The North American International Auto Show otherwise known as Detroit is upon us and being the first major International Motor show of 2014 it is always an important event. Today was the opening day of the 2014 show and so far it has not disappointed, with some very exciting debuts and concept cars being seen for the first time. So these are my highlights from the show so far…
The Chrysler 200: Is an all new medium sized sedan with high hopes for the iconic American brand. It’s no secret that Chrysler has had a rough couple of years but this new model has a lot riding on its shoulders. It’s instantly more attractive and eye catching than its predecessor, however personally I think it’s still quite an unusual looking thing. The interior is said to be a major leap forward and interiors have always been the Achilles heel of American cars, so fingers crossed. Powering the new 200 is a choice of two engines first up is the 2.4 litre Tigershark engine producing 137kW and 234Nm, next up we have the 3.6 litre Pentastar V6 with 220 kW and 355Nm. A highlight of the new 200 is the new 9 speed automatic gearbox with drive going an optional all wheel drive system. I hope Chrysler has got it’s act together and the new 200 brings them success.
Corvette ZO6: There have been several leaked images of the Z06 surfacing the web but the new car has officially been revealed and it looks ready for a fight! Arguably the best looking Corvette of all time the new generation is really a huge step forward for this icon of the motoring world and the new generation ZO6 is one mean looking car. It has also taken a step up in terms of technology with carbon fibre being used extensively as well as carbon ceramic brakes. Biggest news is that massive engine which is a Supercharged 6.2 litre V8 producing an enormous 466kW and 861Nm with the option of a 7 speed manual or new 8 speed automatic gearbox. I think the performance is going to frighten the established supercar brands, hopefully the interior lives up to the power plant.
Ford F150: BIG news from Ford was the debut of their successful F150 truck, and the new model is one small step for Ford but one Giant step for truck-kind. It is the first truck to make use of aluminium which has aided in the F150 being a whopping 300kg lighter than the outgoing model. Another first for a truck is the use of LED lights which give the model a smart but tough new look. The new model is also very advanced for a truck and features some clever trailer monitoring technology. Powering the new F-series is a choice of four engines, a 2.7 litre EcoBoost, 3.5 litre V6 EcoBoost, 3.5 litre V6 or the 5.0 litre Ti-VCT V8. Looks like the new F150 is only going to continue on the success the F-series has brought Ford.
Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge Concept: One of the best looking cars at this year’s Detroit was the Eau Rouge concept. The car is set to take the fight to the upcoming C63 AMG, M3/4 and Lexus RC F. It’s clear that Infiniti has borrowed cues from its F1 racing team in both the styling and performance. The car sports some mean looks with large 21” wheels, body kit and an F1 style brake light. Infiniti has been quiet about the performance figures but they do say if it were to become a production reality it would have around 500HP and 800Nm which would surely terrify the competition. With it’s fantastic looks and crazy power Infiniti is hoping to put an end to German domination. Please build this Infiniti! Please!
Infiniti Eau Rouge Concept
Porsche 911 Targa: I’ve always been one of very few people to absolutely love the Targa; it’s always been the 911 I’d buy. The new Targa harks back to the original design with a wrap-around glass rear window and removable roof. The Targa will only be offered with Porsche’s four-wheel drive system. Engines remain the same 3.4 litre (261kW) capable of 0-100km/h in 4.6 seconds and a top speed of 280km/h. The hotter Targa 4S is offered with the charismatic 3.8 litre (298kW) and is able to sprint to 100km/h in 4.2 seconds and tops out at 293km/h. Pricing has already been announced and starts at $101 000 and $116 200 for the 4S version.
Porsche 4S Targa
Toyota FT-1 Concept: Toyota rocked the first day of Detroit with this very unusual looking concept car, and I can’t say I’m a fan. It looks like a cross between the Lexus LFA and TVR Sagaris. It is a very aggressive looking car. Highlights of the concept include the wraparound front windscreen, futuristic looking lights and awesome side mirrors. At the rear we can see the massive rear wing and large dual exhausts. The rear clearly draws inspiration from the LFA but features more curves than its sister companies car. Toyota hasn’t announced any figures only saying it is powered by a petrol engine that drives the rear wheels. Hmmm, mixed emotions about this one, but I must say the more I look at it the more that styling is growing on me.
Toyota FT-1 Concept
Volvo Concept XC Coupe: Despite makings its online debut ahead of NAIAS it made its public debut at the show. The new car is a preview for the all new XC90. The current XC90 has been around for a long time now and despite aging gracefully Volvo really needs a replacement model. The Concept XC is a great looking car, modern but typically Volvo. The car clearly features styling cues from the absolutely gorgeous Concept Coupe seen in Frankfurt last year. Volvo is making some very good cars lately that also look stylish. The Concept XC features a prominent grille with similar LED lights to the Coupe Concept. At the rear we see typical Volvo taillights that are very individual and a dual exhaust system. Who knows maybe Volvo will build a smaller two door version to tackle the Evoque and upcoming Macan.
Volvo Concept XC Coupe
Other highlights of the 2014 NAIAS include the Kia GT4 Stinger, GMC Canyon, Mercedes Benz C-class and tomorrows focus which is a car very special to me the awesome Mercedes Benz S600L.
Please note that all images were taken from http://www.netcarshow.com