There’s a sheetmetal feast on display in Detroit at the North American International Auto Show.
It includes a mouth-watering assortment of concepts and key production vehicles, yet there have been rumblings that this year’s show leaves one feeling full, but not quite satisfied.
The number of unveils is down slightly, but frankly, that’s not it. Closet psychologists suggest the disaster in Asia has had a dampening effect on our collective psyche. Maybe.
The sense that the hype has been turned down a notch may be attributable to the fact auto makers have become so good at what they do, and there really are no B players.
Traditional car makers such asand now make trucks. Entry-level car makers such as have moved into fullsize range with the Sonata. Large luxury car makers Mercedes and BMW have tiny Smarts and Minis, respectively.
Truck-centriccontinues to bask in the success of its 300 Series, while expanding its breadth with a 4-door Dodge Charger that blurs the definition of a muscle car.
, the tough-truck company, is becoming a hybrid leader in the number of nameplates with gasoline-electric engines planned.
Detroit kicks off a new year by building anticipation for future products with concepts that easily can be imagined into production.
Jaguar’s Advanced Lightweight Coupe is the future of the brand and its design direction, beginning next year when it replaces the outgoing XK.
The Jeep Gladiator concept, while a pickup, finally offers a look at what the next-generation Wrangler will look like.
Lexus will tap its Formula One program to make a business case to build its first super sports car, based on the LF-A concept.
There is early lust for production versions of’s sexy Firepower roadster and the ultra-shiny Shelby GR-1 that is a remake of last year’s Shelby Cobra concept.
Among production models unwrapped,’s Ridgeline is a credible first foray into the pickup market for Honda, and enters the fray with the Raider, a conventional design that bears little resemblance to the wild concept of last year. The racy new Eclipse also spins atop a dais in Detroit in an effort to tell the world Mitsubishi remains a viable player, despite its financial woes.
Acura prepares to build the RDX cross/utility vehicle in Marysville, OH;reveals a clean-cut and modernized new Avalon flagship; and Ford will be looking for volume sales from its new Ford Fusion and Lincoln Zephyr midsize sedans.
GM has a pair of winners for Saturn with the edgy Sky roadster and elegant Aura sedan and is looking for some sales traction for Hummer with the H3 midsize SUV.
Added together, the bounty is enough to make your head spin – or maybe too much time was spent watching Jeep’s outrageous Hurricane concept spin on its own axis with a pair of 5.7L Hemi V-8s, one in front and another in the back.