Author Archive

Honda Urban SUV Concept Introduced

Honda’s smallest crossover will be built alongside Fit in Mexico.

by on Jan.14, 2013

Honda's Urban SUV Concept is a sleek departure for the company that previously brought us the boxy Element.

What, you were expecting an Element redux?

Two years after ending production of the intentionally ugly-duckling boxy Element, Honda showed the Urban SUV Concept, a thinly disguised look at a new small crossover that will slot in below the CR-V in the Honda lineup at the Detroit auto show. Key competitors will be the quirky Nissan Juke and the Fiat 500L, a supersize version of the diminutive Fiat 500.

Sleek and Modern!

While the trucklet’s profile is similar to many other small crossovers – including big brother CR-V – a unique, upswept character line that suggest speed.


BMW Reveals M6 Gran Coupe in Detroit

by on Jan.14, 2013

BMW's M6 Gran Coupe brings the M treatment to BMW's entry in the category it shares with other coupe-like sedans.

Coupe-like sedans are all the rage and now BMW is bringing the M treatment to its 6-Series Gran Coupe.

The Bavarian automaker unveiled the M6 Gran Coupe today at the North American International Auto Show.

The M6 Grand Coupe will fill one of the few blank spaces left in the Bavarian maker’s performance line-up. Of all its wide range of offerings, BMW has said it has no intention of adding an M7 – instead turning to Alpina for a performance version of its flagship sedan.

Ian Robertson, a member of BMW’s Board of Management, said the car provides a sports car experience with elegant ambiance of a luxury interior.


Detroit Auto Show: All You Need to Know

Press Preview ends today; show opens to public on Saturday.

by on Jan.14, 2013

The press previews are over but there’s still a lot more news to come from the 2013 North American International Auto Show and will continue bringing you the latest product news, concept close-ups and interviews with the industry newsmakers down at Cobo Hall.

Stay with for our latest updates:

BMW 4-Series in the Flesh in Detroit

Bavarian automaker spins the coupe off from the 3-Series sedan line.

by on Jan.14, 2013

BMW is spinning off its 3-Series Coupe into a separate model called the 4-Series.

Is there some danger in moving the coupe version of the BMW’s vaunted 3-Series to a new nomenclature?

Probably not.

BMW pulled the cover off the 4-Series Concept Coupe today at the Detroit Auto Show.

Ian Robertson, member of BMW AG’s Board of Management, said the new car offers a new level of presence, elegance and dynamics.

“In designing the Concept 4 Series, we were determined to make a Coupe that stands above all others in its class,” Robertson said. “The result is an entirely new Coupe with more aesthetic differentiation and more product substance.

Your Detroit Auto Show Source!

BMW’s 4-Series is the coupe counterpart to the 3-Series, just as the 6-Series is to the 5-Series and the 8 is to the 7. Apparently, in BMW-ese, even numbers signify two doors rather than four.

While BMW is calling the car it is showing at the North American International Auto Show a concept, the production version will likely be very close to the show car.


Nissan Begins U.S. Leaf Production

Automaker continues efforts to make EV production a routine part of car building.

by on Jan.10, 2013

Nissan began U.S. production of its Leaf electric vehicle in Smyrna, Tenn., this week.

Electric vehicle sales have been disappointing, but that isn’t stopping Nissan from plowing ahead with plans to expand production of its Leaf EV.

Nissan began U.S. assembly of the Leaf on Wednesday, marking the latest milestone in the automaker’s plans to ramp up its EV production.


Is Nissan foolishly pushing ahead with increased EV production or is it trying to create the critical mass some critics say the EV market is lacking?


Students Invited to Take Part in Autorama Design Competition

One student will win a $5,000 scholarship to College for Creative Studies.

by on Jan.04, 2013

Past winners of competitions such as this year's Autorama High School Design Competition got great experience as well as something for their resumes.

