The 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit opened to the press yesterday. Here's a roundup of the major news from day one.
Chevrolet Takes North American Car and Truck of the Year Awards
The North American Car and Truck of the Year awards are two of the most highly respected and sought-after awards in the automotive industry. This year, the jury of automotive journalists gave the awards to two models from Chevrolet. The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray took home the North American Car of the Year award, while the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado won the North American Truck of the Year award. The North American Car and Truck of the Year award organization says, "The awards are designed to recognize the most outstanding new vehicles of the year. These vehicles are benchmarks in their segments based on factors including innovation, comfort, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar." Finalists for the awards included the Mazda3, Cadillac CTS, Jeep Cherokee and Acura MDX.
Slimmer Ford F-150 Debuts
The Ford F-150 is the best-selling vehicle in America, so any changes to the venerable truck are bound to make news. For the all-new 2015 Ford F-150 that debuted yesterday, the biggest change is a weight loss of 700 pounds compared to the old model. The F-150 dropped the weight thanks to a new aluminum alloy body. Ford says the new F-150 has 11 class-exclusive features, including remote tailgate release, integrated loading ramps that can be stored in the truck’s bed and a camera that gives a 360-degree view of the area around the truck. The 2015 F-150 goes on sale later this year.
2015 Honda Fit Debut
The Honda Fit is a perennial favorite of reviewers among subcompact cars and hatchbacks. Honda introduced a redesigned Fit Monday. The 2015 Honda Fit will feature a new engine and two new transmissions: a six-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Honda says it anticipates fuel economy ratings from the EPA of 33/41 mpg city/highway with the CVT. Inside, the 2015 Honda Fit will have standard Bluetooth connectivity and a rearview camera, as well as available push-button start, a moonroof and Honda's LaneWatch display, which uses a video screen to show drivers the car's blindspot when changing lanes. Interior space has always been one of the Fit's strong suits, and the 2015 Fit will have 4.9 more cubic feet of passenger space than the outgoing model. The 2015 Fit will go on sale this summer.
New Mercedes-Benz C-Class
The redesigned Mercedes-Benz C-Class debuted at the North American International Auto Show Monday. Like the Ford F-150, the C-Class lost weight thanks to the use of aluminum in its body. Other key changes to Mercedes-Benz's best-selling model include an all-new suspension, a more aerodynamic exterior and safety features, like ATTENTION ASSIST and COLLESION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS, that can help keep the driver alert and avoid crashes. Mercedes-Benz hasn't announced when the 2015 C-Class will go on sale.
Porsche 911 Targa
The 911 Targa is an icon among Porsche purists, and for 2014, Porsche has introduced two 911 Targa models that make living with a removable roof much easier. In a press release, Porsche explains, "Just like the legendary original 911 Targa of 1965, the new models feature the distinctive Targa roof bar, a movable front roof section, and a wraparound rear window. But unlike the classic 911 Targa, the roof segment can be opened and closed at the push of a button. The fully automatic roof system stows the Targa top behind the rear seats." The 2014 911 Targa will be available as the 911 Targa 4 and the 911 Targa 4S. Both models will have standard all-wheel drive and will be on the market this summer – just in time to take advantage of good weather by taking the car's top off.
Chrysler Trims its Midsize Car Line
While most car companies are trimming their models through the use of lightweight materials, Chrysler announced some more aggressive trimming of its midsize car line. At the debut of the redesigned 2015 Chrysler 200, the company announced that it will discontinue the Chrysler 200 Convertible. Chrysler's Dodge brand will also cease production of the Dodge Avenger midsize sedan at the end of the 2014 model year, the Los Angeles Times reports. The surviving 2015 Chrysler 200 sedan will have a nine-speed transmission and an advanced all-wheel drive system that will totally divert power from the rear wheels when not needed, resulting in better fuel economy. The 2015 Chrysler 200 will go on sale in the second quarter of 2014.
In the market for a new car? Check out the U.S. News rankings of this year’s best cars. Then, look for a great deal on a new vehicle by checking out this month’s best car deals. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news from the North American International Auto Show.