Archive for January, 2013
Hyundai used an opportunity at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show to show off an ultra-premium car called HCD-14 Genesis Concept.
We mentioned in our coverage of the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show that Kia is going full steam ahead to push its products up the automotive food chain. At the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, the Korean brand unveiled the next step in that effort.
The 2014 Kia Cadenza will be the company’s first effort at marketing a large car in North America. Positioned above the midsize Optima sedan, Cadenza borrows its drivetrain and key chassis components from the Azera produced by Kia’s corporate parent, Hyundai.
Like the Azera, Cadenza will come in a single trim level. The engine is a 293-horsepower 3.3-liter V6 mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Kia vehicles typically have a more sporting flair than their Hyundai counterparts, and Cadenza is no exception. The car will include a sport suspension. Low-profile 18-inch tires are standard, while 19s are included with the optional Technology Package.
Standard features include a navigation system, Kia’s new UVO eServices infotainment system, a rearview camera, a 550-watt Infinity-brand audio system, leather upholstery, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, pushbutton engine start, a 10-way power driver seat, and a Bluetooth wireless cell-phone link.
Honda’s luxury division gave attendees of the 2013 Detroit Auto Show a preview of what its next-generation midsize SUV will look like.
The 2014 Acura MDX Prototype is a concept in practice, but Honda has an uncanny ability to make such vehicles look remarkably close to their production-ready cousins. Such was the case with the vehicles based on the Accord and Civic concepts from the 2012 and 2011 Detroit Auto Shows, respectively, and the Odyssey concept from the 2010 Chicago Auto Show.
Take away some of the concept-only styling cues, such as the blue LED headlights, and you might wonder what Acura is changing at all with this vehicle. For one thing, the prototype is 1.5 inches shorter than the outgoing MDX, but thanks to a longer wheelbase, room and comfort for the 2nd and 3rd rows is improved.
Under the hood, the prototype uses a new 3.5-liter V6 engine with high-pressure gasoline direct injection and Honda’s Variable Cylinder Management cylinder deactivation. We expect this to be the motor that powers the production vehicle. For the first time, Acura will offer the MDX in a front-wheel-drive configuration; all previous MDX models were all-wheel drive only.
At the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, Toyota showed off the Corolla Furia Concept, a vehicle that forecasts the look of the company’s next Corolla compact car.
The Furia Concept is a compact-size vehicle. The concept is about 2 inches longer than the current Corolla, and the wheelbase is about 4 inches longer. To achieve that wheelbase, the wheels were pushed to the corners.
So far, this has been a mild winter in Detroit. But a cold snap just in time for press days at the 2013 Auto Show reminded everyone in town just what January normally feels like.
And like this cold snap, after half a decade of industry turbulence, this year’s auto show has a refreshingly normal feel—albeit normal in a very new sense.
Superficially, nothing. But let’s dig a little deeper.
The new Corvette is more powerful and arguably better looking than its predecessor. But, it’s not that much more powerful. Chevy could have shot for the moon and brought us a 500-horsepower base ’Vette, but the car we’ll see on lots later this year boasts a more modest 450-horse rating. Instead, thanks to a new all-aluminum substructure, the new Corvette is 100 pounds lighter than the car before it. It’s also more aerodynamic. This careful balance of power and restraint proved to be a theme woven throughout this year’s show.
Would they or wouldn’t they? That was the question regarding whether or not General Motors would give the green light to producing a car based on the seductive Cadillac Converj concept. As you can probably guess, that answer is a resounding “Yes.”
Toyota’s Lexus division continues its onslaught of updated products. Hot on the heels of significantly updated versions of its flagship LS and midsize ES and GS sedans, the company debuted the freshened 2014 IS premium-compact car at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show.
The 2014 Lexus IS sports a front-end design that mirrors the appearance of its larger siblings. Since this is a sportier car than the LS, ES, and even the GS, the look is a bit more angular and aggressive. Under the skin, Lexus claims that new welding and adhesives improve body rigidity and stability. Those wanting an even meaner look can order the IS F Sport, which includes a unique grille and front bumpers.
The car will return in base IS 250 and sporty IS 350 trim levels, each with the choice of rear- or all-wheel drive. A gas/electric hybrid called the IS 300h will be available, but not in the U.S. (at least not right now).
Much like the famous statue of Atlas holding Earth, the Ford F-150 carries the weight of being the brand’s (and America’s) best-selling vehicle. A new F-150, therefore, is a big deal, and Ford gave fans a sneak preview of the next generation with the Atlas Concept.
With the Detroit rollout of its updated G37 compact sedan, Inifiniti puts in motion the wheels of what it hopes represents a new era of simplified model naming. See, the new G37 isn’t a G at all. It’s a Q—a Q50 to be exact.
Nissan pulled the wraps off the hatchback companion to its popular Versa sedan at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. Also on display was a concept vehicle that could be a harbinger of the next-generation Murano midsize SUV.
Let’s start with a car that will be reaching dealerships this summer. The 2014 Nissan Versa Note (don’t ask us where the Note part of the name comes from) will be one of the least-expensive hatchbacks sold in the U.S. with a starting price of $13,990.
Trim levels include S, S Plus, and SV. There will also be an SL variant, but Nissan calls it a package rather than a separate model. All will have a 109-horsepower 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine. A 5-speed manual transmission is standard on the S. Optional on it and standard on the rest of the line is a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that behaves like an automatic. Nissan is projecting fuel economy for CVT-equipped Versa Notes at 31 mpg city/40 mpg highway.
Though a complete breakdown of feature availability was not available, Nissan officials say the Versa Note will be available with some items that belie its low price. These include a navigation system, heated front seats, and the company’s Around View Monitor, which uses several onboard cameras to project a 360-degree look around the vehicle.