The Truth About Cars » naias 2013 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Tue, 29 Jul 2014 21:42:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » naias 2013 NAIAS 2013: More C7 Pictures Thu, 17 Jan 2013 13:00:53 +0000

TTAC reader/contributor Matt Fink generously photograph a whole bunch of metal for TTAC during the Detroit Auto Show. Here are his pictures of the C7 Corvette Stingray. I’m still not sold on the vents and the rear end treatment.

Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail IMG_1297 IMG_1296 IMG_0983 IMG_0982 IMG_0981 IMG_0980 IMG_0978 IMG_0977 IMG_0976 IMG_0975 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. Photo courtesy Matt Fink. IMG_0973 IMG_0972 IMG_0970 IMG_0969 IMG_0968 IMG_0967 ]]> 53
NAIAS 2013: Audi RS7 – Now We’re Talking Wed, 16 Jan 2013 17:01:53 +0000

The Audi A7 is one of the more polarizing examples of the pseudo-hatch/coupe, but I’ve always been a fan. The RS7 is probably the car I’d pick as my personal favorite. The 560 horsepower twin turbo V8 is the same powertrain used in the RS6 Avant, and is apparently capable of 24 mpg on the highway. The styling is a make or break proposition, but it’s hard to argue with the performance.

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NAIAS 2013: Toyota Furia Previews The Corolla Wed, 16 Jan 2013 16:23:51 +0000

Is the era of beige finally over? This concept is supposedly a preview of the new Corolla, due in 2014 – and it’s far more striking than the JDM version reviewed by our own BS.


Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail IMG_1312 IMG_1311 IMG_1310 Toyota Corolla Furia. Photo courtesy Matt Fink. ]]> 50
NAIAS Winners And Losers Wed, 16 Jan 2013 14:00:03 +0000

2013′s edition of the Detroit Auto Show is the first I’ve covered for TTAC, and it serves as a nice break from the world of low-cost cars, overcapacity and Bertel’s daily demands for Facebook photos of my attractive female friends. Since I was the sole journalist covering the show, most of the coverage was limited to photos and a brief bit of information on the car. But since you all come here to read my semi-informed pontifications for some added context regarding the auto industry  I’ve assembled this handy guide to NAIAS 2013, free of any regurgitated press release info or PR pap. Enjoy, and send any angry criticisms/threats of press fleet acesses revocation to derek at ttac dot com

Winner – Ford: Without a doubt, the big winner at NAIAS is Ford. The F-150 is America’s best-selling vehicle, and the Atlas concept is an early preview of what to expect. Sources tell me that the concept was so hush-hush that most employees heard about it only through Ford’s internal news channels or car blogs. The same source claims that while things like wheel-mounted active aero shutters are still in flux, we will see more exotic metals like aluminum and magnesium in play for the next F-Series.

Winner- Cadillac: The General’s lone bright spot at the show. Cadillac’s ELR is what an advanced hybrid/electric/range extender (whatever you want to call it) vehicle should look like. Power is up, all-electric range is down (due to the 20″ wheels and increased power perhaps?) and if enough celebrities are seen driving it, it could be the next status symbol for those wealthy enough to advocate for green causes. The ATS also won North American Car of the Year. Not my choice, but another trophy for GM’s cabinet.

Winner – VW/Audi: VW and Audi were mobbed for so long after their press conferences that it was hard to get photos of their debuts (which will come later). Volkswagen debuted a new Crossover concept with three rows of seats, while Audi debuted the SQ5 and the RS7. All of the vehicles on the Audi stand were immensely desirable and made the BMW and Mercedes products look like reasonable facsimiles of desirable luxury vehicles. I am more convinced than ever that Volkswagen Group’s goal of 1 million units in America by 2018 is feasible, and Audi will likely reach their 200,000 unit sales goal as well.