Chrysler is supporting budding auto designers in Detroit with the 2013 Autorama High School Design Competition and supporting the United Way for Southeastern Michigan at the same time.

The competition gives all high school students attending a Detroit public school the opportunity to explore their creative side and design a future luxury Chrysler brand vehicle they envision for 2030. The winners will be announced as part of the kickoff for the 61st annual Autorama custom car show at Cobo Center in Detroit in March.

Uniquely designed!

Managed by the Chrysler Group Product Design Office in Auburn Hills, Mich., student entrants are encouraged to draw inspiration from Detroit’s history and passion for the automobile, while reflecting the Chrysler Group’s popular “Imported from Detroit” marketing campaign.

Could Chrysler find a future automotive design star? Possibly.


Show Brings World-class Automotive Art to Detroit

Co-organizers hoping to turn show into an international art display.

by on Dec.31, 2012

While you’re downtown for this year’s Detroit auto show, make some time to stop by the Compuware Building, to see works by some of the world’s best automotive artists.

This will be the second-annual Detroit Knows Cars Automobile Art Exhibit. It runs Jan. 10-27 in the Compuware lobby.

Automotive artistry!

“More than a dozen artists for whom the automobile is a central theme present their amazing works in this free public space,” co-organizer Steve Purdy said.


Stylish yes, But is 2013 Ford Escape as Useful as Old One?

Sleek new cute ute is a major departure from the old box.

by on Dec.26, 2012

Ford says the 2013 Ford Escape is as useful as the original, but now in a sleek and stylish package.

For me, a new Ford Escape is personal. Our 2002 model was simply the best car we’ve ever owned.

With its optional V-6, it was powerful, it was as maneuverable as a go-kart and it had an interior that simply could not possibly have fit inside what looked like a smallish sport utility on the outside. Tough grey plastic cladding on the bottom gave that original Escape a rough and read, youthful look and it brushed off road debris without trouble.

Sleek and Modern!

There’s a good reason buyers have made it the best-selling small SUV on the market. It may have been a box, but it just worked.

But now Ford has built a new Escape, with swoopier styling, new powertrain options and a modern interior. The question is whether this new Escape can live up to or improve on one of the most useful vehicles of its size ever made.

Let’s take a look.

Toyota Offers Wireless Cellphone Charging in Avalon

Avalon features global standard Qi charging mat.

by on Dec.20, 2012

Toyota's new Avalon will offer the first automotive application of Qi-enabled wireless cellphone charging.

After inventing alternating current electrical transmission, Nikolai Tesla became obsessed with wireless electric transmission. He even created the scary Tesla Coil to demonstrate the concept.

Tesla’s wireless electricity transmission was ahead of its time and we’ve been tethered to the electrical cord ever since.

Look Ma, No Wires!

But wireless battery charging has become possible in recent years such as with the Powermat charging system for cellphones. Now Toyota plans is offering in-car wireless cellphone charging with the Qi-enabled wireless charging system. Qi is an global standard technology promoted by the Wireless Power Consortium.

Toyota will offer the system as an option on Limited models.


Nissan Opens US Leaf Battery Plant

Automaker still betting big on EVs despite poor sales of Leaf.

by on Dec.13, 2012

A worker assembles a Leaf battery pack at Nissan's new facility in Smyrna, TN.

Nissan took a major step toward U.S. production of its Leaf electric vehicle with the beginning of lithium-ion battery production in at its plant in Smyrna, Tenn.

Smyrna is the third location for production of Leaf batteries. The new battery facility is located right alongside a new assembly line that will shortly begin producing the Leaf itself for the U.S. and other markets

Get a Free Subscription!

“Opening this U.S. plant is an important milestone in Nissan’s overarching strategy to foster sustainable mobility around the world,” said Carlos Ghosn, Nissan president and chief executive officer. “The opening of this facility in Tennessee supports our goal of making zero-emissions mobility a reality through American jobs and American manufacturing.”