In the cluster of issues that Detroit is currently facing, at least there’s the NAIAS to pick up their spirits! Every year the North American International Auto Show comes to Detroit for a spectacular showing of newly released and concept cars from some of the world’s top companies. With all the buzz being about what cars are going to be unveiled for the first time, sometimes we get pleasantly surprised by a car that didn’t look so hot in pictures, but blows us away in person.
After a recent conversation I had with Greg Swet of Classic Appreciation and Scott Perkin of Scotty’s Shine Shop, two great detailers who regularly attend the Auto Show in Detroit, neither one of which had anything but great things to say about the show. There were plenty of similarities between the two interviews; the show is all about looking forward to the new releases, the concept cars, and the outstanding positive atmosphere that all these car enthusiasts bring every year. But if you’re working in the car industry, Scott had to say that after returning from the show each year, “I just feel so invigorated to get back to work and work with cars!” As you might know for professionals who work in the industry, there’s a tight correlation between work and personal interest, so Greg stated, “Getting to see these new shapes, builds, and surfaces first hand gets me really excited while I wait for them to come into my shop to work on!” Whatever reason brings you to Detroit for this show, you’re likely to leave in a better mood by being around all these like-minded people.
Because attending the show is out of the question for some people, we will highlight some of the best parts of the show so far!
Starting with the coolest car that just got released, we have the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06. This car is far from a family car, but it’s well worthy of the track on Friday nights! This fine piece of automotive engineering isn’t skimping on any customers either, giving plenty of variety. The car comes with a number of option for kits, all depending on the seriousness of the driver (and of course their budget). One of those options includes the opportunity for an 8-speed automatic transmission. I’m sure you people who actually go the track on the weekends hate this, but it’s great in the business mindset to put more people in the driver’s seat!
Before going into the list of 2015 edition cars that got released this week, I want to award the best concept car to come out of this show. However, I couldn’t decide, so I made it a tie between the Toyota FT-1, or what’s being called the “new” Supra, and the Volvo Concept XC Coupe. I had to make it a tie for one reason and one reason only, style over wow factor. By looking at this picture of the FT-1, it’s very easy to say, “WOW!” Yea it’s a very cool car with sleek lines and all kinds of potential! The fact that it’s being talked about as the new Supra excites me because let’s face it, we all love a good comeback story. But the Volvo put a different twist on their concept car. It’s not super flashy, in fact in might even blend in a crowd of cars. But it’s the style, the thought and the effort that went into this car that makes me want to get in it. The look of the outside and the orange accent pieces are such subtle features that makes me think, “what in the world does it feel like inside?” That’s why I put the Volvo up in my rankings for concept car of the show.
It was very hard for me to turn down the new Kia GT4 Concept car from the awards above, but I still want to say that it is BEAUTIFUL!
I’ve never been a huge Kia fan; partly because I wanted to buy the Optima because Blake Griffin Dunked over in the NBA Dunk Contest. But it only looks like that if you get the premier package, anything else looks pretty shabby…so for that reason I’m resentful. But this GT4, if it gets put into production, is going to land Kia in the sports car world with a bang! Beyond the fact that it’s sleek and modern and basically every other reason a detailer would want to get their hands on it, the high performance 315 horsepower rear wheel drive beast seems like one fun car to drive.
Other fun cars include the release of the new lighter, more fuel efficient Ford F-150 and the new affordable bang for your buck GMC Canyon! Truck people have a different perspective when it comes to judging a vehicle. But from what I can tell, both of these cars did a great job in making the buyers money travel far. If the truck looks cool, acts mean, and saves money and gas, that’s a win win for everyone!
The major let-down in my eyes was the release of the 2015 Subaru WRX. Yes, it’s still fast and still fun to drive from what reports say, but the thing about a WRX is that it is supposed to stand out. People are supposed to say to an owner, “Oh! You’re that guy with the Subaru.” Whereas this one will make people say, “Ah, you’ve got that loud red sedan!”. Way less cool. Subaru is a category all in itself and this latest release just made it blend into all the rest. I’m fairly disappointed.
Here are some other cars including the Infiniti Q50 EAU Rogue in their new deep embellishing red paint. The always classy Cadillac ATS Coupe continues to add luxury and conservativeness into the design. Then there’s the 2014 Porsche 911 Targa; cool and all, I mean it’s a Porsche, but the most exciting thing to me is the mechanism in which the roof retracts. Other than that, we finish up with the awesome new serpent like green for Dodge Viper SRT’s.
I for one am very surprised that thus far there has been no new factory matte cars released! I think it’s relatively common knowledge that matte is getting more and more common, I guess I was expecting too much to have it show up on such high profiles cars at the NAIAS.
Please feel free to talk, leave comments, tweets us or anything about the show! We’re all car people and it’s exciting to hear what people think!
Images courtesy of Jalopnik