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January 18, 2014

Saturday Car Thread 01/18/14 - [Niedermeyer's Dead Horse & CountrySquire]

Happy Saturday.

Now that were through the challenge of competing with America's favorite sport, I thought we might give this car thread thing another try. This week we are honored to have Moron CountrySquire contribute his take on the big reveals at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show.

Take it away, Countrysquire...

The 25th North American International Auto Show opened to the automotive press this week, and featured the world debut of several important vehicles. Car and Driver lists what they consider to be the 12 most important ones, so letís have a look at a few of those.

The big story at the show was the 2015 F-150. This has long been the best selling vehicle in the U.S. and Fordís cash cow, both figuratively and literally. What is noteworthy about the new F-150 is not the LED headlights, 360 degree camera, damped tailgate, or even the new 2.7 liter EcoBoost engine, but the fact that the cab and bed are constructed of aluminum. Ford is claiming that this will make the new truck up to 700lbs lighter than the current one, so this is a BFD. No word yet on fuel mileage estimates, but it has to be a significant increase over the current model.

Fiat, Öer Chrysler, introduced the new 200, which seems to have copied the silhouette of several sedans on the market such as the Ford Fusion. This one will look much better sitting in the rental lots at our nationís airports than the current version.

Cadillac showed the new ATS coupe, and fortunately does not share the severely angular styling of its big brother, the CTS coupe. Nice, but still no BMW, which leads us to the next car.

BMW, who I think is losing their way, showed the new M3 and M4. The M3 is the four door version, the M4 has two doors. Still with me? The proper six cylinder is back, this time with twin turbos, marking the first time that any M3 has had forced induction. We will have to wait and see if this new model will still be considered the best overall car in the world by so many.

And speaking of being blown, the new Corvette Z06 will now feature a supercharger for the first time. Making 625 horsepower, the performance should be incredible. The styling? What can you say? It looks like it was designed by 14 different guys who never met. Maybe their styling focus group was made up of eleven year old boys.

Americaís other automotive icon, the Ford Mustang, made its US debut as well. Mustang fan sites have been leaking and speculating this carís design for several years now. I believe that they have exceeded expectations. It has finally gotten the independent rear suspension that it has always needed and will offer an EcoBoost four cylinder making 305 horsepower. Word is that the interior materials are greatly improved, but thatís a pretty low bar.

Finally, Porsche introduced the new 911 Targa, the first proper Targa since the air-cooled days. It even features the stainless band across the B pillar. Naturally, ze Gemans couldnít just give us a simple top panel, instead opting to go with an incredibly complex automatic mechanism. Still, I want one, and I want it now.

Thanks Countrysquire for the fantastic write-up!

Now, to less important matters:

Auto repair humor: Those funny little noises a car makes

This week's cruising tune brought to you by searing heat:

And to finish it off, a little homespun charm for the 'ettes:

For the morons: And you though it was the end of elbow season...

Please feel free to send all questions, compliments, or condemnations to me at teh Twitter.

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posted by Open Blogger at 11:21 AM

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