The Detroit International Auto Show always has a lot of cool new debuts. As one might expect, a LOT of new American metal debuts there. But, foreign cars are also starting to be debuted at Detroit more and more. Enjoy my top 12 debuts
- 2015 Ford F150: With the majority of the 2015 Ford F150 made out of aluminum, the 2015 Ford F150 lost almost 700 pounds. In terms of design, Ford clearly heard the raving about the Atlas Concept. The 2015 F150 looks almost exactly like the Atlas! In terms of engines, Ford’s taken the liberty of making smaller, more powerful engines the norm for the F150. The base engine is a 3.5-liter V6 (the same one residing under the hood of the Explorer). Ford also dropped the thirsty 6.2-liter V8 from the lineup. The only available V8 is the splendid 5.0-liter “Coyote” V8 shared with the Mustang. The 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 stays, but the EcoBoost has a smaller EcoBoost sister engine. The smaller EcoBoost engine displaces a seemingly small 2.7 liters, yet makes as much power as the outgoing 3.7-liter V6. All four engines will be mated to Ford’s six-speed automatic, but don’t be surprised to see the 10-speed automatic being co-developed with GM come into the mix sometime soon. I can’t wait to see the 2015 F150 in person!
- 2015 Chrysler 200: Chrysler’s been hit hard the last five or six years. First, it’s bankruptcy. Then, it’s being bought out completely by Fiat, then it’s just about every model coming out of the Auburn Hills factory being blasted with hate mail from every single automotive magazine in the U.S. Chrysler’s trying to make up that image. The design of the 2015 Chrysler 200 is simply stunning. Based on the Dodge Dart’s platform, the 2015 Chrysler 200 will be instantly recognizable to anybody who has seen a 2013 Dodge Dart. Chrysler’s trying to make the 200 easier to live with. It’s got standard pass-through storage, better ergonomics, and most things in the cabin are electronic. The 9-speed automatic that is used in the Jeep Cherokee will be standard across the line. A 2.4-liter TigerShark 4-cylinder engine borrowed from the Dodge Dart is standard. The step-up engine is a 295-horsepower 3.6-liter Pentastar V6. I don’t know about you, but Chrysler just might be able to make an extremely competitive car in an extremely competitive segment.
- 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe: Cadillac’s seen a massive resurgence in past years. The 2008 CTS won Motor Trend’s 2008 Car of the Year trophy, and the 2013 ATS and 2014 CTS have both been praised for their good looks and fun-to-drive factors. Just about everything is shared with the ATS sedan. That’s a good thing. The 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine has 295-lb-ft of torque available at 3000 RPM. Amazingly, the ATS coupe is said to weigh just 45 more pounds than the ATS sedan. Cadillac’s even partnered with AT&T, Verizon, and T Mobile to ensure that the ATS Coupe has 4G LTE hotspot connectivity.
- 2015 BMW M3/M4: BMW’s become obsessed with turbocharged engines. Not only do they offer more performance, but they reduce weight and give better fuel economy. The 2015 M3/M4 have a twin-turbocharged inline-six-cylinder engine that makes somewhere in the neighborhood of 425 horsepower. The standard transmission is a six-speed manual (score for the purists), and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission borrowed from the M5 is optional. BMW says that they cut 175 pounds compared to the E90 generation M3, so the 2015 M3/M4 should weigh about as much as an E46 M3. The M3/M4 look extremely aggressive. The front ends have massive air intakes, a bulging power-rise hood, and a wider front and rear track compared to the standard 3/4 Series models.
- 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray ZO6: The 2015 ZO6 makes 625 horsepower (13 less than the ZR-1), and it has an 8-speed automatic transmission that shifts faster than a Porsche PDK transmission. Chevy’s offering THREE aerodynamics packages borrowed from the C7.R race car, and it has the seven-speed manual transmission from the regular Stingray standard. GM says that the 2015 ZO6 shattered course records at the Milford proving grounds on its FIRST time at the track!
