DETROIT (AFP) – Highlights from day one of the auto show on Monday in Detroit, where Ford and Honda stole the headlines with a pair of supercars that sent pulses racing:
FORD GT HITS HARD: Ford threatened a knock-out punch to its rivals at an arena named after boxing great Joe Louis when it confirmed fevered speculation by unveiling its GT supercar. Packing more than 600 horsepower, the GT had car enthusiasts salivating on its glorious return to the market and confirmed the arrival of brawn to Detroit.
IN AWE OF ACURA: Also making a glorious return to the spotlight was the Acura NSX from Honda, a hybrid supercar that its makers hope will make Formula One legend Ayrton Senna – who owned a previous incarnation of the vehicle – proud.
ROMEO OH ROMEO: Car lovers were getting hot under the collar too when Alfa Romeo unveiled an open-air version of its 4C coupe called the 4C Spider. It is not in the power range of the Acura NSX or Ford GT – but still has a top speed of 160 miles (257 kilometres) per hour and can accelerate from 0-60 miles per hour in 4.1 seconds.
BOLT OF GM: General Motors put Tesla in its sights in the muted electric market as it unveiled a Chevrolet Bolt concept, and a snazzy updated Volt. The Bolt, which promises to lower the price of entry to a full-range electric to $30,000, will be able to travel 200 miles on a single charge.
SOMETHING FISHY: China’s Guangzhou Automobile Group does not sell cars in the US, but it has big ambitions. It unveiled a brand-new compact SUV, the GS4, and put on show a driverless concept car – still very much in early tests – complete with fish tank in the back.
WHAT’S IN A NAME? Plenty, said Nissan, rolling out its mean, new Titan pickup truck. Macho? You bet. “Truck owners like trucks that are big and match the personality of the customers,” senior Nissan planner Brent Hagan said. “Titan matches that idea of performance, capability and capacity.”
TOP DOGS: The Volkswagen Golf was named North American car of the year, while Ford picked up the honours in the truck category. The Golf saw off the Ford Mustang and Hyundai Genesis to take the award. Ford’s F-150 pick-up triumphed ahead of Chevrolet’s Colorado and the Lincoln MKC.