Day one of the 2011 North American International Auto Show is going to be a very busy one, mainly because it is the only day that automakers will host press conferences. Given the congested nature of the day’s schedule I will break it down into several parts with a few brands already taking stage before many have had the opportunity to down their first cup of joe. Porsche, Chevy, Ford and Volkswagen lead off the morning.
Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, is continuing to extend its performance and high efficiency competence via intensive development work in the field of hybrid technology. With the Porsche 918 RSR, the manufacturer of sporty premium vehicles is presenting a high-end synthesis of 2010′s successful hybrid concepts. The two-seater mid-engine coupe 918 RSR clearly reveals what happens when the technology fitted in the 911 GT3 R hybrid and the design of the 918 Spyder are transferred to a modern, innovative super sports car.
Motor racing technology also dominates within the particularly light, torsionally stiff carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) monocoque. The V8 engine is a further development of the direct injection engine from the successful RS Spyder race car and now offers an output of precisely 563 hp at 10,300 rpm in the 918 RSR. The electric motors on the two front wheels each contribute 75 kW, i.e. a total of 150 kW, to the peak drive power of exactly 767 hp. This additional power, which is generated during braking, is stored in an optimized flywheel accumulator.
Chevrolet displayed the all-new 2012 Sonic at the North American International Auto Show. Its youthful, aggressive design is backed by turbocharged performance and agile ride and handling, combining to deliver an efficient, fun-to-drive small car.
The Sonic is offered in two body styles: a stylish four-door sedan and a sporty five-door. Each delivers class-leading rear-seat roominess and cargo space. A variety of connectivity features enhance the driving experience.
“The all-new Chevrolet Sonic blends the practicality of a small car with the passion for driving that Chevrolet vehicles like the Corvette are known for,” said Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet marketing. “Its combination of great design, fun driving experience and the latest connectivity features create a serious competitor with a fun spirit.”
Ford today revealed two next-generation hybrid vehicles – including its first production plug-in hybrid electric vehicle – at the 2011 North American International Auto Show, bringing consumers more choice, versatility and style for high-mileage family-friendly vehicles.
Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid and C-MAX Hybrid are based on the new Ford C-MAX five-passenger multi-activity vehicle, and each will offer high mileage and low emissions as well as distinctive body design and a flexible interior. The plug-in hybrid and third-generation full hybrid leverage Ford’s global C-car platform, acclaimed powersplit architecture, next-generation driver information features and advanced lithium-ion battery systems.
“C-MAX Energi and C-MAX Hybrid will be perfect for families looking to maximize their hybrid car experience,” said Nancy Gioia, Ford director of Global Electrification. “Thanks to the versatile interior, these cars are going to appeal to environmentally conscious consumers who need room to grow.”
Volkswagen of America, Inc., today announced the world debut of the all-new Passat, a transformational car in Volkswagen’s ambitious growth plan for the U.S. market.
Designed in Germany and made in America, the Passat was developed as a larger vehicle with premium features and handling characteristics that will perfectly match it with the tastes and lifestyles of Americans. It will be built in Chattanooga, Tenn., at the world’s newest, most advanced and environmentally responsible auto assembly plant.
The new Passat, the largest ever, is the only midsize sedan that offers superior German engineering at an accessible price. The Passat TDI — the only clean diesel option in the segment — is expected to deliver 43 miles per gallon on the highway, with a range of approximately 800 miles.
Final pricing will be announced in the spring, but the Passat will start at around $20,000 when it arrives in dealer showrooms later this year. It will come with premium standard features that include automatic climate control and Bluetooth connectivity.