Report from Detroit – The 2014 North American International Auto Show
DETROIT— The 2014 North American International Auto Show traditionally marks the start of the automotive year . The show has been held, since 1907, in Detroit, Michigan (except for the years from 1943 to 1952) and remains to be one of the most important assemblages of the automotive industry in the United States as well as around the world. While other international shows focus on electric-powered and environmentally friendly cars, the Detroit Motor Show is known to be the place where the premieres of performance-oriented cars take place. This year, several premium automakers unveiled their newest models in Motor City.
Here’s a look at key announcements and debuts this year.
The BMW Group presented no less than three world premieres on its showfloor in Detroit. Two of the new models were launched by BMW M GmbH, namely the 2015 BMW M3 Sedan and the BMW M4 Coupe. The latter had already seen its public debut a few months prior to the show in Detroit as it was on stage for a few days in the BMW Welt in Munich. With the introduction of the BMW M4 Coupe, BMW continues its separation of its former 3 Series product range. While the BMW M3 Sedan will remain the most powerful four-door sedan in the 3 Series, the BMW M4 Coupe is completely new to the market.
The first glimpse of the new 4 Series was given by BMW exactly one year ago at the 2013 Detroit show as the Bavarian automaker presented the BMW Concept 4 Series. Both cars share the same, newly-developed high-revving six-cylinder engine, which replaces the former eight-cylinder powerplant of the previous generation. The new motor develops 431 horsepower (317 kW) and offers a maximum torque of 405 pound-feet (550 Nm). Comparing the figures with the former M3, the power output was increased by 30 percent while at the same time the average fuel consumption was lowered by 25 percent.
The third world premiere by the BMW Group was the introduction of the all-new BMW 2 Series Coupe. With the all-new 2 Series, BMW continues its strategy to separate the four-door and two-door models for its smaller product range. The BMW 2 Series coupe is the successor to the former BMW 1 Series coupe and is being introduced to the U.S. market with the BMW 228i coupe and the top-of-the-line model BMW M235i coupe. The M235i also marks the U.S. launch of the BMW M Performance automobile line. Further engine specifications for the European market include the BMW 218d, BMW 220d and the BMW 225d, which are powered by a four-cylinder diesel engine. The automaker currently has no plans to offer the BMW 2 Series diesel in the U.S.
Additional highlights on the BMW floor include the presentation of the BMWi models, namely the BMW i3, which went on sale in Europe in October 2013 and the BMW i8 which will be offered for sale in 2014. The BMW i3 is the first purely electric-powered vehicle from the BMW Group while the BMW i8 is a plug-in hybrid with a three-cylinder combustion engine and an electric motor. The BMW X1, which was introduced to the U.S. market in April 2012, receives its life-cycle refresh with updates for the interior, exterior and new BMW ConnectedDrive features. Finally, a new equipment package for the BMW Z4 roadster, called Pure Fusion Design, is now available.
For Mercedes-Benz, the 2014 Detroit Motor Show marks the launch and premiere of its most important product, the all-new 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class. The bestseller for the Sindelfingen-based automaker saw a wide range of improvements compared to its predecessor. New engines, a fresh and modern design, reduced weight and innovative technology and safety options should help the C-Class to compete in the premium car segment. Customers can choose among offerings in the sporty Avantgarde line and the Exclusive line (which replaces the former Elegance line).
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