2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 09:36
At the Detroit Motor Show, the designers show what the future of the automobile will look like. The most exciting studies come from Asia. But other manufacturers are also attracting attention.
By Stefan Grundhoff
The Detroit Motor Show is a vanity fair. The designers from Europe, Asia and the USA show where the journey will lead in the next few years. America and the Far East in particular are engaged in a heated battle for the most beautiful studies.
A temptation 5.29 meters long
Even if the Europeans graciously keep their distance from the design escapades of the other mega-continents, the Mercedes Ocean Drive is the greatest temptation at the NAIAS. A four-door luxury convertible for the rich and famous of this world - you don't see that every year in Detroit either. The 5.29 meter long one-off has a gently flowing body of graceful beauty. The external features of the show car include the four doors and a generously dimensioned fabric roof, an upright radiator, headlights and rear lights in LED technology. The long side window opening is not interrupted by any B-pillar or window frame. Inside, the designers wallowed in light leather, three-dimensional fabrics and large wooden surfaces in bird's eye maple.
Elegant sportiness in the Ryuga
Mazda is showing the study of the Ryuga at the North American International Auto Show, seamlessly following on from the Nagare from the Los Angeles Auto Show. With its mighty gullwing doors, the Ryuga also relies on flowing forms, elegant sportiness and is intended to set a signal for the future for the Asian manufacturer. In the medium term, zoom-zoom is no longer enough. Mazda is the sportiest of the Japanese brands - that's exactly what studies like the Nagare or the even more graceful Ryuga are supposed to emphasize.
"Like the Nagare, the concept of the Ryuga is based on flowing shapes, but is much more realistic than the model from the Los Angeles Auto Show," says Laurens van den Acker, Mazda Design Manager, "which is why it is special for us important to test the audience's reactions to the design of the future.
The ahs and ohs were great when the partly transparent Chevy Volt was driven onto the stage. Chevrolet, which has not exactly attracted attention in recent years due to its design history milestones, shows courage and inventiveness with the Volt. Four seats, four doors, a coupé shape and generously dimensioned glass elements make you want more. In addition, the name of the Volt says it all - under the crisp, wiry sheet metal cladding, an electrical power unit works for city use. The Volt can be charged at any socket overnight. Six hours of mains electricity mean a city range of almost 70 kilometers. If the lithium-ion battery is empty, you can switch to a three-cylinder auxiliary unit with a capacity of one liter, which will bring you safely to the nearest socket. The prospects for serial production in the near future are rather modest.
Ford drums louder than most at its home game. The Ford Interceptor as a four-door coupe version of the current Mustang is addictive. Plenty of power, 22-inch rims and a design based on the Pick Up F-250 Super Duty from the 2006 auto show make the Interceptor bluntly one of the fair stars. Just as powerful, similarly USA-compatible, the Lincoln MKR attracts the attention of North American car fans. A masked steel face and V6 turbo power are already looking forward to series production. The odds shouldn't be bad given the current Lincoln range.
Jaguar's newest baby is no less impressive. S-Type was yesterday - the successor will bear the family name XF from the beginning of 2008. Before the series version is available at the Frankfurt IAA in September, North American car fans can marvel at the unusually dynamic four-door model as a concept study in Detroit. And the public interest is powerful. A striking retro radiator grille and modern shapes that are already known from Jaguar XK and Aston Martin are intended to open up new customer groups for the British luxury brand below the XJ. ?? For Jaguar, the C-XF is much more than just another concept study, "said Jaguar Design Director Ian Callum:" Its importance for future design and possible future technologies is immense. The Jaguar C-XF is the most dynamic and modern four-doorever put the Jaguar on its wheels."
The 400 hp Toyota FT-HS is even sportier - no other sports car is so clean at the auto show. The gleaming white concept study is pure temptation at the Detroit Auto Show and, on top of that, a real eco-car. The cool two-seater is Targa, sports car and luxury food in one. In design, flowing shapes fight with angular surfaces, ?? Aero Corners ?? called. The aerodynamics should help to reduce the consumption of the hybrid racer to a minimum. "You can no longer please drivers these days with a car that is just fast," said Calty's Vice President Kevin Hunter. "You want to have fun driving, but you are also concerned about safety, the environment and your social responsibility," Hunter is convinced.
The expectations for the Volvo XC60 are also high. After the larger XC90 continues to sell like sliced bread in Europe and especially in the USA, the Swedes are adding a little SUV brother. Unfortunately, it will only be available as a production version in mid-2008. But even the near-series study shows that the XC60 is likely to enjoy great popularity later on. According to Volvo Design Director Steve Mattin, the concept study comes very close to the future production version of the XC60 - and shows design elements from other future Volvo models. An example of this is the rear view, according to Mattin. The large rear lights emphasize the shoulders of the body typical of the brand. And the trapezoid tailgate is a further development of the "glass" rear end from the new Volvo C30.
Little news from German manufacturers
Apart from the magnificent Mercedes Ocean Drive, there is not much to see from the German manufacturers. BMW limited itself to the presentation of the Mini, BMW 3 Series Convertible and the new BMW X5 - no study, no outlook for the next few years. At Audi there is not much to see apart from the two Q7 versions 3.0 TDI and V12-TDI. In Detroit, Volkswagen is implementing the Bluetec strategy begun with Audi and Mercedes for the first time. The well-known study of the Tiguan is shown with a new Clean-TDI.
A special kind of visual temptation is the Advanced Sports Car Concept from the noble Honda subsidiary Acura. If you look closely, you can see numerous design elements of the NSX successor, which will become a reality in 2008, in the gently drawn two-door model. The Sports Concept is propelled forward by a powerful V10 engine, which is intended to encourage rear-wheel drive cars to achieve great driving performance. "The Acura brand will always be for people who love driving," said Takeo Fukui, CEO of Honda. Anyone who turns around at the Acura stand has an undisturbed view of the Honda Accord Coupé Concept, which gives an outlook on the new Accord versions for the next few years. The Accord will also be more dynamic, sporty and powerful in the future.
Nissan Bevel: Van of the future
The Nissan Bevel, a van of the future, is much more funky. At first glance, the somewhat clunky and misshapen van in the indicated wood design was specially created for the American market. The interior gives you all the options for leisure and work. On the right there are two oversized doors that open in opposite directions. On the left there is only entry for the driver. Mighty 20-inch alloy wheels and tiny exterior mirrors with digital cameras are intended to underline the sportiness.
With the Chrysler Nassau concept car and the Jeep Trailhawk, the Chrysler Group is showing two unusual prospects for the future. The Jeep Trailhawk Concept shows without further ado how sportily the next Cherokee generation could move on the roads and all-wheel drive tracks of this world. The appearance of the Jeep Trailhawk is energetic, the wheels in the outermost corners of the body are framed by robust fender flares that protrude significantly above the body. Partly trapezoidal, but not asymmetrical - in this way, the angled, sharply outlined wheel arch extensions reinterpret a core element of Jeep design. The Chrysler Nassau is much more elegant, transferring the design idea of the successful 300C into a British shooting brake.
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