For the last few years I’ve been visiting the Detroit Auto Show, more formally known as the North American International Auto Show, and normally hashtagged as #NAIAS. I’m not gonna lie, the last couple of years were a little dry for me – but this year was a whole different story! There were just a ton of vehicles that got me really excited! So here’s a breakdown of the best, and why I liked them (in no particular order).
That’s right. A hybrid supercar. EXACTLY what the world needs!
You no longer have to feel guilty about going 0-60 in 3.8 seconds! Because you’re only burning electricity. Well, and rubber. Which is also made of petroleum products.
Um nevermind. But it’s bad ass anyway.
Speaking of bad ASS – the Cadillac ATS-V features a twin-turbo 3.6-liter V-6 making 455 hp and 445 lb-ft. torque pushing the rear wheels via either a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic. (Why you’d want the manual, I have no idea.)
Meanwhile Brembo brakes connected to the 18-inch wheels make stopping on a dime something you can do. Literally.
Did I mention the ATS-V provides rear-wheel burnouts? And can do 0-60 in under 4 seconds?
Chevy Corvette C6
As I said over on my Google+ account, I happen to think the Corvette is currently the most beautiful vehicle being made in the world. Which I realize is a bold statement. But LOOK AT IT! I kept checking out all of the cars at the show, but I went back to the Vette about a half a dozen times and EVERY time it still looked amazing!
Not to mention that the Vette can pretty much demolish just about anything on the road or track, its a comfortable ride, and it’s American made, which turns out to actually be a bonus nowadays!
Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
If you want to be a hooligan. Or you own a tire factory. This is the only car for you.
Thanks Detroit! “You’re welcome.”
The 2016 Ford Raptor
First of all, the Ford Raptor is the most amazing off-road vehicle I’ve ever been in. And I’m talking about the outgoing model! As a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association I’ve been to the Texas Truck rodeo, where I drove every vehicle imaginable off road. And I fell in love with the Raptor.
But this NEW Raptor is based on the NEW F150, which I gave you guys a sneak peak of here:
So the new Raptor is 500 pounds lighter than the outgoing model due to the all aluminum chassis and other tweaks, PLUS Ford claims an all-new EcoBoost V6 which will have even more horsepower and torque than the outgoing massive V8.
Considering how impressed I was with the V6 in the F-150 I tested, I can’t wait to see what they do to the Raptor!
The 2017 Ford GT
The GT sports an EcoBoost 600 horsepower engine that will probably do 0-60 in about 3 seconds on its way to over 200 miles per hour! Plus it features an active aero with a deployable rear spoiler, Ford’s new Sync 3 setup, an F1-style steering wheel plus a fully digital and configurable instrument cluster, 20-inch wheels, and gullwing doors.
It’s truly lust-worthy.
The 2016 Ford Mustang GT350
It’s got a 5.2-liter V-8 making around 500 hp and 400 lb-ft. of torque, mated to a six-speed manual transmission, carbon fiber wheels, and no rear seat. Or AC. Because you want to go fast! Like Ricky Bobby.
Not fast enough? In 2016 they’ll start building the new 2017 GT. A mid engine monster with that looks so good you’d swear Bradley Cooper and Hallie Berry had a baby. A baby with 600 horsepower that will probably do 0-60 in about 3 seconds on its way to over 200 miles per hour.
Acura’s New NSX
I don’t exactly know how to describe what it’s missing, but when the original NSX debuted it was a smooth, sleek gorgeous machine with new technology and it stood out from the Ferraris and Lamborghinis of the world. At a time when opulence and edginess prevailed, the NSX was the thinking man’s Ferrari.
I’ll wait to see how this one performs, rides, and what kind of attention it gets when I drive it around as a review unit. Until then my recommendation on the $150,000+ NSX is to keep an eye on the classic and timeless Aston Martins.
Alfa Romeo 4C
I don’t know how Alfa Romeo managed to make it onto my list. Because although I’ve always been aware of them, I’ve completely ignored them. But as hard as I tried to just walk on by at the Auto Show, the new 4C wouldn’t let me.
Now, I will say one thing – their marketing for this product is as sexist as it could possibly be. They were squarely aiming it right at me. Affluent middle aged guy – and they were flaunting having sex with a hot chick in the video in the booth right behind the car! And basically saying that owning a 4C is a lifestyle choice that can’t be measured… Here – you’ll see.
But anyway, its a cool little car and 237 horsepower is enough to push it from 0-60mph in 4.1 seconds! So basically what I’m telling you is, this is a little Italian go-cart.
So if you can get over the stigma of being a sexist douchebag, this might just be the right car! I could do it, because I’m John P. and I just don’t give a shit. But you might…
Mini Superleggera Concept
If they could actually build this thing for a somewhat reasonable price, I believe it could win the hearts of even Mazda Miata drivers. And that would be quite a feat.
Let me start out by saying that I don’t like two things about Tesla. First, this car doesn’t look that great. Its so plain, and boring – unless you know what lies beneath the skin. That’s a shame, because it could be lust-worthy.
The second is that I’m not at all a fan of the fact that Tesla uses non-standard plugs for their electric cars. But I understand why, because the Tesla vision is to put chargers all over the place so owners can drive for free on Tesla electricity.
Having said that, the new P85D has TWO BIG electric motors which essentially turns this family sedan into a rocket ship on wheels! 691 horsepower plus all-wheel drive equate to a 3.2 second 0-60MPH sprint. The only thing on this list that will even keep up is the Corvette, and its gonna burn a LOT of gas. Plus you can’t put 5 people in a Vette and freak them the hell out!
So there’s that.
Speaking of concept vehicles, fans of the old Toyota Supra are surely hoping the FT-1 makes its way to local dealers. The FT-1, for Future Toyota-One, is just a design concept but what’s remarkable is that this could become the basis of a car in the $60,000 price range. If they manage to pull it off, that will be truly impressive.
The Mirai is the only vehicle on the list that can claim emits nothing but pure water from the tailpipe! Because it’s a hydrogen powered vehicle! One of several that are currently in development, but also the one that seems the be the furthest along.
So in future years, we’ll be making car buying decisions based not only on gas vs. electric, but also on whether we want to burn old dinosaur gook, or hydrogen! You know… the stuff that took down the Hindenburg!
Anyway you look at it though, we’re gonna keep burning stuff to power our movement. So as long as we’re moving fast I’m cool with that. What about you?