Global Automakers Introduce Latest Models at the Detroit Auto Show
2013 North American International Auto Show Brings Heat to the Motor City
No, we’re not talking about the Miami Heat, or a showing of the excellent 1995 Michael Mann film starring Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino, when we say that the annual 2013 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) is bringing heat to Detroit. We’re talking about the hottest new cars, trucks, and SUVs on the market, which will be rolling into dealership showrooms near you within the next year or two.
Traditionally, the Detroit Auto Show is the most important one in North America in terms of news and product debuts, if not physical size. Each January, auto manufacturers from around the world descend upon Detroit to unveil their latest models, and the Autobytel team is on the ground in the Motor City to gather all the news, filter the noise, and tell you what you need to know.
Let’s get started.
Acura reveals the MDX Concept at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, providing a good look at what the redesigned 2014 Acura MDX will look like when it goes on sale later this year.
Expect the new 2014 MDX to offer 7-passenger seating and a choice between front- and all-wheel drive. A new, more fuel-efficient V-6 engine is standard, and the MDX could receive the same Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive powertrain bound for the 2014 RLX sedan as an option. Likely upgrades include AcuraLink cloud-based smartphone integration technology, a high-fidelity audio system, and numerous new safety features.2013 Detroit Auto Show Brings Heat to the Motor City: Audi
Audi unveils four new performance models in Detroit. The 2014 Audi SQ5 is a sport-tuned version of the popular Q5, equipped with a supercharged, 354-horsepower, 3.0-liter V-6 engine and a torque-vectoring Quattro all-wheel-drive system. Acceleration to 60 mph takes 5.3 seconds, according to Audi.
The 2014 Audi RS5 Cabriolet is a convertible version of the recently introduced RS5 Coupe. It offers the same high-revving, 450-horsepower, 4.2-liter V-8 engine and performance-tweaked version of Quattro, combined with a convertible top that folds in 15 seconds and leaves a sizable trunk for top-down road trips. Audi says that 60 mph arrives in 4.9 seconds.
The new 2014 Audi RS7 takes the recently launched S7 to the next level of performance. Taking a no-holds-barred approach, the new 2014 RS7 is stocked with a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 generating 560 horsepower and 553 lb.-ft. of ground-pounding torque starting at just 1,750 rpm. No wonder, then, that Audi says the RS7 accelerates to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds and can reach 189 mph.
Finally, Audi shows the updated 2014 Audi R8 in Detroit. Minor styling updates are overshadowed by a new 7-speed S-tronic automated double-clutch transmission and the arrival of a lighter-weight, 550-horsepower R8 V10 Plus 5.2 Coupe that screams to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds and hits 198 mph.2013 Detroit Auto Show Brings Heat to the Motor City: BMW
Want a new 2013 BMW 3 Series with a $3,400 discount? Sure you do. And now you can get one in the form of the new 320i model, which joins the lineup this spring. The new BMW 320i is equipped with a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine mustering 180 horsepower and 200 lb-ft. of torque. The idea here is a lower price tag in exchange for acceleration to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds, because fuel economy numbers are about the same as the 328i.
The BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe is, for all intents and purposes, the new 2014 BMW 4 Series Coupe. The new 4 Series Coupe replaces the 3 Series Coupe, which is discontinued, but will share its powertrains with the 3 Series Sedan. That means buyers will choose between a 428i, a 435i, and eventually, a performance-tuned M4.
Speaking of M models, the 2014 BMW M6 Gran Coupe turned up in Detroit. Highlights include a twin-turbocharged, 560-horsepower, 4.4-liter V-8 engine, a 7-speed M Double Clutch Transmission (M-DCT), and model-specific mechanical, cosmetic, and equipment upgrades. It accelerates to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds, beginning this June.
BMW also displayed the 2014 BMW Z4 in the Motor City. The major change is the introduction of a new entry-level model called the Z4 sDrive18i, which is equipped with a turbocharged, 156-horsepower, 4-cylinder engine. Additional changes amount to freshened styling, new wheels, new colors, and expanded BMW ConnectedDrive services.2013 Detroit Auto Show Brings Heat to the Motor City: Cadillac
The 2014 Cadillac ELR is built on the same platform as the Chevrolet Volt, employing an electric drive motor powered by a rechargeable battery pack and equipped with a gasoline engine that serves as a generator when the battery charge is depleted. The new 2014 ELR seats 4 people, and is draped in Cadillac’s now familiar Art & Science bodywork.2013 Detroit Auto Show Brings Heat to the Motor City: Chevrolet
Chevrolet introduced two significant vehicles in Detroit. The redesigned 2014 Corvette Stingray launched with a new direct-injected 6.2-liter LT1 V-8 engine generating an estimated 450 horsepower and 450 lb.-ft. of torque. That’s good for acceleration to 60 mph in less than four seconds, according to Chevy, and the engine’s Active Fuel Management system provides 26 mpg on the highway. Check out our video preview of the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette C7 Stingray.
