By on January 15, 2014

 

2014-Porsche-911-Targa-Rear-Open

The 2014 edition of the North American International Auto Show was supposed to be one for the record books. With the industry roaring back to life amid record sales, profitable home team brands and free from the yoke of government ownership, great things were expected from this year’s show. Instead, many felt it fell flat. Aside from the 2015 Ford F-150, possibly the most significant introduction of the decade, the product introduced at the show was interesting, but hardly memorable.

I fear that we’re entering the second Malaise era, but CAFE and safety regulations, rather than oil prices, are driving cars towards an inexorable homogenity. The new Chrysler 200, Chevrolet Impala and Hyundai Genesis all manage to share the same rear end treatment, despite being in different size classes and using different drivetrain configurations. Nearly every car on the market has some kind of “two point oh tee” engine. Perhaps more interesting than the NAIAS world debuts were cars like the Chevrolet Colorado, Ford Mustang and Subaru WRX, which debuted elsewhere, but got their first showing to the world at NAIAS.

2015-Acura-TLX-Concept-First-Look-Video-Main-Art

Miss – Acura TLX: The 2015 TLX will mark the first time since 1998 that a TL has been available with less than six cylinders. The 2.5 TL, aka Vigor by another name, rocked Acura’s oddball 5-cylinder engine and lasted for pricesly one generation. Because the ILX has failed in its mission as a TSX replacement, the TLX will get a 2.4L 4-cylinder engine mated to Honda’s all-new DCT 8-speed gearbox. A 3.5L V6 gets their new 9-speed transmission and all-wheel drive. Like most Acura products, the TLX looks like a nice car when viewed on its own. But the rest of the market keeps on advancing.

BMW-2-Series-First-Look-Main-Art

Hit – BMW 2-Series: As much as I loathe the F30 3-Series, I am optimistic for the 2-Series, which is sized like an E46, looks less gawky than the outgoing 1-Series, and unlike the budget entrants from M-B and Audi, is faithful to the brand’s DNA. The M235i is getting all the attention, but my heart is with the 228i. At 240 horsepower and roughly 3300 lbs, it has roughly the same power to weight ratio as an E46 330ci. A BMW rep quoted a 5.1 second 0-60 time, and fuel economy with the N20 4-cylinder should be solid. Make mine a 6MT, no sport package. I’ll supply my own tires.

2015-BMW-M3-M4-Main-Art

Ball Four – BMW M3/M4: I’m still not wowed by these cars, but introducing them in Phoenix Yellow and Laguna Seca Blue, the E46 M3 launch colors, was a nice touch.

2015-GMC-Canyon-Main_001

Miss – Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon: Any notion of these being “small” or “midsize” trucks is laughable. The Colorado and Canyon are more like full-size trucks from two generations ago in terms of size. The Canyons were all on walled-off displays, while the Colorados were locked up halfway through Day 1, but I managed to sneak in to a crew cab model. For such big trucks on the outside, they are small on the inside. Sitting in the back of a crew cab felt like being in the back of an older extended cab truck. I can’t imagine how GM dealers will move these things when the inevitable big incentives on Silverados and Sierras come online(especially as the full-size truck war heats up), and GM can forget about conquesting sales from Tacoma owners, who wouldn’t be caught dead in a domestic truck.

elmiraj

Grand Slam Home Run- Cadillac Elmiraj: TAKE MY MONEY NOW

chevyss

Winner – Chevrolet SS: Some complain that “It looks like a Malibu”. I say “That’s the point”. Make mine in taupe or pea soup green or some awful shade fit for the Hertz lot.

Winner – Chevrolet /GMC full-size SUVs: I am lukewarm on the new GM pickups, but the new SUVs, from the base model Tahoe up to the Denali XL, are uniformly gorgeous. The ramrod straight D-pillar and macho fascia add a severity that seems to have been lost in the transition to the more organic GMT900 versions. This is good old fashioned American luxury at its finest, and I hope they have long, fruitful lives as everything from child transportation to rural police patrol vehicle to Uber black car.

Chrysler-200-Live

Foul Ball- Chrysler 200: Too early to call for this one. On the one hand, this is a design where photos don’t do justice to the way the car looks in real life. The 200C and 200S are striking in person, looking like a VW CC crossed with a Chevrolet Impala – but even a casual observer can spot the Dart resemblance. The newly redesigned interior is tastefully done with modern details like a floating center console and a rotary shift dial. But two things leave me concerned about its viability in such a competitive segment. 1) initial reports were correct: the back seat suffers from the same lack of space as the 2012 Malibu. At 5’10 and 175 lbs, the rear compartment was on the wrong side of tight for me, and Chrysler cannot expect to go after Camry and Accord buyers with such a small back seat. 2) Fuel economy, estimated at 35 mpg, still trails Fusion and Altima. It’s actually on par with the 2014 Dart 2.4L.  I’m not ready to write this car off, but I am not sure it will gain ground on the segment leaders in the sales race. Instead, it will give the Malibu a good fight for mid-pack.

2015-Ford-F150-Front

Winner – Ford F-150:  Just like the 200, the F-150 has a number of big question marks surrounding it. Nobody knows what kind of power the 2.7L Ecoboost puts out. MPG is completely up in the air. They may not even beat the Ram EcoDiesel for mpg bragging rights. The aluminum alloy that Ford is using for the body panels is said to be MilSpec, but how will Ford dealers and third-party body shops handle aluminum repairs? So why is the F-150 a winner when the 200 is treated with trepidation? Because the 200 has a long way to go, while the F-150 is unlikely to give up its crown as America’s best-selling vehicle. It builds on the current F-150’s strengths, makes the GM pickups look a generation old andhas all kinds of toys and features you can gloat about to your neighbor. In typical Ford fashion, improvements like a 10-speed automatic and a 3.0L diesel V6 will debut within a couple years of launch. Ford bet big on this one, but I think it will pay off.

mustang

Hit – Ford Mustang: It had some corny faux-carbon fiber dash trim that looked like diamond plate. The rest of it was gorgeous.

2015-Honda-Fit

Hit- Honda Fit: A triumph of packaging that is wasted on Americans, who avoid small hatchbacks in the same way that French Presidents avoid monogamy. Honda seems allergic to building anything interesting these days, but at least they do functional well.

Lexus-RC-F-Coupe-Show-Floor-Main-Art

Hit-Lexus RC-F: Just as the competition moves to downsized, forced induction 6-cylinder engines, Lexus hits them with a big middle finger in the form of a 460-horsepower V8. Well played.

2015-Mercedes-Benz-GLA45-AMG-16

Hit By Pitch- Mercedes-Benz GLA45 AMG: In Leviticus, God calls the GLA45 “unclean” and “an abomination”, forbidding the priestly class from driving it. My brain recognizes that this is barely a crossover, rather it’s just a station wagon version of the CLA – but I despise that car with every fiber of my soul as well, though my inner cynic is happy to see M-B fleecing the terminally insecure with this Hungarian-built fugazi Mercedes.

mini-jcw-concept-main

Miss- MINI: Should be called the “Maxi”, because it’s bloody enormous.

Q50-Eau-Rouge-Concept-23

Miss – Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge: Apparently it will share some kind of forced induction engine with another partner, so we can assume it will be a blown Mercedes V6 or V8. Something better happen quickly, because right now, the Hybrid is the most exciting Q50, and that should never, ever be allowed to happen.

k900

Ground Rule Double- Kia K900: I think this car is really cool, in a geeky sort of way. It has as more reverse snob appeal than any car since the Volkswagen Phaeton, the interior on the show model was white leather with white wood trim that looked like Carrera marble, and the rear seat has an arm rest that folds down into the most elaborate control stack this side of an Audi A8. The major downsides to this: 1) white leather hasn’t been seen since the BMW 8-Series, and for good reason 2) that elaborate control stack means this is a car made to chauffer Korean chaebol bigwigs around, not one you drive yourself in 3) how does this fit with Kia’s brand in any way shape or form. It will do as well as the Equus if it’s lucky.

sti

Hit- Subaru WRX: I’m picking the WRX over the STI (shown above, because it’s a debut) because prior instrumented tests have shown that there’s very little daylight between the WRX and the STI in terms of quantitative performance data, and because I’m a grown man that has no desire to drive a car with a giant wing on the back. The new WRX is boring to some, but it reminds me of the UK-spec Impreza Turbo which had all of the go-fast goodies of the JDM WRX without any of the gaudy visual accouterments to tip off John Law or car thevies. The STI, shown above, looks like an Evo, devoid of the Diamond Star badge.

Toyota-FT-1-Concept-01-Main-Art

Miss- Toyota FT1 Concept: When faced with an outlandish claim or a promise unlikely to be kept, my grandfather would utter a Yiddish expression that loosely translates into “I’ll believe it when it’s in the palm of my hand”. And since this Toyota concept is both, I’ll be more inclined to buy into the “Akio Toyoda wants Toyota cars to be exciting” narrative when they actually get around to executing on this promise.

Passat-BlueMotion-Concept-04

Error – VW Passat BlueMotion: Where’s the crossover VW so badly needs?

2014-Porsche-911-Targa-Rear-Open

CAR OF THE SHOW – Porsche 911 Targa: Certain corners of the internet profess that this is too gaudy, too BRIC-oriented and in poor taste overall. I suspect they are the same people who insist that they like women to look “natural, without makeup”, and fret about the cost of fixing or replacing the roof mechanism. If this happens to be you, I suggest you look at a Honda Del Sol. The open targa roof means I’ll be able to feel the breeze blowing right where my hair used to be. Porsche Design mirror and razor blade are dealer installed accessories.

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199 Comments on “NAIAS 2014 Recap: TTAC Picks The Show’s Hits And Misses...”


