TEAM OF RIVALS - PART 2
2013 Detroit Auto Show
This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!
Published on Thu, Jan 24, 2013
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
They are the fiercest of rivals, but for a couple of weeks in the dead of winter, the car companies get together to put on the greatest show in the western hemisphere. Known as the North American International Auto Show, or more affectionately as the Detroit auto show. LA Car staffers in the Motor City, Chris Merlo and Mark Dapoz, were at the show and provide their words and pictures of the show’s best (Part 2 of 2). 2013 North American International Auto Show Words by Christopher Merlo Pictures by Mark Dapoz The Reconstruction In the downturn of the Great Recession, with the Detroit automakers on the ropes serious, there was serious speculation as to whether the North American International Auto Show’s (NAIAS) would continue to reign supreme as thee auto show for North America. While we have all witnessed the resurgence of the U.S. auto market and the renewal of the Detroit automakers, the Detroit Auto Show is making a comeback of its own. Now in its 25th year, the site of the show, Cobo Hall, is in the midst of a major expansion and renovation to better host the show both this year and in years to come. Given the aforementioned rebound in sales, the mood was generally upbeat and as usual this year’s show served up a bountiful number of stats and premiers: Here’s the final part of our two-part story on the show’s stars.
Ford Atlas Concept Ford surprised the media with the unveiling of the Atlas Concept that hints at the future look and technology of the new 2015 F-150. Its tough, oversized looks play a counterpoint to the rumors that the new truck incorporates lightweight structural materials such as aluminum to boost fuel economy. This, in a segment that champions heavy-duty toughness and where the F-150 is the market leader. While Ford was scant on details they did disclose that the Atlas features the next-generation Eco-Boost engine and additional fuel-saving technologies such as engine stop-start and active wheel shutters.
2014 Ford Transit Connect & Transit Ford is upping the ante in the commercial van segment with the rollout of the redesigned Transit Connect and the all-new Transit full-size van. The van segment has been a decidedly sleepy or should we say less than exciting vehicle category but that is about to change especially for commercial customers. All-new for 2014, the compact Transit Connect ups towing and payload ratings, comes in two wheelbases, two bodystyles (van and wagon) and is powered by a 1.6L EcoBoost engine.
The really big news is the full-size Transit replaces the venerable E-Series – the best-selling van in America. Transit is a major new entry for Ford in the North America and a serious push for leadership in the commercial market. Based on the European Transit, it’ll be built in Kansas City and available in multiple configurations including two wheelbases, three body lengths, three roof heights, panel and window van styles, chassis cab and cutaway as well as light- and heavy-duty versions. Rounding out the choices is a selection of three powertrains including a diesel engine.
Honda Urban SUV Concept Athletic. Sculptured. Sleek. The Urban SUV Concept is one of the surprises and delights of this year’s show. Part of a new series of compact vehicles built off the next-generation Fit platform, this SUV concept is smaller than the CR-V, and is a look into the future at a new model coming to the Honda line up some time in 2014.
Hyundai HCD-14 Genesis Concept What some consider the concept of the show is no doubt a design tour de force. Hyundai went to great lengths to say that this is not the look of the next-gen Genesis. And yet? Well, it certainly hints at the look for future premium models from Hyundai. This rear-wheel-drive sedan, with suicide rear doors, has a massive, weighty presence as though sculpted or milled from a block of alloy metal. Check out the expansive hood, long wheelbase and graceful sweep of the body capped by the elegant arc of the roofline. The interior is equally sculptured and invites the driver to be, “at one with the car,” by controlling functions via hand gesture, voice and eye movement along with a heads-up display.
2014 Infiniti Q50 Heralding a new direction – perhaps a new vigor – and new nomenclature for Infiniti, the Q50 is powered by a 3.7L V6 or sport hybrid system in either rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive layouts. The new vehicle is lower and wider than its predecessor and goes on sale late this summer.
