Tag Archives: 2012 Detroit Auto Show Preview

2013 Dodge Dart — a new caliber of Chrysler compact

UPDATE: The full 49 image set of the 2013 Dodge Dart has been added. This week, Chrysler released two teaser images of the upcoming replacement for the underachieving Dodge Caliber. Behold the 2013 Dodge Dart. Well, behold the 2013 Dodge Dart as it would appear in Forza 4 or Gran Turismo 5, that is. What you're looking at are screen captures of a computer model, obviously, so take them with a grain or two of salt, but what we see here are some nice contemporary design cues combined with some nice touches from the current Dodge lineup. A glance at the rear end reveals the same LED light pipe style lamps which Chrysler recently revived for the refreshed Charger. Up front, we get headlights reminiscent of newer Volkswagen and GM designs, and the trademark crosshair grille is looking pleasantly svelte compared to the enormous, truck-inspired maws featured on many Dodge vehicles over the last few years. Fortunately, we won't have to wait long for the real thing. The full debut will take place in January at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Underneath, it's an Alfa -- a Giulietta, to be precise. That should be good news from a chassis perspective, as it should mean carry-over IRS and other goodies. The outgoing compact may have been competent transportation appliance on a fundamental level, but even in SRT guise, it was never a dynamic front-runner. Motivation comes from three new engine options. Two are based on the "Tigershark" architecture (which may be the best engineering moniker this side of Ford's V8 engine programs), one a 2.0L and the other a 2.4L, both naturally aspirated. The third option will be the 1.4L, turbocharged MultiAir engine that will make its U.S. debut in the Fiat 500 Abarth fairly soon here. There's not much else to say until we get a chance to drive it. The full press release and 49 image photo gallery is pasted below the break if you want the deets.

Dodge Hits the Mark with the All-New 2013 Dodge Dart Compact Car Dodge Dart Blends Alfa Romeo DNA and Dodge’s Passion for Performance Resulting in a Groundbreaking Car with the Ultimate Blend of Power, Fuel Economy, Handling and Style

