared to achieve significant economies of scale. Back in the sixties, a new television show broke ground on cloud computing and introduced the American public to devices that are now common; the computer(Cloud) that Capt. Kirk spoke to thru his chest badge(GPS locator) while onboard the Enterprise was the same that aided his communicator(startac) when he wanted to locate one of his officers on an alien planet and was the same in the shuttlecraft/lifeboat(VCU) and even resided in senior officer Spock’s tricorder(PDA/Smartphone) and lieutenant Uhura’s earpiece(Bluetooth). Apple’s Iphone app SIRI is it’s latest incarnation and the cloud grows exponentially daily. Cars with Bluetooth built-in are no longer limited to hi-end luxury vehicles, from there to the cloud is just a button on the steering wheel away. In short, cars will live in the cloud, from GPS networks, the VCU will be at work talking to various wayside devices, your own PDA, to other vehicles, to toll plazas, to EV/Hybrid charging stations, to cloud residing analytic systems for vehicle monitoring, prognostics, advanced diagnostics, service and warranty data and ultimately partnering much like early Onstar systems with Police/Emergency, weather, traffic, concierge, banking, helpdesks, government, vehicle registration authority and cellular networks. We are on the way back to the future.
What the Cloud concept cars are saying in 2012
While the Detroit Auto show featured the cars, The International Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas was where you had to go to see the cloud in action. Mercedes Benz brought a new Gull wing Concept vehicle to L.V. and while it debuted the 6 th generation of it’s SL line both there and in Detroit, it chose L.V. for the cloud app to premiere. The Mbrace2 telematics system brings Facebook, Yelp, and Google search into the car. Over the past three years, CES has seen more and more participation from major automakers. Ford jumped on the electronics bandwagon early, and now makes its annual pilgrimage to CES an occasion on which to announce yet more advancements in the electronics it will offer customers. This year was no different, seeing more apps and functionality added to Ford's Sync AppLink system. Ford also showed off the recent update to its MyFord Touch cabin tech interface. GM was also here, pushing its OnStar telematics system as its connected car spearhead. The company will open that system up to third-party app developers. Kia and Hyundai were also on the grounds, Kia showing its Uvo voice command system and Hyundai demoing Blue Link. Chrysler showed off cars and dashboards in its UConnect booth, the umbrella name for its cabin technology. Audi, which has already made strides in the connected-car space, showed that it wasn't leaving the cars at the bottom of its lineup behind. It showed off new cabin electronics for its A3 model that surpass what it released in the much pricier A7 model last year. Mercedes-Benz, which made its presence known via a keynote speech from Chairman Dieter Zetsche. Its booth not only held the all-new SL-Class roadster, which made an appearance at the N A I A S in Detroit the same week; the company also highlighted its new Mbrace2 telematics system, which includes apps such as Yelp and Facebook. Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, spoke at a keynote address to discuss the true meaning of the connected vehicle – both what it is and what it isn’t – on Tuesday, January 10, at the Las Vegas Hilton Theater, during the I C E show. He was introducing mbrace2 - Mercedes-Benz’s pioneering communications platform, offering the most comprehensive cloud-based system to date, accelerating the process of empowering drivers to customize their vehicle ownership experience to fit ever-changing needs. The mbrace2 system enables an incredible range of features and services related to safety, information, entertainment, personal assistance and vehicle care. These include cloud-based apps, traffic and navigation assistance, speech recognition, Internet browsing and searching, concierge services, automatic crash notifications, and more. The new platform is being shown as it will appear inside the re-designed MY2013 Mercedes-Benz SL, the first of many vehicles which comes standard this year. Also presented was The mbrace2 smartphone app – which allows drivers to communicate and send information to their vehicle before getting inside. Drivers can use the app to find their vehicle, lock or unlock it, set valet parking protection, receive geo-fence alerts and Send2Benz, allowing drivers to socially connect with their friends and navigate to them. Also on tap, Mercedes-Benz Latest Suite of Advanced Driver Assistance SystemThe most comprehensive active safety system which keeps drivers safe by preventing accidents before they happen; and The DriveStyle iPhone App - Coming later this year, Mercedes-Benz will offer the DriveStyle iPhone App, which allows drivers to interact with the vehicle rather than the phone, minimizing driver distraction. This technology will be demonstrated in the brand-new Mercedes-Benz C350 coupe.
