Quick Review: 2015 Detroit Auto Show

Press days at the Detroit Auto Show are now done and dusted. I didn’t follow things in detail but there were a few standout cars and announcements that made enough noise to be heard over the miles.

All pics borrowed from Autoblog. I’ll put them back when I’m done. Promise.


Buick Avenir Concept

OMG! Swade’s mentioning a GM vehicle and he’s not suggesting it looks like a horse’s ass!!

No, it doesn’t. Some might even call it attractive. Or maybe just handsome.


I’m not fussed. I just wanted to mention the Buick Avenir Concept because much of the design work was done here in Australia. That’s more important than you think, too, because Holden are closing their manufacturing operations here soon, so every bit of work available to keep the designers and engineers busy is a good thing.


Ford GT40

Ford won this year’s Detroit show with the GT40. Hands down. It was the biggest announcement and it’s one of the best looking cars unveiled this week.

And the guy who designed it is a Tasmanian, or so I hear. Woohoo!

It has bucketfulls of carbonfibre and aluminium, and a stonking V6 Ecopower engine that makes more than 600hp. Imagine that – a smaller turbocharged engine being used where a big engine used to be. Genius!

It don’t look ‘alf bad, either. AND…. they’re actually going to build it!



Ford Mustang 350R Shelby Cobra Pony Bullet Eleanor Concept

Like many, I was a little worried about the new Mustang styling. Worry no more. Like most re-designs, it grows on you and this souped up, stripped out version with 500+hp looks the goods.

Notable: carbonfibre wheels are coming to the masses.

I like the fact Ford is doing their show cars in blue. It suits.



Jaguar and Bentley

Jaguar announced the name of their upcoming crossover vehicle – the F-Pace. No, really. Po-Face will be available in 2016.

Not to be outdone when it comes to stupid naming, Bentley also announced the name of their upcoming crossover. It will be called the Bentley Bentayga. No, really. It wasn’t because they lost a bet with Rolls Royce or anything like that. They’re doing this voluntarily.

Back to Jaguar news, they’re also working on electric windows that will move up or down when you touch a certain spot on the glass. They’ve got it to go down OK, but it’s tough to get back up when the touchscreen area is hidden in the door.

Again, not to be outdone, Bentley are designing an automatic window system using cameras pointed at all four seating positions. The windows will raise themselves automatically as soon as the car detects an occupant sneering at a poor person.

Sadly, only three of those four stories are true.


Chevrolet Bolt

Chevy showed their new fully electric vehicle – the Chevrolet Bolt – which they haven’t committed to building yet and therefore when they don’t, will not have a range of 200 miles and will not cost around $30,000. A true non-gamechanger in the finest GM tradition.

2015 Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept all electric vehicle – front exUpcoming Detroit shows will feature:

  • the Chevy Jolt, a joint-marketing exercise that runs purely on Starbucks coffee.
  • the Chevy Halt, which will not go anywhere at all.
  • the Chevy Solt, a seasoning-based car for the phonetic driver, and
  • the Chevy Dolt, marking the return of Bob Lutz to the GM family at the age of 106.


Alfa Romeo 4C Spider

It looks good in Giallo, but will look even better in Rosso. Step 2 of Alfa’s re-launch into the US market comes in the form of a sexy Spider that weighs just 9 kilos more than the hardtop it’s based upon.

Thank goodness they got rid of those insect-lights at the front.




Volvo XC90 R-Design

I hadn’t noticed before, but Volvo are bringing back the brick.




What did you like?

That’s my take from Detroit. I’ll add a dishonourable mention to the Mercedes ripoff of the BMW X6, which has to be the most un-ripoff-worthy vehicle of all time.

Did you see anything you liked, or disliked?

Comments are open if you’d like to share.

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  1. Those wheels on the Avenir concept look familiar…

    I love the Ford models in blue and the GT looks like it would be a blast to drive!

    It may be the angle, but that Volvo redesign is not a good look at all. I really liked the look of Volvo models the last few years, but this return to a more rounded box is not good…unless it is just a “throwback Thursday” thing and not real. 😉

  2. Yes the GT was nice but looks wierd from som angles, especially the area behind the doors… My highlight of the show was the return of the Honda NSX. Twin tubo V6 and front wheel electric drive. A big plus that its barely changed the looks since the concept stage.

  3. What about the NSX? If they keep the price low, could be interesting. Volvo should surely get some kudos for the new S60 XC, one of the most ridiculous cars ever. It’s just so stupid that, well, I kinda like it. Overall, I like the new Volvo design language. Apparently the next S80 is going to look sharp…

  4. I think the Volvo brick will look better with normal wheels and ride height. It also doesn’t help that the picture you picked has a lot of wide-angle distortion (huge nose, tiny rear end). The two other Volvo reveals were disappointing.

    I would like to think that 2015 is the year that pickup trucks jumped the shark. All five pickup brands showed dolled-up trucks that will become the butt of jokes (just like a new Corvette in 1978 led to snickering and questions about the owner’s virility). These trucks were pouring it on like an insecure teenager spraying Drakar Noir on prom night.

  5. Standard XC90 looks nice. Apparently Volvo took 6,000 orders for it without anyone even sitting in it. Think Po-Face will be fine in flesh.

  6. Relieved to see that Ford found it wise to keep the overall look and feel of the GT40. What a great design the original continues to be. I would have made it a little less busy, but I guess that’s what it takes to sell cars these days?

    The Bentley Bentayga? Really? I could have come up with about 50 names better than that which also Google, which is usually the point of these silly-ass made up names. Criminal. Wouldn’t you look at your shoes when someone asked what you drive and you have to answer, “a Bentayga”, under your breath? There have been many vehicles in this category, including the Cadillac Catera, Hyundai Azera, Dodge Mirada, Renault Fuego, etc. However, none of them had even a pinch of the cache a Bentley should carry. What a shame.

    I’ll take a Chevy Molt, which sheds its paint like my father’s 1988 Pontiac Bonneville did.

  7. Super massively tasty looking Fords there! I suppose there’s a snow flakes chance in hell that we will ever see either of them here….. Not that I could afford one but more than happy to look. I know it’s the way forward but I can’t help but wish they both had 8s or something even bigger under the hood, but that’s just me.

    1. I’m pretty sure the Mustang’s coming to Australia. Not sure when, but pretty sure it will.

  8. Nice GM backhanders too: sorry GM folks but you will always be the devil and I will never buy another car from you.
    Drakkar Noir – you should get paid cash money for writing that.

  9. The Brick looks pretty good… some how the Ford GT40 reminds me of the Lancia Stratos update that was completed a few years ago..

  10. Excellent review and good fun too. I like the look of the Alfa and weirdly enough the Volvo. Maybe there is something about that brick shape which makes me think back to where it all began and 140 series. As a kid I like them and wanted one for some reason!

  11. There might be something in that reference to the GT40 having been designed by a Tasmanian. Any whisper what his (sexist, I know) name might be? Todd WILLING, son of long-time local mechanic and motorsport stalwart, Brent, is a likely suspect. I know Todd was working for Ford in Europe for a while but I haven’t heard anything of him for ages.

  12. I have been watching videos on YouTube on the new XC90. The interior is brilliant, and I think the exterior is tasty too. This may very well be my next car and the first non-Saab in ten years.

  13. I don’t care for the Buick. The prow of its hood seems far too high in the photo, although it may be only the camera angle. Actually, the front end reminds me of an updated Edsel – and not in a good way either.