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Posts Tagged ‘2012 ny auto show’

Only Select Dealers to Get New SRT Viper

As few as 1 in 20 will get revived supercar.

by on Sep.21, 2012

The SRT Viper undergoing testing. Production begins in autumn, dealers officially launching sales in November.

If you’ve been saving your pennies for the return of Chrysler’s supercar, the all-new SRT Viper you now may be in for a search to find a dealer.

Letters are now going out to Chrysler’s 2,300 U.S. dealers letting them know whether or not they’ve been chosen to carry the reborn supercar.  The maker hints the number that have been approved will ultimately come to more than 100 to 150.

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That’s a turnaround from earlier plans.  When the maker revealed the reborn Viper, last spring, it initially indicated most retailers would be offering it.  But Chrysler apparently recognized that would create problems considering it only plans to produce about 2,000 of the 2-seaters annually, or less than one for each of its dealers.


Midsize Makers Set for Shoot-out

Automakers see opportunity as motorists downsize.

by on Apr.09, 2012

Nissan reveals the redesigned Altima sedan.

Potential buyers are getting a first good look at the new 2013 Nissan Altima, this week, at the New York Auto Show where it is making its global debut.  Betting show-goers will like what they see – especially the 38 mile-per-gallon highway mileage number — the Japanese maker is betting it can jump from midsize also ran to a leader in the critical automotive segment.

“We are expecting to compete at the top level, and we are going to take a shot at being number one in the segment,” says Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn.

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Industry analysts anticipate Nissan will, indeed, gain some ground with the launch of the more stylish and fuel-efficient Altima.  But they caution that the maker can’t take things for granted.  It is far from the only manufacturer looking to gain ground in the midsize market – which is expected to generate nearly one in six new vehicle sales in the U.S. market this year.


Terrafugia Transition Flies into NY Auto Show

After getting federal OK, first flying car taking orders.

by on Apr.06, 2012

The Terrafugia Transition takes wing on its maiden flight last month.

It’s been a dream that countless visionaries and entrepreneurs have failed to achieve. But five former graduate students from MIT are about to take wing with the world’s first flying car.  Make that the first to pass muster and win the necessary approval of government regulators.

That’s been no easy task for Massachusetts-based Terrafugia which had to deal with a complex mix of occasionally conflicting automotive and aircraft regulations.  But their Transition 2-seater, which took its maiden flight two weeks ago, is ready to go into production, with sales set to begin about a year from now.

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The company claims it has already taken 100 advance orders – but it’s looking to line up more with a display at the 2012 New York Auto Show, where it is competing for attention alongside more conventional automobiles, like the new Toyota Avalon and the reborn SRT Viper.

“Don’t think of it as a car that flies,” suggested Carl Dietrich, one of the MIT students who is now serving as Terrafugia’s CEO. “Think of it as a plane that drives.”


Dodge Delivers New Ram 1500, adds V-6 option.

Lighter and as much as 20% more fuel-efficient.

by on Apr.06, 2012

Ram boss Fred Diaz with the new 1500 pickup.

There’s plenty of talk about small cars at the New York Auto Show, this week, no surprise considering fuel prices are rapidly approaching record levels. But Chrysler’s Ram division is betting even truckers want some good news on the fuel front – and is offering a new option with the new Ram 1500 pickup.

The maker pulled the wraps off a truck that is not only lighter but also will offer a new V-6 powertrain option that could boost fuel economy by as much as 20% over the pickup’s previous base engine.

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The Ram 1500 unveiled at New York’s Jacob Javits Convention Center did not undergo the sort of dramatic styling changes of some previous generations.  But while it might look familiar that doesn’t mean the Chrysler brand simply stuck to the old formula.


Toyota Puts Emphasis on Striking Design with 2013 Avalon

New look for an old, familiar nameplate.

by on Apr.05, 2012

Toyota shifts design direction with the 2013 Avalon.

It was one of the big mysteries of the 2012 New York Auto Show: what would Toyota name the new full-size sedan it planned to unveil during the annual show’s press days?  Ultimately, it was no surprise at all.  The new car will stick with an old, familiar nameplate: Avalon.  But there all similarities end.

Toyota has long been known for quality, value and reliability — or QVR, in industry terms – but when it comes to design and driving dynamics, well, think plain vanilla.  But times are changing.  The original design for the 2012 Camry was panned by Toyota dealers and even after making some major changes the midsize model took plenty of critical hits.  So, when it came time to re-do the brand’s flagship, then-new Toyota Motor Co. CEO Akio Toyoda encouraged a dramatic change.

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He got it.  The 2013 Toyota Avalonhas an elegant yet edgy shape that will clearly surprise Toyota loyalists – as well as its critics.  Initial reaction following its unveiling at New York’s Jacob Javits Convention Center has been almost universally positive.

“This is the first vehicle in Toyota’s line-up to have Akio Toyoda’s thumbprint on it,” said Toyota Division General Manager Bob Carter, following the maker’s news conference.


