Due to the incredible amount of news the automotive world has thrown at us in the past week or so, I'd like to just take a moment and share my thoughts on the variety of things that caught my attention. From huge car reveals to annoying little teasers and everything in between, these are my thoughts on the 2015 Detroit NAIAS and beyond. Warning, this article's a bit longer than anything I've ever posted. Enjoy!
Let's start off with my personal highlight of the week, the reveal of the brand new Ford GT. If you've read my article, you know I am beyond thrilled with it. It looks absolutely fantastic and is the most excited I've ever been for an American car. Mr. Jeremy Clarkson's telling of the Ford GT's (and GT40's) story years ago on Top Gear inspired me to love the old GT, and I'm even more excited for the new one. I just can't wait for the official performance numbers.
Continuing with the theme of bringing back old cars I like, the new Acura NSX was also revealed this week after years of waiting. Easily the second-coolest car present at Detroit, I think it looks great and I'm beyond happy it's finally making production. Its hybrid powertrain is extremely interesting and I can't wait to see how it puts its power down. Like the Ford, official performance numbers are eagerly anticipated.
Switching gears to the world of English SUVs, I'm stuck in my mind debating whether Jaguar or Bentley has come up with a worse name for their upcoming cars. The Bentley Bentayga doesn't exactly sound like a car I'd ever be interested in, but the Jaguar F-Pace might just be even more terrible. Bentley has named its new car after some exotic location or something like that, I'm not really motivated enough to delve deeper into the subject. What really grinds my gears is how Jaguar has taken the "F" from its wonderful F-Type and attached it to a big car that probably won't be that sporty. Oh well, at the end of the day I'm just hoping the Bentley SUV won't be as ugly as that concept they displayed a few years back...
Now back to something I actually like, the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider has arrived. With its revised headlights, centered exhaust pipes and unlimited headroom, it's an incredibly attractive offer (literally). The car looks great, sounds great with its Akrapovic exhaust system, and is ready to steal customers away from Lotus and maybe even Porsche. I can't wait to see it succeed.
Next, we have the new Mercedes-AMG GLE63 Coupe. I'm going to be honest, I pretty much hate it. Allow me to explain why. While I'm a massive fan of AMG and I love the idea of everyday cars with obscene amounts of power and performance, this car is just part of a niche market that I wish Mercedes had not decided to explore. My opinion on this topic is a confusing one, as I do not hate the BMW X6 and X6 M. I am aware that these cars make BMW a lot of money, so it makes sense that Mercedes wanted to get in on that market. I just believe they failed to execute, making a car that doesn't look very good and doesn't appeal like most other AMG models do.
Continuing with the discussion of big cars that are unnecessarily fast, the new Porsche Cayenne Turbo S was revealed this week. The new Cayenne is ludicrous, insane and completely irrelevant, but I like it regardless. This is the first SUV to ever lap the Nurburgring in less than 8 minutes, and it can accelerate from 0-60 in 3.8 seconds! A decade ago, 3.8 seconds to 60 was the time of some of the fastest supercars, and now it's being accomplished by a family SUV that weighs as much as my dorm room. That's obscene, and I commend Porsche for it.
Porsche revealed another model this week, known as the 991 Targa 4 GTS. Unlike the updated Turbo Cayenne, this car has left me rather unimpressed, as I view it as pointless. As the 20th model in the current 911 range, pretty much every possible 911 niche has already been covered, so they decided to make something that's a blend between a few different models. The standard Targa 4 is, if I'm not mistaken, the heaviest model in the current 911 lineup. What the GTS badge means is that it lost a bit of weight and gained a bit of power and torque, in hopes of reaching performance somewhere between the standard Carrera S and a GT3. But if you're really interested in performance for the money, why not get the standard Carrera GTS, which is probably a bit cheaper than the Targa, better looking (in my opinion) and faster? If you're really into the whole Targa thing, save yourself some money and stick with the standard Targa 4. We all know you're not taking that thing racing.
Stepping away from my previous rant, let's talk about something I'm actually pretty impressed with, the Mustang GT350R. I am not a muscle car guy by any means, I actually dislike the vast majority of them, but this newly-revealed Mustang is actually pretty appealing in my eyes. With carbon fiber aerodynamic bits all over the car, plus a naturally aspirated V8 pumping out over 500 horsepower, this new Mustang actually seems sophisticated. Add into the equation that it will be the first ever production car with carbon fiber wheels and you have my attention. Honestly, Ford, I'm extremely impressed by that. With the R version of the recently-introduced GT350, creature comforts have been removed in order to aid track performance. This car is more than just the sum of its parts, it's the first muscle car I've really respected in years.
While we're on the subject of Ford, let's bring the new Raptor into the conversation. Having driven a previous generation Raptor on various occasions, I was sad to hear that they were ditching its massive 6.2 liter V8 in favor of the new 3.5 liter EcoBoost V6. Is it hypocritical that I'm not really mad about the new Ford GT losing a few cylinders, but I am a bit concerned about an off-road pickup truck experiencing the same situation? I don't really know. I just hope that the new engine can make a noise that rivals the old V8. I'm well aware that it'll be more powerful than the engine it replaces, but if it doesn't sound decent, that's a problem. Speaking of problems, this truck has a ten-speed transmission. Ten. I'm picturing shifting every four seconds during acceleration right now, and that seems a bit hectic. I didn't have a problem with the new NSX's 9-speed transmission, but that car has a lot more performance to give. This, on the other hand, is just a bit confusing for me.
Back to the British, there's a new Mini John Cooper Works! The happy little hot-hatch is the most powerful Mini ever, and I like it. Do I like the obscene amount of vents, grilles and intakes on the front (some of which aren't even functional)? No. But I'd love to get a test drive in a Mini that's capable of 152 miles per hour. Just the thought of that makes me smile.
The new Lexus GS F is here. Are you excited? Me neither. I don't know what it is about Lexus, but none of their cars ever appeal to me as much as any of their German rivals. The only car they've ever made that I would actually consider owning (if money was no object) is the LFA, and you can't even actually own that. The old IS F never really had much presence, the RC F is cool but ugly at the same time, and the new GS F just lacks the excitement its other rivals produce. Sorry Lexus, I'm sure I'd have fun test driving one, but your cars are nowhere near the top of my want list.
Finally, as I'm sure you're getting tired of reading my rants when you obviously have your own opinions, McLaren have (once again) teased the Sports Series, their 911 Turbo-fighting, 500 horsepower "baby" model. Also, McLaren have finally announced that they plan to reveal the car at the New York Auto Show in April, and I hope to be there, as my impatience with these teasers and curiosity towards seeing the final car is constantly growing. The idea of a McLaren that, while still out of reach for 99.9% of humanity, is something I might actually see on the streets every once in a while is a cool thought.
So there you go, my thoughts on this busy week in the automotive calendar. With so many major reveals and announcements, it only felt right to voice my opinion on all of them collectively, rather than through the few articles I wrote throughout the week. Please comment your opinions on any of the above subjects below, as I'd love to hear what the community thinks about these cars. Have a nice week, and stay lofty!