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Must See Sports Cars of the 2015 Detroit Auto Show

Michelle Naranjo
by Michelle Naranjo
January 12, 2015
10 min. Reading Time
2014 LA Auto Show cadillac ats vr

2014 LA Auto Show cadillac ats vr

Passion and performance are a huge part of the auto industry, and nowhere is this more evident than when taking a look 2015’s class of sports cars. Everything from lightweight two-seaters offering the utmost in handling to high-horsepower exotic supercars pushing the limits of what’s possible on the street and the track are here in Detroit, and we got cozy with the absolute best. We cleaned the drool off of the lens long enough to give you a sample of the fun - check out what’s waiting at the North American Auto Show for adrenaline junkies and weekend warriors.


Unveiled in Detroit: 2016 Acura NSX

It feels like we’ve been teased forever by the Acura NSX concept, but the 2016 Acura NSX production model doesn’t disappoint. Featuring call-outs to its first-generation sports car predecessor as well as integrating cues from the current Acura design language, the NSX looks every inch the modern supercar it’s intended to be. Underneath the skin the Acura is even more interesting, as it boasts a trio of electric engines – two motivating the front axle, and one at the rear – that work together with a twin-turbo, longitudinally-mounted 3.5-liter V-6. Together the setup produces in the neighborhood of 550 horsepower, with full electric operation available. The Acura NSX also forgoes any active aero equipment, slipping through the air based on its sleek shape alone.

  • The Acura NSX is all new for the 2016 model year.
  • Orders start this coming summer.
  • Acura estimated a starting price of $155,000.

Unveiled in Detroit: Ford GT

It’s the supercar sequel we’ve all been waiting for – and Ford promises we’ll get it next year.  The Ford GT moves away from its retro styling roots to present a fully-modern design that is inspired by, rather than modeled after, the company’s racing heritage.  The mid-engine Ford GT features a 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 that’s good for more than 600 horsepower, and it also offers a significant amount of carbon fiber in its structure, along with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.  The GT is a stunning achievement for the Blue Oval, and one that should shake up the world stage for current exotic players like Ferrari and Lamborghini.

  •   The Ford GT is concept car.
  •    Ford promises us the GT will go on sale next year.
  •    Pricing has yet to be released for the supercar.

Unveiled in Detroit: 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider

The only thing better than a mid-engine sports coupe is a mid-engine roadster - at least, that's the philosophy guiding the new 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider. The Spider chops the top off of the well-received 4C coupe, and while the resulting shape might not be as sexy as the original it's certainly exciting to look at it. It's probably going to be almost as fun to drive, too, as the 4C Spider maintains the 237 horsepower, 1.75-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine debuted by its fixed-roof sibling. This power is fed to the rear wheels via a six-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission, and the Alfa Romeo also comes with a carbon fiber tub as well as minimal modifications to its body structure to accommodate the fabric top. The result is a minimal 22 lb weight gain compared to the coupe, which should preserve the car's fantastic handling prowess.

  • The Alfa Romeo 4C Spider cuts the roof off of the coupe, features new rear body work, and gains only a few pounds in the process. An Akrapovic dual-mode exhaust system also joins the car's options list.
  • The Spider arrives this summer.
  • Pricing has not been announced for the 4C Spider.

Unveiled in Detroit: 2016 Lexus GS-F

The Lexus GS-F is the latest in a line of high speed machines from Japan that seamlessly combines a refined motoring experience that owners have come to expect from the GS with a 467 HP 5.0 liter V8 and complimentary go fast goodies like uprated stiffness and oversized brakes. Lexus has been injecting passion into the luxury brand through their lineup of high performance F badged oriented offerings. With long established sport sedans in their crosshairs, Lexus is looking to upset the balance that vehicles like the BMW M5, Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, Audi RS6 and Cadillac CTS-V have been enjoying for years.

  • The Lexus GS-F is the high performance version of the Lexus GS, so all the changes have to do with making the car a sportier model. 
  • The GS-F will go on sale late in 2015. 
  • Although pricing has not yet been announced, based on the past “F” upgrades, expect the car to start at around $67,000. 

