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A brief look at some of the concept cars at the 2008 NAIAS

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The Ford Explorer America concept vehicle is on display at the 2008 NAIAS.

 

by Dana Bonner
aq5318@wayne.edu

 

 

DETROIT -- It's that time again...The special event that the people of greater Detroit area the rest of the global community can enjoy. It's the 2008 North American International Auto Show being held at Cobo Convention Center in Detroit, Michigan, home of the Big Three -- Ford, Chrysler and General Motors. The show started in 1907 at the Beller's Beer Gardens at Riverside Park and it has been held every year except 1943 through 1952.

The show begins with the press preview, industry preview and a charity event. So far the charity preview attracted over 17,000 at $400 a ticket and raised over $7 million dollars. During the industry preview, over 35,700 tickets were sold to people from 24 countries and 7,000 international press from 63 countries. The exhibits have most glamourous concept and futuristic cars. Some of them will be available at the dealership near you. Many of the cars are shifting into hybrid engine models for better fuel effiency and environmental reasons.

I went to Ford exhibit and interviewed with host David Woodhouse to explain a new concept vehicle called the Ford Explorer America.

"We did a lot of research on the needs and wants and functions and usage for the customers," said Woodhouse. "So some of the features you see is the tailgate. It has a neat table that comes out with two benches. The ideal is that people use the back end of the car to do a lot of work like surfing, changing diapers all sorts of different things. So we wanted to enhance that experience by featuring a little table and some benches that you can sit down and work.

"The hatch forms a canopy overhead to protect you from the rain and the little work light that comes down to illuninate the table."

Woodhouse also stated that next generation of Explorers are very ecomonical, efficient and lightweight. It's going to be built on unibody construction, not a body of frame so it saves a lot of weight and it has eco boost which is a turbocharged engine so you get equivalent power today but with a lot less compacity and efficency.

I noticed a very special concept vehicle at the Lexus exibit. It is called a LF-A Roadster. Unlike any other Lexus coupes, it doesn't have a top on it. They have been designing this concept car for a while and they are working on three other versions of them. The LF-A Roaster has a V10 engine and it's going to hold under five liters of gasoline. It puts out 500 horsepower, capable of doing 200 mph. It has sequential anutomatic transmission. The front calibers are six pistons and four pistons are in the rear caliber, featuring in 20-inch wheels. It would be the hottest concept car for future viewers.

At the Toyota exhibit I came upon a host named Christian who would introduce me to a concept car with special fuel engine.

"This is the FCHV which is Fuel Cell Hyper Vehicle," said Christian. "It's runs on hydrogen and electric. It only emits water. The interesting thing about hydrogen is that runs with a power control unit which will monitor what you need for accleration in terms of how are you driving. The tanks themselves are 10,000 psi which means the range about 350 miles give or take a few more.

"We have been testing it out on the 2001 Highlander. It travels from Alaska to Canada for 2,300 miles just to prove if the batteries work in the extreme cold enviroments."

As I walked down to the Volvo exhibit then I stopped when I saw this concept car.

"This is Volvo Recharge concept." said Inchiro Siguoka, science officer for Volvo's Think Tank Southern California. "It's a example of the plug-in hybrid that uses a wheel motors as a driving force. The car runs on motors that are built on to the wheels in inside the rims. There are 4 motors. Each of them about 50 horsepowers and it has a battery that is large enough to allow the car to driving for 60 miles.

"If you want to go father than that, a diesel engine kicks in and drive a generator to recharge the batteries with we're driving and your charge at night by plugging it into the wall."

The North American International Auto Show will be open to the public on Saturday January 19 though the 27. The tickets are $12 for adults, $6 for kids and seniors and kids under 6 get in free. Over 800,000 people are expected to attend. The show will provide over $500 to 700 million dollars to the local ecomony. There will refeshments served at the Cobo Arena and great games and prizes. So come on down and see your favorite cars!

AmericaJR.com's coverage of the 2008 NAIAS is sponsored by The Omni Detroit Hotel at River Place, The Dow Event Center in Saginaw and by RazorGator.com.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The Toyota Fuel Cell Hyper Vehicle (FCHV) runs on hydrogen and electric power.

 

:: Return to Our Coverage of the 2008 NAIAS ::

 

"THE SHRINE CIRCUS"

January 17 - 20, 2008

The Dow Arena

www.doweventcenter.com

Once again, AmericaJR.com will Broadcast LIVE from the 2008 North American International Auto Show Press Preview Days and Industry Preview Days. Read our Press Release.
We will bring you the most comprehensive coverage ever with interviews, reviews and the best pictures around. It's all from AmericaJR.com -- Detroit's #1 Website with The BEST Coverage. Period.

This page was last updated on Mon, January 14, 2008 11:11 PM

 

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