2013 Detroit Auto Show: The Best of Day One
Day one of the 2013 Detroit Auto Show is in the books and there has been a heap of new vehicles to talk about. Obviously the Corvette was the major news overnight, and still dominated the news cycle well into today. That's to be expected; this is the Chevy's (and Ford's and Chrysler's) home court. Still, debuts form automakers, both domestic and abroad, gave us a glimpse into the next phase of the American automotive market. New segments are continuing to be forged and existing segments are getting refreshing new entries. We're sure to have many more impressive debuts tomorrow from Detroit, so let's get right into the top five debuts of the North American International Auto Show, according to BoldRide! 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray:
It's almost unfair to compare any vehicle debut in Detroit to that of a new Corvette; there is always a frenzy about this car. We've already talked about this car ad nauseam, so I'll share an anecdote to give you an idea of how nuts 'Vette fans are: A car museum, which will go unnamed, has an annual Corvette show, and the curator of said museum witnessed one of the show judges using a turkey baster to extract coolant from the engine of the 1963 Split-Window Stingray. The judge then squirted the contents of the baster into a plastic bag, and shined a flashlight through the bag in order to determine the originality of the coolant. So when you wonder why there is so much hype over the Corvette, remember that their fans are committed.
Lincoln MKC Concept:
Holy crap, did Lincoln need this car! Several weeks ago, Lincoln made a lot of smoke with the re-creation of its name to the Lincoln Motor Company, but there was no fire. Here is the fuego, indeed. The MKC is a mid-sized crossover that is based on a platform shared with the Ford Escape, and is venturing into a market segment that is growing rapidly. The overall shape and design is reminiscent of a high-riding Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo, Inside, the style is similar to that of the new MKZ, which is to say, very attractive. The gear shifter is a funky series of buttons rather than an actual shifter.
The concept has a full-length center console, which makes it a four seat vehicle, as well as a full length, full glass roof. Considering the need for versatility, the former is likely to be ditched in a production form. If the production version of the MKC stays close to this concept, Lincoln may well be saved.
2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class:
Say you like the styling of the CLS-Class, but don't need the size of that particular four-door coupe, well the CLA is the car for you. Based on the same platform as the A-Class (a car that we don't get stateside), the CLA is going to be the "It" small performance car at M-B in the years to come. It is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4. It puts out 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of toque.
The CLA really does look like a CLS that was left in the drier too long. The headlights and grille are nearly identical. On the other hand, the grille design is excellent and we truly hope that the dotted mesh grille is a production-ready element and not some concept vaporware. Considering that it can be hand in front-wheel or all-wheel drive, it will probably drive like a GTI on acid. We can't wait.
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee:
Lincoln may be praying for a comeback, but its failure would not mean the end for the entire Ford Motor Company. When the current-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee at the 2009 New York Auto Show, Chrysler was in dire straights and was desperate for a winner. The JGC was a success, and as such Chrysler recognized not to mess with a good thing, only offering subtle-yet-important updates.
Outside, the Grand Cherokee gets revised LED head-and-taillights. It is on the inside where the updates will be felt most. There is a new steering wheel, complete with paddle shifters and controls for available adaptive cruise control. The center console gets the same look as the new Ram 1500, and features Chrysler's larger Uconnect screen, which is the American automaker's ace in the hole when it comes to in-car tech.
While all buyers will enjoy the new interior, a certain group will very much appreciate the addition of a diesel engine to the lineup. The 3.0-liter V6 will make 240 horsepower, and an impressive 420 pound feet of toque. It can make out at a 7,400-pound towing capability and can traverse 730 miles on a single tank of diesel fuel. Needless to say, we can't wait to get our mitts on a diesel-burning Grand Cherokee.
2014 Infiniti Q50:
What can we say? Infiniti made a previous-generation E90 BMW 3 Series, and why not? Cadillac did the same thing when it made the Cadillac ATS, and that car just won North American Car of the Year.
The Infiniti Q50 replaces the Infiniti G Sedan lineup as part of a major rebranding effort. The wide front grille and heavily accented Hofmeister kink are all elements of the Infiniti Essence Concept cribbed onto what truly looks like a previous-generation BMW 3 Series. The 3.7-liter V8 under the hood makes 328 horsepower and 269 pound feet of torque, send to the rear wheels. There's also a hybrid powertrain with a total system output of 354 horsepower. The latter will achieve 32 miles per gallon highway
The Q50 will also feature Infiniti InTouch, which is a two-tier touch screen system. We hope its not too complicated, but we'll have to test drive it to know for sure.
That's it for today, but check in with us tomorrow for the best of day two at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show!