Autoshowglobal.com brings on interns from Detroit Tech School to help cover international auto show

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By Karla Thornhill Coleman, Auto Show Global

Kudos to this year’s autoshowglobal.com photo/video crew covering the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The team included, from left, Stephan Franklin, Zanuel Moore, Prentiss Malone and DeVohn Piercefield. Zanuel and DeVohn are this year’s interns, on loan from the Detroit School of Digital Technology (DSDT). Stephan and Prentiss are part of the senior team and mentors, of course, who’ve been to more auto shows than they would like to admit. The internship program is a great way to expose college-age students to the work of automotive journalists and to experience the automotive industry’s most exciting time of the year — the auto show season.

DSDT is a state-of-the-art educational institution, creative arts center, 21st century business hub and technical training center located in southwest Detroit.  The facility’s original name is Astute Artistry, LLC, which opened its doors in 2011 in Farmington Hills, Michigan.  The school is a licensed proprietary trade school through the State of Michigan.  Astute Artistry, LLC Specialized in Film Production and Creative Visual Effects.  Additional curriculum was added throughout the years to enhance the traditional Film Production curriculum by adding more Digital Media, Digital Graphics and Technology.  As a result, a name change to DSDT was imperative for re-marketing and re-branding purposes.  DSDT opened a new facility at 1759 West 20th Street in Detroit near the Ambassador Bridge in the former Detroit Police Departments 3rd precinct.  DSDT executives felt a calling to be in the city of Detroit to assist residents of Detroit and the surrounding suburbs more efficiently. For more information about the school, go to www.dsdt.tech. 

Ram does it again with the 2019 Ram 1500 and Ram 1500 Rebel at NAIAS

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2019 Ram 1500 World Debut Detroit Ð January 15, 2018 Ð Mike Manley, Head of Ram Brand Ð FCA Global, introduces the all-new 2019 Ram 1500 at the truck’s 2018 North American International Auto Show global debut. Ram’s new half-ton player is a no compromise pickup leading in durability, technology and efficiency with innovative design and the highest quality materials. (Photo courtesy of FCA US)

By Karla Thornhill Coleman, Auto Show Global

I love a big, bold truck that’s ready to take on the world, and Ram always delivers. Ram Truck debuted its all-new Ram 1500 and Ram 1500 Rebel at the North American International Auto Show during the Press Preview on Monday to a huge crowd of journalists at Cobo Hall. What’s full a brawn has a real luxury look and feel, inside and out, so it’s easy to say: “you can take this truck anywhere.” The FCA designers and engineers added a lot of new details that truly reflects the voice of the customer — from the extra large Uconnect screen, more towing capability, reclining rear seats to the new center console. In the ongoing race between truck competitors, Ram is holding its own quite well. Make sure you stop by the FCA Ram Truck stand and get a good look at Ram’s next-generation pickup. Here are some of the highlights:

2019 Ram 1500 World Debut Detroit Ð January 15, 2018 Ð Mike Manley, Head of Ram Brand talks to the media after FCA Global, introduces the all-new 2019 Ram 1500 at the truck’s 2018 North American International Auto Show global debut. Ram’s new half-ton player is a no compromise pickup leading in durability, technology and efficiency with innovative design and the highest quality materials

Engineering — Strength and the underbelly 

  • Overall weight reductions totaling nearly 225 pounds net when compared to previous model
  • New frame features 98 percent high-strength steel to improve durability, weight and rigidity for improved handling
  • Strongest Ram 1500 ever with most efficient frame in the segment – 100 pounds lighter with 98 percent high-strength steel
  • Maximum payload increased to 2,300 pounds, and maximum trailer tow to 12,750 pounds
  • New Ram 1500 is the segment’s most aerodynamic pickup with .357 coefficient of drag and features exclusive active aerodynamics: grille shutters, air dam and air suspension
  • All-new Frequency Response Damping (FRD) shocks deliver the best combination of ride, handling and comfort in a pickup
  • Next generation, class-exclusive air suspension enhances fuel efficiency, improves ride, and gives greater off-road capability, load-leveling and entry/exit convenience
  • Largest front brakes in segment at 14.9 inches and new electric parking brake
  • New 4×4 Off-road Package includes suspension with one-inch lift, electronic locking rear axle, tuned shocks and Hill-descent Control

2019 Ram 1500 (Photo courtesy of FCA US)

Powertrain — Just how fast can this truck go?

