After years of green and boring cars – and belt-tightening brought about by the Global Financial Crisis – the 2013 Detroit motor show is all about sleek and sexy.
Before the doors to Cobo Hall open in downtown Detroit next week, Chevrolet will have taken the covers off its seventh-generation Corvette.
America’s Ferrari is said to have an all-new V8 and an even lighter, lower body than before, to create a chassis that’s said to challenge Europe’s finest. It was even developed on Germany’s Nurburgring so that it could take the fight to the European thoroughbreds.
But don’t expect to see the Corvette’s new generation direct injection engine under the nose of a Holden Commodore anytime soon, even though the current Corvette V8 powers today’s Holden Special Vehicles sedans. The VF Commodore due in June this year is expected to soldier on with an update of the current V8.
Despite assurances that Australia is in General Motors’ thoughts, a right-hand-drive version of the Corvette C7 remains unlikely at this stage. In that sense, the Corvette really is a dream car.
Hyundai will unveil a concept that’s said to be a rather large clue to the appearance of a new Genesis luxury sedan. The next generation Genesis range – including a limousine, a coupe and, it seems, this new sleek sedan, will make its way to Australia in the next few years, so it will be worth a closer look.
The image leaked this week ahead of the Detroit show reveals a coupe-like sedan similar to the Audi A7 and Mercedes-Benz CLS – but you can bet it won’t have a German price tag. It’s a 2014 or 2015 proposition for Australian buyers, however.
Coming here by the end of this year are the updated Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG sedan and Porsche Cayenne Turbo S SUV. The E63 gets a new, more aggressive nose, with massive air intakes that look like it’s about to suck up the road – plus other subtle refinements will no doubt turn the world’s fastest sedan up yet another notch.
Meanwhile the S version of the Cayenne Turbo moves the world’s fastest SUV up another gear – and into new price territory, likely costing close to $300,000 when it eventually goes on sale in Australia. It will likely remain the world’s fastest SUV until the Lamborghini arrives later this decade.
Back to earth (but still a little bit fancy) is the Cadillac version of the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid car. The Cadillac ELR uses much of the same underbody and electric drive system as the Volt but is packaged in a premium compact coupe body, with sharply-styled Cadillac creases.
Other cars likely to bow at the first international motor show of the year include refreshed Jeep models, with minor changes to their appearance including sleeker lights on the Grand Cherokee and updated transmissions.
This reporter is on Twitter: @JoshuaDowling