Detroit Day One-38

The first press day of the Detroit Motor Show 2015 has come and gone. The day was full of surprises, from Ford’s unveiling of two major performance cars, the Mustang GT350R and the all-new GT, to multiple exciting European vehicle debuts like the Mercedes-Benz GLE and Porsche 911 Targa 4 GTS.

Ford nearly stole the show when they lifted the veil from both the GT350R and GT early in the morning. There were whispers of both cars making their debut in the Motor City, however nothing was certain. The GT is packing a 600 horsepower version of Ford’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, which should put it on par with other six-figure supercars when it goes on sale in 2016. The GT350R, meanwhile, is 130 pounds lighter than the GT350 on which it’s based, thanks to carbon fiber 19-inch wheels, removed back seats and other weight-saving measures.

Also celebrating a major vehicle debut was Porsche. At last year’s Detroit auto show the automaker pulled the veil from the 911 Targa, and followed it up this year with the 911 Targa 4 GTS. The car will launch in late-April and combines the sporty GTS-trim 911 with the open-top motoring experience of the standard 911 Targa 4. Features include a 424 hp, 325 lb-ft 3.8-liter flat-six mated to either a seven-speed PDK or seven-speed manual transmission.

As expected, Alfa Romeo also showed the world’s media their open-top version of the 4C in Detroit, the 4C Spider. The open-top 4C, shown in a stunning shade of yellow at the show, has the same 240 hp, 1.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine offered in the standard 4C. Several modifications had to be made in order to improve the roofless 4C’s structural rigidity, such as an aluminum anti-roll bar, an engine crossbeam bracket and other body brackets.

Mercedes also launched the C450 AMG 4MATIC, which offers consumers a more tame performance C-Class. Powered by a 362 horsepower 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine, the C450 will sprint from 0-100 km/h in less than five seconds, Mercedes says, which is slower than the range-topping C63, but undeniably brisk.

Detroit Day One-13

The all-new Audi Q3 and Q7 were also on hand in Detroit. The Q7 was previewed by Audi prior to the show, but the Q3 was yet to be seen. The new Q3 has taken in the Q7’s three dimensional single-frame grille, and also has new diesel and petrol engines on offer ranging from 1.4- and 2.5-liters in size. There’s also new technologies available, such as Audi’s mixed media interface (MMI) and driver assistance tech like active lane assist and park assist.

Detroit Day One-42

As always, this year’s Detroit Motor Show was busy, exciting and filled with surprises. Stay tuned to GTspirit as the media preview days of the show continue!


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