2013 NAIAS: Truck Wars

Truck Wars: 2014 Chevrolet Silverado & Ford Atlas Concept
Poor Chevy! They spend months building up to their first new fullsize pickup in over seven years, not to mention a huge profit generator for the company, and Ford steels their thunder with a lightly disguised concept that tells us what the next F-series will look like.

Compounding matters, the Chevy looks so similar to the current Silverado most will struggle to tell it apart.The new Silverado boasts direct gasoline injection for its new generation of V6 and V8 engines and a nicer interior, but the Ford has next-gen EcoBoost turbo power, cool features like Dynamic Hitch Assist and Trailer Backup Assist, which will guide the truck back till it engages with a trailer, and (to most of us) better looks.


Nissan Resonance Concept
This concept gives a foreshadowing of the next Murano along with the overall style direction we should expect from the company. Beautifully proportioned and detailed, with a simply stunning interior that was at once fancifully decadent yet realistic, it was a refreshing lesson in how a show car can be both audacious yet relevant.

Other show notes

  • Besides the Corvette, perhaps the other biggest missed opportunity was Porsche’s new Cayman, which has lost the sensual voluptuousness of its predecessor.
  • Jeep continued building upon its successful growth with the updated Grand Cherokee, whose LED’d face still looks properly bluff and whose now standard eight-speed transmission and available turbodiesel should address criticisms of the SUV’s fuel economy once and for all.
  • Lincoln’s new small crossover, presaged by the MKC Concept, borrowed stance and detailing from the eight-year old Alfa Romeo Brera coupe, not a promising sign for a brand that is seeking to define itself.
  • Seen in the metal, BMW’s upcoming 4-series coupe successfully differentiates itself from the 328/335s with which it used to share nomenclature, while opening up the opportunity for the company to charge more and increase profits. At the other end of the scale, the 320i takes the company downmarket a bit, filling a gap until the 1-series is reintroduced to America. But if you have six-figure pockets, its M6 Gran Coupe four-door is one of the sexiest and most potent machines the Bavarians have ever made.
  • Acura still seems lost. They showed off an NSX concept—again—and a lightly disguised version of the MDX crossover that has none of the classiness or cohesion of the current model. This thinly disguised version of the upcoming seven-seater has heavy-handed amateurish proportioning and sloppy, garish details. This didn’t come as a big surprise if you’d spent any time across the isle at the Honda stand, where the Accord Crosstour has degenerated into what must be the ugliest car on sale in the United States. It’s huge proboscis of a chromed nose and monstrous hindquarters combine into a grotequesery that makes the late, unlamented Pontiac Aztec look positively svelte.

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