  • The Dodge brand is back in the U.S. compact sedan segment – in a big way – as the all-new 2013 Dodge Dart will make its world debut at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan on Jan. 9, 2012
  • Built on a world-class architecture, Dodge Dart offers three technologically advanced, fuel-efficient and powerful engines including the 1.4L MultiAir® Turbo
  • Dodge delivers exceptional craftsmanship with class-leading technology and style
Auburn Hills, Mich. , Dec 6, 2011  -  Dodge redefines performance in the compact car segment with an all-new, state-of-the-art four-door sedan delivering class-leading aerodynamics – the 2013 Dodge Dart. With Alfa Romeo DNA and Dodge’s passion for performance at its core, the all-new 2013 Dodge Dart is a thoroughly modern vehicle that’s fuel-efficient, beautifully designed and crafted, agile and brings fun back to driving in the segment. Similar to the Dodge Dart of the late 1960’s, the 2013 Dart offers a special blend of style, performance and innovation. The Dodge brand leveraged its nearly 100-year history of passion for building high-quality, innovative vehicles that stand apart in performance and style, as well as from its partner Fiat’s global compact car expertise, to develop the all-new Dodge Dart. ALFA ROMEO DNA The all-new Dart is the first Chrysler Group vehicle based upon a Fiat architecture – adapted from the award-winning Alfa Romeo Giulietta. The Giulietta is renowned for satisfying the most demanding customers in terms of road-holding, agility and safety, with exceptional driving dynamics. The Dart leverages all of these attributes within a lengthened and widened platform delivering segment-leading levels of interior roominess. The all-new Compact U.S. Wide (CUSW) architecture underpinning the Dart is a state-of-the-art architecture with an industry-leading 68 percent of the body composed of high-strength steel, resulting in a very strong and rigid structure. Combined with responsive steering, four-wheel independent suspension, and available 18-inch wheels, the Dart brings fun back to driving in the compact car segment. UNMISTAKABLE STYLE The all-new 2013 Dart marks the Dodge brand’s re-entry into the compact sedan segment, hitting the bulls-eye with a modern, unmistakable Dodge design that builds upon its performance heritage while evoking emotion, efficiency and fluidity of movement. Eye-catching exterior proportions are set off from every angle by dynamic lines and curves, along with advanced technology, to deliver class-leading aerodynamic performance. The personality-packed front view is instantly recognizable as an all-new Dodge with its tailored split-crosshair grille, projector headlamps and fog lamps and accentuated fenders. Signature Dodge full-width LED ‘racetrack’ tail lamps and class-exclusive integrated dual exhaust – both inspired by Dodge Charger – accentuate the athletic and muscular stance of this dynamic and passionate new design. THREE SOPHISTICATED, FUEL-EFFICIENT & POWERFUL ENGINES The 2013 Dodge Dart will be powered by three fuel-efficient, powerful, state-of-the-art four-cylinder engines that add to Dart’s fun-to-drive quotient. Drivers can select from a new Tigershark 16-valve 2.0-liter engine, a 16-valve 1.4-liter MultiAir Intercooled Turbo engine, and a new Tigershark 16-valve 2.4-liter MultiAir four cylinder engine. These three engines, combined with three transmission choices, combine to redefine performance by providing the most diverse powertrain lineup in its class. MultiAir technology delivers optimum combustion at any speed under all driving conditions by allowing direct and dynamic control of air intake and combustion. The result is up to a 15 percent increase in low engine rpm torque, a 7.5 percent improvement in fuel efficiency and a 10 percent reduction in C02 emissions. THE ALL-NEW DART – BUILT IN AMERICA The all-new Dodge Dart will be made in America, at Chrysler Group’s Belvidere Assembly Plant in Belvidere, Ill. The Company is in the process of investing $600 million dollars to support the production of future products, including the 2013 Dodge Dart. The investment includes the construction of a 638,000 square-foot body shop, as well as the installation of new machinery, tooling and material handling equipment. Work on the expansion began in the summer of 2010 and will be completed this year. The all-new Dodge Dart has been engineered with great levels of refinement, craftsmanship and engaging driving dynamics. Consumers can follow www.Dodge.com/Dart for additional photos and more information about the all-new 2013 Dodge Dart. About the Dodge Brand For nearly 100 years, Dodge has defined passionate and innovative vehicles that stand apart in performance and in style. Building upon its rich heritage of muscle cars, racing technology and ingenious engineering, Dodge offers a full-line of cars, crossovers, minivans and SUVs built for top performance – from power off the line and handling in the corners, to high-quality vehicles that deliver unmatched versatility and excellent fuel efficiency. Only Dodge offers such innovative functionality combined with class-leading performance, exceptional value and distinctive design. With the all-new 2013 Dodge Dart, the all-new Dodge Charger paired with the ZF eight-speed transmission that achieves a class-leading 31 miles per gallon on the highway, the new Durango and the significantly revamped Grand Caravan – inventor of the minivan – Journey, Avenger and iconic Challenger, Dodge now has one of the youngest dealer showrooms in the United States.

Lexus LF-LC Concept to Debut At 2012 Detroit Auto Show

Lexus has released two additional images of their LF-LC Concept which will make it's world debut at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit next week.  Created by Lexus' Calty design studio, the 2+2 LF-LC concept could be a look into the future of a successor to the Lexus SC. Stay tuned for full coverage from the 2012 NAIAS coming live from the show floor next week!

Porsche To Unveil New 911 Cabrio at 2012 Detroit Auto Show

Porsche has confirmed that they will be unveiling the Cabrio version of the new 911 sports car for the first time at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit next week.  After a long absence from the Detroit show, Porsche rolled out the 918 RSR Concept last year and is keeping their word of Detroit being an important show for them with the unveiling of the new 911 Cabrio. We'll be reporting from the show floor next week with live pictures and thoughts of the new models as they reveal them.  Be sure to follow us on twitter for real-time updates from the 2012 Detroit Auto Show at http://www.twitter.com/speedsportlife .    

Nissan Teases All-New Pathfinder Ahead of 2012 Detroit Auto Show Debut

Nissan has released a very vague but telling teaser image of the new Pathfinder that will debut at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit next week.  While we can't see the details of the front or rear of the Pathfinder, it's obvious that the boxy shape will be replaced by a much more dramatically sculpted and aerodynamic shape. Make sure you follow us on Twitter for live-updates and photos from the 2012 NAIAS reveals!

