Buick has unveiled its new crossover/SUV ‘Encore‘ at the 2012 North American International Auto Show. The model will be marketed in Europe as well with an Opel badge and with the ‘Mokka‘ name, and will be officially unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March. Both cars have been developed on the Gamma II platform, the same architecture that generated the new Chevrolet Sonic, and will also share the same turbocharged 1.4-litre engine used by the recently unveiled Chevy hatchback, which produces an output of 140 hp and 200 Nm (148 ft-pd) of peak torque from 1,850 rpm. However, no performance figures have been released.
The Encore comes with a 6-speed automatic transmission, standard 18″ five-spoke painted aluminum wheels, 10 standard air bags and a slew of customization options for its cabin. A prominent central instrument panel houses the large, full-color, 7″ LCD display for the IntelliLink voice-activated radio system, also featuring displays for the Sirius XM satellite radio, navigation and rear camera systems. Check out the official Press Release after the jump to find out more about the new Buick Encore.
View the full Buick Encore photo gallery
Bentley is at the 2012 North American International Auto Show introducing the renewed Continental GT and GTC with a brand new 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine. As previously reported, this new engine boasts direct injection technology and derives from the unit used by the new Audi S6, S7 and S8. One of its most interesting features is that it is capable of automatic switching to an energy-saving V4 mode (deactivating 4 cylinders) whenever the car is traveling at low speed. The new engine delivers 507 hp at 6,000 rpm, with 660 Nm (487 lb/ft) of maximum torque available between 1,700 and 5.000 rpm. Both Bentley Continental GT and GTC will have its power delivered to all four wheels through Bentley’s signature 8-speed automatic transmission: the GT will go from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.6 seconds, while the GTC will need 4.8 seconds to hit that same speed. Both models are credited with a top speed of 303 km/h (188 mph) and a full autonomy of about 800 km.
The V8 versions can be told apart from the W12 variants by their shiny black front grille with chrome outlines, the red ‘B’ badges and the different front bumper, with three integrated air intakes. However, the most distinguishing features have to be the newly designed tail pipes and the 20″ alloys. Specifically designed 21″ 6-spoke rims are also available as optional extras in two colors: Diamond Black (which is an exclusive color for the V8s) and Diamond Silver, while the passenger compartment also gets some changes in the form of Eliade cloth headlining, Dark Fiddleback Eucalyptus veneers, optional two-tone leather and short center console.
Right below you will find the links to access the official photo gallery released by the British automaker as well as a bunch of snap shots taken from our friends from Autoblog.it at the Detroit event. For more info on the new Bentley Continental V8 range, see Bentely’s official Press Release after the jump.
View the full Bentley Continental GT and GTC V8 at the 2012 NAIAS photo gallery
View the full Bentley Continental V8 GT and GTC photo gallery
One of the most sought-after concepts at this year’s North American International Auto Show is the all-electric Volkswagen E-Bugster Concept, based on the New Beetle Ragster Concept that VW showcased at the same Detroit’s event in 2006. The model is powered by an electric motor producing 114 hp and 269 Nm (199 ft-lb) of peak torque, and fed by a 315 kg lithium-ion battery package stored under trunk floor and rear seats. The charging port is located under the VW logo at the front, and is compatible with all three types of available chargers: Level 1 (120V), Level 2 (240V), and Level 3 (quick charge), through which 80% charge can be reached in just 30 minutes. The model is credited with a range of 160 km (100 miles)
Aesthetically, the E-Bugster is also a pretty interesting evolution of the classic Beetle design, with an upper body featuring a low, flat roof (E-Bugster’s roofline is nearly 3″ lower than the Beetle’s) and no rear windows, LED daytime running lights integrated in the front bumper that form a quite captivating graphic effect (mirrored by the reflectors on the rear) and 20″ alloys that remind us of the old Beetle of the 70s/80s. In the cabin we have a white leather-dominated interior, but the only significant change in comparison to the usual Beetle’s layout is the revised instrumentation.
By clicking on the links below you can access E-Bugster’s official photo gallery released by VW and some shots our friends from Autoblog.it has taken right at VW’s booth in Detroit. To find out more about the new Beetle, check out the official Press Release after the jump.
The new NSX is definitely the undisputed star at the Acura’s stall, but there are another two interesting concepts that Honda’s luxury vehicle division has brought to the 2012 NAIAS: a Civic-based sedan called ILX and a mid-sized SUV called RDX.
