2014 North American International Auto Show Reveals Evolution and Revolution of Utility, Luxury and Performance

KBB.com’s Jack Nerad Shares Cars and Concepts from Honda, Hyundai and Toyota

2015 Honda Fit introduction at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit on January 13, 2014.

2015 Honda Fit introduction at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit on January 13, 2014.

2015 HONDA FIT

  • More powerful, refined and fuel-efficient Fit set to launch this spring
  • All-new U.S. model showcases dynamic styling and upgraded interior packed with class-leading features and technology
  • Earth Dreams™ Technology engine and transmissions deliver heightened fun-to-drive performance and class-leading fuel efficiency
Honda unveiled the all-new 2015 Fit at the North American International Auto Show. Set to go on sale in the U.S. this spring, the new Fit is completely redesigned from the ground up to deliver an unparalleled combination of style, interior space, fun-to-drive performance and fuel efficiency plus leading-edge safety and vehicle connectivity.

The Honda Fit is a small car with big aspirations. Faster, more fuel-efficient and more fun, it’s a subcompact with larger-than-life-capabilities,” said John Mendel, executive vice president of automobile sales for American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “It’s simply the best Fit to date and, we believe, a new benchmark in the small-car category.”

Named a Car and Driver ’10-Best’ vehicle every model year since its introduction to the U.S. market for 2007, the Fit remains one of the best-selling Honda vehicles globally, with cumulative worldwide sales of 4.87 million units1. The Fit is manufactured at ten locations around the world and sold in 123 countries. The new U.S.-market Fit will be produced for the first time in North America at an all-new plant in in Celaya, Mexico

TOYOTA FT-1 Concept

Toyota FT-1 Concept

Toyota FT-1 Concept

  • Company answers Akio Toyoda’s call for design revolution, more heart-pounding design
  • Stunning design draws on Toyota’s rich sports car history
  • Calty Design Research celebrates 40th anniversary with ultimate design concept

Toyota virtually blew the doors off the North American International Auto Show with the reveal of the stunning FT-1 sports car concept. First devised by Calty Design Research in the Sony PlayStation Gran Turismo game environment, FT-1 leapt from the screen to the stage in a race-inspired press conference at COBO Hall.

The name says it all. FT-1 stands for “Future Toyota,” and the number “1” represents the ultimate. According to its designers at Calty Design Research, the FT-1 Concept is the ultimate expression of a Toyota coupe design, building upon Toyota’s rich sports coupe heritage dating back to the 2000GT, Celica, Supra, MR2 and most recently Scion FR-S. The project started nearly two years ago and represents a labor of love by a passionate, dedicated and gifted Calty design team. “

2015 Hyundai Genesis

2015 Hyundai Genesis

2015 HYUNDAI GENESIS
Hyundai introduced its all-new 2015 Genesis at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, marking the highly-anticipated launch of its second-generation premium sedan. The groundbreaking original Genesis model won the prestigious North American Car of the Year accolade at its introduction in 2009.

The 2015 Genesis represents a bold step forward for Hyundai, continuing to build upon its successful strategy of marketing its premium models under the Hyundai brand umbrella, rather than a costly separate luxury brand sales channel. The new Genesis is incredibly well-equipped in every configuration, offering even more content than the first-generation Genesis, with a compelling starting price below $40,000. This additional content includes a generous suite of standard safety features, unsurpassed in its class. For the first time in a Hyundai sedan, a sophisticated AWD system will be offered, known as HTRAC®, significantly broadening Genesis appeal in Snowbelt regions throughout the U.S. The new Genesis will be built at Hyundai’s Ulsan, Korea plant, with U.S. sales beginning in the spring.

Vice President Joe Biden Leads List of Public Figures to attend North American International Auto Show 2014

As one of the top automotive events in the world, it’s no surprise that the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) continues to attract the attention of public figures from around the world. Since the former “Detroit Auto Show” became the NAIAS in 1989, it’s been visited by United Nations delegates, scores of U.S. Congressional representatives, a Japanese emperor, a Russian Ambassador, several White House Cabinet members, and one United States President: Bill Clinton in 1999.

The NAIAS is among the most prestigious auto shows in the world, providing unparalleled access to the automotive products, people and ideas that matter most—up close and in one place. One of the largest media events in North America, the NAIAS is the only auto show in the United States to earn an annual distinguished sanction of the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles (OICA), the Paris-based alliance of automotive trade associations and manufacturers from around the world.