Mercedes-Benz to Reveal All-New 2013 SL550 at 2012 Detroit Auto Show

Mercedes-Benz will be pulling the wraps off the all-new 2013 SL550 at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show next month.  This next-generation SL now features a structure made almost entirely of aluminum, making it considerably lighter than the outgoing model.  MB says that the 2013 SL550 weighs about 275 pounds less than the car would if built of a traditional steel structure.  Considering that the SL name stands for "sporty, lightweight", this is a major improvement over the rather portly outgoing model.   Combine that with more horsepower and better efficiency and the 2013 SL550 is certainly starting to live up to its original name.  Though the 2013 model retains the SL550 name, the engine is actually a direct-injection 4.7-liter V8 which replaces the 5.5-liter V8 in the outgoing model.  Despite the reduction in displacement, the 2013 SL550 gets a 12 percent bump in horsepower to 429 horsepower and torque has been increased by an incredible 32 percent from 391 lb-ft to 516 lb-ft.  Power is transferred to the rear wheels by way of the 7-speed Driver-Adaptive automatic transmission which has been optimized for efficiency.  Despite the focus on efficiency, MB says the 2013 SL550 goes from 0 to 60 in just 4.6 seconds - eight tenths less than the outgoing SL550 model. Dimensionally, the 2013 SL550 is quite a bit larger than the outgoing SL550.  The car is 1.97 inches longer and 2.24 inches wider.  Shoulder room has been increased by 1.46 inches and elbow room has been increased by 1.10 inches.  This increased space creates a much more enjoyable and comfortable experience for the driver and passengers alike. The other major change to the 2013 SL550 from the outgoing model is the availability of two versions of the retractable hardtop.  One version features a standard glass roof while the second offers what MB is calling MAGIC SKY CONTROL (yeah, we know).   MSC is a transparent roof which switches from light to dark with the push of a button, providing shade when needed as well as blocking heat from entering the car when the car is parked.   MB says that both tops now take less than 20 seconds to open or close. As with almost all flagship Mercedes-Benz launches, the 2013 SL550 is full of new tech that will set the trend for other MB models as well as the entire industry at-large.  Check out the press release below for an in-depth read on all the new tech and features of the 2013 SL550. We will be at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show next month with live photos from the floor.  Stay tuned! MB Press Release December 15, 2011 - MONTVALE, NJ The all-new 2013 SL continues a tradition that began 60 years ago. For six decades the letters "SL" have been synonymous with a blend of sport, style and comfort - infused with groundbreaking innovation. For the first time, the SL is being produced almost entirely from aluminum and consequently weighs considerably less than its predecessor. Its highly rigid all-aluminum bodyshell provides the basis for agile, sporty handling that has been taken to an entirely new level, coupled with outstanding bodyroll and ride characteristics. Even better driving dynamics come courtesy of the new direct injection engine, which is more powerful and economical than the outgoing generation. Other new features include the unique FrontBass system, which turns the luxury sports car into a concert hall - with the top down or up - and the highly efficient MAGIC VISION CONTROL. The 2013 SL550 will be available in U.S. showrooms this spring. Compared with its successful predecessor, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL offers considerably more comfort and athletic character, setting new standards in the luxury roadster class. This includes amazing everyday usability, making the SL the most versatile of all sports cars. In short, anyone talking about the new SL is surely talking about the ultimate in passionate, refined motoring. Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars: "There are around 900 million cars in the world and thousands of models. But there is only a handful of automotive icons. Our SL is one of them: It has class, it has style, it is the ultimate in comfort and luxury. And it combines all that with an incredibly sporty and dynamic character. You would struggle to find a car that embodies Gottlieb Daimler's aspiration more perfectly than our new SL - the best or nothing." Lighter and more rigid - sophisticated all-aluminum bodyshell The 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL takes the meaning of the famous letters "SL" - sporty, lightweight - quite literally. Weight reduction across the board is one of the most outstanding design characteristics of the new SL, as was the case for its namesake, the original SL of 1952 with its lightweight tubular frame. For the first time, Mercedes-Benz has implemented an all-aluminum bodyshell in a series-production model. Only very few components are made from other