Detroit Hints At The Future Of Wheeling
Each and every January, automakers from around the globe descend on Motor City to preview their new wares for the upcoming model year. Also seen were hints at the future direction of automotive design through concept vehicles. A shift in concept-vehicle philosophy was clearly seen in Detroit this year, as futuristic concept vehicles made of unobtanium have been dropped in favor of more realistic visions. Many of the concept vehicles this year seemed as production-ready as some of the '06 models on the floor. Read on to see which vehicles stopped us dead in our two-tracks and which vehicles traded in their low ranges for some so-called sophistication.
The '06 Hummer H1 Alpha finally answers the question enthusiasts have asked for the past several years: "When will the H1 get the Duramax?" In H1 trim, the Duramax makes 46 percent more horsepower and 18 percent more torque than the outgoing 6.5L mill, bringing the power to an even 300 horses and 520 lb-ft of torque. Also part of the deal is the exceptional Allison 1000 transmission and beefed-up driveline and brake components. To fit the new drivetrain, the body has been lifted by 2 inches, which also helps body panel clearances. In this win-win situation, fuel economy and emissions improve, while the 0-to-60 time drops by a full three seconds. The H1 Alpha will be on sale before summer.