Loser – Electric Vehicles: Where were the EVs? Nissan announced a price drop for the Leaf to $28,200, but that was the big news for EVs. Tesla had a Model X on display, but its profile was minimal compared to pretty much every other product at the show. While hybrid powertrains continue to go from strength to strength, EVs are slowly losing their grasp of the limelight, existing largely as a PR/Government relations tool rather than a viable transportation alternative.

Loser – Mercedes-Benz/BMW: The unrelenting thirst for volume comes in the form of brand-debasing cheapo lease specials. The CLA and 320i will sell…err, lease, in serious numbers to legions of insecure strivers who can pay $399 a month. But at what cost to the “premium” image of the two brands?

Loser – Chevrolet: Reaction to the C7 Corvette has been “mixed”. Reaction on the internet was positive, but the buzz on the show floor was not as enthusiastic. Personally, I think it is overwrought, riddled with too many vents and gills and crap. Yes, the interior has been improved…at the expense of the exterior. The GM trucks are just as underwhelming in person as they are in photos, and they stayed locked for most of the press days. Not an encouraging sign. With the Ram 1500 now competitive, and the F-150 as good as ever “good enough” is a recipe for diminishing market share in the full-size truck market.

Draw – Infiniti Q50/Lexus IS: Two new luxury sedans competing in the same class. The Infiniti’s exterior is striking and agressive, while the Lexus has the better interior. Traditionally, the Lexus could be written off as the inferior car for the enthusiastic driver – but with the overall competence of the GS, it’s impossible to rule the Lexus.

Draw – Hyundai HCD 14 Genesis Concept/ Acura RLX: A Hyundai source tells me that a lot of the outlandish details of the HCD 14, will not make it to production, but the next generation Genesis will not be as staid and generic as the current car. Let’s hope the overall profile remains, but that front grille has got to go. Meanwhile at Acura, the RLX was utterly ignored, no thanks to the generic exterior styling. Inside, however, is a different story. The cabin is beautifully finished, with immense amounts of leg room in the rear seat. You really feel like you’re in a luxury car. The SH-AWD could be a ground breaking car technologically, but I can’t imagine this car selling in any sort of volume.

Draw - Honda: Honda was back…and nobody noticed. The Accord is riding high on a wave of praise, the Civic is no longer the automotive media’s official whipping boy and the NSX could be viewed up close by appointment only. And the appointment book was pretty much full. Yet nobody seemed to pay too much attention to Honda’s new debuts, from the RLX, the MDX (nearly identical to the current version) and the Urban SUV Concept (a surprisingly fresh and interesting design from a company not known for such things).

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NAIAS 2013: Alfa Romeo Makes Triumphant Return To The US Wth AWD Hybrid, Ignored By Everyone Tue, 15 Jan 2013 20:04:55 +0000

This is an Alfa Romeo 166. No, really. This car, called the Trumpchi, is owned by Chinese automaker GAC, and uses an Alfa platform. Apparently it’s a 4WD Hybrid as well. It looks utterly generic and about a decade behind the rest of the competizione…err, competition.

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NAIAS 2013: Ford Atlas Ruins GM’s World Tue, 15 Jan 2013 17:27:14 +0000

If there is one “winner” at NAIAS this year, it’s Ford. This should have been GM’s show, with the Corvette (its halo model) and their new full-size truck (their bread and butter) both being shown to the public for the first time. Instead, Ford debuted the Atlas concept, a thinly disguised 2015 F-150.

The big story with the Atlas is the active aerodynamic features; power running boards, a drop-down air dam, active grille shutters and even active wheel shutters(!) are present on the concept truck. Who knows whether these will make it to the production truck, but it’s not out of the question. Thanks to CAFE, rising gas prices and a relentless advertising war, pickup trucks are under the gun for fuel economy improvements. Short of prohibitively expensive aluminum components (that would end the era of affordable trucks for Americans), these incremental improvements, along with downsized powertrains, will be the preferred path to reduced fuel consumption.

