Traverse City Record-Eagle

January 16, 2013

Auto Show in Brief: 01/16/2013

FROM WIRE REPORTS
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Super hero-themed cars fight hunger

DETROIT — Two super hero-themed vehicles at the auto show in Detroit are there for more than just their flashy looks.

The Batman-decorated Kia Optima and the Green Lantern-wrapped Kia Soul are at the South Korean automaker's exhibit to promote an effort to fight hunger in Africa. Features include Batman symbols inside and outside on the Optima, and the Green Lantern's symbol on the Soul's wheels.

The vehicles were created as part of a partnership involving DC Entertainment. The "We Can Be Heroes" effort is promoted in part by the use of Justice League characters. Details are posted on the campaign's website.

The North American International Auto Show opens to the public on Saturday and runs through Jan. 27.

Hot Wheels edition car is toy-themed

DETROIT — The Hot Wheels edition of the Chevrolet Camaro at the Detroit auto show offers a little something for car lovers, kids and kids at heart.

General Motors Co. last year announced it would sell the vehicle with Hot Wheels logos and other toy-inspired touches such as red-lined wheels. At the North American International Auto Show, the car sits on an oversized track that appears to swoop down from the ceiling.

GM has said that the Hot Wheels edition would be offered as a coupe and convertible in a "Kinetic Blue" paint color.

At the car's display in Detroit, visitors can take a digital photo with a Camaro in the background and share it online. There's also a track to jump toy Hot Wheels.

Ford shows pickup truck concept

DETROIT — Ford is trying to keep its rivals at bay with a concept that hints at the look of the next F-Series pickup.

The Ford Atlas — unveiled Tuesday at the Detroit auto show — has a chiseled design and a bigger, more elaborate grille.

Ford is emphasizing fuel economy. The Atlas has shutters on the grille and wheels that close automatically, improving aerodynamics. The new truck will also weigh several hundred pounds less and have a more efficient engine.

Ford won't say when the new truck will go on sale, but it's likely to be a 2015 model.

But the company wants buyers to know what's coming as competition heats up in the pickup market. General Motors is bringing out new pickups this spring and the Ram is also newer.

Automakers to build Jeeps for China

DETROIT — Fiat, Chrysler and a Chinese automaker announced Tuesday that they have signed an agreement to expand vehicle manufacturing in China and produce the Jeep for sale in that market.

The companies said the deal was signed at Chrysler Group LLC's headquarters in the Detroit suburb of Auburn Hills. It was announced as Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. discussed its plans during press days at the North American International Auto Show.