  • 2019 Ram 1500 delivers significant gains in fuel efficiency with eTorque mild hybrid system on second generation 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and legendary 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 engines – widest use of mild hybrid technology in the segment
  • eTorque combines belt-drive motor generator unit with 48-volt battery pack to enable start/stop function, short-term torque assist and brake energy regeneration
  • eTorque adds up to 90 lb.-ft. of torque to the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and up to 130 lb.-ft. to the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8
  • Frame-mounted active tuned mass modules (ATMM) and Active Noise Cancellation in cabin expand use of Fuel Saving Technology cylinder cutoff on 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 and enable quiet cabin at 67.1 db
  • New generation of TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmissions provide improved efficiency with more powerful control computers
  • New electronic locking rear differential is standard on 4×4 Off-road Package and Rebel, available on all models
  • Heat exchanger system now includes industry-first thermal axle to quickly warm rear axle gear oil, maximizing axle during warm-up

(Photo courtesy of FCA US)

Uconnect — FCA working with SiriusXM, Apple and Android to keep you in the know

  • All-new 2019 Ram 1500 delivers innovative, state-of-the-art technology with award-winning fourth-generation Uconnect system and class-exclusive, 12-inch reconfigurable touchscreen display featuring split-screen capability for dual-application operation
  • All-new SiriusXM with 360L personalized listening experience with more variety, smart content, recommendations and thousands of hours of on-demand audio
  • Fourth-generation Uconnect system SiriusXM Guardian Connected Services delivers advanced in-vehicle connected services, including 4G Wi-Fi hotspot capability
  • The most powerful audio system ever available in a pickup, Harman Kardon audio system with 19 premium speakers, 900-watt surround sound amplifier, 10-inch subwoofer and active noise cancelation
  • 360-degree Surround View Camera with bird’s-eye perspective of vehicle
  • New multifunction USB ports and optional integrated wireless charging pad
  • Available navigation system accommodates one-step, voice-controlled destination entry and enhanced 3-D navigation map graphics
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay enable link with Uconnect 8.4-inch and 12-inch touchscreens

Design — Can it turn heads on the highway? Definitely!

  • All-new 2019 Ram 1500 gears up for high-end with innovative design, highest quality materials and class-exclusive technology with “unbreakable interlocking” theme for enhanced appearance and aerodynamics
  • The new face of Ram includes a chiseled Ram’s head logo and “RAM” grilles
  • Most dramatic differentiation between models across six distinct price classes
  • All-new full LED Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS), including twin bi-functional projector headlamps, fog lamps and tail lamps
  • Lighter, longer and wider, including an overall cab length increase of four inches, creating the most spacious interior for additional features and passenger comfort
  • Nearly 100 percent more storage capacity versus closest competitor at 151.1 liters
  • First FCA application of 12-inch fully configurable touch screen includes tailor-made graphics for various Ram models
  • Reimagined center console with 12 different storage configurations offers never-before-seen customization for the most active interior real estate
  • Second row includes slide reclining seats to eight degrees, a true flat-load floor with integrated RamBins with tie-down rings and expandable under seat storage
  • All-new switch bank with dedicated toggle switches, wireless charging dock and up to five USBs, including four type C/A ports

100 ways to stay safe and secure

  • All-new 2019 Ram 1500 offers more than 100 safety and security features
  • Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop, Go and Hold
  • Forward Collision Warning-Plus warns the driver if impact appears imminent, and assists driver response by deploying brakes
  • Ready Alert Braking and Trailer-sway Damping control
  • LaneSense Lane Departure Warning-Plus alerts and assist the driver with corrective action
  • ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park and Hill-start Assist uses ultrasonic sensors to help the driver perform technical maneuvers

