Friday, January 13, 2012

The Coolest Cars at NAIAS

Here's the Cliff Notes version of North American International Auto Show industry preview. (Cole's notes for my Canadian followers.)

The show was a great one, especially compared to last year. Industry people were there from across the globe, and most of the exhibits were packed. (The pictures below that were absent of people required patience, timing, and retakes.)  NAIAS was strong, despite some debate about how it may be losing relevance with Europeans or Asians. Jaguar LandRover was missing this year. But it's still the show where the big three pulls out all the stops; very few other major automakers want to risk being absent.  Cobo hall was filled with absolutely massive displays of new models, concept cars, and interactive displays from Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Daimler, Fiat, Ford, GM, Hyundia, Kia, Toyota, Volkswagen, and many others.

There was a lot to see.  Unfortunately due to my other show duties, I didn't get a lot of time on the show floor.  What I saw was pretty darn cool, and here are the highlights.

Smart Art

Not your father's Mercedes

Honda Fit - an Insightful design

The ultimate jacked suspension on a Ford Raptor

F-150 King Ranch.  Sweet! (Except I don't do leather)

Chevy Miray concept.  Holy gull-wing, Batman!

Miray from the back looks just as wicked

TRU 40S — another very cool GM concept.  Love the white satin  finish

Lexus LF-LC.  Concept based on Lexus LFA.  Looks fast (that's why it's blurry).

LF-LC from the rear.  This is the view you'll normally have, but far smaller.

Nothin' but sliver Porsches.  Drool.

VW Bugster.  Combination bug and roadster.  Huh.

Via.  Don't know what it is, but it sho' looks cool.

Audi R8GT.  Nice side vents to cool off those brakes.

I just liked this mini hung up on the wall.  Looked cute — want one in my den.

BMW concept car.  Tron, anyone?

BMW Active Hybrid; a little more practical than the above pic

Audi e-tron

Audi RS 5 Coupe -- aggressive grille!

Another Smart concept car--perfect for the city (bikes in the back)

Chrysler 700C.  Now this is a minivan any man would agree to

Another view of the 700C

300SRT8.  Didn't know SRT made normal cars

SRT Challenger

SRT Yellow Jacket - Starsky

SRT Super Bee - Hutch

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