Volkswagen's latest iteration of the Passat, launched at the 2008 Detroit auto show, looks remarkably different from its forebear, and brings in a host of electronics usually reserved for expensive luxury cars. But we are most excited about the all-new navigation and entertainment system, which looks to be a big improvement on Volkswagen's current offering. The car will be imported to the U.S. in the fourth quarter of 2008.
Hummer doesn't embody environmentalism, but that's the spin GM CEO Rick Wagoner gave when he introduced the Hummer HX concept at the 2008 Detroit auto show. The Hummer HX is smaller and lighter than Hummer's other three models, but, more importantly, uses an E85-capable 3.6-liter V-6 engine. Wagoner extolled the virtues of ethanol as fuel during the press conference, punctuating the point by announcing a partnership between GM and Coskota Inc. to produce ethanol fuel using a new, cost-effective process.
As for the Hummer HX, it is a rugged-looking concept that brings Hummer design cues into … Read more
AFS Trinity Power Corporation showed off its plug-in hybrid SUV, the XH-150, at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show. The car's power train represents a refinement of the hybrid concept by employing ultra-capacitors for fast acceleration under electric power. Traditional hybrids use batteries to power low speed driving, but kick in a gas engine when high speeds or heavy acceleration is required. AFS Trinity builds on this concept by adding ultracapacitors, which, unlike batteries, are designed to quickly discharge electricity, providing power to the hybrid's motors for fast acceleration. The company's demonstration vehicle, the XH-150, also features plug-in … Read more
At the 2008 Detroit auto show, we ran across two limousines, one by Maybach and one by Chrysler. The cars, the Chrysler 300C Hollywood and the Maybach Landaulet Study, featured some similar characteristics, which left us wondering if Chrysler walked off with some Maybach plans when it got sold off by Daimler. After looking at both cars, we started thinking about which one is better. To start off, Maybach is an extreme luxury brand owned by Daimler, while Chrysler isn't, so we give the first point to Maybach. The Chrysler is powered by a 2.7-liter V-6, while the … Read more
Racer Motors, a family-owned racing company, displayed its Mach 5 race car at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show. Although the car's design is not typical of what's found on today's race tracks, the Mach 5 boasts some impressive specifications. Spinning at 8,500rpm, the engine produces 1,000 horsepower, while its 1,000 ft.-lbs. of torque comes at 7,000rpm. All this power pushes the Mach 5 to speeds in excess of 300 mph. The spec sheet handed out at the auto show mentions some surprising and decidedly nontypical racing equipment, including a bulletproof cockpit, jump … Read more
We recently got a chance to play with a diesel-powered Audi A6 from Europe (click here for photos), and were impressed by its performance. At the 2008 Detroit auto show, Audi displayed the system that will clean up the diesel A6's exhaust when it's imported to the U.S. It is a complex system, and uses the AddBlue technology also embraced by Mercedes-Benz. The exhaust first goes through a particulate filter to remove the heavier bits, then the AddBlue solution breaks down the nitrous-oxide. A filler cap for the AddBlue tank sits right next to the gas cap. … Read more
The trend among automakers to go green apparently has engulfed Ferrari, as it displayed an F430 affixed with Bio Fuel stickers on the hood and doors at the 2008 Detroit auto show. The company isn't saying anything about it until Monday, but we are willing to go out on a pretty thick limb and say Ferrari modified the F430's engine to run on some mix of ethanol. An engine set up on a stand next to the F430 had green spark plug caps and fuel rails, a color that clashed horribly with the red valve covers, but signals … Read more
Ladies and gentlemen, start your salivating. Those of us silly enough to go to Detroit in the middle of January to look at cars will be able to gawk at the super-cool Mach 5 from the Wachowski brothers' remake of the classic 1960's 'toon. The car is slated to be on display at Cobo Hall in Detroit during the 2008 North American Auto Show, beginning Jan. 13 for press and Jan. 19 for the public.
Although, like most Hollywood prop cars (and more than a few Hollywood people), it will probably be just an empty shell.
The real-life version … Read more
At CES and the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, Ford will show off its next generation navigation system, initially to be made available on the all-new Lincoln MKS. The system's 40GB hard drive will include the Gracenote database, which will automatically tag any CDs ripped to the drive, something Gracenote already does in the Cadillac CTS and Lexus LS 600h. But Gracenote goes an extra mile with Ford, providing cover art for music playing in the system. Users will be treated to a scan of the album cover art while tracks from the album play. Further, the system incorporates Gracenote'… Read more
Ahead of the 2008 Detroit auto show, Chrysler released sketches of three concept cars it will put on display. The cars come from the three main Chrysler brands, Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep, and offer a glimpse into the future of each make. A commitment to environmentalism and future power-train design is shown in that each concept runs on electricity.