Take one part brilliance, three parts hubris and a whole lot of chutzpah, and you have the recipe for the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Coming off a very good year for the auto industry in which they sold collectively over 80 million cars worldwide, every brand was seemingly leading its class, showing record high sales and satisfying customers like never before. This exuberance has led carmakers to push further, faster creating ever more interesting and expensive cars, and they are all on display in the Motor City this week.
Acura was poised to be the most interesting launch at the show with the production-ready version of the new NSX featuring a twin-turbocharged 75-degree DOHC V6 engine with a 9-speed dual clutch transmission and three-electric motor Sport Hybrid system. But even Jerry Seinfeld was upstaged when Ford showed up with their gorgeous new ultra lightweight, 600 hp GT concept.
In addition to showcasing their F015 Vision concept, Mercedes-Benz continues to leave no segment unfilled with the launch of the AMG GLE63 S Coupe 4matic coupe. It is powered by an AMG 5.5-liter V8 biturbo engine that pounds out 577 horsepower, promising The performance of a coupe and the utility of an SUV.
BMW had a trio of gorgeous 6-series cars on display with updated trim, interiors and detailing. Improving significantly on a platform that was already one of our favorites.
Audi took the wraps off the new Q3 and Q7 crossover vehicles. Both are lighter and more efficient than their predecessors, with a distinctive new look. Based on this we expect the Audi juggernaut to continue unabated.
Porsche widened its 911 range with the launch of Targa 4 GTS. More power, a Chrono package with special wheels and tires, turn up the excitement on this beautiful interpretation of Porsche’s classic design.
Bentley revealed the name for their upcoming SUV, the Bentayga. It’s meant to evoke the wilds of the Taiga arctic snow forest and the rugged peak of the Roque Bentayga in the subtropical Canary Islands. Whatever it means, after seeing this teaser video, we are looking forward to spending time behind the wheel.
Maserati was there again showing the Alfieri, but also had the Ghibli Ermenegildo Zegna Edition concept which is based on the S Q4 version of the Ghibli and provides a first glimpse at Maserati’s possible future product line-up.
Infiniti unveiled their Q60 Concept at a private event the night before the show. We were told by Michael Bartsch, Infiniti Vice President of the Americas, that the Q60 is 95% final in its current design. No details were released on powertrain but sources indicate it will be heavily influenced by the Q50 Eau Rouge concept that had journalists and enthusiasts frothing at the mouth last year.
MINI introduced its most powerful vehicle ever, the John Cooper Works 2-door hardtop. Amping up both the power and premium features in the car, it also pushes the $30,000 mark. And while that may seem expensive for a small car, even at that price it’s hard to beat the fun per dollar ratio.
Finally, Lincoln took the silk tarp off its new MKX, a car we’ve already had the pleasure of sitting in. Featuring the stunning new Revel in-car audio system it not only looks great, but sounds even better.
We will have more in depth reviews of the most important cars of the show, detailing the features, performance and other important aspects that make each unique and interesting. Look for feature stories in the coming weeks.