This year, as the show celebrates its 25th anniversary as an international event, numerous government figures will attend during Press Preview, Jan. 13-14, and Industry Preview, Jan. 15-16. The list, announced today by NAIAS, is headed by Vice President Joe Biden, who returns to NAIAS for the second time (though this is his first appearance as Vice President). Additionally, representatives from numerous federal government agencies, the United States Congress, and various state officials are scheduled to see the show.

Year-after-year we are honored by the presence of public figures representing our government, and representing governments from around the world,” said NAIAS 2014 Chairman Bob Shuman. “The news and information that is generated and released at this show is relevant to the economy here in the U.S., and around the world.”

In addition to Vice President Biden, the following are scheduled to attend NAIAS 2014:

  • U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx
  • U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Thomas Perez
  • U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker
  • Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy
  • NHTSA Deputy Administrator David Friedman
  • National Transportation Safety Board Member Earl Weener
  • Michigan Governor Rick Snyder
  • Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear
  • Ohio Governor John Kasich
  • Missouri Governor Jay Nixon

In addition to the distinguish guests listed, several members of the United States Congress, along with representatives from the nations of Canada, China, Italy, Japan, and Mexico will attend.

The NAIAS also serves as a venue for automotive events significant in the development and influence of policy. This year, the show will be the setting for Michigan’s Senate Economic Development, and House Commerce committees on January 15. Industry testimony will educate lawmakers on Michigan’s role in the global automotive industry and whatMichigan can do to attract automotive investment. Experts including Michigan’s senior automotive adviser Nigel Francis, MICHauto’s Rob Luce, Nissan’s Carlo Bailo, Magna International’s Scott Paradise and others will testify before the committees on key issues impacting Michigan’s automotive industry.

Acura TLX GT Race Car Unveiled At 2014 North American International Auto Show

Acura Motorsports today pulled the wraps off the new 2015 Acura TLX GT Race Car at the North American International Auto Show, announcing plans to move up to the GT category of the growing and highly competitive Pirelli World Challenge Championship.

2015 Acura TLX GT Race Car debuts at North American International Auto Show 1-14.  (PRNewsFoto/Acura)

2015 Acura TLX GT Race Car debuts at North American International Auto Show 1-14. (PRNewsFoto/Acura)

To be campaigned by long time Acura Motorsports partner RealTime Racing, the new TLX GT will move Acura into the top category of the Pirelli World Challenge, facing competition that includes the Audi R8 LMS, Cadillac CTS-V, Chevrolet Corvette, Dodge Viper, Lamborghini Gallardo, Mercedes SLS, Nissan GTR, Porsche 911 and Ferrari 458.

The 2015 Acura TLX is a true luxury sport sedan, so it is fitting that the car be raced against several of its natural luxury competitors in the Pirelli World Challenge,” said Art St. Cyr, President of Honda Performance Development and Vice President-Product Planning and Logistics, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “Acura and Peter Cunningham’s RealTime Racing organization have a long history of success together, and we look forward to adding to that tradition with the Acura TLX GT race car in 2014.

2015 Acura TLX GT Race Car debuts at North American International Auto Show 1-14.  (PRNewsFoto/Acura)

2015 Acura TLX GT Race Car debuts at North American International Auto Show 1-14. (PRNewsFoto/Acura)

Developed from the production 2015 Acura TLX by HPD, the racing arm of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., the Acura TLX GT Race Car will feature HPD chassis and aerodynamic performance parts approved for Pirelli World Challenge competition, and will be powered by a direct-injected, twin-turbocharged V6 engine, developed by HPD from the normally aspirated, production TLX luxury sport sedan. It will utilize all-wheel drive, as found in Acura’s Super-Handling All Wheel Drive(TM) (SH-AWD(TM)). Continue reading

The New Porsche 911 Targa: The World Premiere of a Modern Classic Featuring the Innovative Targa Roof

The new Porsche 911 Targa

The new Porsche 911 Targa

At the 2014 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit later this month, Porsche is presenting the latest generation of the extravagant 911 model to the public. This model is the first to combine the classic Targa concept with state-of-the-art roof technology. Just like the legendary original Targa model, the new model features the characteristic wide bar in place of the B-pillars, a movable roof section above the front seats and a wraparound rear window with no C-pillar. But unlike the classic models, the roof segment on the new Targa can be opened and closed at the push of a button. When the button is actuated, the fully automatic roof system stows the convertible top behind the rear seat system, providing a real spectacle. The rear-weighted design of the PTM all-wheel drive fitted as standard is a typical Porsche feature, and guarantees that this latest 911 model also offers optimum driving dynamics on all road surfaces and in all weather conditions.

