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Posts Tagged ‘north american international auto show’

Hot, Hotter, Hottest? Ford Turns Up the Heat with Shelby GT350R

Maker debuts street-legal, race-ready Mustang.

by on Jan.15, 2015

The new Ford Shelby GT350R lets you go from two-track to race track. It's part of a trio of new powerful pony cars.

At 435 horsepower, the 2015 remake of the Mustang GT is an impressive piece of work. But in today’s new Golden Age of muscle cars, the number is almost middle-of-the-road. So, Ford is rolling out a series of pony car variants that go from hot to hotter to hottest.

It was only a few months ago, at the Los Angeles Auto Show, that we got a good look at the Shelby GT350 Mustang, with its unique new 5.2-liter V-8 featuring a high-revving flat-plane crankshaft bumping the numbers up to a more impressive 500 horsepower. Now, however, Detroit show-goers will get to see that taken up yet another notch, with the addition of the Shelby 350GTR.

Auto Show News!

That’s “R” as in “racing,” Ford global product development chief Raj Nair declaring the latest Mustang iteration “street-legal, track-ready.” (more…)

From Concept to Customer, Rating the NAIAS Show Cars

You may see some of these in showrooms soon.

by on Jan.15, 2015

The Chevy Bolt is among the most likely concept vehicles from this year's auto show to end up in showrooms. Photo credit: Len Katz.

With his roots in Hollywood, General Motors’ first styling director, Harley Earl, loved a bit of showmanship, introducing what is today seen as the first true concept car, the Buick Y-Job. It introduced such revolutionary features as hidden headlamps, wraparound bumpers and an electrically operated convertible roof. Ever since, concept cars have been a staple on the auto show circuit, often the primary draw for the public.

In decades past, these show cars tended to be little more than what former Ford design director Jack Telnack likes to call “fantasies in chrome,” such as the wild, turbine-powered Firebird concepts of the ‘60s.

What a Concept!

There are still a few off-the-wall show cars – they’re a staple of the bi-annual Tokyo Motor Show where one recent Toyota concept looked like a telephone booth on wheels – but these days, what you see very well may be what you get.  (more…)

Volvo Captures Auto Ad of the Year

Audi and Toyota also take top honors.

by on Jan.14, 2015

This Volvo Truck ad with action film star Jean-Claude Van Damme doing the splits while perched on two trucks driving in reverse won auto ad of the year.

Forget the rocks and trees, or SUVs trampling across the meadows, and ignore the fast-talking salesman pitching a deal too good to be true. Occasionally, just occasionally, an automaker’s creative team really does come up with an ad so compelling that you might want to watch it more than the show it is sponsoring.

Honoring standout ads, whether on TV, the Internet, billboards, or in print, is the mission of the non-profit One Club, which sponsored the One Show Auto Advertising Awards presented as a wrap-up to two days of media previews at the North American International Auto Show.

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Humor is a universal theme, it seems, often helping us poke fun at ourselves. Audi was one of the winners in the broadcast category, its TV spot, called “Scripted Life,” likely to resonate with anyone who has felt like they are forced to conform too much. (more…)

Buick Avenir, Ford GT Dominate Design Awards

“Get a day job,” says honoree Bob Lutz.

by on Jan.13, 2015

Bob Lutz received the Eyes on Design Catalyst Award this year during the North American International Auto Show.

Domestic automakers dominated the annual Eyes on Design Awards capping two days of product previews at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Ford’s GT and the Buick Avenir concept were the big winners, though Audi also took home honors for its redesigned Q7 sport-utility vehicle.

Auto Show News!

The annual awards ceremony is meant to honor the best in automotive design, something former General Motors “car czar” Bob Lutz described as the “great differentiator” in a world in which vehicles share more and more of the same, underlying technology. (more…)

Porsche Previews Perfect Pair in Detroit

New Cayenne and Targa rolling out for 2015.

by on Jan.13, 2015

The 911 Targa 4 GTS will do zero to 60 in just a tick under 4.3 seconds.

Somewhere Porsche executives are trying to make sure that the OPEC leader they sent a Christmas card to last year stays on the list this year as sales of non-gas sippers are on the upswing as consumers enjoy the low fuel prices.

It makes it the perfect time for the German sports carmaker to roll out two new models that chew up fuel as quickly as they do miles: the mind-numbingly fast 911 Targa 4 GTS and the sport SUV that began the craze,the 2016 Cayenne Turbo S.

Auto Show Insight!

