It’s rare to turn up to a motor show nowadays without knowing exactly what’s going to be there and having seen all the show stars in advance online.
Not this year in Detroit; I almost need to go on to a second hand to count the unanswered questions ahead of the show. Here are the key questions I’ll be looking for the answers to in Detroit.
1 – Just what is Ford’s new Ford Performance arm planning?
Last month, Ford announced it was merging its various performance and racing arms around the world under one new division called Ford Performance. It’s this new division that will make the big splash for Ford in Detroit, but what exactly will be shown?
There have been rumours of a GT successor for some time, and a leaked show floorplan tantalisingly reveals a space for a model called ‘Phoenix’, which is parked in between the GT40 and GT.
Excited? We are, and that’s before we even get on to the prospect of the new Focus RS being revealed alongside the Phoenix…
2 – Will Honda’s new NSX be a looker?
Unlike Ford, Honda has made an official announcement stating its model plans for Detroit, where the new NSX will finally be unveiled.
It’s three years since we saw the conservative-looking concept. Will Honda have given the new NSX the show-stopping looks to match its hi-tech hybrid powertrain?
3 – Is General Motors going to launch a new electric car?
GM will show its all-new, second-generation Volt in Detroit. But it’s the talk of a new electric car, rumoured to be called Bolt, that is set to be unveiled alongside it that has piqued our interest most.
Why? Well, there’s talk of 200-mile range for the Bolt, which could be a significant step in the mainstream electric car starting to come of age.
4 – Is Bentley planning an SUV announcement?
After Jaguar christened its upcoming SUV F-Pace on the eve of the Detroit show, rumours started circulating that Bentley will also reveal the name of its upcoming SUV there.
Bentley’s press conference is scheduled for 6.50pm UK time, which is when any announcement will be made. Will it spark as much debate as F-Pace?
5 – How will North Americans react to Chinese cars?
The Detroit motor show is set to host the unveiling of the GAC GS4, a new compact SUV from Chinese brand GAC Motor. GAC says the unveil in Detroit is part of its “globalisation drive”, and it is planning to start selling cars in North America and Europe.
It’s an intriguing and perhaps bold choice of show at which to reveal such a car, in a city with three huge car makers already in existence and patriotic public showgoers. But then again, such a move could also be seen as a sign of GAC’s confidence.
Indeed, it has already started promoting its cars in the US through product placement in the latest Transformers movie.