Tag: NAIAS

By on January 23, 2019

It might surprise you, since most automotive sites have moved on to other topics, but the North American International Auto Show, aka the Detroit auto show, is still going on as you read this. Hundreds of thousands of people are planning to attend the public days of the show that continue through next Sunday.

If you’re thinking of going, or just want a recap of the significant vehicles at the show, you’ve come to the right place. (Read More…)

By on January 21, 2019

The all-new Shelby GT500–the pinnacle of any pony car ever engineered by Ford Performance–delivers on its heritage with more than 700 horsepower for the quickest street-legal acceleration and most high-performance technology to date ever offered in a Ford Mustang.

Exactly one week ago, we asked you what your eyes and ears desired to see appear at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Since the 2019 soirée is the last to be held in the frigid month of January, we hoped the event would go out with a bang. And, well, if not a bang, then at least a solid thump.

There was plenty of metal on display — some of it new, some of it little more than reheated leftovers sourced the back of the corporate fridge. What turned your crank?

(Read More…)

By on January 17, 2019

One of the repeating refrains I heard in Detroit this year went something like, “It’s the last winter show, and yet it’s not even that cold!”

Cold, of course, can be relative – Southern Californians tend to define it differently than Midwesterners. Still, Sunday and Monday were tolerable for life-long Northerners like myself, but Tuesday did offer a chill that reminded us that it was still January.

The weather is always a major topic of discussion at Detroit – whether there’s piles of snow downtown or mild temps in the 50s (I’ve experienced both). The Sun Belt folks whine while the Rust Belt residents whine about the whining and so it goes. I don’t know exactly how much the weather plays into the decision to move the show to the summer, starting next year. Only the Detroit Auto Dealers Association employees are privy to those discussions. Obviously it’s a factor, but how much of one compared to other factors is unclear. (Read More…)

By on January 16, 2019

Supra

It’ll not have escaped your notice that Toyota unveiled a new Supra this week in Detroit. We’ve been expecting such a beast since what seems like forever. In fact, during the reveal, Akio Toyoda himself jokingly called it the “worst kept secret.”

Guaranteed there will be plenty of complaints from armchair CEOs and keyboard racers who’ve never turned a wheel on track about the new Supra, with carping bound to range from its lumpy looks to its rating of “only” 335 horsepower.

Your author will reserve judgement on the former until he sees it in person; the latter until he gets behind the wheel. For now, let’s take a practical approach.

(Read More…)

By on January 15, 2019

Count me among the dismayed that Ford’s new 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 is only available with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

I speculated that Ford made that choice because no human can shift gears faster than the DCT, and because Ford maybe couldn’t find a manual that can handle the estimated torque of the GT500, which is sure to be a high number.

Turns out, I was right.

(Read More…)

By on January 15, 2019

Subaru STI S209 front quarter

Subaru has a history of keeping the good stuff in Japan. Eastward-looking rally enthusiasts clamored in the early ’90s for the turbocharged Impreza WRX. Subaru sent us the naturally-aspirated Impreza 2.5RS in 1998. Once the WRX hit our shores in 2000, we saw the more-powerful WRX STi as the forbidden fruit, not to grace our shores until 2004. Countless limited editions, starting with the widebody 22B (a killer on Gran Turismo) and proceeding through several iterations of the S-series, have too been withheld.

No longer.

Subaru finally heeded the call of World Rally Blue-blooded boxer geeks in North America when it revealed the limited-edition STI S209 on Monday. Tweaks, both subtle and not, refine the familiar formula into a more focused performance vehicle.

(Read More…)

By on January 14, 2019

When Hyundai announced an “N Line” trim level to complement its N performance sub-brand, we initially presumed it would akin to Chevrolet’s Redline vehicles or Volkswagen’s R-Line. If you’re unfamiliar with these vehicles, they can be summed up by the classic idiom “all show and no go,” and are only a small sample of a broader trend sweeping the industry.

Fortunately, it turns out Hyundai cares about more than just looking good. While we can’t speak for the upcoming wave of N Line products the Korean automaker has in store, we can discuss the Elantra GT N Line — the first of these mid-range performance models, revealed Monday at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The N Line replaces the existing Elantra GT Sport as the sportiest variant of Hyundai’s compact hatch and introduces some assertive styling choices borrowed from the Veloster and Europe-only i30 N.  (Read More…)

By on January 14, 2019

Volkswagen introduced the new 2020 Passat at the Detroit auto show on Monday, but calling it “new” might not be entirely fair. While the midsize sedan has undergone a complete visual overhaul and received some new technology in the process, its mechanical bits have gone mostly unchanged versus last year’s model.