That same V-8 engine is offered in the redesigned 2014 Chevy Silverado 1500, which is also available with a new 4.3-liter V-6 and a new 5.3-liter V-8. A 6-speed automatic is standard, and the new Silverado is equipped with upgraded brakes, electric steering, a stiffer suspension, improved aerodynamics, a quieter cab, new safety features, and better technology than ever.2013 Detroit Auto Show Brings Heat to the Motor City: Dodge
The 2013 Dodge Dart GT was widely expected to arrive as the previously announced, range-topping Dart R/T. The new Dart GT is based on the Dart Limited, adding unique exterior details, a sport suspension, bigger wheels and tires, and a more powerful 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine with a conventional 6-speed automatic transmission. Inside, premium leather, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and more make the Dart GT’s $1,000 price premium over the Dart Limited look like a tremendous bargain.
Dodge also introduced three new Blacktop Edition models in Detroit: Durango Blacktop, Grand Caravan Blacktop, and Journey Blacktop. Blacktop trim adds what Dodge calls a “sinister” appearance, as if a minivan isn’t already somebody’s idea of a nightmare. Dark grilles, headlight bezels, and wheels are the common Blacktop package elements.2013 Detroit Auto Show Brings Heat to the Motor City: Fiat
After introducing a slew of new models in Los Angeles last fall, Fiat brings a couple of 500-based design concept vehicles to Detroit. The 500 Cattiva Design Concept is based on the 500 Turbo model, and features a copper-colored paint job with black accents. Inside, a Beats Audio premium sound system complements leather sport seats and a matte black dashboard.
The FIAT 500 Abarth Tenebra Design Concept is painted matte gray with black chrome accents, and is equipped with gloss black lighting bezels, gloss gray mirror caps, and unique 16-inch Hyper Black lightweight aluminum wheels. A giant gloss gray scorpion decal is applied to the roof. Inside, the Tenebra Design Concept features black leather, gray contrast stitching, matte-finish carbon fiber trim, and a Beats Audio system.2013 Detroit Auto Show Brings Heat to the Motor City: Ford
Ford stole some of Chevy’s thunder by showing the Atlas Concept in Detroit, which gives pickup truck buyers an idea of what’s in store for the next-generation 2015 Ford F-150. Ford is widely expected to employ intensive amounts of aluminum in the redesigned 2015 F-150 in an effort to lighten the truck to improve fuel economy, and to strengthen the truck to ensure payload and towing capabilities.
Less excitement was to be had in association with the debut of the 2014 Ford Transit full-size van, the long-overdue replacement for the ancient E-Series. The Transit is a global product, offered in three roof heights, three body lengths, and with a choice between three powertrains. Ford says the largest 2014 Transit carries almost 496 cu.-ft. of cargo – as much as two E-Series Vans.
A redesigned 2014 Ford Transit Connect cargo van also debuted in Detroit, a small commercial van designed for use in urban areas or by smaller businesses. Maximum cargo volume measures 130 cu.-ft., and the Transit Connect offers a choice between two 4-cylinder engines.2013 Detroit Auto Show Brings Heat to the Motor City: GMC
Anything that can be said about the redesigned 2014 GMC Sierra also applies to the new 2014 Chevy Silverado. Under the GMC’s unique sheetmetal it is the same truck as the Chevrolet, powered by the same engines, and equipped with the same features. Trim level designations and packaging are slightly different to help position the Sierra as a slightly more upscale pickup.2013 Detroit Auto Show Brings Heat to the Motor City: Honda
Honda thinks there is room beneath the popular CR-V for a smaller, less expensive crossover suv, one similar in concept to the Nissan Juke or Subaru XV Crosstrek, and the company plans to introduce one in 2014. The Honda Urban SUV shown in Detroit is a preview of that new model, which will share a platform with the Honda Fit, and offers a Magic Seat design, HondaLink technology, and a fuel-efficient Earth Dreams powertrain.2013 Detroit Auto Show Brings Heat to the Motor City: Hyundai
The Hyundai HCD-14 Genesis Concept is a preview of what the company is expected to do with the next-generation Genesis Sedan. The car features a “fluidic-precision, liquid metal” design language and 4-door coupe styling with a rear-drive, sport-tuned chassis and a V-8 engine. The concept also explores eye-tracking and 3-D hand-gesturing technologies to eliminate driver distraction.2013 Detroit Auto Show Brings Heat to the Motor City: Infiniti
In advance of the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, Infiniti announced new naming conventions for its lineup, which will commence starting with the 2014 model year. The cars are now the Q50, Q60, and Q70, while the SUVs are now the QX50, QX60, QX70, and QX80.
