The auto industry restored itself to a clean bill of health in 2013. So, what better place to celebrate than Detroit’s North American International Auto Show? Now that profits are rolling in and automakers are back in showcase mode, expect lavish displays from the world’s top brands. In fact, with gas prices low across most of the U.S., trucks and sports cars are expected to dominate the NAIAS spectacle in Detroit, which opens to the public January 18. Here are eight automobiles worth the price of admission.
Featuring four exhaust pipes, a retractable spoiler that deploys when speeds top 50 mph, and bold exterior styling, the Lexus RC F coupe is already building a fan base. Toyota’s luxury division says the RC F is the most powerful performance car Lexus has ever unveiled to the public. The V8 under the hood packs a wallop, though Lexus is mum on just how much in advance of the show.
Fiat’s (FIATY.PK) Chrysler has a star on its hands with Ram trucks. The NAIAS features the return of the Mossy Oak camouflage edition pickup for outdoor lovers. Over 40 percent of Ram owners camp and go fishing, Chrysler says, which makes it logical for the automaker to bring back the Ram Mossy Oak Edition after a production hiatus.
Nissan (NSANY.PK) has been making its presence felt at global auto shows with its high-powered concept cars. For the NAIAS in Detroit, the automaker offers up this sport sedan concept for its world debut. Nissan says the idea is bringing high performance to the sedan model, though it’s keeping the details under wraps ahead of the debut.
Ford brought its ferocious Atlas pickup to the 2013 Detroit show, but the expected appearance of a lighter 2015 F-150 is grabbing headlines across the auto industry. Bloomberg reported the new Ford pickup has shed approximately 700 pounds en route to meeting the requirements of a future with higher fuel efficiency standards. A Ford F-150 that gets 30 mpg would surely be a game-changer in the automotive world.
5. Chrysler 200
The Chrysler Group is on a roll with Ram trucks, but the company needs a family car to answer the top-selling Toyota Camry and hot Ford Fusion. Judging by the looks of the new Chrysler 200 in freshly leaked photos, it appears the automaker has revamped its midsize sedan with excellent taste. It may not be a supercar, but the redesigned 200 will get plenty of attention in Detroit.
For lovers of high-performance fantasy cars, the NAIAS has its share of otherworldly concepts as well. The Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge is a lower, wider, performance-oriented version of the automaker’s sport sedan built with carbon fiber and influenced by its collaboration with the Red Bull Racing Team. Infiniti says the Eau Rouge projects the design future of the company’s performance vehicles.
7. Chevy Corvette Z06
General Motors has been piling up the accolades for its new Corvette Stingray, but the automaker is about to release a beast upon the Detroit auto show audience. The Corvette Z06 is expected to easily top 600 horsepower with an engine that would leave the Stingray surveying its dust clouds.
8. 2015 Ford Mustang
Ford gave glimpses of its redesigned muscle car in a media blitz in December, but the Detroit show gives the public several days to digest the 2015 Mustang. Of special interest is the four-cylinder engine that the automaker downplayed in its U.S. debut. A fuel-efficient Mustang is certain to attract the attention of everyone at NAIAS events.