The North American International Auto Show—”Detroit” in auto-journalist shorthand—kicks off this week with a string of press and industry previews before the doors open to the public on Saturday, Jan. 17. We’re as eager as anyone to replace winter’s bitter chill with visions of clean, shiny sports cars and convertibles, those heralds of warm-weather fun.
More than a mid-winter relief, however, Detroit has become a critical show. It provides crucial insight into the health of the automotive industry worldwide, particularly in the wake of recalls, disruptions, and other hits the industry has withstood over the past 10 years. Is there true innovation anywhere? Are the cars exciting enough? Are manufacturers letting too many dogs slip through to the dealer lots?
We’re here to see if car companies are making smart decisions about their products and strategies and being as progressive and open-minded as other industries—or even next-gen startups, like Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors. As public knowledge and expectations rise, tolerance for dated, backward thinking sinks. The spotlight’s on you, car people: Show us what you’ve got!
Of course, every auto show has its own character. Tokyo is all about high-tech. Los Angeles focuses on being green and efficient. Frankfurt is overwhelmingly performance-oriented. Geneva espouses design. Detroit is all about muscle—power, energy, and a healthy dose of mischief. But times have changed; we want to see all of these qualities at the show. Popular Science will be providing blanket coverage from the Motor City, and we decided to whet your appetite with the five key stories (and their cars) we’re chasing down this week.
Popular Science is trawling the 2015 North American International Auto Show floors for the sexiest, most exciting new auto advancements and car concepts. Follow our complete Detroit auto show coverage all week long.