Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Detroit Delivers Dose of Delights; Stinger the Production Car Star, with Powerplants Including Turbocharged Petrol and Twin-Turbo V6

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Detroit Delivers Dose of Delights; Stinger the Production Car Star, with Powerplants Including Turbocharged Petrol and Twin-Turbo V6

Article excerpt

Byline: Grant Edwards Grant.Edwards@apn.com.au

VOLKSWAGEN'S quirky modern take on the humble Kombi, racy looks for the Toyota Camry and South Korea's muscular European-esque Stinger were the unlikely spotlight grabbers in America's "Motor City".

Following the worldwide trend, there weren't many surprises at this week's North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Notable absences from Bentley, Ferrari, Tesla, Lamborghini...and there was no chance of seeing former Volkswagen Group emissions compliance executive Oliver Schmidt. He was arrested by the FBI while to catch a plane back to Germany at Miami International Airport in Florida.

Also no sign of the reincarnation of the Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer despite being on home turf. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles just revealed plans for a $1billion investment in its Warren and Toledo plants, yet its brands were bereft of anything to get the blood pumping.

There was limited fanfare as manufacturers trumpeted the new and future plans, with Toyota and Lexus securing most spectacular honours in their 180-degree amphitheatre where the Camry and LS limousine were launched.

Here's some of the highlights.

Volkswagen

While officially called a multi-purpose van, we know it as the Kombi. Called the ID Buzz (second right), this futuristic offering would please the hippie movement once synonymous with this genre.

There are zero emissions from the all-electric van, which has a range of 600km. At a charging power of 150kW, it takes about 30 minutes to charge up to 80%.

Unlike Kombis of old, the eight-seater is no slug. The 0-100kmh time is five seconds and it has a limited top speed of 160kmh.

The driver can even turn the seat around, take a rest, and still keep travelling with an automatic driving mode. Gently push the steering wheel and its disappears into the dash.

It doesn't have conventional instruments. Key information is instead projected onto the head-up display into the driver's field of vision - in 3D, in virtual format onto the road.

The chances of the Buzz making it into production may be slim, but the automatic "pilot" mode is slated for release in 2025.

Audi

All eyes were on the stunning Q8. An impressive offering which will join the marque's growing SUV contingent which starts with the soon-to-be-launched Q2, the 5m-long near-production-ready plush concept has 630 litres of boot space, air suspension and 23-inch rubber.

It was showcased with a 330kW plug in petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain which can propel it from 0-100kmh in 5.4 seconds.

Inside, it's designed to make passengers feel as though they're in a sailing yacht with neater and cleaner appearances. There are large touch-screens, with limited buttons.

Forecast to arrive in Australia by 2018 with prices more than $110,000, it's likely to rival the Range Rover's Sport and Mercedes-Benz's GLS. …

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