Posts Tagged ‘detroit auto show’

A New 2015 F-150, or One of 30 Million Used Ones?

January 15th, 2014

2015 Ford F-150

Top Gear said yesterday it was the most important vehicle at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Yes, the new Ford F-150 has been labeled as superior to the likes of the Toyota FT-1 concept and 2014 911 Targa we covered yesterday.

Are those blokes crazy, or do they make a good point?

Well, they’re crazy, of course. But they make a heckuva good case while basking in the crazy.

Their case is justified by saying the F-150 is:

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Two Stunners Debut in Detroit

January 14th, 2014

Toyota FT-1 concept

Didn’t. See. It. Coming.

Unless you happen to work for Toyota’s R&D department, I’m willing to assume that you didn’t either. The Toyota FT-1 concept has already received ungodly amounts of coverage and even more doses of praise, without even being on the radar of cars to expect at the Detroit Auto Show.

No one knows very much about the car yet, but it follows on the heels of many rumors of Toyota producing a midsize sports coupe collaboratively with BMW.

The new concept also gives us a glimpse into an exciting new direction in terms of Toyota exterior design. It’s hard not to see the FT-1 as potential successor to the legendary Toyota Supra, and it harkens back to Toyota’s past of production sports cars such as the infamous 2000GT, Celica and MR2. If this is any indication, we are in store for the resurrection of Toyota fun.

Of course, Toyota isn’t the only automaker making hearts pound in Detroit.

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Cars Coming Soon: Peek Into the 2013 Detroit Auto Show

January 3rd, 2013

2014 Corvette, front

The 2013 North American International Auto Show, informally known as the Detroit Auto Show, opens to the media on January 14.

This is a big one, friends, with hotly anticipated debuts coming from BMW, Chevrolet, Mercedes-Benz, Infiniti, Lexus and more.

Chevy could steal the show, for better or worse, with its new C7 Corvette (rendering above). Whether it stuns or disappoints, you can count on epic media coverage of America’s supercar. Ford, by contrast, will show up with a new van called the Transit. Yawn. Come on, guys, where’s the next iteration of the great GT!?

Keep reading for a quick look at what’s in store from Detroit!

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Three Pressing Questions for Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne

October 22nd, 2012

Chrysler 700C Concept

On a flight from Los Angeles to Portland yesterday, I sat near actor Sam Elliott, he of “Ghost Rider” and “We Were Soldiers” fame. I thought that was pretty cool, but quickly forgot about Mr. Elliott when I noticed that my seat-mate looked an awful lot like Sergio Marchionne.

I couldn’t figure out why the FIAT/Chrysler CEO would be on a commercial flight, much less sitting all the way back in seat 27E, but there were a few moments there when I was sure I’d struck car-blog gold and would have two hours of Sergio to myself.

Upon further review and a few awkward questions, I discovered that the Italian man in the sweater was not Mr. Marchionne, but rather a perfectly friendly engineer on his way to see his new baby granddaughter in Oregon. Dang-it.

Had I been fortunate enough to sit next to the real Sergio, there are some questions I would have loved to ask him.

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Ferrari Chooses Detroit to Unveil Enzo Successor

October 15th, 2012
Ferrari Enzo

Ferrari Enzo

January in Detroit.

Winter’s icy clutch casts a cold, gloomy and bleak shadow across the Motor City. There’s not much that can break the spell, except for the eventual, but guaranteed, arrival of Spring.

January 2013 might be a little different. Not because a change in the weather pattern is in order, but because a sudden, unexpected hot streak blowing in from Italy has just entered the forecast.

Suddenly January in Detroit looks pretty inviting.

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Good Design Sells Cars – Just Ask Jaguar, Ford and Lexus

January 16th, 2012
Jaguar XJ220S

Jaguar XJ220S

Two things are guaranteed to sell cars: rarity and design.

