A quick take on the 2014 North American International Auto Show

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Lexus RC F Toyota FT-1 Concept

The 2014 North American International Auto Show has been going on this week in Detroit, and there have been a number of interesting car debuts. The internet is full of all the minute details, and plenty of long-winded coverage about cars that nobody has driven yet. I have seen the details, and sat through much of the coverage, and now I want to bring you my concise, informed take on the cars that have debuted at NAIAS 2014. So here it goes.

2015 Acura TLX
2015 Acura TLX:
Pretty much unsurprising, but it’s good Acura consolidated the TL and TSX into one model. They should throw the 370hp hybrid drivetrain from the RLX into this car and have a legitimate Audi S4 competitor.

2015 Audi A8
2015 Audi A8:
What exactly is different again?

Audi Allroad Shooting Brake Concept
Audi Allroad Shooting Brake Concept:
The Allroad Shooting Brake could be an incredibly badass modern rally car for the road. 402hp and 479ft/lbs of torque are some serious figures, and the hybrid drivetrain could prove interesting in a car such as this. My guess, though, is that this will remain a concept.

2015 BMW 2-Series
2015 BMW 2 Series Coupe:
It’s what the 3 Series used to be, and that’s a good thing, I guess? Pretty standard BMW at this point.

2015 BMW M3 Sedan
2015 BMW M3/M4:
This is the car that the modern incarnation(s) of the BMW M3 should be. I’m glad to see a lighter car with a turbocharged engine after the E9X M3, which was a heavy car with a big, thirsty, non-turbo V8 engine. Progress, my friends, progress.

Cadillac ATS Coupe
2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe:
Glad to see it. Glad they aren’t offering the puny 2.5L engine. Good looking car, overall, if maybe a tad on the boring side, though.

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06:
Oh…… My…… GOD!!! This car effectively undoes the assassinations of both Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. That is how American the Corvette Z06 is.

2015 Chrysler 200
2015 Chrysler 200:
Nice Jetta! But for real, the new Chrysler 200 is a vast improvement over the car it replaces, which was brutally nondescript. I like the design and the improved efficiency. I like that it is based on an Alfa Romeo chassis. However, I don’t like the lack of a turbocharged engine… and that means the while the new 200 is good, it could be better.

2015 Ford F-150
2015 For F-150:
Not sure about aluminum in the application of a truck. Even though it is just the body, I have a feeling there will be complaints.

2015 Honda Fit
2015 Honda Fit:
The Fit has been one of the best economy cars on the market, and it seems it’s gotten better with the addition of a CVT.

2015 Hyundai Genesis Sedan
2015 Hyundai Genesis Sedan:
The best-value luxury sedan gets a refresh, and everything seems to be nicer and better.  It was a great decision for Hyundai to add a much needed all wheel drive option for this car.

Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge
Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge:
If Infiniti really wants to be taken seriously as a true BMW fighter, then they need to build the Q50 Eau Rouge. Everyone knows what a joke Infiniti’s IPL line has been, and 500hp+ from a turbocharged engine in the Q50 could fix that problem. I do like the french name way better than IPL, though.

Kia GT4 Stinger Concept
Kia GT4 Stinger Concept:
Just a concept car, but one that could happen in some form. Kia’s claimed 315hp 2.0L Turbo sounds great for a car like this to compete with the new Ford Mustang.

Lexus RC F
Lexus RC F:
It’s an IS-F Coupe with a healthy dose of gorgeous. If Lexus put any of the dynamic lessons they learned from the LF-A into the RC-F, then we may well have a serious sports car here.

2015 Mercedes C-Class
2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class:
Looks like the S-Class’ “Mini Me”, but that’s a good thing. Mercedes also seems to have fixed their sub-par engine range in the new C-Class.

2015 Mercedes GLA45 AMG
2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 AMG:
Basically this is a lot like the Audi Allroad Concept above, but Mercedes has already committed to actually building it. Rejoice!

2015 Mercedes S600
2015 Mercedes-Benz S600:
The S600 has always been my favorite version of the S-Class over the years because it gives you the gratuitous power you want without all the juvenile antics of the AMGs. Everything seems in order with the new S600.

2014 Porsche 911 (991) Targa
2014 Porsche 911 (991) Targa:
FINALLY the Targa is not just a glorified sunroof. This is surely a return to the way things ought to be for this “I can’t make up my mind between the coupe and cabriolet” model. I must admit, if I were buying a new non-turbo or GT3 Porsche 911, the Targa 4S would be it.

2015 Subaru WRX STI
2015 Subaru WRX STI:
I have the utter mortification of saying that this is the first time I have been entirely indifferent to a new Subaru STI. The worst crime a car can commit is to be boring and uninspired, and that is exactly what the 2015 STI is. Save your money and buy a used one because you’re getting the exact same car. 

Toyota FT-1 Concept
Toyota FT-1 Concept:
Brilliant start, but I’m not going to pat Toyota on the back until I see the new Supra in finished form, done properly.

Volkswagen Beetle Dune Concept
Volkswagen Beetle Dune Concept:
The fun! offroad Beetle that we all want, and this one would come with a warranty. I doubt they will make it, though.

Volkswagen Bluemotion Concept
Volkswagen Bluemotion Concept:
VW showing that they can do the 40mpg thing without diesel or hybrid technology. It’s a good thing. That’s all.

2015 Volkswagen Golf R
2015 Volkswagen Golf R:
The new Golf R is pretty much exactly what we expected it to be, and not much of what we’d secretly hoped it would be…. jut like the last one. Basically its just an all wheel drive GTI. That’s not a bad thing, but it also doesn’t really justify the extra money. On a brighter note, this will be the first time that the Volkswagen R model will legitimately compete with the Subaru STI in terms of performance, though mostly due to the fact that Subaru hasn’t changed the STI in 10 years, and VW has finally inched their way up to the Subaru’s level. It will be a cataclysmic face-off of lowered expectations!

Another new year, another North American International Auto Show in the bag. I look forward to seeing many of these cars when they hit showrooms, and I hope to get my hands one a good portion of them for reviews as well. Until then, all we have is the initial information.

-Article By Nick Walker

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5 thoughts on “A quick take on the 2014 North American International Auto Show”

  1. Thanks for this concise and interesting summary of the 2014 North American show! I want that new Corvette! And I want that Beetle Dune! VW needs to make that one. I think it would be a huge seller!

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    1. Yea but, at least at this point, LRs are not really blue collar work type of vehicles. F150s are going to face a much harder life on average than any of LR’s current range. A lot more chance of an F150 being hit by a 2×4 or two during its day.

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