North American International Auto Show 2014: US OEMs

Optimism in US automakers highlighted by luxury, performance and innovation



Ford F-150
Ford F-150

 The 2014 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) was held from January 13 through January 26, 2014, with the show being open to the public starting January 18. The public show attracted a total of 803,451 visitors, the first time since 2003 that the show had over 800,000 visitors.
 Due to surging sales in 2013, an optimistic mood could be felt throughout this year’s auto show. NAIAS 2014 chairman Bob Schuman mentioned that, “All around, the optimism that was there last  year is just bigger and better this year.” This positive mindset could be seen in the number of high-performance and stylish model debuts, along with the number of “fun” vehicle concepts that were displayed. For example, the US Big Three unveiled the Chevrolet Corvette Z06, debuted the Ford Mustang for the first time at an auto show and showcased the SRT Viper GTS, three models which focus on performance. The Cadillac ATS Coupe and Chrysler 200 also debuted in Detroit, emphasizing luxury characteristics in vehicles.

In addition, the most anticipated vehicle debut of the North American Auto Show belonged to the 2015 Ford F-150. The excitement generated from the reported changes in the next-generation F-150, including the heavy use of aluminum in the body, could be seen by the consistently large crowds at Ford’s exhibit.

 This report is the first of three reports which focus on the vehicles displayed at the 2014 North American International Auto Show. This report will focus on vehicles showcased by US OEMs, specifically Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler. A second and third report will be released later highlighting models produced by European and Asian automakers respectively.

Related Reports:

NAIAS 2014 (part 2): European OEMs
NAIAS 2014 (part 3): Asian OEMs

Ford takes risks with new ideas for redefined Ford F-150 and Ford Mustang

 This year, Ford’s display featured a theme of originality. Despite being next-generation models, both the F-150 and the Mustang were almost completely redesigned compared to their previous iterations. Ford also had concept vehicles and alternative fuel vehicles on display, highlighting new technologies.


2015 Ford F-150 Full-Size Pickup Truck

 Excitement levels were high regarding the next-generation Ford F-150 coming into the 2014 North American International Auto Show. Despite being the best-selling vehicle in the United States for 32 consecutive years, the new F-150 was completely redesigned, using large amounts of aluminum and taking styling cues from the Ford Atlas concept from the previous year's North American International Auto Show.


Ford F-150 Ford F-150

 Though the frame of the new F-150 will be made with high-strength steel, the body of the next-generation vehicle will use military-grade aluminum alloys, which will improve dent and ding resistance while also saving weight. Due to the use of aluminum, up to 700 pounds of weight will be saved per vehicle, improving both the performance and fuel economy of the F-150.

 The new F-150 will also have eleven class-exclusive features, including a 360-degree camera view system, integrated loading ramps, LED headlamps and taillamps, 400-watt power outlets in the cab and a remote tailgate. Customers will have a choice of four engine options to meet their own needs.


Ford 5.0L DOHC Ti-VCT V8 Engine Ford 5.0L DOHC Ti-VCT V8 Engine Ford 3.5L Ti-VCT V6 Engine Ford 3.5L Ti-VCT V6 Engine
Ford 3.5L EcoBoostR V6 Engine Ford 3.5L EcoBoostR V6 Engine Ford 2.7L EcoBoostR V6 Engine Ford 2.7L EcoBoostR V6 Engine


Powertrains 5.0L V8 3.5L Ti-VCT V6 3.5L EcoBoost 2.7L Ecoboost
Displacement (cu in) 302 213 213 164
Bore & stroke (in) 3.63 x 3.65 3.64 x 3.45 3.64 x 3.45 3.27 x 3.27
Block material Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum Compacted Graphite Iron
Cylinder head material Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum
Compression ratio 10.5:1 10.8:1 10.0:1 10.0:1

 Ford's Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Michigan will be the first plant to produce the new F-150 later this year, followed by the Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Missouri. The next-generation F-150 will go on sale in the fourth quarter of 2014,


