The dust is settling on the first big motor show of the year, and Motor City didn’t disappoint! Read on for 5 of the biggest reveals and concepts of the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).
Let’s start with an exciting car from a manufacturer more associated with vanilla hatchbacks and family cars – Kia.
At the same length as the company’s ridiculously-named Cee’d family hatch, the GT4 Stinger concept is an aggressive and sporty 2+2 sports car. Featuring vertical headlamps which flank the signature Kia “tiger-nose” grille and finished in a warm yellow, it’s been likened by Sam from our digital team as “looking a little like a minion from Despicable Me”. What do you think?
Nevertheless, creating 311bhp from a 2.0-litre petrol engine in a tidy and unique style has us imagining a sportier and more exciting future for the Korean company – even if this concept never comes to production.
Subaru’s Impreza has been suffering from an identity crisis for a while, after a number of styling changes resulted in cries from a very vocal following called for the company to go back to it’s roots. At NAIAS this year, Subaru has proved that they listen to their fans, and have rolled out a WRX STi to be proud of. A 2.5-litre engine pushes out 305 horsepower, and should hit around 164 mph according to Subaru. They’ve obviously taken a lot of effort to ensure the car has more road presence, including a redesigned grille and front spoiler. The hood scoop has been made lower and wider to better feed air into the turbo-charged engine. Priced at £28,995 in the UK, we’re sure that the new car will find more than a few good homes come release day.
One of the more exciting and surprising concepts from the show this year was Audi’s Allroad Concept. The shooting brake concept keeps some of the usual Allroad look, but has an all-new front end and a more sculpted rear seemingly lifted from the A3. The other surprise is the E-Tron badge, as the car sports plug-in tech alongside a 2-litre four-pot engine. There’s buzz around the internet saying this is the closest look yet at what the next TT will look like – at least from the front-end – and how the interior seems prepped for production. Could we see the Allroad concept on our roads sometime in the next couple of years?
Porsche are always a manufacturer to watch, with their 918 hypercar taking pride of place at all of their motor show appearances over the last year. At this year’s event, though, the 911 has taken much of the press attention with the 911 Targa. Kindly offering a choice between a 3.4-litre version pushing out 350 bhp or a 3.8-litre model generating 400 bhp, the real draw with this model is its unconventional roof. With a press of a button, the whole of the rear glass panel lifts and pivots for the soft-top to be stowed – a function more useful than the 1960’s classic Targa. Starting with a price of £86,281, Porsche fans will get a chance to see the new cars on the roads from May this year.
Finally, Toyota’s been getting a lot of attention. This time, it’s not for a vanilla hybrid family car, though. This time, it’s for a sports car concept that many are calling a spiritual successor to the Supra. Designed by Toyota’s CALTY research and design lab in California by a small team, the FT-1 serves as a much-missed and absolutely welcome return to a more exciting and entertaining look for Toyota’s cars. Though just a concept, just the fact that Toyota have put this front-and-centre of their Detroit lineup this year shows the confidence they have that they’re going to have a great 2014 and beyond. What’s more, you can drive this car even if it’s never released. Toyota have worked with the team that make the acclaimed racing game series Gran Turismo to visualise the car in-game. If you own a PlayStation 3 and Gran Turismo 6, you can access this car now! Let us know how it feels!
What do you think of the show in Detroit this year? Do you have other favourites from the show floor? Let us know in the comments below!