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Acura to Develop, Build New NSX in the U.S.

Using high-performance hybrid, supercar returns in late 2014.

by on Jan.09, 2012

Acura races back onto the scene with a long-delayed remake of its legendary NSX supercar.

The original Japanese supercar will make its return late in 2014, Acura officials have announced, but the next-generation NSX will be quite a bit different from the original, which debuted more than two decades ago.

For one thing, it will feature a new hybrid-electric drivetrain. And the Japanese maker, the luxury arm of Honda Motor Co., will develop and produce the reborn NSX in the United States, Honda CEO Takanobu Ito announced during a news conference at the Detroit Auto Show.

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The new Acura NSX will serve as a halo car for the brand, which has been struggling to catch up with Asian rivals Lexus and Infiniti in recent years.  Acura used its briefing to also unveil the next-generation RDX crossover and all-new ILX entry-luxury sedan, two mainstream models that could use a bit of momentum.


First Look: 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo

Now, it's the little engine that could.

by on Jan.09, 2012

Hyundai puts the Veloster Turbo on steroids, bumping horsepower up by nearly 50%.

The Hyundai Veloster is certainly a head-turner, but the unusual 3-door coupe that came to market last year was more poseur than powerhouse, with a little engine that couldn’t.  No more.  In a surprisingly rapid response to customer demand, the maker is rolling out a new turbo model for 2013.

Hyundai officials admit they were taken a bit by surprise.  They didn’t think the market would want a truly sporty version of the little Veloster, which features twin doors on the passenger side and a single door on the driver’s side – plus a hatchback.  But the desire for more power became quickly apparent as media and buyers alike raved about the Veloster’s basics but lamented its lack of performance.

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“The Turbo further broadens Veloster’s hero role in the Hyundai line-up to attract our next generation of buyers,” said Mike O’Brien, vice president, product and corporate planning, Hyundai Motor America.


First Look: 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

More aggressive design, improved performance.

by on Jan.09, 2012

Hyundai's Genesis Coupe gets a more aggressive look for 2013 - along with the added power to back that up.

The original Hyundai Genesis sedan scored a grand slam for the Korean carmaker, winning the coveted North American Car of the Year trophy and plenty of demand for a first entry into the luxury market.  But while the little coupe that shared the Genesis name was certainly fun to drive it didn’t quite find its own identity.

Hyundai hopes to resolve that problem with the 2013 update of the Genesis Coupe, giving the 2-door a more luxurious, refined and decidedly aggressive appearance and backing that up with some serious performance credentials.

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The overall look and key dimensions of the rear-drive Genesis Coupe remain the same, with the 2-door featuring the long wheelbase and short overhangs of a classic sports coupe.  Nonetheless, changes are visible right up front, where the 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe sports a more aggressive front fascia, trapezoid grille, lamps and hood heat extractor cues – which, unfortunately are just that; they are not actually functional.


Market Share Wars Set to Intensify in 2012

Japanese hope to regain lost ground, but Detroit gets aggressive.

by on Jan.09, 2012

Detroit will use product, not rebates, to fight for more share, insists GM NA President Mark Reuss.

It could turn into a battle royale this year as Japanese makers look to claw back lost sales and lost share.  But Detroit’s Big Three have tasted blood and aren’t ready to go into retreat.  Meanwhile, Korean and European makers are also ready to pull out the big guns, industry analysts are suggesting.

The loss of market share by Honda and Toyota will certainly make the domestic makers more competitive this year, analysts say. But it could also touch off the sort of incentive wars, observers fear, that can rapidly wipe out industry profits.


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“Toyota and Honda will get some of the market share back but they won’t get all of it,” says Jesse Toprak, vice president and analyst with TrueCar.com.

The earthquake and tsunami in Japan in March and the subsequent flooding in Thailand in November created shortages that cost Toyota, Honda and even Subaru some market share in 2011, according to Paul Taylor, the chief economist for the National Automobile Dealers Association.


Chevrolet Targeting Millennials with Pair of Auto Show Concepts

Cracking the code for a new generation.

by on Jan.09, 2012

The Code 130R is one of two Chevrolet concepts testing the market among Millennials.

Baby Boomers, step aside.  There’s a new generation of car buyers entering the market and Chevrolet wants to win them over.

They’re the target audience for a pair of distinctive concept vehicles General Motors’ largest brand is debuting at this year’s North American International Auto Show.  Small, high-tech and fuel-efficient, they’re decidedly not the sort of products that Chevy has traditionally thrown at the Boomers, today’s largest automotive buying group.

“There’s a pretty significant shift in how people are viewing automobiles and transportation, in general,” suggests John McFarland, Chevy’s senior manager of global marketing.

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McFarland says he and other members of his team have already met with over 9,000 Millennials in the process of developing the two concepts, dubbed Code 130R and Tru 140S, that are making their debut at the Detroit Auto Show.  Whether they actually connect with potential buyers in the youngest buying group remains to be seen but they could be in production in less than two years, TheDetroitBureau.com has learned.


