Mercedes C-class unveiled: Daimler unveiled its new C-class at the Detroit Auto Show yesterday. The new model is bigger but at the same time 100 kilos less heavy. It will come as a C300 Bluetec Hybrid, which uses the diesel hybrid drive of the E-class while a plug-in hybrid version has been confirmed for 2015. Mercedes will build its best-selling car in the US, which is also the C-class’ biggest market.
VW SUV seats seven: Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn confirmed that the CrossBlue will be available by 2016. The concept was first introduced at last year‘s NAIAS and the production model is said to be very close to that concept. The CrossBlue is likely to come as a plug-in diesel hybrid with plenty of room to seat seven adults.
Future Toyota: The Japanese are debuting their FT-1 Concept at the Detroit Motor Show. The sports car, that some are calling the successor of the ‘Supra,’ was designed by the Calty Design studio based in California. Toyota said the FT-1 will not be available as a hybrid. Therefore, it has nothing to do with the upcoming cooperation between BMW and the Japanese car maker.
Fisker to be auctioned: On Friday a court ordered a competitive auction of Fisker assets. The judge followed a last-minute bid by Wanxiang and rejected the initial offer of 25 million dollars by Hybrid Tech led by Richard Li (we reported). The auction is due in February.
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Safety downgrade: Because the Federal New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) revised their safety rating system, the 2014 Toyota Prius lost one of its five stars. A frontal crash test was rated with four stars – as before – but under the new system this also lowered the overall score of the hybrid to four.
E-truck cooperation: The Green Automotive Company (GAC) now owns one fifth of Viridian Motors Corporation (VMC). The latter builds light-duty trucks using their own electric motor and batteries. GAC said it hopes for synergies regarding its subsidiary Newport Coachworks, which is about to launch its first electric bus in February.