Never has the auto industry's emphasis on fuel efficiency been on display more than at this year's North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Automakers unveiled a potpourri of new technologies aimed at boosting vehicle efficiency.
Ford rolled out two new hybrids and a pure electric car. Toyota added to its reputation for innovation with a low-cost version of the Prius and a concept car aimed at the future. Lexus, Tesla, and others maintained their emphasis on advanced powertrains with new EVs, hybrids, and concept cars. Meanwhile, a host of automakers showed components -- from new frame materials to power-stingy LED lights -- aimed at cutting fuel consumption.
We have collected some photos showing a few of the highlights of the world's premier auto show. From hybrids and electric cars to automotive frames and LED tail lights, we present some of this year's best.
Click the image below to start the slideshow.
Tesla Model S Electric Car
Tesla Motors said it will begin delivery of the much-awaited Model S electric car in mid-2012. The Model S will have three versions: one with a 40kWh battery and a 160-mile range, one with a 60kWh battery and a 230-mile range, and one with an 85kWh battery and a 300-mile range.
(Source: Design News)
For a deep look at GM's Chevy Volt, go to the Drive for Innovation site and follow the cross-country journey of EE Life editorial director Brian Fuller. In a trip sponsored by Avnet Express, Fuller is taking the fire-engine-red Volt to innovation hubs across America, interviewing engineers, entrepreneurs, innovators, and students as he blogs his way across the country.
I agree, Ckit1477. It is surprising the emphasis on hybrids and EVs given that the market for these vehicles doesn't seem to be growing considerably right now. Perhaps the car makers anticipate a growing market in coming years.
Experts do not anticipate the hybrid and EV section to develop considerably this year the mixture of gas costs below $4 a quart and higher advance costs for the vehicles is not gaining customers. But that is not stopping Toyota, Honda, Ford Motor and several Western auto body parts carmakers from presenting new multiple and plug-in designs.
Indeed, the low profile of the NS-4 is scary. But concept cars are notorious for being impractical. In 1988, I drove a Pontiac concept car around the old Riverside race track in Riverside, CA, and was asked not to go any faster than 5 mph.
I agree Bdcst. My city has a lot of speed bumps in parking lots and on residential streets. That could be a problem, as many of the speed bumps are surprisingly high. You can see scrapes on the bumps were fast-moving cars have bottomed out.
Some of those concept cars are scary! The Toyota NS-4 almost scratches the pavement it is so low to the ground. With those extremely low profile tires It would never survive typical urban street pavement, pot holes, or muddy country lanes.
If distracted driver accidents due to smart phone usage is a problem, will smart cars with large LCD dashboards make driving any safer?
LED light trim is becoming all the rage probably due to past popularity of after market "street lights" you can buy for your hot rod. Heck, just buy some 12 VDC LED rope light and away you go. :-)
Rob, I hope you're right about Americans finally trusting Detroit again. American automakers improved their quality tremendously in the mid-'90s, but just couldn't get Americans to believe their cars were any good. I think they ruined their credibility when they refused to admit they had problems in the late '70s and 1980s.
That's funny, my grandfather owned a Dodge Dart...
Getting back to US quality... I owned a 1988 Toyota 4Runner that I ended up rolling and had to replace with something... Ended up with a 95 Chevy Blazer because of my wife. I thought that it would be terrible compared to the 4Runner but it has been one of the best cars we have owned. And it has been somewhat abused off-road.
BMW has already incorporated more than 10,000 3D-printed parts in the Rolls-Royce Phantom and intends to expand the use of 3D printing in its cars even more in the future. Meanwhile, Daimler has started using additive manufacturing for producing spare parts in Mercedes-Benz Trucks.
Researchers have been developing a number of nano- and micro-scale technologies that can be used for implantable medical technology for the treatment of disease, diagnostics, prevention, and other health-related applications.
SABIC's lightweighting polycarbonate glazing materials have appeared for the first time in a production car: the rear quarter window of Toyota's special edition 86 GRMN sports car, where they're saving 50% of its weight compared to conventional glass.
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