Lexus reveals all-new, all-luxury crossover concept at NAIAS

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By Karla Thornhill Coleman, Auto Show Global (Photos by Stephan Franklin, Auto Show Global)

Lexus reveals its all-new concept luxury crossover with the Lexus LF-1 at the North American International Auto Show Press Preview. According to Lexus, it has the potential to reshape the Lexus flagship luxury crossover just like the RX 300 did when it debut at the show 20 years ago. A lot of great new techy features, but I don’t see a huge departure as far as design. Reminds me of the old RX 300, which is a great iconic vehicle with a design that’s withstood the test of time, but customers are looking for a design leap, right?! What are your thoughts? Here’s the manufacturer’s press release below. Post your thoughts on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/autoshowglobal/.

Lexus Carves Out a New Flagship Luxury Crossover with Lexus LF-1 Limitless Concept

All-New Concept Debuts at North American International Auto Show
January 15, 2018

DETROIT – Jan. 15, 2018  – Like molten metal being forged into a fine Japanese sword, the lines of the Lexus LF-1 Limitless concept have the potential to shape the future of a flagship luxury crossover for Lexus.

Lexus established the luxury crossover segment two decades ago with the global debut of the RX 300 at Detroit.  It remains the top-selling luxury crossover despite nearly 50 competitors that have since entered the segment.

Now, the Lexus LF-1 Limitless concept introduces a new genre of luxury vehicle: the flagship crossover. Combining high performance with unrestrained luxury, the Lexus LF-1 Limitless is a showcase of technology, innovation and the latest evolution of design at Lexus. 

Like its name, the possibilities for powertrains are limitless. The LF-1 concept could be powered by fuel cell, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, gasoline, or even all-electric. By around 2025, every Lexus model around the world will be available either as a dedicated electrified model, or have an electrified option.

The innovative spirit of the LF-1 was created at CALTY Design Research in California. The design language is rooted in the simple yet elegant design concept dubbed “molten katana”. This design visualization fuses the organic shapes of liquid metal with the sharp edges of a traditional Japanese sword. Imagining that shift from a smooth, flowing mass into a solid, chiseled shape formed the basis for the fluid, yet aggressive design of the LF-1 Limitless. 

“This is our vision for a new kind of flagship vehicle that embraces crossover capability without giving up the performance and luxury delivered by today’s top sedans,” said Kevin Hunter, president, CALTY Design Research. “The LF-1 Limitless concept incorporates imaginative technology while creating a strong emotional connection by improving the human experience for the driver and passengers.”  

It starts with the right proportions. The Lexus LF-1’s exaggerated dash-to-axle ratio gives it an athletic profile that’s more sports car than station wagon. Combined with a cabin that sits deep within the rear-wheel drive chassis and aggressive 22-inch wheels barely contained under bulging fenders, the LF-1 has a powerful stance that conveys its performance intentions at a glance. The low roofline and elevated ride height further emphasize that this is a crossover designed for performance with practicality.

Like all current Lexus models, the spindle grille on the LF-1 is a core element to the overall design. On the LF-1 it’s been taken even further, with details that suggest the start of the spindle form at the rear of the vehicle that then continues forward toward the nose. The grille itself features a three-dimensional design with colors developed in-house by CALTY. Ridges radiating away from the central emblem suggest magnetism guiding metal filings into shape. There is no chrome, as the LF-1 instead uses LED lighting around the grille that greets you on arrival.

“There’s no doubt that luxury crossovers are an increasingly popular choice for luxury customers,” said Lexus General Manager Jeff Bracken. “This LF-1 Limitless concept illustrates what could happen if Lexus were to add a flagship crossover to our line-up. It’s a gorgeous execution and we’re anxious to see our customers’ and dealers’ response.”  

