This year’s auto show actually got me more excited than any in the past. There were a ton of new vehicle introductions, and I actually found way more to share than I should probably be trying to cram into a single episode. But let’s try anyway.
Some of you know that I used to own an NSX, so that makes me the prime target for the fresh new one. But I’m strangely not in love with this very sweet piece of technology.
The new NSX will sport a twin-turbo six-cylinder engine, three electric motors, and a 9-speed dual-clutch transmission. The 550 horses on tap should give it plenty of go. But the $150K price tag is going to give it stiff competition.
Ford’s new Mustang GT350 is a super-sweet ride for anyone with a leadfoot who doesn’t happen to have 100 G’s to plop down on a car, and who doesn’t happen to care about air conditioning. It’s got a 5.2-liter V-8 making around 500 hp and 400 pound-feet of torque, mated to a six-speed manual transmission, carbon fiber wheels, and no rear seat. Or AC. Because you want to go fast.
Not fast enough? In 2016 they’ll start building the new 2017 GT. A mid-engine monster that looks so good you’d swear Bradley Cooper and Hallie Berry had a baby. A baby with 600 horsepower that will probably do 0-60 in about 3 seconds on its way to over 200 miles per hour.
And the Raptor? Oh, we’ll get to the trucks in a minute…
If you want to haul four people around in style, post haste, look no further than the 2016 ATS-V. Packing 455 horsepower and 445 pound-feet of torque from the twin-turbocharged V-6, it’ll hit 60 in 3.9 seconds with a top speed over 185 mph.
Cali and I spent a lot of time with the Volt in the past, and loved it. But the new Volt has even more to love. They’ve upped the battery range to over 50 miles, and also tweaked the styling to make it an even better looking ride.
But GM’s battery lab clearly isn’t content with a plugin hybrid and they’re looking to displace pure electrics like the Nissan Leaf with the introduction of the new Chevy Bolt. It’s a concept at the moment, but it actually looks pretty darn cool! And if they can manage 200 miles of range out of this thing and keep the pricing under $30k, which is the target, I think they’ll sell a ton of em!
The 2016 Cascada convertible is a real car already sold in Europe under the Opel brand. Its 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder makes 200 horsepower, and the convertible top can be raised or lowered in 17 seconds, even with the car in motion up to 31 MPH.
Buick Avenir Concept
On the other end of the spectrum, Buick is showing off the Avenir concept. Its V-6 engine features cylinder deactivation, auto stop/start, a nine-speed transmission with paddle shifters, all-wheel drive, driver-selectable suspension damping, and 21-inch wheels. We’ll have to wait and see if it ever actually makes it to market.
Toyota is one of several manufacturers at the show demoing hydrogen fuel vehicles, but the Mirai looks the closest to reality.
I especially liked the little demonstrator they had to show how a refueling pump works. It kind of looks like a regular gas pump, but it has sort of a quick connector that couples to the car and presumably unleashes the hydrogen.
Speaking of concept vehicles, fans of the old Toyota Supra are surely hoping the FT-1 makes its way to local dealers. The FT-1, for Future Toyota-One, is just a design concept but what’s remarkable is that this could become the basis of a car in the $60,000 price range. If they manage to pull it off, that will be truly impressive.
Just a few weeks ago I gave you guys a first look at Ford’s new F150, and for some reason it didn’t hit me that there would be a new Raptor to go along with it! But when Ford rolled out the updated design I absolutely loved it.
They tell us it’ll be powered by an all-new high-output 3.5L EcoBoost that makes more horsepower than the outgoing V-8, plus they’ve shaved 500 pounds off the truck with the new aluminum frame. Meaning the Raptor should be the fastest way to get from point A to point B. Pick ANY two points!
Chevy Colorado Concept
The Colorado is a mid-sized truck, and they look good. But they don’t normally look like this concept! It has massive wheels and off-road tires, a mount for the spare in the back, and orange all over it. Including the gorgeous integrated winch in the front bumper.
I wouldn’t say the Titan has really been updated that much. It still looks kind of like the outgoing model, and the interior has seen minor updates and improvements. I’m not sure if that’s a testament to how well it’s worked in the past, or just a lack of imagination.
The biggest change is the introduction of the XD model with a 5.0-liter Cummins diesel, making 310 horsepower and 555 pound-feet of torque. That brings the Titan’s towing capacity up to about 12,000 pounds.
The first step in the process uses a giant 3D printer to extrude a special plastic / carbon recipe into a solid chassis. Next, an industrial sized milling machine smooths out the rough body, and finally it gets polished and painted to perfection.
If they can speed up the process, maybe one day mass customization will be possible and everyone can be driving around in their own unique cars!
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