materials. The designers used even lighter magnesium for the cover panel behind the fuel tank and roof. High-strength steel tubing is integrated into the A-pillars for added safety. The new aluminum bodyshell weighs around 242 pounds less than it would using the steel technology of its predecessor. "The effect is as if a large passenger has stepped out of the car" says Dr. Thomas Rudlaff, responsible for the aluminum bodyshell at Mercedes-Benz. "The result is perceptible and measurable. Less weight means improved performance and efficiency. In other words, the driving pleasure increases and the environmental impact decreases." In terms of rigidity, safety and comfort, the aluminum structure is superior to the previous model's steel construction. One contributing factor is its intelligent lightweight construction with components optimized for their specific task. As a result, diverse processes are used to make different kinds of aluminum depending on component use. The parts are made by chill casting or vacuum die casting, worked into extruded aluminum sections or into aluminum panels of varying thickness. The outcome - high rigidity and excellent safety combined with low resonance and vibrations. The new SL is even more comfortable and has more assistance systems on-board than its predecessor, sacrificing some of the weight saved through the aluminum bodyshell as a result. Nevertheless, the scales show some astonishing readings - the 2013 SL550 weighs around 275 pounds less than its predecessor. This is due to a host of other intelligent details that Mercedes-Benz has also implemented in the new SL in addition to the aluminum bodyshell. Driving pleasure - powerful engine and agile suspension Powerful acceleration, effortless at all speeds, nimble on winding roads - the new SL delivers outstanding driving pleasure. As well as a powerful engine, the SL550 boasts a fine suspension that is both sporty and comfortable, and also features intelligent lightweight construction. The steering knuckles and suspension arms on the front axle, for instance, are also made from aluminum to reduce the unsprung masses. The same applies to virtually all the suspension components on the rear axle. The new SL is available with two different suspension systems - with the Agility Control Suspension as standard equipment. The ABC (Active Body Control) suspension system is available as an option. Both suspension variants are combined with a new electromechanical Direct-Steer system featuring speed-sensitive power steering and a ratio that can be varied in accordance with steering wheel angle. This provides excellent directional stability and safety when traveling at highway speeds, and adds to the SL's agility. It also reduces the amount of steering effort required when parking and maneuvering. The new V8 in the SL550 develops 429 hp from its displacement of 4663 cc, which is around 12 percent more than its predecessor despite some 0.8 liters less displacement. Fuel consumption has been reduced while at the same time the torque has increased from 391 lb-ft to 516 lb-ft - a gain of 32 percent. The engine features an ECO stop/start function as standard equipment, while the 7-Speed Driver-Adaptive automatic transmission has been optimized for fuel consumption and comfort. The fuel economy of the direct injection engine does not detract in any way from the roadster's sporty character. Quite the opposite in fact - the SL550 takes just 4.5 seconds from 0 to 60 mph - eight tenths less than the previous SL550. Interior - aesthetic, stylish, sporty The 2013 SL combines its finely honed profile with a luxurious feel. Premium materials, perfectly finished with great attention to detail define the style and character of the interior. Compared with its predecessor, the new-generation SL is much longer (+1.97 inches) and wider (+2.24 inches), providing more room for greater comfort in the interior, too. Shoulder room (+1.46 inches) and elbow room (+1.10 inches) have been increased, exceeding the norm for this class of vehicle. Clear lines create a coherent look & feel in this comfortable interior. A generous sweep of fine wood trim extends from the center console across the dashboard into the doors, creating a pleasant wrap-around effect. A choice of two wood trims is available. Perfectly in tune with the roadster's character, the interior combines the unpretentious atmosphere of a high-performance sports car with the comfortable, stylish ambience you might expect from a luxurious touring car. Design - classic SL proportions The designers have brought the latest generation of the SL to life with a firm foundation in tradition, but with new perspectives and visions. The result is a stylishly sporty and elegant luxury sports car with balanced proportions that are classic SL. The long hood gives way to a compact passenger compartment that is set well back. A wide, powerful rear end with a strong racing character provides the finishing touch. Just a few carefully drawn lines define the powerfully sculpted, yet calm