  • avatar
    thornmark

    >>Foul Ball- Chrysler 200<<

    The 200 is more in competition with the Fusion, it will attract "domestic" buyers and the fleet/rental market. If it hits its EPA numbers it may not do so well as the Mazda6, Accord or Altima, but it will certainly do better than the Fusion which tests poorly real world, mpg-wise.
    http://www.autoweek.com/article/20130205/CARNEWS/130209889

    Government entities will no longer just look at the Fusion.

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      The current 200 already has no problem attracting the fleet/rental market. That IS the problem.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      The stated 35mpg highway is disappointing and on the low side of the competition. But it will be interesting to see real world figures and the annual cost difference between 35 and 38mpg is not that much.

      Will be interesting to sit in the 200 since the combined front and rear legroom is 79″ which is close to the competition, which typically is a combined 80″.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Regarding the rear seat room in the 200, I understand rear legroom was increased in comparison to the outgoing 200 model, if that’s any comparison.

  • avatar
    imag

    You’re right. There is no evidence that Akio Toyoda has done anything to make Toyota cars more exciting. Except possibly:

    – FT86
    – GS F-Sport
    – IS F-Sport
    – LS F-Sport (underrated because people worry too much about horsepower)
    – RC-F
    – Signed deal with BMW to co-build sports car
    – LFA
    – 24 hour of Le Mans racing
    – FT1 Concept

    The guy has only been CEO since 2009. What the heck do you expect?

    The FT1 has some of the most original styling of any new concept, and the deal is behind it to build it. Toyota has been pretty good about building production versions of their concepts (LF-CC, FT-86, LF-LC), so I am not sure why you would term it vaporware.

    • 0 avatar

      And none of those are sold under the Toyota brand, save for the 86 in world markets.

      • 0 avatar
        imag

        Cars are on a five to six year product cycle. It takes time for these things to get to market.

        He did okay the Sienna “S” version, something I would be thankful for if I had a family. The recent suspension tuning on the Camry, praised by Baruth, also bears evidence of his interest. I don’t think it is a reach to expect the next round of vehicles to be similarly improved.

        • 0 avatar

          I’ll believe it when I see it. On the other hand, my uncle’s Avalon Hybrid is as far from sporting as one can get, but it fulfills its promise (big comfortable car) quite well.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The (ugly) concept car is the proverbial toe in the water. Toyoda wants to build a Supra and a third car slotted beneath the 86, and the R&D is reportedly already underway.

            Toyota responded to the financial crisis and tsunami with extreme caution, probably to its detriment. As a consequence, it’s going to lag for a few years until it catches up.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            I feel this way about the upcoming NSX. Unlike Honda though, as dude mentioned the Toyota umbrella has been making good on its excitement promises. The GT-86 IS sold under the Toyota name, and in any case branding is more academic. They are all Toyotas.

            I do think this will get tamed down quite a bit, and I am a little worried about what the powerplant will be. I’m really hoping for an NA flat 6 for the base, but since this has half BMW who knows. In any case, still way more promising (and interesting) than the upcoming NSX

          • 0 avatar
            Kinosh

            Kindly Derek, I disagree. Don’t compare the current Avalon to some idealized “sportiness”. Compare it to the previous Avalon. Having driven dozens of 2012s and dozens of 2013s of every configuration, the 2013 is certainly more interesting from a drivings and aesthetics standpoint.

            Or perhaps I’ve just drank the Kool-Aid.

    • 0 avatar
      philadlj

      Jack said the Camry wasn’t bad around a track, either!

    • 0 avatar
      krayzie

      At least Toyota is rehashing their Fun To Drive motto. Toyota North America should have just used Scion as a dealer network name (like Netz and Vista in Japan), while keeping the cars badged as Toyotas. The Scion section on the dealership showroom floor is a joke compare to something like Area 86.

  • avatar
    cognoscenti

    Derek,

    Respectfully, may I ask why you are writing in past tense? Press Week is not even over, and the show has not opened for 99% of your readers. Reading “The show was…” is very odd from our perspective!

  • avatar

    I keep throwing money at the screen whenever I see an Elmiraj but nothing is happening!

  • avatar
    IHateCars

    I’m rooting for the TLX, not sure why…maybe because I still reminisce about my TL-S but I hope it does well because it does look good.

    That Caddy concept is very cool, LOVE the new ‘Stang as well as that new Lexus coupe….more I see it, the more I like it. I think the new 200 will do well, at least for a while since it seems to be radically different from the old one.

    Even though I’m a Ford truck guy, I really can’t get behind the new F-150 yet, because apart from the new headlights/grille and tailgate, everything inbetween looks just like the outgoing F-150….more an evolution than revolution…and not in a good way, IMO although the tech is impressive. Seriously, the new GM C/K1500 looks more current.
    Maybe I gotta see one in the flesh and I also wonder what the new Raptor will be like as I understand there will be a new one based on this platform…may convince me to get rid of my ’12 for a new one.

    As for the rest….meh.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      The revolution isn’t the looks but what’s underneath. As far as the Raptor goes, since you have the 6.2L in it, I would cling to it for dear life. The 2015 F150 Raptor specs haven’t been released, but it sounds like the 6.2L is gone in non SuperDuty F series products. Maybe they’ll bump up the Coyote like in the Mustang?

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        I was disappointed the limited edition Tremor didn’t get the 6.2L, at least as an option. It’s a beast of an engine.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Me too. In the limited quantities they are building that model, the 6.2L could have been an option. People would pay the premium for that engine, especially now that the 6.2L and Tremor are going away.

      • 0 avatar
        IHateCars

        “The revolution isn’t the looks but what’s underneath.”

        I get that, but IMO you need the eye candy to pull people in….not sure it’s there with the new one to tear them from their last gens. But we’ll see…

        I’m surprised the 6.2L is going away….that’s a fairly new engine.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          It’s not going away, yet anyway. It will still be the standard engine on the Super Duty trucks for the time being.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Yeah, 2010. CAFE is a bitch. It will still be in the SuperDuty trucks. I wish the Expedition came with the 5.0L, 6.2L, or the 6.7L diesel. It will have the 5.0 soon, but I am greedy. I’m interested to see what the specs will be on the Coyote, and if they make changes to it after a year or so.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      You’re rooting for the TLX for the same reason I am: because AS A CAR, it’s bound to be more usable than anything else here.

      The Subie will have no room and be uninsurable. Anything European will be unreliable. The 200 has no back seat. Everybody knows the TL is always a glorified Accord, and when it’s your money, that’s no bad thing. I just wish they’d brought back the rear quarter window treatment from the sainted 2004-08 generation and deep-sixed the damn beak.

  • avatar
    ablessin

    Hmmm… As someone who has owned two WRX’s (2004 and currently 2011), and has a 2007 Toyota Tacoma, I disagree on two of your points.

    WRX/STI — Miss! Seriously, no hatch!?!?!? Also other than possibly handling improvements, I still feel like they miss the boat on making it better it time around. That said, I usually come around to the at first fugly appearance 18 months into each cycle.

    Colorado/Canyon — Hit! In fact if they deliver on the Diesel, and it gets close to the 30MPG the South American trucks get, I’d call it a Grand Slam! We don’t all need huge trucks (I can even say that living in Montana and using it to pull trailers, carry dead animals, camp in, access tricky 4×4 trailheads with, etc.) and even if it isn’t truly a compact one from the 90’s it’s still smaller than the current round of full sizers. I would love to buy domestic, but there just hasn’t been a competitor to the Tacoma. (About a 7 year old design?) I can only dream of the choice of the real Ford Ranger, Hilux, etc. The first truck out there that comes close wins my money.

    • 0 avatar
      TheAnswerIsPolara

      whenever I hear “Canyon”, I see the Simpson’s “Canyonero”. I wonder how many others do that?

      Come on manufacturers, make s real small pickup. I’d love to see a this-millenium Ranger without all the macho-styling going on with the F150.

    • 0 avatar

      Bunta Fujiwara didn’t need a hatch on WRX, so pffffft. Go get a folks-wagon if you want a hatch.

      • 0 avatar
        Redshift

        Bunta had a coupe as I recall, which they also don’t offer.
        I’d take either body style over a sedan.
        (I love my ’12 WRX hatch.. it’s the ultimate all-weather commuter and large dog hauler.)

    • 0 avatar
      krayzie

      Why spend money to develop a hatch WRX STI when they can’t even win the 24 hours of Nurburgring with it. The sedan was proven to be a winner so all the better for marketing.

    • 0 avatar
      RSDeuce

      I just bought a new Tacoma, and will gladly trade it in for a Colorado/Canyon in a couple of years IF they come through in a huge way with the diesel and the bigger size isn’t a put-off. Yes, I want a smaller truck, my Tacoma just feels HUGE and I can’t even fathom driving a current full size. I have friends with full size pickups, and I find them to be laughably (and needlessly) big.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Holy cow! Is the Cadillac Elmiraj REALLY a pillarless hardtop?

    I’ll believe it when it goes into production and when I see all the windows rolled down! If it is, then finally GM has accomplished what it used to do best – out-design everybody else. I can see an Impala Sports Coupe in the future, dreaming, at least.

    Someone said the other day that there are no plans for a Chrysler 200 convertible. If that’s also true, then what will Chrysler offer the ragtop crowd like me?

  • avatar
    Flybrian

    Say what you want (or say nothing?) about the ATS coupe but it at least on a design perspective, IMO, is what a luxury coupe SHOULD be – restrained, refined elegance. My personal left-field underdog winner of the show.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      The ATS coupe is a much misunderstood car. While the press loves to call it a competitor to the A5 and 4 series that is clearly not the case as it is significantly smaller and cheaper. However, the ATS is a competitor to the 2 series, CLA and A3 and in that context it makes sense as, like the 2 series, it delivers the best of the corporate DNA in a smaller package, unlike the Mercedes and the Audi which are souped up economy cars.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        The intention is for the CTS to compete against the 5-series and for the ATS to compete against the 3/4 series, with the S-class/ 7-series rival supposedly in the works.

