Lux­ury, per­for­mance drive buzz at Detroit auto show

The Pak Banker - - 6BUSINESS -

This year's Detroit auto show, which opens next week, has a de­cid­edly "green" theme. Green as in the color of money, that is.

An aura of lux­ury per­vades many of the show's new mod­els as au­tomak­ers from Europe, Asia and the Mo­tor City it­self strive to bring more af­flu­ent con­sumers into show­rooms. Whether one seeks a sedan, coupe or crossover, pricy new choices are not in short sup­ply.

A fa­mil­iar com­pan­ion to lux­ury is per­for­mance. Ex­ud­ing both traits is a home­town show-stop­per, the redesigned 2014 Chevro­let Corvette from Gen­eral Mo­tors Corp. (GM)

The long-awaited Corvette has been gen­er­at­ing con­sid­er­able buzz ahead of the show. The lat­est edi­tion of "Amer­ica's sports car" is only the sev­enth gen­er­a­tion in six decades - with a for­mal un­veil­ing slated. It should be­gin reach­ing deal­ers in late sum­mer. Pric­ing may be in the gen­eral realm of the cur­rent 2013 Corvette, which starts at $50,595.

A trio of ex­pen­sive per­for­mance mod­els from Europe, all priced from well over $100,000, is headed to the U.S. mar­ket in the com­ing year and they, too, will be on dis­play at the show.

Lead­ing the pack is the redesigned 2014 Maserati Qu­at­tro­porte, which Chrysler's Ital­ian par­ent, Fiat SpA (MIL:F), hopes will spearhead a resur­gence of the Maserati brand when it ar­rives here in sum­mer. The new Qu­at­tro­porte shares its ba­sic un­der­body ar­chi­tec­ture with the Chrysler 300 and fea­tures a twin-tur­bocharged 523-horse­power V8.

Also on view will be the po­tent 2014 BMW (BMW.DE) M6 Gran Coupe, a sporty four-door with a twin­turbo 560-horse­power V8 that hits deal­ers this sum­mer, and the 2014 Bent­ley Con­ti­nen­tal GT Speed Con­vert­ible, from Volk­swa­gen AG's (VOW3.DE) Bri­tish uber-lux­ury brand.

The soft-top Bent­ley, which goes on sale in late sum­mer, claims to be "the world's fastest con­vert­ible," thanks to a 616-horse­power 12-cylin­der en­gine that pushes the all-wheel-drive two-door to a top speed of 202 miles per hour.

From Ja­pan, Honda Mo­tor Co will bring the lat­est con­cept ver­sion of its 2016 Acura NSX sports car, which aims to re­de­fine per­for­mance with one of the world's first high-out­put hy­brid drive sys­tems.

The fu­ture NSX, which will en­ter pro­duc­tion in two years, is a two-seater that will fea­ture all-wheel drive, a mid­mounted V6 gaso­line en­gine and three elec­tric mo­tors, pro­duc­ing a com­bined 500 horse­power.

For those well-heeled buy­ers slightly more con­cerned with im­age and looks than ac­cel­er­a­tion and top speed, a new mid-size sport coupe and three redesigned sport sedans will be on the show floor.

They in­clude BMW's Con­cept 4 Se­ries Coupe - es­sen­tially a re­worked and re­named 3 Se­ries two-door; the lat­est gen­er­a­tion of Toy­ota Mo­tor Corp's Lexus IS se­ries, which com­petes headto-head with the 3 Se­ries; Nis­san Mo­tor Co's new In­finiti Q50, which re­places the out­go­ing G se­ries later this year, and Hyundai Mo­tor Co's HCD-14 con­cept, which pre­views the next-gen­er­a­tion Gen­e­sis sedan.

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