2014 Detroit Auto Show: The Dozen Biggest Production Debuts Of NAIAS

Jan 17 2014, 8:06pm CST | by

2014 Detroit Auto Show: The Dozen Biggest Production Debuts Of NAIAS

Performance cars supplanted alternative-fuel vehicles as the main attraction at this year’s North American International Auto Show. But just because automakers are busy unveiling fast and powerful machines like the BMW M3 Sedan, Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and Lexus RC F doesn’t mean they’re ignoring fuel economy.

Quite the contrary. The BMW M3 has a downsized engine that is 25 percent more efficient than last year’s while offering more torque. The all-new 2015 Ford F-150 pickup, which obviously isn’t a performance car but is a fuel-chugging powerhouse of a different kind, drops a whopping 700 pounds and adds a new twin-turbo V6 engine to cut fuel economy (Ford has not released full mileage data yet).

“For the first time, with this redesign, the F-150 is actually positive to its fuel economy regulatory requirement,” said Raj Nair, Ford’s group vice president of product development, speaking at the Deutsche Bank Global Auto Industry Conference, during the second press day of the Detroit auto show. Until now, Ford has had to sell one small, fuel-efficient car for every F-150 it sold,  just to offset the pickup truck’s negative fuel economy. That’s not the case anymore.

Considering that Ford sells millions of F-150 pickups— it is the country’s best-selling vehicle for many years running—this change will have a far greater impact on overall fuel consumption than, say, the relatively smaller number of Fusion Hybrids Ford will sell by comparison.

Other potential game-changing vehicles revealed in Motor City include Chrysler’s new 200 and Hyundai’s remade Genesis. Both sedans seek to elevate the image of their respective brands by bringing new levels of performance and luxury.

Of the more than two-dozen world debuts at the Detroit auto show, here are the 12 production vehicles destined for showrooms that promise to have the biggest impact on their companies and the industry overall. (After already making such a big splash as simultaneous unveilings across the globe, we left off the 2015 Ford Mustang, even though this technically is its first appearance at an auto show.)

2015 BMW M3 Sedan & M4 Coupe

The M3 has been split into two lines for 2015. The sedan continues to be called the M3, while the coupe is now called the M4. Both lose weight and gain torque from a downsized engine that is turbocharged to deliver even more power. Beneath their aluminum, carbon-fiber and steel bodies, these two look a lot like true race cars. The question is: How well has BMW tamed the noise, vibration and harshness that comes from using hardcore, track-oriented technology?

2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe

Cadillac has its sights set on outdoing BMW’s new 4 Series with this two-door version of the ATS sedan. The base four-cylinder turbocharged engine has nearly 14 percent more torque than its four-door counterpart. A six-cylinder is also available. Enhancements like a robust engine cooling system, limited-slip differential and Brembo brakes prove that Cadillac is serious about track performance. The ATS Coupe goes on sale this summer.

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

We’ve all been waiting for it, and Chevy did not disappoint. This new high-performance version of the seventh-generation Corvette promises to exceed the performance of even the mighty ZR-1 from the previous generation, which thus far has been the most powerful and pricey production Vette in history. The new Z06 features an all-new 625-horsepower supercharged V8 and eight-speed automatic transmission. Look out Ferrari, McLaren and Porsche.

2015 Chrysler 200

Designers made this new midsize sedan so svelte that it actually looks like a compact car in person. Reviews on the show floor were mixed, but there’s no arguing that inside and out, the new 200 is far more sophisticated than before. Chrysler is hoping that exclusive features like a nine-speed automatic transmission, said to help achieve 35 miles per gallon highway, will help it compete in this highly contested category dominated by Ford, Honda and Toyota. Expect to see it in showrooms during the second quarter.

2015 Ford F-150

The best-selling vehicle in the U.S. is all new and gains an impressive list of features. But more importantly, it sheds about 700 pounds by using aluminum instead of steel for its body. The structure underneath remains steel, so the new F150 is just as rugged as before. The military-grade aluminum body has withstood exhaustive endurance tests, including racing in the grueling Baja 1,000 desert race. The F-150′s lighter overall weight allows for downsized engines without degrading performance. It hits dealers late this year.

2015 GMC Canyon

General Motors is thinking ahead with the introduction of this new mid-size pickup truck. With fuel prices and emissions standards on the rise, it sees the opportunity to offer a more fuel-efficient alternative to pickup buyers who might not need the capabilities of a full-size truck. The Canyon targets small-business owners and other professional users, whereas Chevrolet’s version of this pickup, the Colorado, which debuted at the 2013 Los Angeles auto show, is more geared toward outdoorsy types.

2015 Honda Fit

Honda’s smallest offering in the United States is not getting bigger on the outside, unlike most other cars that get redesigned. In fact, it’s losing 1.6 inches in length, but gets a tad wider. The real news is that the interior is larger and more useful. It also features an all-new engine that is more powerful and is said to achieve an impressive 36 miles per gallon overall. Look for it in dealerships this spring.

2015 Hyundai Genesis

The original Genesis was Hyundai’s first true foray into the rear-wheel-drive premium market. It was a good value, but not quite on par with longstanding luxury sedans. The all-new version that goes on sale in the spring looks to change that. It is a big step up in every way: styling, interior amenities, performance and handling. It remains rear-wheel driven with V6 and V8 engines, but gains all-wheel drive for the first time.

