2012 Detroit Auto Show Preview
With the calendar turning over a new page to 2012, the very first major auto show is set to open its doors in Detroit when the North American International Auto Show welcomes automakers - both local and foreign - to the Motor City.
This year, American brands are coming to Detroit in full force where they will be joined by a number of international automakers in presenting a steady diet of concept cars, production debuts, and just about everything else in between.
Among the notable debuts set to take place include the brand-new 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL, as well as the 2013 Bentley Continental GT V8. German automaker Porsche has also penciled in the 911 Cabriolet for the festivities, while Lexus will be on-hand to display the intriguing and mysterious LF-LC 2+2 sports coupe concept.
There’s plenty of action headed to Detroit when the 2012 NAIAS opens its doors on January 14th. Head over after the jump to check out a preview of all the cars scheduled to be part of all the festivities.
It’s been a while since we last saw the Dodge Dart out on the streets but the American automaker is prepared to bring back the model by unveiling a new compact sedan at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit this January. Full details of the car are still being withheld, but we’ve already been privy to what kind of powertrain options the car is going to have, beginning with a 1.4-liter MultiAir Intercooled Turbo engine. There will also be a 2.0-liter Tigershark engine and a 2.4-liter MultiAir Tigershark engine added into the mix.
The compact luxury segment appears to be well represented at the 2012 NAIAS with the debut of Cadillac’s all-new ATS luxury sedan. Not much has been shared about the car, although Caddy has already disclosed the powertrain options that will come with it. The base engine will be a 2.5-liter four cylinder engine to go along with a much more powerful 3.6-liter V6 engine and a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces a hefty 270 horsepower and 260 lb/ft of torque.
The Ford Fusion was brought to the American market as a 2006 model, and after six years, the company will officially unveil the second generation model at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. A notable detail about the Fusion is that it will become a global car, being sold in new markets like Europe under the Ford Mondeo name.
The new generation Fusion will adopt Ford’s latest Kinetic design so expect to see hints of the latest Ford models, such as the Focus and Escape. Under the hood, Ford will place a new range of engines, including a new naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine with an output of about 170 HP. The current V6 version will most likely be replaced by a new 2.0 liter turbocharged EcoBoost four-cylinder engine with an output of up to 250 HP. Just like with the current generation, Ford will still offer a hybrid version that will deliver a fuel economy of up to 40 mpg.
Mercedes is headed to the Detroit Auto Show with two new E-Class Hybrid models, the first being the E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid, available as a Saloon and Estate, and the second the E400 Hybrid. Both models will go on sale later in 2012.
The E300 BlueTEC Hybrid combines a 204 HP four-cylinder engine with an electric motor producing 27 HP and 184 lb-ft of torque. The system makes the E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid the most economical luxury-class vehicle in the world: it delivers a fuel economy of 55.9 mpg.
The E400 Hybrid combines a 306 HP V6-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor producing 27 HP and 184 lb-ft of torque. The consumption figures based on the American CAFE standard are: City 24 mpg, Highway 31 mpg, Combined 27 mpg.
Bentley is headed across the pond to America with a pretty snazzy car that’s ready for its face time in Detroit. The car is the new Bentley Continental GT and unlike it’s V12 big brother, this one will carry the company’s new 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine that delivers 500 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 487 lb/ft of torque available between 1700 to 5000 rpm. The new engine will also come with a new close-ratio 8-speed automatic transmission and will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds, while top speed will go up to 180 mph. Despite these gaudy numbers, the real highlight of these V8 engines is the drastic improvements in fuel economy and CO2 emissions. Numbers haven’t been released yet, but we expect them to a significantly better than the numbers of its V12 counterpart.
Fresh off of Mercedes’ German production line is the next-generation Mercedes SL Roadster, a car that offers considerably more comfort and athletic character all while setting new standards in the luxury roadster class. The car is scheduled to make an appearance in Detroit as a preview of the model that’s been pegged to hit US shores in the future. The US market will only get the SL550 version - a model powered by a 4.7-liter V8 engine that delivers a total of 429 horsepower and 516 lb/ft of torque and mated to a 7-Speed Driver-Adaptive automatic transmission.
Considering that the NAIAS is Ford’s "home" auto show, you’d expect it to have a strong delegation of vehicles slated for the event. Certainly, the Blue Oval doesn’t disappoint, especially with the pending debut of the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 Convertible. We’ve already been introduced to the coupe version of the Shelby Mustang at LA earlier this month, so now the top will be lost in Detroit this coming January. Expect the GT500 Convertible to carry the same powertain as that of the coupe: a 5.8-liter supercharged V8 engine that produces a staggering 650 horsepower.
