Each January, the major automakers descend on balmy Michigan to partake in the North American International Auto Show. NAIAS show is traditionally where car companies launch the new models for our exciting, and often fickle, American market.
The Detroit Auto Show 2015 opened with a Chevy double-whammy — a newly designed Volt and an all-new Bolt. What? Exactly. Chevy revamped their popular plug-in hybrid and then showed a fully electric concept vehicle with a bafflingly similar name.
The next surprise came from Buick, who introduced two models — a stunning convertible Cascada and one of the show’s best looking sedans, the Avenir. Yup, that’s a Buick. Maybe you do want to borrow your grandparents car after all...
The next Huh? moment came from Hyundai, as they revealed their Santa Cruz crossover concept. Though a little odd, a crossover with an open bed isn’t an entirely new concept, (remember the Subaru Baja) the Santa Cruz promises to transport you, your gear, and 3 of your buddies to your next outdoor adventure without blowing your beer budget on fuel.
However, the real excitement came in the Oh Yeah! department. First, Ford announced a street-legal Shelby designed distinctly for the racing enthusiast. The GT350R leaves out all the nonsense like air conditioning & rear seats while adding the borderline ridiculousness of carbon fiber wheels, just to ensure you’ll smoke your buddies at the track.
Not to be outdone by themselves, Ford also unveiled their latest GT, the first in over 10 years. Blue oval enthusiasts, rejoice. This carbon fiber & aluminum beast features a 3.6L twin-turbo EcoBoost engine, which Ford promises will deliver over 600 hp. We know the GT won’t be cheap, but it’ll surely give the Lambos and McLarens a run for their money. And if the return of the Ford GT isn’t enough to shock the frost off your bumper, Acura finally announced production plans for their on-again, off-again supercar, the NSX.
The original NSX ceased production about a decade ago, but its aluminum body and whippet fast V6 had devotees waiting for its return. The latest Acura NSX not only includes the aluminum and V6, but adds not one, not two, but three electric engines and enough carbon fiber to keep this car lean and mean.
Other highlights included Porsche’s new 911 Targa GTS, Alfa Romeo’s 4C Spyder & updated trucks from both Toyota (Tacoma) & Nissan (Titan). But the big prizes went to Ford with its aluminum F150 winning North American Truck of the Year and VW’s Golf grabbing the North American Car of the Year honors. This year’s Detroit Auto Show may have been cold, but it was anything but frosty!