With that out of the way, the company was prepared to debut the new 2014 Q50 in Detroit. The Q50 replaces the G37 Sedan, and is a luxury performance sedan equipped with a V-6 engine or a hybrid powertrain and a choice between rear- and all-wheel drive. New features include Infiniti InTouch connectivity, Direct Active Steering, Active Lane Control, and a bigger interior with a larger trunk. The Infiniti Q50 goes on sale in time for the summer of 2013.2013 Detroit Auto Show Brings Heat to the Motor City: Jeep
An updated 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee debuted at the 2013 NAIAS, wearing revised styling, equipped with a new 8-speed automatic transmission, and offering Uconnect Access, Forward Collision Warning, and Rear Cross Path Detection technologies for the first time. A new top-of-the-line 2014 Grand Cherokee Summit model joins the lineup, and Jeep also announced that all Grand Cherokees receive improved fuel economy ratings for 2014. The most fuel-efficient powertrain, the optional 3.0-liter clean EcoDiesel engine, will return 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway when paired with 4-wheel drive.
The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 is also updated, and in addition to changes listed above, the performance-tuned SRT8 model gets standard LED exterior lighting, a Launch Control system, improved towing capacity to 7,200 lbs., and a modified Selec-Track system that delivers more torque to the rear wheels when the vehicle is placed in Track mode.
Finally, Jeep updates the 2014 Compass and 2014 Patriot by adding standard side-impact airbags and swapping the optional continuously variable transmission (CVT) for a conventional 6-speed automatic transmission. Additionally, the 2014 Compass receives interior and exterior styling modifications in an effort to make the diminutive crossover SUV more appealing.2013 Detroit Auto Show Brings Heat to the Motor City: Lexus
The 2014 Lexus IS, more than any other model in the company’s lineup, signals the direction the company is heading with regard to design. Starting with an exaggerated spindle-style grille, the new 2014 IS 250 and IS 350 models are sharp, angular, and almost angry in appearance. The F Sport models have unique styling details inside and out, and thanks to a wider cabin and a longer wheelbase, rear legroom is improved.2013 Detroit Auto Show Brings Heat to the Motor City: Lincoln
The 2014 Lincoln MKC is a compact crossover SUV that shares its underlying structure with the Ford Escape. However, because the newly-minted Lincoln Motor Company is attempting to distance its products from the Fords from which they spring, the MKC Concept is longer, wider, and lower than the Escape, and equipped with bespoke interior materials. The MKC Concept has a panoramic glass sunroof, MyLincoln Touch, heated and ventilated front seats, premium leather, and more. Mechanical details remain a mystery, but a standard 240-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine seems a good bet.2013 Detroit Auto Show Brings Heat to the Motor City: Maserati
The 2014 Maserati Quattroporte is the first of several new Maserati models that the company hopes will help it to significantly increase sales around the world. Longer, lighter, and roomier inside than the flagship luxury sport sedan that it replaces, the 2014 Quattroporte is offered with Ferrari-sourced engines, optional all-wheel drive, new Maserati Touch Control technology, an optional rear-seat entertainment system, and more.2013 Detroit Auto Show Brings Heat to the Motor City: Mercedes-Benz
The big story from Mercedes-Benz in Detroit was the debut of the CLA-Class, a new entry-level Mercedes slotting into the lineup beneath the C-Class. A small 4-door coupe, the turbocharged, 208-horsepower CLA250 takes styling cues from the larger CLS, and will be offered with front-wheel drive or 4Matic all-wheel drive. A performance-tuned CLA45 AMG 4Matic variant has been confirmed, but no details are available yet.
