brave the polar vortex for the 2014 NAIAS
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Published on Sun, Jan 26, 2014
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
THE 2014 NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
Detroit was in the middle of a polar vortex, but that didn’t stop the world of automotive aficionados from going to the most important show of the western hemisphere—i.e., the 2014 North American International Auto Show. These were not mere grease monkeys, these were arctic monkeys—engine engineers, car crafters, exhibitors, exhibitionists, and journeying journalists—braving the snow, sleet, wind, and freezing temperatures for a glimpse into the future of transportation. For LA Car’s coverage of the show, we turned to our NAIAS correspondents, Christopher Merlo and Mark Dapoz. While the weather may faze most, for Motown Merlo and Detroit Dapoz, it’s just another fine day in the land of Lions and Tigers. - RN
By Christopher Merlo & Mark Dapoz
Photos by Mark Dapoz
2015 GMC Canyon
With Ford and Ram out of the midsize truck market, GM decided to resurrect the GMC Canyon and Chevy Colorado to compete with the two remaining players, Toyota and Nissan. The Canyon offers aggressive full-size looks in a midsize truck, and claims best-in-class towing (1,450 lbs.) and payload (1,450 lbs.), along with the largest cargo bed in the segment. Standard engine is a 193 HP 2.5 L 4-cylinder, with a 303 HP 3.6 L V6 available, and a 2.8 L I-4 turbo diesel will be offered in the 2016 model. Numerous premium amenities available include IntelliLink with 8" touchscreen, Lane Departure Warning/Forward Collision Alert, AutoTrac (automatic) transfer case, Duralife brake rotors, electric power steering, automatic climate control, CornerStep rear bumper, projector-beam headlamps, and EZ-Lift and Lower tailgate. OnStar 4G LTE built-in Wi-Fi hotspot available summer 2014.
2015 Ford F-150
Talk about the betting the farm … or should we say the family jewels? Ford takes a big gamble to lightweight the best-selling pickup in the world and their number one profit machine. Claiming the chassis and underpinnings are tougher than ever while the cab, hood – somewhere around 95% of the body – is alloy aluminum. The results: up to 700 pounds in weight reduction. The improvements to shore up the F-150’s dominance include a revised powertrain line up with stop/start technology and an innovative pick up box management system. Bottom line: Ford will double up their tough truck claims while upping the ante in the fuel economy race.
Toyota FT-1 Concept
Toyota is looking to add an emotional quotient to its future design language as seen here in the FT-1 concept. Speculation abounds whether this is the look of what could be the return of the Supra. Stay tuned. The corporate line is that this is a pure sports car for the enthusiast.
2015 Chrysler 200
Chrysler is looking to get back in the car game with this redesign of the midsize Chrysler 200. In this case, Chrysler is reaping the benefits of its alliance with Fiat and specifically this adaptation of the Alpha Romeo compact-wide platform (translation: Alpha’s Giulietta). This is a full-court press for “share of voice” in the midsize segment with expressive exterior styling, a slew of high-tech features and a number of segment firsts including a 9-speed automatic transmission. And all at a very aggressive price of $21,700 – that’s $95 less than the outgoing model.
2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z06 &
Chevrolet Corvette C7.R
Chevrolet turned up the Vette volume at this year’s show as it continues to groom the image and performance of its halo car. Last year brought the all-new Corvette Stingray. This year’s show opened with the Stingray being named the 2014 North American Car of the Year. Now we get the Z06 and a push for world-class supercar status. First, the powertrain upgrade boosts horsepower to 625. And there is the more aggressive exterior styling with a number of aero tunings that Chevy claims results in the most down force of any vehicle ever tested in its wind tunnel. To further boost performance the car is lighter thanks to an aluminum chassis and carbon fiber roof.
Also on display is the C7.R. That’s “R” for racing as this Corvette debuts January 25 at Daytona.
