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2015 Detroit Auto Show: Hits and Misses

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Khatir Soltani

As the 2015 Detroit Auto Show continues on this week for the public days, we figured we’d give you a summary of the good and the bad so you don’t waste your time.

This year was the Year of the Truck in Detroit, thanks to no less than three new truck reveals along with new trim lines added to existing models. But easily stealing the show were the performance vehicles.

There’s no such thing as too much horsepower

All media attendees were awestruck when Ford rolled out the new Ford GT. It’s a thing of beauty, and easily the star of the show at this year’s NAIAS. But, it wasn’t the only performance car to rear its face. 

The Mustang GT350R, with its glorious 5.2L V8, sounded like something out of a dream; while the Cadillac CTS-V pumped up the ponies to 640 hp.

Oh, and there was the Acura NSX, finally on it’s way to production. It’s about damn time!

Trucks – for better or for worse

While the biggest news we anticipated before the show was the second-generation Nissan Titan and Toyota Tacoma, there were a number of surprises to keep us on our toes.

The new Titan now features a 5.0L Cummins V8 turbodiesel on a new model named the XD. Sitting between light- and heavy-duty, Nissan has an uphill battle selling this to customers thanks to the Titan’s last-generation F-150 fascia.

The Tacoma ditches the 4.0L V6 in favour of an Atkinson-cycle 3.5L V6, hopefully with more power, torque, and fuel economy than the outgoing motor.

But -- whoa! New Raptor?!?! Ford knocked it out of the park (yet again), and this new Raptor is light-years ahead of its predecessor in terms of looks and capability.

Don’t worry, Chinese cars still have a long way to go before the invasion

Chinese manufacturer GAC Group showed up at the show with two production vehicles and one concept featuring a Disco Stu style fishtank in the back.

If this is China’s version of a joke, we are missing the punch line. If they are serious, they have a long way to go before coming to North America.

Chevrolet Volt, Bolt could start horrible naming convention

Chevrolet also took the opportunity to introduce us to the new second-generation Volt and subcompact Bolt Concept electric vehicles.

Unfortunately, the Volt looks like a really big Civic. But, the Bolt goes toward the direction of the BMW i3. Personally, I like it.

But, it does beg the question: what will they come out with next? Chevrolet Dolt?

Hyundai asks, “Wanna buy this truck?”

Probably the most left-field surprise of the week was from Hyundai with the Santa Cruz Crossover Urban Truck Concept.

Sure, they are quite unlikely to build it; however, the fact that they are at least thinking about it is pretty awesome. If you could get a nice rear cap for this in production form, I would have it in a heartbeat.

Khatir Soltani
Khatir Soltani
Automotive expert
  • Over 6 years experience as a car reviewer
  • Over 50 test drives in the last year
  • Involved in discussions with virtually every auto manufacturer in Canada