2015 Ford Mustang Muscle Car

 Having been unveiled in late 2013, the 2015 Ford Mustang made its auto show debut at the 2014 North American International Auto Show. While the next-generation Mustang retained elements such as the long sculpted hood and the short rear deck, it also introduced many design features that broke away from traditional Mustang styling. These include a lower, wider stance with a reduction in roof height; three-dimensional, tri-bar taillamps with sequential turn signals, and a redesign of the signature shark-bite front fascia and trapezoidal grille. The increased width along with the Mustang's independent rear suspension not only provides more space for passengers, but also improves vehicle handling and steering.


Ford Mustang Ford Mustang

 The Mustang provides three engine choices to customers: a 5.0-liter V8 which provides 420 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque, a 3.7-liter V6 which offers over 300 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque, and a 2.3-liter I4 Ecoboost engine that outputs more than 305 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. All three engine choices can be paired with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.

 The new Ford Mustang will go on sale in late 2014, and will be produced at Ford's Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Flat Rock, Michigan.


Ford Edge Crossover Utility Concept

 The Ford Edge Concept was on display in Detroit, introducing advanced technologies combined with a sleek design and quality craftsmanship. These advanced driver-assist technologies serve as the basis for autonomous driving, and will help make driving safer and more efficient. In a bid to advance its research into automated driving technologies, Ford recently announced that it had started working with Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to solve "technical challenges" facing autonomous vehicles. This research endeavor is part of Ford's "Blueprint for Mobility", where it outlines its short, medium, and long-term plans for the future of transportation.


Ford Edge Concept Ford Edge Concept Ford Edge Concept Interior Ford Edge Concept Interior

 One of the new technologies featured on the Ford Edge Concept is fully assisted parking aid, an extension of active park assist. With fully assisted parking aid, customers can touch a button from within the vehicle or by remote control and watch as the vehicle enters or exits a perpendicular parking space by itself. Another advanced system included in the Ford Edge Concept is adaptive steering, which allows drivers to make turns at slow speeds with much less turning of the steering wheel.

 As Ford's utility vehicles have been the United States' best-selling utility brand for three consecutive years, the company hopes that the technologies found in the Ford Edge Concept can serve as a foundation for the next-generation Ford Edge.


Ford C-Max Energi Compact Multi-Purpose Plug-in Hybrid (and Solar Concept)

 Though alternative fuel vehicles were not as highly featured in this year’s exhibition, these vehicles still had a presence in Detroit. The C-Max Energi was one of three alternative fuel vehicles that Ford displayed. It has a best-in-class combined 100 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe), with an EPA-estimated 108 MPGe city and 92 MPGe highway. The total range of the C-Max Energi is 620 miles, including 21 miles of electric-only operation. The C-Max Energi contains a 7.6 kWh Lithium-ion battery that can be fully charged in seven hours with a 120-volt outlet, or 2.5 hours with a 240-volt charging station. Ford recently developed a solar concept version of the C-Max Energi with SunPower Corporation and the Georgia Institute of Technology which can use solar energy to charge the vehicle.


Ford C-Max Energi SEL Ford C-Max Energi SEL

 The 2014 C-Max Energi SEL is manufactured in Ford’s Wayne Assembly Plant in Michigan and is currently available at a base price of USD 32,950.


2015 Lincoln MKC Compact Premium Crossover

 As Lincoln's second new vehicle of the four due to be introduced by 2016, the 2015 Lincoln MKC represents a key point in the brand's reinvention and expansion plans. Customers can choose between the new 2.3-liter EcoBoost I4 powertrain, with 275 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque or the 2.0-liter EcoBoost I4 powertrain, with 240 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. The Lincoln MKC comes standard with front-wheel drive and can be upgraded with Lincoln's Intelligent All-Wheel Drive, which features three different drive modes.


