This week’s headlines were dominated by the North American International Auto Show, otherwise known as the Detroit Auto Show. Here’s how it unfolded…
The 2015 Detroit Auto Show saw the unveiling of Ford’s all-new GT Supercar, set to carry the GT legacy when it debuts next year.
Designed by Hobart-born Todd Willing and his team, the new GT will arrive in time to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Ford’s first 1-2-3 finish at Le Mans.
The 2016 GT breaks with tradition somewhat, with power coming from a twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 rather than an eight-cylinder engine as per its predecessors.
Australian knowhow also featured in the big new Avenir sedan concept, set to wear a Buick badge when the model debuts in production form.
Aside from previewing a new model, the Avenir is also designed to introduce a future styling direction for Buick.
While US and Chinese models are virtually assured, the concept poses the question as to whether we’ll see it in Australia in some capacity.
Completing the Australian invasion at Detroit is the Chevrolet Bolt concept, potentially previewing a new entry-level electric-vehicle for the US market.
Described by GM boss Mary Barra as a “game-changing electric vehicle”, the Bolt’s all-electric system promises a driving range greater than 321 kilometres between charges.
China could also see a road-going version in local showrooms if GM gives it the green light, but the global carmaker is yet to do so.
So why is the Australian invasion at the Detroit Auto Show so significant? All three of the vehicles mentioned above won design awards.
In other Detroit news, the motor show saw the unveiling of the Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE concept, which is the German carmaker’s fifth SUV concept in four years.
The covers came off Infiniti’s Q60 concept in Detroit, previewing the replacement for the aging Q60/G37 sports coupe.
After a lengthy series of teasers, the next-generation Holden Volt was unveiled wearing a Chevrolet badge, promising improved efficiency and a greater all-electric range.
Alfa Romeo’s new 4C Spider roadster made its official debut in Detroit, just weeks ahead of the Coupe’s Australian launch.
In the shadows of Ford’s GT Supercar was the carmaker’s Shelby Mustang GT350R, featuring "over 500HP" (or 373kW) and more than 542Nm of torque.
Honda’s re-born NSX is now out in the open, debuting as the Acura NSX at Detroit and sporting a twin-turbo V6 making more than 410kW.
Hyundai looked to fill a market segment for off-roading pickups that ‘Millennials’ have been waiting for, with its Santa Cruz concept being around the same size as a small crossover.
Lincoln’s all-new MKX SUV made its official debut, following a preview in concept form at the 2014 Beijing Auto Show.
While one eye was on Detroit this week, the other was focused on the road as we drove the 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Elite CRDi.
We found the SUV offered a comfortable ride, long standard equipment list and a fuel-efficient engine, but third-row access was tight and the Elite CRDi variant is far from cheap.
Finally, we found the 2015 MINI Cooper S Five-door Automatic easier to live with than the three-door - especially if you have friends - but just as much fun to drive.
And that’s… the week that was.