Showing off the best cars from the North American Motor Show which was held earlier this month in the former motor capital of the World, Detroit.
A new year heralds a new beginning and that can only equal one thing: the return of the motor show, with the North American International Auto Show in Detroit being the first major motor show of the year.
Here then is a look at the cars which will be talked about for the next 12 months as the rest of the world is offered a sneak preview about what is expected to roll off the production lines.
There’s no better place to start than with the car which claimed the prestigious 2012 North American Car of the Year award. The Hyundai Elantra scooped the title and it’s not difficult to see why judges were so impressed with the South Korean vehicle. The car comes with six speed automatic transmission which is supported by a 1.8 litre four cylinder engine.
Hyundai have developed the Elantra so that it starts via the use of a proximity key, which recognises the owner’s key fob and allows entry and ignition of the car. Coming with plenty of interior room for drivers and passengers in the car, the Elantra also boasts integrated Bluetooth, a navigation system and a rear view camera.
Winner of the North American Truck of the Year, the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque was able to hold off the competition from the BMW X3 amongst other vehicles, leaving the Jaguar North America Land Rover president delighted. Andy Goss said: “It’s a tremendous honour and humbling for the company. We’re going to market the hell out of this.”
With the US being home to the largest Range Rover market, Goss’ admission is hardly surprising. His company’s vehicle comes with a variety of interior styling options and offers stainless steel protection tubes along its sides. Further internal and external accessories are available for the model as Jaguar look to capitalise on their success at the North American International Auto Show.
Porsche have shown off their 911 Carrera Cabriolet for the North American International Auto Show, a car which is powered by the 3.4 litre engine and protected by a body constructed of aluminium and steel. The 911 Carrera Cabriolet comes with either a metallic silver finish or landmark red finish and has a low body in order to gain maximum purchase and grip from the road surface.
The interior design of the Porsche model is based upon flexibility, functionality and leather seating in beige or silver. Porsche have also fitted an automatic climate control which comes with zonal temperature gauges which ensures that the 911 Carrera Cabriolet remains at the best temperature for you and your passenger.
Mercedes used the North American International Auto Show to launch the 2013 model of the Mercedes-Benz SL Roadster which offers 435 brake horse power from a V8 engine and can race from 0-60 miles per hour in 4.6 seconds. Previous editions of the SL have been the choice of famous stars such as Grace Kelly and Elvis Presley, whilst Andy Warhol also made boldly coloured prints of the car as part of his art work.
The SL comes with a ‘magic sky control’, otherwise known as a panoramic sunroof which is retractable and altering the appearance from a roadster into a coupe in a matter of seconds. This version of the SL is also notable for being the first Mercedes-Benz SL to be made in aluminium.
When North American ruggedness meets European finesse, the result is the Chrysler Dodge Dart which was on display during the January jamboree in Detroit. The Chrysler is based on the Alfa Romeo suspension and frame, which has been authorised by the Chrysler’s Italian owners Fiat SpA.
The four door sedan comes with either six speed transmission or nine speed ZF automatic transmission, which directs one of three engines, the 1.4 litre, 2.0 litre or 2.4 litre. As well as offering power, the new Dodge Dart offers several safety features including brake support, electronic stability control and has ten airbags fitted as standard.
A North American Auto Show in Motor City would not be complete without an appearance from Ford, who used the occasion to unveil their new Fusion. The car will be known by its more familiar name of the Mondeo in the UK when it is released in the country this spring.
Built as a mid-size four door sedan, the car offers the customer more choice than ever before. Two hybrid models are available so the customer can decide on the amount of output the car can generate. Various trim levels are available for the Fusion, which also comes with 17 inch steel wheels or 16 inch alloy wheels.
The Cadillac ATS sedan model has been built to offer competition in the compact saloon field, with BMW’s 3 Series, the Mercedes C-Class and the Audi A4 all in the car’s range. The vehicle can be used as either a rear or whole wheeled drive and is available with an Ecoteric or V6 LFX engine depending on the model of the car.
Manufactured down the road from Detroit in Lansing, the Cadillac ATS has been launched as a four door sedan but will eventually be complemented with coupés, wagons and a V-series range. Powered by a six speed manual or Hydra-matic transmission, the car will replace the Saab BLS which is being phased out of production.
The Smart car, an offshoot of the Daimler Group, unveiled their ‘Smart for Us‘ concept vehicle which has been labelled as a miniature pick up truck vehicle. The vehicle is hoped to be the solution to the problems which have caused Daimler headaches in relation to their Smart division, which is hitting the company hard, especially in the USA.
If the Smart car is to succeed then it will help Daimler and its parent company Mercedes Benz to meet the CO² emissions targets which are being enforced in Europe. In order to achieve this and to try and recoup some of the costs, Daimler have formed an alliance with Renault in France and Nissan in Japan to share each others platform.
Following on from its German cousin is the BMW ActiveHybrid 3, which sees the Bavarian giants introducing a hybrid version into its successful Series 3 range. It will include a navigation system which can pinpoint the ideal times for the car’s battery to be recharged. However there are concerns about the issue of privacy if the cars were fitted with some form of black box which could track movements as well as recommending the best time to charge up the ActiveHybrid 3.
The car will not be officially launched until autumn of 2012 meaning that BMW can still work on the finer points of the ActiveHybrid 3. The main aspects of the car though should not drastically alter, meaning that the eight speed automatic transmission will be part of the set up, as will the 300 brake horse power fuelled and 55 horsepower electric engines.
Finally another German model on display at the North American International Auto Show is the Volkswagen E-Bugster, which despite its name and appearance is reputedly one of the better electric cars around. It takes 10.9 seconds for the electric car to reach 60 miles per hour from a standing start and also has LED lighting around the base of the car to make it more visible to other road users.
Offering a 114 horse power electric motor and a 695 pound lithium ion battery, the car is able to drive for 110 miles before the battery needs fully recharging, something which takes 35 minutes. The E-Bugster is still classed as a concept vehicle and may never make it to being driven on British roads, however it appears to be an impressive blueprint to draw upon for future generations of electric cars which Volkswagen may create.