Detroit – Hits and Misses

HITS

Toyota FT-CH concept – Great stance, fresh detailing, and Toyota’s starting-to-be-signature edgy front fender treatment.

GMC Granite concept – compact and full of chunky attitude. Surprisingly this came out of GM’s truck unit; if this translated into production they’d have a winner…

Audi e-tron concept – after the forgettable A8 this is Audi getting emotional…this is a beautifully proportioned car..Honda – take note!

MISS

Honda CR-Z production – Honda honda honda…what have you done? From the razor-sharp CR-Z concept…

…to this ungainly, lantern-jawed, middle-achiever;

Performance? mmm..with 120hp, not really. Economy? err…nope. mid 30’s mpg. Even by US standards that’s hardly ground-breaking. It’s a real shame they didn’t have the balls to go with the sporting concept’s stance; we’ve now got kerb-worrying overhangs, plain weird lights, and skinny wheels. The changes on their own, managed cohesively, could have kept the spirit of the concept. It’s as if the guys who did the concept washed their hands of the production version. Honda had the chance to get the first vaguely sporting hybrid to market and create a bound-to-be lucrative niche, and we’ve ended up with a goofy teenager of a car.

The take home from the show marks a minor turning point – a show where Ford started to push their compact-car credentials in the USA with the Focus world launch, and where hybrid concepts outnumbered pushrod V8’s. Change is coming..

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3 comments

  1. The Tarantulas · January 15, 2010

    Love the Toyota..

  2. Jonathan · January 18, 2010

    I was not impressed by the Audi. In the metal it looks very plain and slightly ungainly. Nowhere near as bad as the Honda, but still not impressive.

    • The Face · January 18, 2010

      Ah ok..I must say, looking at it again it’s almost too simple, so I can appreciate what you’re saying. It also manages to look a little old-fashioned after about a week! Did you find your next ride?

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