I just attended the 2015 North American Auto Show in Detroit and I had a blast. Relentlessly exciting and with a ton of surprises, this year’s show was one of the best in years!
1. Horsepower, horsepower, horsepower
In the auto industry today, technology is supercharging an incredible horsepower and power race. This was the overwhelming theme of the show and could really be seen in almost every auto maker’s offerings. Powerful cars like these tend to attract younger and more influential buyers to a brand—even if they don’t buy one. It’s all about getting noticed and providing inspiration. Three cars blew me away with their looks and raw power.
2. Luxury SUV’s are Hip
In many ways this was the year of the SUV. Sport Utility Vehicles are now the most popular body style in the country and with lower gas prices, suddenly the prospect of owning a sport utility vehicle can make economic sense too. A raft of all-new and refreshed models is coming on-stream for the 2015 model year. Here are the three models that most piqued my interest.
3. Self Driving Cars
People have been talking about self-driving cars for years, but this year’s show proved that the dream is inching closer to reality. Parts of the self-driving experience were on display: three-dimensional cameras, lane-correction devices and other tools that increasingly remove the driver from the tasks of steering, braking and accelerating. Cadillac announced it would offer “Super Cruise” in its 2016 Cadillac sedan that allows the car to automatically keep in its lane, brake and accelerate. The chairman of Mercedes Benz said that fully autonomous vehicles will be in showrooms in five to fifteen years. Don’t trade-in your Honda just yet, but make no mistake: these cars are coming!
4. Trucks are back, in a big way
One beneficiary of low gas prices is the truck. As the economy has improved and industries like construction and ranching have picked up, the truck has seemed more important than ever. And automakers introduced some fantastic new models.
5. Plug ins
As in previous years, hybrids were a huge story in Detroit. Almost every company introduced a new plug-in hybrid. The two biggest introductions were from the same brand: Chevy. Hyundai introduced its first plug-in, the Sonata. And notable plug-ins from Hyundai, Honda, Audi, Volkswagen, and Mercedes could be found in Detroit. Here are some of my favorites.