2015 NAIAS Seen (or Scene)

Patrick Wong, photographer and designer, braved the snow and single-digit temperatures that were outside of Detroit’s Cobo Center and found several vehicles of visual interest. . . . FORD GT This is a car that was rumored to be coming, yet which was kept undercover exceedingly well so that when it was revealed, the gasps in Joe Louis Arena caused a momentary lack of oxygen in the room:   ACURA NSX Acura’s stand was directly across from Ford’s.  And Acura revealed the production version of the NSX.  Some argued that Acura should have challenged Ford to a race through the slippery streets of downtown Detroit.  It would have probably won, because this hybrid as all-wheel-drive: ALFA ROMEO 4C SPIDER The question is whether this is a study in Italian sexiness or lightweight.  This car features a body of SMC, a carbon-fiber monocoque, aluminum chassis and engine mounting components, and an all-aluminum, 237-hp turbocharged engine.  And yes, you can remove the carbon-fiber roof: VOLKSWAGEN CROSS COUPE GTE American drivers are snapping up crossover vehicles of all size with vigor of late.  And so Volkswagen has wisely decided that because it has that giant manufacturing plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, that’s making Passats that are sedans, not crossovers, it needs to do something.  And that something is the Cross Coupe GTE, a seven-passenger crossover that will go into production near the end of 2016.  Oh, and it is a hybrid.

Patrick Wong, photographer and designer, braved the snow and single-digit temperatures that were outside of Detroit’s Cobo Center and found several vehicles of visual interest. . . .

FORD GT

This is a car that was rumored to be coming, yet which was kept undercover exceedingly well so that when it was revealed, the gasps in Joe Louis Arena caused a momentary lack of oxygen in the room:

F

 

ACURA NSX

Acura’s stand was directly across from Ford’s.  And Acura revealed the production version of the NSX.  Some argued that Acura should have challenged Ford to a race through the slippery streets of downtown Detroit.  It would have probably won, because this hybrid as all-wheel-drive:

N

ALFA ROMEO 4C SPIDER

The question is whether this is a study in Italian sexiness or lightweight.  This car features a body of SMC, a carbon-fiber monocoque, aluminum chassis and engine mounting components, and an all-aluminum, 237-hp turbocharged engine.  And yes, you can remove the carbon-fiber roof:

A

VOLKSWAGEN CROSS COUPE GTE

American drivers are snapping up crossover vehicles of all size with vigor of late.  And so Volkswagen has wisely decided that because it has that giant manufacturing plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, that’s making Passats that are sedans, not crossovers, it needs to do something.  And that something is the Cross Coupe GTE, a seven-passenger crossover that will go into production near the end of 2016.  Oh, and it is a hybrid.

V

TOYOTA TACOMA

For the past several years, Toyota has been dominating the midsize truck space with the Tacoma.  Seriously dominating.  When Chevy and GMC revealed the Colorado and Canyon, pundits figured that said dominance was going to come to a rapid close.  No one told the people at the Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, who had the lead on developing this all-new Tacoma.  While Ford has made the words pickup and aluminum fit snugly together in descriptions, for the Tacoma, Toyota is going with major amounts of ultrahigh-strength steel that is both light and strong:

T

BUICK AVENIR

Buick was once known for its stunning sedans.  Nowadays, its Encore and Enclave crossovers account for nearly half of the division’s sales.  Were this stately, gorgeous four-place sedan ever go from being a concept to production car, the question “Wouldn’t you really rather have a Buick?” would be answered in the affirmative for a whole lot of people:

B  

CHEVROLET BOLT

OK.  The name is sort of silly.  “First we brought you the Chevy Volt.  One day we’ll offer the Chevy Bolt.”   They couldn’t go with “Colt” because that’s owned by Dodge, and “Molt,” well. . . .  Anyway, this is an electric vehicle.  Not a range-extended electric vehicle (i.e., something with an internal combustion engine, too) like the Volt.  But just an EV.  A concept for now.  But they’re probably serious:

C

HYUNDAI SANTA CRUZ

For years, Hyundai U.S. executives have been asked about whether they’d enter the pickup-truck segment.  This may be the answer to that question, which could be described as not a “yes,” not a “no” but a “sort of.”  Because they’ve created this concept that seats five and has an open bed in the back.  They emphasize, however, that this isn’t meant to be a truck replacement as much as something that would be competitive with a crossover, which brings to mind the Ford Explorer Sport Trac to mind, even though one might think of the Ranchero:

H