Back in September Chrysler showed its commitment to designing and marketing a range of electric and hybrid vehicles with the unveiling of a trio of concept vehicles, one for each of the Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge brands. Despite its current financial situation, Chrysler is keen to show its willingness to keep up with rivals, such as General Motors and its Chevrolet Volt plug-in, by unveiling updated designs of its electric vehicles at this month's Detroit Auto Show. The first of these is the new Jeep Patriot EV, an plug-in hybrid SUV with a 400-mile total driving range and a 40-mile all-electric range with zero fuel consumption and zero tailpipe emissions. As a range-extended electric vehicle, the Jeep Patriot EV combines the electric-drive components of an electric vehicle with a small gasoline engine and integrated electric generator to produce additional energy to power the electric-drive system when needed.
Toyota has announced that it will display its new FT-EV concept at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show, while also confirming that it will launch an urban commuter 'battery-electric vehicle' (BEV) by 2012. The world's largest carmaker also revealed that it will start consumer trials of a fleet of 150 plug-in hybrids towards the end of this year and launch as many as ten new petrol-electric hybrid vehicles next year. This announcement, coupled with its compressed natural gas powered Camry Hybrid concept display at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show, signal Toyota's intention to broaden the scope of its advanced alternative-fuel vehicle development. The all-electric FT-EV concept shares its platform with the iQ urban commuter vehicle, and can drive up to 50 miles on a single charge. Although BEVs and new smaller vehicles like the iQ will be a key component of Toyota's sustainable mobility strategy, the conventional gas-electric hybrid, like the all new third-generation Prius, also set for this month's Detroit event, is considered Toyota's long-term core powertrain technology.
As the 2009 Detroit Auto Show draws near, General Motors continues to prepare for its new-model onslaught. The latest salvo of information on its coming range of 2010 model-year cars comes by way of a trio of 'sneak peek' videos detailing the Cadillac SRX, Chevrolet Equinox and Buick LaCrosse. Each of the videos features interviews with designers, creators and executives on the design and marketing direction of each vehicle. The interiors of all three cars are also detailed with close-up shots and sweeping pans. The theme of the SRX video boils down to a marriage of what Cadillac calls 'fashion and function'.
Built to rival BMW's M5, Mercedes-Benz's E63 AMG and Audi's RS6, the new Jaguar XF-R looks every inch the true rival in these newly leaked official photos. The details that accompany the images indicate it will be a match in terms of power as well, rated at 510hp (380kW). The information leaked matches well with previous expectations. The XF-R has been no stranger to the spy camera, captured as recently as last week undergoing camouflaged testing. It is scheduled for an official debut in just a few days at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show, however, so it's not surprising that official images have emerged.
The rebirth of the American muscle car was about as ill-timed as it could be given the industry's global meltdown, but Hurst Performance Vehicles is forging ahead with a limited edition run of 50 specially built Dodge Vipers to commemorate its 50th anniversary. The supercars started production in late December, and orders have been open for a month, but today marks the release of the first official photos of the car. Each car will offer a wide options list to the buyer, but all will be decked out in as much classic Hurst gear as possible, from the HARD-DRIVE gold pistol-grip shifter to Hurst forged aluminum wheels and an array of classic Hurst color combos.
The popularity of street-legal trackday cars has waxed over the past decade, bringing such favorites as the Ariel Atom, KTM X-Bow and any number of Lotus Seven-inspired cars. Now the legendary Reynard Racing is applying its chassis-building talents to produce the Inverter, a street-legal track star with true racing spirit. To say the Reynard Inverter is a no-frills car is understatement: at 882lb (400kg) full of fuel and ready to drive, the car is 253lb (115kg) lighter than a Caterham Superlight R300 and a massive 518lb (235kg) lighter than the Atom.
General Motors' presence at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show is going to be a busy place with the debuts of the 2010 Equinox, SRX and LaCrosse all taking place. Today word of yet another car due for reveal - this time a concept - has broken, and it's expected to be a Cadillac-branded coupe based on the Volt's plug-in hybrid-electric technology. Though the sources cited by BusinessWeek are quick to emphasize the car is just a concept car with no plans at present for production, hints at a small coupe to fight BMW's 1-series and similar cars have been dropping for several months.
Chinese manufacturer BYD is planning to have plug-in hybrid vehicles on sale in the U.S. within two years, with similar ambitions for the European market. The company took a step closer to reaching those goals by launching the world's first mass-produced plug-in hybrid vehicle in China last month, and now it has confirmed that the car will be on display at next week's Detroit Auto Show. The car is the F3DM and it can drive up to 62 miles on electrical power alone before a small internal combustion engine takes over driving duties.
General Motors has confirmed that the launch of its 2010 Chevrolet Camaro will be delayed by a month, but has refused to give a reason why. The reborn muscle car was originally due to enter production at GM's Oshawa plant in Ontario, Canada, on February 16, but the date has now been pushed back to March 16. The information comes from Chevrolet spokesman Terry Rhadigan, who told Automotive News that the decision is due to a number of factors. "We're still going to build every one we can, and we're excited to get them out," he said.
Despite the attractive new C200 crossover concept debuted at last year's Paris Motor Show, the successful Rexton production SUV and the new-for-2008 Chairman W luxury sedan, South Korea's SsangYong has revealed that it is entering court receivership to avoid being forced into bankruptcy. The global slump in car sales hit the carmaker hard in every market, pushing down share values by 77% over the last 12 months. The company had previously cut wages by 30%, reduced output and received a $45 million cash injection from China's SAIC, which owns 51% of SsangYong.
Earlier this week General Motors announced the death of the G8 ST program because it wouldn't make money for them and the 'sport truck' didn't fit the Pontiac brand image. Today news has emerged that Chrysler is now considering building its own car-based pickup truck as a solution to its need for an efficient and profitable alternative to compact pickups. Compact pickups have been slow-sellers even in good times, but of late they are particularly hard to move. Chrysler's prospective solution to that problem, voiced by Frank Klegon to The Detroit News, emphasizes low pricing and efficiency as the motivating factors.