Not-To-Miss: The Best Trucks and Sports Cars at the Auto Shows
If you’re planning on attending a car show this year—and why wouldn’t you, it’s such a great way to car shop—chances are you have to take along the boy in your life or you’ll suffer weeks of pouting and jealousy. And we don’t want that. Here’s a great way to appease him so he’ll try out the third row of every SUV on the floor: dazzle him with the best new trucks and sports cars (and should he want to see the best new sedans, a list is here, best new green cars, our list is here and the best new crossovers, our list is here).
Pick-up trucks these days are not your grand pappy’s pickup: Rugged on the outside, luxurious on the inside, and oh so fun to drive. And, the truck is the work horse of the American economy: Small business owners drive them to work and work sites, they run their businesses out of them and their businesses depend on them. A good indicator that our economy was on the rebound was when truck sales started to rebound. So with hand squarely over heart, we took some time to look at the truck offerings and pay homage to this all-American classic. Here are four that stole the show:
Ford F150 (pricing not set, but estimated $30,000+): There aren’t many revolutions in car design, so this one is amazing: Starting in 2015, the F-150 will be constructed of aluminum rather than steel. Ford had to re-engineer the entire truck, including its tow and hauling abilities, to make sure it can perform the way an F-150 needs to. In the course of the change, the truck lost more than 700 pounds, making it more fuel efficient.
Chevrolet Silverado ($25,000+): We can tell you this truck rocks, which is what we thought when we test drove it, but we don’t have to: it won the prestigious North American Truck of the Year award at the Detroit Auto Show. Big, powerful and probably the best designed interior of any car built; if you’re in market for a truck, this is a must see.
GMC Canyon (pricing not released): Comfortable, versatile, powerful and sporty (for a truck), the unveiling of this new mid-sized pick-up was also the unofficial debut of Mary Barra as GM’s CEO at the Detroit Auto Show. And it’s a good model for her to start with: the pick-up truck is not only the work horse of the US economy, but auto companies ride to profitability on them, too. The Canyon answers a lot of needs in a smaller, more streamlined body, both for the customer and for General Motors.
Dodge Ram 1500 ($50,000+): The recipient of Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year award two years in a row, Chrysler didn’t just sit back and enjoy lasts year’s award, they decided to improve the 2014 model with a new more powerful and more efficient engine. The result? The Ram 1500 has a diesel engine that gets 19MPG in the city and 26MPG on the highway. Plus, it’s a workhorse of a truck with interior details that will spoil even the most pampered person.
Toyota FT-1 Concept (pricing not released): While mostly we’re not in the market for a two-seater sports car, this one immediately takes us back to Fast Times at Ridgemont High and that one single car poster—of the Toyota Supra— that had a place of honor on our walls next to Justin Timberlake, Madonna and Michael Jackson. That’s because this car captures that high-flying feeling of freedom, that no matter how young or old you are, makes your pulse race when you see it, and even faster when you drive it. If all you want is that Supra back, along with how you felt when you were in it, this car should be in your future.
2015 Lexus RCF (pricing not yet released): Building on its sports/racing models and its Toyota heritage, and harkening the FT-1 concept, Lexus has stepped up its game to compete with BMW’s M series and Mercedes-Benz’s AMG line. Beefed up, souped up and roaring to go, the RC F’s silhouette is all bad-ass, as it surely will be on the road. The RCF is expected to roll into showrooms in the fall.
Corvette Z06 (pricing not yet released): On the heels of last year’s Corvette Stingray reintroduction, Chevrolet hasn’t let the momentum wane; they kept it going by bringing back the Z car, this time in the package of a Corvette. The Z06 is a street-legal sports car designed to get your heart racing as fast as the engine; just be careful, because the cops will catch up to you.
Corvette Stingray ($51,000+): Last year’s hit of the auto show circuit is finally on the market, so after you’re done salivating over it, you can figure out how to get one into your driveway. As beautiful as it is on the outside, inside it’s just as stunning. “It’s like a fine pair of Italian shoes,” giggled a woman sitting in it. And it is; slide into the Corvette and its leather and suede embraces you and transforms you into its shape, just like Manolo Blahniks do to your feet. Now, it really is time to go get that pedicure and while you’re in the chair, decide which car you’re taking home this year.
Disclosure: We attended the Detroit Auto Show as a guest of GeneralMotors and Ford, which provided travel and accommodations, and the Washington DC Auto Show as a guest of Nissan, which provided travel and accommodations. Opinions, gathering of information and exhaustion are all our own.