As usual the General Motors display covered a vast area, plus there were two separate stands for Cadillac and Buick. Trucks and SUV’s abounded in every shape and size, including the new mid-size Chevy Colorado pick up and its twin the GMC Canyon. Unremarkable from a design standpoint, these trucks, along with the new Toyota Tacoma, mark a resurgence in this smaller (but still quite large) pick up truck category.
Chevy featured a facelifted version of the Volt which, although smoother and cleaner than the original, remains somewhat unremarkable. It is, however, probably distinctive enough to continue giving Volt owners the “green image” they desire. Also revealed at the show was the Chevy Bolt concept, a 5-door hatchback battery electric car that most likely will be in production in a couple of years – oil prices permitting!
The Buick display proved to be much more interesting, featuring the Avenir concept – a large 4-door sedan that might be a good fit for China, but surely encroaches on Cadillac territory in the US. This relatively large RWD car made a powerful statement with a long front end, sweeping feature lines on its flanks and a unique boat-tail rear. With the present emphasis on aerodynamics, there has been a tendency for the rear quarters/decklids/rear ends of many sedans to follow an increasingly similar look – with the Avenir, Buick has struck out on its own and we like it! Also on display was the Cascada mid-sized 4-seat convertible – a Buick version of the Opel Cabrio. The North American market for this kind of convertible has been steadily declining over the last few years, so it will be interesting to see if this pleasing design can drive some incremental sales for Buick. Personally I like the proportions much better with the top up!
Cadillac introduced a new V-series version of the CTS, joining the recently announced ATS-V. Although their horsepower figures have been pre-empted and overwhelmed by the Dodge Charger/Challenger Hellcat models, these Cadillacs are all business, so we should give GM full credit for going “head-on” with the Germans.