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NAIAS 2013: New Acura MDX Looks Like Old Acura MDX Tue, 15 Jan 2013 15:57:43 +0000

Acura will replace their long-in-the-tooth MDX with a new model that looks a lot like the current MDX and even uses a similar 3.5L V6. The new model should look very similar to this concept. As it underwhelming as it seems, Honda did this with the CR-V and it’s arguably the best small crossover out there. The new RDX, despite criticisms relating to its lack of turbochargers, is a vastly improved car. I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt on this one.

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Acura NSX Concept, Now With 100 Percent More Interior Tue, 15 Jan 2013 15:46:44 +0000

Contrary to rumors, Acura is not debuting the production NSX at NAIAS. Instead, it’s another iteration of the NSX concept, this time with an interior (shown above). Very LFA-esque.

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NAIAS 2013: Cadillac ELR Live Shots Tue, 15 Jan 2013 15:23:15 +0000

Hot on the heels of the broken embargo comes real live shots of Caddy’s Volt. The ELR gets a nice boost in power – 207 horsepower and 295 lb-ft versus 149 horses and 273 lb-ft for the Volt. A .5 kwh larger battery means slightly less range in EV mode, but an 82-mile boost in overall range and a longer charging time (4.5 hours with a 240V outlet, 12 hours with a standard outlet). There’s also a paddle-shift activated regenerative braking feature – we’ll have to drive that one to see if it actually works well. Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail 2014-Cadillac-ELR _23_ 2014-Cadillac-ELR _16_ 2014-Cadillac-ELR _13_ 2014-Cadillac-ELR. Photo courtesy 2014-Cadillac-ELR _10_ 2014-Cadillac-ELR _2_

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NAIAS 2013: Hyundai HCD-14 Genesis Concept Tue, 15 Jan 2013 14:57:11 +0000

Hyundai’s HCD-14 Concept is said to preview certain elements of the next-generation Genesis (which should be named Exodus, no?). A Hyundai PR rep noted that this is strictly a concept – unlike Honda, which previews basically production-ready vehicles as “concepts”, this will remain a showcar, though some details will make their way into production. Specific details remain unknown, naturally.


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2014 GM Pickup Interiors Tue, 15 Jan 2013 12:00:14 +0000

GM’s new large pickups might be locked up at NAIAS, but they were wide open at the launch event I attended last month. The event included three presentations: one of both trucks together, then one each from the two marketing teams explaining how their truck was different…by saying pretty much the same thing. Both Chevrolet and GMC truck buyers have perfectly organized garages where you can eat off the floor. People with messy, disorganized garages must buy someone else’s truck.

Both Chevrolet and GMC put a lot of emphasis on the luxury truck buyer (GM can’t quite bring itself to give GMC exclusive rights to this group). My impression was that, despite the stitching embedded in the instrument panel of both trucks, even the GMC interior didn’t look or feel as upscale as that in the top Ford and Ram (a future Denali might help). The surrounds for the center stack and side air vents appear clunky to my eye, and the large rubber-ringed knobs might be work glove-friendly but they neither look nor feel premium.

The thick surround is real aluminum in the GMC but silver plastic in the Chevrolet. Few people will be able to tell the difference. Beyond this, the GMC has red ambient lighting, while the Chevrolet has blue ambient lighting. Apparently these differences are enough to make the new Silverado and Sierra the most differentiated pickups in GM history.

GMC will also offer a sport trim, complete with leather seat bolsters textured to appear woven and red stitching on the seats and instrument panel.

Under the leather GM has sprung for a premium high density foam. To note the difference this makes, just climb into the rear seats. They must use cheaper, lower density foam, as they’re not nearly as firm.

To demonstrate that the traditional pickup buyer hadn’t been entirely forsaken, one pickup with a cloth interior was on hand. I asked what percentage of large pickup buyers frequently use their trucks as trucks. No one on either the Chevrolet or GMC side knew, beyond the surprising (to me at least) fact that only about ten percent of sales are of the two-door regular cab pickup. It’s hard to find out the answer to this question, as no one wants to admit that they don’t use their truck as a truck. And it doesn’t really matter. Even buyers who won’t often (or even ever) come close to using the full capability of these trucks nevertheless insist that this capability be there.