2015 Mercedes GLA45 AMG
MB claims this is the world’s sportiest SUV, as we would be inclined to believe given the AMG moniker. It’s also an entry into what is shaping up to be the highly competitive premium SUV/ crossover segment. True its name, this AMG upgrade puts an emphasis on performance offering three drive modes, Race Start launch control, AWD along with the power to go from 0 to 60 in 4.8 seconds.
2015 Mercedes C-Class
The C-class is the first Mercedes developed for and built in the U.S. Its importance to the brand is huge given the potential volume in this market. Thanks to an aluminum-intensive body, the C-Class trims 220 pounds from its overall weight. Expect to see a well-appointed car incorporating driver assistance technology from the S-class, the first autonomous collision prevention in its segment plus two new engines capable of delivering more power and improved fuel economy.
Mercedes S-Class Coupe Concept
Carrying forward the design direction first debuted on the CLA, this concept ‘s aggressive rear-wheel-drive stance is sensual in its curves and details.
2015 Mercedes S600
With its twin-turbo V12 power plant, the S600 fits between the 455HP S550 and 612HP S63 AMG. Mercedes claims this is the best car money can buy. That’s for wheel-heeled Bentley and Rolls Royce owners to decide. In the meantime, this MB flagship is a tech tour de force that puts out 612 horses propelling bespoke drivers from 0 to 60 in 4.6 seconds.
2014 BMW 2 Series / 228i
BMW unveiled the 2 Series as it continues to expand its offerings in the entry level of the premium market. Tech highlights include adaptive suspension, ECO PRO coasting, auto start/stop and parking assist. Powertrain options include a straight line 4 or 6 paired with a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission.
2015 BMW M3 Sedan & 2015 BMW M4 Coupe
BMW claims M is the most powerful letter inthe world and naturally these are the most powerful, performance-oriented cars in their portfolio. With these debuts, BMW loads up the showroom and their offerings in what is their most important M market. The M3 is the first-ever to be turbo equipped … obviously to deliver more power, lower emissions and improved fuel economy. What’s more it’s the first M3 to weigh less than the outgoing model thanks to the incorporation of carbon fiber. Ditto on the use of carbon fiber on the M4.
2015 Porsche 911 Targa
The new 911Targa is a fully contemporary version of a classic and popular Porsche model. Featuring the industry’s first power retractable targa top, it delivers the open-air ride of a cabriolet or the isolation of a coupe … all at the touch of a button. Available only in all-wheel-drive, the Targa 4 goes from 0 to 60 in 4.6 seconds with a top speed of 175 mph. The more powerful 4S is quicker at 4.2 seconds and tops out at 183 mph.
Volkswagen Beetle Dune Concept
This concept revisits the 2000 Dune concept, but with “potential for a new production version.” Powered by a turbocharged 2.0L engine paired with 6-speed, the Dune’s all-terrain stance is the result of a raised suspension and the ski/”sandboard” roof rack.
2015 Volkswagen Passat BlueMotion
VW’s BlueMotion badging is bestowed on the most efficient, non-hybrid model in the Passat line up. Fuel saving technologies include the industry’s first in-line four with cylinder deactivation, start-stop and a coasting function on the seven-speed transmission.
Audi Allroad Shooting Brake Concept
Shooting Brake is a British automotive term for a body style that is the equivalent of the American station wagon. The preferred term today is crossover. This two-door crossover strongly hints at the design direction for the next-gen TT.
2014 Mini John Cooper Works Concept
Mini continues to tweak its line up and explore sporty design derivatives. Here the Works concept features 18-inch wheels, custom aero styling including roof mounted spoiler, twin exhaust ports along with a longer wheelbase and wider track.
2015 Honda Fit
The all-new Fit features a more refined interior package with more space and rear-seat legroom and an array of “connected” technologies including a 7-inch HondaLink display, smartphone-powered navigation and Apple’s Siri voice activation. Fuel economy is the price of entry in the subcompact segment and the Fit’s 1.5L delivers more horsepower and torque than the outgoing model along with a 33/41 City / Highway fuel economy rating.
