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Motor City's 2014 Offerings

Posted by Bob on Wednesday 22nd January 2014

Every January since 1907, the City of Detroit plays host to the North American International Auto SHOW (NAIAS), one of the biggest automotive shows in the US. Hogging a huge 90,000+ square metres of exhibition space at the Cobo Centre, the NAIAS attracts a wide range of press, industry members and the general car-loving public. ('Wide range' wasn't meant to be a joke about the size of most Americans - ok it was...). Despite the beloved Motor City apparently slowly rotting away in recent years, it is still home to the headquarters of the US' top carmakers; General Motors, Ford and Chrysler. As such it is these manufacturers that traditionally take up the most floor space. But what new vehicles have been unveiled to the public, and what new details have been released about other forthcoming cars? In this post I attempt to wrap-up the Goldies, Oldies and Mouldies of the Detroit motor show.


Yeeehawww Bubba!The kings of Detroit were mainly focused on their F-series of pickups, which were the best selling vehicles by far in the US in 2012. Of course tailors to American audiences and buyers, their new F-150 was the model they were pushing in everyone's faces. The new model uses much more aluminium in it's build, making it nearly 300kg lighter than the previous model. Interior styling has also been given a restyling. Don't expect to see many of them on the streets over here though, they're primarily suited to cowboys and the less well-endowed American gentlemen.


Audi Audi Audi!My beloved Audi were showing off their Allroad Shooting Brake concept at Motor city, and this is exciting because many are of a mind that the new TT will be taking it's design cues from the vehicle. Whilst we'll have to wait until March and head off to Geneva to see that forthcoming model, Audi's concept gives us Audi-philes something to drool over. With styling being akin to an SUV (what new car isn't going in that direction nowadays?), the ride height has been raised, with some rather beefy padding added to wheel arches and bumpers. I'd expect the new TT to have a lower ride height, and more slope to the roof line. The new dashboard has a Thin Film Transistor (TFT) display, with resizable rev counter and speedometer, along with a satnav. Still no touchscreen though. I'd say they're going in the right direction with this concept, but need to head back to the traditional TT stylings to keep us happy.


The official unveiling of the Lexus RC-F took place at the Detroit show, it being a substantially modified version of the model that Lexus only unveiled a few months back at the Tokyo motor show in 2013, the RC coupe. It's been made wider, with bigger air intakes at the front and a larger bonnet. Due for release sometime in 2015, it is powered by a 5.0 litre petrol V8 engine, which apparently squeezes up to 450 bhp out of it. Will be a rival for the BMW M4.


The NAIAS saw BMW officially unveiling it's 2014 versions of their M3 and M4, which are due to come on sale over here in June. They also brought out the 4-Series, which is pretty much a coupe version of their popular 3-Series. Although these models come with a smaller engine than current 3-Series, the new engine still manages to pull 11 bhp more than it's older sibling, despite having 1 litre less capacity. The wings have been widened, and the bumpers and mirrors have been given the once over. Interior materials have also been upgraded, with single-piece back panels on the sports seats. Performance of the two are pretty much on par, though they may both be overtaken by the 2-Series coupe, an all-new model being released to public consumption in March.


Kia offered up a sports car as their main attraction, the GT4 Stinger. Designed in California, it takes some design ideas from the Cee'd, but the wheelbase has been shortened, and it's been widened and lowered. The front of the car sports vertical LED headlights, which to me make it look a bit like Marvin the paranoid android from the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy film. They've either skimped on the interior, or been expired by German minimalism, as inside we have fabric door pulls, rubber floor and little in the way of instruments. Thankfully, this is unlikely to go into production, merely giving a "...glimpse into Kia's future" (or lack thereof...).


A new roof, well I never...Choosing Detroit to unveil their new 911 Targa model, Porsche were showing off their new roof panels, manufactured from magnesium and covered with fabric. Folding neatly behind the rear of the seats with the push of a button, Porsche are saying it takes less than 20 seconds to go topless. Apart from their roof contraptions however, the 911 Targa is no different than the current Carrera 4 Cabriolet.

Whatever you may think of the current crop of vehicles, there is always a time when you need to upgrade to a newer model of car. You can get a much better deal for your old car than part exchanging these days, and a decent car valuation is where you start.

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