2013 Detroit Auto Show: Five Least-Exciting Debuts
Press days for the 2013 Detroit Auto Show have concluded, and now the show turns to the public days. The thing that's too bad about the change from press to public is that some of the latest concepts that were unveiled on Monday and Tuesday may be removed to make room for production models. See it doesn't do an automaker any good to have a car on display that the peons out there can't sink their cash into. Still, even among the cars that remain, there are some that show-goers may not even notice, as if they were removed. This is because they are just damn boring, and we can't sit around and let these automakers debut these vehicles go unnoticed for their inherent unoticability. These, ladies and gentlemen are the five least exciting debuts from the North American International Auto Show. Fiat 500 Cattiva
The Fiat 500 Abarth is awesome, and the Fiat 500C Abarth just adds a convertible top to the hot-hatch fun. The rest of the 500 lineup is "meh, not-so-much." So when we learned of the "Cattiva" version of the Fiat 500 Turbo we went, "meh." Sure, the Rame (burnt orange) paint job is pretty fetching, but it would look better on an Abarth. Yeah, the unique satin dark gray 16-inch alloy rims, leather sport seating and Beats Audio system are all neat, but not as neat as the awesomeness of driving a 500 Abarth. In short, unless its a 500 Abarth, we don't care.
2014 Kia Cadenza
If you did not know, Kia and Hyundai are closely related. The latter owns a chunk of the former and they share plenty of platforms and engines. Many regard Kia as the more excitement-driven version of the two brands (like a Korean Pontiac…think about that one for a moment), even though Hyundai has the rear-wheel-drive, V8-powered Genesis. If Kia were to expand its lineup to include a large sedan, one would think that a car that shares the platform with the Genesis would be the way to go. But alas, the Cadenza is a front wheel drive car that shares a platform with the ever-so-boring Azera. We're sure it will drive just fine, but this has more of the makings of a Korean Buick than anything else…blegch!
2014 Jeep Compass/Patriot
The debut Liberty may have been the first indication that Jeep was losing its mojo more than a decade ago, but things started to get real watered down with the Patriot and Compass. The compact crossovers were everything against what Jeep stood for: unibody, soft-roading crossovers. They didn't even have real four-wheel-drive! For 2014, the pair get a six-speed automatic transmission, replacing the current continuously variable transmission, which was a major source of complaints. It is rumored that 2014 will be the final year for both of these very-un-Jeeps. If that's the case, it couldn't come soon enough.
2014 Acura MDX Prototype
When the MDX first came out, it was heralded as a very attractive entrant in the luxury SUV category. In fact, after the BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, it was one of the earlier entrants into this vehicle segment. Then, with its first redesign in 2007 they threw on one of the ugliest faces in the industry, made only uglier by a 2010 update. Well the 2014 version of the MDX looks to be more of the same. First seen on the new Acura TL, the buck-toothed grille has been lessened, but there is still an overbite. Even though this is a complete redesign, Acura won't be out of the crap-design-woods until they use shock-treatment on its designers so that not a single one of them will ever pen a "shield" grille like the one seen here ever again.
Honda Urban SUV Concept
You know what's the only thing more boring than an Acura SUV redesign? A Honda compact crossover redesign! Honda has been talking about a tiny little ute based on the Fit hatchback for some time now, and we think that sounds just….bland. Its a car that slots below the CR-V, and will go against the Nissan Juke.
OK, Honda, whatever you say. There is literally no one at Honda with either the desire or means to design a car as exciting as the Nissan Juke, so good luck with that!
Alright everybody! We've covered the crap out of Detroit! Hopefully something more exciting happens that we can talk about the rest of the week!