Lincoln MKC Lincoln MKC

 In terms of design, the exterior of the MKC still features Lincoln's signature split-wing grille to go along with its high beltline and low shoulders. The Lincoln MKC's interior has a unique instrument panel which highlights Lincoln's signature push-button gear shifter and provides an open interior space.

 The 2015 Lincoln MKC will be manufactured in Louisville Assembly Plant and will be available in showrooms in the summer of 2014 at a base price of USD 33,995.



GM displays variety with Corvette Z06, Cadillac ATS Coupe, and GMC Canyon

 The main attraction of the Chevrolet brand was the 2015 Corvette Z06 on display, with the 2014 Corvette Stingray from last year's show on display on the wall above it. Chevrolet also exhibited the 2015 Colorado. GMC's display focused primarily on the 2015 Canyon and Yukon, while the ATS Coupe was the highlight of the Cadillac exhibit.


2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Sports Car

 With the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray winning the North American Car of the Year award, Chevrolet introduced the 2015 Corvette Z06, said to be the most track-capable Corvette in the brand's history. The 2015 Corvette Z06 is the first Corvette to offer a supercharged engine. Featuring the same advanced technologies as the 2014 Corvette Stingray, the LT4 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine is expected to deliver 625 hp and 635 lb-ft of torque.


Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Cutaway Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Cutaway

 Paired with the supercharged engine will either be a standard seven-speed manual transmission or an all-new 8L90 eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission. The 8L90 automatic transmission was developed by GM to fit in the same space as the six-speed automatic transmission used in the Corvette Stingray. Due to the heavy use of aluminum and magnesium in the 8L90, alongside the many design features in the transmission to reduce friction, the 8L90 is expected to have five percent greater efficiency compared to a six-speed automatic transmission. The Corvette Z06 will build upon many of the technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray, such as the use of lightweight materials and advanced driver technologies. For example, the Corvette Z06 will feature an aluminum frame similar to that used in the Corvette Stingray. However, the Corvette Z06’s frame will have a removable, carbon fiber roof panel. Another feature that the Z06 has which is enhanced from the Stingray is the short/long arms front and rear suspension that has been calibrated for higher performance. GM’s Bowling Green assembly plant will produce the Corvette Z06’s aluminum frame.  The new 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 will be available for sale in early 2015.


2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe

 The all-new 2015 ATS Coupe is Cadillac's first compact luxury coupe, and it offers a wide range of both performance and luxury options for drivers. Customers can choose from a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 272 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, or a 3.6-liter V6 engine rated at 321 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque. A 6L45 six-speed automatic transmission comes standard with either engine, though a six-speed manual transmission is also available for the 2.0-liter turbo engine.


Cadillac ATS Coupe Cadillac ATS Coupe Cadillac ATS Coupe Interior Cadillac ATS Coupe Interior

 The exterior of the standard ATS Coupe will have projector-beam headlamps, with the option of including high-intensity-discharge headlamps and front vertical LED light signatures. All trim models will have LED taillamps and an LED rear-center stop lamp. The interior features handcrafted upholstered interior combinations and materials such as leather, aluminum, carbon fiber and wood. Other available interior features include OnStar 4G LTE connectivity; Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity; a configurable 5.7-inch, three-window instrument panel display; and a full-color configurable head-up display.

 The 2015 ATS Coupe will launch in the summer of 2014 and will be built at GM's Lansing Grand River Assembly facility in Lansing, Michigan.


2015 GMC Canyon Midsize Pickup Truck

 The introduction of the 2015 GMC Canyon at the North American International Auto Show completed GMC's three-truck family, along with the 2014 Sierra 1500 and the 2015 Sierra HD. The new midsize pickup features several best-in-segment features, including the segment's best horsepower at 193 hp from a standard 2.5-liter I4 engine and 302 hp from an available 3.6-liter V6. Other best-in-segment characteristics that the GMC Canyon has include a best-in-class payload of 1,450 pounds and a best-in-class maximum trailering rating of 6,700 pounds.


