4x4, Family Car, Motorshow, News, SUV

Kia reveals Telluride in Detroit

Kia has pulled the covers off its new Telluride SUV.

Revealed at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) the concept is a three-row, seven-passenger, luxury hybrid SUV featuring an upright shape, muscular stance, and state-of-the-art technology to care for its occupants. Based on an existing platform, the concept shows the brand’s interest in ‘potentially offering a premium SUV positioned above the current Sorento’.

The Telluride’s front doors and rear-hinged back doors swing open 90 degrees in opposing directions revealing four black-leather ‘captain’s seats’ that appear to float within the spacious cabin, in front of a folded third-row bench. The large cabin allows the middle seats to recline nearly flat and include large fold-away footrests for added comfort.

All four seats include a series of diamond-cut openings in the seatback, each embedded with Smart Sensors to capture a passenger’s vital health information. Once obtained, these vitals are displayed on the interior door panel screens, which then systematically synchronise with a Light Emitted Rejuvenation (LER) system. The LER system utilises a massive, wing-shaped LED panel mounted beneath the oversized sunroof that displays a pattern of therapeutic light to treat desynchronosis (jetlag) and improve the passengers’ energy levels.

Another new technology introduced in concept is Swipe Command – a thin, touch-sensitive, interactive band mounted to the second row centre console – which allows rear-seat passengers to quickly scroll and select desired media by simply swiping their hand. The selected media is then played either through the seven-speaker premium Harman Kardon audio system, or via a set of portable Harman Kardon headphones that wirelessly charge when stowed in the console. Up front, a compartment in the centre stack allows for wireless mobile phone charging, and Kia’s first use of 3D-printed components add a distinct, modern design element to the dashboard, door panels, and steering wheel.

The Telluride’s ‘modern and muscular’ appearance is accentuated by flared wheel arches stretching around huge 22-inch five-spoke wheels. A front fascia incorporates a much larger version of Kia’s tiger nose grille, as well as quad-LED headlamps, pronounced horizontal LED indicator lights, and a polished-metal skid plate below the bumper.

The concept is powered by an ‘extremely efficient’ PHEV powertrain, activated by a finger-print push-button start. Utilising a 3.5-litre petrol direct injected (GDI) V6 engine and powerful electric motor, the SUV’s transverse-mounted powertrain combines to produce 400 horsepower (270 horsepower from V6 and 130 horsepower from the electric motor) while achieving more than 30mpg on the motorway. Power is sent to all four wheels via an advanced all-wheel drive system.

While there are currently no plans to bring the Telluride to production, Kia says it has a history of delivering production vehicles that bear strong resemblance to a preceding concept.

Concept Car, 4x4, Electric, Motorshow, News, SUV

Audi unveils h-tron quattro concept in Detroit

Audi has pulled the covers off the h-tron quattro concept car at the NAIAS in Detroit 

Described as the next step towards the long-term Audi goal of CO2-neutral mobility, the SUV concept is powered by a fuel cell with an output of up to 110 kW backed up by a further on-demand power boost of 100 kW from a lightweight lithium-ion battery. 

Total system torque of 550 Nm equates to acceleration from 0-62 mph in under seven seconds and a 124 mph top speed.

It can be fully refuelled with hydrogen in around four minutes, and is then ready to drive for up to 372 miles (600 km).  An extra energy boost comes from the fitment of the world’s largest in-car solar roof, offering up to 320 watts output or additional range of up to 620 miles (1,000km) per year

The h‑tron quattro concept is closely related to the fully electric e‑tron quattro concept SUV which made its debut  at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. Both cars are based on the second-generation modular longitudinal platform (MLB evo), sharing a virtually identical floor assembly despite their different technology.

The h‑tron quattro concept presents the fifth generation of fuel cell technology from Audi and Volkswagen, using lighter materials to reduce weight and improve performance, responsiveness, service life and efficiency. 

With an efficiency rating in excess of 60 percent, Audi claims that the fuel cell now surpasses any combustion engine. The “stack”, comprising 330 individual cells, is housed in the forward structure.

The three hydrogen tanks are located beneath the passenger or luggage compartment. At a pressure of 700 bar, they store enough hydrogen for a range of up to 372 miles (600 km).  

Every tank is made up of several layers – the inner tank from gas-tight polyamide is wrapped in carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) and glass fibre reinforced polymer (GFRP). Like a car with a combustion engine, refueling takes about four minutes.
Offering seating for four adults and 500 liitres of luggage space, the five-door Audi h‑tron quattro concept is 4.88 metres long and 1.93 metres wide but its relatively low height of 1.54 metres contributes to a drag coefficient of 0.27. Aerodynamic elements down the flanks, on the underbody and at the rear improve airflow around the car at higher speeds, while cameras take the place of exterior mirrors, to improve efficiency still further. 

