Wednesday, January 15, 2014

NAIAS Press Release Highlights: Day Two

Well, let's address the elephant in the room:  I'm a day late with this post.  Day two of the 2014 NAIAS press conferences was held yesterday and unfortunately I was too busy with other stuff to write about it.  However, the bulk of the car brand conferences were on day one, so I'm not late on too many highlights.  So no more delays!  Here are the highlights (as judged by me) of yesterday's press conferences! 

1. Lexus
Take a look at this awesome Lexus RS F coupe.  It has a huge 5.0L naturally aspirated V8 pumping out 470 horsepower!  This car represents the lone naturally aspirated engine of its peer group... so for that classic feeling high performance muscle combined with super handling and amazing luxury the only place to turn is Lexus.  I think the ground below my basement just dropped a few degrees... and is that bacon falling from the sky?  

2.  Infiniti
Nissan's luxury brand has never really offered a high performance version of their cars, like say the BMW M3, a Mercedes C63 or a CTS-V.  The Q50 Eau Rouge concept seems to address that discrepancy with gusto.  This Q50 is infused with racing technology, lightweight carbon fiber body flourishes and a unique interior.  Word is a production version of this car would have in excess of 500 horsepower.  Awesome.       

3.  Subaru
The big news from Subaru is the release of the new WRX STI.  Not much different from the recently released WRX and not too different under the hood than the previous generation STI, this car will nonetheless inspire legions of rabid fans.  Rabid fans with no children, accounting degrees and deck shoes.

4.  Cadillac
The replacement for the CTS coupe has arrived!  It's the ATS Coupe!  Certainly not as striking as the outgoing Caddy 2-door, it is still an attractive offering that will no doubt be compared to offerings from German rivals BMW and Mercedes Benz.  The foundation of this car is the same Alpha platform found in the 4-door version, the new CTS and the upcoming 6th generation Camaro.  Those credentials should make it one of the best handling sport luxury coupes on the market.  

5.  Acura
The big news over at Honda's fancy britches marque was the release of the RLX prototype.  The car is intended as a replacement for the TSX and the RL cars.  I'm not a huge fan of Acura, but this car looks pretty good.  If you really want a Honda Accord but somehow it just isn't enough, this is the ride for you.  Look for it to hit showrooms about halfway through 2014.    

6. Tesla
Tesla didn't really have anything new to show.  They just bragged about how 2014 was going to be a big year for themselves and glossed over some of the shortcomings of the Model S.  You can read a summary of their press conference here.

The rest of the press conferences were a jumble of component manufacturers, design awards and specialty low volume stuff (like the 1967 Mustang Fastback based inspired Bass 770 from Equus Automotive).

That's going to be it from me for a bit.  I have some busy days ahead of me.  But don't worry, I'm making time to visit Detroit this Sunday.  That means you can expect some first person takes on some of the stuff you've read here the last couple of days.  I can't wait!!


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