Infiniti Reveals LE Sporty Battery-Car Concept

“Luxury can be both desirable and sustainable,” says Ghosn.

by on Apr.05, 2012

Infiniti's LE battery car concept will reappear in production trim "within 24 months."

Following the lead of its mainstream sibling Nissan, the upscale Infiniti brand is about to charge into the battery-car market.

Confirming an earlier report on, the Japanese maker unveiled its LE Concept battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, at the 2012 New York Auto Show, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn promising the production model will follow “within 24 months.”

Though the Infiniti LE is based on the same platform as the Nissan Leaf battery car it would be hard to tell at first glance.  The Infiniti model is lower, sleeker – and faster, “designed to stimulate,” not just transport, emphasized Ghosn, who proclaimed that with the upcoming addition to Infiniti’s line-up, the production LE will prove “luxury (can) be both desirable and sustainable.”

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The maker is holding back on many of the technical details but Ghosn said the concept is “85% accurate” to what the production LE should look like.  There will be relatively minor exterior changes, added Andy Palmer, Nissan’s corporate director of sustainable mobility, pointing to a grille that was clearly designed for the auto show rather than the showroom.


Honda Tries Again with Updated Crosstour

Honda hopes sales will double for more ute-like CUV.

by on Apr.05, 2012

Honda tries again with the 2013 update of its slow-selling Crosstour model.

Honda hopes to pump some new life into one of its most troubled product lines with a modest but much-needed update for 2013.

No longer linked to the maker’s mainstay Accord, Honda officials are hoping to see sales double for the 2013 Crosstour.  Of course, that starts off a low base.  While the maker presented an assortment of upbeat owner testimonials during the opening of its New York Auto Show preview, the previously named Accord Crosstour simply didn’t connect with the general public.

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As with the new RLX flagship introduced in New York by its up-market Acura brand (Click Here), Honda is calling the Crosstour on its stand a “concept,” though as with the Acura model, the Honda Crosstour show car “is very close to the product we’ll be bringing out this fall,” said Sage Marie.  The executive was a product planner on the program but recently shifted assignments and is now head of Honda public relations.


Acura Unveils New RLX “Flagship” Concept

Offers new hybrid torque-vectoring technology.

by on Apr.05, 2012

The new Acura RLX flagship will be offered with a high-tech torque vectoring system.

Acura continues its efforts to reposition itself as a major luxury player, rather than an upscale also-ran, with the NY Auto Show unveiling of the all-new RLX “flagship.”

The new model  compliments several other recent product roll-outs, acting as the top-line counterpart to the new Acura ILX entry-luxury sedan.  The RLX, which upgrades the aging RL model, largely abandons the Acura brand’s much-maligned “beak” grille while introducing a more powerful engine family that includes a high-tech way of shifting torque to help steer through corners.

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The new model is the centerpiece of a design and engineering strategy that American Honda calls “human-centered engineering,” or as CEO Tetsuo Iwamura puts it, “man-maximum/machine-minimum.”

Though roughly the same size, the styling of the new RLX is more sporty and up-market than the outgoing RL – as well as most other recent Acura entries with the exception of the NSX supercar concept the maker previewed at the Detroit Auto Show last January.


Hyundai Delivers Two Versions of New Santa Fe

Long-wheelbase model delivers added room, third row.

by on Apr.05, 2012

The short-wheelbase Santa Fe Sport.

The 2012 New York Auto Show is delivering more than a few surprises – notably including Hyundai’s unexpected announcement that it is launching not one but two new versions of the 2013 Santa Fe crossover.

The Santa Fe is one of the most important models in the Korean carmaker’s line-up.  An earlier generation signaled the start of Hyundai’s dramatic transformation from econobox maker into a high-quality, stylish brand.  But today, it’s a critical entry into one of the U.S. market’s fastest growing segments.

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The challenge, said Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik, was meeting the needs of both young buyers and empty-nesters who might need just a 2-row crossover-utility vehicle, as well as growing families who want a 3-row CUV with seating for up to seven.

Rather than try to squeeze in the extra seats – as it done previously – Hyundai decided to produce the long-wheelbase Santa Fe and shorter Santa Fe Sport.


Jaguar Readying New F-Type Sports Car

All-new model joining line-up in 2013.

by on Apr.04, 2012

A camouflaged version of the new Jaguar F-Type undergoing testing.

Jaguar will add an all-new sports car to its line-up a little more than a year from now, the maker revealed during its New York Auto Show news conference.

Dubbed F-Type, it is the long-anticipated production version of the CX-16 concept car unveiled last year.  The new 2-seater will slot underneath the British maker’s current XK line and provide an affordable, high-performance entry into the Jaguar line-up.

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“It opens up a much bigger part of the market to us,” explained Adrian Hallmark, Jaguar’s global marketing chief, during a conversation with

Though the production F-Type won’t be quite as radical as the CX-16 show car – with its unusual, side-opening hatchback – Jaguar contends the new model will put a premium on both styling and performance.  It is expected to come close to the brute power of the maker’s current muscle car, the XK-R, hinted Hallmark.