The h-tron’s headlights and tail lights utilise a combination of high-resolution Matrix laser technology and flat OLED (organic light emitting diode) elements which radiate a blue light to the sides and upwards. 

The concept also comes equipped with all the Audi’s piloted driving technologies – radar sensors, a new kind of video camera, ultrasonic sensors and a laser scanner. 

Audi says it will be taking this technology into production for the first time ever in 2017, with the next generation of its A8 Saloon. 

Saloon, News, Motorshow

Volvo launches new S90 at NAIAS

Volvo has chosen the North American International Auto Show (or NAIAS) in Detroit to launch its new signature premium saloon - the S90.

This comes on the back of strong sales in the US, especially in the second half of 2015 where sales increased 24.3 per cent. “There are strong indications that Volvo is back on track in the US,” said Lex Kerssemakers, Senior Vice President of the Americas at Volvo Car Group. “We expect this strong sales momentum to continue in 2016, helped by the new S90.”

The launch of the new S90 forms the second chapter in the ‘complete renewal’ of Volvo’s product range, which began in 2015 with the new XC90 SUV. The XC90 received around 88,000 pre-orders in 2015, surpassing expectations.

The S90 features a concave grille – itself a homage to the Volvo P1800 – and is home to Volvo’s new Iron Mark. The T-shaped ‘Thor’s Hammer’ lights deliver a ‘powerful sense’ of direction that makes the S90 unmistakable on the road. Power comes from a clean and powerful T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid powertrain, delivering up to 410 hp and offers three different car experiences in one – Pure, Hybrid and Power.

Inside the low, four-door coupe, Volvo has taken cues from the success of its XC90 model and included what it describes as ‘stunning details’ on the new dashboard and instrument panel, including new air blades that stand vertically on each side of the Sensus user interface.

“We created our new flagship saloon, the Volvo S90, as a real game changer. It is classy and cool. The exterior is exceptionally well surfaced, with a fantastic stance and the sort of clean lines that are singularly appropriate of a Scandinavian design. The interior masters the art of blending innovative technology and natural materials into an elegant, welcoming and tasteful ambience – Swedishness at its best,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President, Design at Volvo Car Group.

The S90 will be launched with IntelliSafe Assist as standard. This includes Adaptive Cruise Control and Distance Alert, and the advanced semi-autonomous drive feature, Pilot Assist, which gives gentle steering input to keep the car properly aligned within lane markings up to motorway speeds of around 80 mph.

Concept Car, Family Car, Motorshow, News

Kia to unveil all-new SUV concept in Detroit

Kia will reveal a brand new concept car at the 2016 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit.

Conceived at the Korean carmaker’s California design studio, the concept features advanced technology – including state-of-the-art health-and-wellness technology – and takes Kia’s design language in a new direction, hinting at the styling of a possible future premium large SUV in the brand’s line-up.

Kia says that there are currently no plans for the concept to enter immediate production and decisions on which markets may receive a future production version will be made in due course.

The Detroit Auto Show opens its doors on January 11, 2016.

Saloon, News

New Volvo S90 to debut in Detroit

Volvo has revealed its new S90 premium saloon, ahead of a North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) debut.

Volvo said the S90 'marks a giant step forward' for the brand better known for its SUVs and estates. Equipped with new technologies, ranging from 'cutting-edge' safety to cloud-based apps and services, the S90 also comes equipped with an advanced semi-autonomous drive feature, Pilot Assist. The system gives gentle steering inputs to keep the car properly aligned within lane markings up to motorway speeds of around 80mph, no longer needing to follow another car. Pilot Assist is another step towards full autonomous drive.

"With the launch of the XC90, we made a clear statement of intent. We are now clearly and firmly in the game. With $11 USD billion of investment over the past five years, we have not only reimagined what Volvo Cars can be - we are now delivering on our promise of a resurgent and relevant Volvo Cars brand" said Hakan Samuelsson, President & CEO, Volvo Car Group.

The S90 will be powered by a T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid powertrain and come with 'one of the most luxuriously appointed interiors and connected infotainment systems in the large saloon segment', says Volvo.

"Our idea was to bring something entirely new to this rather conservative segment and deliver a visual expression that exudes leadership and confidence on the exterior. On the inside, we have taken the S90 to the next level, delivering a high-end luxury experience that promises comfort and control" said Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President Design at Volvo Car Group.

The S90 also introduces a world-first function to City Safety - large animal detection - a system capable of detecting large animals such as elk, horses or moose, night or day. The technology offers an intuitive warning and brake support to help avoid a collision.

The Volvo S90 is set to be publicly unveiled at the NAIAS in Detroit in January.