The 911 Targa 4 GTS is sort of a convertible and sort of not, but it’s definitely fast and even more so in its latest iteration with an additional 30 horsepower boosting the 3.8-liter flat six to 424 hp. In real terms: zero to 60 in just a tick under 4.3 seconds. All that power gets transferred to all four wheels with standard all-wheel drive. (more…)

Verizon Wants to Connect Your Car

New Verizon Vehicle system offers an alternative to built-in telematics.

by on Jan.13, 2015

Andres Irlando, Verizon Telematics CEO, believes there is a significant market for aftermarket-based telematics services.

Most of the vehicles Chevrolet will sell in the U.S. this year will be equipped with 4G WiFi connectivity. Mercedes-Benz has made its connected mbrace emergency call system a standard feature. And there’s a growing list of competitors offering similar connected car technologies.

But what about the more than 200 million vehicles now on the road not equipped with some sort of built-in connectivity? Verizon thinks it has the answer, the telematics giant announcing plans to launch the new Verizon Vehicle system. The aftermarket system will be able to perform a variety of services, from alerting a driver to potential engine problems to helping police track a stolen vehicle.

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“Over 200 million U.S. drivers on the road today have vehicles that lack telematics and connectivity,” noted Andres Irlando, CEO of Verizon Telematics. The goal of the new system is to “bring the benefits of connected cars to millions more people.” (more…)

Lincoln Changes MKX New Car Smell for China

Brand caters to cultural preferences with new entry.

by on Jan.13, 2015

The new car smell that Americans love so much, isn't well liked by the Chinese, which caused Lincoln some problems with the new MKX.

While the development of a new vehicle is a team effort, but at some point every bit of a car eventually falls into the hands of engineers.

“We are focused on delivering engaging and refined luxury vehicles with innovative and thoughtful technologies,” said Kumar Galhotra, president of Lincoln, during the unveiling of the MKX at the North American International Auto Show. “The all-new Lincoln MKX reflects that focus.”

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In the case of the new MKX, engineers were faced with an unusual problem: interior odors. (more…)

Cadillac Taking on Market Leaders with Aggressive Product Plans

New chief lays out future product cadence.

by on Jan.13, 2015

Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen outlined his ambitious product plan to fill out Caddy's line-up.

If the folks from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz heard the sounds of cannon shot flying by during the two-day media preview of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, it’s no surprise. And those shots very likely were launched from the Cadillac stand nearby.

Vowing to take the fight to the enemy, Cadillac’s new global President Johan de Nysschen has outlined an aggressive product launch program that will begin to fill in critical holes in the Detroit maker’s line-up.

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“We’re here to disrupt, to shatter the status quo and change perceptions,” de Nysschen declared during the unveiling of the new 640-horsepower CTS-V sedan. “We will take on the market leaders head-on with vehicles aimed at where they are strongest.” (more…)

Honda Proclaims 2015 is “The Year of Honda”

FCV finally gets production date after Takata delay.

by on Jan.13, 2015

After a being delayed due to the Takata airbag problem, FCV production will start next year. Photo credit: Len Katz

Honda’s much ballyhooed fuel cell vehicle, the aptly named FCV, made its North American debut today at the Detroit Auto Show. The car is slated for production sometime next year and will hit showrooms in late ’16 or early ’17.

However, the Japanese automaker seems more focused on a bigger picture here in the Motor City. It’s calling 2015 “The Year of Honda.” While it seems awfully presumptuous on the surface, the company has reason to be excited: it’s long-awaited Honda Jet is finally getting off the ground, the FCV overcame some hurdles – including being impacted by the Takata seat belt fiasco – to finally find city streets and Honda is returning to Formula One racing.

High-Tech News!

“No other automaker in the world has the depth of R&D know-how and experience to create such a diverse array of advanced technology products, let alone bring them to market,” said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. (more…)

Lexus Debuts New Track and Street Performance Cars

Brand looking to repeat earlier racing success.

by on Jan.13, 2015

Lexus is returning to racing with its new GS F racer, which debuted at the Detroit Auto Show today. Photo credit: Len Katz

Lexus is heading back to the track. The Japanese luxury maker is hoping to replicate the success it had during a hard-charging, three-year program at the Daytona endurance series.

An all-new RC F GT3 made its debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Tuesday morning – alongside an only slightly less aggressive street performance model based around its mid-range GS sedan.

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“We expect the GS F to accelerate our niche performance reputation,” declared Jeff Bracken, the Lexus general manager, during a news conference at Detroit’s Cobo Hall. (more…)