Unveiled in Detroit: 2016 Ford Shelby GT350R

The 2016 Ford Shelby takes everything we liked about the 2016 Shelby GT350 that debuted in Los Angeles a couple of months and turns it up to 11. Or is that ‘turns it down,’ because this new track star is 130 lbs lighter than its already svelte sibling. Under the hood you get the same 5.2-liter V-8 with the same vague ‘more than 500’ horsepower, but helping to achieve the car’s impressive weight savings are carbon fiber wheels that themselves cut 50 lbs off of the final tally. Ford has also stripped everything you don’t need on a race track – including SYNC and a backup camera – from the GT350R in a bid to shed pounds.

  •  The GT350R is the Shelby GT350 on a diet.
  •  Sometime later this year.
  •  Pricing has yet to be released for the Shelby GT350R

Unveiled in Detroit: 2015 Audi RS 5 Coupe Sport

Created to shine a spotlight on the brand’s “Audi exclusive” personalization program, the 2015 Audi RS 5 Coupe Sport will deliver sophisticated style upgrade for the hi-po, 450-hp RS 5.

  • Limited to 75 units for U.S. customers, the 2015 Audi RS 5 Coupe Sport goes all-in with the leather, showcasing “Fine Nappa” hides in Black and Crimson Red, with the same material covering its RS-embossed sports seats, and Crimson Red also used for its leather-wrapped steering wheel and door inserts. The exterior then sports 20-inch “5-V-spoke” wheels, with red brake calipers, while owners can choose from a nearly unlimited palette of colors: Beyond the standard Daytona Gray and Nardo Gray, the Audi exclusive program promises “optional exclusive paint colors … to suit customer tastes.”
  • This year.
  • Prices for the 2015 Audi RS 5 Coupe Sport start at $87,575.

Unveiled in Detroit: 2015 Porsche 911 Targa 4 GTS

To help celebrate the Golden Anniversary of its distinctive Targa top—which enables open-air driving via a removable roof panel—the 2015 Porsche 911 Targa 4 GTS checks off some of the key boxes from the Porsche performance bin, highlighted by the GTS’ 430-hp six-cylinder boxer-style engine, The results include 0-60 times of 4.1 seconds and a top speed that exceeds 186 mph, along with a 25 mpg mark in highway driving.

  • Porsche either added a Targa top to the 911 Carrera GTS or powered up a 911 Targa 4 with a GTS go-fast enhancement, then also included the Porsche Chrono package, with dynamic engine mounts, as standard equipment.
  • Later this year.
  • U.S. prices are not yet available, but the 2015 Porsche 911 Targa 4 GTS will be offered from about $162,545 in Germany.

Unveiled in Detroit: 2016 Volvo S60 Inscription

The 2016 Volvo S60 Inscription is a long-wheelbase version of the standard S60 mid-size sedan. With the aging S80 full-size no longer competitive, the additional 3.4 inches of rear legroom offered by the S60 Inscription will help keep Volvo in the large sedan game without requiring significant investment in a new platform. Also interesting: the Inscription is the first Volvo that will be built entirely in China and then sold in the United States. On top of the extra space in the back, the S60 Inscription will feature special wood and metal trim as well as unique 19-inch wheels.

  • The S60 Inscription offers a longer wheelbase, more rear legroom, and a few trim changes compared to the base S60.
  • It’s coming this summer.
  • Pricing has yet to be released for the Volvo sedan.

2015 Alfa Romeo 4C

Looking for a production car well under $100k that features a full carbon fiber tub, a rear-engine design, and drop-dead gorgeous styling? It's a list of one, and that single entry is the 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C. This Italian semi-supercar delivers 240 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque from a 1.75-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and given its six-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission and ultra-light curb weight that's enough motivation to make the Alfa Romeo 4C one of the most fun-to-drive coupes on the market.

  • The Alfa Romeo 4C is all-new for 2015.
  • The 4C is available now.
  • If you want the Launch Edition, expect to pay $69,695, but standard models of the 4C start at a more reasonable $55,195.

2015 Volkswagen Golf R

The 2015 Volkswagen Golf R takes the German brand's award-winning compact hot hatch to its performance apex. Like the GTI it's based on the Golf R still features a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, only this one's tuned to produce 292 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel drive is also standard with the Golf R, and you can choose between either a traditional six-speed manual or a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox, either of which will get you to 60-mph in under five seconds.

  • The Golf R rides on a brand new platform for 2015 and has been completely redesigned.
  • You can order four-door, DSG-equipped versions now, but coupes and manual transmission cars won't be available until the summer.
  • The VW Golf R starts at an MSRP of $36,595.


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