The 2015 Auto Show circuit kicked off this morning in the Motor City. We’ve got the scoop on most of the new models debuted on Day 1 of the North American International Auto Show.
Ford warmed up the snowy Detroit morning with 3 of the most talked-about models of the day. The new F-150 Raptor concept, based on the all-new F-150, rolled out on Fox shocks. Underneath the aluminum body, a new high-output version of Ford’s 3.5L EcoBoost V6 makes more power and torque than the current V8. Shockingly, the new Raptor also featured a 10-speed automatic gearbox. Next up, the Mustang Shelby GT350R debuted to show Chevrolet that the Camaro isn’t the only pony car that can be a track machine. Ford ditched the rear seats, A/C, and the backup camera to save weight. New carbon-fiber wheels reduce rolling mass and the new front splitter and rear wing add downforce. A 5.2L flat-crank V8 twists out over 500hp and 400 lb-ft torque. Ford also developed its first MagnaRide magnetic suspension system to keep the saddle on this pony. Finally, as if that wasn’t enough, Ford announced the production of a new GT. This third-generation GT will make over 600 midengine horsepower from an EcoBoost engine. Featuring advancements like a carbon fiber monocoque, carbon fiber body panels, and a 7-speed DCT, this new GT promises to once again chase down Ferraris, just like the classic GT40 set out to. Bravo.
Nissan pulled the very-large sheet off of a trio of new Titans. Designed, manufactured, and made in America, the Titan X D features a 5.0L Cummins 5.0L turbo diesel engine with over 300hp and 550 lb-ft torque. Zero gravity seats keep occupants comfortable while towing up to 12,000lbs. The X D is one of 3 powertrains that can be paired with 2 frame lengths and 5 different trim levels. Fitted with a host of optional driver aids to help navigate this behemoth, the new Titan will be in dealerships by the end of the year.
Today, Chevrolet unveiled new alternative fuel vehicles—the 2016 Volt and Bolt EV concept. The CEO of GM, Mary Barra, declared that the new Volt will have an electric range of 50 miles before switching over to gasoline, with a total driving range of 400 miles. Other improvements include: a new braking system (improving regenerative feel), increased battery capacity (18.4 kWh), five-passenger seating, and 19% stronger 0-30mph acceleration. So, what about the Bolt EV Concept? Chevrolet is very optimistic and look forward to bringing electric vehicles to a larger segment of customers. With a projected range of 200 miles and cost of $30K-$35K, it’s sure to appeal to many.
After Alfa’s “soft launch” of the 4C last year, it’s finally official. Alfa Romeo is back, and they brought the new topless beauty that is the 4C Spider. The Spider features a unique carbon-fiber windshield frame and fiber removable roof while maintaining the mid-engine turbocharged 4-cylinder. An optional Akrapovic exhaust should spice up the aural excitement, especially without a roof in the way. The Spider will be available late this summer.
Is Mercedes-Benz ready to take on the BMW X6? It would seem so. The 2016 GLE Coupe 450 AMG offers extensive customization—DYNAMIC SELECT provides five settings to personalize engine, steering, and efficiency controls. Although there is an uncanny resemblance to the BMW X6, there are some subtle differences. Just from a photo you can see that the GLE Coupe offers more cargo room, 58 cubic feet compared to 53.9. With the term AMG, you’ll want to know what’s under the hood. 362 horsepower out of a twin-turbocharged V6 with a nine-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive sounds on par. Still need more convincing? How about the V8 biturbo GLE63 AMG. Yeah, we like the sound of that.
Classic design and innovation come together beautifully for the 911 Targa 4 GTS. Its more powerful engine offers 430 horsepower and the standard Sport Chrono package provide even better performance. When equipped with the PDK transmission, you can expect 4.1 seconds for the sprint from 0-60mph. The GTS name gives the Targa matte black 20-inch center lock wheels, black air intakes, sport design front end, and black GTS logos. Interior design was not forgotten about either. The black Alcantara found on the steering wheel and seats and trim accents finished in black brushed aluminum seal the deal for us. This is the semi-topless 911 variant you didn’t know you wanted. The other Porsche product we didn’t know we needed? The 2015 Cayenne Turbo S. With a ‘Ring time under 8 minutes and 0-60 time under 3.8 seconds, well-to-do school children everywhere will need racing helmets. 570 hp and 560 lb-ft torque help make this the fastest SUV on the planet. To stop it all off? 10-piston carbon ceramic brakes bring everything to a startling halt.
After more than 3 years and 2 concepts, the real-deal Acura NSX was unveiled today. A twin-turbo V6 paired with a 9-speed DCT and three electric motors operate all 4 wheels, earning the NSX its “super-handling all-wheel-drive” SH-AWD badge. The concept had to grow three inches longer and an inch wider than the original concept. It seems the engineers found the blown V6 needed more air, requiring the redesign. The last piece of information about the NSX? Expect a price in the ballpark of $150,000.
The Q7 was long overdue for a new look. Many changes have come about for this well-known luxury SUV—it’s more efficient, roomier, and even lighter. To be precise, it’s 716 pounds lighter thanks to heavy use of aluminum. Audi took consumer suggestions to heart and they’ve reconfigured the first and second row seating to add additional headroom and legroom . What would a redesign be without rethinking how we use technology? The new Q7 will use an all-in-one touchpad controller. It’s more streamlined and new voice-recognition software will leave preset voice commands far behind. The rear entertainment system is now powered by Android tablets that are linked to the Q7’s Wi-Fi. They can also be removed from the car and used on-the-go.
-Danielle Assenheimer, Christopher Little