Audi's Cross Cabriolet Quattro is an attempt to combine a convertible coupe with an SUV, exploring untapped ground in the design world. The car gets Audi's off-road equipment, including Quattro all-wheel-drive and ride height adjustment, along with the latest cabin gadgets, such as navigation integrated with Google Earth and a Bang & Olufsen audio system that can play Internet radio.
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The Space Up Blue pays homage to the 1950's VW Samba Bus in its exterior styling. While its shape may be retro, its drivetrain is far more futuristic: According to VW, the Space Up Blue features the world's first high-temperature fuel cell, which can operate in temperatures up to 160 degrees Celsius. This is in contrast to many other fuel cells that have to operate within strict temperature ranges.
Hyundai took the wraps off the best-looking car of the day when it unveiled its Concept Genesis Coupe. The coupe is the second car to get the Genesis designation, following the Genesis Concept sedan unveiled earlier this year in New York. Like the sedan, the Coupe is rear-wheel drive and is powered by a 3.8-liter V-6 that's making north of 300 horsepower.
This car started life as an SX4 Sport edition, but its top was cut off, making it a converted rather than a convertible. A couple of surfboards are mounted on top and might offer some of the protection of a real roof. The car is fairly teched out, with a Garmin navigation system planted in the dashboard, a big LCD for entertainment, and a VeaLink audio system with MTX speakers.
The KND-4 shows off KIA's exploration of what a future compact SUV might look like. The car uses LED headlights in true futuristic concept-car style. The rear of the car is squared off, maximizing cargo room. It has two organic LED screens in the dashboard for navigation, video, and Bluetooth-connected cell phones.
Honda is driving the hydrogen highway forward with the release of its FCX Clarity fuel-cell vehicle. The four-door sedan features a compact fuel cell stack and a lithium-ion battery pack, to drive the car with zero emissions. The Clarity will be produced in small numbers and leased to retail customers in 2008.
Not only does the Malibu get an all-new body style for 2008, it also gets an available hybrid power train. Unlike the two-mode hybrid system that GM is using in its full-size trucks, the Malibu gets GM's Belt Alternator Starter system, found in the Saturn Vue and Aura Green Lines.
Green Car Journal's Green Car of the Year award was given to the 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid. The newly introduced Tahoe Hybrid uses a dual-mode hybrid system developed by GM, Daimler-Chrysler, and BMW. The Tahoe Hybrid uses a 6-liter V-8 gas engine in conjunction with electric motors for propulsion. The motors get electricity from a battery pack that gets charged by the engine and through regenerative braking.
The Aspen Hybrid is motivated by a 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine, which is mated to a two-mode hybrid transmission. Thanks to its low- and high-speed electronically continuously variable transmission and two AC synchronous electric motors, the Aspen can be run at low speed solely on electric power. At higher speeds, the electric motor can be used to assist the combustion engine for acceleration or towing.
The hybrid Durango makes use of the same HEMI V-8 and two-mode hybrid system as that in the Aspen Hybrid, which gives it 385 horsepower. Both models also feature regenerative braking, which converts the car's kinetic braking energy into electricity that is used to recharge an onboard nickel-metal hydride battery pack.
The Cadillac Escalade is one of the last cars we associate with environmental consciousness, but the Big Daddy of Caddies showed some green credentials in LA. The Escalade Hybrid shares its power train with the Silverado, Yukon, and Tahoe hybrids and gets more than a 50 percent improvement in fuel economy in city driving, according to GM.
Lincoln unveiled its new flagship sedan at the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show. This car communicates a new design language that takes cues from historic Lincoln Continentals, and it comes with a slew of futuristic cabin technology such as the new Microsoft-developed Sync system and THX-designed audio.
Nissan's popular crossover gets a facelift for the 2009 model year. Making its world debut at the 2007 Los Angles Auto Show, the new Murano feature a new look inside and out with some bold exterior styling and interior that Nissan describes as a "mobile suite." Under the hood, the standard 3.5-liter V-6 gets a minor tweaking, and is mated to a new Xtronic continuously variable transmission, with two- and four-wheel-drive options available.
At the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show, Chevrolet announced production of the three-door Beat. According to Chevy, the Beat will be aimed at "tech-savvy, young-at-heart" drivers, as evidenced by its pop-up navigation system. Unfortunately for those who like the look of the brawny hatchback, the Beat will only be going on sale in markets outside the United States.
The STI version of the WRX makes use of a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder boxer engine assisted by an intercooled turbocharger, which makes 305 horsepower and 290 ft. lbs. of torque. All those figures add up to a 0-to-60 mph time of 4.9 seconds.
The Evo gets a brand-new engine for its 10th edition in the form of a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder plant with Mitusbishi's MIVEC valve timing. While the Evo's 295 horsepower is 10 horses shy of the Subaru, its 300 ft. lbs. of torque gives it the edge on its rival. There are no official figures on the Evo's 0-to-60 credentials, but unofficial tests clock it at about 5 seconds flat.
Nissan brings its revived supercar, the GT-R, to the U.S. at the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show. It gets an astonishing 473 horsepower from a 3.8-liter twin turbo V-6, while its dual-clutch transmission was developed specifically for the car. It is expected to hit 60 mph in 3.5 seconds.
The C16 Speedster is based on a Corvette platform, but gets completely new bodywork and an engine built by Callaway. This engine, a 6.2-liter V-8, generates 700 horsepower, giving the car a 0-to-60 mph time of 3.2 seconds.
Sessanta means 60 in Italian, signifying Ferrari's 60th anniversary. The 612 Sessanta is a modified 612 Scaglietti, Ferrari's luxury/performance coupe. It has Sessanta badging all the way around and a unique two-tone paint job. It uses the 612 Scaglietti drivetrain, a 6-liter V-12.
The 430 Scuderia is based on the F430 model, but gets tuned and upgraded for the track. Beyond using carbon-fiber components to lighten its load by 220 pounds, it gets new drive-train components. Its F1 transmission makes shifts in 60 milliseconds, the fastest of any production car. The 430 Scuderia has matched the Ferrari Enzo's lap times on Ferrari's test track.