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Posts Tagged ‘2016 detroit auto show’

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Listen in as Publisher Paul Eisenstein chats wit Motor Trend Audio's Charlie Vogelheim.

by on Feb.19, 2016

Feeling the winter blahs? So were we until we had a chance to catch up with our friend, Charlie Vogelheim, host of MotorTrendAudio. Charlie made his annual mid-winter trek to Detroit recently, and made time to muse over this year’s Detroit Auto Show and other industry news‘s Publisher Paul A. Eisenstein. Join a worn-out Paul and Charlie during a late-night recap of the significant cars and news from the 2016 NAIAS.

Click on one of these links to listen in:

Transpo Sec. Fox Set to Announce “Historic” Autonomous Vehicle News

Setting the stage for rapid change.

by on Jan.14, 2016

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Fox is planning to announce what is being described by his office as “new actions on vehicle automation,” though a senior member of his department has also hinted that it will be part of a “potentially history-making” series of steps in terms of improving highway safety.

With the support of both the auto industry, as well as many state and regional regulators, Fox is expected to announce that the Department of Transportation will take steps to make it easier for the industry to develop, test and eventually bring to market a new generation of semi- and fully autonomous vehicles. The ultimate goal is to sharply reduce the number of deaths on U.S. highways.


It’s one of three announcements set to come from Washington in a matter of weeks designed to spur innovation and improve safety, Mark Rosekind, the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said this week, noting that, “These actions going forward (will) change the nature of the auto industry.”


Mercedes Bringing New Fuel Cell Vehicle to Roads Next Year

Zetsche thinks future is battery electric based on costs.

by on Jan.12, 2016

Daimler's Dieter Zetsche says that Mercedes will have a fuel cell vehicle on the road next year, he believes the future is battery electric.

The head of research at Daimler AG said Mercedes-Benz will have a fuel-cell vehicle ready for the road next year, but the company’s chief executive officer, Dieter Zetsche, also raised new doubts about the viability of hydrogen as at automotive fuel during a session with reporters on the sidelines of the North American International Auto Show.

“There is a disconnect,” noted Zetsche. Right now battery-electric vehicles have gained an edge over fuel cells, he noted. “Five years ago they seemed to be equal,” But fact of the matter is that there is a lot more money being spent on battery electric vehicles than in research on hydrogen fuel cells. “The potential advantages of fuel cells have diminished,” he said.

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In addition, the infrastructure issues associated with hydrogen fuel cells remains formidable. People talk about the hydrogen highway in California, but the progress is very slow and very limited, he suggested. (more…)

Acura Precision Concept Lets the Japanese Maker “Dream Big”

But it’s also a good indicator of what Acura will soon bring to production.

by on Jan.12, 2016

The Acura Precision Concept made its debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Photo credit: Len Katz.

It’s going to be a big year for Acura, the Japanese maker set to mark its 30th anniversary in March with the launch of the reborn NSX supercar.

When the original Legend and Integra models came to market in 1986, there were plenty of skeptics who doubted a Japanese maker could deliver a true luxury car to rival dominant European and American brands. Today, there are three Japanese luxury marques, including Lexus and Infiniti. But Acura, among them, has been struggling to redefine itself and regain the momentum it had in its early years.

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And that’s where the Acura Precision Concept comes into play. Making its debut at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the concept allows Acura to “dream big,” says Jon Ikeda, the former designer now heading the maker’s U.S. sales operations. (more…)

Volvo Hopes to Build on Big Win by its New XC90

Safety only part of its message going forward.

by on Jan.12, 2016

Volvo new S90 flagship is part of the maker's plans to build a portfolio of vehicles using four-cylinder engines.

There’ve been plenty of folks ready to write off Volvo since it was sold off by Ford Motor Co. to China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group for $1.8 billion six years ago.

But you’d be hard-pressed to find evidence of the Swedish brand’s imminent demise at this year’s North American Auto Show. Quite the contrary, Volvo launching the annual event by nabbing the sought-after honor of North American Truck/Utility of the Year for its new XC90 sport-utility vehicle.

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“There couldn’t be a better way to pave the way for the new S90,” Lex Kerssemakers, Volvo’s top U.S. executive said later in the day, as the carmaker revealed the next major product in its rapidly expanding portfolio, a new flagship sedan. (more…)

Lexus Hopes to Put Sporty LF-FC Hydrogen Car on the Road by 2020

The “luxury fuel-cell concept of the future.”

by on Jan.12, 2016

Lexus showed its own take on hydrogen power with the American debut of the LF-FC Concept.

