11 January 2005

The Detroit motor show – or 2005 North American International Auto Show – was dominated by contradiction, with manufacturers grabbing headlines with both stratospheric power outputs and apparent environmental concern. Although the single star attraction was a sensational new Jaguar concept car you can both see and read about in next Tuesday’s Autocar (18 Jan), power was battling alternative fuel for the attention of those packing Detroit's Cobo Centre DaimlerChrysler was firmly in the bhp corner. Dodge launched the new Viper GTS coupe and resurrected the iconic Charger nameplate, while Chrysler unveiled the Viper-based Firepower complete with 6.1-litre V8 Hemi power – three cars with more than 1300bhp between them (see gallery). Even Jeep got in on the act with the amazing Hurricane concept, growling onto stage under the steam of not one but two 5.7-litre V8s. Lexus also headed down the sports route with the LF-A supercar concept claimed to be good for 200mph, and Ford unveiled the spiritual replacement for the Cobra with a GR-1 that could enter production if the reaction is good. Other performance goodies included the new M5-rivalling Cadillac STS-V, GM’s most powerful car ever in the form of the Corvette Z06 and the Ferrari 575 Super America, complete with trick folding roof.

In the green corner were a trio of GM concepts, two hybrids (one of which was based on the forthcoming three-door Astra diesel) and a hydrogen fuel cell that’s production feasible – the Sequel 4x4. Diesel’s push for American acceptance gathered pace, especially in the hands of Mercedes-Benz, although Ford, Mercury and Audi were among those fitting diesel powerplants to various concept cars in a bid to finally get the US interested in oil-burners.

Get Autocar next week for our full Detroit show report

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