surfaces along the flanks. Finely crafted details, a striking rear end plus ventilation grilles with chromed fins from the dynamic tradition of the Mercedes- Benz heritage evoke the SL legend. An upright classic sports car radiator grille clearly identifies the new SL as a prestigious member of the current Mercedes-Benz sports car lineup. The centrally positioned star is a contemporary reinterpretation of the famous trademark, and now extends into the center section with its organically flowing contours. Dynamically slanting headlamps set well to the outside frame the striking front end and give the new roadster its own unmistakable face. The Bi-xenon headlamps come with active curve illumination and corner illuminating lamps as a standard feature, as well as Adaptive Highbeam Assist. With different lighting functions tailored to typical driving and weather conditions and activated in accordance with the driving situation, they offer the driver a much better illuminated field of vision. The striking sidelights and the horizontal line of the daytime running lamps in the far ends of the bumper feature LED technology. Retractable hard top - with optional MAGIC SKY CONTROL The sixth generation of the SL also offers a retractable hard top that can be operated using a space-saving electrohydraulic mechanism, converting the SL from coupe to roadster and back again in a matter of seconds. In contrast to its predecessor, the new SL offers two versions of the retractable hard top - glass or the unique panoramic roof with MAGIC SKY CONTROL. The transparent roof switches between light and dark at the push of a button. In the light setting it is virtually transparent, offering an open-air experience even in cold weather. In its dark state the roof provides welcome shade and prevents the interior from heating up in bright sunlight. The frame of both versions is made from magnesium, reducing weight by around 13 pounds compared with the outgoing model, lowering the vehicle's center of gravity and delivering greater agility. The engineers have refined the operating mechanism for the roof and trunk lid. It now takes less than 20 seconds to open or close the roof completely. Aerodynamics - new standards The design of the new SL is not only aesthetically beautiful, it also boasts outstanding aerodynamic characteristics, giving the roadster top marks in its segment in three crucial areas:
  • the lowest wind noise, virtually on par with a closed sedan;
  • the best comfort during open-air driving, meaning the roof can stay down even at high speed;
  • virtually no accumulation of dirt on the side windows.
Two world premieres - FrontBass and MAGIC VISION CONTROL The 2013 SL remains true to its tradition as technological trendsetter with two innovations:
  • MAGIC VISION CONTROL is a new, intelligent and highly efficient wipe/wash system. The innovative wiper blade judiciously dispenses wash fluid just in front of the wiper blade via channels integrated into the blade - in both directions of travel. The result is no water splash on the windshield to disrupt driver visibility and a perfectly clean windshield. The water also stays on the windshield, with no risk of overspray into the passenger cabin when the roof is down. A fully heated wiper blade is included as standard equipment, preventing the build-up of snow and ice on the blade in winter. This heating function also allows warm water to be applied directly onto the windshield for the first time, even in cold temperatures.
  • Equally unique is the FrontBass system, which makes intelligent use of the spaces in the aluminum structures forward of the footwell. These spaces function as resonating chambers for the woofers and mark the first time ever that a sound system has been integrated into the body-in-white. As a result, the new SL features clear, rich bass sounds that deliver a concert hall ambience even with the top down. The new layout has the added bonus of freeing up space in the doors and interior.
Both innovations are part of the extensive standard equipment of the new SL. HANDS-FREE ACCESS - swipe to open The HANDS-FREE ACCESS system is another Mercedes-Benz innovation that provides easy, hands-free operation of the trunk lid. The driver simply moves their foot in the vicinity below the rear bumper. Mercedes-Benz is the only car maker to offer a system that not only automatically opens the trunk lid but closes it as well. The safest roadster The SL is the world's safest roadster, thanks to the collision-optimized aluminum structure, standard equipment that includes PRE-SAFE® and ATTENTION ASSIST, plus further assistance systems on the same high level as the S-Class. The rigid aluminum bodyshell forms a sturdy passenger compartment along with precisely defined deformation zones at the front and rear ends. The passenger compartment is protected in the event of the vehicle overturning by two roll-over bars and Apillars made from a mix of steel and aluminum. The restraint systems including the two-stage driver and front passenger airbags