Monday, January 12, 2015

Everything You Need to See from Day 1 of the Detroit Auto Show

2015 Detroit Auto Show Day 1 placementThe first press day of the 2015 Detroit auto show is in the bag, and the major new-car and concept announcements included fresh trucks, hot sports cars, and even a few major surprises—including a 600-plus-horsepower hypercar from Ford! Below is an alphabetical gathering of the must-see stars of the show so far; read on to get the lowdown from Motown.

2016 Acura NSX

2016 Acura NSX

Exactly one quarter-century has passed since an upstart Japanese luxury car brand named Acura introduced an ambitious mid-engine sports car called the NSX. Sold in other markets as a Honda, the aluminum Acura NSX was light, stylish, and fast, yet its less sexy qualities—everyday drivability, friendly ergonomics, and Honda reliability—are what ended up turning the exotic-car world on its nose. From that moment on, Ferraris and Porsches couldn’t get away with being tempestuous, occasional-use money pits. The NSX was the world’s first everyday exotic, one that cost a fraction of its mid-engine competitors. READ MORE >>

2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Spyder

2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider

We often bemoan the transition of svelte coupe to fatter, floppier convertible. But the new Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, unveiled in production form at the Detroit auto show, shouldn’t lose any of the dynamic charm of its fixed-roof counterpart. It certainly doesn’t lose any of the aesthetic charm of the coupe—or the almost-identical Spider concept from the 2014 Geneva show. READ MORE >>

Buick Avenir concept

Buick Avenir Concept

Buick, of all companies, hosted its very own reveal event on the eve of theDetroit auto show, having all to itself an expansive stage in a warehouse in the city’s Eastern Market. The assembled journalists—and politicos, and hangers-on—were there to see the 2016 Buick Cascada convertible, two examples of which rolled out, one top-up, the other top-down. Right on schedule, as expected. No surprise. READ MORE >>

Chevrolet Bolt concept

Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept

Bad news for EV1 conspiracy theorists: GM has unveiled a new, dedicated electric vehicle, the Chevrolet Bolt, which will arrive in two years. The Bolt, which promises 200 miles of range and which will sell for roughly $38,000 before tax credits, could also prove to be a bummer for the upcoming Tesla Model 3 and the BMW i3READ MORE >>

2016 Chevrolet Volt

2016 Chevrolet Volt

According to General Motors, the 2016 Volt is “the most customer-inspired car to be launched in recent history.” While there’s basically no way to verify that claim, it’s no secret that Chevrolet kept in close contact with owners of the current Volt during its production run. When asked how to improve the upcoming 2016 Volt, the owners responded with an overwhelmingly universal reply: extend the EV range. While this was hardly a revelation, customers’ second request—that Chevy make the car more fun to drive—took the maker by surprise. And so Chevrolet tried to do both. READ MORE >>

2017 Ford GT

2017 Ford GT Preview

“Engineered to keep company with exotics” is how Ford modestly refers to its bombshell 2015 Detroit auto show debut, the GT hypercar. The concept’s appearance wasn’t a huge surprise, as we learned months ago that Ford was taking a new GT to Le Mans in 2016, and such a car must be homologated. But as it slinked onto a stage at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena, Ford kept feeding us a host of stats that had our jaws opening wider by the second. It packs more than 600 horsepower. It utilizes full carbon-fiber construction and body panels. It has active aerodynamics. The new GT is poised to not only keep company with other exotics, but perhaps also force them to up their game. READ MORE >>

2017 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor


2017 Ford F-150 Raptor

In one of his last shows as the cocky, right-wing-mocking talking head on the Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert made a gleeful, deliciously prescient point about Americans’ short attention spans for cheap gas: “Fuel is cheap this week? Give me a five-year lease on a rolling cargo ship with the aerodynamics of a cinder block!” The statement may have been sarcastic, but there couldn’t be a better climate into which Ford could introduce its second-generation F-150 RaptorREAD MORE >>

2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R

2016 Ford Shelby Mustang GT350R

At the L.A. auto show in November, Ford unveiled the highly impressiveFord Mustang Shelby GT350. A track-focused pony, the GT350 is powered by a naturally aspirated flat-crank 5.2-liter V-8 that revs to the stratosphere, packs Ford’s first adaptive magnetorheological suspension, and wears unique, aero-massaged bodywork. To say it’s prepared to slay apexes would be an understatement. READ MORE >>

Hyundai Santa Cruz Crossover concept

Hyundai Santa Cruz Concept

Rumors that Hyundai would introduce a pickup truck to the U.S. market have swirled for years, but they always seemed to fall just short of reality. The rumblings typically centered around a full-size model, a bold and ballsy shot across the bow of the Detroit Three, yet at the 2015 Detroit auto show, Hyundai surprised everyone with a unique and very much not full-size truck. It’s called the Santa Cruz, and it boasts a unibody design, a compact footprint, and a diesel engine. READ MORE >>

2016 Nissan Titan XD

2016 Nissan Titan XD

Nissan’s first Titan light-duty pickup was a solid truck when it debuted in 2003, with an annual sales peak of about 87,000 units and a respectable second-place finish in a five-truck comparison test in 2007. But it was left to languish relatively unchanged, and today it’s a dinosaur compared with the ever-evolving stalwarts of the segment, such as the new aluminum-bodied Ford F-150. That vast disparity shrinks considerably at this year’s Detroit auto show, though, with Nissan unveiling the first of its all-new 2016 Titan light-duty pickups. READ MORE >>

2016 Toyota Tacoma Crew Cab TRD Off Road 4x4

2016 Toyota Tacoma

We know college-educated adults with real jobs who sleep on air mattresses and offer their guests Keystone Light and boxed mac and cheese for dinner. It’s all they know. It reminds us a bit of Toyota, where four-speed automatics and five-speed manuals live on in many of its models, yet the company’s coffers could no doubt fund bleeding-edge technology. So it went with the Tacoma mid-size pickup, which was barely updated in the last decade and yet remained the bestselling truck in its segment that entire time. But times have finally changed, and fresh entries—namely the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon—have forced Toyota to update its entry-level workhorse. Say hello to the 2016 Tacoma. READ MORE >>

Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE concept

Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE Concept

After years of teases, hints, and various concept-car previews, Volkswagen finally is ready to show us its Tennessee-built three-row crossover. Well, almost—the Cross Coupe GTE concept you see here is the last in a line of show cars slated to precede the new U.S.-centric SUV. The lineage began with 2013’s CrossBlue concept, which was followed by theCrossBlue Coupe, and now this, the GTE, which VW is desperate to convince you is the direct preview for the production mid-size crossover we’ve been waiting for. READ MORE >>

2015 Detroit auto show full coverage

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