January 10th, 2011 at 7:00am
We’ve got a special update about some of the new vehicles debuting at this week’s Detroit auto show. Porsche returns to the event for the first time in four years and plans to show a racing version of the 918 Spyder. Speaking of race cars, Cadillac will debut the racing version of the CTS-V Coupe. Chevy will show its replacement for the Aveo called the Sonic. All that and more, plus a look at the new Kia Optima Turbo.
This is Autoline Daily for January 10, 2011. And now, a special update about some of the new vehicles debuting at the Detroit auto show. Be sure to catch our LIVE webcast from the floor of the show which starts at Noon today.
PORSCHE 918 SPYDER RACE CAR
Last month we reported that Porsche said it will have something “spectacular” at this week’s auto show in Detroit since it hasn’t attended the event in four years. At the time we speculated that it could be a production version of its 918 Spyder and we were partially right. According to Bloomberg, Porsche will show a racing version of the 918 Spyder. Not too many details are known but it will be equipped with a V-8 that cranks out 600 horsepower.
CADILLAC CTS-V COUPE RACE CAR
Speaking of race cars, Cadillac will debut its CTS-V Coupe race car at the auto show today. Cadillac developed the race version with engineering firm Pratt & Miller and tried to keep as much production content as possible. Last month the company announced it will re-enter the Sports Car Club of America’s World Challenge GT racing series for the first time since 2007. The first on-track tests will be conducted later this month at the Sebring International Raceway.
Minivans seem to have a stigma in the minds of many car buyers, so automakers are trying to come up with ways to make the boxy people movers look sexy. The latest example, making its global debut at the Detroit Auto Show, is the Kia KV7. Kia is calling this the latest design statement from its U.S. studio located in Irvine, California. As you can see from this teaser shot, the KV7 incorporates several innovative lighting elements currently being evaluated for future Kia production-vehicles. Looks like they’re going for an aerodynamic look for their minivan.
Also making its North American debut, Chinese automaker BYD is showing off its first SUV called the S6. This vehicle was shown in China last year, and as you probably can tell from the photos, it was accused of being nothing more than a ripoff of the last generation Lexus RX 350. While BYD is really pushing to be a leader in electric vehicles, the S6 is powered by a conventional four-cylinder engine. BYD has been a regular exhibitor at the Detroit auto show for a couple of years now so it sure looks like this company is serious about breaking into the American market.
Another vehicle we look forward to seeing in the flesh, I mean, the steel, is Chevy’s new B-segment car, the Sonic. It’s a replacement for the Aveo, a DREADFUL name which has ZERO name recognition in the market. Adding insult to injury, most people can’t even pronounce its name right! I think it’s a smart move renaming it, at least for North America – it continues on as Aveo elsewhere in the world. The company describes the car as energetic and youthful. From what we can see its styling is perky, but that’s about all we’ve got. GM hasn’t released anything else on the car yet. We have no idea what features it’ll have or what’s under the hood. The Sonic will be built in Michigan at the company’s Orion Assembly plant, the only B-class car built in America.
300 TIMES BETTER
One of the most important launches at this year’s show has got to be the Chrysler 300. 2011 marks the first major overhaul this rear-wheel-drive sedan has received since it went on sale back in 2005. The company’s designers worked their magic, extensively updating the exterior and completely revamping the interior. Outside, it still looks like a 300, but more elegant and refined. Inside is where the biggest changes took place. It’s beautifully turned out with high-end materials and icy-blue lighting. Not to be forgotten, Chrysler’s engineers were just as busy. The base engine is the company’s brand-new 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 delivering 292 horsepower. A HEMI V-8 is still optional. At 5.7-liters it delivers a walloping 363 horsepower! Both powerplants are matched to a five-speed automatic transmission. Look for the 2011 Chrysler 300 at dealerships later this year with a base price of 28 grand, including destination.
Coming up next, let’s take a walk around of the new turbocharged version of the Kia Optima.
KIA OPTIMA TURBO
When Kia introduced the Optima last year, it turned a lot of heads thanks to its great styling. Now the company is set to introduce the turbo version of the Optima, the first Kia to be equipped with one in the U.S. Let’s take a look at what sets it apart from the standard model.
Pricing for the model shown starts at $26,690 and look for it in dealerships later this month.
And that brings us to the end of today’s show. We’ll have more of the news coming out of the Detroit auto show in tomorrow’s program. And don’t forget that you can catch our live webcast coming from the floor of the Detroit auto show at noon today as well as tomorrow. Thanks for watching.