have been further developed, while a head airbag covers the side impact area. An additional thorax airbag in the seat backrest protects the upper body in the event of a side impact. Another new feature is the crash-responsive NECK-PRO head restraints developed by Mercedes- Benz which are also standard equipment in the SL. One safety highlight in the standard equipment package is the unrivalled anticipatory occupant protection system PRE-SAFE® developed by Mercedes-Benz. If the system detects the imminent threat of an accident, it reflexively activates precautionary protective measures for the vehicle occupants, ensuring that the seat belts and airbags are able to provide maximum protection during an impact. Additional post-impact measures supplement the integral safety concept and facilitate rapid assistance. Regardless of the severity of the impact, the doors are automatically unlocked after an accident, the interior lighting is activated and the side windows lowered by 2 inches to ventilate the interior more effectively. The steering wheel also moves upward. Standard - ATTENTION ASSIST and ADAPTIVE BRAKE A unique combination of driver assistance systems in the new SL helps prevent accidents. These include the drowsiness detection system ATTENTION ASSIST and the ADAPTIVE BRAKE, both of which are standard equipment. The latter features ABS, acceleration skid control (ASR) and active yaw control, and offers comfort and convenience functions in addition to safety features. PRE-SAFE® Brake - autonomous partial and emergency braking in response to the serious risk of a rear-end collision Optional equipment includes DISTRONIC PLUS adaptive cruise control with PRESAFE ® Brake, which is already well proven in other Mercedes-Benz models. The systems use radar sensors to detect the serious risk of a rear-end collision. The PRESAFE ® Brake warns the driver and can initiate autonomous braking if the driver fails to react, thus either preventing the accident or at least mitigating its severity. PRESAFE ® can also activate occupant protection measures. Active Parking Assist - automatically maneuvers into a parking space Active Parking Assist is new in the SL. Using ultrasound sensors it can identify parking spaces and automatically steer the vehicle into the selected space. Infotainment - COMAND with internet access COMAND with Internet access capabilities and DVD changer is standard equipment in the new SL. It provides Web browsing while the vehicle is stationary, along with access to Mercedes-Benz Apps - such as Google Local Search, Yelp and Facebook - with a paid subscription to Mercedes-Benz mbrace2 in-vehicle connected services after the complimentary trial period ends. There are also the options to send individual routes to the vehicle from Google Maps and destinations from iPhone® and Android® phones using the Mercedes-Benz mbrace Mobile App. The COMAND system features a high-resolution 7-inch TFT color display (800 x 480 pixels) next to the instrument cluster. This screen arrangement helps to avoid driver distraction. The 2013 SL550 will be available in U.S. showrooms this spring. To coincide with the launch of the 2013 SL, Mercedes-Benz will also be offering a special-edition model, the "Edition 1", for a limited period. The "Edition 1" is superbly equipped and comes standard with AMG 19-inch alloy wheels, designo exclusive leather with contrasting topstitching, AIRSCARF, the Harman/Kardon® Logic7® surround sound system and much more. The designo crystal silver magno special paintwork is available exclusively for the "Edition 1". Interior upholstery is designo classic red/black exclusive with designo black piano lacquer wood trim.

Two New Bentley Continental V8 Models to Bow at 2012 Detroit Auto Show

Bentley will debut the new Continental GT and GTC V8 models at the 2012 North American International Auto Show next month in Detroit.  Both models are powered by a version of the same 4.0 liter twin turbo engine found in the new Audi S8. The new 4.0 liter engine produces 500 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 487 lb-ft of torque from 1700 to 5000 rpm.  Combined with a new close-ration 8-speed manual transmission, Bentley says that the new Continental will do 0-60 in under 5 seconds,  onward to a top speed of 180mph.  We hope that the actual test numbers will put the Bentley Continental GT well into the low 4 second range to get to 60. As with all new vehicle models these days, Bentley is also putting emphasis on efficiency.  Bentley says that the new 4.0 liter engine is 40 percent more efficient in fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions than the outgoing model and that the range has improved to over 500 miles on a single tank of fuel.  Both the Continental GT and GTC V8 models will sit below the 631 horsepower, 6.0 liter W12 Continental GT and GTC models . We'll be in Detroit next month with photos of the Bentley GT and GTC models as well as the other new vehicle debuts, live from the floor of the 2012 North American International Auto Show.