Green cars and self-driving vehicles have garnered the spotlight at the Tokyo Motor Show in an attempt to woo back Japan’s younger generation, which no longer shares their parents’ and grandparents’ love affair with cars. Among the “hot” cars making its debut yesterday is Porsche’s new Macan GTS small crossover, with a 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 developing 360 hp at 3,600 rpm and 369 lb-ft between 1,650 and 4,000 rpm. The car features a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, which transmits power to all 4 20-inch wheels, and uses the company’s Traction Management system, an electro-hydraulic, multiplate clutch to engage the front axle as needed.
Porsche claims it will “go from 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 159 mph with the Sport Chrono Package. In addition the Macan GTS employs 6-piston brakes clamp 14.1-inch discs in front while single-piston calipers work with 13-inch discs in the back. Porsche’s Active Suspension Management system is standard, allowing for height and damper stiffness adjustments. Upgrades for the 2017 model (which is expected to hit showroom in March 2016) also include matte black sideblades and GTS logos in glossy black. Porsche’s four-point LED headlights are optional. The wheels are also black. The interior of the GTS comes with sport seats with alcantara accents and Porsche’s Sound Package, a USB interface and navigation. Apple CarPlay is optional, as is LTE Wi-Fi.
In the meantime, Nissan Motor Co. is looking to blow the competition away with a new autonomous concept vehicle, loaded with laser scanners, an 8-way 360° camera setup, radar and computer chips so the car can “think” and drive itself. The Intelligent Driving System (IDS) vehicle is also electric, with an updated battery said to be “more powerful than the one currently on its Leaf electric vehicle.” In the meantime, Nissan announced it can travel a longer distance on a single charge and recharge more quickly, and that they hope to bring in new technology so enable the car to change lanes on its own on highways by 2018. Within another 2-years their engineers expect the vehicles will also be able to “make their way through intersections on regular urban roads.” One problem that also needs to be worked out is making developing intelligence so that the cars will be “ smart” enough to diffrentiate the difference between a red traffic light and a tail light, learn how to turn on intersections, where white lane indicators might be missing and anticipate from body language when a pedestrian might cross a street.
Although the public is still wary about sharing the roads with driverless cars, autmakers including Tesla, GM, BMW, Mercedes, and Toyota are all pushing ahead with plans to develop their own self-driving technology, as are new competitors Google and Uber.