GMC Canyon GMC Canyon GMC Canyon Rear View GMC Canyon Rear View

 The Canyon will be offered with three trim levels and an option between rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive. An aluminum hood is used to lower the overall mass of the vehicle and improve its front-to-rear weight balance. Another unique feature of the GMC Canyon is its active aero grille shutters, which improve the aerodynamic performance of the vehicle by closing at highway speeds.

 The 2015 GMC Canyon will be assembled at GM's assembly plant in Wentzville, Missouri. Production will begin in the fall of 2014.


2015 Chevrolet Colorado Midsize Pickup Truck

 A cousin to the 2015 GMC Canyon, the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado was also on display at the North American International Auto Show, having debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Though the two vehicles share many of the same features, the GMC Canyon focuses more on upscale customers, while the Colorado is more focused on value. Like its cousin, the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado comes with a standard 2.5-liter I4 engine and has an available 3.6-liter V6.


Chevrolet Colorado Chevrolet Colorado Chevrolet Colorado Interior Cutaway Chevrolet Colorado Interior Cutaway

 The 2015 Chevrolet Colorado will begin production some time in 2014, and will be available in mid-to-late 2014.


2015 GMC Yukon Full-Size SUV

 Although it was unveiled as part of the Yukon family in fall 2013, the 2015 GMC Yukon was also prominently displayed in the GMC exhibit area. The 2015 Yukon features the new EcoTec3 5.3-liter V8 engine matched with the Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic transmission. Other highlights include fold-flat second and third-row seating for improved cargo capability, two added inches of legroom for second-row passengers, and an all-new cargo management system.


GMC Yukon GMC Yukon

 Along with the rest of the Yukon family, the 2015 GMC Yukon will be built at GM's assembly plant in Arlington, Texas, and will be available for sale in the first quarter of 2014.



Chrysler unveils Chrysler 200, displays Chrysler 300S and SRT Viper GTS

 The Chrysler 200 and 300S took center stage at Chrysler's display during the 2014 North American International Auto Show. Chrysler's SRT brand highlighted the Viper GTS, while Dodge's display showed the Dart Blacktop amidst its lines of pickups.


2015 Chrysler 200 Mid-Size Sedan

 The debut of the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 serves as a fresh starting point for the Chrysler Group after the Fiat-Chrysler acquisition. The mid-size sedan is the first model in its segment to use Chrysler Group's Compact US-wide (CUS-wide) platform, which serves as the basis for smooth driving performance. A 2.4-liter I4 engine that produces 184 hp and 174 lb-ft of torque comes standard, with an available 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces a best-in-class 295 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. The Chrysler 200 is also the first mid-size sedan to come with a standard nine-speed automatic transmission, which is expected to achieve a highway fuel economy of 35 mpg.

 Showcasing the new “face of Chrysler”, the exterior of the Chrysler 200 has its grille and headlamps integrated while the updated Chrysler badge emphasizes the wing of the vehicle. Its signature light pipe and standard LED taillamps give the Chrysler 200 a distinctive look. Inside the vehicle, the Chrysler 200 features well-crafted trim made from high-quality materials. The center console has a pass-through storage space large enough to carry an electronic tablet and connect it to USB ports or a media hub underneath the armrest. This additional space is available due to the segment-first rotary-dial electronic shifting  system replacing the traditional shift lever.


Chrysler 200 Chrysler 200 Chrysler 200C Interior Chrysler 200C Interior

 Other technologies that the all-new Chrysler 200 features include an available 7-inch LED full color instrument cluster as well as an available Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen multimedia center. The Chrysler 200 also showcases multiple segment-exclusive safety features, such as available Adaptive Cruise Control-Plus, Full-speed Forward Collision Warning-Plus, and a standard electronic parking brake with Safe Hold.

