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2015 Detroit Auto Show, a Battle Between the V8 and the V6

I'm back from day two of my 2015 Detroit Auto Show adventure and all I can think about is how this year's edition of the event forced the all-mighty V8 to share its crown with the V6, which only made the show more... American.
After all, the US way of life means everybody gets their fair chance of making it big and this is precisely what's happening in the auto industry right now.

I'll start with Ford, simply because the Blue Oval kind of stole the show. Their new Ford Performance division grabbed us by the press badges and dragged us into the dark adepts of the Cobo arena. Back there, we were treated with an internal combustion concert.

The Mustang Shelby GT350R not only filled the former home of the Detroit Pistons with the growl of its flat-plane V8, but it also danced to its own tune, burning some Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber in front of us all.

Having gotten our dose of V8, Ford slapped us with not one, but two V6-animated performance behemoths. The F-150 SVT Raptor and the GT. Yep, believe it or not, both the Baja machine and the upcoming supercar traded a pair of cylinders for a pair of turbines.

The thing is that I can't quite argue with that. First of all, the new Raptor can kick the bed of the old one. As for the 600 hp plus Ford GT, I was far from able to listen to its full soundtrack, but what I heard was enough to keep me from ranting. OK, the Pikes Peak-worthy aerodynamic construction of the car might have played an important role in keeping me silent, but we'll find out what Ford's new halo car is all about in 2016.

Then there was Acura, whose NSX rocked the show. 550 hp plus coming from no less than three electric motors, assisting a twin-turbo V6. I'm certain Senna would drive this thing if only he'd still be around. I'm not sure what he'd say after the drive, but one thing is clear: many of those attending the press conference loved it. While I'll have to wait to get behind the wheel for an opinion, I was still happy to see the NSX stick its 75-degree V6 in the face of the BMW i8's three-cylinder engine.

The i8 stood quietly in the corner of the BMW booth, which literally had "Power Power Power" written all over it. The Bavarians' stand was dominated by their M cars loaded with twin-turbo V8s. Oh and the mix between the various flavors of the M6 facelift and the X5 M / X6 M also brought an eye-catching color play. It was like somebody over at BMW spilled his petrol-loaded M&M's bag over the stand. Sweet!

Speaking of a luxury-performance blend, Lexus debuted its GS F in Detroit. The sedan is not only powered by a V8, but this is naturally-aspirated. The conference was struck by waves of vee eight soundtrack, with the entire audience enjoying the smell of burnt gasoline. It's just that the Japanese carmaker chose to rev its RC F GT3 racecar on stage instead of using the GS F's five-liter unit for this stunt. This and the fact that the go-fast GS uses its speakers, not a sound resonator, to augment the aural experience, left me with some unanswered questions about the car's sound potential.

The V8 and the twin-turbocharged V6 also battled it out at the Cadillac booth, where the non-apologetic, 640 hp CTS-V joined the V6-powered 455 hp ATS-V. The old CTS-V taught European performance sedans one thing or two about going round a racetrack against the clock, so I can't wait to see the 2016 model in action.

Girls of the 2015 Detroit Motor Show? Their number was far from enough to sustain the fresh metal festival, but then again auto shows on this side of the ocean seem to be too shy for a serious display of female beauty.

Nevertheless, this was the only thing that bothered me when it came to how the show was organized. The access was great, the staff was friendly and the lighting was more camera-friendly than in the case of may international events of this sort. Heck, even the guy walking the bomb-sniffing dog never showed any unnecessary baddie attitude.

Oh and by they way, this was not Detroit, but "De-troah". At least this is how Air France put it on my way to the show...

 
 
 
 
 

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