THE MOTOWN LOVE AFFAIR WITH HORSEPOWER IS BIGGER THAN EVER
With gasoline a buck seventy-nine a gallon around the Detroit area it seems that automakers took that number as an invitation to crank up the horsepower this year at the NAIAS in Detroit.
Even Kia had a 604 horsepower of their luxury sedan the K900 sitting on their stand next to the new Sedona and Sorento!
The mood at the show was very very optimistic as the auto business seems to be fully recovered from the problems of a few years ago and quite willing to satisfy the motoring public desire for cars that are not just transportation but have a personality. And on many of those cars that personality includes speed!
600 seemed for some reason to be the magic number as several of the speed merchants were hawking cars or concepts that delivered that number of horses or in the neighborhood.
Some of my favorites of the show....
Ford GT...this was the show stealer...while everyone was waiting for Acura to take the wraps off of the new NSX, Ford rolled a new version of an old supercar onto the floor and mouths dropped all over the place. The stunning blue wedge looked like a sculpture, sitting among the Mustangs and Focuses as a beacon of what the Ford design studio could accomplish!
The mid engine coupe that will be powered by a V6 EcoBoost engine that will hit the 600 hp mark should be in showrooms sometime in 2016.
Acura NSX...The folks at Acura had to feel a little bummed when Ford trumped them on the Supercar front. They took the wraps off of the long awaited production version of their supercar and it wowed a lot of folks as well. Using a combination of a 75 degree longitudinally mounted mid engine twin turbo V6 and electric motors the NSX goes all wheel drive, 9 speed transmission and very fast! This one looks like it was worth the wait.
Cadillac CTS-V...here's that 600 number again...the new CTS-V gets the LT 4 V8 that sends 640 Horses to the rear wheels through The Generals 8 speed automatic.
0-60 times should be 3.7 seconds with an over 200 mph top speed which should smoke BMW's and Mercedes in its class.
Bentley...while the physical vehicle wasn't there folks were buzzing about the luxury makers SUV which will be named Bentayga. Bentley CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer showed a short video of the vehicle being tested somewhere in the Middle East. While it wears the Bentley silhouette there looked to be some major differences.
Infiniti...the Q60 concept was stunning. Soft curves, sharp lines and muscular it flowed beautifully. The 370 Z in a big and tall version!
Chevrolet....the second generation Volt is on the floor with longer electric range and a less distinctive yet more sculpted look. It also adds a fifth although small seat in the rear middle. Chevy also introduced a smaller electric...The Bolt.
Buick...you will love the Cascada convertible when you see it. It seems Buick has been targeting Lexus and with this drop top that has been the buzz of Europe they hit the bullseye! Buick also scored big with the Avenir concept…a four door long nose short deck sedan that looks like it might be the next step in the evolution of Buick design. The reaction to it’s unique tail treatment and long body lines should spell out “build me” for the General.
Hyundai…while they showed off electric and plug in models the buzz was squarely in front of the Santa Cruz…a not so far fetched concept pickup that had more than a few folks asking where they could put their orders in. Look for Hyundai to get this one on showroom floors sooner than later!
Dodge… The Ram 1500 Rebel was another impressive version of a truck that is nothing but impressive. Mopar afficinados are split on the grille treatment with black and chrome curved bars replacing the cross bars. The Rebel also gets other cosmetic touches and air suspension for the true off roader.
Alfa Romeo…How do you follow up the C4? With a C4 Spyder convertible. A striking car that gets even better with the top off!.
Toyota showed off a new mid size Tacoma pick up and Nissan a new full size Titan. Both followed in the gotta have a big grille tradition set by RAM many years ago.
I didn’t begin to break the surface here…Jaguar, Mercedes, Volkswagen, Porsche all had new impressive product on their stands this year. All with that word…personality… most with an alternative hybrid version and a more than a few hanging around that 600 horsepower neighborhood!