NAIAS 2011 Day One Highlights


The North American International Auto Show, held annually in Detroit, is Motown’s yearly thrust into relevancy. #NAIAS, as it’s known to Twits like us (@CarEnvy) is proving to be unusually strong this year. After the recession of the last few years and the impotency of the auto show scene that followed, automakers are making a return to the show circuit en masse and in force.

After a few years away from the Detroit show for “personal reasons”, Porsche came back today with one of the sexiest and lust-worthy cars I’ve seen in years. Years. The Porsche 918 RSR. They call it a concept, I call it a future Le Mans winner.

Another of the hot, thinly-veiled concepts was the Ford Vertrek, a peek at the next Ford Escape. The current Ford Escape is still selling very well, perhaps due to its truck-like looks and car-like fuel economy.

Whether buyers are looking for car-like looks and car-like fuel economy or not remains to be seen. This writer loves the nippy creases and Focus-inspired chops, for what it’s worth.

The final reveal worth knowing about from Day One was the Prius C. Set to slot in below the Prius in terms of size and get even better fuel economy, the Prius C is oddly reminiscent of the FT-CH Concept from the 2010 Chicago Auto Show. It looks like it’s getting closer to production, which means that the fuel economy torch is about to be passed down.

Check back tomorrow for more. Assuming I get around to putting pen to paper.

[Photo credits: TTAC, Ford, Toyota]

[Video credits: YouTube]