“The VW Golf won car of the year, following on the heels of World Car of the Year and Motor trend Car of the Year awards, and the Golf is a finalist for the Canadian Car of the Year…”

Detroit, Michigan.

There’s a buzz in motor city because the car industry has roared back in the US and 2014 was another record year in Canada.

Ford GT (photos above)

There is no question the Ford GT supercar stole the show at the media preview in Detroit. The mid-engine heart powering this carbon fibre and aluminum 2-door beauty is a new twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 with over 600hp. What really stunned the crowd was the fact Ford has already committed to building the GT, it will be for sale late in 2016. The car displayed is essentially a production model, not a far-reaching concept car. The carbon fibre passenger cell and bodywork, along with aluminum suspension components will help return one of the best power to weight rations in the business. The best part is the design that looks fast standing still, thanks to a teardrop shape and aggressive aerodynamics and functional wings and spoilers. Ford is using the GT as a technology test to help implement features like carbon fibre in all new Ford models to come.

Audi Q7

Since we love SUVs in North America, it was logical for Audi have the world debut of the three-row Q7 SUV in Detroit. This all-new model is slightly smaller than the outgoing model but it actually offers more interior space for passengers and cargo. The design also makes the Q7 look much less imposing. The biggest news is the reduction in weight; this new Q7 is 325kg lighter than the older model, which is a whopping number, making it roughly 26 percent more efficient. Shortly after the Q7 arrives at dealerships a plug-in diesel hybrid model will be introduced that can deliver the equivalent of 1.7L/100km. Styling is much more sophisticated and the interior has the all-new dash and MMI system that was first introduced in the soon to arrive Audi TT.

Lexus GS F

Another trend at the Detroit show was the introduction or very powerful cars. Lexus introduced the latest “F” performance model called the GS F. Based on the GS mid-sized luxury sedan, the GS F takes things to a much more aggressive level, with a 467hp 5.0L V8 engine pushing all that power through an 8-speed automatic to the rear wheels. Lexus hopes this 1830kg sedan will be lean enough and powerful enough to attract buyers of cars like the BMW M5. With standard 19-inch wheels framing orange Brembo brake calipers and featuring a Torque Vectoring Differential, Lexus thinks this Nurburgring tuned sedan is a more than enough to take on the German dominant brands. Styling is dramatic and functional with a lower and wider stance than the regular model.

Volkswagen Golf

The Detroit show always starts with the announcement of the North American Car of the Year. This year the VW Golf won, following on the heels of World Car of the Year and Motor trend Car of the Year awards, and the Golf is a finalist for the Canadian Car of the Year. The Golf is turning heads because of the very refined driving dynamics, class-above interior and powerful and efficient engine choices. The price will also win over buyers, thanks to the production coming out of Mexico; the starting price is $18,995. The Golf features a new 1.8L direct injection and turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, an optional TDI diesel or the more powerful GTI and Golf R models. The Golf is on sale now.

2015 Toyota Tacoma

The Detroit-three automakers might have the lion’s share of full size pickup sales but it’s the Toyota Tacoma mid-size pickup that rules the road, outselling the competition two-to-one. Announced at the Detroit show is a heavily updated Tacoma with a new 3.5L V6, replacing the old 4.0L V6, plus either a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission. The engine features direct injection technology and should vastly improve fuel economy. The chassis has been strengthened and the interior updated to today’s standards. The tailgate now has a locking feature and a soft open for easier use, plus the optional cargo bed cover can be secured as well. Also shown was the TRD off-road version, which is a big seller for Toyota and for 2015 it has a crawl feature to aid in off-road adventures, plus a go-pro camera mount to capture all the action. With these updated the latest Tacoma is sure to remain dominant.

Contact: zack [dot] spencer [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

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