Fuel-efficient technologies are the star of the show
Major automotive suppliers are displaying fuel economy technology to assist automakers make the steep climb into federal fuel economy standards and to reach consumers with growing interest in fuel efficient vehicles. Suppliers such as Southfield, Mich.-based Denso International America Inc., Plymouth, Mich.-based ZF North America Inc., Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls Inc., and Fort Mill, S.C.-based Schaeffler Group USA Inc. are displaying several fuel-saving technology systems at the Cobo Center. Schaeffler Group has been working closely with Ford Motor Co., and is displaying a Ford Escape loaded with nine technologies to save gasoline. These include a stop-start system, an all-wheel drive disconnect system, and friction-reduction technologies.
Nissan is dropping the price of its Leaf battery-electric vehicle
The price will drop by 18%, or about $6,000, now starting at $28,800 for the S trim level. With the federal tax credit at $7,500 and with various state incentives, some consumers will be able to purchase the Leaf for as little as $18,000.
Cadillac launching extended range luxury car next year
In early 2014, an extended range luxury vehicle will be launched by General Motors. The Cadillac ELR will reach dealers in the first part of 2014. It’s based on the Converj concept car that was first demonstrated in 2009, and it will be powered on the electric side by a 16.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which is also used in the Chevrolet Volt.
Honda introduces Urban SUV concept
Two years after ending production of the boxy Element, Honda showed the Urban SUV Concept, a small crossover that’s in the same category with its CR-V. It will be built on the same platform as the Honda Fit, and assembled at the same assembly plant in Mexico along with the Fit.
Bob Lutz and Via Motors showing three new extended range vehicles
Via Motors, which has been supported by GM’s ex-chair and Chevrolet Volt advocate Bob Lutz, unveiled three new full-size electric vehicles. Beyond its plug-in hybrid pickup, other extended range vehicles offerings will include a high performance, four-wheel drive truck with up to 800 horsepower, a luxury 4WD SUV, and an extended range 12-passenger van. (Also, Bob Lutz will help create a conventional version of the Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid with another company, VL Automotive. The car will be called Destino.)