The ILX showcased in Detroit is still said to be in a concept form, but it is actually quite close to the final production version of the car which is scheduled to enter the market in the Spring. Its engine range will be made of two units, both of which will be borrowed from the American version of the Civic: a 2.0 and a 2.4-litre 4-cylinder petrol engines coupled with a 6-speed manual gearbox. It is likely that a third, hybrid powertrain with a 1.5 engine will also join the fold at a later time.
The Acura RDX concept is a prototype version of the 2013 RDX, the second generation of Acura’s five-passenger crossover SUV. It is equipped with a 3.5-litre V6 delivering 273 hp mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission with a new lock-up torque converter. The RDX also gets a new, lighter all-wheel-drive system that provides the required performance and safety with increased efficiency. Other highlights of this model include a smart entry keyless access system, pushbutton start, and a three view rear camera.
Nissan releases an official video and some images of its Pathfinder Concept, currently on display at the 2012 North American International Auto Show. The model represents a juicy anticipation of the next generation of the popular Japanese offroader, which is due to inter the market in its final form next Autumn.
In this two-minutes long video, Nissan’s vice President and General Manager, Mr. Al Castagnetti, introduces the main features of the vehicle, which seems to depart from the classic offroader concept in favour of a more SUV-oriented approach.
Under the bonnet, this Pathfinder Concept uses a V6 unit coupled with a CVT automatic transmission, a combination that should allow the car to decrease its fuel consumption (in comparison to the current model) by an impressive 25%. To find out more about the Nissan Pathfinder Concept, see the official Press Release after the jump.
Mini has brought quite a few models at the Cobo Hall, the chosen location for the 2012 NAIAS, but the undisputed star of the lot is definitely the new 2013 Mini Roadster, the latest two-seat soft-top addition to the family. The model looks like a Mini Cabriolet on steroids, with an overall more muscular design, a ride height that is 20mm lower and a diminutive, manually operated soft top roof.
Just like the Coupe model it basically derives from, the Mini Roadster will come in three petrol and one diesel versions: the same 1.6-litre 4-cylinder engine is used in different power steps on the Cooper (122 hp and 160 Nm of torque), the Cooper S (184 hp and 240 Nm) and the John Cooper Works (211 hp and 260 Nm), while the SD Roadster is equipped with a turbocharged 2.0 diesel unit delivering 143 hp and no less than 305 Nm of maximum torque. In terms of sheer performance, the Cooper goes from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 9.2 seconds with 199 km/h (124 mph) of top speed, the Cooper S gets to the 100 km/h mark in 7.0 seconds with 227 km/h (141 mph) of top speed and the JCW burns the 0-100 km/h in just 6.5 seconds, with 237 km/h (147 mph) of maximum speed. The Cooper SD instead has a 0-100 km/h sprint time of 8.1 seconds, redlining at 212 km/h (132 mph).
As for its impact on the environment, the average fuel consumption varies between the 5.7 litres/100 km of the Cooper Roadster and the 7.3 l/100km of the JCW, while CO2 emission are between the 133 g/km of the former and the 169 g/km of the latter. The Cooper SD Roadster also boasts a good fuel efficiency, with average consumption rated at 4.5 l/100 km and CO2 emissions of 118 g/km. To get all the details about the 2013 Mini Roadster, check out the official Press Release after the jump.
Volkswagen is at the 2012 North American International Auto Show of Detroit with a world premiere: the Jetta Hybrid. The new model from the German carmaker is equipped with a 1.4-litre 4-cylider engine delivering 150 hp and 249 Nm (184 lb-ft) of peak torque supported by a 20 kW (27 hp) electric motor whose combined output provides the Jetta Hybrid with a maximum of 170 hp. Considering the 100 kg extra weight that the car has to carry because of the whole electric apparatus, its performance figures are actually quite good: the 0-100 km/h (62 mph) sprint time is less than 9 seconds, with an average fuel consumption of 5.2 l/100km. All that is made possible by its 7-speed DSG dual clutch transmission as well as a CD coefficient that is 10% better than the standard model.
