After the magnificent display that was the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show, I wrote an article on the notion that the California coast was the place automakers preferred to display their latest creations and concepts. Wondering if the 2012 auto show in Detroit would be have the same amount of enthusiasm, the sensory overload-inducing debuts set to occur at this week’s opening of the North American International Auto Show leads me to concludes thoughts of the Motor City becoming less of an industry focal point seems a waste of mental energy. The biggest auto manufacturers of the United States, Japan, Europe and even India are expected to provide an automotive delight.
Ahead of major auto shows, the marketing departments of carmakers are challenged to entice interest in a vehicle debut without giving too much away from the physical spectacle. Leading into the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, various tactics are being rolled out by auto brands. Whether they want to unveil the entire full image of the vehicle or a mere teaser photo, the auto companies are careful in their attempts to grab the attention of media and the overall car-adoring public.
For the 2012 edition of the North American International Auto Show, the following is a few of the production-based 2013 model year vehicles making a world debut:
Toyota Prius c
The smallest member of the now established Prius hybrid family, Toyota plans to capitalize on the high efficiency small car market with what will become North America’s first subcompact gasoline-electric vehicle. Roughly 5 inches longer than the 2012 Yaris, the Toyota Prius c liftback body style is a careful execution of small car values with high technology.
Beyond the Toyota Synergy Drive powertrain technology, the interior of the Prius c will incorporate an array of infotainment solutions thoughtful to the youth market the Japanese-based automaker wants to attract. With Bluetooth standard, optional equipment to be offered on the Toyota Prius c includes Toyota Entune multimedia system. Through Toyota Entune, occupants of the Prius c are given access to traffic and weather updates as well as Pandora Internet radio.
Two vital unknowns remain with the pending introduction at the 2012 auto show. Firstly, what will be the fuel economy expectations from the Toyota Prius c hybrid powertrain? Toyota has indicated a city range of more than 50 miles per gallon is estimated for the smallest Prius. Secondly, when the Prius c reaches showrooms, what can the younger generation of Toyota buyers expect to buy for the subcompact? If placed around the $20,000 range (in between the Yaris and common Prius hybrid), the Toyota Prius c could be a major spoiler to the eco-car marketplace.
No longer the 1950s and 1960s when Cadillac’s hulking convertibles defined American luxury, it’s become the objective of the division in the 21st century to redefine its image among the top premium cars. While not hitting a home run with every new product, Cadillac has cemented a reputation for featuring solid luxury and effective technology on smaller vehicles. Applying their lessons to what will be their smallest production vehicle since the disastrous Cimarron of the 1980s, the 2013 Cadillac ATS will be the General Motors division latest test in the modern luxury car marketplace.
The Cadillac ATS has expected to be the most vibrant display of compact vehicle refinement of their new car line-up at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Through the teaser image, we can expect to see the 2013 Cadillac ATS to resemble its bigger brother CTS sedan. One of the more compelling characteristics of the compact car is the use of an all-new rear wheel drive platform. Specifically aiming at the BMW 3-Series and the Mercedes-Benz C Class, the Cadillac ATS sedan will have a strong assortment of engine power to support what should be a fierce luxury car battle. To offer three powerplant choices, the 2013 ATS will offer a 2.5 liter 4-cylinder engine, the 3.6 liter V-6 already found on Cadillac products and a new 270-horsepower, turbocharged 2-liter engine to debut in the vehicle.
The 2013 Cadillac ATS will also feature available Magnetic Ride Control suspension and the brand’s latest CUE in-car infotainment system.
The third-highest selling vehicle in the Ford Motor Company behind the Ford F-150 and the Ford Escape, the Fusion exists in the narrow but important market segment of mid-sized family sedans.
Kept under a great deal of secrecy by the auto company, there has not even been as much as a teaser shot ushered out for the 2013 Ford Fusion. Unsure of how radical or tame the 2013 Fusion styling will be on the four-door sedan, observers at the unveiling should expect Ford to advertise the new vehicle’s improved fuel economy and technology. Judging from the discontinuation of the Escape hybrid with the 2013 model year vehicle, a hybrid version of the new Ford Fusion might not be a guarantee. What should be certain with the 2013 Fusion’s powertrain is the inclusion of an EcoBoost engine (likely the 2-liter, four-cylinder powerplant). Based on the competition in the vehicle category, expect the all-wheel drive option to return as a substitute to standard front-wheel power. New technology expected on the upcoming Ford Fusion’s interior is an available Lane Keeping System and the revised version of MyFord Touch.
Ahead of the 2012 North American International Auto Show debut, Ford provided potential customers a chance to interact with the 2013 model year sedan through a unique mobile app. Available free for Apple iPhone and Android devices at, the app supplies an experience with 19 unlockable driving courses through augmented reality. When the 2013 Ford Fusion is presented on January 10th, users of the Ford Fusion mobile app will be able to witness full images of the new car.
With close automobile rivals Chevrolet and Ford staking claims to the subcompact car category, Chrysler Corporation’s Dodge division stood on the sidelines unable to compete. Though many automotive photographers were able to snap spy shots of a proposed small car based on the Dodge Hornet concept for years, corporate restructuring of the auto company has tightened resources for new car debuts. Reactivating a long-running Dodge nameplate, the Chrysler Group’s subcompact 2013 Dart will be targeting the growing entry-level car segment.
Teasing automotive enthusiasts with the same successful spoon-feeding of images that welcomed the 2011 Dodge Durango’s return, only a front corner and interior panel shot defines the 2013 Dodge Dart leading into this year‘s North American International Auto Show. The first all-new product created for the North American market by Chrysler through its 2009 collaboration with Fiat Group, the 2013 Dodge Dart rests on the same compact platform as the Alfa Romeo Giulietta. While the Giulietta is a hatchback, the 2013 Dodge Dart making its debut in Detroit will be a more Americanized four-door sedan shape. Conforming to the Dodge brand identity, the Dart will be aggressively styled with touches found on the new Dodge Charger. Mechanicals for the 2013 Dodge Dart is likely to include a 1.4 liter and 2-liter engine with an available 9-speed automatic transmission.
The smallest vehicle in a brand line-up, the 2013 Dodge Dart will perhaps face the fiercest fight in the modern car industry. Ford Fiesta, Chevy Sonic, Hyundai Accent and Toyota Yaris have either new or redesigned products each providing competitive powertrains, standard equipment and fuel economy.
Nissan Pathfinder Concept
Nissan’s most enduring SUV (sport utility vehicle) brand, the Pathfinder lived up to its name since debuting in 1986. In constant production since introduction, the Nissan Pathfinder’s ability to connect with the North American consumer led the Japan-derived brand to share the Pathfinder name briefly with the large Amanda SUV. Rolling out at the 2012 North American International Auto Show as a concept vehicle, the exterior design for Nissan’s latest generation of the Pathfinder should remain close to the production model set for release later this year.
A four-wheel drive set to offer seating for seven passengers, the Nissan Pathfinder Concept will feature a refreshed exterior design. A more aerodynamic look than the predecessor model, the teaser photo of the Pathfinder Concept unveils a roof similar to the Nissan Quest minivan and body panels featuring aggressive flaring like the Juke. Buyers of the next generation Nissan Pathfinder should feel confident that the powerplant options should consist of the VQ series six-cylinder and the VK series eight-cylinder engine.
Users of Facebook will be some of the first observers to see the Nissan Pathfinder Concept. After 8:30am on Monday, Facebook users who log into the Nissan page will be able to view the new vehicle after clicking on the “Pathfinder Reveal” tab.
Information and photo source: Chrysler Group, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Nissan Americas, Toyota Motor Corporation