Category - 2012 NAIAS

2012 NAIAS: Volkswagen Bugster Concept

This is the Beetle based e-Bugster concept from Volkswagen for the 2012 NAIAS.  While this chopped hot rod Beetle is just a concept, VW hopes to highlight the “Blue E-motion”  114hp all-electric powertrain which Volkswagen says has a range of 100+ miles.  The e-Bugster uses a 695 lb. lithium-ion battery which sits where the rear seats would normally be in a regular Beetle.

While this all sounds good on paper, we’ve yet to see VW actually build any of the concepts it shows at the NAIAS.  That’s a shame, because the e-Bugster is the best looking Beetle yet.

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2012 NAIAS: 2013 Dodge Dart

Dodge has finally released a full set of photos of the new C-segment 2013 Dart sedan, ending the teasing that has gone on for over a month now.  This new sedan replaces the Caliber in the Dodge lineup and we think they’ve finally built a car that will be competitive in the compact segment.

The 2013 Dodge Dart will initially be available in two trim levels: the R/T pictured above and the Limited which is the white car in the photo gallery.  The drivetrain options for the Dart consist of three different engines and three different transmissions including a 9-speed automatic transmission.  The engine choices will be the 2.0-liter 16-valve 4-banger, a 1.4-liter MultiAir turbo, and the 2.4-liter Tigershark MultiAir.

We’ll have full reveal photos of the 2013 Dodge Dart live from the show floor at Cobo Hall tomorrow.  In the meantime, hit the jump to catch a 49 image photo gallery of the 2013 Dodge Dart.

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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.

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S:S:L’s 2012 NAIAS Coverage Begins Monday!

The 2012 North American International Auto Show (AKA the 2012 Detroit Auto Show) kicks off from Detroit’s Cobo Hall this coming Monday and the S:S:L team will be there to cover it for you live.  The 2012 NAIAS marks the 24th year for the annual Detroit show and promises to be one of the better shows in recent years.  This year’s show will feature 40+ exhibitors, including the return of Infiniti and Nissan to the show.

Here’s what we know so far about notable reveals the 2012 NAIAS:

  • Acura – Acura has been quiet for the last couple of years at the NAIAS but promise to make this year count with three new vehicle reveals including an all-new compact sports sedan dubbed the ILX, a redesigned RDX crossover, and a concept version of the next generation Acura super car.  We hesitate to call it an NSX successor just yet, but we will see what Acura has up their sleeves on Monday.
  • Audi – Audi will be showing the refreshed A5/S5 and A4/S4 models for the first time on North American soil at the show, along with the 2012 A4 Allroad.  Rumor also has it that a Q3 based concept named Vail will make it’s world debut in Detroit.
  • Bentley – Bentley will be debuting two new Continental V8 models which will be powered by the new 4.0 liter, twin-turbo engine found in Audi’s new S-cars.
  • BMW – The new 3-series sedan will make its North American debut at the 2012 NAIAS.
  • Buick – Buick has been teasing the new compact Encore SUV bit by bit on Facebook for the last few weeks, but makes its first official appearance at the 2012 NAIAS.
  • Chevrolet – While nothing has been confirmed, there is a rumor that Chevy will have a surprise concept at their press conference and the blogosphere is convinced that it will be carrying the Chevelle nameplate.  We’re hearing the concept will be some electric Cruze coupe type vehicle.  Chevy will also be debuting the turbocharged Sonic RS.
  • Chrysler –  The Chrysler Group will be revealing the all-new Dodge Dart compact, the Mopar tweaked Chrysler Super S, and the Dodge Charger Redline.  While the Dodge Dart is certainly the most important reveal for Chrysler at the show, the Charger Redline is what really piques our interest, featuring three available stages of Mopar tuning.
  • Ford – Ford will be revealing the next generation 2013 Fusion sedan, Escape CUV and possibly the 2013 Shelby Mustang GT500 convertible.  We hear that the new Fusion will bear a striking resemblance to the Evos concept car and will be loaded full of tech that hasn’t been seen in a vehicle before.  Expect a heavy tie-in with the events going on in Vegas this week, as the new Fusion is the official car of the 2012 CES.
  • Honda – The 2013 Honda Accord Coupe Concept will make its debut at the 2012 NAIAS and will show the direction of the ninth-generation Accord which is set to go on sale in the fall of 2012.  Honda’s concepts are usually nearly production ready so what you see is nearly what you’ll be getting in showrooms in the fall.
  • Infiniti – Infiniti will have the JX Crossover on display as well as the ETHERA Concept which makes its North American debut.
  • Lincoln – Lincoln is scheduled to have their own press event, which leads us to believe they will be debuting the new MKS and possibly MKZ sedans.
  • Lexus – The 2012 NAIAS will be the stage for Lexus’ new LF-LC Concept which shows the future of Lexus design and hints at the successor to the SC coupe.
  • Mercedes-Benz – MB will be showing off the new 2013 SL550 Convertible.
  • Nissan – Nissan will be showing off the all-new curvier and more aerodynamic (and less off-road worthy) Pathfinder CUV.
  • Porsche – Porsche will be popping the top on the new 911 with the world-debut of the 911 Carrera Cabrio.
  • Toyota – Toyota will debut the NS4 advanced plug-in hybrid vehicle concept as well as the North American debut of the Prius c hybrid.
  • Volkswagen – Volkswagen will be showing off some sort plug-in hybrid Jetta concept at this year’s show.
  • Volvo – V stands for vaporware as Volvo will show off yet another plug-in hybrid concept, this time based on the XC60 SUV.  Volvo seems to pick one model every year to call a plug-in at the show followed by nothing ever coming of the concepts for production.
S:S:L’s 2012 NAIAS coverage begins monday at 8:00 am from the Ford press conference and will go throughout the day Monday and Tuesday.  We’ll be live on Twitter with live updates as well as uploading tons of high-resolution NAIAS photo galleries throughout the day.  Follow us on twitter @speedsportlife to go interactive with us as we cover the show.