Detroit was a show of standout performance cars, impressive premium products, concepts...and the Ford F150. Here are Autocar's stars of the Detroit motor show
15 January 2014

This year's Detroit motor show was definitive proof, if any were needed, that the confidence of car buyers - and of car makers - has returned. The show revealed an intoxicating mix of concept cars, volume sellers, premium models and a range of stunning performance cars.

With so many models making their public debuts, here is our pick of the exhibits by Autocar's men on the ground. 

Audi Allroad Shooting Brake, Mark Tisshaw

I could take or leave the evolutionary exterior styling of the Allroad concept, which previews the imminent Audi TT. But the interior was another story. The quality was outstanding, and the instrument display housing a large infotainment display that includes a sat-nav is a perhaps revolutionary step in freeing up space and de-cluttering the traditional dashboard and centre console.

BMW 2-series, Hilton Holloway

Don’t despair if you will never drive a true supercar. There’s really no need. The BMW M135i had the kind of deep-seated engineering excellence and the kind of aristocratic engine usually associated with mega cars. And the M235i will be even better.

Corvette Z06, Marc Noordeloos

A supercharged, 6.2-litre V8 with more than 625bhp and a rear-drive chassis, what’s not to like? As the Porsche 911 GT3 and Aston Martin V12 Vantage S switch to paddle-shift only, the Z06 blesses enthusiasts with a standard 7-speed manual. Bravo Chevrolet. 

Ford F150, Steve Cropley

Ford's mighty 2015 F150, my Detroit star, not only makes the all-important jump to weight-saving aluminium body construction, but shows how a balanced styling approach can keep the best of the old while providing something new. It's not easy, designers say, to create a work vehicle with enthusiast appeal, but Ford's top team have hit the desirability target. 

Mercedes C-class, Greg Kable 

The new Mercedes-Benz C-class not only looks like a junior S-class, with its heavily structured flanks and all. It also offers much of its bigger sibling's technology, including air suspension and stereo camera-based safety systems. The BMW 3-series suddenly appears old hat.

Porsche 911 Targa, Jim Holder

The B-pillar hoop, with its contrasting colour, adds presence to the already good-looking 911. But the real star is the automatic roof panel, which stows with incredible theatre. Take a moment to marvel and watch it on video. 

Toyota FT-1, Andrew Frankel

When it came, it did not disappoint. We knew Toyota would be revealing something Supra-esque, but not this. Simply, the FT-1 is the best-looking Toyota I have ever seen. Will they make it? After that reception, I think (and hope) they have to.

Volvo Concept XC Coupé, Richard Bremner

This three-door hint at the next Volvo XC90 has real class, in the subtlety of sculpture around its wings, sills and tailgate, and the tastefully modern colour palette that gives it such a fresh, clean aura. The difficult task of eliminating clutter without having the dashboard look sparse and cheap executed to great effect too.

Join the debate


15 January 2014
The yanks will love it, it looks good though.

Peter Cavellini.

15 January 2014
Real world performance and price tag, with that styling (hopefully not diluted too much!). Better than the over the top Toyota in my opinion.

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