Friday, January 14, 2011
The 2011 North American International Auto Show is the epicenter of the automotive world. Nearly 400 photos and coverage from Detroit
That may seem like an event lost forever in the optimistic 1950s, but it still happens today if you know where to look. My office sent me on our annual trip to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit last weekend for the exclusive media preview days. And even though you won’t find many tailfins ad nuclear-powered hover cars, you still get that high voltage kick that makes you feel like you’re in the center of the automotive world.
The 2011 event had both its high spots and low spots compared to years’ past. On the downside, there were clearly fewer manufacturers, fewer all-out concept cars, and a fairly sparse crop of significant introductions. Even the basement, which is usually packed with upstart auto manufacturers and Chinese automakers with an eye on the American Market, was occupied more by log siding and window companies.
Buick also made some news with the introduction of the Verano. Slated under the still fresh Buick Regal, the Verano becomes the smallest car in the Buick lineup. Also, look for the new Regal GS, and other upscale Buicks with turbocharged V6 power plants.
Jeep celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2011, so they unveiled some specially-trimmed 70th anniversary models, as well as a newly updated Compass to go with the already introduced new Grand Cherokee.
You had your fair share of exotic and high-end hardware in Detroit this year. Ferrari, Bentley, and Maybach provided some unattainable eye candy. Porsche revealed the 767-hp, 918 RSR Coupe Hybrid race car, and Mercedes displayed a nuclear yellow SLS AMG E-Cell. An all-new Audi A6 and BMW 6-Series drop top were also among the aspirational entries.
GMC displayed the Sierra Concept, which was a butched-up crew cab pickup that would look right at home of the set of The Fall Guy. Ford had the Vertrek SUV concept, Hyundai had the Curb Crossover concept, Mini had a bigger Mini called the Paceman concept, and Kia had the Soul-looking KV7 concept.
For me, the 2011 North American International Auto Show was a mixed bag of interesting world debuts and cars that I will never even notice once they hit the streets. But there’s no denying the excitement, hope, and effervescent anticipation that makes up one of the most significant auto shows in the world.
Didn’t get to go? No problem. My camera was working overtime to bring you the highlights, lowlights, and everything in between. Enjoy nearly 400 photos from the epicenter of the automotive industry in the slideshow below.