        • 0 avatar
          carguy

          Whatever the intention was is irrelevant – the reality of the market in terms of space and price is that the ATS is a CLA, A3 and 2 series competitor. That takes nothing away from the ATS – in fact I love my ATS sedan.

          Let me illustrate my point: Both the CLA and ATS are 182 inches long and are within an inch of each other in width and start at much the same price for the base model. The new C class is larger and I doubt you’ll be able to get an entry level model for $30K.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The CLA is longer than the current C-class. The CLA is not positioned identically to the A3 or 2-series — it’s a larger car than its peers, and the next C-class will also be larger than the current model.

            The upoming A3 sedan is just under 176 inches.

            Cadillac doesn’t have an equivalent to those cars. It began with the CTS, and is now trying to move that up the ladder into the 5-series position, with the ATS beneath it. But the competition hasn’t stopped moving, and is shifting from a three-tier to four-tier model ladder.

        • 0 avatar
          carguy

          @Pch101:
          Both the A3 and 2 series configurator tools are up at the Audo and BMW websites. When similarly configured they are within $1K of the Cadillac ATS.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      I agree, it’s a great looking car. I much prefer it over the previous CTS coupe which it essentially replaces.

  • avatar

    Where does the Corvette Z06 and C7.R fit in this baseball analogy? I found the overall presentation of the duo to be a strike-out, but what of the cars themselves?

    That said, it was rather prescient of GM to acknowledge what might happen to most of the Z06s in the decades to come by hauling it on a trailer, assuming they even leave the garage by then.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      I didn’t see the reveal just trying to get a picture of what you mean. Was the car delivered to the stage via a trailer or trailered to the hall?

      • 0 avatar

        Before the car enter the stage, it was hauled along a path to Cobo behind Chevy’s new Silverado with a parade of Corvettes following behind them, all of which was on the live stream on Chevy’s YouTube account. The Z06 was also still wearing its anti-spy photo clothes right up until one second upon reveal, though it looked like it was rushed out before the clothes had a chance to come off.

        From the parade to that point took 30 minutes to occur.

        What I would have liked to have seen was the Z06 driven in anger (and fully naked in all of its bright yellow glory) along said parade route, then roar onto the stage. Probably eight minutes from point to point if that had happened.

        • 0 avatar
          hubcap

          Took a look-see on YouTube and see what you mean. When you think about it, it’s kinda absurd.

          A parade or Corvettes being led by a Z06 on a trailer. I like your idea much better and if GM is worried about road grime use a different car for the reveal.

  • avatar
    Loser

    “For such big trucks on the outside, they are small on the inside.”

    That is what I said after seeing the pictures. Was hoping to be proven wrong.

  • avatar

    Great summary of the show! I’m also glad I’m not the only one who thought the rear of the 200 looked like an Impala/Genesis.

    Any thoughts on the Nissan Maxima concept? Does it look better in person? Is it a realistic Maxima replacement which might finally rid the car of its uber-Altima stigma?

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Another Maxima question: What platform will it be on? Revised version of the current Altima platform or revised version of the platform the Maxima is on now? Maybe they’ll borrow from a platform more closely related to the Infiniti sedan platforms?

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    The 200 is my last hope for a Chrysler car, after the disappointment of the Dart.

  • avatar
    NN

    I attended my own local auto show this past weekend, and although practically none of the new stuff you cover above was on display here, they did have a 2015 Tahoe on the floor. I sat in it and drew the same conclusion you did here…despite not liking pics of the front end at first, I thought it looked great up close…the squared off design is very strong and tank-like, the interior was spacious, comfortable and high-quality. It imparts a real “king of the road” feeling sitting in the driver’s seat. I want one for my family, and I think it’s going to be a huge hit for GM.

  • avatar
    Avatar77

    Regarding the VW Passat, you ask where VW’s crossover is – didn’t they also unveil the VW Crossblue 7-seat crossover at the NAIAS? That would seem to answer your question.

    Also typo in the Acura TLX paragraph – I think you meant “precisely.”

  • avatar

    I thought you were taller than 5’10”.

    Metric/English conversion issue?

  • avatar
    jco

    conviently, the Honda Del Sol had a complex automated targa roof mechanism. the US wasn’t allowed the option but it was regular production. very similar to the Porsche, but it was sold almost 20 years ago.

    Jalopnik is reporting that the Nissan IDX was confirmed for production. not a new show car, but that’s definitely news. probably the most exciting thing i’ve heard in a while. i am already contemplating being ready to buy one when it shows up, as I love RWD and the BR-S doesn’t quite do it for me. speaking of the seemingly expanding light RWD market, no mention of the Kia?

    I find it hard to take the Toyota concept seriously. The design screams “concept that will never make production”. and anyways, the RC-F looks to sit in the ‘Supra’ (edit: I would say it’s the new Soarer, which was basically a luxury Supra anyways) spot for now, and it will be sold. i’d see whatever this concept is ending up being a $100,000k GT-R -fighter when the GT-R barely sells even though it’s an incredible car.

    • 0 avatar

      Re: Del Sol. I have the brochure for the non-US market edition. My father tells me that the NAFTA-spec roof led to the car’s internal nickname of “Del Soak”, and you knew never to leave anything in the cabin for that reason.

      • 0 avatar
        jco

        video of trans top operation:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4LJAbGMnGM

        never heard about the leaks, though I can see how different these would be from the normal US version.

      • 0 avatar
        WhiskerDaVinci

        My mother bought a Del Sol, brand new in ’94, and it leaked almost immediately haha. My parents tried to get it fixed several times, but never could get it sealed all the way at the dealership. They finally just shrugged and stuck a towel in the car for when it was raining/snowing.

        She still has it though. I’m pretty sure she’d be buried in it if it were possible. I’ve never seen a person more in love with their car.

  • avatar
    juicy sushi

    I think I would agree with most of your sentiments Derek, but do wonder about the 2-series. Unless the steering is also an improvement on the F30, it won’t be worth looking at.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      BMW is rapidly improving the steering across the board. Recent Roundel had a review of a 320i which said the steering was noticeably heavier than in the early cars. An early account of the 2-series said much the same. It IS possibly for a company to change things, you know, but it does take time for the changes to make their way into production.

      That said, I have driven several F3X cars now and the steering doesn’t bother me at all. It IS much lighter, but it is also just fine in accuracy. I think the e9X steering is heavy for the sake of being heavy, and lighter effort would not hurt the car at all. I think a lot of feel gets lost in the syrup.

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        With EPS, can you have the dealer reprogram the steering if you have an earlier revision? Or maybe if you buy a later car but think you might like light and numb steering, roll back the EPS programming?

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    “I fear that we’re entering the second Malaise era”

    Say it ain’t so… I hope you’re wrong,but I don’t think you are *sigh*

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      We’re living in an era when the average new vehicle sold in the US has over 200 hp, and when a six-cylinder Accord is quicker than what a older 911 can deliver.

      In many respects, we’ve never had it better.

      • 0 avatar
        jhefner

        Not to mention reliability as a whole has never been better. Car styling has evened out again since the transistion to smaller, FWD jelly bean cars in the 1980s, and the range of cars being offered is smaller (fewer wagons, sports cars, etc.), so that is the only area it could even be considered a “Malaise era.”

        • 0 avatar
          George B

          Unfortunately I expect reliability to take a hit. Engines with direct injection have potential problems with valve deposits and high pressure fuel pumps. Turbochargers add thermal issues and another point of failure. Automatic transmissions have become more complex with more gear ratios crammed into the same volume.

      • 0 avatar
        pragmatist

        You seem to assume that things won’t go backward. Last malaise they went backward BIGTIME from the glorious machines of the late 60s and very early 70s to slow, unreliable pigs.

        But WILL the average vehicle still have 200+ 5 years from now?

        Will there even be a 6 cylinder Accord 5 years from now?

        My bets is we’ll be seeing a world of 3 cylinder cars with deactivation, no less.

        [this is already on the horizon. According to preliminary information, the Chrysler 200 will only offer 6 cylinder in certain high end models, not available across the line. The reason, quite apparently, is that CAFE regulations have the effect of rationing. The noose begins to tighten.]

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          During the 70s, the country was basically in a cold war with OPEC, which could have turned into a hot war if things got worse. There was a desperate desire to save oil for the sake of national survival.

          That pressure is gone. OPEC is weaker, the US is reducing its dependency on imported oil, and international oil exchanges help to keep OPEC in check. It won’t kill you to have cylinder deactivation and a start-stop system on your car that is faster and safer than just about anything sold during the 60s.

          • 0 avatar
            MPAVictoria

            Pretty much this.

          • 0 avatar
            pragmatist

            The problem then, and moreso now is NOT OPEC. It’s not fuel prices. It’s EPA that’s driving this malaise. (EPA had a LOT to do with the last one too, I would argue regulations FAR more than OPEC because the OPEC ‘crisis’ ended quickly but EPA regulations still strangled cars for decades.

            They have again invoked a sliding scale of mileage rules that cannot be met without drastic curtailing of performance.

            I’m not sure how old you are, but I was already driving for several years when all this hit. The great muscle cars became caricatures of their former selves: same nameplate, sometimes ‘same’ engine but eviscerated performance and reliability. Tragic jokes. The funny thing is looking back over the advertising where manufacturers pretended there never was a muscle car era (reminiscent of the modified history in 1984). They kept advertising the weak sluggish jokes as if they were the hottest cars ever.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Yeah, when I see all of these Mustang GTs, 911s, Camaros, M-badged BMWs, Corvettes, Challengers, V8 pickups, and V6 Camrys that are quicker than a Ferrari 308, the first thing that comes to my mind is how underpowered cars are today.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “They have again invoked a sliding scale of mileage rules that cannot be met without drastic curtailing of performance.”