Mini Roadster Takes Aim at Mazda Miata

Pure 2-seat fun.

by on Jan.09, 2012

Mini adds its sixth model with the 2-seat Roadster.

It may soon be difficult to tell all the new players in the affordable roadster segment without a sports car, what with new offerings like the Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S ready to take on the venerable Mazda Miata.  Now, add in the Mini Roadster, making its U.S. debut at this week’s Detroit Auto Show.

The first open-top 2-seater in the British brand’s line-up, it offers a counterpoint to the 4-seat convertible that’s been a Mini staple since 2009.  But, say company officials, it offers a “spontaneous, unadulterated recipe for urban driving fun.”

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Add in simple and basic, like the original Miata, the new Mini Roadster holds down weight, complexity – and cost – with a purely mechanical canvas top; no fancy motor drive, you simply reach back and pull it up if the clouds start to threaten.


Range Rover Evoque, Hyundai Elantra Win N.A. Car, Truck of the Year

by on Jan.09, 2012

The Hyundai Elantra and Range Rover Evoque have taken top honors in the heated battle for 2012 North American Car and Truck of the Year.

The awards, announced at the opening ceremonies of this year’s Detroit Auto Show, are being viewed by many as a sign of the dramatic changes sweeping through both the North American and global auto industry.

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The Elantra – Hyundai’s second product to win the North American Car of the Year honor in recent years – is a far cry from the maker’s traditional econobox, jurors clearly felt.  The Evoque, meanwhile, is the first-ever car-based crossover to come from Britain’s Land Rover, a brand better known for heavy, gas-guzzling truck-based SUVs.


Your Guide to the 2012 NAIAS Overview

The latest news and product intros from Cobo Center.

by on Jan.09, 2012

The Acura NSX supercar concept.

Editor’s Note: This guide and its links will be updated regularly during the 2012 Detroit Auto Show.

No slight intended, but there aren’t many things that can fill the hotels, restaurants and conference centers of Detroit in the middle of winter – nothing, that is, like the annual North American International Auto Show, which is underway this week at Motown’s Cobo Center.

The annual event is a veritable candy store for automotive aficionados, bringing in most of the world’s largest manufacturers, from Acura to Volvo, and an estimated 10,000 automotive journalists and industry insiders, including top executives from all the major manufacturers.

(Lexus LF-LC and Ford Fusion win best concept, production design awards. Click Here for more.)

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TheDetroitBureau.com’s team has already begun pulling together the latest new and product reveals and we’ll be rolling out more by the hour over the next several days, so keep coming back for the latest.

Here’s a thumbnail guide to all the various products you’ll be seeing unveiled this week (Click on the highlighted names for the latest updates):


First Look: 2013 Ford Fusion

Ford goes gunning for Camry and Accord.

by on Jan.09, 2012

Ford's new 2013 Fusion sedan.

More than a quarter century after the original Ford Taurus revolutionized automotive design – and put the U.S. automaker at the top of the midsize sales charts – Ford is hoping to do it again with the launch of the new 2013 Fusion sedan.

The new Fusion, making its debut at the North American International Auto Show, in Detroit, this week, takes aim at such import stalwarts as the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord by delivering a mix of cutting-edge design, competitive fuel economy and a mix of features not typically found on a midsize sedan.

“We knew we needed a more premium design than our previous (Fusion) or our competitors,” says Chris Hamilton, Fusion’s styling chief.

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While it’s not quite the revolutionary breakthrough of the original 1986 Taurus, which ushered in the aerodynamic “jellybean” look that swept through the industry in its era, the Fusion is clearly a standout in a segment that has traditionally favored blander designs like the relatively plain-vanilla 2012 Camry, the new Fusion creating quite a buzz since Ford provided automotive journalists a sneak peek just before last month’s holiday break.


Mopar Plans High-Profile Presence at NAIAS

Parts division will share spotlight with new Dodge Dart.

by on Jan.02, 2012

Mopar will introduce the 590-horsepower Dodge Charger Redline at next week's Detroit Auto Show.

It’s going to be a big week for Chrysler when the auto show rolls into Detroit next week, the spotlight shining bright on the all-new Dodge Dart – the first product based on the new global platform the U.S. maker has developed with its Italian partner Fiat.

But there’ll be more big news coming out of the resurgent U.S. maker at the North American International Auto Show, the Mopar brand stepping out with two special show cars: the Chrysler 200 Super S, and the Dodge Charger Redline.

“The Super S is Mopar’s interpretation of the Chrysler 200,” explains Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand.

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It features such details as a large chin spoiler, satin chrome fog light surrounds and grille surround, a gloss black upper grille, new side sills, black chrome badges and gray or hyper black” 18-inch “S” alloy wheels.

From the rear, the Stage One kit adds a new trunk lid spoiler, satin chrome light bar and matte black lower diffuser.