Reporting Vinnie Richichi
PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) — Lots of pretty impressive autos and trucks hit the floor here in Detroit at the 2013 North American International Auto Show on the first the two media days.
In size they ranged from the small Smart Car concept Forstar to the beautiful king-size Bentley Mulsanne. No matter what size though there is one common theme: squeeze the most horsepower you can out of a gallon of gasoline. Better yet, give consumers a choice of drivetrains, gasoline, electric, diesel or a combination of both. Also connectivity has to be one of the biggest buzzwords at this years show. How will the car you are buying keep you connected to your world.
Here are some of the cars I was impressed with:
While Chevy has stolen the show with its Corvette Stingray intro on Sunday night, Mercedes Benz did a nice job of setting the Monday tone by rolling out their new E series. As pianist Bruce Hornsby played his hit “The Way it Is” rewritten for the occasion, an extensively redesigned coupe, wagon, cabriolet, sedan and hybrid hit the stage to rave reviews.
The E63 AMG also looks like it is ready to rip asphalt.
I got my first look at the redesigned Jeep Grand Cherokee and it looks like a winner with interior material upgrades, softer lines and a diesel version.
There is also an SRT version that should make taking that trip to the Giant Eagle for groceries both quick and rewarding!
Audi has beefed up one of my favorite cars the A7 into the RS7 Sportback that cranks out 560 hp, does 0-60 in 3.9 seconds and gets 24 mpg! The SQ5 version of the Q5 midsize SUV cranks out 354 hp using a gasoline engine!
Toyota presented their Furia concept which is the replacement for the long in the tooth Corolla.
Volkswagen had a couple of appealing cars on the floor for the first time…the CrossBlue 7 passenger midsize hybrid diesel SUV had quite a crowd around it and just off to the right of it the CrossCoupe was a uniquely designed 4 door 2+2 that seemed to have a bit of Nissan Juke in it.
Honda made big news late in the day with their Urban SUV concept that should hit the street late this year and the Accord plug-in hybrid that goes on sale in NY and California tomorrow (1/15)
Porsche snuck their Cayenne Turbo S onto the floor and it is a sharp looking SUV and Infiniti got their Q rating up with a new Q50 Hybrid sedan that replaces the G37.
Oh yeah…the Bentley…while the Mulsanne was sweet to sit in, the Continental GT Speed convertible was pulled out from under the covers and was about as pretty a car as you will see at this show with its flowing lines and spectacular blue color.
Bottom line from all of the executives that spoke today is that the automotive business has moved past its troubles and is as healthy as it ever has been with many manufacturers showing record growth. Technology is also carrying the day as people want cars that are green and connected!
Reviews, news about cars and the people who drive them, interviews and tips on how to get more out of your driving experience all on Drivetime with Vinnie Richichi and Rob Pratte Saturday mornings 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. on Newsradio 1020 KDKA. Also listen to Vinnie on The Vinnie and Cook Show Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sportsradio 93-7 The Fan.