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Detroit Motor Show 2012: best of the rest

  1. Today’s Charger doesn’t quite stimulate the same sensual provocation as its predecessors, but MOPAR’s attempt to make it more muscley demands respec’.

    The Redline’s got some aero tweakery, 20-inch rims, a cat-back exhaust, suspension brace and upgraded brake hoses and a bloody great 7.0-litre Hemi V8.

    Inside it, there’s a forged crankshaft with six-bolt mains at two, three and four, and cross-bolted four-bolt mains at one and five. H-beam style con rods made from forged steel with some forged 11:1 compression ratio aluminum pistons flapping on the end. There’s also a revised windage tray for better oil dispersion.

    In plain English: 590bhp.

  2. If you’ve wedged your head firmly under a bush for the last, oooh, decade, chances are you won’t have heard about the Toyota GT 86/Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S born-to-drift triumvirate. So click on the blue bits to learn more.

    For the rest of the world, here’s a picture of the first 2012 Scioyotaru Formula Drift racer.

    The turbo’d FR-S was built in collaboration with Japanese tuners, GReddy, and gets parts honed by Blighty’s own Cosworth. Which makes it quite feisty - 600bhp, to be precise.

  3. The Dart moniker’s spent 36 years in Dodge’s archive, but now it’s back. 

    Should you be excited? A little bit. It’s an Alfa Guilietta underneath, but it gets a slightly wider and considerably more lumpen husk.

    The good news is that it looks like there’s little in the way of heft, so it could be a bit of a lightweight. Encouragingly, Dodge also played up the Alfa engineering heritage, so it promises exciting things dynamically.

    Want one, Americans? Base price is under $16k (£10,360). Alas, unlike the original, there’s no 340 V8 in the lineup…

  4. We’ve already shown you the rather exciting new Mercedes SL but it’s just had its first American airing.

    Unsurprisingly, it hasn’t changed since we broke the news last month. It’s still nearly all-aluminum underneath with bits of magnesium in important areas, with the choice of a V6 or V8 powering it.

    The SL500 gets a new 4.6-litre V8 that pumps out 435bhp, while the 3.5-litre V6 in the SL350 is claimed to be 30 per cent more efficient. Efficiency doesn’t mean slow, though - the 500 will reach 60mph in 4.6secs (the 3.5-litre V6 is just over a second behind) and both keep going to a limited 155mph.

  5. Our award for ‘Best in Show’ goes to this - the Craftsmen CTX lawnmower. And what an ABSOLUTE PEACH it is.

    Inspired by the automotive world it has features that “help homeowners achieve an unbelievable cut for their lawn and conquer their landscaping needs.”

    That includes traction control (like a Ferrari), electronic fuel management (like a race car), cruise control (like a Mercedes) and quick cutting deck removal (…like a lawnmower).

    With 30bhp under the hood, this baby can hit a top speed of 8mph forwards and 3mph in reverse. If you want to get involved in this serious scything action you’ll need to fork out between $2,999.99 to $6,499.99. But beware - attachments are sold separately.

  6. As power increases go, 45 per cent is not a bad increment. Coincidentally, the exact amount of extra oomph the 2013 Veloster Turbo is up on its older brother.

    Unlike its normally aspirated predecessor, it gets 201bhp and 195lb ft of torque thanks to a blown 1.6-litre four-pot mill. While still nice and light, it has put on some minor heft - weight’s increased from 1172kg to 1270kg.

    So, does this mean we have the first cool Korean hot hatch?

  7. Smart clearly hasn’t been paying attention: as we reported last year, this is its answer to the American pick-up truck.

    It’s 3.5 metres long (two metres shorter than the Ford F150, currently America’s best-selling truck) and its loading bed stretches out one solitary metre. Oh dear.

    But there is, as you’d hope, a party piece. The load bed’s got an in-built docking station for two Smart electric bikes. Power wise, the For-US gets the same 74bhp all-electric setup as the EV. Which we’re sure the Americans will just love.

  8. Despite rumours of Q1-ish 4x4, Audi’s SUV concept is just a more off-roady version of the Q3, named after self-conscious ski resort, Vail. 

    The Q3 isn’t sold in the US, but it will be in this form in a couple of years’ time. It’ll get the 2.5-litre five-pot TFSI direct-injection petrol engine, too - that means it’ll go from 0-62mph in 5.5 seconds and reach a 162mph top whack.

    It’s got a seven-speed S tronic auto ‘box and permanent four-wheel drive. Perfect to transport the overfunded American skiist.

  9. So, is this the new, fourth generation Prius?

    It’s a slippery five-door liftback with styling that’s supposed to make “an emotional connection with consumers.” Right. What is does is debut a new, advanced petrol-electric powertrain with which Toyota will extend the electric-only range. How is still to be announced.

    As you’d imagine, it’s like a massive iPad inside - the centre console screen operates the multimedia, climate control, charge systems and navigation. There’s also lots of 31st century safety tech - adaptive headlight beams, radar cameras to avoid cameras and windows with a hydrophobic and anti-fog coating, which repels water from outside and mist inside.

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