Long-haul motor shows are typically a mixture of mainstream launches and local market exotics, and this year’s Detroit motor show has been no different.
For every Mercedes E-class facelift, there’s been a seven-seat Volkswagen SUV concept or Lincoln MKC baby SUV. Spot one of these on your way to Sainsbury’s in the next few years, and you’ll know you’re watching a dedicated eccentric at work.
Here, then, lest you never see them again, are our 10 favourite cars that have been made without the European market in mind.
It’s name may make it sound angry, but this seven-seat SUV is an epic demonstration of just how far the MQB platform can stretch. Conceived as a rival to the Ford Explorer in terms of size and price, the car is likely to go on sale in 2015 and form a cornerstone of VW’s expansionist plans in the US.
Another car that has a hint of anger in its name, the Furia is a concept that shows the direction for future Corolla design. As such, we won’t be seeing it on our shores. But there’s still reason to rejoice, as Akio Toyoda’s demand for his company to produce more striking designs will surely spread.
You’ll be wondering what this car is doing on the list, given the enthusiastic reassurances given by all at Corvette that this £50k Porsche 911 rival will be engineered for right-hand drive. Trouble is, that’s in the diary for 2015 at the earliest, meaning there’s still a worrying number of hurdles to overcome.
How they tease. Shown in Detroit as a modified prototype, the Model X inches towards production with its mouth-watering, Porsche 911-beating performance figures intact, along with those scarcely believable ‘Falcon’ doors. Trouble is, the market for such a large seven-seat SUV market is tiny in Europe, making production unlikely.
Billed as a design study for Hyundai’s future upmarket models, the Genesis and Equus, and therefore showing design cues for two vehicles that have no production future in the UK at present. That said, it’s worth a look merely to take in its giant and somewhat blunt design.
This ‘baby’ SUV concept is 4.55m long with a 2.7m-long wheelbase, and is loosely based on the Ford Escape/Kuga. The lavish styling has been created by Lincoln’s dedicated design team. The brand also gets its own dedicated engineering team. A Chinese launch in 2014 is on. Europe, however, remains a final frontier.
In North America, this vehicle is an icon; no wonder, perhaps, given its size means you can’t miss it. The Silverado takes on an added air of importance, because it’s been on sale in the US since 1975, and this full-scale makeover means updating a classic design that’s set in the hearts of minds of many buyers.
Known as the Kia K7 in its home Korean market, but still wholly unfamiliar to most European minds, this large saloon is a rival to the Toyota Avalon and Acura RL (two more cars Europeans won’t see) in the United States. If you’re taking notes, it is slightly longer and narrower than a BMW 5-series.
A range-extended Cadillac using the same technology as the Chevrolet Volt and Vauxhall Ampera. That may not sound much to get excited about, but there’s no doubting this is a good-looking car. Truth is, though, that even if Cadillac does see through plans to relaunch in the UK, its got enough of a battle on its hands without trying to convince us of the merits of alternative powertrains.
It’s a Nissan GT-R painted gold. Generaly speaking we’d mock such a project for being showy and pointless, but this charity creation has been built not only for a good cause, but created in the name of a sprinter who any London 2012-loving individual has to respect. Even so, that doesn’t mean you’ll see it on Clapham High Street any time soon.