            The big difference between when CAFE was implemented in 1975 and now, is that prior to the arrival of CAFE, automakers had little to no experience in considering emissons requirements when designing their cars. They had to scramble to reduce emissions by any means necessary in a short amount of time to meet the targets which unfortunately meant killing compression ratios and fitting underdevelopped control equipment to vehicles at the expense of power output.

            This time around, automakers have a much better idea of how to take on these challenges without sacrificing the power customers want. Not that I support CAFE rules in any way, I think they’re wronghanded, but that’s how I see it playing out this time, not much suffering in performance. Cost and safety however, that’s a different story.

        • 0 avatar
          mike978

          Honda only has the V6 on “high end” models. That is normal. If people want to spend $27K+ to get a V6 200S or C model then they can, nothing to do with CAFE.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Motors should really be independent of trim packages. I could see in a barebones base model an I4/auto being the only choice, or if you want AWD you must get X engine because of how it is designed, but you should start getting drivetrain options in mid trim and this practice is sadly being eliminated. I think it’s motivated by selling the customer things he doesn’t want/need which also helps keep the overall options mfg cost down. So in today’s market I walk into a Chrysler dealer wanting the mid trim 200 but I want a FWD V6 (which is something I would do). They will probably force me into the top trim (“C” I believe for FWD, “S” for AWD) and with the top trim I’ll be forced to buy leather/heated seats and navigation. I may not want leather (a surprising number of people don’t) and I as a customer don’t want to shell out dime one for integrated “navigation”. Funny thing is, in the early 90s I learned how to read these things called maps, but its screw you you’re paying for it because by forcing it into the trim package you are guaranteed a certain number of sales vs it being a la carte and your OEM runs the risk of losing money on the option.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Because I love maps, I like Nav. Its an 8″ moving map in my dashboard! I hardly use it for directions, but I do use it on long trips for time/distance left. I always want to beat the Nav.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            I can understand why you and others want engines and spec level to be independent but as you say manufacturers want more efficient manufacturing and limit options.

            In the case of the 200 both the S and C V6 models are FWD. AWD is an option on both of them. So you are looking tat $27.5K for a FWD S V6.
            Honda, Nissan and Toyota do the same with their V6 offerings.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “Motors should really be independent of trim packages.”

            It’s more profitable to bundle them together.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            RE: Beating the nav. Yes! I do this. I always want to see how far down I can shave that time from the original ETA. I give an original guesstimate, and then revise as few times as possible.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        In 2005 Top Gear tested these, things have dramatically changed since the “good old days” “Clarkson returns to the 1960s to define cool with the Aston Martin DB5 and a Jaguar E-type. In standard, antique form they are terrible to drive, unreliable, extremely expensive, and slower in a drag race than a 2.4 litre Honda Accord”

    • 0 avatar
      drylbrg

      When Corvettes have 150hp again we can talk about it being a second malaise. I don’t know if you guys are old enough to remember the first one, but this doesn’t look like it to me.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      I think it’s pretty obvious He’s referring to styling and maybe offerings.
      Personal opinion is being injected if you think he’s implying power output or reliability in his statement.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        “I think it’s pretty obvious He’s referring to styling and maybe offerings.”

        That’s what I think he means, because of all the safety that needs to be built into cars it leaves very little room for creative design

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      Only someone who never lived/suffered through the first Malaise Era would think that these new model introductions signal the start of Malaise Era 2.0.

      The common taillight design on the Chrysler, Hyundai and Chevrolet are the result of a lack of design inspiration among the parent companies. They are hardly the harbinger of a new Malaise Era.

  • avatar
    hubcap

    Agree with most but here are my sticking points.

    1. Toyota FT1 Concept- Love it. Toyota wants to slot a Supra above the FRS and hopefully it will be a variation of this car motivated by a FI inline six.

    2. 2 Series- has potential. Kinda bland looking but hopefully its performance atones.

    3. TLX- Looks good to me. Hopefully next year they’ll release a 6MT option for the V-6 SH-AWD version.

    4. Colorado- Like it. Haven’t sampled its innards but will check it out at my local car show. What I really want to see is a 6MT available throughout the range.

  • avatar
    Featherston

    “Winner – Chevrolet SS: Some complain that ‘It looks like a Malibu’. I say ‘That’s the point’. Make mine in taupe or pea soup green or some awful shade fit for the Hertz lot.”

    Hear, hear. On that note, belated kudos to Buick for not slapping a gaudy body kit on the Verano Turbo. (Yes, I realize the SS is not an SS version of the Malibu – just praising more restrained styling.)

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “Chevrolet SS: Some complain that ‘It looks like a Malibu’. I say ‘That’s the point’.”

      Ah so the point is to deliver a capable product in the guise of a lackluster one, glad that was cleared up. They really do not want to sell this do they? Get ‘em while they’re available.

      Circa 2007:

      “Two years ago, GM cancelled domestic development of the Zeta platform, just at the point that the decision to produce it would have to have been made.

      At the time, the story was that GM’s management had decided that the Zeta platform, as designed, was simply too expensive”

      http://www.topspeed.com/cars/car-news/is-gm-s-zeta-platform-in-money-trouble-ar43454.html

  • avatar
    Ion

    The TLX is the best looking new Japanese car at the show. If the transmissions don’t self destruct they’ll sell millions.

  • avatar
    Tuce

    The M3 color is not Laguna Seca but rather a new color called Yas Marina Blue.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    No article with real pics of the GMTK2xxx SUVs?

    I was also rather dissapointed, overal monotony is boring.

    Also the ford in that picture looks like a Chinese copycat.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      EDIT: also just found the K2 SUVs are getting rediculous price jumps…

      No more cheap base trucks, the new Tahoe starts at 45k.

      So now an entire segment has been abandoned.

      There are no longer entry level full size SUVs

      • 0 avatar
        whynot

        You obviously haven’t been paying attention to the price of these things in a while- the GMT900 Tahoe starts at $43,600. It only got a $1000 price jump.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          Local GMC dealer loaned my wife a demo Yukon from the last generation while her car was in for service. This “professional grade” GMC with vinyl/rubber floor, two rows of cloth covered seats, 4×4 and integral tie down points in the hatch area sticker-ed at $35,000.

          That was the most base model offered to the public.

          Cheap basic BOF SUV hasn’t been a reality for many years.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          Try pricing those as people would actually buy them. 2014 Tahoe LTZ $55,750, 2015 Tahoe LTZ $60,785 BIG difference

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Chevrolet SS: Some complain that ‘It looks like a Malibu’. I say ‘That’s the point’.”

    Ah so the point is to deliver a capable product in the guise of a lackluster one, glad that was cleared up. They really do not want to sell this do they? Get ‘em while they’re available.

    Circa 2007:

    “Two years ago, GM cancelled domestic development of the Zeta platform, just at the point that the decision to produce it would have to have been made.

    At the time, the story was that GM’s management had decided that the Zeta platform, as designed, was simply too expensive”

    http://www.topspeed.com/cars/car-news/is-gm-s-zeta-platform-in-money-trouble-ar43454.html

  • avatar
    vb9594

    “Honda seems allergic to building anything interesting these days.” What? Have you driven the new Accord V6 Coupe with the 6 MT? Honda’s engineers had a great time with this car. I own one…it ain’t perfect, but it’s definitely interesting.

    • 0 avatar
      ciscokidinsf

      Really thinking about getting one too. However, Newish ones are stickered at close to $30K (WTF?) and that’s big coin for me. Thoughts? (currently have an e46 330CI couple 5MT)

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        I think Mustang is the answer you are looking for.

        I’m not sure how tight the back seat in an Accord coupe is, but if your current car is an E46 330CI, I’m guessing you don’t care all that much.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Canyon—Really big miss. Why? To gaudy. Trying to appeal to the would be if I could be set.

    Colorado—Really big hit. Why? Attractive package/refined. Will threat some full size trucks and full size/mid size SUVs/CUVs. This will be the surpise pickup of the future, at least until the new Hilux/Taco, Navara/Frontier arrive.

    Same truck with two different targets.

    These two new trucks will take a little time to gain traction in your market. Word of mouth and a good marketing strategy will help.

    These trucks are refined. Something that has been lacking in the US pickup/SUV market. Main competition will be to people who wanted a decent pickup but only had full size pickup to choose from.

    Your current mid sizers are quite average in offering refinement and overall performance.

    @Derek Kreindler,
    Small? Well externally I think they are smaller than a full size. If you want a larger pickup then buy a full size.

    But for the average family of two adults and 1.? kids it will suffice. It can even tow 6 800lbs. The diesel will be the clincher. I think the average US consumer is ready for the diesel ‘transition’ to increase.

    I think you will be surprised by these new pickups. Maybe you should come down to Australia and test drive the Amarok, Ranger, BT50. The Dmax/Colorado are not in the same league as the Colorado we get. But from the sounds of it Chev (GM) has identified these problems, ie, the Colorado now has rack and pinion steering, interior upgraded, even the US Colorado has an attractive style.

    I just hope US build quality is okay.

    Chev is onto a winner here.

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      “These trucks are refined. Something that has been lacking in the US pickup/SUV market. Main competition will be to people who wanted a decent pickup but only had full size pickup to choose from.”

      I don’t know what gave you the impression that the big 3’s full size pickups are not “refined.”

      Pricing is going to be the main factor that determines their success. If it is too close to the full size people are just going to go with the Silverado/Sierra.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @whynot
        I stated ‘these trucks’, these trucks are mid size I thought. I was referring to mid size trucks, hence my comment if you guys wanted a more refined truck you had to buy a full size.