With tough new emissions and fuel economy standards looming in front of them, automotive manufacturers are struggling to find ways to boost the efficiency of their vehicles. But now all of them are convinced that batteries are the answer. Toyota, for example, is hedging its bets with hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.

It recently put its first, the Mirai, on sale in Japan and the U.S., and during a news conference at the North American International Auto Show, the maker’s upscale Lexus brand showed its own take on hydrogen power with the American debut of the LF-FC Concept.

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“It is the luxury fuel-cell concept of the future,” explained Akio Toyoda, the president of Toyota Motor Co., and the grandson of the automaker’s founder. (more…)

Lincoln Looks for Credibility with Debut of Continental

New sedan brings back a classic name – but will luxury buyers care?

by on Jan.12, 2016

Lincoln is hoping the new Continental will draw in a new type of buyer and rebuild the brand. Photo by Len Katz.

(This story has been updated with new photos, powertrain details and comments from Ford CEO Mark Fields.)

Once one of the market’s most successful luxury brands, Lincoln has become little more than an afterthought for most high-line buyers these days – if they think about the domestic brand at all.

But the Ford subsidiary generated a flurry of interest last April when it staged the surprise debut of the Lincoln Continental concept vehicle at the New York Auto Show. Now, barely nine months later, the big sedan is back, this time in production trim, making its debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

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“The Continental name has long been associated with the ultimate in Lincoln beauty and luxury,” said Kumar Galhotra, president of Lincoln. “With the all-new model, we are focusing on creating more human, personally tailored experiences for our clients – providing what we call quiet luxury.” (more…)

Audi Shoots for the Moon

German automaker outlines tech goals – including new moon mission.

by on Jan.12, 2016

Audi's U.S. CEO Scott Keogh, left, and Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon, talk about Audi during the Detroit Auto Show.

It weighs just 75 pounds, boasts wheels made of a titanium-aluminum alloy, and its “sunroof” is an array of solar panels. The little buggy rolling around the Audi stand at the North American International Auto Show isn’t nearly as sleek and sexy as the rest of the vehicles Audi has on display. But it doesn’t have to be, not when it comes time to start rolling around the surface of the moon.

The German maker is lending its financial support to a team of scientists chasing the latest Xprize. They hope to launch their mobile lab next year atop an Indian rocket, and if all goes well, it will travel nearly a quarter-million miles before landing on the Taurus Littrow Valley – which just happened to be the last place an Apollo moon mission landed 43 years ago.

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“We plan to go back and look at the (lunar rover) they left behind,” Karsten Becker, a member of the German team told During the 11 days it’s expected to be operational, the Audi-funded buggy will also perform a wide range of experiments before being plunged into the deep freeze of a lunar night. (more…)

Porsche Introduces New 911 Turbo, Turbo S

New models go zero-to-60 mph faster than ever.

by on Jan.11, 2016

The 2017 Porsche 911 Turbo got horsepower upgrades pushing the zero-to-60 times to three seconds ... and lower. Photo credit: Len Katz.

The much-anticipated Porsche 911 Turbo and Turbo S models arrived on the floor of the Detroit Auto Show, displaying the tweaks that have them reportedly running zero-to-60 mph faster than ever.

Both the Porsche 911 Turbo and 911 Turbo S models received a bump in horsepower for 2017 that has the 911 Turbo S making the run in just 2.9 seconds while the 911 Turbo lags by just a tenth at three seconds flat. Both models are available in both coupe and convertible bodies.

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The 3.8-liter twin-turbo six in the 2017 Porsche 911 Turbo will now make 540 horsepower, a 20 hp increase Porsche says was achieved by modifying the intake ports and switching to new fuel injectors that allow for higher fuel pressure. (more…)

Infiniti Unveils Q60 Sports Coupe at NAIAS

Luxury brand continues renaissance.

by on Jan.11, 2016

Infiniti took the wraps off its new Q60 sports coupe at the Detroit Auto Show. Photo credit: Len Katz.

Infiniti continued its renaissance in Detroit today as it unveiled its new Q60 sports coupe at the 2016 North American International Auto Show.

The new coupe is part of the move at Infiniti to offer buyers – younger buyers – more performance-oriented vehicles with compelling exterior designs to match the new power under the hood.

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“As the third-generation version of Infiniti’s iconic sports coupe, the new Q60 builds on Infiniti’s brand heritage and history of technology leadership,” said Carlos Ghosn, president and chief executive officer, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. “It reinforces Infiniti’s reputation for performance, elegance and driver-focused design.” (more…)