Michael Karesh operates, an online provider of car reliability and real-world fuel economy information.

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Someone Broke The Cadillac ELR Embargo Tue, 15 Jan 2013 03:19:10 +0000

Someone posted this photo, presumably of the production Cadillac ELR. We won’t be the first to break an embargo but the cat’s out of the bag…

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NAIAS 2013: Fiat 500L Mon, 14 Jan 2013 17:30:11 +0000

Tucked away in the corner of Fiat’s booth was the Serbian-built 500L.  The most striking part of the car was the interior – it’s much more subdued than the regular 500, lacking the flashy, colorful hard plastic dash surfaces. It looks more Dart than Fiat, really.


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NAIAS 2013: BMW 320i Takes The Leasing World By Storm Mon, 14 Jan 2013 17:28:39 +0000

Canadians have long been privy to a stripped down, lease-special BMW in the form of the 320i. Thanks to BMW’s insatiable quest for volume, Americans will be too. For $33,445, you’ll get a 180 horsepower turbo 4-cylinder and an 8-speed automatic, with a 34 mpg highway rating. And the unbearable stigma of the 320i badge.

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NAIAS 2013: Infiniti Q50 Live Shots Mon, 14 Jan 2013 16:12:36 +0000

In the nascent contest between the Lexus IS and Infiniti Q50, the Infiniti appears to be in the lead. Full details here, thanks to our guest editor Mark Stevenson


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NAIAS 2013: Lincoln MKC Live Shots Mon, 14 Jan 2013 15:52:56 +0000

Lincoln tries to do an Evoque by taking a Ford platform and an Ecoboost engine while going heavy on the premium.


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NAIAS 2013: GM Locks Us Out Of Their New Full-Size Trucks Mon, 14 Jan 2013 15:43:58 +0000

Any hopes of taking a look at the interior of GM’s full-size trucks were dashed, as GM briefly opened the doors up for pictures and then promptly locked them. Come on guys, what have you got to hide? Even Lexus had the doors of the $445,000 LFA Nurburgring Edition opened.

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NAIAS 2013: Nissan Versa Note Left Uncovered Mon, 14 Jan 2013 15:15:15 +0000

Someone at Nissan left the new Versa Note aka Versa Hatchback uncovered.

photo (26) Nissan Versa Note. Photo courtesy Derek Kreindler. photo (24) ]]> 16
NAIAS 2013: Infiniti Reveals New Q50 – Same V6 As G37, Now With Optional Battery Power Mon, 14 Jan 2013 15:12:24 +0000

Fresh off a PR campaign to rename every new vehicle in their line-up, Infiniti has shown their new model with the updated Q-numeric model designation: the 2014 Infiniti Q50.

On the surface, the new Infiniti Q50 now shares some more DNA from its brothers and sisters, grabbing the corporate design language and putting it to good use. The front-end lower valance is somewhat similar to new Lexus models, but that isn’t really a bad thing.

Power will again come from the Nissan-Renault 3.7L V6, generating 328hp, that sees ubiquitous use through all of the company’s vehicles. A manual transmission will no longer be an option, with the model offered solely with a 7-speed slushbox powering the rear wheels.

The big news: the Q50 will be available with the same hybrid system currently available in the M35h, good for 354hp, driving either the rear wheels or all four corners. This system relies on the older 3.5L V6 (still used in the Infiniti JX35).

Inside, the gadgetry has received a serious upgrade. Gone is the keyboard-like buttons below the single screen infotainment system. Instead, two screens sitting one atop the other provide the mission control interface for the majority of the tech functions.

Price? Not available. But, if I were a betting man, I’d hunt down the current G37′s MSRP and add 5-7%.

Infiniti-Q50-driving Infiniti-Q50-driving-02 Infiniti-Q50-front-grille Infiniti-Q50-lines Infiniti-Q50-Sedan-interior Infiniti-Q50-Sedan-interior-screens Infiniti-Q50-Sedan-red Infiniti-Q50-wet Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail ]]> 23
NAIAS 2013: BMW 4-Series Doesn’t Have Quite The Same Ring To It Mon, 14 Jan 2013 14:29:15 +0000

“Oh yeah, that’s my new BMW 428i sDrive” doesn’t sound nearly as cool as “328is” does it? Didn’t think so.


