By Ron Amadon
DAMASCUS, MD – There were so many new models uncovered at the Detroit show that some got left behind in the uproar over the Ford GT and the Acura NSX.
If Buick wants to lower its demographic, this Opel based convertible just might be the ticket. In fact, it will be the first Buick convertible to be offered in the U.S. in 25 years when its hits showrooms in early 2016. Cascada is said to be a 2+2 with a 200 horsepower 1.6 liter turbocharged four good for an estimated 221 lb-ft of torque tied to a six speed automatic. It will feature the HiPer Strut front suspension from two other Buick models and a solid rear axle to the rear. It is almost 185 inches long, or the same as the Lexus IS. No word on prices yet, but it would be fair to predict that Buick should sell a ton of these.
Volvo S60 Cross Country
It is a crossover sedan that was introduced at a time when consumers are gobbling up such things at dealers. It is jacked up 2.5 inches more than a S60 sedan to give it a more rugged appearance with the same capabilities as Volvo’s Cross Country wagons. Of course it will come with all-wheel drive, up to 19 inch tires, and a 2.0-liter five cylinder turbo under the hood rated at 250 horsepower and we will have to see if Volvo will offer a diesel here. Look for it in showrooms on a limited basis this summer. Is it something for Subaru owners to trade up to?
Mercedes GLE63 S Coupe
Mercedes goes high performance stuffing a 5.5-liter V8 under the hood of a four door that will pump out 577 horsepower and 561 lb-ft of torque tied to a nine speed automatic. It is fast? Try on 4.2 seconds from a dead stop to a mile a minute. There are all kinds of goodies, such as an air suspension, unique damper struts and high performance braking system, not to forget the five operating modes. Mercedes dealers will welcome it in August.
Honda indicated that the new Pilot will debut in late spring or early summer and it will be followed by a new Ridgeline. Honda will offer a plug in hybrid by 2018.
Say howdy to the Bentley Bentayga, the brand’s first crossover vehicle. The luxury carmaker said the name comes partly from its founder, Taiga, the world’s largest transcontinental snow forest and Tayga, a mountain peak in the Canary Islands. Other than disclosing the name, we learned little about it other than it will probably be expensive, revealed to the world later this year and go on sale in 2016.
And I have to say again, that Ford absolutely blew me away with the GT. I don’t believe anyone saw that coming and it is simply wonderful that an automaker can expand itself into the world of limited production high performance, beautifully styled GT cars about the time we thought gas mileage and beeping safety features had taken over. The twin turbo V6 will produce more than 600 horsepower and keep company with all other exotics when it goes into production in 2016. We knew that Acura NSX was coming but not this puppy.
And here’s an interesting question. Will GM respond?
The road test column will resume next Saturday.