- 2015 Ford Mustang: Since I’ve already covered the 2015 Ford Mustang, I won’t spend too terribly much time on the 2015 Mustang. Ford won’t answer many questions about the 2015 Mustang, which means that they’re still working on it. Whatever. It looks great, and I expect it to handle much better, as it’s been redesigned from the ground up!
- 2014 Porsche 911 Targa: Finally, Porsche’s come out with the return of the iconic 911 Targa. The 911 Targa doesn’t have the sliding top like previous Targas. The Porsche 911 Targa is sure to bring back fond memories for many. Because it’s a Porsche, expect to be set back at least $100,000 for a Targa 4S. I can’t wait to see the 2014 911 Targa in person!
- 2015 Subaru Impreza WRX STI: Subaru has made it’s reputation for making pocket rockets. The 2015 WRX gave some hope for enthusiasts. It’s equally at home rocketing down a gravel road or zooming around a track. The STI improves on that. It makes 305 horsepower (it uses the same engine as the previous generation), but it looks a whole lot better than the previous generation. It looks more like a DTM race car combined with a WRC rally car. Subie won’t tell ANYBODY how much the STI will weigh. That’s a shame, because previous Subaru WRX STI’s have been plump.
- Kia GT4 Stinger Concept: I think that I can safely agree with everybody here that Kia seriously needs to stop making amazing-looking concept cars until it decides to build them. The GT4 Stinger has four seats, a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, rear-wheel drive, and a six-speed manual. Naturally, one’s mind drifts towards the Subaru BR-Z and Scion FR-S, the natural competitors to the GT4 Stinger. Before Kia shoves this car into some secret bunker at the 38th Parallel, they need to build this car. The engine is essentially a depowered version of the 400-horsepower engine used in the Pirelli World Challenge Optimas. Kia, are you reading my thoughts? If you are, BUILD THIS CAR!
- Toyota FT-1 Concept: Toyota’s trying to appeal to enthusiasts. The last car that did that? The Supra. Toyota’s FT-1 looks stunning, and it’s even available in Gran Turismo 6! Toyota won’t tell what’s under the hood. We all know that the Supra engine is dead. Lexus is experimenting with high-powered 5.0-liter V8s in the IS F, and I could easily see the IS F’s engine under the hood of this stunning concept. Even if Toyota doesn’t build this car, it still shows what future Toyota styling might look like.
- Volvo XC Concept Coupe: Volvo’s made it’s living with industry-leading safety advances, but safety doesn’t sell millions of cars. So, Volvo’s started cranking out extremely promising concept cars. Considering that Plug-in Hybrid is etched into the fenders, it’s obvious that the XC Concept Coupe is definitely a hybrid. Volvo stresses the fact that the XC Concept Coupe has “rich XC Heritage.” Considering Volvo’s been making SUV’s since 1997, one could agree that the XC Concept Coupe would look stellar as a shooting brake.
- Audi A8 L Security: Some fullsize luxury sedan buyers want theirs to be bulletproof. Audi’s joined the fight against gunfight victims with the A8 L Security. The A8 L Security is beefed up to an extreme. It takes 450 man-hours to make all of the bulletproof components for the A8 L Security. It is able to withstand sub-caliber machine gun fire, and buyers can even opt for an emergency exit system that blows the hinges off the doors, as well as a fire suppression system and an emergency fresh-air system. The extra weight will substantially hamper performance, but the driver and passengers can get out of a sticky situation safer.
On a separate note, I have to go in for surgery next week. During my time in the hospital, I will not have access to a computer, and I probably won’t be up to publishing anyways! I don’t know how long I will be out for, but keep yourselves entertained with the Motor Trend Youtube Channel! My favorite show is Roadkill. I think you’ll enjoy it just as much as I do. You can start watching the videos now at http://www.youtube.com/user/MotorTrend