GM to launch Chevrolet Spark EV in U.S. next year
GM will be launching an all-electric version of the Chevrolet Spark in the United States in 2012. The Spark EV will be based on the Chevrolet Beat EV concept unveiled in India earlier this year. The Beat is the name given to the Spark model in certain global markets. That concept featured a 20 kWh lithium-ion battery powering a 61 PS (45kW / 60 hp) electric motor. Range on the Beat EV concept is 130 km (81 miles) and charging takes less than eight hours using a 240V outlet. But GM won't offer the Spark EV in some U.S.-regions and marketing will be focused primarily on California in order to meet that state's Zero-Emissions Vehicle mandate. Volumes will be low, around 2,000 units a year. A gasoline-powered Spark will debut in the Chevrolet lineup as an entry-level vehicle early in 2012. The U.S.-market Spark will feature a new front fascia that differs from the global Spark seen in the photos published here. The Chevrolet Spark EV will be launched in late 2012 as a 2013 model.
GMC Sierra All Terrain HD Concept revealed
GMC has unveiled the Sierra All Terrain HD concept, ahead of its debut at the North American International Auto Show. Designed to be one of the most capable trucks ever created, the All Terrian is a Sierra HD on steroids. Compared to the standard model, the concept is shorter, wider, and taller. Furthermore, it has been equipped custom control arms, Fox off-road shocks, front/rear jounce shocks, automatic locking differentials, and a beefy front stabilizer bar with electric disconnection. In terms of styling, the concept features a massive grille, bulging fender flares, LED lights and 20-inch aluminum wheels with 35-inch BFGoodrich KM2 tires. Out back, the bed has a composite liner and two compartments which house an air compressor and a 110-volt outlet. While no interior pictures were released, GM says the cabin has two-tone leather seats, satin chrome trim, and a next-generation navigation system with an 80 GB hard drive. Power is provided by a Duramax 6.6-liter V8 diesel engine with 397 hp (296 kW) and 765 lb-ft (1,037 Nm) of torque. Performance specifications weren't released, but GM estimates the All Terrain would have a payload capacity of 2,700 pounds (1,225 kg) and a towing capacity of 13,000 pounds (5,896 kg).
Cadillac unveils new CUE infotainment system
Cadillac has unveiled its new in-car infotainment/connectivity system called CUE. CUE stands for Cadillac User Experience and features an 8-inch touch-screen with only four buttons to operate it, keeping things simple, according to Cadillac. Features of the technology include Bluetooth connectivity for many hand-held devices as well as natural voice recognition. New users can choose a simpler set-up for the CUE or a fully connected "super user" configuration. There's also a new technology called proximity sensing which displays buttons on the screen as it senses a hand approaching the touch-screen. CUE runs on a Linux operating system for greater stability. The CUE system will debut next year in the Cadillac XTS and will also be offered in the 2013 ATS sedan and the next SRX crossover.