2014 Jeep Compass The Compass gets refreshed exterior and updated interior along with the addition of 6-speed automatic transmission.
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee & Grand Cherokee SRT Cherokee gets a major overhaul for 2014. It begins with significant styling changes including a shorter upper grille, slimmer headlamps and LED running lamps. The interior also received added attention along with a steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifter and a programmable instrument cluster. Cherokee will now offer a 3.0L diesel engine option in addition to the conventional fueled 3.6L Pentastar V6 and 5.7L V8. All mated to a new 8-speed automatic transmission.
For all out “off road” enthusiasts there’s the HEMI powered Grand Cherokee SRT that kicks out 470 horses.
2014 Kia Cadenza Kia took the wraps off the new Cadenza claiming that it signals a new era for the brand with a move into premium territory. Its 3.3L V6 delivers 293 horses and 255 foot-pounds of torque. The all-leather interior comes with a number of amenities including dual zone climate control and a suite of connectivity services. Cadenza goes on sale in the second quarter of this year and will be available in only one model with two option packages.
2014 Lexus IS Sport (350 F Sport) Featuring a bold front grille, the IS Sport had undergone a major overhaul both in looks and underpinnings. The wheelbase has been stretched giving rear seat passengers an additional 3 inches of legroom. The IS Sport will be available with a choice of two powertrains: 2.5L and 3.5L V6s. The 3.5 is mated with an 8-speed automatic transmission and outputs 300 horsepower. On sale in June.
2014 IS 300h This is the first IS to feature the Lexus Hybrid Drive system. Here it is mated with a 2.5L four-cylinder engine. The 300h will be sold in Japan, Europe and select international markets.
Lincoln MKC Concept The MKC Concept strongly hints at the production version and design direction for a small luxury utility that Lincoln says is the fastest growing segment in the luxury market.
2014 Maserati Quattroporte Longer by 10 inches. Wider by 3 inches. The sixth generation Quattroporte adds inches without gaining weight. In fact, it is 200 pounds lighter than its predecessor and also quicker. The Ferrari-built 3.8L twin turbo V8 is mated with an eight-speed automatic transmission and produces 530 horsepower with a top speed of 190 mph. And yet consumes twenty percent less fuel.
2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Mercedes filed their display area with the introduction of the new, freshened E-Class including a sedan, wagon, cabriolet, coupe and AMG models. Overall, there are 18 different engine and drive combinations from 4 cylinders to eight, from conventional to diesel including a hybrid.
2014 MINI John Cooper Works Paceman MINI continues to expand the availability of the John Cooper Works sports package with the introduction of the Paceman version. Powered by a 4-cylinder turbo engine with 208 horsepower, Paceman accelerates from zero to sixty in 6.5 seconds. In addition to the racing-themed exterior treatments, the model adds a sport suspension system and all-wheel drive.
Nissan Resonance Concept Resonance explores a new design language for Nissan – perhaps a preview of the next-gen Murano. Powered by a hybrid-electric powertrain, this edgy design with its oversized grille, boomerang headlights and floating, panoramic glass roof promises to bring an upscale look to the Nissan crossover entry.
2014 Nissan Versa Note Featuring styling upgrades, this econo subcompact stickered at under $14,000 features active grille shutters and a 1.6L mated to a CVT that will get 40 mpg. 2014 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S While it may not be advisable to go off road with this SUV, it is certainly road ready and ready for speed with the addition of twin turbos to the V8 resulting in a boost to 500 horsepower.
Toyota Corolla Furia Concept With its short overhang, long wheelbase and swept windshield the Furia strikes an aggressive look – heightened by the blacked out grille.
Volkswagen CrossBlue Concept This all-wheel-drive, midsize SUV concept is positioned between the current Tiguan and Touareg models. The concept seats seven and is powered by a plug-in hybrid system. To go back to Team of Rivals - Part 1, click here. For more from the show, go to LA Car’s Facebook page at facebook.com/lacar.com