One of the new things The Daily Derbi has put on our New Year’s Resolution is to cover the Auto Show season and bring you what we feel are the best highlights from each show. While there is always hundreds of cars on display from nearly every manufacturer around the world and then those aftermarket firms, we can only cover so much. We will focus mostly on the new. Things like revealed high performance cars and concepts with the latest tech. You can always feel free to add your favorites in the comments below.
This year’s season kicks off in Detroit for the North American International Auto Show. The show from Motor City brings 39 new cars, concepts, race cars, and performance versions of cars already in production. We are going to highlight twelve of these latest and greatest vehicles.
With racing season just around the corner, the 24 Hours of Daytona is just this weekend, automakers have been slowly showing off the latest chassis for racing. What you see here is the Mazda Skyactiv-D Prototype to be used in the new Tudor United Sports Car Championship Series and it will be debut in racing at the Rolex 24 at Daytona this weekend. It puts Mazda’s 2.2L Skyactiv turbo diesel 4 cylinder to work making 451 hp and 580 lb/ft of torque.
Acura and RealTime Racing are ditching the old TSX GT-S class car and are moving up in the world with the new Acura TLX GT. The new twin turbo V6 and Super Handing All-Wheel Drive system should help Peter Cunningham and RealTime Racing run with the top dogs in the GT Class of Pirelli World Challenge going head to head against the R8s, Vipers, Ferraris, and GT-Rs of the series.
Subaru came to the auto show aiming at the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. Subaru seems to have liked the current Lancer Evo so much that they decided to try and clone it. The copy cat culprit? The all “new” WRX STI. The engine appears to essentially be the same as the outgoing version, a 2.5L Turbo 4 making 305 hp. Aside from the new skin, the all-wheel drive system has been revised and gives the car a rear bias of 41/59 torque split. The hatchback version is also being dropped.
No, you aren’t looking at a toucan. You are looking at a Lexus, the Lexus RC-F to be exact. It is essentially a sporty version of the RC Coupe which was revealed at the Tokyo Auto Show last month. The updates include the more aggressive styling, an active rear spoiler, a more sporty chassis tune, and most notably, a 450+ hp 5.0L V8. This will be the first rear wheel drive sports car (excluding the LFA) Lexus has offered since the dreadful SC.
Lower it a little bit and round off the roofline and you will see the next gen Audi TT. This Allroad Shooting Brake Concept is basically a hint at the next TT. It shares the same platform as the upcoming car and is roughly the same size. The car utilizes an e-Tron drivetrain powered by a 2.0T pumping out 292 hp and is paired with a 40 and 85 kW electric motors for a combined total of 408 hp and 479 lb/ft of torque. If an Allroad Shooting Brake TT based car looks this good, we can’t wait to see the TT.
Move over Toyobaru FR-Z! Kia is coming! Kia found Nemo and turned him into a car, the GT4 Stinger specifically. With a footprint just larger than the FRS and smaller than a Hyundai Genesis, Kia has made it easy to see what they are aiming for. Power in the concept comes from the 2.0 turbo 4 found in the Kia Optima Pirelli World Challenge race car and produces 315hp. Significantly more than the FRS. The front end isn’t particularly good looking and the side looks reminiscent of the recent Audi Sport quattro Concepts. We are hoping the front sees a redesign before production and we doubt those headlights are tall enough to meet DOT requirements.
BMW knew how to get us excited at the start of the year by launching both the M3 and M4. Both are essentially identical with only real difference being the number of doors on the car. If you recall, BMW is now calling their two-door version of the 3-Series the 4-Series. These M cars see a bump in power from the previous version despite dropping two cylinders. The new 3.0 turbo inline-six produces 425 hp and is one of few sports cars still available with a manual transmission.
Porsche is slowly introducing more and more 911 variants in true Porsche fashion. The latest to be added to the lineup is the Targa. Porsche decided to go back to the original Targa style from the first generation 911s instead of using the more recent giant sunroof approach. Power figures will remain the same as the Carrera at 350 and 400hp for the S version. Interestingly however, it will only be available with all-wheel drive. The most unique feature of the car is the way the top is removed. Instead of unlocking and stowing away the panel in the trunk manually the rear glass opens up clamshell style and swallows up the panel and hides behind the rear seats. The cost for the smooth operating top? $101,600.
Chevrolet brought out two new versions of the C7 Corvette. The first being the new Z06. The Z06 adds visual aggressiveness all around the car from the bulging hood to the rear spoiler. This Z06 is more closely related to the outgoing ZR1 than the previous Z06 being powered by a supercharged version of the new LT1 called the LT4. This 6.2L V8 is topped with a 1.7L Eaton supercharger aiding in the bump in power to over 625 hp. The official number wasn’t revealed but Chevrolet promises more than 625 hp. Other firsts for the car is it will be the first performance version of the Corvette to retain the targa top and it will also be available with an 8spd automatic and will still be available with the 7spd manual. As of this writing, Chevrolet says there is no plan for a ZR1 so this will be the best Corvette has to offer for a few years we reckon.
Although the C7.R was originally seen at Mazda Laguna Seca during the Pebble Beach historic races festivities, this is the first time it has been seen without camo. With smoother lines than the C6.R and plenty of aero, the C7.R is ready to take on the Tudor United Sports Car Championship Series. Being a race car in the premier endurance racing series, not many details were revealed save that it will retain use of the 5.5L V8 and that the chassis is 40% stiffer than the C6.R. We cannot wait to see it on the track this weekend at Daytona.
Lastly is the “show stopper.” The most intriguing car of the entire show was this Toyota FT-1 Concept. Think resurrected Supra or 2000GT. It is a two-door rear-wheel drive sports car with an unnamed powertrain. The front is arguably the most interesting part of the car with the Gonzo-like beak.While the front leaves something to be desired, the rear of the car is far better looking with its rump looking as if it were CNC machined. Then there is that spoiler. It certainly fits the car well. Details are sparse as it is officially a design study and not a new Supra Concept. However, if Toyota plays this out like they did the FR-S, we will likely see a few more variants of this concept before it comes to production. You can download this car in the latest version Gran Turismo and is available to be raced.