Additionally, Mercedes unveiled a revamped 2014 E-Class lineup. The cars aren’t completely redesigned, but they are improved in terms of styling, safety, technology, fuel economy, and for the E63 AMG models, performance. No model is untouched, and the E-Class Sedan is now offered as the E250 BlueTec with an even more efficient turbo-diesel engine.
Mercedes also announced that the 2014 Mercedes CLS63 AMG will have a more powerful engine and standard 4Matic all-wheel drive that splits power 33:67 front-to-rear.2013 Detroit Auto Show Brings Heat to the Motor City: Mini
Well, that didn’t take long. No sooner did the paint dry on the new Paceman and Paceman S than Mini introduced a performance-tuned version. The 2014 MINI John Cooper Works Paceman is equipped with a 218-horsepower turbocharged engine, all-wheel drive, a sport suspension, sport brakes, and a sport exhaust. It goes on sale in March, 2013.2013 Detroit Auto Show Brings Heat to the Motor City: Nissan
Nissan revealed upgrades for the 2013 Nissan LEAF at the Detroit Auto Show, explaining that the electric car now offers expanded range, shorter recharging time, a lower base price, more cargo room, and additional features. The car and its battery pack are now built in Tennessee rather than Japan.
The new 2014 Nissan Versa Note is the replacement for the old Versa Hatchback. A 5-door hatchback that Nissan claims has the most cargo room in its class, the Versa Note is equipped with the same uninspiring powertrain as the Versa Sedan, a far cry from the direct-injected, supercharged, high-compression 3-cylinder engine offered to Japanese buyers of the same car.
The Nissan Resonance Concept is a crossover SUV that some claim provides a good look at the next-generation Nissan Murano. The automaker recently confirmed that a redesigned Murano is in development, and will be built in its Canton, Mississippi assembly plant.2013 Detroit Auto Show Brings Heat to the Motor City: Tesla
The 2014 Tesla Model X makes its official debut in Detroit, an electric crossover SUV built upon the same platform as the Model S sedan and offering a choice between rear- and all-wheel drive. The new Tesla model X can seat seven passengers and provides impressive range even in standard format. But perhaps its most unusual characteristic is its Falcon Wings rear door design, gull-wing doors that Tesla added to make it easier to enter and exit the SUV even in tight parking quarters (just watch out for low parking garage ceilings).2013 Detroit Auto Show Brings Heat to the Motor City: Toyota
Toyota wants to add visual drama and expressive styling to its lineup of vehicles, and when it comes to the plain Jane Corolla compact, it can’t come soon enough. And when it does, it might look a little bit like this Toyota Corolla Furia Concept vehicle that debuted in the Motor City. Toyota says the Corolla Furia Concept’s “Iconic Dynamism” design provides hints as to how the next-generation 2014 Corolla will look when it arrives later this year.2013 Detroit Auto Show Brings Heat to the Motor City: Volkswagen
Designed specifically for North American consumption, the Volkswagen CrossBlue Concept is a 3-row, 7-passenger crossover SUV that strongly signals VW’s intention to field an entry in this competitive vehicle class. The CrossBlue’s diesel-electric hybrid powertrain might be of more interest however, pairing as it does a turbocharged 2.0-liter diesel 4-cylinder engine with two electric motors that effectively create an all-wheel-drive system. Combined, horsepower measures 305 ponies and the powertrain develops a whopping 516 lb.-ft. of torque.
In other news, Volkswagen has already announced its intention to discontinue its aging 2.5-liter inline 5-cylinder engine, which serves as the standard, and most popular, engine in its Passat family sedan. It is likely to be replaced by the turbocharged, 250-horsepower, 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine installed in the Passat Performance Concept, which also adds 19-inch wheels, upgraded headlights and taillights, and a two-tone interior.
Volkswagen also announced that it will sell R-Line versions of the 2014 Tiguan and 2014 Touareg models. The sportier SUVs join the Beetle RE-Line and CC R-Line in VW’s lineup. The 2014 Tiguan R-Line is equipped with front- or all-wheel drive, and includes 19-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, bi-Xenon headlights with LED running lights, a flat-bottomed steering wheel, paddle shifters, and more. A 400-watt Fender premium sound system is standard. The 2014 Touareg R-Line is based on the Touareg Lux model and adds 20-inch aluminum wheels, a sport body kit, LED taillights, a flat-bottomed steering wheel, and unique interior trim to a V6 or TDI version of the Touareg.