Top 10 Cars of the 2015 Detroit Auto Show
You might have heard that the Detroit economy is on the upswing and so is the North American International Auto Show.
You could say the COBO Center just got a mid-cycle refresh and as you can guess it’s bigger, better and more efficient (sort of) than ever before. But time is short and what you really care about is inside, so what are you waiting for?
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Say hello the latest Porsche Cayenne. Yes, it’s another one, but there are a couple things you need to know about Porsche’s latest pepper-named people hauler. The new Cayenne Turbo S recently lapped the Nurburgring in under eight minutes, probably because it can brake dangerously late in a corner thanks to its TEN PISTON front brake calipers.
Then there’s the new GS F. It’s the newest performance product from Lexus. It’s got a 5.0-liter V8 that makes 467 hp and 389 lb-ft of torque, all of which is sent through an eight-speed automatic transmission. It’s a familiar performance combination as far as Toyota products go, but don’t let that scare you away. Keep in mind this is a naturally aspirated V8 powered luxury sedan focused on performance. Those are growing scarcer every year.
If there’s one thing that isn’t scarce at the Detroit show this year it’s trucks and for proof, look no further than Hyundai. Yes several pickups made debuts here, but the Santa Cruz came as a big surprise and a particularly welcome one. It uses a 2.0-liter diesel engine to make 190 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. Who knows if Hyundai is planning to build and sell something like this, but our thumbs are up.
And they’re going to stay there for the Buick Avenir concept. It made a surprise debut the night before the show, previewing a possible future flagship sedan. We don’t know very much about it yet, but GM says it has a twin-clutch all-wheel drive system that can de-couple to cut mechanical drag and only power two wheels.
It’s also impossible to ignore, partially because its HUGE and exactly what this brand needs.
But enough about concept cars. The 2016 Volt sits at number six on our list and it’s buzz is all real. For the second generation, Chevrolet’s extended range electric car finally rides on its own platform and can now travel up to 50 miles without burning gasoline. It has a smaller, more efficient battery, a bigger gas engine and fresh styling that keeps it from looking like a Chevy Prius.
But for all the fossil fuels people save by driving the Volt, there will be one of these puppies running to keep things in Check. This is the new aluminum body Raptor and it rocks hard. Ford’s second-generation soft road racer has more power, more suspension travel and even meaner looks than before. Oh and it uses a 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine and a 10-speed transmission.
Speaking of speed, Cadillac has it in spades. The new CTS-V debuted here this week with a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 closely related to the engine you would find in the new Corvette Z06. It churns out 640 hp and 630 lb-ft of torque to reach a claimed top speed of 200 MPH.
But if an American sledgehammer wrapped in rich leather isn’t appealing to you, Acura finally has your fix. Yes, the production NSX is here in Detroit promising super high performance designed to be accessible for most drivers. It offers at least 550 hp from a twin-turbo V6 mated to no fewer than three electic motors.
If you’re wondering why the new NSX isn’t number one, lets just say we took it down a few pegs. Three to be exact: one for every painful year of waiting since the first concept debuted here in 2012.
And in number two, there’s a track-focused product form Ford that can boast some impressive firsts. It has Ford’s first flat-plan crank V8, it’s going to be the first naturally aspirated V8 from the blue oval to crack 500 hp from the factory and it is the first car from a mainstream brand to come with wheels made of carbon fiber.
But if a Mustang isn’t enough, all you need to do is a 180-degree turn in the Ford booth to see number one: the new Ford GT. Looking more like a Le Mans prototype than something you could legally drive on public roads, this is actually a production ready vehicle. It uses a seven-speed dual clutch transaxle mated to a version of Ford’s 3.5-liter V6 that will make at least 600 hp. Best of all, it’s supposedly entering production next year.