Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Detroit Auto Show 2010 Top Models

Detroit Auto Show 2010 opened on January 11, and the search for the related links made today to the top 100 Google search strings.

The 2010 North American International Auto Show that is also known as Detroit Auto Show opened in Detroit on Monday (January 11). Around 700 models of vehicles will be on display at the Detroit Motor Show 2010. General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Honda, Mercedes and others auto giant are all set to unveil new 2010 models and concept cars during the Detroit Car Show 2010.

In Detroit Car Show 2010, a number of electric powered vehicles are set to debut for the consumers. Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, Volvo C30, Fiat 500, BMW 1-Series, etc will be showcased in Detroit Auto Show 2010. It is expecting that at least 30 new vehicles are scheduled to be revealed at the Detroit Motor Show 2010. Chrysler exhibits with its new owner, Italian car maker Fiat, which will highlight smaller models like the Fiat 500. Ford will showcase its popular European model Fiesta. Lamborghini and Ferrari along with cars from United Kingdom manufacturers like Rolls Royce, Bentley and Aston Martin will also show their cars. This year Saab, Hummer, Infiniti, Suzuki and Porsche will not take part in Detroit Car Show 2010.

Detroit Show opened on Tuesday (January 12) for media and will open for general public on Friday (January 15). 14 days long Detroit Auto Show will run till January 24. It is expected that United States President Barak Obama with others will also visit at Detroit Auto Show 2010 which is considered as world’s one of the biggest auto show.

Featured Cars

Audi E-Tron

Audi's e-tron electric supercar concept has already been through two iterations--or, rather, one. With two different-colored R8-styled show cars, Audi hit the Frankfurt and Los Angeles Auto Shows hard. Now they've brought a third color and a new more cab-rearward layout to the car.

With the mid-engine proportions gone--this is an electric car, after all, and with the motors mounted inboard of two wheels, the powertrain is highly reconfigurable--the e-tron looks more like a classic front-engined sports coupe. It is also a very compact design, with a wheelbase of just 95.67 inches--that's 8.66 inches shorter than the R8.

Unlike the previous e-tron concepts, the latest uses two electric motors instead of four, driving the rear axle. By only driving the rear wheels, the new e-tron concept is able to maintain Audi's desired weight distribution of 40:60 front:rear despite looking like a front-engine (and therefore front-heavy, or at least 50:50) car. The battery unit sits just in front of the rear wheels, and checks in at a hefty 879 pounds.

Styling, aside from the different proportions, follows essentially in lock step with previous e-tron concepts, including the trapezoidal grille, LED headlights and taillights, and generally high-tech, sweeping curves terminated in crisp edges.

To help keep weight down and therefore maximize range of the battery pack, the body's structure is made with Audi's Space Frame (ASF) technology, which combines aluminum and carbon fiber reinforced composites. The high-tech materials allow the lightweight structure to maintain the rigidity necessary without the bulk of steel. Total curb weight of the new e-tron: 2,976 pounds.

Performance is good, too, at 5.9 seconds 0-62 mph and 37-75 mph in just 5.1 seconds, meaning passing should be a breeze as well. This is slightly slower than the Frankfurt show car's 4.8-second 0-60 mph time and 4.1-second 37-75 mph run, perhaps hinting that Audi has begun tuning the power delivery more for range than outright performance. Top speed is electronically limited to 124 mph and range is a moderate 155 miles.

Audi promises that the car has precise and nimble handling, thanks in part to its advanced chassis and weight layout, but also to the electromechanical assisted direct rack-and-pinion steering system, which provides more feedback than alternatives. Nineteen-inch wheels with 35 spokes and a unique blue color also grace the show car.
Though it's not yet known which version of the e-tron concept will make production, the e-tron has already been confirmed for 2012.

Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid

Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid is actually the first Mercedes hybrid to go on sale and is also the first mass production automobile to use a lithium-ion battery.

The internal combustion engine and the hybrid module develop a combined output of 295 horsepower, and a combined maximum torque of 284 pound-feet. The electric motor contributes 20 hp and 118 lb-ft to the powertrain. Fuel economy for the S400 is rated at 19 city, and 26 highway -- yielding a combined fuel economy gain of 38 percent over the S600.

The S400 Hybrid is the first series production hybrid car to be equipped with a lithium-ion battery. During braking the electric motor acts as a generator and is able to recover kinetic energy. The lithium battery is particularly suited to this task. The battery's high energy density means it is small enough to fit in the engine compartment. As such, the trunk capacity and interior dimensions remain unchanged. The car's 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission is specially configured for hybrid operation.

"The S400 Hybrid is a major milestone on our road towards emission-free mobility," said CEO Dr. Dieter Zetsche. "In this way the S-Class and the Mercedes-Benz brand are doing important pioneering work for the electrification of the automobile."

Aside from the addition of the hybrid S-class model, another one of the most noticeable changes across the lineup is the addition of daytime LED running lights fitted to the outer edges of the bi-xenon lamp units. The rear end is also accented with a total of 52 distinctively arranged LEDs in the two taillights. Gone are the body-colored strips through the taillamps.

Camera and radar-based driver assistance systems include Adaptive Highbeam Assist, Lane Keeping Assist and the Pre-Safe brake system linked to the proximity regulating radar, which intervenes autonomously before an impending rear-end collision. Other highlights include the Attention Assist driver drowsiness monitor and Active Body Control with automatic crosswind stabilization.

Engineers also managed to improve the night-vision system with the introduction of Night View Assist PLUS, which is equipped a special pedestrian detection function. The Pre-Safe braking system has also been improved to reduce injuries in unavoidable crashes. Mercedes says the car can apply maximum braking pressure automatically around 0.6 seconds before what is recognized as an unavoidable accident. The system therefore acts as something like an "electronic crumple zone," Mercedes contends.

Toyota FT-CH

This sporty little car is the Toyota FT-CH Concept vehicle, a compact hybrid capturing the spirit of a car thriving in an urban environment. Toyota promises that the FT-CH concept, if manufactured, would be cheaper than the current midsize Toyota Prius -- a non-plug-in hybrid that starts at $22,000.

That's a far cry from the more than $30,000 that GM's Chevrolet Volt could end up costing consumers, even after they cash in a $7,500 government rebate. Of course, the Volt is a full plug-in.

The lower price point will capture younger, less-affluent buyers who don't need a larger vehicle, says Jim Lentz, Toyota's U.S. president. And the 8-bit styling could attract those younger buyers, who have grown up in a world filled with video games and email.
"It's meant to be fun, innovative, colorful and stylish," he says. The automaker also confirmed that they'll make a family of vehicles sharing the Prius name, and the FT-CH could be one of the first cars in the bunch.

The FT-CH looks like a squeezed version of the Prius, with a stylized hood and hatchback.

Lentz said the vehicle would get better fuel economy than the Prius, which averages 50 miles per gallon, but he declined to be more specific. It would be a traditional hybrid, not an electric vehicle, meaning a battery would assist the gasoline engine to get better fuel economy.

The FT-CH, which is 22 inches shorter than the Prius but about the same width, “thrives in the inner-city environment,” Lentz said. It’s targeted at a “younger, less affluent demographic" that wants a fuel-efficient car designed especially for city driving but capable of freeway speeds.

Toyota is promoting the FT-CH as “inspired by the 8-bit generation,” a reference to 1980’s videogame technology. “Today 8-bit is considered a specific retro style” that Toyota’s European designers tried to integrate into the FT-CH, Lentz said.

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