        As for pricing, well how much will a aluminium F-150 cost. How much is a Ram, Pentastar, 8spd, shuttered, VG suspension? $27 000.

        That is the direction of the US full size trucks. US full size trucks will be available, but to people with a higher income. Sort of eroding the American Dream ever so slowly.

        Midsizers will become more attractive over the next few years. This will be due to cost and refinement.

        I think GM has made a wise first move.

        These trucks will steal sales from all over, not many from each segment, but enough to give them a reasonable total.

        • 0 avatar
          Carlson Fan

          I agree. People on this site should be smart enough to realize the market is always changing. When I was in high school 2DR personal luxury coupes like my ’81 Olds Cutllass were everywhere. How many cars like that roam the roads today? At one point GMs plant in Janesville, WI where our Tahoe was put together couldn’t build ther fullsize SUVs fast enough. That plant has been closed due to customer demand or lack of.

          So anyone that thinks there is no chance for a market to evolve for these midsize trucks is kidding themselves. I’m sure GM did plenty of research before making the investment with thess trucks to make sure there is a market for them. Here is a guy right here that might jump from fullsize truck to one of these.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “So anyone that thinks there is no chance for a market to evolve for these midsize trucks is kidding themselves.”

            The market for midsize trucks closely resembles that of your 1981 Olds Cutlass coupe. The bottom has fallen out of it, and Toyota owns most of what’s left of it.

            “I’m sure GM did plenty of research before making the investment with thess trucks to make sure there is a market for them.”

            This is the same GM that just blew it with the Malibu, a car that actually matters.

            GM is better than what it was, but it doesn’t fire on all cylinders, either. Ford is a better managed company, while GM still chases market share for the sake of it.

          • 0 avatar
            Ihatejalops

            Toyota did a lot of research on the Tundra, and it’s 4th, maybe 5th on the sales chart. I am not sure research matters.

            Since when has GM been in the business of making things people want? I mean they fired the only guy that tried to make GM look somewhat cool.

          • 0 avatar
            Carlson Fan

            So you took the time to do an in depth market analysis to come up with the conclusion that the midsize market is dead with no chance for growth? I doubt it, but I can guarantee you people at GM did. But you want to dismiss their reasearch based on the premise that because they have made some bad decisions in the past that there is no way they could have gotten this right.

            And your other assertion is that the fullsize crew cab PU market will continue to grow and flourish forever. I’ m sure you’ve seen a PLC curve, that’s basic marketing 101. Just like personal luxury coupes and fullsize BOF SUVs, sales of fullsize PUs will diminish. Yes I suspect there will always be a market for these but at some point the masses will go somewhere else. The question is where will they go next?

            My last 3 purchased have been fullsize trucks, bought specifically for towing my toys. I started with a compact Toyota PU. If I could be convinced to step into one of these versus another fullsize, why not others? Especially considering how garish and stupidly big trucks like the new F150 are. Offer it with a nice little I4 diesel and now it really looks attractive.

            To my knowledge no one has offered a midsize in the US as good as these new GM trucks appear to be. So comparing them to the current Tacoma for example is really an apple to oranges discussion. I can’t say for sure they’ll be a success with any more certainty than you can predict they’ll be a failure. I think the market right is ripe for change and I suspect GM feels the same way.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “So you took the time to do an in depth market analysis to come up with the conclusion that the midsize market is dead with no chance for growth?”

            Fortunately, I didn’t have to. There are credible research firms that are forecasting 50-60k units for the first year, which is pretty unimpressive for a low-priced vehicle that doesn’t offer platform sharing opportunities that could mitigate the cost.

            Then again, it’s better than something such as the Regal, which is also falling off of a cliff after modest beginnings.

            Ford and Chrysler do a better job with these things, and they’re doing the smart thing by staying away from it. Unless GM thinks that it can sell a bunch of these in Mexico or it can improve the efficiency of the Wentzville plant, I’m not seeing the point, either.

            “If I could be convinced to step into one of these versus another fullsize, why not others?”

            Market research suggests that few full size owners are inclined to downsize.

            In any case, this misses the point. The issue isn’t fullsize vs. midsize, but profits with the midsize vs. profits without. The business case with midsizes has to be justified with the marginal benefit, and there isn’t benefit gained by serving a small market that doesn’t want to pay high prices for a specialized vehicle. It’s more lucrative for the domestics to ignore them; Toyota already owns most of the diehards.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            And the first person to respond to that comment is one of them. He refuses to even consider the possibility that the market can change, despite all the times it has already changed.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            You know, Pch101, there’s something to be said about Market Share. Some companies simply don’t give a hoot about market share and hold well under 50% of their respective markets–yet bring in 80% of the profits. Why is that?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            If fanboys ran car companies, we’d have a lot more bankruptcies.

            I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve personally reached my quota of bailing out failed automakers.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Vulpine
            ” He refuses to even consider the possibility that the market can change, despite all the times it has already changed”

            It is the process of changing now. I think a few people here will not acknowledge that fact.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @RobertRyan
            Pch101 can be cornered quite easily. He will get to a point when you ask for proof he will state my word is good enough. Sort of egocentric.

            He makes many claims. Many of the US blogger that are pickup fanboi’s have never encountered a vehicle like my BT50GT. Maybe they should google it and look at what it has. I’m not talking bling either, I’m talking performance enhancing features. It might make some of their 4×4 full size trucks look dated.

            The problem is they only have the Taco and Frontier to use as a benchmark. They consider what they have is the best and what we have outside of the US must be inferior, I don’t know why.

            Maybe they should look at it this way. Comparing our new gen midsizers with the Taco/Frontier is like an American comparing a 90s full size to a 2013 full size.

            The Colorado will take sales away from large to medium SUVs/CUVs/pickups.

            Chalk and Cheese.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @BAF0 – There’s nothing spectacular about a Mazda truck. Mazda sold them here before and no doubt, put off by how Americans treat the small truck market. We abused the privilege.

          It wasn’t just about declining sales. It wasn’t just about cannibalizing, cheap to build, high margin, FWD cars for an expensive to build, low volume BOF loser. It was all about the fleet, bottom feeders and rebate demanding cheapskates that still gives Mazda and other small truck OEMs, like Ford, Chrysler, Isuzu, nightmares.

          A Mazda truck wouldn’t set the small truck market on fire, in America. It would be nice to have one more small truck alternative. But what incentive/motivation would Mazda have? I’ll bet they can think of better ways to shoot themselves in the foot.

          The price of full-size trucks isn’t going to dramatically increase. Especially when talking standard equipment, like aluminum body panels will be. And a 10 speed trans may be. A few years ago, 6 speed transmissions were revolutionary for trucks, but there was no price increase for them.

          But you somehow imagine small trucks are in direct competition with fullsizers. For a few buyers, perhaps, but they could easily be talked into an SUV, Nissan Cube, Honda Fit or Ridgeline instead.

          And any consumer looking specifically for a small BOF truck, won’t be put off by the Frontier or Tacoma. Or the Colorado/Canyon, for that matter. Great trucks in their own right. Anything you think they lack, consumers don’t need. And aren’t going to run into the arms of full-size truck salesmen because of it.

          A luxury, high end BT50GTS would get laughed out of the market. We don’t look at small trucks that way. Why not a Lexus pickup based on the Tacoma? When truck buyers, even traditional small truck buyers, think of stepping up to a high end truck, they don’t think small.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            And DM just proved your point, Big Al. He knows what HE likes and he knows what his FRIENDS like, but he really doesn’t know what people who WANT a smaller truck will like.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DiM
            You are forgetting one thing.

            Your full size trucks have evolved into a ‘SUV with a balcony’. Remember, that is how you described them. That is your definition of a full size pickup.

            How many midsize SUVs can be replaced by a refined mid size pickup. If a full size can replace a large SUV, why can’t a mid size, if they have the same level of refinement as a full size?

            You and Pch101 are scared of the new breed of global midsizers, why? Especially the new ones. You two have yet to provide a logical reason for your opinions. Both of you have ever only provided proof on outdated data or it’s anecdotal.

            How do they present themselves as a threat to the American way of life.

            They are far more capable than any full size half ton from the 90s and are comparable in many ways or even exceed some of the attributes of current full size pickups.

            What I find odd is I have experienced both vehicles. You have only experienced full size pickups and your outdated midsizers.

            Who would be best to provide a comparison. You or me?

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            You again changed the tact and direction of previous debates regarding pickups.

            You stated that a full size is a SUV with a balcony.

            That infers that the US full size pickup is a SUV alternative.

            Why not have a mid size SUV alternative. The Colorado will provide this. The Taco could never be a Lexus. The Taco is old. Why don’t you build a Lincoln on an old Ranger chassis, makes as much sense.

            Toyota do build a body on frame mid size Lexus. The Taco is only good enough for a Surf. We don’t have them anymore. Our mid size Toyota SUV mid sizers are built on the same frame as your mid size Lexus SUV.

            This should illustrate how our new midsizers are. As they are buying these over the Toyota mid size SUV’s. Just like the US with a full size replacing full size SUVs.

            Again, you are showing your lack of knowledge.

            Why do you try and compare a mid size to a full size when it suits you.

            You can do better than that.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAF0 – That’s a good theory and all, but American consumers largely left the small truck market for small and mid-size SUVs and other car segments when the mini-truck craze/fad/invasion hit the skids. I guess they could come back, but we’re not talking ‘swallows’ or Capistrano.

            I was referring to the Chevy Avalanche when I said “SUVs with a balcony”. It’s not so much a real 1/2 ton pickup, as GM tried to classify it.