The new Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid features regenerative brakes at all four wheels, start/stop technology that shuts the engine off when the car is stalling (with no effects on heating, air conditioning and audio system) and comes with lightweight 16″ or 17″ alloys specifically developed for this model. Exclusive rims and badging aside, the Jetta Hybrid can be distinguished from the ‘regular’ Jetta sedan by the different design of the front grille with blue-backed VW badge, the different front bumper, the presence of a rear diffuser as well as a trunk-mounted spoiler. In the cabin instead the only significant difference is unique instrument cluster with a special menu that displays energy flow and battery charge state data.
The 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid is expected to go on sale in North America next November and to enter the European markets shortly afterwards. As for yet, no word on pricing.
View the full 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid official photo gallery
The much hyped Lexus LF-LC Sports Coupe Concept is at the North American International Auto Show, and here are some live pictures of the model taken live at the Detroit event. This new supercar from Lexus is a front-mounted rear wheel drive coupe that uses Lexus’s own Hybrid Drive technology, but the Japanese carmaker did not release any detail as for which sort of powertrain is actually equipping the model, and the Press Release divulged in Detroit surely doesn’t shed any light on the matter .
The aggressive design of the car has been developed at Lexus’ Calty design studio in Newport Beach, California. It uses 21″ alloys fitted with 265/35 tyres, boasts about two inches of ground clearance and seems to be ready to enter production. As for the interior, it looks pretty similar to the LFA, although the LF-LC uses a lot more leather, suede and polished wood. This prototype also has two 12.3″ LCD screens on the dashboard that allow the driver to control the car’s infotainment system while there are another two small screens, one for each side of the cabin, that command seat adjustament, wing mirrors and side windows. Perhaps the passenger compartments is a little too futuristic for today’s standards, but the eventual production version of this LF-LC concept might end up using a more down-to-earth approach.
View Lexus LF-LC Concept at the 2012 NAIAS images
Porsche is at the 2012 NAIAS in Detroit to introduce the new 911 Cabriolet 991-series to the North American public, and here is a bunch of live shots taken right on the spot by our friends from Autoblog.it.
The standard ‘Carrera‘ version of the new Porsche convertible sportscar comes with a 345 hp 3.4-litre 6-cylinder engine coupled with either a 7-speed PDK dual clutch transmission or a classic 6-speed manual gearbox, whereas the ‘Carrera S‘ variant is powered by a 3.8-litre 6-cylinder unit delivering 394 hp. In spite of all that power, the German manufacturer claims an average fuel consumption inferior to 10 l/100km for both models.
One of the most distinctive features of the new Porsche 911 Cabriolet is its innovative and ultra-light fabric and composite plastic folding roof, that uses a magnesium frame and a glass rear window glued directly to the outer fabric skin. This device allows the car to save quite some weight over its predecessor, and needs only 11 seconds to carry out both raising and stowing operations. All wheel drive, Turbo and GT versions of the model will surface at a later time. To find out more about the new Porsche 911 Cabriolet, see the official Press Release after the jump.
View Porsche 911 Cabriolet at the 2012 NAIAS pictures
One of the most eagerly awaited concept cars currently on display at the 2012 NAIAS is definitely the Honda/Acura NSX, the model that is going to inherit the glorious NSX name from the famous Honda sports car of the 90s. This mid-mounted concept uses a V6 Vtec petrol engine with direct injection as well as two electric motors, and somewhat anticipates the production model, that is expected to debut within 3 years and will eventually be marketed in North America with the Acura badge.
The NSX adopts an all-new hybrid all-wheel-drive system that can instantly generate negative or positive torque to the front wheels during cornering, called new Sport Hybrid SH-AWD (Super Handling All Wheel Drive™) hybrid system. To make it work properly, the NSX boasts a quite complex and advanced ‘dual-clutch’ transmission system that distributes the power coming from its three engines to all four wheels in order to obtain the best possible traction and torque distribution at all times, also improving the overall performance of the car.
Honda Motor Co’s president and CEO, Mr. Takanobu Ito, commented: “Like the first NSX, we will again express high performance through engineering efficiency. In this new era, even as we focus on the fun to drive spirit of the NSX, I think a supercar must respond positively to environmental responsibilities.” This NSX prototype measures 4.33 meters in length, 1.89 meters in width and just 1.16 meters in height, and uses 19″ wheels on the front axle and 20″s at the back, fitted with 255/37 and 275/30 tyres respectively. The new Honda/Acura supercar will be developed by an engineering team led by Honda R&D Americas Inc. and manufactured in Ohio, at a yet to be named facility.