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NAIAS 2013: Hashtags Abound Mon, 14 Jan 2013 14:24:40 +0000 20130114-092656.jpg

Why does this Bentley have a hashtag on the license plate? Maybe this will become a new trend in locales where license plates can fetch millions of dollars…which also happen to be big markets for ultra-luxury brands.

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NAIAS 2013: LEAKED – Say Hello To The ‘Urban SUV Concept’, Honda’s New Juke Mon, 14 Jan 2013 14:18:42 +0000

The more they try to stop people from talking, the more people want to talk.

These are the leaked images of the new Honda ‘Urban SUV Concept’. Think of it as what a CR-V used to be, but for a new generation of buyers.

After Nissan’s surprising success with the Joke Puke Juke, Honda is getting into the ‘awkward looking, car-based SUV with a tiny engine’ niche everyone seems to be shopping in these days.

Unfortunately, you will have to wait for more details, if you are remotely interested.

What do you think, B&B?


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NAIAS 2013: MINI Paceman JCW Mon, 14 Jan 2013 14:15:52 +0000

I thought the Mini Paceman was an extraordinarily stupid idea until I saw it on the show floor. The execution is much better than the bloated Countryman. This one has the John Cooper Works engine, which means you’ll get charged an exorbitant amount for 208 horsepower, giant wheels, awful ride quality and $2 worth of badges. But it does have all-wheel drive. Think of it as a cut-rate Evoque. That still costs a lot.

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NAIAS 2013: Everyone’s Most Favorite-ist Car Exec Saves Least Favorite-ist Electric Car…With A 6.2-liter LT1 V8! Mon, 14 Jan 2013 14:09:24 +0000

It isn’t often one of the biggest news items coming out of NAIAS 2013 is from a tuning house … especially a tuning house nobody has ever heard of before. Attach the name Bob Lutz to a car, along with a brand new, fire breathing, tire shredding 6.2L LT1 V8 from the new Corvette, you are bound to turn some heads. Oh, and they wedged it into a Fisker Karma.

That’s Maximum to the Bob.

The supposed soon-to-be production ready boutique supercar is called the VL Automotive Destino. While the fossil-fuel burning horsepower generator and its choice of automatic or manual transmissions is an addition, the rest is a story of subtraction. Gone is the weird polarizing Fisker Karma face for a more Ferrari-esque affair. Chuck out the batteries and their added risk of fiery death. Oh, and that EcoTec? That’ll just get in the way of its bigger brother.

Everything else is pretty much as it was when it left Finland.

Want one? They say toward the end of the year you’ll be able to buy one. The price? If you’re asking, chances are you won’t be able to buy one.

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NAIAS 2013: LEAKED – Jeep Grand Cherokee Gets First Diesel Since Dr. Z Era Mon, 14 Jan 2013 14:09:18 +0000

The big news to come out of Jeep today: DIESEL. And we aren’t talking about some HD truck diesel from a Ram pick-up. No, a proper fuel-sipping one, in the form of a 3.0L V6, will be available on the Grand Cherokee starting in the 2014 model year.

Whoa, I think I just experienced the weirdest deja vu…

Oh, right…remember when the Germans kinda sorta owned Jeep and they used one of their executives as a pitchman? He was old, had a moustache that would be a great supporting actor on Magnum P.I., and he tried to hock Jeeps to children?

Click here to view the embedded video.

Anyway, back to the new Grand Cherokee.

After receiving a bit of a refresh, some higher-end models will be offered with the new-fangled 8-speed automatic from ZF – the same transmission that allows the Ram 1500 to get better fuel economy than a Caravan. Will it be mated with the new diesel? We’re not sure. Maybe Sergio will tell us during the official reveal later in the week.

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