Audi also showed up at ICES, displaying a dashboard crammed with the latest innovations. Audi delivered remarkable technology with its A7 model last year, and now the company is bringing even more advanced features to the low end of its lineup, in the new A3. The completely functional head unit in this dashboard showed off Audi's latest cabin technology. More importantly, it showed that Audi won't reserve this technology for its high-end models. A new, slim LCD shows Google Earth imagery integrated with the navigation system. One of the top features, which also made the A7 such a standout, is the dedicated data connection into the car, enabling Google Earth integration into the navigation system. Just like in the A7, the A3's dashboard showed Google Earth satellite imagery on its LCD. It is easier to find points of interest in the A3's navigation system, and Audi made it possible to use a free text search for locally stored music in the car. The A3's LCD is also new. The 7-inch screen slides up from a slot in the dashboard, and it uses LED backlighting. That technology makes possible a very thin screen, not much thicker than an iPhone, according to Audi. Powering the infotainment systems in the new A3 is an Nvidia Tegra 2 chip, a dual-core T20. This processor not only powers the different menus and Google Earth imagery, it also enables a 3D display of the car in the vehicle settings menu. Other new cabin tech tricks in the A3 include what Audi calls a phone box, an area in the console enabled with NFC (near-field communication) that can pair with phones also using that technology. As of now, the phone still needs to plug into a USB port for charging, but Audi is looking into installing an inductive surface. The new A3 also includes a head up-display, showing useful vehicle information such as speed and navigation projected on the windshield. If we were to hazard a guess, the name of this roadshow would be Star Trek A3: To infinity, the Car.
Rainbows beyond the cloud Which brings us back to our theme, the concept car of 2012 and what it looks like. Mercedes-Benz has broke out all the stops and loaded all the eggs in this beastie pictured here. With its four powerful, wheelmounted electric motors the Mercedes-Benz F 125! Research Vehicle is a particularly dynamic demonstration of the principle “fascination and responsibility”. Thanks to very generous performance reserves it copes effortlessly with any traffic situation – with no emissions whatsoever. Looks like 1900 all over again, the E.V. will rule the road. With batteries getting smaller and range increasing, all the manufacturers are putting together competing visions of what they think will take the market share the next time the price of gasoline spikes.
21 September 2011 | JClark MB F 125!
With its electric drive system based on highly advanced Mercedes-Benz fuel cell technology, the F 125! ensures particularly satisfying and sustained driving pleasure. The electric power for the motors is generated on board by a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen, or obtained from the efficient recuperation of braking energy. The only emission resulting from the chemical reaction is pure water vapour. Total operating range is at the same level as a modern diesel car. The high performance potential of the electric drive components in the F 125! once again demonstrate the versatility of the highly scalable, modular E-Drive system from Mercedes-Benz. •
Mercedes-Benz Marks 60 Years of 'SL' History at Amelia Island Concours
The famous 1952 300SL 'Gullwing' coupe responsible for securing Mercedes-Benz first Le Mans victory and reinvigorating international racing glory for the three-pointed star is marking its 60th anniversary with an appearance alongside the all-new 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL550 at the 17th annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance on March 9-11, 2012. The meaning of the famous 'SL' letters literally stands for 'Super Light' and the 1952 SL with its lightweight tubular frame laid the foundation for the iconic Mercedes-Benz SL lineage. The 300SL was unlike any Mercedes-Benz racer that came before it. It was the first in decades to share DNA with a
production car, utilizing a combination of series-production technology and innovative lightweight construction.