            But for the small truck market to come back in any kind of meaningful way, lots of things would have to change. 1st, American consumers were never big fans of small trucks to begin with. But the energy crisis happened as well as the oil embargo, plus CAFE. It was mini-trucks to the rescue. Their great fuel economy, cut-rate pricing and Japanese quality/reliability really hit the spot. Especially with Baby Boomers that were in their prime, new car buying years. Did I mention cut-rate pricing? Look at all the trends that ended shortly before or around the same time. Molester/custom/surfer vans were out. Same with Muscle cars and big full-size cars and barge-like coupes. New mini-trucks were pretty irresistible.

            Today, American new car buyers are offered too many better choices. Around $21,000 will be the new starting price for (forced extra cab) small trucks that are just 2-seaters. That’s getting too close to Camry prices. And full-size truck prices. Small trucks need to know their place. Some would say that’s the ’80s.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DiM
            You are the one who stated that Mongolian firefighters and first responders drive Maserati’s!

            Your argument regarding the Chilean school teachers my be correct, but I think the aquarium keeper might win their pay case.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAF0 – You’ve officially gone off the rails, Crazy Train…

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DiM
            Oh, I thought my comment was as sincere as yours.

            Makes as much sense;)

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAF0 – That’s EXACTLY my point!!!

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Denver Mike: So many assumptions, even AFTER you’ve been proven wrong so many times. It’s not that American consumers “largely left the small truck market” as it is the small truck market left the consumers. The evidence of this is the fact that the vast majority of SUVs/CUVs on the American market right now are mid-sized, not full-sized. The average car and SUV today is no larger than 3/4ths that of the average 40 years ago while today’s trucks are 20% LARGER than pickups 40 years ago. Most of that size difference is in front of the bed, but some is in height and width as well. American full-sized trucks have continued to grow while every other platform has shrunk.

            Today’s muscle cars are significantly more powerful than those of the ’60s while on the average more compact and more agile than their ancestors–though admittedly they’ve grown somewhat since the ’80s when they were shrunk down to baby size for economy and emissions purposes.

            No, today’s American new car buyer–or rather new TRUCK buyer isn’t “offered too many better choices.” They’re offered BIGGER choices with only two currently sub-standard compact choices that both are in need of updating more to improve their economy than for any luxury or appearances.

            Oh, and you REALLY shot yourself in the foot with that last comeback. You just openly admitted that you are totally insincere about all your arguments.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Still too big for both of them. The most popular truck among people I KNOW (vs all those I’ve never met) is the less-than-mid-sized Frontier, Tacoma, S-10 and older Ranger. Yes, I do see hundreds of full-sized trucks every day and the vast majority of them are less than 10 years old.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @Vulpine – So according to you, “The small truck market left the consumers”??? Why would they do that?

        Was that at the height of the ’80s mini-truck craze/fad/invasion that small truck OEMs decided to pull the plug on hot selling small trucks??? What was the reason?

        If most SUV/CUV buyers prefer mid-size, what does that prove? Are you saying they would mostly chose mid-size trucks if they switched to trucks? And all they need is better mid-size truck choices and they would mostly abandon their SUVs/CUVs and jump on them???

        First, there’s nothing amazing about global pickups. Especially Proton, Mahindra, Tata and Ssangyong. And what’s the difference between a Mazda BT50 and Ford Ranger vs a “sub standard/outdated” Tacoma or Frontier?

        When the Colorado/Canyon hit the market, we should see the SUV/CUV market start to collapse on itself, right?

        OEMs like Ford, Chrysler, Mitsu, Mazda, Isuzu, VW and Subaru left the American small truck market for a very good reason. Other than they were selling too many (hard loaded) trucks. I don’t see a reason to come back for more torture. Or to cannibalize their highly profitable and cheaply built, FWD/AWD unibody vehicles. Including SUVs/CUVs.

        Maybe you know better than them. Maybe you should start by buying a Frontier/Tacoma/Colorado/Canyon to prove your solidarity to the segment. That would get global pickup OEM’s attention. But look at how many bloggers promised to buy small brown stick-shift diesel station wagons…

        They may love the idea, but when it comes down to it, their hands can’t reach their wallets. It’s called “T-Rex Syndrome”.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          @DM: I’ve answered all your questions innumerable times both here and on PUTC; you just flat refuse to even consider the possibility that ANYBODY wants truly compact trucks despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary–which has already been discussed.

          Today’s pickup trucks are simply too big and too expensive for the AVERAGE driver; that’s why pickup trucks are not the most popular TYPE of vehicle in this country. 80% of the American market is taken up with vehicles that get 50% better economy, are almost 25% smaller and 25% cheaper. Almost half of this 80% is made up of mid-sized or smaller SUV/CUVs.

          Why are pickup trucks so big? Why does a half-ton load capacity mean you need a 20-foot-long RoadWhale™? That ’83 Mitsubishi I used to own gave me an easy 800# load capacity almost a full 5 feet shorter and 2,000# lighter than today’s average full size; and it wasn’t a “stripper”.

          I’ll tell you: Because the CAFE rules gave manufacturers an ‘out’ for not improving economy by letting BIG vehicles get away with worse relative economy than smaller ones. There is no reason for a ½ ton pickup truck to be even close to the size of a Class 5 commercial truck. No reason at all. The new Colorado/Canyon pretty much proves this, though in my opinion it’s still too big.

          Will it be a big seller? I don’t know. I admit I don’t know. However, I suspect that if its economy is enough better–reaching that 30mpg highway mileage that’s still out of reach of the bigger, heavier trucks–we COULD see a migration out of mid-sized SUVs for these more compact trucks. If THAT happens, we are likely to see another reduction in size in about 5 years along with even more popularity. The full sized truck would then revert to what it’s supposed to be–a working, Class 5 vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      I think when that 4 cylinder turbo diesel is offered in the new GM midsize trucks, they won’t he able to build them fast enough. Provided the price, mileage and tow rating are where they need to be. People that buy trucks like me for towing will be all over these things like bees on honey. Heck I may even trade in my ’07 Tahoe for one in 2-3 years. As much as I like the idea the new Ram 1/2 ton diesel I’d much rather have this truck for it’s size and simplicty of an I4 over a V6. Hell I’d love that I4 diesel under the hood of my current Tahoe. That would be the ultimate family mans towing rig!

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    I was really hoping the Colorado would be smaller than the author describes. His description of the interior implies a much smaller vehicle on the outside, which he claims is no smaller than a 20-year-old full size. If this is true, then GM made a HUGE mistake by simply making it too big–again! There is an entire class of buyers that want SMALLER, not larger. Sure, that class may not be as large as the full-size market, but right now they’re stuck with crossovers and compact SUVs. THAT market seems pretty large right now.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      Is a 2WD Tacoma regular cab with without the Prerunner package (fender flares, increased ride height) really “too big” for you? I’m not a large guy… 5’8″, 150lbs… but the interior of my dad’s 2nd gen Tacoma is not large by any means. The interior pretty well fits a small guy like myself. Bigger people will be uncomfortable. I can’t see them shrinking the cabin of the Tacoma any smaller. Once you ditch the flares, the tall ride height, and the extended or double cab, you are left with a truck that is 1″ longer and 1″ wider than a Camry. I don’t see where you have opportunity to shrink and still have a business case. That truck tips the scales at 3300lbs… which is the same as a Chevy Cruze. It isn’t a heavyweight like the 5000lb full sizers. More care when doing the aerodynamics and more modern powertrains will do far more for the efficiency than just downsizing the actual vehicle.

      I think you are in the brown, manual, diesel, RWD wagon contingent with this one. There isn’t a market for an 80s minitruck these days.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        Any 70’s/80’s sized minitruck in the future will end up being a FWD car platform if it wants to have any decent MPG while standing up to current emissions requirements.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Actually, there is a market for “mini trucks”, it’s just that nobody wants to acknowledge it.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Based on the OP’s description, the new Canyon/Colorado is significantly larger than the Tacoma. I’ve driven a ’13 standard cab Tacoma and the size is almost perfect for me–though I prefer the extended cab. It doesn’t stand too tall (I can actually sit DOWN into it), it’s not too long and it’s not too wide. There’s just one problem; It’s still Japanese–even if it is “made in America.” Sure, the cost of assembly is getting paid to American and/or Mexican workers, but the profits are going to Japan. I want an American compact pickup truck for light-duty purposes. I won’t be hauling a metric ton of cargo, though by bulk it does get fairly large. I won’t be towing a 7500# travel trailer–probably not even a 5000# one. I NEED enough room to carry two-dozen 8′ long event tables and similar loads about 4 times per year and other DIY materials other times. Today’s full sized trucks are simply too large, too heavy and too costly for my purposes.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          You could always buy a Transit Connect, Nissan NV, or RAM ProMaster City and cut the van part off. Instant truck!

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I’m trying to save money, not spend money. The TC would cost almost as much as the Colorado (I expect) and then I’d have to spend almost that much more to convert it. Not worth the time or the expense for such a one-off vehicle.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            You are right, its not worth it at all.

        • 0 avatar
          Quentin

          I guess that really depends if the Colorado/Canyon come in a non-lifted, non-flared version. It sounds like you are looking for the midsize work truck grade like the base Tacomas. I figure that GM will offer that version because that is a big fleet market. That isn’t something they usually roll out at the auto shows, though. I’d let them actually release all the trims/specs/etc before writing them off.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I would be reasonably satisfied with the Taco SR5 Double Cab (vs CrewMax). But only if the Canyon/Colorado are as big as I now suspect.

      • 0 avatar
        RSDeuce

        I just bought a new Tacoma, am 6’4″ and would love it if that truck was the same size as the previous gen. The biggest thing keeping me from buying it was the possibility of picking up a 2004 Taco with super low miles.

        I am sad that the Colorado/Canyon is as large as described here, but would still consider trading in my Taco in a few years if that 4-Cyl diesel is as good as promised.

        Toyota leads the segment, so they get my money now but if there was a smaller but still modern truck I would have been all over it. The current Tacoma is within an inch or so in every direction as the first-gen Tundra!

