2015 North American International Auto Show

2015 North American International Auto Show

The 2015 Detroit Auto Show has opened its doors. Here are some quick notes on a few of the highlights.

Buick Avenir

If this is a true representation of the future of Buick, we should all be excited.

The Avenir concept is a visually striking four-door based on GM’s Omega platform that will also underpin the future Cadillac CT6 flagship.

Power comes from a direct-injected V6 mated to a nine-speed paddle shift gearbox. The most exciting aspect for enthusiasts is the fact that it’s rear-wheel drive.

Hopefully this four-door, rear-drive Buick will see production.

Chevrolet VoltChevrolet Volt

The 2016 Chevy Volt should prove to be stiffer competition for the Toyota Prius.

The new model will increase EV range to 50 miles, compared to the current 36. Since it will still be an extended range hybrid electric vehicle with a small gasoline engine to charge the batteries, overall driving range will be 420 miles.

No price has been released, but it should be roughly the same as the outgoing model.

Chevrolet BoltChevrolet Bolt

Not far away, you will find Chevy’s pure electric crossover concept aimed squarely at Tesla.

The Bolt will have a range of 200 miles, sold in 50 states, and – here is the intriguing bit – priced around $30,000.

Expect to read a lot about this car before it gets released in 2017.

All-New 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider World PremierAlfa Romeo 4C Spider

Alfa made its North American comeback last year with the 4C, and now they are debuting a topless model.

The little Alfa already looks like a baby Ferrari, but the 4C Spider will make cruising that much more enjoyable.

VW Cross Coupe GTEVW Cross Coupe GTE

The Cross Coupe GTE is a crossover sport utility vehicle, which looks a bit like a BMW X6.

Based on VW’s MQB platform, this sporty plug-in hybrid will produce 276 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque from a 3.6-litre V6 linked to a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox.

Boosting power is a 54 hp, 162 lb-ft electric motor assisting with the front wheels, AND a second electric motor at the rear wheels adding 114 hp and 199 lb-ft of torque.

Total system output is 355 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque, yet VW claims it will still achieve 70 MPGe.

Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 (C 292) 2014Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe 4MATIC

Mercedes-Benz is replacing its ML-Class with the GLE. While it may not be the prettiest new car at the show, AMG gives you a reason not to care.

They shoehorned one of their 5.5-litre V8’s under the hood, and send 585 hp and 561 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels via a seven-speed gearbox.

Imagine hauling the family around and being able to breakaway from a stoplight to hit 60 mph in just 4.2 seconds. Nobody will have the time to laugh at its awkward looks.

Jaguar F-PACEJaguar F-PACE

Jaguar currently doesn’t offer a crossover SUV, unlike many of its rivals. They will remedy that with the F-PACE.

The F-PACE will be a five-door, all-wheel drive performance crossover based on the same platform as Jaguar’s new XE compact sedan.

Already approved for production thanks to the positive response to the C-X17 concept, the F-PACE will be available for purchase in the spring of 2016.

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I am a freelance writer. I've been happily married for...a while now, and I'm a father of 2. I enjoy injuring myself in the name of sport, love driving but hate commuting, and can't get enough of Star Wars.