DETROIT — Tech company Covisint has a silver Aston Martin DB5 to draw consumers in to the company’s lobby booth and explain what it does, installing “connected” technology in cars.
It’s one of the first vehicles to greet people attending the North American International Auto Show. However, there are many vehicles of interest to the region at this year’s auto show. Here are some of the hot cars and highlights:
Two sexy sportscars
Chevrolet debuted an all-new 2014 Corvette Stingray coupe that will go on sale in the third quarter this year. It’s the most powerful standard model ever, with an estimated 450 horsepower, that also exceeds the EPA-estimated 26 mpg of the current model.
“For the new Corvette to be called a Stingray, it had to deliver an incredible, purposeful visual impact — just as the original did in 1963,” said Tom Peters, exterior design director. “That visual impact is evident in fighter jets and the Stingray animal itself. Their beauty comes from their purpose, designed to cut through air or water as quickly and efficiently as possible. As with aircraft and living forms, every transition on every surface of the Corvette Stingray serves a purpose executed with beauty and proportion.”
Acura unveiled a more detailed concept of its NSX Supercar that will be in mass production at a central-Ohio facility in two years. The car shows a possible interior design, not typically shown in concepts. Acura announced at the 2012 show that the car will be powered by a direct-injected V-6 engine.
The design concept is founded on a “Human Support Cockpit” theme, with an “exotic driving position,” according to Acura.
“Consistent with the spirit of the original NSX, our intention is to support the psychological and emotional aspects of driving a super car at the limit because we are insistent about delivering on the synergy between man and machine,” said Jon Ikeda, chief designer for Acura Design Studio.
Lincoln Motor Co. reboots
With a return to its original name, a risk-taking advertising campaign and the unveiling of a new concept small utility vehicle in Detroit, Lincoln is trying to fight back into the luxury car market.
At the auto show, the company unveiled the MKC concept utility vehicle, an introduction into a fast-growing segment of vehicle sales. The company is also highlighting an all-new MKZ premium midsize sedan (with an engine made in Lima) and its MKZ Hybrid. The MKZ is the first of four new Lincolns coming in the next four years.
For the first time in the company’s history, it will advertise during the Super Bowl, with a commercial starring comedian and late-night host Jimmy Fallon, with a script written by consumers participating through Twitter.
Built here, see it there
As part of Ford’s focus this year on commercial vehicles, it has some public safety vehicles on display, including the Police Interceptor versions of the Taurus and Explorer. Engines built at the Lima Engine Plant go into the regular and police versions of those vehicles.
Ford has its entire showroom on display at the auto show, including 65 vehicles. The company is celebrating the 150th anniversary of Henry Ford’s birth and will have actors portraying the company founder guiding tours of the display.
Vehicles of the year
Chrysler’s Ram 1500 won the North American Truck of the Year Award, and Cadillac’s ATS won North American Car of the Year Award this year. The 1500 and ATS, both built in Michigan, are proudly on display.
One for the road
Honda has on display 2012 Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti’s car and the Indianapolis 500 Borg-Warner trophy.
Franchitti’s car has a Honda engine. The trophy weighs 120 pounds and is worth more than $3 million. Franchitti will receive a special trophy presentation this week at the auto show from Michigan-headquartered Borg-Warner automotive company. With a victory in the race, a driver has his face sculpted ontothe trophy. The driver also now receives a small replica of the trophy, known as a Baby Borg.