        • 0 avatar
          Quentin

          According to cars.com, the ’06 Tundra double cab, short bed is 9″ longer, 5″ wider, and 4″ taller than a ’14 Tacoma double cab, long bed (biggest, longest Tacoma configuration). The bed length of the Tundra is ~1″ longer. Even in the most comparable configuration, the Tacoma is substantially smaller than the Tundra.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    Worthy of note for me (but neither evolutionary nor revolutionary) was the Scion Monogram Series Tc. Just adds leather and keyless to the regular car.

    That little touch of luxury, as well as the lower price of entry, Will make it that much harder to choose between a TC and an Accord Coupe in 2015.

    I just hope I can get it in blue or white…

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    What’s Infiniti thinking with the Q50? Forced induction Mercedes engine? Aren’t Nissan’s engines some of the best part of their cars?

    “Oh look Honey, Japanese styling with German reliability.”

    I christen thee the “Crossfire Sedan”. And remeber that the remaining surviving Crossfires – Chrysler techs are too clueless to work on the 12 spark plug V6 and Mercedes dealer techs won’t talk to you if you own one.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      If they stuck the GT-R drivetrain into that body, I don’t think anyone would complain, and it would make a suitable 20th anniversary present for the Nismo R33.

  • avatar
    Z71_Silvy

    The F150 is NOT the world’s best selling vehicle.

    Second, the introduction of the Ford Tundra (minus the looks and capability) is about as ground breaking as the Aztek introduction….maybe even less so.

    700 pounds off the heaviest model isa drop in the bucket and the 2.7 Egoboost is yet another high-strung, gas guzzling problematic engine that will not come anywhere close to the Ford advertised mileage.

    The only significance of the F1Tundra introduction is how incompetent Ford really is.

  • avatar
    Monty

    Grand Slam Home Run- Cadillac Elmiraj: TAKE MY MONEY NOW

    Are you my wife?

    If I brought an Elmiraj home, I’d “get some” for the rest of my life.

  • avatar

    I enjoyed this overview although I missed a comment on the Kia sports car concept (vapourware for sure but still interesting) and the ATS Coupe. And it is interesting to see how different a Mustang looks depending on the colour. First red, then silver and now this look-at-me shade. Although I would not go for the yellow myself, my heart grows fonder of the car with each new photo. Unfortunately, Derek’s use of the non-word “conquesting” seared my eyeballs. O the horror!

  • avatar
    celebrity208

    “MINI: Should be called the “Maxi”, because it’s bloody enormous”
    Maxi, bloody. I’ll be someone is proud of themselves for that gratuitous pun. Reason # 758 for reading TTAC: dirty, but you’d have missed it if your mind wasn’t also as dirty, humor.

  • avatar
    Jan Bayus

    Just how does the new F-150 make the GM trucks look a generation old? Aluminum doesn’t enhance the looks, the grill? What exactly? Of course the interior is different, but that is all in the mind of the buyer. The Dodge has a better interior, but at the end of ten years, the GM trucks are the better trucks. As far as using aluminum, I give Ford credit for the change. One last thing, the Colorado and Canyon will take sales from the Silverado but will also get sales from the sick of the SUV/CUV crowd. Although it isn’t a small vehicle, it is smaller than the full size. The REAL question is how much they will cost and to operate.

  • avatar
    Jimal

    “As much as I loathe the F30 3-Series, I am optimistic for the 2-Series, which is sized like an E46, looks less gawky than the outgoing 1-Series, and unlike the budget entrants from M-B and Audi, is faithful to the brand’s DNA.”

    I can understand your sentiments when it comes to the CLA, but how is the A3 not faithful to Audi’s DNA? Audi has always been about FWD/AWD. The only Audi not following the basic formula is the R8.

  • avatar
    vtnoah

    Call me weird but I really like the new TLX.

  • avatar
    dougjp

    For me, the show was a letdown. Only the Kia GT4 concept got my blood warm. I had ‘some’ interest in the BMW M235i (which is solely RWD) and VW Golf R (which is solely AWD). Otherwise, nothing. There were a lot of rumored updated cars that I expected to make surprise showings, but weren’t there. The internet is the problem, shows are mainly old news by the time they happen.

  • avatar
    Brian E

    Chrysler 200 – isn’t the Regal the real competition for this? Not that that’s saying much.

    Acura TLX – despite your comment about the rest of the market, this will sell well to those of us who buy instead of lease and live in the snow belt. I’m curious about how the 8-speed DCT drives. SH-AWD version should be a home run now that the looks have been cleaned up.

    Mustang – saw this in person at CES. Front end didn’t wow me, but Ford usually offers a variety of grille options. One of them is sure to work. The rest of the car looks awesome and I can’t wait to drive it.

    Lexus RC-F – Lexus takes after the GT-R’s bizarro-fish styling combined with a heaping helping of weird-ass grille. The regular RC might interest me if it doesn’t drive like the typical Lexus couch on wheels.

    STI – wing delete or trunk swap, anyone?

    Targa – I had high hopes for this but I’m not in love with the look. Is the targa panel really made of cloth? What’s the point if so?

  • avatar
    bd2

    The K900 won’t come close to Genesis sedan sales, but it should outsell the Equus due to the V6 trim.

  • avatar
    hifi

    Of all the vehicles on this list, the only car that’s truly lustworthy is the Cadillac Elmiraj. The targa Porsche is far too complexed and doesn’t remotely resemble the purist simplicity of the Porsche targa from the 70s and 80s.

  • avatar
    cartoon

    Interesting: of the over 100 comments so far, not one about the new Mustang. Don’t know if this is due to the design not living up to expectations (too similar to the existing model) or that details have already been out there for a while. I was so hoping this new Mustang would get me away from my M-3’s. It looks like everyone else is pretty indifferent about it as well.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      I think it’s because details have been out for a while. Not much more to say about the Mustang until someone drives it. I’m also curious if the interior is as good as it looks in press photos. Is the questionable trim Derek mentioned optional or mandatory?

      I’m looking forward to the new Mustang. I’ll probably need to get over my V8 or nothing stance with the Mustang, since $35k is more than I would want to spend on a car. I would also have to think long and hard about committing to an impractical car.

      Other than that, where I never would have considered a Mustang before, the 2015 is on my radar.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      The Mustang was previously debuted in LA. The news is already out, but the car isn’t going to be launched for quite some time, so there isn’t much more to add at the moment.

      I’m actually quite interested in it, and I would not have considered buying the current model. I am also wondering whether it could be a credible alternative to the 3/4-series, A5, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      Demetri

      The Mustang looks kind of cool, but what happened to the greenhouse? That has to be the smallest greenhouse I’ve ever seen. I gotta think it’s for better crash protection, but it’d be nice to be able to see out of the car.

  • avatar
    Ihatejalops

    The answer to your malaise comment lies in your Hyundai post…”Ever wonder how product planning really works? It turns out that product planners aren’t just hired to sit around and tell car companies what to build. Apparently you have to do things like work with data and make Excel pivot tables.” It isn’t because of cafe and safety standards (although that is part of it). Everything is driven by the same data, therefore we have the same products coming out. This is why sports car companies and “bespoke” Rolls-Royces are succeeding; their product isn’t based on big data, but on building things that are individualistic or have been built because someone wants to be better than their competition. Data driven solutions create the “malaise” and homogenous product. The only interesting car there is the Toyota; it looks like it was made for one guy rather than for a spread sheet.

    Also, people offer product planning jobs to writers?

    • 0 avatar

      Bob Hall, who headed up the 1st generation Miata, was a journalist before becoming a product planner. It is rare, but it happens on occasion. It was an honor to be considered.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I can’t speak to the automotive industry specifically, but in IT there is a role called the business analyst. In my experience, the best business analysts are mediocre software developers/QA folks who either had previous eduction in business or aren’t happy in the technical role and transition. However most business analysts you meet are generic business or marketing majors, well overpaid and fairly incompetent usually because they have no professional experience on the technical side (or their technical acumen consists of their Iphone and whatever touchscreen is in their new lease). These are the sort of people who will cost your corporation millions because they are supposed to come up with business specs for your product and/or control the flow of work being prioritized in your “agile” model (which can get really tyrannical in practice) but they don’t have a grasp how this work actually gets done, and there lie most of your cost overruns. They also like to constantly change their specs and/or completely re-engineer or replace things every six to twelve months. Much like a car, a software project or product has enormous costs upfront, maintenance costs down the line, and salable products obviously take time to deliver on ROI (not to mention migration costs). Many of the business analyst I have encountered do not understand this, they usually become “product experts” and are put in charge to dictate to development/IT the needs of product managers, sales, and presumably customers. I started to type an example of business analyst fail but the sheer asininity of what happened depressed me so just know its difficult to find people who can interface well with business and technical folks, and if someone has those skills they might make a great BA. I could see how a good journalist could step into a product analyst role being they study the industry and have reams of general automotive customer knowledge. The trick would be being able to parlay those skills into the business side and comfortably interface with product managers and an engineering team, which again is difficult to be able to speak to both worlds.

      • 0 avatar
        Ihatejalops

        Maitenance costs? You mean the ones passed onto the consumer? I am not sure at what your point is; I am referring to the fact that a data driven process usually creates a boring and stale product. I don’t disagree about the costs, but that is irrelevant. Somehow we used to get products that were different, now all we get is derivative items that are boring. I like new cars, but man they all suck. When a BMW is no better than a Ford Fusion, the industry has issues.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Yeah, I started responding to Derek’s point on journalists becoming product planners and I kinda went off on a tangent. On your point I agree data driven design has brought us a largely homogenized auto industry. I think the whole process has become so expensive for OEMs, they are less willing to build “risky” original designs and stick to the middle (original as in not bring over the Euro or Japanese spec version we’re building anyway to share costs). Part of me can’t blame them, when it costs a billion dollars to develop a new model, I might play it conservative as well but of course without risk there is no reward.

