Detroit Auto Show Round-Up


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On a global scale, the annual North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan certainly has to be one of the most important shows of the year. The Detroit Auto Show brings in over 800,000 attendees each year from all across the world. The show is particularly important because Detroit is also the home of all 3 American automakers; Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler. Not only is it a chance for the “Big 3” to show off their newest in products and technology in their home market, it is a chance for all the manufacturers to display their latest offerings in the North American market as well. As all manufacturers are essentially all under one roof, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there is some corporate espionage afoot during the show. Executives from various manufacturers wonder around, sometimes anonymously, from booth to booth visually and physically inspecting the design, fit and finish, and technologies that on display from rival companies.

MadWhips sent a team of journalists to investigate and report on the debuts, updates, and concepts of the Detroit Auto Show. Here are some of the more noteworthy cars from the show:

Lexus LC500

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One of my favourite designs of the show. Historically, Lexus offered quality, luxurious vehicles that seemed to target an audience of anyone over the age of retirement. However, in recent years Lexus has put in effort (and many marketing dollars) to try and convince us otherwise. With their whole line-up of cars sporting the aggressive “spindle” grill, Lexus’ design house has been really packing a visual punch, even if the design is not to everyone’s tastes. I can honestly say that apart from the mental LFA sports car that Lexus released a few years back, the new LC 500 is the most striking car that Lexus has ever made. The design is so organic and seems to flow seamlessly, yet aggressively, throughout the whole car. Powered by the same 467HP N/A 5.0 L V8 from the RC-F, the LC500 sure has the firepower to match it’s looks. We first saw this design from the LF-LC concept car that Lexus previewed at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. The production version sticks very closely with the concepts’ design.


VLF Automotive Force 1


Photo Credit: Drew Phillips

You wouldn’t know by just looking at it, but the Force 1 is actually based on the Dodge Viper. Sporting an extensively reworked 8.4L V10 sourced from the Dodge Viper, Force 1 has an astonishing 745hp and 638 lb-ft of torque under the hood. The engine isn’t the only similarity it has to the Viper either, the proportions are similar as well. A long hood and rearward cockpit placement echo the menacing posture of the American brute. However, Fisker has managed to make his design that is both more striking and intimidating. Whereas the Viper has a curvaceous hood that are interrupted with louvers, Fisker’s pen has a more angular surface with vents that seem to peak up from under the sheet metal. The headlights and taillights are kept neat and thin and look more as a miniscule detail on the car rather than an establishing design feature. The double four spoke rims look especially sharp on the Force 1.


Buick Avista Concept

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Buick is another company that blew me out of the water with their stunning Avista Concept. This is supposed to show the new design direction for Buick. The Avista is a rather large coupé, think Camaro-sized. It features a front engine, RWD, 2+2 layout with a 3.0 L twin-turbo 6 making 400 hp. The front end is aggressive, yet still elegant with a muscular chin and front haunches. The roofline is sleek and meshes well into the rear design of the car. The rounded-off rear is complemented well by the curvaceous taillights. It rides on GM’s new alpha architecture that underpins both the new Cadillac ATS and the new Chevrolet Camaro.


Alfa Romeo Giulia


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Alfa Romeo is about to make a big comeback to the North American Market. I know that that line has been heard for about ever now, but this is a tangible product that will be sold later this year. And my word is it ever stunning. This modern Alfa keeps the front triangular grille but emphasizes the overall shape by making the sedan very upright and assertive. The aggressive lines run through the hood, sides, and onto the rear to create a very striking design. The top of the line Quadrifoglio trim is the one that really gets the attention here. A Ferrari-tuned 2.9 L Bi-turbo V6 makes an astonishing 505 horspower and 443 lb-ft of torque. Manufacturers’ estimated performance figures include a 0-60 mph time of 3.8 seconds onto a top speed of 191 mph. BMW M5, please step off that pedestal.

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