2015 Detroit Auto Show

By | January 22, 2015

2015 North American International Auto ShowThe 2015 North American International Auto Show, AKA the Detroit Auto Show, shows us that Detroit is alive and well.  There were several new cars unveiled at this year’s show in what is probably one of the biggest shows Detroit has had in recent years.  There were so many big announcements made at this year’s show that we had a hard time narrowing down which ones to include in our recap.  We have narrowed it down to ten vehicles that made the biggest headlines.  As usual we will start with the less interesting but more realistic cars that will mean more to the masses and we’ll finish with the heavy hitters of the show. 2016 Chevrolet VoltThe Chevy Volt is entering it’s 5th year of production and with that is in need of a refresh.  The new look 2016 Volt takes styling cues from the current Impala and looks better than before.  With the new look comes an updated drivetrain which sees bigger yet lighter batteries which helps the car drop 100lbs and gain a few miles of range in return with a new range of 50 miles on a single charge.  When paired with the range extending internal combustion engine it will do 400 miles before needing to fill the tank and charge the batteries, in other words, as far as a normal car.  Expect it to go on sale in the fall of 2015. Chevy Bolt EV ConceptAlong with the Volt Chevy also unveiled the new Bolt EV Concept.  The Bolt EV is an all-electric car that has a bright future.  Chevy is claiming a 200 mile range on a charge and pricing that should appease the masses stating it will cost around $30,000.  That price point will be key depending on what Tesla does with their upcoming Model 3 that is said to be around $35k and offer 300+ mile range.  One thing is for sure, if the Model 3 looks as good as the Model S then the Bolt will probably go away quietly with its ugly looks, which Chevy says was all function over form.  The Bolt should be a good competitor to the Nissan Leaf and BMW i3.  There is no word on production dates. 2016 Lexus GS-FThe Japanese-American luxury manufacturer that is Lexus brought out a new sports sedan to compete with the like of ze Germans with the new GS-F.  Packing a 467hp 5.0L V8 will make life difficult if Lexus is pursuing the M5 and E63 which both have well over 500hp but the Lexus weighs 350 and 400 lbs lighter than the two which should help real them back in.  As our own AJ Wilcox pointed out, the Lexus headlamp designs of late are quite a thing to behold.  The jury is still out on that grille. Tesla Model S P85DAlthough this was unveiled a while back, the Tesla Model S P85D makes its auto show debut in Detroit.  It may not look any different than before but it’s what is underneath that beautiful skin we are interested in.  The P85D makes use of a second electric motor up front making it AWD and boosting it to 691 hp!  That bump will likely see a dip in range but 0-60 times drop from 3.9 sec to 3.2 sec.  There are already videos on the web of it beating a Ferrari 575M Maranello and even the new Challenger Hellcat in a straight line, mind you the 575M is ten years old and the Hellcat driver had no clue what he was doing.  The race against the Hellcat showed the P85D running the 1/4 mi in 11.6 seconds, a new production EV record, only .5 sec slower than the mighty McLaren F1. 2016 Cadillac CTS-VSo you like the C7 Corvette Z06 but want a back seat?  Cadillac has the car for you!  Meet the new CTS-V which utilizes the 640 hp 6.2L supercharged V8 from the Z06.  Other upgrades to the CTS is the aggressive body work, massive tires, and a retuned suspension.  The chassis is said to be 25% more rigid as well.  The Performance Data Recorder as seen in the Corvette is also present so that you can record video and parameters of your lap times, your canyon road runs, or to catch the joy riding valet or mechanic.  For now, the CTS-V will only be available in sedan form and is yet another performance car to ditch a row your own gears transmission. Alfa Romeo 4C SpiderI don’t know how the Italians do it but they always seem to find a way to make their cars look better.  That is exactly what happens to the Alfa Romeo 4C when it loses its roof.  Everything else about the car remains the same as the Coupe version right down to the performance numbers.  What was a Lotus Elise again? 2016 Acura NSXAfter a long wait the new Acura NSX is finally showing off its production car skin and my was it worth the wait!  The new NSX is arguably the best looking car to come from the show and actually didn’t get as much attention as you might think.  Largely because it was overshadowed by the Ford display.  There are still very little details on the NSX only that it will have a twin turbo V6 making over 550 hp, a 9 spd dual clutch tranny, and will cost around $150k and even those figures are rumors.  Even with how little we know about the NSX we still are left salivating and wanting to know more.  We expect big things Acura, big things. 2017 Ford F150 RaptorFord dominated Detroit with not one but three major unveilings.  All of which wore the same “liquid blue” paint which is simply stunning and unfortunately a show car color only.  The first of the three cars shown is not a car at all but is in fact a redesign of what can only be described as the most badass truck in America, the Raptor.  The new Raptor comes with a much angrier face but will sadly lose the mean exhaust note.  The reason?  This Raptor will use a 3.5L Ecoboost V6.  No power figures have been announced but expect over 400 hp.  The new aluminum body helps put the Raptor on a massive diet and it looses 500 lbs over the current Raptor.  Combine that weight loss, the smaller engine, and the all-new 10 spd automatic (yes, that’s 10 forward gears) and you should see a drastic increase in mpg figures.  The suspension has also been redesigned and uses larger Fox Racing Shocks and gets more travel. 2016 Shelby GT350RSomeone at Ford has had enough with Chevy and the Camaro taking all the top honors from critics everywhere including becoming Motor Trend’s Best Driver’s Car for 2014 and decided to something about it.  The new Shelby Mustang GT350R should be just what Ford needs to close the gap, if not surpass the Camaro.  Chevy can no longer claim the widest front tires on a production car, they now have to share that with the GT350R.  Ford not only saw the tires and carbon brakes but raised the stakes with carbon fiber wheels!  The wheels alone are 13lbs lighter each and the R as a whole is 130 lbs lighter than the GT350 which is made possible by removing everything that isn’t necessary, the AC, rear seat, stereo, backup camera, and trunk carpet.  Think of the GT350R as a Mustang in GT3 RS form.  Other differences from the “standard” GT350 is the bodywork, all of which is functional and carbon fiber.  Performance figures with the GT350 are still unknown and so it is with the R version.  All we know is 500+ hp with the 5.2L flat plane crank V8.  Even if there is no bump in power over the GT350 it should still be faster at the track.  The best part?  It sounds amazing! Ford GT Concept The biggest surprise of this year’s show was also perhaps the best kept secret, the Ford GT.  There were whispers of a GT replacement coming but nobody knew for sure.  Not even a prototype test mule had been spotted.  Then Ford drives the car on the stage.  From the front it is true to the original GT40 and the car was built to meet homologation rules for Le Mans but that is where the similarities stop.  The GT brought a lot of controversy to the show as well because of the drivetrain, a 3.5L Ecoboost TT V6 pumping out over 600 hp and a 7 spd dual clutch transmission.  What?  No V8?  Ford couldn’t put a V8 in the car with what they have planned.  The 3.5 Ecoboost is already race proven anyway as Ford has been campaigning it in their Daytona Prototype chassis in Tudor the last two years and have had their successes.  The only other details we know is it will feature aluminum and lots of carbon fiber. At the end of the show we saw a lot of cool vehicles shine in the spotlight and Detroit showed us that it is far from dead, well, Ford is anyway. Photos: Autoblog


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