From the show floor at Cobo Center in Detroit, here are six of the biggest stories from day one at the North American International Auto Show.
We’ll be circling back through the week to cover additional important developments as they unfold, but for now, here are some of the major stories from the first day at the North American International Auto Show.
In her introduction of the Chevy Bolt concept, General Motors CEO Mary Barra described the battery-powered sedan as a “game changer,” and if the automaker can deliver on the stated goals, a 200-mile range and a price in the $30,000 bracket, it will be. GM product czar Mark Reuss says the Bolt could come to market in North America in the next year or two.
The much-anticipated production version of the Acura NSX was introduced at Cobo Center to an enthusiastic audience that included comic Jerry Seinfeld. A revised hybrid drivetrain features a mid-mounted longitudinal turbo V6 with better than 550 hp, coupled to three electric motors, two in front and one in the rear, that provide all-wheel drive. The latest NSX will be produced at Honda’s Marysville, Ohio plant.
Buick’s concept flagship sedan, the Avenir (French for “of the future”) is powered by an V6 engine with a nine-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive, and driver-tunable suspension. Slightly larger than a Cadillac CTS, the Avenir is not based on a specified GM platform or have a production date, but it does provide indicators to Buick’s future design direction, the automaker says.
A panel of 57 automotive writers from the United States and Canada elected the new Ford F-150 pickup its 2015 North American Truck of the Year. Aluminum construction and other advanced features nudged the F-150 past contenders Chevrolet Colorado and Lincoln MKC. This marks the fourth win for the F-150 in the 22-year history of the award.
Meanwhile, North American Car of the Year honors went to the Volkswagen Golf and Golf GTI, from a short list of contenders that included the Ford Mustang and the Hyundai Genesis. Among its accolades, the Golf also recently picked up Motor Trend magazine’s Car of the Year award.
It’s safe to say Ford stole the show on opening day with its new Ford GT concept, which is scheduled for production in 2016. The latest GT departs from the retro theme of the 2005 GT with bold, postmodern styling and extensive use of carbon fiber. The powertrain is cutting edge, too, with a paddle-shifted seven-speed transmission and a twin-turbo V6 with more than 600 hp—the most powerful EcoBoost engine to date.