Now that the Detroit auto show has wrapped up its first week, observers, analysts, and journalists are now digesting everything that happened during the eventful few days that saw the debut of a number really special cars. While everyone is choosing their favorites, AutoWeek opted to fill in what it determined to be the most significant, the most fun, the best concept, and best in show thus far.
“The press conferences are over (our feet are killing us), our staff has stopped wrestling, and the ballots are counted,” the site said. “Here are the four we, the Autoweek staff, think stood out the most.”
1. Most Significant: 2015 Ford F-150
Any changes to America’s best-selling vehicle are going to be significant, in some form. However, AutoWeek chose the Ford (NYSE:F) F-150 because “the body is 95 percent high-strength aluminum and the frame is 77 percent high-strength steel.” That means weight savings of about 700 pounds over the outgoing model, which is, in fact, quite significant. Moreover, its been called the most toughest and most capable F-150 yet by Ford. Naturally.
2. Best Concept: Nissan Sport Sedan Concept
“The name basically tells you what this is. Nissan officials confirmed the Sports Sedan Concept is the basis for a new Maxima due in 2016,” which, as far as we’re concerned, is a very good thing — and hopefully, the new Maxima won’t deviate too far off of the sleek, low-slung concept that took the stage in Detroit. “Nissan design guru Shiro Nakamura said the concept’s intent is to ‘show a new, highly emotional and energetic design [taking] sports-car principles to a sedan.’ He said to look for the profile view’s floating-roof design on upcoming Nissan sedans.”
3. Most Fun: Toyota FT-1
Toyota (NYSE:TM) stunned its sports car fans with the new FT-1 design, which indicates that Toyota is once again regaining its performance car mojo. “Walk a couple laps around the red screamer and you’ll see some Ferrari Enzo, some Nissan GT-R, and maybe a little SRT Viper mixed in.” That snout is derived from Formula 1 race cars, and the wide, planted stance coupled with the generous slathering of aerodynamic work promises good tidings for the way this car might handle were it to see production.
4. Best in Show: Chevrolet Corvette Z06
“Simply put, the Corvette Z06 is incredible. Chevy’s claiming at least 625 hp from its 6.2-liter supercharged small-block. The engine is called LT4 and produces 635 lb-ft of torque to go along with the monster horsepower,” AutoWeek says. “The LT4 has a new 1.7-liter Eaton supercharger; it only adds an inch to engine height and Chevrolet says the Z06 is recording lap times faster than the outgoing ZR1.” For now, it seems as though the Z06 is taking the place of the ZR1, as there is not other Corvette under Chevy’s consideration at this time. However, the Z06 should do a pretty good job of keeping the enthusiasts occupied for at least a little while.