few really important or spectacularly beautiful cars and
trucks arrive every year, and the North American
International Auto Show in Detroit has more than its
share this week.
are 10 must-see vehicles for anyone who goes to the
Ford F-150: The biggest change ever for America’s
best-selling vehicle, the new F-150’s all-aluminum
body reduces weight by about 700 pounds versus last year’s
truck. That could mean major fuel savings for owners.
will it cost? Will pickup customers accept the new
material and features like LED lights, a 2.7-liter
Ecoboost V-6 and radar-based automatic brakes? Those
questions will decide if the F-150 is a breakthrough
that other automakers will scurry to follow.
Chrysler 200: This sleek midsize sedan is the most
compelling reason Chrysler merged with Fiat. The 200’s
new modern chassis, nine-speed automatic transmission
and upscale interior wouldn’t exist without Fiat’s
expertise at fuel-efficient cars. The 200 combines the
best of the company’s American and Italian talents. It
may be Chrysler’s best ever bid to compete with
leading midsize sedans: Ford Fusion, Honda Accord and
Cadillac ATS coupe: Cadillac keeps its sights locked on
BMW with this sleek two-door. The ATS coupe is lighter
and boasts more torque than BMW’s new 428i coupe on a
neighboring stand. Look for more versions of the ATS in
the future as Cadillac challenges BMW and Mercedes in
each segment. A high-performance V-series is near
certain to follow, a convertible looks likely and even a
sport wagon is possible.
GMC Canyon: General Motors is betting the 2015 GMC
Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado midsize pickups will
attract buyers who’d like a little more capability
without the parking headaches and gasoline bills a
fullsize pickup brings. Small pickups were an American
favorite for years. If the Canyon rekindles that flame,
watch for more to come.
Q50 Eau Rouge concept: Based on Infiniti’s Q50 sport
sedan and named for a famous corner in Formula 1 racing,
the Eau Rouge isn’t much more than a body kit and a
paint job, but what a paint job! Its deep, glistening
red would make a candy apple blush in embarrassment. The
car started with a regular layer of silver paint and
Infiniti added 24 layers of barely red-tinted clearcoat
to create the remarkable finish. The concept also
features carbon fiber body panels and aerodynamic parts.
FT-1 concept: Toyota desperately wants its cars to be as
exciting as they are reliable.
in Toyota’s Calty studio in southern California, the
FT-1 concept is a response to president and CEO Akio
Toyoda’s demand for passionate designs. The name
translates roughly to "Future Toyota —
Ultimate," and the body blends elements of previous
sporty models like the Celica with touches from the
current Scion FR-S and an expected future Supra.
S-class coupe concept: Arguably the most drop-dead
gorgeous car at the show, the low, sleek two-door
version of the S-class luxury sedan is officially a
concept, but Mercedes insiders say it’s a near dead
ringer for the upcoming production model.
S-coupe’s glamorous lines, shimmering paint and
hand-sewn silk carpets are reminders of why Mercedes was
the king of automotive luxury for decades.
Kia K900: Ambition, thy name is Kia. The big elegant
K900 sedan declares the Korean automaker’s intention
to challenge luxury brands. The K900 shares its platform
with the stuffy Hyundai Equus, but its modern looks are
pure Kia. Features include power reclining rear seats
and an eight-speed transmission.
its doggy name and the oddball chrome portholes in its
front fenders, the K900 is a car to take seriously.
Hyundai Genesis: The award-winning 2009 Genesis is a
tough act to follow, but Hyundai pulled it off with
dramatic new proportions and top-flight features. The
sport sedan’s long hood and roof create an impression
of power and more room. Hyundai says prices will start
below $40,000 and available features will include
automatic braking and head-up display.
Ford Mustang: This new Mustang improves just about
everything about the original pony car, just in time for
the Mustang’s 50th anniversary. The deceptively long
hood makes the Mustang appear larger, but the 2015 is
actually 0.2 inch shorter. From the independent rear
suspension to an EcoBoost four-cylinder engine to
high-end interior materials, the coupe and convertible
at the show are full of surprises.
don’t miss the white 1965 Mustang convertible near the
entrance to Ford’s stand. It’s number 001, the first
Mustang ever built. Tourists from around the world visit
the Henry Ford in Dearborn to see it, but this week it’s
at the North American International Auto Show.