          Another factor in play is the average US consumer is so dope addled and bereft of taste they don’t seem to mind stale homogeneous product and might veer away from anything truly radical. They seem to be quite hypnotized by shiny buttons and pointless options to see through at the complete lack of substance in the product. The best example I can think of is the new Acura TLX, which I agree is an attractive looking car but its fricking pointless because IT should be the Accord and TLX should at the very least be a JDM clone or better yet it shouldn’t exist leaving RL as your primary large sedan. But the so many of the masses think “Oooo Acura” like it means something and will invariably pick the pretty car for twice the price over the much more frumpy and utilitarian Accord sedan. Its not quite Sloan (yet) but its in the same spirit, but yet MSM and the proles at large won’t attack Honda for selling out Acura the way GM was attacked for years with its brands.

          OEMs if you want me to buy your product new follow Ford’s example with Fusion but unlike Ford don’t give me oddball powertrains and turbo-crutched engines. I swear I’d be driving one now if the 3.5 V6 was offered as in Zephyr (which I won’t even buy the 13 ever used).

          • 0 avatar
            Ihatejalops

            Well the Fusion is a good starting discussion; Ford went away from “mainstream” design and ended up with a sales winner. I don’t blame them for doing it, but since they’ve made it cost prohibitive to start our own company it’s what we have, which is sad. They do agreements with each other, develop products together and in general aren’t really competing anymore. The real crime is that innovation in the industry is dead and if Tesla is what we get for innovation, we’re definitely screwed.

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        Product planning gone wrong (Pentagon Wars): http ://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXQ2lO3ieBA

        Anyone working at a company that builds something, either software or hardware, will find this hilarious.

  • avatar
    anti121hero

    Fugazi? Now I’m a fan of the band but as far as I knew that word was an acronym from the Vietnam war, kind if like slang, f’d up got ambushed zipped in. What does it mean in the context used here?

  • avatar
    Vlad_x35

    Hi there, very long time reader and finally decided to register, and post because things have gotten very very interesting in the automotive world.

    Derek, you have left out the Corvette Z06 from this list. Is it a hit or miss for the TTAC team? What to you guys think about it?

  • avatar

    The Elmiraj may be months old at this point, but for my money it was the best-looking car in the whole place. Holy shit is that thing impressive in person. It has the curb presence of a gleaming black XJL, only more so — and it’s a COUPE. They claim it has a new 4.5 V8; I continue to think/hope that means a 6.0 V12 is in the works.

  • avatar
    Zekele Ibo

    >> MINI: Should be called the “Maxi”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austin_Maxi

    1969 – 1981 Austin Maxi:
    Length 4,039 mm
    Width 1,626 mm
    Height 1,384 mm
    Weight 978 kg

    New MINI Cooper S
    Length 3,858 mm
    Width 1,727 mm
    Height 1,414 mm
    Weight 1,268 kg

    So the new Mini is slightly shorter than the old Maxi, but it is wider, taller and heavier. “Maxi” indeed :)

  • avatar
    mypoint02

    If what you’re saying about the 2 series is true, do you see it cannibalizing sales of the 4 series? Those who can afford it are going to buy the M4 and the 3 series sedan isn’t in any danger. But I see a lot of people, especially enthusiasts, going for the M235i over the 435. Why not?

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    Derek, why don’t you want the sport package? Besides wheels and tires, it typically includes sport seats, steering wheel, suspension, and shadowline trim. BMW’s site is a bit slow right now, so I can’t nail down the difference between MSport line and Sport line.

    Unless you hate the ride of the sport suspension (and I don’t think anyone has driven the 228i yet), it is one of the few things on a BMW order sheet that can be called a good value. You will be more making these upgrades on your own.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    Derek-

    Do you think you were disappointed with this year’s NAIAS because last year had two big time GM launches, smaller debuts like the ELR, and the show stealing Atlas concept? You wrote an article last year about how the Atlas upstaged GMs truck launch.

    This year’s show didn’t have a defining moment like the Atlas being dropped from the Joe Louis ceiling. Add the fact that everything has been teased out or shown before, and it seems like an underwhelming show. Heck, GM had a bigger debut this year at the Texas State Fair.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      I’m not a truck guy, but the Atlas seemed better than the real deal.

      Usually, it’s the concept that’s over-the-top. This time, it’s the actual vehicle that’s blinged out and ridiculous. Presumably, the buyers will like it, but I’d be at the Ram dealer.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        The Atlas had all kinds of crazy on it. Active wheel shutters, hidden cargo ramps, a cargo cradle, and all everything else. Some made it to the F150, some didn’t. The top model F150s are blinged out and ridiculous, but the lower trims aren’t crazy. I like the XLT trim. I like the range and choices of engines, trims, and bodystyles as well. Those I know that worked on this product are very pleased with the decisions made during development and happy with the final product. That isn’t always the case.

        I’m in an interesting position when it comes to trucks. I’ve owned Dodges/RAMs the longest and most often, I purchased a number of Silverados lately for the family business, but if I were buying a truck for myself, it would be an F150. I’m holding off until I know what exactly the Expedition or Navigator will be going forward.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          I was referring to the grille of the new F-series, which is just a gaudy abomination, in my opinion. (Of course, that means that it will be enormously popular.)

          Again, I’m not the target market for it, so my visceral reaction doesn’t count for much. I keep finding myself gawking at the 2015 Mustang, which surprises me; I never thought for a million years that I would seriously consider one.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The grille is a little much for my tastes as well. I’m hoping the Navigator is more Land Rover than F150 in looks. Then again, Lincoln hasn’t been able to design a grille in over a decade.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Pch101 – Normally every trim level has a unique grill. The STX is usually the most outstanding, in black-matte finish and color-key’d surround. And the STX package is also the most value packed. Available V8 and 4X4 in a basic (XL model) truck, the STX is devoid of bling factor, in all cab configurations, but includes power group and a few upgrades like CD/MP3, fog lights, rear slider, step/running boards and upgraded wheels/tires. Similar to the Ram Express, but with silver/argent alloy wheels. Rubber floors, of course.

            f150forum.com/attachments/f38/5760d1244210731t-my-new-2009-f-150-stx-supercab-dsc00261.jpg

            imagescdn.dealercarsearch.com/Media/3963/3899408/1388417600895.jpg

    • 0 avatar

      Pretty much everything was leaked beforehand, to an unprecedented degree. And yes, there was the drama factor last year of the Atlas stealing the GM truck’s thunder. I think we will see LA become the auto show in future years.

      PCH, how about the Mossy Oak edition? Perfect for a PE shop guy.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        I wish there would have been a big three concept car. At least tease me with a RWD Lincoln or a Buick Park Avenue/Riv. I’d even get interested in a Chrysler minivan concept. Something.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        A few years ago, LA moved its show back a couple of months, in order to get a jump on NAIAS. Probably a wise move — is anyone really excited about spending January in Detroit?

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Those who live in the Detroit area are not excited about spending January in the Detroit area. I’m ready the slit my wrists by February so I can see a color that isn’t gray. There are plenty of things to love about Detroit, but January isn’t on that list.

          • 0 avatar

            If you think January in Detroit is bad, try Chicago in February. Fortunately, Toyota is having a drive event in Charleston, conveniently timed almost exactly between the Detroit and Chicago shows. Michigan gray can get a little heavy on the mind, I agree.

            As for this year’s show, there were ~50 product and concept reveals and for brand enthusiasts there was something for just about everybody. That’s a lot better than in 2009 and 2010 when there was a lot of nothing new on the stands. The industry is back to profitability, everyone is introducing new products and many of them are in significant market segments (Chrysler 200, Mercedes-Benz C Class, F-150), even if they don’t necessarily thrill car enthusiasts. I think what Derek said about no surprises is a big factor. The one big surprise was a car that’s been seen in public before, the Cadillac Elmiraj and I think that may be the biggest hit of the show.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The Detroit auto show began as a local effort by dealers to sell cars during the wintertime.

            Apparently, grey skies and car shopping must not go well together, either. (Try not to slash your wrists during the test drive; the salesmen hate that.)

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Then maybe Detroit needs to look at painting cars other colors that black, grey, white and red. A nice Sunset Sandstone color would be ideal for me.

          • 0 avatar
            CRConrad

            @bball, Ronnie: Whiners and amateurs.

            Try Helsinki any time from October to March.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Conrad-

            I don’t know if I could live in Helsinski after living in Arizona for four years. Tucson has more sunshine in June than you get all year.

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    The 228i comes in brown!

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    K900 will = flop. No other way to put it. The Equus is already bad enough in the US – though I will say it’s entirely appropriate in black/silver/white for S Korea.

  • avatar
    trwaggo

    I disagree with the basis of your argument for the TLX being a miss and think that the TLX is advancing right along with the rest of the segment. Let’s start with the two new transmissions:

    The 8DCT has a torque converter – which solves the issue with DCTs being terrible at low speed – and I believe will be exclusive not only to the segment but there isn’t anything like that currently available anywhere.

    The 9AT will be segment exclusive and paired to a Wards Auto 10 Best 3.5L V6 engine with SH-AWD.

    The TLX will also have the PAWS system as standard on it’s FWD models – I think all wheel steering is exclusive to the Acura but I could be wrong.

    Couple those things with what will be class-leading fuel economy, top of the industry passive safety, LED headlamps, every safety tech (forward collision warning, blind spot, Lane keeping, automatic cruise with the low speed follow), and the selectable driver modes and I fail to see how the Acura isn’t advancing. So what if it doesn’t have a turbo-4. A turbo charged engine isn’t necessary to make an advanced vehicle.


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