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Last month, Automakers rang in the new year with their hottest rides ever, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. This year featured a bumper crop of sexy exotics, new designs, and most exciting, a preview of what we’ll be driving in 2015 and beyond. Here are some of our favorites!


2016 Toyota Tacoma

Fun In Bed: 2016 Toyota Tacoma
Thanks to an old, obscure tax law, building a truck overseas and shipping it to the U.S. is prohibitively expensive. I’ll spare you the economics lesson, but suffice it to say the law makes selling new mid size or compact pickups in the US a tricky proposition. That’s why the current Toyota Tacoma has been on sale here for over a decade, with minimal updates.

So kudos to Toyota for an all-new Tacoma, finally revealed in Detroit. Although details are still scarce, the model you see here is reputedly a close preview of the final vehicle that will be available later this year, and rumor has it that it promises to be a significant upgrade over the current model. Expect the price to start around $20,000 for a basic model, with higher end trim costing into the mid-$30,000 range.




Hyundai Santa Cruz Concept

Twin-sized: Hyundai Santa Cruz Concept
While an all-new Tacoma is nothing to sneeze at, the real excitement in pickup-land comes from new contender Hyundai and their Santa Cruz Concept. This compact pick-up concept has plenty of stylish angles that would never make it into a finished product, but it represents Hyundai’s first test of the public appetite for a small crossover with an honest-to-goodness bed in back. If they hear enough positive feedback, prepare to see this mini-truck on roads no earlier than 2016, at a price starting in the low to mid-$20,000 range. If so, we welcome the return of the compact pickup, a segment that all but disappeared in the 2000s.



2017 Ford GT

Spoilers Galore: 2017 Ford GT
Spoilers are hard to avoid for those of us who frequent the Internet, but Ford managed to keep rumors to a minimum before the release of their 600 horsepower Super Car, the Ford GT. The result was a rollicking wallop to show goers as the sharp and sexy GT rolled out onto the showroom floor. The name and some styling cues are homages to Ford Motorsport history, but rest assured the car will be chocked full of bleeding edge technology, like a (errr spoiler alert), err... rear wing, which  automatically moves to provide optimum downforce. Liberal use of carbon fiber in the structure and exterior panels exposes Ford’s plan to match the GT’s firebreathing engine with an ultra-light body. All of those go-fast goodies add up to a warning for Europe’s Super Car old-guard. No pricing announced, but expect the final product to weigh in at the....,, $150,000 range!



2016 Chevrolet Volt

Current Affairs: 2016 Chevrolet Volt
The current Volt, Chevy’s plug-in hybrid, is a quirky turducken of impressive engineering, hidden in a boring shell and trapped behind a steep price tag. However, Chevy listened to the feedback from existing Volt owners and their 2016 version shows promise in matching the Volt’s substance with a little more style. Underneath, the snazzier skin the Volt’s trademark gas-electric drive train shows significant improvements in power, efficiency and range in electric-only mode. According to Chevy, they engineered a little more driving fun into this next generation Volt - one of the top requests from Volt owners. Although pricing has not yet been  announced, expect it to hover around the mid-$30,000 range  (before tax incentives), pretty much just like the current Volt.



Chevrolet Bolt Concept

From The Blue: Chevrolet Bolt Concept
A new Volt wasn’t Chevy’s only shocking (har) announcement at the show, they also showed off their Bolt Concept - perhaps Chevy’s next electric-only car. Although the giant wheels and all-glass roof are standard show-car glitz not likely to make it to any finished product, the car is a helpful preview into the auto maker’s electric-only aspirations. The exterior styling, even with the hamster-with-a-ballgag front fascia, is cute in a small car kind of way. Styling, of course, is beside the point; what’s more important is Chevy’s goal for a 200-mile range, an impressive feat for any electric car aimed at around $37,500 before federal tax incentives (Chevy says incentives should bring the price down, close to $30,000.)



2016 Acura NSX

Worth The Wait: 2016 Acura NSX
It’s hard to believe a long 25 years have passed, since the debut of the original NSX turned the Super Car world on its head. This slick speedster offered Ferrari performance with Acura prices and Honda quality! It’s been 10 long years for NSX fans since the last NSX rolled off the assembly line in 2005. Those 10 years were filled with numerous teasers, spy shots, and a mock NSX from the Avengers (actually a modern shell built upon a 1991 Acura NSX). Finally, Honda unveiled the real deal in Detroit.

The new NSX is a marked departure from the original. Where the first generation was a paragon of simplicity, Honda chose to hybridize the 2016 edition, bringing two extra electric motors, batteries, and a twin-turbo V-6 to the Super Car shootout. The electric motors drive the front wheels, while the gasoline parties in the back. Together they team up to produce more than 550 horses. That much horsepower usually swills gas, but Honda promises an electric-drive-only mode at speeds of up to 50 mph.

While the first 2005 NSX was considered a value relative to the high prices of contemporary competitors, this new NSX will be priced closer to its performance targets - expect it to join the ranks of the $150,000-plus Super Cars.



www.Dishmag.com / Issue 166 - September 3304
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