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Fresh off of the 2011 North American International Auto Show, the next major auto event is ready to kick off in a little over a week’s time at the Windy City in Chicago. From February 9th-20th, the Chicago Auto Show will be the center of the automotive universe - in the US, at least - and is expected to draw a sizable number of manufacturers from all over the world.

Here at Topspeed, we make sure that you’re on top of everything as it pertains to these type of shows and just like Detroit, we’re here to give you a low-down on what cars to expect at the Chicago Auto Show.

We’ve compiled a list of cars that are scheduled to make their production debuts in Chicago, and to give you a better idea of what models to expect, we have the full low-down on all attending brands and the respective models that they’re expected to unveil next week.

Details after the jump.

As the first major international auto show of the 2011 calendar year, the North America International Auto Show sees no shortage of manufacturers all looking to break in the new year with a bang.

Some make a tremendous impression on all of us, whereas others just fade into obscurity as soon as the show ends. The challenge for these automakers is to make sure that they bring out products, whether its of production material or it’s a concept that will stand out from the rest.

All the happenings of the Detroit Auto Show took at the Cobb Center in Detroit a few weeks ago so we felt it was an opportune time to provide a heads-up of what vehicles served notice at the event.

This recap will cover all the cars that were officially unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show. Check out the list and let us know which of these new toys on the block you’d want to be taking home to with you.

Check out the list after the jump.

Japanese tuning firm, Veilside, is no stranger to building new auto projects using their Japanese counterparts as their base model. This time around, the aftermarket company headed over to the 2011 Tokyo Auto Salon to present their latest masterpiece, the 4509 GTR Supra .

Based on the fourth generation Toyota Supra that dominated the streets of the world back in the 90’s, the 4509 GTR certainly looks noting like its predecessor. The credit, for better or worse, certainly goes to Veilside for the sick as a high fever styling upgrades.

Though its not a completely original piece of work – we found a few traces on the car that makes it resemble a few of its European contemporaries – Veilside’s work on the Supra is nothing short of detail-oriented. And on top of the aesthetic improvements, Veilside also gave quite a performance package to boost up the monster under its hood. In the world of aftermarket lore, that’s about as good as you can get for a mid 90’s Toyota Supra, proving that no cars are too old for a quality modification.

Details on the Toyota Supra 4509 GTR by Veilside after the jump.

Source: Veilside

Toyota has brought out the big electric guns to the Detroit Auto Show with the new Prius family, including the new Prius c Concept. With the "c" standing for "city"-centric vehicle, the new concept is a preview version of a future Prius model that aims to young singles and couples who want an eco-sensitive, high-mileage, fun-to-drive car.

Toyota hasn’t exactly offered many details on this concept, but they did confirm that it offers outstanding fuel efficiency and a surprisingly spacious interior. It will include many advanced technology features, including some offered on the current Prius. Like with all the other Prius models in the line-up, the c Concept will share the current generation Prius’ platform and Hybrid Synergy Drive technology.

The Prius c Concept is the inspiration for an additional Prius family member that will come to market in the first half of 2012 as the most value-oriented hybrid in the U.S. market with the highest mileage of any "cordless" hybrid.

We are not exactly as thrilled about the new Prius line as Toyota is, especially with so many up and coming hybrids on the market, but it’s nice to know that Toyota isn’t going to go down easy.

That being said, head on over after the jump to catch some details on the Prius c Concept.

The second production version added to the Toyota Prius family is the new "v" version revealed at the Detroit Auto Show. With "v" expressing the vehicle’s versatility, the new Prius v will combine the practicability of a minivan with the hybrid drivetrain of a Prius hatchback model.

The new "v" version is built on the same platform as the first Prius, but promises a 50% space increase inside its cabin. The car also has a low 0.29 coefficient of drag, all while being produced in an evolutionaryPrius design.

The car is identical to its hatchback brother: the same exterior design language, the same hybrid drive train under the hood that delivers a total of 40 mpg, and the same technology for the interior that includes an Entune multimedia system which supports mobile apps such as Bing, OpenTable, and movietickets.com.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2012 Toyota Prius v.

We kind of get the feeling that 2011 is going to be a big year for automakers. We don’t have a tangible explanation for it, but there’s something about the air this year that feels like the next 12 months will be filled with more ups than downs and, hopefully, a lot less recalls than 2010.

We’re barely a few days into the new year and we’re already getting excited over the first major event for 2011, the North American International Motor Show . All the happenings will take place at the Cobb Center in Detroit on January 10, 2011 so we felt it was an opportune time to provide a heads-up of what to expect when the floor opens.

The list of vehicles we’ve included on the list are cars that have officially - and unofficially - punched in their tickets for Detroit. Some cars that will appear are still being withheld for suspense purposes, but what’s the fun in having a preview if we can’t dig up the cars that want their presence to be a surprise?

