Bad and good, there was plenty to see at this year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Ford, Hyundai, Acura, and a few others pulled out the big guns with some of the most extreme machines we’ve ever seen. Other automakers, not so much.
After day two came to a close, we decided to all get together and individually select the cars that we think deserve the titles ‘Best in Show’ and ‘Worst in Show.’ See if you agree with us.
Granted, we had to wait a long time to see the the new Acura NSX in its production form. But in my mind, it was well worth the wait. Those last last three years gave Honda engineers the chance to tweak any issues they might have seen in the concepts and prototypes. Complain all you want — but the NSX is finally here, and it’s beautiful.
And on the other end of the spectrum; The Audi Q7 has never been a big point of interest for us (in a good way), but my oh my did they get it wrong this time.
America has never needed more muscle cars, but we certainly welcome the addition. The GT350R, in the same vein as the Camaro Z/28, strikes me as something they should never have left off the track. But they did, and it’s an absolute gift.
I like the old Q7, it’s almost like a cocoon. I think it’s great that Audi can pare its weight back and increase its efficiency, but styling took a step backward. The Q7 looks a bit too much like the Audi TT, but in SUV form. It’s greener than ever, but quite ambiguous.
My choice for ‘Best in Show’ is the Infiniti Q60 concept. Its styling is a bold jump forward for the brand, which has gotten kind of soft lately, and mirrors the excitement of the G35 coupe when it was first introduced.
My choice for ‘Worst in Show’ is the Hyundai Santa Cruz Concept targeted to Millennials. That’s the only segment that would buy it because they don’t remember the horrid Subaru Baja. Here’s hoping it never gets built.
This year marked my first time at NAIAS in Detroit, and it did not disappoint. Between the NSX and the new Ford GT, it was a great show. That being said, neither of those two cars made my personal ‘Best In Show.’ No, my favorite from the show was the Challenger TA concept, which actually came out first at SEMA last year. It was that lime green paint, coupled with the Viper seats and pistol grip shifter that really caught my eye. It just looked fabulous.
Where BMW has the i3, Chevrolet has the knockoff Bolt. It pretty much looks like Chevy engineers took an i3 and slapped some Chevy badges on it. Not to mention a barrage of cheep-looking plastic.
The look, the sound— everything about the new Ford GT is absolutely delicious. Not to mention those 600 ponies under the hood.
If I had to choose one ‘Worst in Show,’ it would be the new Audi Q7. There wasn’t really much wrong with the old Q7, but this one really misses the mark for me.