The new Porsche 911 Targa

The new Porsche 911 Targa

With these features, the new 911 Targa is presenting itself as a high-quality, innovative remake of the classic vehicle from 1965. The model shares a great deal in common with the 911 Carrera 4 cabriolet models; up to the window line, the technology and body of the vehicles is more or less the same. The combination of the wide rear end that is typical of all-wheel drive models, the Targa bar and the dome-shaped rear window gives the latest 911 an extremely sporty appearance and a low-slung profile. Continue reading

Porsche 911 Targa to Debut at the North American International Auto Show

New 911 model revives classic Targa concept

Porsche is celebrating two world premieres at the North American International Auto Show next week. The Porsche 911 Targa will be unveiled to an international audience at Cobo Center in Wayne Hall during the Porsche press conference on Monday, Jan. 13 at 11:45 a.m. EST. Echoing the design of the original 911 Targa of 1965, the new model features the distinctive Targa bar, a movable center roof section and a wrap-around rear window combined with innovative technical solutions that make it a true modern classic. The introduction of the 911 Targa will be streamed live via www.porsche.com/detroit.

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Alongside the 911 Targa, the all-new Cayenne Platinum Edition and Cayenne Diesel Platinum Edition will also be on display for the first time at a motor show. The Cayenne Platinum Edition models are based on the Cayenne and Cayenne Diesel variants. The Platinum Editions offer many of the most-requested options as standard. Externally, the special status of these models is demonstrated by exterior detail accents in Platinum Silver Metallic, with an exclusive two-tone standard interior in Black/Luxor Beige.

911 Targa

911 Targa

The 3.6-liter V6 engine in the Cayenne Platinum Edition delivers 300 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque and sprints from zero to 60 mph in 7.4 seconds. The Porsche Cayenne Platinum Edition has a base MSRP price $63,300. The Cayenne Diesel Platinum Edition is powered by a 3.0-liter V6 turbo diesel engine with 240 hp and reaches 60 mph in 7.2 seconds. The Porsche Cayenne Diesel Platinum Edition has a base MSRP price of $66,900. Prices do not include a $995 destination charge.  Both Cayenne Platinum Edition models are now on sale at Porsche dealers.

Fresh from its World Premiere at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the Porsche Macan S and Macan Turbo will also be on display in Detroit.  With the Macan, Porsche has created the first sports car in the fast-growing compact SUV segment. The Macan S, powered by a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine with 340 hp, can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 5.0 seconds. The Macan Turbo’s 3.6-liter twin-turbo V6 produces 400 hp and allows the car to sprint from zero to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds.

The 2015 Porsche Macan models will arrive at U.S. dealerships in late spring, with pricing set at $49,900 for the Macan S and $72,300 for the Macan Turbo.

Dodge to Debuts New Dart Blacktop at 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit

  • With unique wheels, select exterior colors and Gloss Black accents throughout, Dodge brand’s popular Blacktop packages offer customization from the factory, giving vehicles a sporty, sinister look
  • 2014 Dodge Dart SXT Blacktop package offers unique 18-inch Gloss Black wheels, Gloss Black side mirrors and a unique sport interior for a U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of just $295
  • Along with the Dart, Dodge also offers Blacktop packages for Charger, Challenger, Avenger, Journey and Grand Caravan
2014 Dodge Dart Blacktop.  (PRNewsFoto/Chrysler Group LLC)

2014 Dodge Dart Blacktop. (PRNewsFoto/Chrysler Group LLC)

The Dodge brand is expanding its lineup of Blacktop packages to the 2014 Dodge Dart, building on the success of the Blacktop packages already offered on Charger, Challenger, Avenger, Journey and Grand Caravan. The new 2014 Dodge Dart Blacktop package will debut at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January.

Built to give customers a sporty, distinct look customized by the factory at a tremendous value, the Dodge Blacktop vehicles add unique Gloss Black wheels, select exterior paint colors, Gloss Black painted split-crosshair grille with Gloss Black matching grille surround, darkened headlamp bezels, as well as some unique Blacktop interior touches.

The 2014 Dodge Dart shows its sinister side with the Dart Blacktop package. The new package complements the freshened 2014 Dart lineup, which features the 2.4-liter MultiAir2 Tigershark engine that produces 184 horsepower and 174 lb.-ft. of torque now standard in the 2014 Dart SXT and Limited models, and featuring a unique calibration on GT models.

The 2014 Dodge Dart Blacktop package is based on the 2014 Dart SXT model with the Rallye Appearance Group. On the

NAIAS Logo. (PRNewsFoto/North American International Auto Show)

NAIAS Logo. (PRNewsFoto/North American International Auto Show)

exterior, the Blacktop package adds as standard equipment Gloss Black mirrors and unique 18-inch Gloss Black aluminum wheels, adding to the features already included on the SXT and Rallye Appearance Group, including Gloss Black mask and split crosshair grille, dark-tinted projector headlamps, projector fog lamps, integrated dual exhaust, LED racetrack tail lamps, leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth and much more.

