Sometimes things start out great and end up only OK, or perhaps worse. The smell of coffee in the morning. Most Superbowls. A full bottle of Patron. We recently had the opportunity to experience the Audi e-tron and came away excited by the vehicle, but wondering why we got to see so much of it.
The General invited AutoPacific to get a sneak peek at a new pickup truck concept that will be shown at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show. We’re going to spoil the surprise and fill you in with all of the details so keep reading…
Can you imagine the technology of your car in the future? How about 80 years from now? Will your car fly? Will you have a personal jetpack? Here’s one to consider: Take all the bad drivers you curse every day while you pilot your way to work and give them all flying machines. That would make for some fantastic video. And lawsuits, too.
It’s not easy to look into the future. But it takes a good imagination, and true desire to look beyond what sits in the driveway today. And I would bet that every one of you has some of this future-think in your DNA.
Think about your car. What do you like? What would you like to remove from your car and install, say, in your mother-in-law’s car? Or just eliminate, perhaps? Honda has been developing a remarkable documentary series. While it’s true that it’s a sales pitch, it’s also terrific insight into the future of the automobile. Check out their idea about vehicles 88 years from now. (watch video)
As true of most manufacturers, Chrysler LLC is working on a full electric vehicle. Chrysler is going for the sport-minded set, though, teasing with a two-seat Dodge sports car, complementing Jeep Patriot EV and Chrysler Town & Country more practical-minded extended-range EV concepts.
Follow the jump for more photos and the full Dodge press release.
At the 2009 NAIAS, GM announced that in 2011, a production version of the global Beat minicar and the Orlando seven-seater will both join the U.S. lineup. The Beat, due for a Geneva show production introduction, will be called Spark for production. In the photos that follow, the white vehicle is the Orlando and the green the Beat (eventually to be renamed Spark.)
Profitable or not, GM is bringing an international minicar to the States. While the Spark will reward drivers with terrific fuel economy, will the efficiency gains be enough to adapt to the small size?
The Orlando brings an internationally sized seven-seater to the States. Orlando, introduced as a concept at the 2008 Paris auto show, will focus on moving people more than stuff. Its box shape will provide maximum cargo room for the footprint, but this will not be a vehicle measured by whether or not it can hold a sheet of drywall.
Follow the jump for more photos and Chevrolet’s official release.
GM’s 2009 Sunday press conference packed a powerful punch, with several production vehicles and a hint of what a Cadillac based on the Chevrolet Volt architecture might look like. Introduced by Bob Lutz himself, the Cadillac Converj is likely to see light of day as a production vehicle down the road, though Cadillac is also just as likely to find an alphanumeric name. Though Cadillac did not specify launch timing, a logical expectation would be that the vehicle arrive about 2013MY.
Aside from distinctive Cadillac styling, the Converj gave GM a chance to discuss the next stage for their Voltec system (the new corporate name for their range-extended electric vehicle powertrain archicture). The 161HP Converj is, like Volt, a front-drive application, though a two-door coupe with seating for four.
Perhaps the current concerns about fuel efficiency, the allure of an ultra-cool-sounding powertrain, and the fact that Cadillac styling is strong across the range will be strong enough for the Cadillac brand to support an entry-level product like this, but the brand’s history with brand cloning and small, front-drive entries is not good. Remember Catera? Cimarron?
In the meantime, follow the jump for the official Cadillac details and a few more photos.
Volvo’s mid-range sedan, the S60, shares a platform with the newly updated XC70 and V70 wagons, but the updated sedan won’t arrive until next year. In the meantime, Volvo is building anticipation with a wonderfully styled S60 Concept said to be very close to the production car, minus the concept’s crystal center stack.
More photos and a Volvo press release after the jump.
The Los Angeles Auto Show saw the world debut of the BMW Concept 7-Series ActiveHybrid. The concept shows the potential of BMW ActiveHybrid technology in the premium luxury car segment and is part of the BMW EfficientDynamics innovation strategy.
The objective of the 7-Series ActiveHybrid is to achieve much better fuel economy and lower emissions in a premium luxury car – a class not known for being particularly environmentally conscious.
Mild Hybrid Teamed With Potent V8
The BMW Concept 7-Series ActiveHybrid combines an 8-cylinder gas engine and electric drive as a mild hybrid. The drivetrain technology featured in the Concept Car allows enhanced driving dynamics together with a reduction in fuel consumption and emissions by 15% versus the same car running on an internal combustion engine only. BMW states that the ActiveHybrid does not compromise the driving dynamics, performance or features of the 7-Series.
BMW contends that there are no compromises to the original 7-Series equation when the mild hybrid is adopted. The ActiveHybrid Seven looks practically the same, has the same level of comfort and performance while getting better fuel economy with lower emissions through use of the mild hybrid technology.
Twin Turbo V8 Based on 750i Powerplant
The internal combustion engine portion of the BMW Concept 7-Series ActiveHybrid is a Twin Turbo V8 gasoline engine and high precision fuel Injection based on the 4.4L V8 of the BMW 750i. Maximum output of the conventional engine in the regular production model is 407 horsepower, with peak torque of 442 lb-ft.
BMW claims the V8 power unit is the most efficient engine in its class and is ideal for focusing on both driving dynamics and efficiency. BMW says its V8 is the only eight-cylinder gasoline engine in the world with its turbochargers mounted in the Vee between the two cylinder banks.
Electric Motor incorporated in Transmission Housing
The V8 is combined with an electric motor fully integrated in the transmission housing, developing maximum output of 20 hp and peak torque of 155 lb-ft. So with the mild hybrid concept, the electric motor boosts the dynamic driving potential of the eight-cylinder gasoline engine in a unique manner most appropriate for the character of the BMW 7 Series, giving the car better acceleration than the already great acceleration of the 750iL.
Regenerative Braking Supplements Power for Accessories
Using Brake Energy Regeneration, the electric motor supplies electric power to the power-consuming items on board the car, minimizing the direct conversion of fuel into electrical energy and maximizing the drive power available for enhanced driving dynamics.
Hyundai’s focus at the 2009 LA Auto Show was all about green…er blue technology. Environmentally friendly technology has been a primary focus of the LA Auto Show over the last couple of seasons, and this year is no different. As Hyundai continues to gain mainstream acceptance amongst the US public, the company is striving to prove that it is no longer just a maker of inexpensive-yet-reliable vehicles, but at the forefront of the automotive game.
Chrysler today announced plans to jumping into the electric car market with both feet by offering up three high-voltage prototypes to reporters and a promise to put about 100 electric vehicles on the road in 2009. We’ve been waiting to get a sense of what the company’s ENVI group is up to, and now we know.
One of the three concept vehicles, the all-electric Dodge EV, is sure to generate some buzz (Is it a Tesla for the common people?) for its fierce looks and eco-friendly, refuel-it-from-the-wall-socket appeal.
With that in mind, it could be easy to miss the hybrid-on-steroids potential of the Jeep and Chrysler EVs — a Jeep Wrangler and a Chrysler Town & Country fitted with battery and range-extending engine setup (similar in concept to GM’s Volt) that Chrysler claims will allow them run for 40 miles without touching a drop of gas.
Read the full report from Chrysler after the jump.