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 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 10, 2018

2016 NAIAS Ford Stand

The North American International Auto Show, held in mid-January since there were starting handles on the front of cars, may be jumping halfway across the calendar to the month of June.

Facing a declining level of participation, the show has been looking for ways to reinvent itself in a bid to remain relevant and continue grabbing headlines during a time of year when digital ink is easily slurped up by news from other events.

(Read More…)

By on June 29, 2018

2018 Lexus LS at NAIAS Front, Image: © 2017 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars

There’s only one more North American International Auto Show to go before America’s premier automotive event trades its bitter winter winds for temperate climes.

After months of rumor and speculation, the Detroit Auto Dealers Association — the organization behind the show — declared Thursday that it will no longer hold the event in January. After the 2019 show, journalists will no longer be able to watch icebergs form on the Detroit River. (Read More…)

By on May 11, 2018

audi a8 2019

The 2019 North American International Auto Show will be decidedly less Germanic than in years past. On Thursday, Audi announced plans to ditch the upcoming Detroit show, joining its two premium German rivals in steering clear of the wintry venue.

It’s the latest blow for a marquee auto show currently in the process of reinventing itself amid declining relevance and automaker interest. (Read More…)

By on March 24, 2018

2018 BMW X3 M40i - Image: BMW

The ratio of Detroit iron to imports stands to rise at the next North American International Auto Show, following BMW’s decision to withdraw from the event. On Friday, the German automaker announced it will join a growing list of automakers — including rival Mercedes-Benz — that don’t have time for the Detroit show.

It’s the latest blow for an event struggling to maintain its relevance in an age of off-site reveals, tech-focused consumer shows, and global online audiences. (Read More…)

By on March 2, 2018

Anyone living north of, let’s be generous, the Mason-Dixon line or Ohio River, knows that January is probably the worst month in which to enjoy anything related to automobiles. Driving them, repairing them, and even travelling long distances to look at them.

Now, let’s say there was a car-filled extravaganza that occurred every winter in a northern city located next to a number of very large lakes and along a well-defined storm track. Surely, this could not only impede the enjoyment (and perhaps forward momentum) of said cars, but it could make getting to said northern city a challenge.

Suffice it to say, Detroit in January isn’t the most pleasant of environs, and the North American International Auto Show’s organizers know it. As concerns about the show’s waning appeal grow, sources claim the event is prepared to set up shop in a warmer month. (Read More…)

By on January 28, 2018

Nissan’s 370Z is just shy of its tenth birthday and has really begun to show its age. While it remains a relative bargain if you’re seeking an imported rear-drive sports car, it loses that advantage if you’re willing to consider its domestic rivals. It’s a solid performance package by most metrics. But it’s capable in the same way a retired olympic athlete might be. It’ll still destroy your chubby neighbor in a foot race but not his teenage son, who just happens to be captain of his high school track team.

The company needs a replacement. However, back in October, Nissan’s chief planning officer Philippe Klein was extremely noncommittal when it came to naming the 370Z’s successor. “It’s an interesting question because there is a lot of passion people [have for] this vehicle,” Klein said at the Tokyo Motor Show. “This vehicle is still very alive but at the same time it is in a segment that is gradually declining, so that is making the [business] case more difficult.”

So that’s it. The Z is dead. Case closed… or is it? Apparently, Nissan hasn’t given up on the Z after all.  (Read More…)

By on January 26, 2018

Image: Hot Takes 1/26/2018

(TTAC Hot Takes are video roundup posts which will occur whenever we can get Michael Accardi into hair and makeup. These posts are a mandate of our VerticalScope overlords, who are fascinated with the new video medium of YouTube. Watch our other videos here.)

This week, Michael summarizes all the best news bits from January 17th through the 24th, and we highlight some Premium Selects from the B&B comments section.

(Read More…)

By on January 22, 2018

GAC GS8

Chinese car brand Guangzhou Automobile Group’s showing at the North American International Auto Show made it pretty clear that the manufacturer wants to get into the U.S. market. But, with its earlier deadlines to do so having gone unmet, there is skepticism that it won’t happen by 2019. Is it really possible?

Well, sure, anything is possible. But GAC has a laundry list of obstacles to overcome if it wants to sell cars to Americans in earnest and the clock is ticking. For starters, politicians are starting to get a little testy when it comes to Chinese trade policies, and GAC now finds itself as a focal point on the issue. More importantly, the brand needs a clear-cut path to victory — and we’ve yet to hear one.  (Read More…)

By on January 19, 2018

Image: Hot Takes NAIAS 2018(TTAC Hot Takes are video roundup posts which will occur whenever we can get Michael Accardi into hair and makeup. These posts are a mandate of our VerticalScope overlords, who are fascinated with the new video medium of YouTube. Watch our other videos here.)

TTAC had a fully alert crew in the snowy Canadian province of Detroit earlier this week for this year’s North American International Auto Show. The only person willing to put on a purple tie was Michael Accardi, so we filmed him checking out the show’s (rather limited) highlights.

(Read More…)

By on January 18, 2018

GAC NAIAS 2018

At this very moment, Chinese-based automaker GAC has a massive booth in the very center of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The company has expressed its intent to start importing its vehicles into the United States in 2019. However, 536 miles away (by car), Washington is bemoaning Chinese trade practices — a topic which might be extremely relevant for Guangzhou Automobile Group in the coming years.

On Wednesday, Democratic U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer and President Donald Trump separately criticized China’s trade policy. For automobiles, this translates into Chinese-built cars incurring a maximum 2.5 percent import tariff upon entering the United States, while U.S.-built cars sent East are hit with an average 25 percent tax.  (Read More…)

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