The hustle and bustle of the North American International Auto Show media preview is done and gone, with most journalists having already made their way back to their home keyboard. The biggest buzz of the show this year goes to Ford, without question, as the new Ford GT simply awed just about everyone.
With the auto industry booming, the vibe in Cobo Center was the most upbeat it has been in years. Concept cars that look like concept cars instead of next year’s model were plentiful and even the media seemed a bit more spiffy. Heck, I even wore pants and shoes this year instead of my usual shorts and flip flops.
Acura finally got around to showing off the production version of the NSX, a full three years after the first version of the concept appeared in Toronto. Unfortunately for Acura, the introduction of their new halo car was completely overshadowed by the Ford GT. Timing is everything and Acura got this one wrong.
Hyundai shook things up with the unveiling of the Santa Cruz concept, a two door ute as the Aussies would call it. The vehicle segment has been popular down under for decades and would likely do well in North America, so we can expect some variation of this one to come to life.
Ford had some other cool stuff on hand also, with the GT350R and Raptor generating their own buzz. A vintage/modern desert race truck on the stand was one of the coolest machines at the show.
For me however, the Alfa Romeo stand stole the show. For the reveal of the 4C Spider, the company brought along a trio of vintage Alfas that are nothing short of the roots of automotive passion.
The Volvo Cross Country isn’t as ridiculous looking in person as the initial photos led us to believe, much to the pleasure of Volvo’s PR staff.
In addition to the Raptor, there were some other significant trucks at the show. Nissan launched the new Cummins powered Titan, which looks more like an American truck than a Japanese truck. Ram revived the old Rebel name that they acquired when Chrysler bought the remains of AMC and applied it to an off road inspired Ram 1500. It looks tough, but doesn’t look like it truly has the goods to take it to the Raptor. Toyota trotted out the new Tacoma, which looks even better in person than it does in photos. Chevrolet and GMC have a real competitor here.