For 2020, Volkswagen modernized the Passat’s image by stretching the grille and adopting smaller headlamps. The prominent crease seen on the Jetta runs from stem to stern. That means some will continue confusing the two models well into the next decade but, for those who appreciate reserved styling and have a keen eye, the Passat is the more dapper of the pair. Still, like we said, this is pretty much the same car VW has been slinging for the last eight years — just newer looking.  (Read More…)

By on January 14, 2019

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

The #savethemanuals crowd may weep, but the Ford fanboys will still rejoice. The 2020 Ford Mustang GT500 is here. It’s loud, it’s powerful, it looks cool, and it has no clutch pedal.

That’s right. The more than 700 horsepower expected from the 5.2-liter supercharged V-8 will funnel through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission from Tremec. Drivers will take back manual control via paddles.

(Read More…)

By on January 14, 2019

NAIAS logo

The annual automotive soirée in Detroit is well underway,  with a couple of manufacturer already showing their wares at offsite events before the party gets going at Cobo today. Members of the media won’t have to don their woolens going forward; next year, the whole shebang transitions into a summertime event.

There are plenty of rumours — but what do you want to see unveiled at this year’s Detroit show?

(Read More…)

By on January 14, 2019

Cadillac XT6

I wasn’t sure if I’d see the Cadillac XT6 in person, even though I assigned myself the story when us editor types divvied up our coverage of this year’s Detroit Auto Show.

You see, I asked to be added to the media list a little late, and was told the event would be at capacity. But a journalist doesn’t let little things like “fire codes” stand in the way of his story. So I showed up a little late and used my Midwestern charm to get in the door. In a very polite way, I crashed the party.

Which is what Cadillac is doing, in a way.

(Read More…)

By on January 13, 2019

Jerry Dias, Unifor President, Image: OFL Communications Department (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Things are starting to get truly ugly between Canada’s Unifor and General Motors. On Friday, the union held a rally in Windsor, Ontario, with that automaker’s headquarters just a river away. During the event, Unifor President Jerry Dias expressed his annoyance with the automaker’s restructuring plan and promised to bring the noise to GM’s front door during the North American International Auto Show this week.

Friday’s gathering, which Unifor and the Windsor and District Labour Council claimed drew around 2,000 people despite its brevity, focused primarily on the company’s decision to shift more of its North American production to Mexico and the shuttering of Oshawa Assembly and the end of this year. Dias said he wants the union to work with the automaker to keep Canadian jobs and avoid a potential boycott. Though that might be just around the corner, as the UAW has already issued a boycott of its own within the United States. (Read More…)

By on December 14, 2018

Infiniti will unveil a new concept previewing its first electric car at the North American International Auto Show next month. On Friday, Nissan’s luxury division released a digitally shrouded image of the model to help build anticipation.

While Infiniti spent much of the past year showcasing interesting concept vehicles, precious few have a snowball’s chance in hell of reaching production. Instead, the autos served as an opportunity for Infiniti to dabble in a new design language while simultaneously proving that it hasn’t forgotten about electrification. Last January, the company showcased the Q Inspiration, announcing it would electrify its entire portfolio from 2021 onward, using either e-Power or pure EV powertrains. Seven months later, it unveiled the Prototype 10 at Monterey Car Week — which it said solidified the look of upcoming models, especially those of the electric persuasion.

While this upcoming crossover appears to do much of the same, there’s a chance it might be a precursor for a vehicle that might someday reach the showroom.  (Read More…)

By on November 29, 2018

Not to be outdone by Toyota’s announcement of an all-wheel drive Prius at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Ford issued a teaser promoting the most capable variant of one of its own iconic models — the Mustang Shelby GT500.

However, the car isn’t coming to LA. According to Ford’s social media accounts and a new display in California, the vehicle won’t be on display until January 14th of 2019. As you might have guessed, that’s in the midst of the North American International Auto Show. (Read More…)

By on July 23, 2018

The world’s automotive press can pack away their parkas after next year’s North American International Auto Show. In 2020, the circus will move to the month of June.

This was not wholly unexpected. Pressure was mounting for NAIAS to re-invent itself, given a recent flight of manufacturers and increased competition from other events — automotive and otherwise.

(Read More…)

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