Either way, we’ve included all of these models so head on over past the jump to see which cars to expect when the NAIAS opens its doors next week.

Toyota UK has added two new models to the 2011 Yaris line-up. The new T Spirit and SR models add more luxury and a bigger dose of sports styling. Sales will begin in January 2011, with prices starting from £11,695 for the T Spirit and £12,445 for the SR version.

The T Spirit adds an integrated, detachable TomTom satellite navigation system with touch-screen operation, Bluetooth connectivity and a USB port, eight-spoke alloys, climate control, rear parking sensors, and chrome surrounds for the front foglights.

The SR version gets 16-inch alloys, rear privacy glass, a rear roof spoiler and chrome exhaust finisher. There is also a chrome and leather sports gearshift and chrome front fog light surrounds. The list of features includes satellite navigation package, Bluetooth, USB port and climate control.

The exterior color options for the two models include Cirrus White, Chilli Red, and Crystal Silver.

Press release after the jump.

Posted on by Ashfaaq 18

The sport of Drifting is catching on like wildfire the world over, and that’s not exactly surprising considering it carries the most entertainment value of any motorsport out there. Even F1 has become mundane with cars lapping continuously in a “follow the leader” fashion for two hours. There isn’t much in the form of action, except when spectacular crashes happen, sending carbon fiber shrapnel everywhere. Not exactly safe, but it’s action nonetheless. Yes, aerodynamics make it difficult to overtake blah blah blah.

Drifting brings together the most exciting aspects of our favorite forms of racing in an exciting showcase. What could be better than watching massive horsepower cars going sideways, door to door with each other at breakneck speeds with smoke bellowing out their arches? Okay, well, participating would be better, but not all of us have the type of skill and precision needed to pull off some of these stunts. Of course, some may, so learning a bit about the best vehicles to take out onto the track is important.

The recipe for a great drift car is a generic affair with the following characteristics at the fore: RWD (Duh!), good chassis balance, engine tuneabilty, a limited slip differential, and obviously accessible tuning parts to make the aforementioned a reality. In the list below, you will find a short description on what unique attributes each of the cars bring to drifting, and hopefully will give you a better understanding of the sport and what building a good drift car requires.

Hopefully this will get you swatting bugs with your side windows in no time. Proceed with caution though, as this is a highly addictive adrenalin rush waiting to happen.

Hit the jump to see the list.

Toyota has always prided itself on being an industry leader when it comes to building eco-friendly vehicles that not only look past the current norms of today’s industry, but challenge them to address the growing need of building economical and efficient yet technologically advanced vehicles. This year, the LA Design Challenge, an annual fixture at the LA Auto Show, is looking for the best concept that addresses these specific needs; to build a lightweight car while minimizing the dependence on using natural resources.

You could say that Toyota is right at their element with this year’s competition and they’re bringing a concept vehicle that answers all of the event’s requirements.

Calling it the NORI Concept, Toyota envisioned its concept as a car that infuses cutting-edge technology with the emissions and fuel economy standards set up by the contest’s guidelines. To prove its point, Toyota built the NORI concept with a unique podular feature wherein the car’s body and its chassis are built as one instead of two separate parts, making it stronger, lighter, and aesthetically more appealing. As a supplemental energy, the NORI concept harnesses solar technology that’s captured through solar cells woven into the concept’s PODULAR, serving as energy back-up should the situation call for it. The podular body is also strengthened using ‘nori’ to create bioplastics technology while combining it with carbon fiber weave to create a sturdy body that can withstand the environment. The specific use of ‘nori’ – in Japanese, it means “seaweed” – reduces the vehicle’s weight.

Full story and press release after the jump

It took more than around 13 years, but Toyota seems to have finally decided on producing the second-generation of the Toyota Rav4 EV. Maybe all it took was a partnership with Tesla to get the proverbial EV ball rolling.

The partnership between Toyota and Tesla was born out of a mutual interest in developing a new model using Tesla technology on a Toyota vehicle, incorporating the strengths of both side to produce a vehicle that consumers would come to enjoy.

“When we decided to work together on the RAV4 EV, President Akio Toyoda wanted to adopt a new development model that incorporated Tesla’s streamlined, quick-action approach,” said Jim Lentz, president and chief operating officer of Tesla Motors. “From the beginning, the customer experience has been the focus.”

The ultimate question, at least according to Hentz, was how the two companies can "deliver an unconventional product to mainstream customers that is compelling and affordable and that offers an acceptable level of daily convenience.”

In the end, the answer turned out to be the Toyota Rav4 EV. For now, Toyota is building 35 models of the new Rav4 EV for a demonstration and evaluation program through 2011, with the company looking into a production version sometime around 2012.

More details after the jump.

Source: Toyota

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