Another top-less version of a new sports car that’s set to appear at the 2012 NAIAS is the Porsche 911 Cabriolet. As the canvas soft-top of the next generation 911, the Cabriolet is carries a boatload of updates on the exterior and interior, as well as on the powertrain. Speaking of the last part, the 911 Cabriolet is expected to carry a variety of powertrain options, including a 3.4-liter direct-injected flat-six engine that’s set to produce a total of 350 horsepower and a more powerful 3.8-liter flat-six with direct injection engine delivering a raised output of 400 horsepower.
The Chevrolet Sonic RS may not be one of those cars that will attract casual folks to its booth, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not worthy of your time. Scheduled to be introduced at the 2012 NAIAS, the Sonic RS is more than just a prettier version of the Sonic hatchback. It also has a wide variety of concept-derived modifications that makes it a car that truly stands out. “The Sonic RS remains true to the progressive spirit of the concept and brings an unmistakable attitude to the segment,” said John Mack, design director for the Sonic. To that, we certainly won’t disagree.
There once was a time when Buick was considered one of the headline acts at the Detroit Auto Show. Since then, times haven’t been kind to the GM-owned automaker, but that doesn’t mean that they’ve completely lost their foothold on their local auto show. At the 2012 NAIAS, Buick will be introducing their all-new, versatile five-passenger crossover, the Encore. According to Buick, the Encore will offer contemporary styling, signature QuietTuning technology, and a host of features and amenities customers have come to expect from Buick. With the lack of information we have right now, we’ll take their word for it until we see Buick pull the covers off of the new Encore.
Smart has a new concept ready to raise some eyebrows at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. Called the "For-Us" Urban Pick-Up Concept, The Daimler-owned automakers have described it as a vehicle targeted to the "young and young-at-heart with active lives who attach importance to low emissions and taking up minimum road space." Powering the For-Us Concept is a magneto-electric motor to go with a 17.6-kWh lithium-ion battery that delivers an output of 75 horsepower and 96 lb/ft of torque. Seeing as this is a future peg for a city car, the For-Us Concept’s top speed only hits 75 mph.
One of the most talked about concepts headed to the 2012 NAIAS is the Acura NSX Concept. Already being touted as the next-generation, high-performance exotic sports car to come out of Honda, the Acura NSX is expected to carry a 3.7-liter VTEC V6 engine that will be combined with a twin electric motor set-up powered by lithium-ion batteries. Details about the NSX Concept are still being kept under wraps, and rightfully so because the buzz it’s generating is already getting hotter and hotter leading up to its highly anticipated debut in Detroit.
A less heralded concept, the Acura ILX, will be joining the NSX Concept at the Detroit Auto Show. Not much is known about the ILX except that it’s being pegged as an all-new luxury compact sedan that will come with three different powertrain options, including a gas-electric hybrid model that’s being pegged as the company’s first venture in the world of hybrids.
Honda Accord Concept
If you haven’t noticed by now, it appears that a majority of the concept vehicles that are headed to Detroit are all coming from the other side of the world in Japan. Honda’s got one too in the Accord Concept and the Japanese automaker is bringing the car to Detroit to show the auto world the new styling direction of the next-generation Honda Accord Coupe. Straight from the proverbial horse’s mouth, the Accord Concept is being prepared as a concept that will "convey the dynamic and aggressive profile of the ninth-generation 2013 Honda Accord."
The top billing at the 2012 North American International Auto Show is currently being fought over by a number of concept cars, one of which is Lexus’ mysterious LF-Lc Concept. The Japanese automaker has been tight-lipped about the concept and has only released a couple of images of the car before it makes its debut in Detroit this coming January. Of the little nuggets of information we have, what stands out is that the LF-Lc will be powered by a hybrid powertrain while the "Lc" designation it bears suggests that it could potentially serve as a rival to cars like the Mercedes SL-Class Roadster.
Toyota NS4 Plug-in Hybrid Concept
Not one to be left out from all the hype the Lexus LF-Lc Concept is about to get at Detroit, Toyota is bringing their own concept car to the big dance in the form of the NS4 Plug-In Hybrid Concept. Just like Lexus, Toyota has remained tight-lipped on details about the NS4 Plug-In Hybrid Concept with the automaker only releasing a single teaser photo of the car’s redesigned headlight set-up.