The feature Concept car: Handbuilt Ltd Ed. $225K Falcon that debuted at COBO .
photo: BeeCee Photo Source: Falcon Falcon F7 Everything great starts from a single, powerful idea. Born out of pure sports car passion and the unquenchable desire to fill the void in the competitive and repetitious world of vehicle exclusivity for a hand crafted, uniquely American, exotic ultra high performance sports car. Welcome to Falcon F7. Fueled by the positive response and unbridled enthusiasm when unveiling Falcon F7 concept at the 2011 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Falcon Motor Sports accepted its first F7 series 1 order in 2011. The first customer car is on display at the 2012 Detroit North American International Auto Show. Additional vehicles are under construction and orders are being accepted to complete the initial F7 Series 1 production run of ten vehicles as well as a comprehensive integrated marketing initiative.
Concepts: Edsel Ford to Fisker The retro look will be this 1934 model 40
50’s 200Hp ‘family’ Titanium Road Rocket •
The GMC Firebird II Titanium Concept The Firebird II, which was a highlight of General Motor's 1956 Motorama, is the family firebird. A four-seater with a titanium body, the Firebird II features a 200-horsepower Whirlfire GT-304 gas turbine engine, allpower accessories and a fully integrated air conditioning system, similar to current systems found in cars today. The Firebird II was GM's attempt to make a luxury turbine powered vehicle with acceptable performance and fuel economy. A four-seat, family car and the second of two Firebird II's, its exterior bodywork was made of titanium. The only known automobile to have been constructed from this material. The 200 bhp gas turbine was fed through a regenerative system which allowed the entire engine to operate nearly 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit cooler, and also power the Firebird's accessories. The Firebird II marked the first use of fourwheel disc brakes, and it was also equipped with fully independent suspension, its sophisticated guidance system, intended to be used with 'the highway of the future,' utilized an electric wire, embedded into a roadway, to send signals to guide future cars and avoid accidents.
Hyundai Elantra NA Car of the Year
BMW concept vehicle Lincoln MKZ Concept: Future Vision Today The new Lincoln MKZ Concept, revealed today at the North American International Auto Show, signals a significant step in Lincoln's reinvention, providing a clear vision of its next-generation vehicles. 'With the Lincoln MKZ Concept, we are not introducing a new car. We are essentially introducing a new brand,' said Derrick Kuzak, Ford Motor Company group vice president for Global Product Development. 'The MKZ Concept is the next step in the reinvention of Lincoln, something we've been quietly but aggressively pursuing.'
Lexus Unveils Sleek Hybrid 2+2 Sport Coupe Design Concept Lexus today unveiled a new design concept for a hybrid 2+2 sport coupe at the North American International Auto Show. Showcasing the future design direction for Lexus wîth an emphasis on a driver-focused vehicle, the LF-LC concept will be at the Lexus display through January 22. 'The concept we're showing here in Detroit continues the Lexus design revolution started wîth the CT and GS,' said Mark Templin, Lexus group vice president and general manager. 'The concept hybrid 2+2 liberates the idea of a sport coupe and pushes the boundaries of performance, style and technology.' Challenged by the Lexus Center in Japan to come up wîth a design for a future hybrid sport coupe concept, the company's Calty design studio in Newport Beach, Calif., sought to advance the redefinition of Lexus wîth emotive, avant-garde beauty and advanced technology, yet remain within reach for premium buyers. E-BUGSTER CONCEPT MAKES WORLD DEBUT AT 2012 NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW Volkswagen's iconic Beetle has been redefined for the 21st century. Now, it has been further reinvented as a concept car for the future: the pure electric E-Bugster. The name 'E-Bugster' is a combination of 'E' for electric, 'Bug,' the American nickname for the Beetle, and 'speedster,' which typically describes an open-top two-seater. Although the E-Bugster concept is clearly not a convertible, it sports the typical speedster profile of shallow windows and a low, dramatic roofline. Here's a Concept: Chevrolet Puts Next-Gen Buyers in Charge Chevrolet today introduced two concept coupes at the 2012 North American International Auto Show aimed at inspiring next-generation buyers to take the wheel and suggest ideas for a car they can co-create. 'Chevrolet has always stood for making the aspirational attainable for all generations' said General Motors North America President Mark Reuss. 'These two concepts interpret that vision for a new generation. We're seeking out our newest customers' opinions, listening to their advice, and engaging them in new ways.' According to Ú.S. Census data, there are 80 million American consumers approaching 30. They represent 40 percent of today's potential car-buying public and a combined $1 trillion in purchasing power.
