General Motors NAIAS Display: Meeting the Car and Truck of the Year
Although we were most excited to get to see the Car and Truck of the Year (Corvette Stingray and Silverado, respectively) at the Chevy NAIAS display, we first made our way through Buick’s and GMC’s offerings.
Buick’s five models stood on display at the Buick booth, but the one I found the most entertaining was the 2014 Buick Encore. Not because of its 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that pumps out 138 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque, and not even because it returns 33 mpg on the highway. No, the Encore was mostly entertaining because it looked like it was made of chocolate. For real though:
I even tweeted that it looked like Willy Wonka’s car. I’m still not convinced otherwise.
— The News Wheel (@thenewswheel) January 15, 2014
After Buick, we hurried over to the GMC display, mostly to check out the all-new Canyon. Similar to the recently unveiled Chevy Colorado, the Canyon challenges the traditional size of the modern-day pickup. Depending on the driver’s choice of powertrain, the Canyon will deliver from 192 to 302 hp. The Canyon also gets the segment’s best payload (at a 1,450 pound minimum) and best maximum trailering rating (6,700 pounds at least).
We also checked out the Silverado’s sibling truck, the Sierra, while in the neighborhood.
But the Buick and GMC NAIAS displays hardly prepared us for the sheer awesomeness of the Chevy display. First of all, Chevy had the most swag, by far. I got a handful of buttons and several packs of “limited edition” Chevy playing cards, although I can’t quite understand how they were considered limited when there were literally hundreds of packs on display.
But it wasn’t just the swag that had us excited. It was seeing some of the 2014 models up close and personal at long last, starting with the Spark. I had considered getting a Spark before landing on my Yaris, and I’m only half glad I went with the Yaris. My Yaris, bought used, was cheaper, but offers just about the same amount of legroom (or lack thereof) in the rear as the Spark does—I could hardly fit my legs back there. The ahead-of-the-times tech featured on the Spark is a clear selling point, but for me, the zany color options are the real prize. I sat inside a Grape Ice Spark while Marci snapped shots of the Salsa Red model.
Marci and I also checked out the Chevy SS, which we were unfortunately locked out of. The SS brings a rear-wheel-drive sedan back to the Chevy lineup after a nearly twenty-year absence. Powered by a 6.2-liter V8 engine that hits 60 mph in just 5 seconds, the SS lays out 415 hp.
But it was the Truck of the Year and the Car of the Year that we were most excited for. We first stopped off to see the Silverado, where some curious visitors illegally opened up the hood of one model and were promptly told by a floor model to shut it.
More important—or most important, rather—was the 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray. You’ve likely read about it thousands of times, so I won’t bore you with the details. But reading all about the Stingray can’t come anywhere close to actually sitting behind the wheel. I felt so powerful gripping the steering wheel, all eyes on me. If you get a chance to go to NAIAS this year, I recommend it if only to take a seat yourself.
Technically, we didn’t go to the Cadillac display next; it was the second-to-last display we saw all day actually. Strangely, the Cadillac booth was far away from the rest of the GM brands, instead positioned by Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, and Smart. Nevertheless, I’ll detail the highlights here.
At long last, I got to see the Elmiraj Concept in person. The model before the car was spewing out the same official word we’ve known from Cadillac all along: that the concept is just a concept, and nothing more (for now). But like the rest of the automotive world, I strongly suspect the Elmiraj will, in some form or another, evolve into Cadillac’s flagship.
The 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe was also on display. It is the brand’s first compact luxury coupe and goes on sale this summer.
After finishing up with Chevy, Marci and I backtracked to Nissan’s display, where we braced ourselves for the Scent of the Future.
Check out all the other pit stops on my tour through NAIAS:
Timothy Moore takes his leadership inspiration from Michael Scott, his writing inspiration from Mark Twain, and his dancing inspiration from every drunk white guy at a wedding. When Tim is not writing about cars, he’s working on his novel or reading someone else’s, geeking out over strategy board games, hiking with his pooch, or channeling his inner Linda Belcher over beers with his friends. See more articles by Timothy.