 The 2015 Chrysler 200 will be available in the second quarter of 2014 and will start at a base price of USD 21,700, excluding destination fees. It will be built at the recently upgraded Sterling Heights Assembly Plant in Michigan.


2014 Chrysler 300S Sedan

 The Chrysler 300S on display at the North American International Auto Show emphasizes both luxury and performance. Unique to the 300S model, the standard 3.6-liter V6 engine includes a cold-air induction system and sport-tuned exhaust system, generating 292 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. A 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine with a four-cylinder mode is also available, capable of producing 363 hp and 392 lb-ft of torque. The Chrysler 300S uses an eight-speed automatic transmission which is able to achieve best-in-class highway fuel economy at 31 mpg.


Chrysler 300S Chrysler 300S Chrysler 300S Interior Chrysler 300S Interior

 In order to achieve a more imposing presence, the exterior of the Chrysler 300S features a monochromatic look with new Gloss Black belt molding, a Black Chrome grille, and the Chrysler badge finished in Liquid Chrome with a black center logo. The interior of the 300S has 12-way power driver and passenger sport leather seats. The vehicle also has the segment's largest touchscreen using the Uconnect system, along with the exclusive "Beats by Dr. Dre." audio system with 10-speakers and a 12-channel amplifier.

 The 2014 Chrysler 300S will be available in the second quarter of 2014 with a base MSRP of USD 33,645 and is built in Chrysler's Brampton Assembly facility in Ontario, Canada.


2014 SRT Viper GTS Sports Car

 Above all else, the 2014 SRT Viper GTS on display demonstrates SRT's focus on performance. Powered by an aluminum 8.4-liter V10 engine which delivers 640 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque, the SRT Viper boasts an impressive set of performance numbers, including a top speed of 206 mph, a 0-60 mph acceleration time in the low 3-second range, and a quarter mile elapsed time in the mid 11-second range. A six-speed manual transmission complements the V10 engine.


SRT Viper GTS Anondized Carbon Package SRT Viper GTS Anondized Carbon Package SRT Viper GTS Anondized Carbon Package Interior SRT Viper GTS Anondized Carbon Package Interior

 The 2014 SRT Viper GTS has reworked many of the chassis components with new materials to reduce the weight of the model by approximately 100 pounds versus the 2010 model. It features a driver-selectable suspension system with street and track settings along with five different drive settings. Each corner of the Viper GTS is fitted with four-piston Brembo brakes that can stop the vehicle going 60 mph in 106 feet. The low stance, cab-rearward proportions, and fender "gills" not only maintain the traditional Viper design but allow heat to be more easily extracted from the engine compartment, thus improving performance.

 The 2014 SRT Viper GTS is built in the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit, Michigan, and starts at USD 124,985. The SRT Viper GTS is currently available to the public.


2014 Dodge Dart Compact Sedan Blacktop Package

 The debut of the 2014 Dodge Dart Blacktop looks to expand upon the company's successes with Blacktop packages already offered on other models, such as the Charger, Challenger, and Grand Caravan. Meant to give a sporty look, the Blacktop package includes Gloss Black wheels, a Gloss Black painted split-crosshair grille with matching grille surround, darkened headlamp bezels, and select exterior paint colors. The package also features interior styling such as a choice between a Black and Ruby Red premium cloth interior with Ruby Red accents or a Black and Light Tungsten cloth interior. All of this is in addition to the Dodge Dart SXT model, which has a 2.4-liter Tigershark 4-cylinder engine which produces 184 hp and 174 lb-ft of torque.


Dodge Dart Blacktop Package Dodge Dart Blacktop Package

 The 2014 Dodge Dart Blacktop Package will arrive at dealers in the first quarter of 2014 and is built in the Belvidere Assembly Plant in Belvidere, Illinois. The Blacktop package will cost an additional USD 295 on top of the SXT trim package, which starts at USD 18,495.

<Automotive Industry Portal MarkLines>