When a car is both rare and beautiful, it’ll sell for big bucks no matter what’s under the hood. When an everyday car is beautiful and affordable, hundreds of thousands of people will write checks and proudly show off their gorgeous new rides.

There’s no question that Jaguar currently builds some of the most handsome vehicles on the market. It always has, with the possible exception of the unfortunate-looking S-Type. The one time it ventured into supercar-dom, it hit a home run with the XJ220.

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No More Laughing at Lincoln

January 12th, 2012

Lincoln MKZ concept

The gaping waterfall grille is gone, people, gone. In its place we have the wings of an eagle, inspired by the 1938 Lincoln Zephyr, says Ford. It’s a good change.

And the new Lincoln MKZ concept has earned a lot of praise from those who have viewed it live in Detroit. From the pix we have seen, the car is a stunning departure from the bad old days that Lincoln has been suffering.

It is no longer a rebadged Fusion, but an entirely new car — built on the new Fusion’s platform, yes, but with a different shape, different detailing, different style. The arched roofline and full-length retractable sunroof give the Lincoln an open, airy look. The trunk is truncated; the rear restrained yet Lincolnesque.

I sound like an over-enthusiastic car flack, right? Yet I’ve been one of Lincoln’s harshest critics, and so has mi compadre tgriffith. But the folks at Ford have at last seen the light, read the harsh handwriting on the wall and given us hope.

The MKZ concept is actually going into production “later this year.” Ford chief Alan Mulally noted the car was “very close to what you will see in the showroom.”

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Cars Coming Soon: Looking Deeper Into the Next Acura NSX

January 12th, 2012

Acura NSX concept

Yesterday, a great injustice was done.

The Acura NSX concept, a car that fanboys and serious enthusiasts alike have mourned since its demise while patiently longing for its return, was blasphemed by one of our own.

Yes, the car will officially go into production again, though not quite in the same form as the quintessential and utterly perfect original. This is big news, yet 23 words is all it took for jgoods to crash the party and turn the excitement about the car’s return into a head-shaking episode of wondering what went wrong.

He said,

Acura took the best-looking car it ever produced, the NSX, and turned it into a grinning jumble of front-end design clichés.

You know what? He’s right. It’s ugly as sin. But there’s more to the NSX story.

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Green Update: VW E-Bugster Concept, A Squashed Bug?

January 10th, 2012

Good gracious, we’re always stepping on the toes of Volkswagen designers, particularly those who did the 2012 Beetle, the car we love to hate. But that car may be gaining some small momentum with buyers, as some 1,530 stepped into new Beetles in December 2011.

Well, at the Detroit show, VW unveiled an all-electric concept that squashes the Bug even further. But, somehow, this one works, especially when you compare it to ugly potential competitors like the MINI Coupe. It looks like a German Schuco toy car I used to have when I was five.

It looks as though some hot-rodder had taken the Beetle to a chop shop (which some may well do). The E-Bugster has a fixed roof and an electric motor with 114 hp and 199 ft-lbs of torque—enough to move it smartly down the highway. Range is said to be about 100 miles. The press release notes:

Holistically, Volkswagen calls the electric drive unit used in the E-Bugster “Blue-e-motion,” and it will be found in future products such as the Golf Blue-e-Motion.

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Dodge Dart: New or Used?

January 10th, 2012

2013 Dodge Dart

Dodge has finally revealed its new compact sedan, the Dodge Dart, at the Detroit Auto Show.

While the name follows the same retro trend as the new Challenger and Charger, the new Dart is not a new version of the original. Still, though, by resurrecting the old name, Chrysler is just asking for comparisons to be made between then and now.

The specs for the modern version are as impressive as the design, both of which come to us thanks to Dodge’s new Italian cousin, Alfa Romeo. The 2013 Dart, based on the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, isn’t anything close to a sports car, though. It’s a compact sedan aimed at the likes of the Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra.

Let’s compare new with old and let you decide: Which would you want?

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