What US Car Manufacturers Showed at the New York Auto Show

Since the New York Auto Show is one of the world’s most popular events of its kind, and it’s held in their own backyard, American car manufacturers always do their best to make sure their vehicles are the stars of the show. America’s Big Three have unveiled some of the best cars ever made on American soil at this show. For example, the Cadillac STS was unveiled there in 2004, the Shelby Cobra GT500 had its premiere in 2005, and the Ford Explorer Sport had its world debut in 2012. This year, a couple of very good production cars were unveiled by Ford, GM and Chrysler, but some interesting concept cars were shown, as well, that should go into production in the near future.

2014 Buick Regal Turbo

The Buick Regal was first introduced in 1973, and the 2014 Buick Regal Turbo is the latest generation of the model, that was unveiled at the Jacob Javits Convention Center a couple of weeks ago. This is a mid-size luxury vehicle, that has a couple of improvements when compared with previous models. The major changes are under the hood, with a more powerful engine, and it now has an all-wheel drive, which its predecessors didn’t have, providing better traction, no matter what conditions you are driving in. It is powered by a 2.0-liter intercooled turbo engine, with 259 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. There are some very sophisticated safety features, such as the Lane Change Alert, the Lane Departure Warning, and the Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

Ford Atlas Concept

This pickup truck concept is equipped with a turbocharged EcoBoost 3.5-liter, V6 engine, which makes it a very fuel-efficient vehicle, with a 2 mpg improvement in fuel economy. It has a very modern exterior design, featuring an enormous, mean-looking grille, and a futuristic interior. With the Ford Atlas concept, the public should get an idea of what the F-Series trucks are going to look like in the future. Some of the most interesting features on it are the stop-start system, the active grille shutters which are closed when there is no need for more cooling, and a front air dam, which can be lowered while driving at high speeds to provide good aerodynamics. All these features are supposed to help you save a lot of money on fuel, and provide lower emission levels. The Ford Atlas concept should go into production in 2015, provided that a couple of changes to the headlights are made, so that the car can meet some DOT standards regarding LED headlight technology.

Even though American companies tried to mark the show, the coolest cars were revealed by the global leaders such as Mercedes, Jeep, Volkswagen etc.

Automotive Concept Cars

Concept cars is a term that the majority of car owners or drivers know nothing about. I had always thought that a concept auto was the clay model that is made for a new car style. That’s nowhere near close, because concept cars are actual real cars built and ready to drive. A concept vehicle is a show car or prototype meant to be driven around to showcase a new concept, style, technology, etc.

Concept vehicles are usually shown at the big motor shows throughout the world. They’re shown to consumers to gauge their reactions to radical design changes or concepts. The idea of the concept or show car was developed by the GM designer Harley Earl. The concept auto is a real car, but it never goes into production directly. It would have to changed for safety, practicality and costs to be a production vehicle instead of just a concept vehicle.

Concept cars have extreme or radical engines, designs, materials, layouts, doors or things not found on production cars. Most concept cars never get past the scale model or computer drawings. A small numbers of concept vehicles are actually fully functional and some can’t even move faster than 10 mph safely. After the concept vehicle is done being used, the cars are usually destroyed but some survive in company museum or in storage. The 1954 concept car Lincoln Futura was in a custom car shop for years until it was used as the Batmobile in the Batman TV series in 1966.

There are some concept cars that are well known for one reason or another. The Buick Y Job was designed in the 1930s by Harley Earl and is considered to be the first concept vehicle. The General Motors Le Sabre built in 1951 introduced the 12 volt electrics and aluminum 215 ci V8. The 1959 Cadillac Cyclone was one of Harley Earl’s last designs. Chevrolet Volt is one of the first plug in hybrid electric vehicle concept cars.

A concept vehicle that I would never want to see in production is the Ford Nucleon, a nuclear powered car. MIT worked with Frank Gehry to develop the MIT Car concept vehicle. Pontiac’s Bonneville Special was Pontiac’s first two seater sports car and debuted in the 1954 Motorama. Another Pontiac is the Club de Mer an all stainless steel sportscar from 1956. The Lancia Megagamma was the prototype for the current minivan. Volvo’s YCC was the first car designed entirely by women.

2011 Detroit Auto Show: Which Cars Are Most Exciting?

The Detroit Auto Show is historically a good place to gauge how the U.S. auto industry is doing. Are sales climbing or falling? Are the car companies seeing economic progress, or is it going the other way? Are the crowds big or small?

That’s not to say it’s all about the economy, or simply a way for local dealers to move metal during the long, cold, winter months: There will be plenty of exciting cars and trucks on hand at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show at Cobo Hall. Here are some highlights:

Cadillac

Cadillac will give us a first look at the CTS-V coupe it will campaign in the SCCA’s World Challenge GT series this year. Andy Pilgrim and Johnny O’Connell have been hired to drive the CTS-Vs in the series.

Porsche

Porsche is showing the 918 coupe concept, a racing version of the 918 Spyder Porsche showed at the Geneva Motor Show last year. Word is the Porsche has a plug-in hybrid powertrain with a V8 and three electric motors.

GMC

The GMC Sierra All Terrain HD concept explores what the next-generation Sierra HD might look like. The truck is big and wide and has a huge grille. It sits on the frame from the production version of the heavy-duty Sierra. Under the hood is a 6.6-liter turbodiesel rated at 397 hp. It’s mated to an Allison six-speed automatic transmission.

BMW

BMW chose the Detroit Auto Show to unveil its fastest and most extreme 1-series, the muscular-looking 335-hp M coupe; that’s a horsepower figure that could produce a 0-to-60 time of less than 4.8 seconds, making the car as fast as the mighty M3! Power comes from a twin-turbo 3.0-liter six. The car will go on sale in May.

BMW will also show the second generation 650i convertible, with all-new sheetmetal. The car will take many of its styling cues from the Gran Coupe concept, shown at Auto China in Beijing last April.