Detroit Auto Show 2012

This week sees the first major motor show of the 2012, the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. There are a number of important car on display as the major manufactures take the opportunity to launch cars early in the year and in one of the most important market places in the world. 

Bentley has asked Derek Bell to unveil the new Continental V8 during the show.

“The V8 feels much more positive, they have taken out quite a bit of weight by losing the large W12 engine” said Bell.  This new 4.0-litre V8 engine fulfills Bentley’s commitment to lowering CO2 emissions by 40% within five years. The new V8 Continental GT and GTC will go on sale in 2012 after the US launch.

We have already reported the new Porsche 911 Cabriolet, but now the car has made its world debut. Porsche sold a record 118,000 cars in 2011, up 22% on the previous year. CEO Mathias Muller explained that the company intends to double the current sales by 2018 with future new models like the Pajun, he also said “Technologically and visually the new 991 911 is a masterpiece. The engineers took a basically perfect car and improved it again. The new 911 is the best 911 of all times.”

The CEO of Daimler, Dieter Zetsche said “Mercedes car divisions celebrated their 125th year with a new record of 1.36 million sales thanks to six new models. Under Mercedes 2020 we are targeting leadership in several areas, including premium car sales.”

Mercedes has launched two SL roadsters, the SL350 (3.5-litre V6) and the new SL500 (4.7-litre V8).

The new SL roadster is 50mm longer and 57mm wider than before. The new model will weigh up to 140kg less than equivalent predecessors due to a new aluminium bodyshell, which is nearly 20 per cent stronger than the steel body. The roof is an electrically folding hard-top with optional Magic Sky Control – a glass sunroof panel that can be darkened at the touch of a button.

Also new on the Mercedes stand are the E-class hybrid twins: the E300 diesel and E400 petrol Bluetec Hybrids, aimed at US/Japan/China and Europe.