The new Audi show carEnlarge Photo
It's almost de rigeur these days for European makers to fit plug-in hybrid powertrains to their concept cars--whether or not they'll actually appear in production models derived from those concepts.
So while Audi hasn't said exactly what the powertrain will be, we expect it'll be a version of the VW Group corporate plug-in hybrid hardware.
The vehicle itself, about which we also don't yet know much, will likely be the crossover that Audi plans to build on its new A3 underpinnings once that car--in sedan as well as SportBack hatchback models--goes into production in Mexico.
Sounds almost like Honda, eh?
Volkswagen Passat BlueMotion Concept, 2014 Detroit Auto ShowEnlarge Photo
The Bluemotion name has been used in Europe for several years, denoting the most economical diesel models in the range.
With the Passat Bluemotion Concept, it hints at a new, more efficient gasoline Passat, using the basic engine and transmission layout from the Jetta Hybrid.
That means a 1.4-liter, direct injected and turbocharged gasoline engine and dual-clutch DSG transmission.
It's enough for 42 mpg highway, according to VW--shy of the Passat TDI's 43 mpg highway, but better than the thriftiest gasoline Passat currently on sale, the 1.8 turbocharged model.
There isn't much concept-like about the Bluemotion's styling though--and it likely points the way to a lightly-updated Passat due some time this year.
Volvo Concept XC Coupe, 2014 Detroit Auto ShowEnlarge Photo
The Swedish make Volvo, now owned by Chinese automaker Geely, is preparing to renew essentially its entire range over the next few years.
First to arrive will be a new 2015 Volvo XC90 large crossover utility vehicle, but Volvo has released details of one concept and teased another--the latter of which will appear at the Detroit Auto Show.
It's called the Concept XC Coupe, an all-wheel-drive crossover with sleek four-door "coupe" styling rather than the more traditional upright utility vehicle profile.
If it goes into production, it will likely use Volvo's all-new and highly efficient line of four-cylinder engines, which are starting to appear in updated 2014 Volvo models now.
Volvo says the concept is part inspired by the P1800-style Concept Coupe revealed last year, and partly by sports equipment--with orange detailing, rubber exterior finishes and more integrated SUV details.