The Dodge Dart Blacktop will be available in Redline Red, Header Orange, Blue Streak, Granite Crystal Metallic, Billet Silver, Pitch Black and Bright White.

The Dart Blacktop also features unique interior details, including Black/Ruby Red premium cloth interior with Ruby Red accent stitching on the instrument panel brow, center console and seat bolsters. dual Ruby Red accent stripes on the front seats. and Ruby Red accents in the door trim panels. A Black/Light Tungsten cloth interior is also available on Dart Blacktop models.

As with all Dodge Dart SXT models, the Blacktop can also be equipped with the Sun and Sound Group, which features a power express open/close sunroof, nine Alpine speakers with subwoofer, 506-watt amplifier, Uconnect 8.4 CD/MP3 radio with 8.4-inch touchscreen radio, iPod control, SiriusXM Satellite Radio with 12-month subscription, ParkView rear backup camera, floating island bezel illuminated instrument panel surround and glove box lamp, Navigation and the Cold Weather Group, which includes heated exterior mirrors, heated front premium cloth seats, tire-pressure monitoring display and remote start (with automatic transmission).

The Blacktops have become a signature of sorts for the Dodge Brand,” said Tim Kuniskis, President and CEO – Dodge Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “With the addition of the Blacktop package for the Dodge Dart, we’re adding to our line-up of vehicles that offer the more aggressive look that has become so popular with our customers.”

The 2014 Dodge Dart Blacktop package will start arriving at dealers in the first quarter of 2014. The 2014 Dodge Dart SXT Blacktop package is available at a U.S. MSRP of just $295 on the Dart SXT with Rallye Appearance Group.

Infiniti Reveals First Image of Q50 Eau Rouge Concept

The Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge represents design vision for high-performance products

Design of Q50 Eau Rouge features dramatic aerodynamic styling influenced by Infiniti’s involvement in Formula One and Complex Carbon Composite Bodywork

Infiniti has revealed the first image of the Q50 Eau Rouge Concept Car which will have its world premiere at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit on January 13.

Infiniti Reveals First Image of Q50 Eau Rouge Concept.  (PRNewsFoto/Infiniti Motor Company Ltd.)

Infiniti Reveals First Image of Q50 Eau Rouge Concept. (PRNewsFoto/Infiniti Motor Company Ltd.)

The Q50 Eau Rouge, a high-performance design concept based on Infiniti’s Q50 premium sports sedan, draws inspiration for aerodynamic design from the technical collaboration between Infiniti and four-time Formula One World Champions Infiniti Red Bull Racing.

Major bodywork components have been redesigned with aerodynamics in mind and manufactured carbon fiber. The Q50 Eau Rouge is lower and wider – only the roof and door profiles remain unchanged from the production Q50. This striking design is

Infiniti Badge (PRNewsFoto/Nissan North America)

Infiniti Badge (PRNewsFoto/Nissan North America)

inspired by muscularity, refinement, and understated performance intent.

The Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge highlights also include deep and detailed carbon fiber front splitter, rear diffuser and side sill skirts; carbon fiber roof and door mirror casings; 21-inch lightweight forged alloy wheels; and a dual-exit exhaust sports system below a large integrated rear spoiler.

The Infiniti design team, led by Executive Design Director Alfonso Albaisa, was influenced by the aerodynamic styling approach taken by their colleagues at Infiniti Red Bull Racing.

From our shared passion for performance with Infiniti Red Bull Racing grew a collective desire to produce a vision of what a high-performance Infiniti Q50 could look like,” said Albaisa.  “The design has a number of distinctive Formula One inspired touches.  In particular, the sculpted front wing assembly and the rear aerodynamic packaging take their cues from the RB9 race car,

Infiniti is also empowering social fans to unveil the all-new Q50 Eau Rouge concept car ahead of the official launch at the Detroit Motor Show on January 13. Online advocates can drive the reveal of Infiniti’s latest concept car.  By sharing their views and comments through social media channels like Twitter (hashtag #F1Q50), Facebook and Weibo, fans will build the image of the concept in a virtual garage. Each “share” will help build individual Q50 components, and as more fans share, the quicker the car will be “built.” Progress can be viewed on unveil.infiniti.com.

More information about the Q50 Eau Rouge will be revealed during a press conference at the North American International Auto Show at 9:20 a.m. ET on January 14.