In profile, the LF-1 has a clearly defined flow from front to rear starting with the front fender line that extends from the hood all the way to the bottom of the C pillar. That line contrasts with the more complex surfaces below it like the wide, crisply creased front fender that transitions to the smooth, deeply scalloped front door. From there, the bodywork slowly builds back out again to envelop the rear wheel giving the LF-1 a broad, powerful stance.

A split spoiler grabs your eye at the rear of the Lexus LF-1, but there are interesting curves and details along every inch of the rear fascia. The beautifully sculpted openings at each corner might look like exhaust pipes but they’re actually vents for the air coming past the rear wheels. The shoulders above those wheels provide sturdy mounts for the sculptural taillights that extend well past the metalwork. Above the lights is the huge expanse of glass that extends over the rear seats to offer an uninterrupted view thanks to the split spoiler on each side.   

Maximum comfort for every passenger was CALTY’s goal for the cabin. The Lexus LF-1 adheres to the Japanese tradition of omotenashi, or hospitality, welcoming all who enter with equal enthusiasm. The cockpit is designed to allow the driver to concentrate on the task at hand by removing distracting analog knobs and buttons in favor of motion-activated controls and a minimalist display directly ahead. The front passenger space is far more open, with even fewer controls and a wide unobstructed dashboard. Those in back get the same seats as those in front with expansive legroom and individual display screens for adjusting the climate control or entertainment options.

The metallic interior trim is finished in the same champagne-tinted color as the exterior, but with a satin finish for a warmer feel.  Accents around the instrument panel and on the steering wheel further enhance the cockpit feel for the driver. Additional metallic accents throughout the interior contrast with the dark Cocoa Bean leather trim and seats covered in Chiffon White perforated leather.

Lighting also plays a key role in the look and feel of the interior. Engaging the start button initiates a dramatic lighting sequence based on which of the several available driving modes is engaged. For a more subtle effect, the wooden door trim has tiny perforations that allow indirect light from miniature LEDs to shine in a variety of colors that complement the overhead lights.

Technology enhances the luxurious feel of the Lexus LF-1 by expanding the options offered to the driver. It starts with the LF-1’s Chauffeur mode, which allows for hands-free operation thanks to the vehicle’s by-wire steering, braking, acceleration, lights and signals. The result is smooth, carefree driving with maximum efficiency and reduced risk of accidents. 

For sporty, hands-on driving, all powertrain controls are on the steering wheel to keep the driver engaged and focused on the road.  Paddles mounted to the steering wheel control the acceleration for sporty driving while buttons on the lower section of the steering wheel engage options like park and reverse.
There is also a four-dimensional navigation system which builds on traditional systems by adding the element of time to the equation. It acts as a concierge for the occupants by anticipating the needs of the driver and passengers based on the progress, traffic and road conditions along the programmed trip, suggesting fuel stops, rest breaks and restaurants, even offering to make hotel reservations. Navigation and route information are displayed on the in-dash monitor, the rear seat entertainment screens, or wirelessly connected to passengers’ tablets and smart phones.

Touch-responsive haptic controls easily reached from the steering wheel interface with the 4D navigation system and integrated comfort and entertainment systems.  A touch-tracer pad embedded in the leather-covered center console supports character recognition for data entry.  An additional haptic controller in the rear seat center console allows passengers to make their own comfort and entertainment choices.
With its innovative technology and captivating styling, the Lexus LF-1 Limitless concept represents the potential for an amazing experience for future luxury customers. 

Specifications

Length 197.4 inches 5014 mm
Width 78.2 inches 1986 mm
Height 63.2 inches 1605 mm
Wheelbase 117.1 inches 2974 mm

 

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Media Schedule for NAIAS 2018

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Stephan Franklin, Auto Show Global

Well its that time again where we get all dressed up to go to North American International Auto Show. Its going to be cold, and not because of the weather either. This years schedule looked thin, I mean short. That doesn’t mean that I won’t have a lot to write about. Since the internet has turned into the place to showcase new products, the show might as well be virtual. Take a look below and you will see what I’m talking about