Detroit Show: runners and riders


With seasonal revelry now well and truly a distant memory, it's time to get down to business for the world's car manufacturers, and the North American International Auto Show (or simply 'Detroit', as it's more commonly known) is the first big event in the diary.

This year sees over 50 new car launches, and while the vast majority of them will naturally be by US manufacturers and for the US market, there are still some pretty big cars that should get PHers' juices flowing.

Corvette has not yet been glimpsed undisguised
Corvette has not yet been glimpsed undisguised
Arguably chief among those will be the new C7 Chevrolet Corvette. While several renderings and teasers have appeared in the press in recent weeks, the undisguised look of the complete car has thus far remained a fiercely-protected secret. Word is it's going to be a looker, though, and with a choice of two V8 engines and a lightweight chassis that features aluminium suspension components, we're hoping it should deliver the performance those looks promise.

Lest Chevrolet steal all the muscle car limelight, though, Shelby will be bringing two new models to the show. The first will be a wide-body option for the 2013 Super Snake, but the second is altogether more intriguing. So far, Shelby has kept schtum on any detail, but the late, great Carroll speculated before his death that the industry would be moving towards lower-capacity engines with turbochargers, so we can't help but wonder whether it'll be something boosty. Time will tell.

M6 GC one of three German hyper-saloon stars
M6 GC one of three German hyper-saloon stars
It won't be all about the American marques, though. Expect a three-way German hyper-saloon punch-up as Mercedes-Benz reveals its facelifted E63 AMG at the same time as Audi debuts its RS7 and BMW shows the M6 GranCoupe for the first time. It looks likely that there'll be no RS6 saloon, so these three will go head-to-head, pitching twin-turbocharged V8s - 5.5-litre for the Merc, 4.0-litre for the Audi, 4.4-litre for the BM - against each other in a battle of wits.

Somewhat less Teutonic, but still in the fast four-door vein will be the new Maserati Quattroporte. We've already seen full press shots of this, but Detroit will be the first time the general public at large will get to see the big Maser up close. The new car's styling has met with mixed reactions so far, but the word is that it looks better in the flesh - this will be the first chance for people to find out for themselves. Regardless of the Quat's looks, few can argue with the 530hp punch from the top-of-the-range twin-scroll turbocharged V8.

Maserati Quattroporte will debut too
Maserati Quattroporte will debut too
And of course, flying the flag for the UK will be Bentley's new GT Speed Convertible. As we detailed in our piece on the new droptop last week, this will be the fastest four-seat convertible in the world, able to crack 202mph (although you'll need to put the roof up to do it). Available in colours other than the rather sudden purple that's been chosen as the launch colour, it'll make its first appearance at Detroit.

Of course, we'll bring you all the latest updates from the show as they appear, so stay tuned for more as the key stories break.

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Comments (15) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Beefmeister 16 Jan 2013

    Well, Shelby's effort was a little less exciting than we were all expecting. A tarted up Focus ST with no more bhp.



    Apparently the turbo V6 is coming, but this was their 'big announcement'.

    Pfft.

    Edited by Beefmeister on Wednesday 16th January 11:31

  • Trevor M 08 Jan 2013

    Well, as far as competing as a world class street sports car, the C5 was nothing like a real contender like the C6 is. And the C5 also gets uglier by the day, unlike the C6 which has aged quite well. I didn't say the racing version didn't do well. Let me read my post again. Nope. Didn't say that. So, I say again: the current Corvette C6 was/is finally a real contender (as a sports car) and it was also a racing champion and it still looks handsome. All in all, a quantum leap over the C5 which only managed 1 out of 3. The C7 will have a lot to live up to.


    Matt Harper said:
    Trevor M said:
    . The current Corvette was finally a real contender and racing champion and still looks handsome.
    For, as we all know, the previous (C5R) had no racing success, wasn't a real contender or racing champion.

  • pagani1 08 Jan 2013

    The reason people tootle off to buy a Huyundai is we are being SCREWED on the price of new cars on Treasure Island, especially Yank Tanks where $1= £1.50 or £2 when the new Corvette reaches us and a left hooker only.

  • oilit 08 Jan 2013

    RedAndy said:
    ..BECAUSE it was a fair bit more than £7 I bet...

    But you can't compare cosmo London where the motorshow is those arab chaps in Bugattis driving around Chelsea as shown on TV the other day, with Detroit: Motor City where EVERYONE was linked to the car industry in some way- it's in their blood. Here we just like to gawp at supercars, then tootle off to a Hyundai dealer if we actually want something (the minority PHers exempted of course).

    Sad really.
    I understand, but net net its all about volume of bodies - the population of the usa is far bigger, the footfall is bigger, the number of large venues is far more plentiful so costs of hosting are probably cheaper etc etc.

    BTW have you been to Detroit lately - I went about 3 months ago - its still on its knees, and remember 771k visitors when the country was in recession, in 2008 UK was in pre- crash mode !

  • RedAndy 08 Jan 2013

    oilit said:
    ...the London Motor show ...which in 2008 was open for a fortnight (like Detroit) and could only muster 472,300 visitors....
    ..BECAUSE it was a fair bit more than £7 I bet...

    But you can't compare cosmo London where the motorshow is those arab chaps in Bugattis driving around Chelsea as shown on TV the other day, with Detroit: Motor City where EVERYONE was linked to the car industry in some way- it's in their blood. Here we just like to gawp at supercars, then tootle off to a Hyundai dealer if we actually want something (the minority PHers exempted of course).

    Sad really.

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