Kia GT4 Stinger Concept
A bare bones concept that celebrates the basics of racecars – great performance and none to minimal amenities. In fact, not even a radio. Instead, entertainment and thrills come from revs and roar of the 315 horses of the turbo 2.0L as the driver manually shifts through six speeds.
Nissan Sport Sedan Concept
There’s speculation that this four-door sports car concept strongly resembles the next-gen Nissan flagship, the 2016 Maxima. The exterior features the signature V-Motion front grille,a sculpted character line, LED boomerang-shaped headlights/taillamps and a floating roof with hidden B-pillar. Accenting the sport image is 300 plus HP 3.5L V6 paired with a sport-tuned CVT and low-profile P275/30R12 tires mounted on 21-inch aluminum alloy wheels.
2015 Hyundai Genesis
Hyundai continues its pursuit of buyers … and cred … in the luxury segment with this next edition of the Genesis model. Thanks to major upgrades and investments in the vehicle’s platform Hyundai is targeting world-class performance in chassis rigidity (more rigid that BMW’s 5-Series) and the highest crash rating of any car. Both powertrains – a 3.8L V6 or a 5.0L V8 paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission – will provide better low-end and improved NVH. There’s also a new, available HTRAC multi-mode AWD with traction control. The interior features high-tech updates including heads up display, active safety protection, C02sensor, “smart trunk” opening, remote start/climate control and BlueLink with Google search.
Volvo XC Coupe Concept
The XC Coupe Concept showcases Volvo’s new design language and previews the looks of the upcoming XC90 model. Platform highlights include a scalable product architecture for future medium and large vehicles; extensive use of high-strength boron steel; and “active lifestyle” vehicle characteristics. Design highlights include signature Swedish design, a floating grille and Volvo signature rear tail lamps.
2015 Lexus RC F
This rear-wheel drive coupe is powered by the fastest, most powerful V-8 ever offered by Lexus, a 5.0 L delivering 450 HP, teamed with an 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters. Unassuming at rest, except for the impressive front end, the RC F features a functional hood scoop, active rear wing and LF A-inspired instrument panel. The RC F is the first Lexus to feature a (touchscreen) touch pad remote interface to manage climate control and multimedia functions. It is also the first to feature a torque-vectoring differential, which manages traction control in, through and out of corners. The RC F goes on sale this fall.
Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge Concept
A Formula One-inspired vision of the current Q50 sport sedan. No performance specifications released, although "an engine with more than 500 HP" was mentioned as "what the car should have.”
2015 Subaru WRX STI & Launch Edition
All-new body panels, interior, chassis, suspension, steering and 6-speed manual, along with multi-mode AWD and active torque vectoring ... all wrapped around the virtually unchanged 305 HP 2.5 L turbocharged boxer engine. One thousand commemorative Launch Edition models in "World Rally Blue" (as photographed) with gold BBS alloy wheels will be available when the new WRX arrives in dealerships this March.
2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe
Cadillac claims the new ATS Coupe will be the lightest entry in its segment while offering buyers the choice of RWD or AWD available with either the standard 2.0 L turbo I-4 (272 HP) or optional 3.6 L V6 (321 HP). The 6-speed manual transmission will only be available with the 2.0/RWD model. Available fall 2014.
2015 Acura TLX Prototype
Acura unveiled this pre-production version of the TLX sport sedan, which replaces both the TSX and TL. Three models of the TLX will be available, when it goes on sale at midyear offering a standard 2.4 L V-Tech 4-cylinder with an 8-speed dual clutch transmission, or optional 3.5 L V6 with a 9-speed automatic transmission. Also available in 2WD and AWD. No engine performance specifications were released.
2015 Acura TLX GT Race Car Powered by a twin turbo version of the production 3.5 L V6, the TLX GT Race Car will be driven in the Pirelli World Challenge Series' GT class by team owner/driver Peter Cunningham. For additional coverage of the North American International Auto Show, see Twenty-Four Eyes and LA Car on social media here.