2015 Auto Show shines light on Detroit

Detroit is shifting into top gear for the 2015 North American International Auto Show.

2015 is all about performance, luxury and speed. Ford and Acura are stealing the spotlight at this year’s NAIAS with their eye-catching super cars, the Ford GT and the Acura NSX.

Photo by Mike Stankard
The Ford GT on display. Photo by Mike Stankard.

“The style and flare of the vehicles are over the top,” NAIAS Chairman Scott LaRiche said. “The people can expect to see some unbelievable vehicles.”

Ford’s super car is their first road-legal, high-speed machine since their previous GT. Like the 2005 model, the 2015 GT pays homage to infamous GT40 that won the hearts of car enthusiasts everywhere. To take advantage of the times, the engineers at Ford equipped the concept GT with a lightweight body made of aluminum and carbon to go with a powerful V6 engine packing more than 600 horsepower.

The Acura NSX being unveiled at the Press Preview. Photo from NAIAS.com
The NSX unveiling at the Press Preview. Photo from NAIAS.com

Acura’s answer to the super car movement is the highly anticipated NSX. Last seen in 2004, the NSX is claimed to be Japan’s original super car. To bring the name NSX back to its former glory, the newest model is stocked with two hybrid engines along with an earth shattering, twin-turbo V6 engine.

Pursuing speed reflects Detroit’s rapid economic recovery. At this time in 2009, US auto sales were the worst in 27 years. Over the past five years, sales increased from 10.4 million to 16.5 million. Thanks to easy credit, low gas prices and pent-up demand, sales are only expected to grow in 2015, according to Forbes.com.

Like Detroit’s economy, the NAIAS is thriving recently. For two years in a row, attendance has increased. More than 803,000 people attended last year, this highest since 2003. On opening weekend this year, 110,509 people came to see the cars. From all corners of the globe, people continue to come to Detroit to see the future of the automobile.

“So far we’ve had over 5,000 media from over 60 countries and 55 product introductions have been represented,” LaRiche said. “Very, very exciting stuff! The bigger the show is, the better it is for the region.”

High-performance super cars are just one attraction at the 2015 NAIAS. More than 500 other cars are on display, including the North American Utility of the Year, the rugged Ford F150, and the North American Car of the Year, the economical Volkswagen Golf.

But just don’t look at the cars. This year there’s something for everyone, even non-car enthusiasts. Walk over to Volkswagen’s display to be entertained by iPad robots. Children can learn how to drive virtually with Kia and Honda is featuring a unicycle they call the Uni-cab that’s motorized. LaRiche said auto companies are really pulling out all the stops this year.

“One of the biggest highlights is seen in the vibrant, big displays,” LaRiche said. “Auto companies are bringing the best here to Detroit when all eyes are on them. That part’s really exciting.”

All the flashy displays and attractions are made possible thanks to renovations of long time NAIAS host, the Cobo Center. By now, 90 percent of the six-year, $279 million project is complete.

Recent renovations can be seen in the front entrance. A new giant TV screen has been added so attendees can see all the action going on inside. With renovations to Cobo Center almost complete, LaRiche said people are experiencing a better show and a better Detroit.

“People are now tasting Detroit from literally all around the world, and they’re saying we have a world class show in a world class facility,” LaRiche said.

Cobo Center will host the 2015 NAIAS from January 17-25. Tickets are $7 for tots over seven years old and senior citizens; $13 for the general public and free of charge for young ones under six years old.

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