Detroit auto show dazzles with new vehicles

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    Ed Welburn, GM vice president of Global DesignFrom cool concepts to hot new production models, the 2012 North American International Auto Show kicked off Monday with a host of new vehicles that raise the stakes in just about every car segment. 

    One of the first vehicles unveiled at the show, which opens to the public Friday, Jan. 13, was the 2013 Dodge Dart.  Based on Alfa Romeo DNA. The Dart seeks to redefine the idea of performance in the compact car segment. 

    “The all-new Dodge Dart is a groundbreaking car that will surprise and delight customers who want a no-compromise, fun-to-drive car that’s a great value,” said Reid Bigland, president and chief executive officer, Dodge Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “With 12 exterior colors, 14 interior color and trim options, three powerful, fuel-efficient engines, three transmission choices, unsurpassed safety features and world-class aerodynamics, the new Dodge Dart sets a new standard for the compact car class.”

    As part of its strategy to focus on the “Next Gen” car buyers, Chevrolet unveiled two new concepts — Code 130R and 140S. 

    Code 130R, the first Chevrolet concept, is a four-seat coupe with a simple upright profile. Painted in an all-new red metallic paint with matte anodized gold wheels, Code 130R features heritage performance-inspired styling and rear-wheel drive. With an aggressive front fascia, Chevrolet fender flares, straight body side and Chevy crossflag emblem, Code 130R makes a link to Chevrolet’s performance heritage.

    Tru 140S, the second Chevrolet concept, is a front-wheel-drive, “affordable exotic” four-seat sporty coupe. 

    The three-door hatchback was designed to be an attractive-yet-affordable sports car. Shown in an all-new matte white with Chevy performance chrome wheels featuring crossflag emblems, Tru 140S is designed to look confident, exotic, expensive and fast. Tru 140S is based off the same platform as the Chevrolet Cruze and the groundbreaking Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range.

    Frank Saucedo, director of GM’s Advanced Design studio, California, which headed the design of the Code 130R and the Tru 140S,  said the Chevy concept vehicles targeted at youth were developed from two years of research with individuals from ages 11 to 30. 

    “We talked to them and said, what are your needs, what are your lifestyles?” explained Saucedo.

    One of the most surprising new unveilings at the 2012 Detroit auto show is the all-new 2013 Ford Fusion, the latest in a series of vehicles, which follows the launch of hot vehicles like the 2011 Fiesta subcompact and 2012 Focus small cars.

     “Our vision for Fusion was clear — deliver the very best of what One Ford stands for,” said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president of Global Product Development. “We brought our global teams together around a blank slate with the charge to develop a midsize car with groundbreaking design and jaw-dropping fuel economy — one that features technologies to help make our customers safer and better drivers. This car is the result.”

    Other new vehicles unveiled at the show include the new Mercedes Benz SL 550, 2013 Audi A4 and the new 2013 Cadillac ATS compact sedan. 


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