Volkswagen has taken the opportunity of the Detroit Motor Show to showcase an American-only concept: it’s the CrossBlue SUV.
Weighing in at around the same size as an Audi Q7 - and thus, huge - Volkswagen reckons that should this ever make production, it will slot in between the Tiguan and the Touareg in VW’s SUV line-up.
Underneath the Tonka-truck exterior sits a diesel-electric hybrid setup mated to a DSG gearbox and four-wheel-drive, strapped to the VW Group’s new MQB platform (the same platform underpinning 10 million VW group products). So you’re looking at a 187bhp TDI engine with 295lb ft of torque, together with a lithium-ion battery pack - laying across the central tunnel - powering one electric motor on the front axle and one on the rear axle.
Altogether, the CrossBlue’s drivetrain - much like the Cross Coupe concept shown at last year’s Detroit show - produces 300bhp and a not inconsiderable 516lb ft of torque. 0-60mph is quoted as seven seconds, while the top speed is 127mph (or 75mph if running in electric-only mode).
Infiniti has just thrown the covers from its 3-Series rival at the Detroit Auto Show. It’s called the Q50 and is the replacement for the rather drab and fuel-thirsty G37. It’s also the first car to emerge under the leadership of new president (and former Audi chief) Johan de Nysschen.
We don’t know if it’s JdN’s influence, but the curvaceous Q50 is more imposing and angrier than the previous Infiniti, which looked er, a bit melty. In Infiniti design-speak, this car combines a a ‘double arch’ grille with slinky ‘crescent-cut’ C-pillars at the side and ‘quite noisy’ twin pipes at the back (OK, the last bit of design speak was ours, not Infiniti’s).
Inside there’s been a push for plushness. There’s more space than the G37, a revolutionary twin-screen satnav and a new design, we’re told, that draws inspiration from Samurai weapons and trees. No idea.
For now, the only power options available are the two V6 petrol engines for the North American market: a 3.7-litre producing 328hp and a 3.5-litre unit mated to a hybrid system from the M35h. It’s up to you where that power goes, as you can have the Q50 in RWD or AWD flavour, with both using a seven-speed automatic ‘box. When the Q50 hits Europe debut at the Geneva motor show, we should see a selection of four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines better suited to those of us living in countries where you have to actually pay for fuel.
America, arise. Here’s your newly-minted hero. And Europe, you can forget your old-world snobbishness. America’s great sports car is today re-born. It’s recognisably a Corvette, but its every component has had a hard-reset. If you want your hammering front-engined V8 rumble to come wrapped in the iridescent technologies of our age, you’ve come to the right place.
Brutal statistics first. It makes 450bhp and 450 torques from its all-new V8, and cracks 60mph from rest in under four smokin’ seconds. Chevy people are so pleased with this, they’ve slapped on a badge historically reserved for some of the most knee-trembling Vettes of all. Yes, this one’s a Stingray.
And that name, and those numbers, are just for the base model. What sort of craziness they’ll unleash for the later ‘performance’ versions we can only begin to imagine.
Get all the details at BBC Top Gear