Yesterday was the first day of the Detroit Auto Show, America’s largest car exhibition, with stunning new models from some of the largest automakers around the world on display. This article is the first of a three-part series, and covers those models that will enter production this year. Concept vehicles will be featured in a later piece. Here’s what the major German carmakers have on offer at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Mercedes Benz, owned by Daimler AG (DDAIY), made headlines yesterday, with a number of refreshed models, including its all-new 2015 C-Class mid-size sedan, which was unveiled for the first time to audiences in the US. Unlike its predecessor, the new C-Class is no longer the entry-level sedan in the Mercedes Benz lineup in the US. That title now goes to the CLA Class introduced at the end of last year.
The new C-Class shares styling and headlight design with the new S-Class unveiled last year. It is 3.7 inches longer, translating into extra legroom for passengers. Two models of the C-Class will initially make their way to US shores before the end of the year – the C300, which has a 235 horsepower two liter turbocharged engine, and the C400, powered by a 329 horsepower V6.
Mercedes also unveiled the 2015 GLA45 sport utility crossover, which uses the same engine as the CLA45 sedan. The new GLA was announced in November last year, to compete with SUVs being touted by other carmakers. With a two liter turbocharged two-cylinder engine, the GLA is likely to appeal to younger buyers looking for a crossover which have become quite popular of late.
For the upscale customer, Mercedes brought its top of the line model 2015 S600 sedan to Detroit. Mercedes Benz’s flagship model saw a major redesign last year, and the S600 top outs the range of non-AMG S-Class lineup with a beastly V-12 engine.
BMW AG’s (BAMXY) lineup this year is probably one of the more exciting ones as a whole. The Munich-based luxury carmaker is expanding its lineup for 2014, and offering newer entry level coupes for young buyers.
The company yesterday revealed its all-new 2014 2 Series coupe to the North American market. The 2 Series is the two-door variant of the entry-level 1 Series sedans, and shares similar engine and drivetrain technologies with the 4-door model. The BMW 2 Series coupe will be available in two variations, the 240 horsepower 228i, with a price of $33,000, and the performance M235i which has 322 horsepower under the hood. The 2 Series will go on sale in the US by the end of the first quarter of 2014, and is sure to be a hit amongst those looking for smaller and more efficient vehicles.
A new M3 sedan was also introduced as the performance version of the 3 Series. The 2015 BMW M3 features twin-turbo three liter inline six-cylinder engine which produces 425 horsepower, leaping from 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds. The updated model also brings the M3’s styling in line with the redesigned 3 Series, which was introduced in 2012.
Also a new part of BMW’s vehicle lineup this year is the 2015 M4 coupe, which is essentially the same as the M3 under the hood, but with a leaner two-door body and more aggressive taillights. Both the M3 and the M4 will make their way to the US market by the middle of this year.
Volkswagen AG (VLKAY), Germany’s largest automaker, also made its presence felt yesterday with the North American launch of the Golf R as the most powerful hatchback model it has ever produced. The new Golf is a more powerful version of the Golf GTI and with 290 horsepower thanks to its two liter turbocharged engine that gives it a 0-60 mph time of 4.9 seconds.
Volkswagen’s upscale Audi brand also brought a number of new and refreshed models to Detroit. Starting off with entry level compacts, the company’s new A3 sedan and Q3 crossover were displayed on Monday, which are both slated to arrive in showrooms this fall. The A3 sedan will come in 1.8 liter and 2.0 liter variations, priced at just under $30,000, and will compete with the Mercedes Benz CLA 250 in the entry-level segment. The Q3 will be available with both a front- and a rear-wheel drive option, and has a 200 horsepower engine.
A redesigned A8 and S8 were also shown yesterday, and Audi has gone for a sportier look for its flagship sedan to compete against the BMW 7 Series and the Mercedes Benz S-Class.
Volkswagen’s luxury Bentley brand also had three new models on show. The new Continental GT V8 S is an upgrade from the popular Continental models and features an eight-cylinder engine. It can reach 60 mph in 4.3 seconds with a top speed of 192 mph.
The new Flying Spur with enhanced styling offers a six liter W12 engine with 616 horsepower that launches it to a top speed of 200 mph. The top-of-the-line Mulsanne has also been slightly redesigned, and now has upgraded infotainment options and additional luxury specs for the discerning upscale customer.
Capping off Volkswagen’s exhibition was Porsche, which unveiled a redesigned 911 Targa 4 and 4S. The new Targa 4 has a unique motorized fabric roof with a wraparound rear window. The fabric can detach from the windscreen leaving the car with a clean profile at the touch of a button.
Porsche’s latest model will come with a 350 hp 3.6 liter engine for the 4S, and a 400 hp 3.8 liter version for the 4S. They will retail for $101,000 and $116,000 respectively.