There’s one auto show and one auto show only in the U.S. where all of the major automakers pull out the stops to show off the best thing they’ve got. With about 796,000 people attending the show in 2013 – the highest attendance in nearly a decade – officials anticipate this year’s to be the largest since the early-2000s, as 35 brands from 16 automakers display more than 700 vehicles.
Highlights from the concept world at this year’s Detroit Auto Show included the FT-1, a potential Supra successor from Toyota, Kia’s funky GT4 Stinger concept, and Nissan’s one-two punch of a teaser for the next Maxima plus a pair of IDx concepts that could serve as a spiritual successor to the popular Datsun 510 coupes from decades ago.
Bob Shuman, NAIAS 2014 chairman, said while the 2014 Chevy Corvette “stole the show” in 2013, he thinks Ford may have a winner this year with the sixth-generation Mustang, which is a centerpiece of their display. . To put its own mark on the show, Ford made a very important update to another American icon, the F-150 pick-up truck.
Toyota, that hallmark of sensible cars, showed off an exciting new concept called the FT-1. Even though the world won’t see this beauty in production, it shows that Toyota is letting its designers have fun, and hopefully presages new models with a more emotional appeal.
Powered by either a 350-hp, 3.4-liter flat-6 or a 400-hp, 3.8-liter engine, the 2015 Porsche 911 Targa, first came out in 1967, returns to its roots with a roll hoop and rear window that curves around what looks like a cabriolet body style.
Kia, which also comes up short in the sports car game, showed off the GT4 Stinger concept. Rear-wheel drive and powered by a 315-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, the GT4 Stinger is a selfish concept brought to fruition by Kia Motors America to celebrate its racing success.
One of the world’s favorite hot-saloons returned in Detroit, but for the first time it has been released as two cars, the BMW M3 and M4.The M3 sedan and M4 coupe implement a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 that gives a slight horsepower bump to 425 and a massive 111-lb-ft torque boost to 406 lb-ft in the new model year.
Chevrolet’s most performance focused Corvette was unveiled in Detroit with a supercharged 625bhp V8. Sporting track-inspired additions such as added vents and cooling ducts, the racey looking supercar is expected to be a real track weapon.
The 2015 Genesis will be the first Hyundai with automatic emergency braking that from 5-50 mph provides full braking and collision mitigation and from 50-112 mph it provides partial braking and collision warning.
The Detroit auto show will be open to the public from Jan. 18-26 at Cobo Center, One Washington Blvd.