VOLKSWAGEN REVEALS THE NO COMPROMISE, COMPACT HYBRID Volkswagen is presenting one of the world's most efficient automobiles at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit: the Jetta Hybrid. Powering the all-new model is a hightech turbocharged gasoline engine mated to a zero-emissions electric motor. While this hybrid union enables impressive driving performance wîth a class-leading 0-60 mph time of less than 9.0 seconds, the new Jetta Hybrid also delivers an estimated combined fuel economy figure of 45 mpg. This means that the sporty hybrid consumes about 20 percent less fuel than a similarly-powered sedan wîth a conventional drivetrain. In city traffic, the fuel economy advantage climbs to a little over 30 percent. In addition, the Jetta Hybrid can be driven in pure electric mode at speeds of up to 44 mph and for up to 1.2 miles depending on operating conditions.
Honda Unveils 2013 Accord Coupe Concept Honda unveiled the dynamic Accord Coupe Concept today at the North American International Auto Show, providing the first official glimpse of the athletic styling direction, as well as revealing a host of new technologies for the all-new, ninthgeneration 2013 model, set to go on-sale this fall. The 2013 Accord will feature three all-new powertrains, including the first Ú.S. application of both a 2.4-liter directinjected engine and two-motor plug-in hybrid system from Honda's suite of next-generation Earth Dreams™ powertrain technologies. In addition, the V-6 Accord will be the first Honda sedan to feature a new 6-speed automatic transmission. Both the Accord Sedan and the Accord Coupe models are expected to achieve class-leading fuel economy ratings and will be available wîth a number of innovative new safety and technological features. 'Marking the 30th anniversary of Ú.S. production, this new ninth-generation Accord will raise the bar again through a tour de force of new Honda powertrain and safety technologies, geared to ensure that Honda and the Accord continue to lead in fuel economy, safety and fun-to-drive performance,' said John Mendel, executive vice president of sales for American Honda. • • • •
Nissan e-NV200 Concept The innovative Nissan e-NV200 Concept, which makes it world debut at the 2012 North American Auto Show in Detroit, serves as more evidence of Nissan's leadership position in the zero-emission automotive industry. Based on the popular Nissan NV200 multi-usage vehicle, the Nissan e-NV200 Concept previews a near-future production version of a full electric vehicle designed to provide businesses or families with flexible, roomy interior space, while achieving a dramatic CO2 footprint reduction. 'With its ‘no gas, no tailpipe, no emissions' powertrain, the Nissan e-NV200 Concept combines a quiet, comfortable driving experience with a large, highly versatile, functional interior space within a compact overall body length,' said Hideto Murakami, corporate vice president, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. 'A potential game changing vehicle in its segment, the battery capacity will support a driving range similar to the Nissan LEAF, while payload and cargo space will offer the same level as the current NV200. The production version would be targeted mainly at businesses, but also at private users or families in major regions.'
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• Volvo XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept - a unique blend of gasoline and electric power At the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Volvo Car Corporation will unveil an innovative gasoline plug-in hybrid. The Volvo XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept is an electric car, a highly economical hybrid and a powerful highperformance car all rolled into one. At the touch of a button, the driver decides how the available power from the combination of the high-performance gasoline engine and the electric motor is to be utilized. 'The technology in the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept is as ingenious as it is unique,' says Stefan Jacoby, President and CEO of Volvo Car Corporation. 'You can make really green progress on the road without compromising on any of the luxury car's renowned properties. No other manufacturer has succeeded in delivering fuel economy and electrical range on this level in a capable, spacious performance car wîth 350 horsepower on tap.'
Fisker Update on Battery Coolant Leak Issue Fisker Automotive announced today that a majority of all customer cars and dealer-held vehicles affected by the recall involving A123-supplied battery packs have already had brand new battery packs fitted or the confirmed repair to the hose clamp assembly undertaken and are back in service – just 2 weeks after Fisker was first made aware of the issue. The remaining customers have been contacted and appointments are being made for their replacement battery installation.