2015 Lexus RC F

The successor to Lexus’ legendary IS F sport sedan is a coupe. “F” is Lexus’ high-performance moniker, like BMW’s M and Mercedes’ AMG division. The big surprise is that Lexus did not downsize the engine and stuck with a burly V8, which puts out 450 horsepower. This is basically an enhanced version of the Lexus RC, which was recently unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show. It faces tough competition from the new BMW M4.

2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

This used to be Mercedes’ most affordable model. But with the value-oriented CLA-Class now assuming that mantle, the C-Class moves up market. It is, essentially a baby S-Class, with a level of luxury and features several classes above its pay grade. It’s larger but lighter than before and, in typical Mercedes fashion, introduces high-tech features like an adjustable air suspension and crash-avoidance systems typically not found in this segment.

2015 Subaru WRX STI

This is the rally-race-inspired version of Subaru’s new WRX sedan, which is based on the Impreza. It is a cult car whose halo effect boosts the mild-mannered Japanese automaker’s corporate image. Its small engine produces a stunning amount of power (305 horsepower) for its size. Advancements to the all-wheel-drive system give it an edge in handling dynamics.

2015 Volkswagen Golf R

This is another cult/halo car that draws a similar type of driver to that of the Subaru WRX STI: young and full of testosterone. The similarities don’t end there, either. This high-performance Golf has a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive, like the Subaru does. But it makes “only” 290 horsepower, which is less than the Subaru WRX STI, but 34 horsepower more than the previous Golf R. Projected highway fuel economy of 31 miles per gallon is impressive for such a high-performance vehicle. It goes on sale in early 2015.

Source: Forbes Auto

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

IPad Air Giveaway 2014 is Online
IPad Air Giveaway 2014 is Online
Our sister site I4U News is giving away a brand new iPad Air or if you can wait an iPad Air 2. This is an $499 value.
 
 
Your Parent Or Kid Moved In: Are You Covered?
A record 57 million Americans now live in multigenerational family households — double the number in 1980, according to a new Pew Research Center study. And I bet many of them have the wrong homeowner’s or renters...
 
 
Pandora Looks to Challenge Terrestrial Radio's Dominance in Cars
Pandora Media is one of the largest Internet radio providers in the U.S. with more than 75 million active users. While the company’s active user count has increased at a robust pace historically, it is likely to slow...
 
 
Are General Manager Salaries About To Skyrocket? Will There Be A Front Office Salary Cap?
Are General Manager Salaries About To Skyrocket? Will There Be A Front Office Salary Cap?
It’s January 2026. New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner gets out of his driverless car and triumphantly marches before the gathered press to introduce his prized new free agent. It’s a record-breaking contract—over...
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Udinese sign Brazilian midfielder Evangelista
Rio de Janeiro, Aug 29 (IANS) Udinese have completed the signing of midfielder Lucas Evangelista from Brazil's Sao Paulo. The 19-year-old was sold to the Italian Serie A outfit for 4,000,000 euros, Xinhua cited from...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Ed Sheeran finds Miley Cyrus 'fantastic'
Los Angeles, Aug 29 (IANS) Singer Ed Sheeran says he finds pop star Miley Cyrus "fantastic" even though she was captured on camera mouthing an expletive at him at a recent music awards ceremony. She called him "a...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Lana Del Rey to record Bond theme?
Los Angeles, Aug 29 (IANS) Singer Lana Del Rey is in talks to record the next James Bond theme. Producers of the franchise are reportedly considering the "West Coast" singer to provide vocals for the next "James Bond...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
100 immigration activists arrested in front of White House
Washington, Aug 29 (IANS/EFE) Police arrested more than 100 immigration reform activists Thursday in front of the White House as they demanded the relief for the country's 11 million undocumented foreigners, who are at...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Tracy Morgan having 'tough time' after car crash
Tracy Morgan is having a ''tough time'' recovering from his injuries following his car crash in June. The 45-year-old actor suffered a broken femur, broken nose and broken ribs when a Walmart truck crashed into the...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban filmed daughter's birth
Nicole Kidman has revealed Keith Urban filmed the birth of their first child. The 47-year-old actress admits her spouse, whom she married in 2006, captured their six-year-old daughter Sunday's first cry as she entered...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Jennifer Aniston tastes Jimmy Kimmel's wife's breast milk
Jennifer Aniston has tasted Jimmy Kimmel's wife's breast milk. The 45-year-old actress and the TV host were talking about his new baby daughter Jane on his show 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' when the former 'Friends' star...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Joan Rivers in 'good spirits' night before respiratory arrest
Joan Rivers was in ''good spirits'' the night before she was rushed to hospital following respiratory arrest. The 81-year-old comedienne appeared ''absolutely fine'' as she attended a meal at the Amaranth Restaurant in...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Areas under militants control in Iraq needs immediate aid
United Nations, Aug 29 (IANS) The United Nations Thursday said that there is an urgent need for humanitarian assistance in Iraqi areas sieged by the Islamic State militants. "The World Food Programme (WFP), which has...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Martin Scorsese to helm Ramones documentary
Los Angeles, Aug 29 (IANS) Oscar-winning filmmaker Martin Scorsese has been tapped to direct a documentary about the US punk band Ramones. To celebrate the upcoming 40th anniversary of the band's debut album, the...
Read more on Celebrity Balla