Big wheels of Motown still turning
The Detroit Motor Show was the place to be last week, writes Campbell Spray
AMID the detritus of the once great city of Detroit, where properties can be picked up for loose change, America celebrated its motoring excess at the city's car show.
Even though many areas of the States are still suffering from the downturn, unemployment has fallen below eight per cent and almost 16 million cars, SUVs and pick-ups were sold across the country last year. And now the big three of Ford, General Motors and Chrysler no longer need government support.
However, for many the real star of the show was the Toyota FT-I which has been labelled as the "ultimate sports car" and builds on the great success of the company's GT86, launched here a couple of years back. Lexus, the company premium marque, also launched the RC-F -- a high-performance coupe. You don't expect to hear about speed from Kia but they had a rear-wheel drive GT4 Stinger on display which, apparently, "provides a possible and highly provocative glimpse" into the company's future.
The new Mercedes-Benz C-Class will arrive here this summer and picks up a lot of the styling of the superb S-Class, which was launched at the end of last year. It is incredibly aerodynamic and thanks to an aluminium chassis is very light. The car is absolutely vital to the success of the marque and should do well.
Volvo is making great strides at the moment and the XC Coupe it was showing has great promise.
The first motoring article I ever wrote was about dune buggies in the Sixties. Nothing changes. Volkswagen was showing another one in Detroit, this time more for snow.