Archive for

Detroit Auto Show: What to Expect in 2011

The Detroit Auto Show 2011 is in its 23rd year as an international event. In those 23 years the show has had, like anything else, good years and bad years and years in between. How will the 2011 version stack up — what can you expect? From Honda and Toyota to Audi and Chevy, the new number of new cars should not disappoint. Here are four examples of what we think might be among the most popular for show goers.

Toyota

Toyota has chosen the Detroit Auto Show to unveil a new entry into its Prius family, a 2012 wagon, said to be larger than the Prius available today. Expect plug-in hybrid technology and the latest lithium ion battery.

Honda

Honda will show a concept version of its next-generation Civic, expected to arrive in showrooms in the Spring. Word is the new Civic will be slightly sportier than today’s model, and about the same size.

Audi

One of the Detroit Auto Show’s most important debuts is the all-new Audi A6. Audi is hoping the new A6 really give its sales a boost. The A6 takes many styling ideas from its just introduced A8. When the A6 goes on sale this fall, just a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 will be available. Audi is said to be thinking about putting a diesel in the car.

Chevy

Chevrolet, still glowing from the popularity of its Chevy Volt, is expected to show the 2012 Sonic, the car that will replace its Aveo next year. The Sonic will come as a sedan and hatchback.

Those are just four automakers’ highlights at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show. There will be many others. If you’d like to go, the show opens to the public Jan. 15 and runs to the 23rd.

Cool Concept Cars

Automotive companies generally release concept cars every year at numerous car show events. These autos are not for sale but only for display; many are futuristic and utilize outrageous design and incredible technology. Even though many may appear unrealistic; they give us a small peek into the future. Some companies even have contests where university students can submit their ideas and sketches. Building a concept vehicle is a great opportunity for a designer to really let loose and get extremely creative.

Many cars throughout automotive history were actually inspired by concept cars. For example, the General Motors Le Sabre is a concept vehicle that was also designed by Harley Earl in the nineteen fifties. It was used to introduce 12 volt electrics and an eight cylinder engine for General Motors. Concept cars are generally outrageous but some of their more usable features are generally incorporated in autos that are made available to the public.

Did you know that the Corvette was actually inspired by a concept car? The idea came from a concept auto called the Chevrolet Corvair Monza back in the 60′s. This may seem a bit crazy nowadays, but Ford actually had a concept vehicle that was based on nuclear power; the Nucleon. We all became familiar with the Pontiac Bonneville as a family car, but the name first appeared on Pontiac’s first two-seater concept showcased in 1954 called the Pontiac Bonneville Special. Mini vans are now everywhere but they used to be unheard of back in the seventies; the first mini van was also prototype back in the 70′s; it was called the Lancia Megagamma.

Currently the trend appears to be vehicles that can serve more than one purpose. This can be seen in the Bugatti Altess Concept car. What’s different about this auto is that it’s not only a tourer but also a racer; it combines the best of both worlds. It’s almost like a real-life Transformers car; just a few quick fixes and it turns from a tourer to a hot rod!

Many designers are also focusing on cars produced for the city. Many futuristic city cars are made to be super small and efficient. Citroen is showcasing its E-3Pod Antistatic concept, another three-wheel electric car created by a student designer. It seats only the driver who is situated in the third wheel and features two smaller wheels at the front. As you can see, many current cars were actually inspired by concept cars. If you want a glimpse into the future, all you need to do is attend one of the big international auto shows. Who knows, perhaps one of the cars you’ll see there might end up becoming a common sight on the roads twenty years from now. You’ll never know!

Asian Brands to Showcase Concept Vehicles at New York Auto Show

Asian car brands have been increasingly becoming popular in the United States. Aside from Toyota and Honda, other car manufacturers from the Orient are tightening their grips on the U.S. auto market. The popularity of these brands is due to the fuel economy and reliability that their car offers.

Aside from that, Asian branded vehicles are relatively priced lower than that of their U.S. counterparts. In the upcoming New York International Auto Show (NYIAS), these Asian brands look to increase their popularity among American auto enthusiasts by showcasing their concept vehicles at the said event. While these vehicles may take some time before they are put into production, their unveiling at the country’s largest motor show will increase the popularity of their brand.

One Asian brand that has been making waves in the U.S. auto scene is Honda. At the upcoming New York Auto Show, the company will unveil its Accord Coupe Concept. The concept vehicle will provide a glimpse of what the new generation Accord will be like. The concept vehicle is powered by a V6 engine designed to reduce fuel consumption and lessen harmful emissions.

The newest technology from Honda that will be showcased at the event is the Variable Cylinder Management. Aside from that, the concept vehicle will also be featuring Honda’s ACE Body Structure which is essentially a design system which gives the front-end of the vehicle the ability to absorb a substantial amount of energy in the event of front end collision.

Toyota, now the second largest car manufacturer in the world, continues its surge to get to the top of the list. Their good performance in terms of sale has been a gauge of how popular Toyota is in the United States. Their continuing quest for supremacy in the U.S. auto market leads them to the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan with the Toyota FT HS concept vehicle in tow.

The Toyota FT HS is a hybrid sports car which comes combining the fuel economy of a hybrid electric vehicle with the high performance and good looks of a sports car. The concept is equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 engine mated with an advanced hybrid system and a powerful battery pack. The concept vehicle is estimated to rocket to 60 miles per hour from a standstill in less than four seconds. Aside from that powerful acceleration, the concept vehicle is also estimated to have a very high top speed, thanks to its power output of nearly 400 hp. That amount of power and torque in a hybrid vehicle is unheard of before and only EBC Greenstuff brake pads can provide good stopping power to.

These concept vehicles are proof of the competition between the two Japanese car makers and their drive to increase their foothold on the U.S. auto market. Both the Honda Accord Coupe Concept and the Toyota FT HS will be showcased at the New York International Auto Show which will open its doors on the sixth of April and will end on the fifteenth of the same month.