Detroit is the spiritual home of the American motor industry, and though many manufacturers have relocated, the Detroit Auto Show (, to give it its correct title) remains a major fixture in the annual motoring calendar. 2014 did not disappoint, and there was some serious buzzing around the show on all the major social networks.
Here are five of the the most talked-about reveals of the 2014 Detroit Auto Show. Some are purely concept cars and some will be going into production soon.
Kia GT4 Stinger – the unlikely star of the Detroit Auto Show
Wait – one of the starts of the Detroit Auto Show was a Kia? The same company behind the Picanto, Sportage and Cee’d? This concept feels a world away from Kia’s comfort zone, but the reaction to the GT4 Stinger was overwhelmingly positive. Firstly, it’s been heralded as a design success – smooth lines, vertical headlamps and the typical Kia grille, finished in a warm yellow. Visitors to the show couldn’t stop praising it, but what’s under the bonnet? Well, 311bhp from a 2.0 litre petrol engine is more than a little impressive. We, along with the rest of the motoring world it would seem, are crossing fingers and toes that the Stinger will go into production – but even if it doesn’t, the future is bright for this Korean company.
Subaru WRX STi – back to the good old days?
The Subaru Impreza has long been an adored car, but in recent years it has come under pressure after updates to the design received mixed reviews. The overriding opinion was that the Impreza needed to stick to what it was good at – and that is being loud, disruptive, and above all exciting. At Detroit, Subaru proved that they listen to their fans and critics, and bought out a new WRX STi to play, one that stays true to its roots, but has modernised with the times. It’s got an aggressive new look, with a deeper hood scoop, and redesigned front grille. More importantly though, the new WRX STi runs a 2.5-litre turbocharged engine, kicking out 305bhp and topping out at around 164mph. Hats off to Subaru, as they may well have just won back their supporters.
Audi Allroad Shooting Brake – crossover concept
Audi seemingly never fails to impress, and the Allroad Shooting Brake Concept is no exception. The concept fuses Audi’s existing Allroad design themes with the main design elements of this year’s all-new TT sports car. Innovation is key with any new concept, and the Shooting Brake concept is no exception. Alongside the 2.0 litre engine, the car sports plug-in electric tech that is fast becoming a feature of new car concepts. The shooting brake body style is still being considered for production (Audi previewed a similar concept before the current TT arrived back in 2005), but the interior looks ready to go, and many parts of the exterior design will soon be seen on our roads when the new 2014 Audi TT arrives in the next few months.
Porsche 911 Targa – a classic, remixed
With the much-publicised release of the 918 Spyder last year, Porsche were under some pressure to present something newsworthy for the 2014 Detroit Auto Show – and they didn’t disappoint. The Porsche 911 Targa mixes something old with something new – its highlight is the brilliant glass panel roof which echoes the classic 911 Targa models of the past but operates in a very 21st Century fashion. At the press of a button, the large rear window lifts and pivots to allow the targa roof panel to be stowed. This is definitely one that Porsche lovers will want to get their hands on – perfect for summer drives in style. Just in case that isn’t enough for you, there is the choice between a 3.4 or 3.8 litre engine, pumping out 350bhp and 400bhp respectively, meaning none of the performance of the 911 is sacrificed. Just what we wanted to hear.
Toyota FT-1 Concept – just build it!
The Toyota FT-1 concept was arguably the most talked-about car of the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, with critics and fans showing it a lot of love. This sport car concept, successor to the Supra, was designed by Toyota’s CALTY research and design lab in California, using a mixture of traditional and modern techniques. The FT-1 dominated Toyota’s line-up this year, and though it is just a concept, Toyota would be missing a trick if they choose not to put it into production. Although you can’t own it right now, you can at least drive it in Gran Turismo 6 if you own a Sony PlayStation 3.
So that’s the round-up, but we’ve had to skip over many of the exciting new releases and concepts that showed up at the Detroit Motor Show, like the thundering Chevrolet Corvette Z06, the new Ford Mustang or the Mercedes-Benz C-Class saloon. With a show of this scale, it can be hard to choose your favourites, but each car here has earned its place.