Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-10-18
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

2015 Detroit Auto Show recap: Five best cars, three trends

by Richard Read, GayWheels.com
2015-01-28

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


The media preview of the 2015 North American International Auto Show has come to an end, and most of us have returned home to reflect on what we saw. After a day of recuperation ( including some much-needed cuddle time with my Xbox ), I've put together a short list of running themes at NAIAS and the most important vehicles on view in Detroit.

Themes

—Money is flowing. It's no secret that U.S. auto sales are booming right now, with nearly every major car company ending 2014 in the black. ( Volkswagen being one of the few exceptions. ) Automakers took some of their profits from last year and invested them in high-end booths to show off high-priced rides on the convention floor. From the giant video screens hovering above fleets of luxurious cars, crossovers, and trucks, this year's NAIAS was all about excess.

—Power is back: Just a few years ago, the Detroit auto show put modest, gas-sipping green cars front and center. This year, all anyone wanted to talk about were two supercars—the Ford GT and Acura NSX. The obsession with power filtered down to other models, too, including the monster Cadillac CTS-V sedan.

—High-tech no longer dazzles: Once upon a time, a touchscreen was all automakers needed to turn heads. Now, they've got to work much harder to get attention—and with tech firms like Apple and Google beginning their assault on dashboards ( and powertrains ), the going isn't going to get any easier.

Best cars

What was interesting at this year's NAIAS was that there weren't that many standouts. Conversations tended to be equally divided among a range of vehicles on the show floor. To me, that suggests that—as I've said elsewhere—competition between automakers is stiffer than ever, making it harder for new models to leave a lasting impression.

That said, there were a handful of cars that I found noteworthy in Detroit. Here are my top five, in alphabetical order:

—Chevrolet Bolt Concept Chevrolet Bolt Concept: Unlike the Chevy Volt, which employs a hybrid propulsion system that uses both a battery and gasoline, the Chevy Bolt is 100-percent electric. And unlike some other battery electric vehicles, the Bolt has a pretty good range: an estimated 200 miles of travel on a full charge.

Of course, at this point, the Bolt is just a concept. ( If Chevrolet hadn't said as much, the door handles and the side-view mirrors would've been dead giveaways. ) However, it's very clear that GM plans to produce this vehicle in some form very soon: the company estimated that the sticker price would ring in around $30,000 after federal tax credits.

Let's just hope Chevy changes the name before it goes on sale. Having a Volt and a Bolt in the same showroom could get confusing.

—Ford GTFord GT: I freely admit, I'm not bowled over by supercars. I was one of those sad little kids who was always intensely practical, and while supercars are many things, practical they are not. Apart from the six- and seven-figure sticker prices, where the hell are you supposed to put groceries?

Normally, the Ford GT wouldn't do much for me, but it completely stole the show at this year's NAIAS. Somehow, Ford managed to prevent any details about the car from leaking prior to the reveal. No one expected it. And it rolled out at one of the convention's very first events, upstaging everything else that debuted after it.

So, beyond the fact that it's a beautiful ride, the GT proves Ford's sense of showmanship. That alone is worth a nod.

—Honda HR-VHonda HR-V: The Honda HR-V wasn't revealed at NAIAS—that happened several weeks ago. However it's still a very, very new model, and it's poised to shake up the compact crossover segment.

Basically, the HR-V is meant to be the crossover sibling of Honda's hugely popular Fit compact car—or, put another way, it's the baby brother to Honda's equally popular CR-V. That's one hell of a pedigree.

Pair all that with good looks and a starting price expected to be around $20,000, you could be seeing a lot of these in the very near future.

—Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion concept: Every year, automakers debut a slew of crazy concept cars. This year, Mercedes-Benz took all that crazy, threw it in a casserole dish with some Pam and a layer of Lay's potato chips, and tossed it into an 8,000-degree oven until everything melted and came out as this awesome mercury blob of a car.

What does it do? Who cares? It's the typical autonomous-driving conversation pod with displays on every surface—a variation on a theme that we've seen from many other automakers at many other auto shows. What matters about the F 015 Luxury in Motion concept ( yes, that's its full name ) is its sleek, unusual look. Think of it like a work of art: it's not functional, just pretty. Very, very pretty. And deeply weird.

—Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE: As I've written elsewhere, nothing pisses off Volkswagen like America. The automaker controls Planet Earth's other car markets like only a German outfit bent on world domination could. But in America? Not so much.

Personally, I find most Volkswagen designs very, very dull. Even the Golf—which was voted this year's North American Car of the Year—is an acquired taste. The awesomeness of the Golf has little to do with its ungainly silhouette and more to do with how fun it is to drive.

VW's biggest problem in America is its lack of crossovers, which U.S. consumers crave. Sure, VW offers the Tiguan and the Touareg, but most U.S. shoppers avoid those models like the plague.

That's where the new Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE comes in. VW hopes that when it goes on sale late next year, it will change consumer opinion—and VW's sinking fortunes in the U.S. If it doesn't, VW will remain a minor player in the U.S. car market, leaving the company with little hope of achieving its goal of becoming the world's biggest automaker by 2018.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Review: Chevy Trax a smooth ride to the total eclipse 2017-08-27 - Heading to Southern Illinois to join in the Path of Totality for this year's solar eclipse was made all the more enjoyable with ...


Gay News

VEHICLE REVIEW 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC43 AMG drops hammer on crossovers 2017-05-23 - AMG has a long history of being Mercedes' in-house gym, delivering cars as diverse as the GT-S supercar that blips 0-60 mph in ...


Gay News

VEHICLE REVIEW 2017 Lexus IS 350 fun, flashy, fabulous 2017-04-25 - Right up front, you need to know that if you do not have the compact rear-end of someone like Anderson Cooper or Neil ...


Gay News

BUSINESS Autobarn Fiat of Evanston aims to be all-inclusive 2017-04-05 - Grayson Petty's no stranger to cars and their drivers: He serviced Toyotas and Hyundais for years. But until he became the service manager ...


Gay News

Consumers pick auto show favorites 2017-02-28 - For the 12th consecutive year, consumer voters selected their favorites in five categories in the Chicago Auto Show's "Best of Show" balloting. ...


Gay News

Chicago Auto Show through Feb. 20 2017-02-14 - North America's largest auto show, the Chicago Auto Show, is taking place through Feb. 20 at McCormick Place, 2301 S. Lake Shore Dr. ...


Gay News

Chicago Auto Show Feb. 11-20 2017-01-24 - The next Chicago Auto Show will take place Feb. 11-20 at McCormick Place, 2301 S. Lake Shore Dr. North America's largest auto ...


Gay News

AUTOS: VEHICLE REVIEW The 2017 Lincoln MKZ is a sexy beast 2016-12-28 - So, who hasn't salivated at seeing those Matthew McConaughey TV commercials for the 2017 Lincoln MKZ? The actor—who has been the ...


Gay News

VEHICLE REVIEW 2017 Nissan Armada: really huge, really cozy and really gay 2016-11-30 - Ever been invaded by something big and overwhelming and Spanish? During the Renaissance, the Spanish Armada was a force to be reckoned ...


Gay News

Skinner Ricketts named CMO of Cars.com 2016-11-29 - Cars.com announced the appointment of Brooke Skinner Ricketts as the company's chief marketing officer ( CMO ), effective immediately. Skinner Ricketts ...


 



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.