The North American International Auto Show will be in the books by the time this issue is out, but the world’s largest auto manufacturers revealed their most innovative new models to the press in a grand preview which was held the first week of the show, January 12-16. Here are some of the cars that debuted during the press preview. Soon you’ll be able to purchase them if you like what you see!
Easily the biggest unveilings at the press preview were the sleek and sexy sports cars. Two of them in particular caught the eyes of multiple press outlets. The Detroit Free Press even went as far as to say, “Decades from now, car lovers will be talking about [this] show” due to the twin unveilings of the Ford GT and the Acura NSX. “[It’s] the automotive equivalent of Halley’s Comet,” they gushed.
It’s easy to see why the Ford GT is impressive. Now in its third generation, it features a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 engine, and its carbon fiber parts have shaved hundreds of pounds off the weight of the car. It will be going into production in late 2016, for the 50th anniversary of the Ford GT’s 1-2-3 placing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The Acura NSX is a model that seeks to actively compete with European luxury brands (Acura, of course, is the luxury division of Japanese brand Honda), and compete it will, with its breathtaking body all in candy apple red. This car combines a twin-turbocharged engine with a three-motor hybrid. Acura says the reason why they’ve combined the two is to give sports car lovers a “powerful driving experience like no other.” This reveal comes 25 years after the first generation went on the market.
Buick is mixing things up with the unveiling of a brand new model, called the Avenir. When people think of Buicks, they usually think of retirees, or at the very least a more mature person driving a rather large automobile. Buick is looking toward the future with this model — literally: “avenir” means “future” in French — with this sleek design. It boasts rear-wheel drive, a long, sloping hood and a curt back design. Buick’s future looks bright with an updated model like this.
The Chevrolet Bolt was also the talk of the auto show, as the auto maker makes its first big grab into the all-electric market, clearly jealous of the success of Tesla. New with the Bolt is its affordable price tag (it will be sold for around $30,000, clearly aimed at couples and families) and its energy efficiency. The Wall Street Journal talked to Chevrolet brass and they said the new Bolt can travel as far as 200 miles on just one charge. Florida has become an electric car-friendly state in just a short amount of time, making the Bolt even more irresistible for people who would normally buy hybrids.
Then there’s the new Ford F-150, which South Florida car dealers told me all about already. The biggest change is that the body is all aluminum, taking as much as 700 pounds off the model’s current weight. Along with other tweaks to the truck’s design, the new F-150 will be more fuel efficient; drivers will be able to expect 26 miles to the gallon on the highway now. The F-150 has always been a dependable, tough truck, and the newest model can tow as much as 12,000 pounds.
The car that had the most futuristic design, out of all the unveilings during press preview, was the Mercedes F015 Luxury. The metallic, aerodynamic design almost makes the car look like a bullet at first glance. But what really has people talking is the interior design. You can open up the twin doors from different directions, as if opening up doors in a building, and inside passengers can enjoy what Mercedes calls “a private retreat.” Seats have the option of swiveling 180 degrees, so people in the front can face the passengers in the back seat and have full conversations. The wooden floors and LED lighting make it tempting for a car buyer not just to use this vehicle for transportation, but for entertaining as well.
Finally, 3D printing has been one of the engineering marvels of the past decade, and this year everyone was wowed by the first 3D printed car. Local Motors printed the car and started assembling it right there on the showroom floor. Their Strati model consists of an all-carbon fiber body. Factoring in the addition of tires, the battery, motor and other parts that can’t be printed, a car can be up and running in just under two days. They hope to start selling the model later this year starting at $18,000.
55 cars in total were unveiled during the North American International Auto Show’s press preview. Want to see them all? Go to naias.com and view their photo galleries.