While the rest of the 5,200+ media-pass holders bounced from one laser light show to another, I and Raphael Orlove ( of Jalopnik) ventured north to cover a very different automotive event. There would be no makeup counter girls, no automaker swag and the coffee came from a vending machines not Italian espresso machine. We were headed to an automotive regulatory meeting that was scheduled to take place at the same time as the Acura reveal.
Tag: NAIAS 2014
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.
The coupe market is declining in the mainstream market, but in the small luxury car segment, a two-door variant is considered a necessity to compete. BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Infiniti all have two-door variants of their small sedans, as a way to add volume and give buyers a sportier option. For 2015, Cadillac’s entry wears the ATS nameplate and drops the 2.5L base engine.
The world needs more sexy two door RWD coupes. I think we can all agree that the cheap two-door sports car market has gained some excitement the last few years, especially with the success of the BRZ/FRS (I shall call them BRS for short) twins. Kia is toying with that idea, too, and is pulling no punches while they’re here. The GT4 Stinger concept is aimed right at the heart of the BRS twins, and here’s how…
This is the future of VW’s gas motors. Turbo 1.4L four cylinders with cylinder deactivation (A first for a four-cylinder, at least for the US), start/stop, and a unique “coasting” mode for the Dual Clutch Transmission(DCT), which allows the Passat to fully disengage the clutch, and thereby allowing the car to coast with the least amount of mechanical drag possible. Current DCT’s will keep the motor engaged while coasting and engine brake. (Read More…)
Even though the BMW i8, i3 and M3/M4 were the starts of the BMW stand (in that order), I was more interested in the upcoming 2-Series. Unlike the Mercedes-Benz CLA and the Audi A3, the 2-Series is rear wheel drive, as the future 1-Series moves to a front-drive platform shared with Mini.
The 1965 Porsche 911 Targa has always been a bit unloved by the Porsche purist. The higher roofline of the Targa compromised the slick silhouette of the 911 that made it so iconic. It was something of a knee-jerk reaction to impending safety regulations by the NHTSA. Porsche thought that convertibles were soon to be made illegal, so the Targa offered a steel roll bar and removable roof section to fill the gap.
Fortunately, that fearful day for Porsche never came, and the targa departed the lineup in 1989, having been vastly supplanted in popularity by the full-droptop 911. This doesn’t stop Porsche from occasionally playing with its history.
The all-wheel drive 2014 Golf R packs 290 hp and 280 ft-lb of torque, shoves it down your choice of either a six speed manual or six speed dual-clutch transmission, and hauls the compact hot hatch to sixty in 4.9 seconds. That’s about a second quicker to sixty than the outgoing Golf R… (Read More…)
The Dune concept aims to be a moderately functional addition the the Bettle lineup. VW raised the Beetle’s ride height by two inches, giving the Beetle a more “go anywhere” appeal. An inch wider track, and mighty 255/45 tires on 19 inch wheels round out the stance. The Dune hides a few clever tricks in its appearance package, however…
Tacky graphics, redline wheels,
hotglued industrial adhesive attached spoiler and painted red calipers. I know this is an AMG, but can we tone down the try-hard looks? There’s a reason successful young Mercedes-Benz buyers don’t shop at Autozone for “accent pieces”, and it is not because they want the junk factory-installed.
The Z06 has usually been a trickle-down of the Corvette GT car. Aero tweaks were unique to the .R, tricks like hood-evacuated radiator air flow, rear-fender mounted cooling ducts for various cooling system (like the differential), and a rear diffuser. Now that the C7 boasts these tweaks from the get-go, the C7.R more closely resembles its street brethren than ever before…
The high-winding 4L V8 is replaced by a direct-injected turbo 3L straight six with 425 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque, while dropping 20 pounds off the motor’s weight. The six speed is a carry over, but now gains auto rev-matching for those panty-dropping rev-matched downshifts. The alternative is a seven speed “M-DCT” dual clutch transmission. 0 to 60 is in a scant 4.1 seconds for the manual, and 3.9 seconds for the M-DCT…
The “Future Toyota” numero uno, or FT-1, is supposed to be Toyota’s top RWD sports car. At least in concept form. What we get is a taste of Toyota’s future design language, calling the FT-1 the “spiritual pace car for Toyota Global Design.” It’s almost a caricature of the FRS, with its spin on long hood/short deck styling, but with attention paid to housing some interesting aerodynamic tricks. Strategically placed vents that point at the use of extractors, and rear diffuser work stand out. There’s even some F1 styling cues: obviously in the powerful nose, but also in the rear LED “rain light.” Powertrain options are held quiet, but out of the hood peeks a longitudinally mounted engine for everyone to place bets on…