April 19th, 2011 at 12:17pm
New York and Shanghai fight it out this week for auto show supremacy. Volvo reveals its stunning Universe concept in China. What will you have to pay to get your hands on BMW’s all-electric ActiveE? All that and more, plus Chevrolet officially takes the wraps off its new Malibu in a global reveal.
This is Autoline Daily for April 19, 2011. And now the news.
NEW YORK VS. SHANGHAI
And it’s the battle of the auto shows as New York and Shanghai battle it out this week to see who can grab the most attention from the automotive press. But actually it’s not much of a contest at all. The show in the Big Apple is little more than a regional dealer exhibition, while the Shanghai show is a major industry event heavily attended by the world’s automakers. Yesterday, General Motors and Volkswagen simultaneously introduced new cars at both shows, the Chevy Malibu and VW Beetle, which we had on yesterday’s show.
CHEVY CAPTIVA SUV
Today, in Shanghai, General Motors unveiled the new Chevy Captiva, an SUV aimed at the medium to high end of the SUV segment in China. Chevy says it’s designed to create an upscale urban image. The Captiva is powered by a 2.2 liter engine coupled to a 6-speed automatic transmission. All wheel drive is available.
BUICK ENVISION CONCEPT
Also in Shanghai, Buick unveiled its latest concept vehicle. This is the Envision, an SUV designed and developed in China for the Chinese market. It gets rid of the chunky SUV look in favor of this sleek layout. One reason it looks sleek is the lack of rear view mirrors which have been replaced by miniature cameras that display the rear view on the dashboard. This is a plug-in hybrid that uses a 2.0 liter Direct Injection Turbo.
General Motors also officially unveiled the first car it’s developed in China that will be sold under a new Chinese brand. This is the Baojun 630, a midsize sedan that will be on sale right after the Shanghai show.
CITROEN DS5 CONCEPT
And Citroen unveiled its latest concept car, the DS5. It’s kind of a Grand Turismo sport wagon, a 5-passenger, 5-door hatch. Autoblog reports it’s based on the Peugeot 508 platform and should share the same powertrains. Citroen says this will be its first model with a diesel-hybrid powertrain, and will only emit 99g/km of CO2. AWD is available.
KIA K2 B-CAR
Kia unveiled a B-segment car called the K2 in Shanghai. It’s based on the Rio platform but it was designed and engineered specifically for the Chinese market. The car’s grille is similar to the one used on the new Optima and Sportage. Under the hood the K2 offers either a 1.4 Liter or 1.6 Liter gas engine with either a manual or automatic transmission. And fuel economy ranges from 36 MPG to 38 depending on how it’s equipped. The K2 will be built in China and starts production this summer, a 5-door hatchback will also be offered later.
VOLVO UNIVERSE CONCEPT
Volvo unveiled a stunning concept called the Universe. The company says it’s what people can expect to see from its next flagship sedan. Volvo describes the exterior as having a coupe-like roofline that borrows design cues from past Volvo models. Inside the Universe features a driver-oriented cockpit with intuitive controls and a touch screen monitor. Not many other details about the car were shared, but Volvo says its design is meant to appeal to customers in all markets.
OK, now to that other auto show going on this week in New York. BMW unveiled its ActiveE. This all-new electric is not only bigger than its predecessor but also incorporates a number of technical upgrades from that original electric.
Only 700 ActiveE vehicles will be available to lease starting this fall, at $499 a month with more than $2,000 down.
Coming up next we’ll look at a one of those cars that was unveiled in both New York and Shanghai, the new Chevy Malibu.
The 2013 Chevy Malibu is an important product for GM. It’s the automaker’s first global midsize sedan. It’ll be sold across six continents in nearly 100 countries! Today’s Malibu is a standout in the segment but that didn’t stop designers and engineers from making a huge list of improvements. Here are a few of its highlights. Like Hyundai did with the Sonata, GM is only offering four-cylinder engines. One of the options includes a 2.5-liter unit with an ESTIMATED 190 horsepower – final numbers are still pending. It’ll be matched to the company’s latest six-speed automatic transmission. Aiding efficiency, the stylish new body should cut through the air with a coefficient of drag close to that of the Volt, which is just .280. Inside it receives Chevy’s new MyLink driver connectivity system and a sculpted dashboard. The 2013 Malibu is also a little bit bigger than today’s version.
Hopefully that’s a pleasant surprise. The 2013 Malibu looks like it’ll hit the sweet spot of the midsize sedan market. And we’ll have more on it in the coming months once details become available.
And that’s today’s report on the top news in the global auto industry. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.