It took more than three and a half a years plus a couple of cancelled planned restarts but the North American International Auto Show has returned.
Even though Ford Motor Company made the biggest splash by launching the seventh generation Mustang, there were multiple other global debuts.
General Motors had only a few world debuts, one of them being the Chevrolet Blazer EV. There will also be an SS version of this electric SUV. A single image of a pre-production Blazer EV SS was revealed in June with further information added during the following month.
GM is aiming the Blazer EV at the Ford Mustang Mach-e with the SS a rival for the Mach-e GT. And as with the Mustang and Mustang Mach-e, other than the name, there is no connection between the Blazer and the Blazer EV. The range will be rolled out during 2023 and 2024 and unusually, that means front-, rear- and all-wheel drive variants.
The just-announced Chevy Equinox EV, another novelty for the 2024 model year, also made its public debut at the show, as did the Tahoe RST, a new and more powerful variant of the big SUV.
The Stellantis brand revealed a final edition of the 300. This is the ’23 model year 300C, of which 2,000 units will be built for the USA and 200 for Canada.
The big sedan is given a 485 hp and 475 lb-ft version of Chrysler’s 6.4-litre Hemi-branded naturally aspirated V8. There are three colours: Gloss Black, Velvet Red and Bright White. Production of the 300, including the special edition 300C, is due to end during the second half of 2023.
For Dodge, the world premieres are the Hornet plus five of an eventual seven Last Call editions for the marque’s two- and four-door muscle cars.
The new-for-2023 Charger Super Bee comes in two forms; as a Scat Pack (painted B5 Blue) and as a Scat Pack Widebody (Plum Crazy). Stellantis will build 500 of each.
Even though it will be 15 years young in January, still the Charger’s coupe equivalent powers on, Dodge also having just announced the 2023 Challenger Shakedown. There will be 1,000 examples of this car, each distinguished by red ‘392’ fender/front wing stickers, a Shakedown spoiler graphic and stripe with red accent, red six-piston Brembo brakes, a Shakedown IP badge, as well as Alcantara seats with red stitching.
Dodge has also announced the 2023 Challenger Scat Pack Swinger and Charger Scat Pack Swinger: the third and fourth special editions of the Last Call series.
Final call number five is for the 2023 Charger King Daytona. Based on the Hellcat Redeye Widebody, the bright orange limited edition of 300 cars adds ten horsepower, its supercharged V8 producing 807 hp. Last Call number six will be announced on 21 September with the seventh of seven to be revealed at SEMA.
The Hornet, a Compact SUV, was revealed to the media in August, the NAIAS being its public premiere. Aside from the front and rear ends, this SUV is all but identical to the Alfa Romeo Tonale. Production is in the same Italian plant (Giambattista Vico/Pomigliano d’Arco). The front- and all-wheel drive platform is SUSW.
As well as the standard 265 hp and 295 lb ft turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine for the Hornet GT, there is also a plug-in hybrid. This, the Hornet R/T, will have estimated outputs of 285+ hp (to be confirmed by the EPA) and 383 pound-feet of torque. Dodge calls a boost feature ‘PowerShot’. This allows an extra 25 horsepower to assist acceleration although the driver must wait fifteen seconds between each activation. The rear axle motor produces 90 kW and the battery has a capacity of 15.5 kWh.
The GT is due to reach US dealerships in late 2022 with the R/T following in March or April.
It’s already generated a lot of online publicity for the brand, so the Charger Daytona SRT concept is another major attraction for the show. The big coupe returns the Charger name to its two-door past but with the twist being that it’s an EV.
The 2024 Mustang was without doubt the star of the show. Ford revealed both the fastback and convertible and there are clear styling links to the Mach-E.
Deliveries of both body styles should commence in a year’s time. As for engines, these are revamped versions of the company’s well-known 2.3-litre EcoBoost and 5.0-litre Coyote units. Official power and torque numbers are yet to be announced. Cars with the four-cylinder turbo have a standard ten-speed automatic gearbox but the GT (V8) can be ordered with either this transmission or a six-speed manual.
Production will remain at the Flat Rock factory in Michigan. Ford will build the car in right-hand drive form too. The platform is an update of the sixth generation car’s CD6.
A retro-themed model from Jeep was the brand’s sole debutante at the NAIAS. The 2023 Wrangler Willys 4xe, a plug-in hybrid, has combined outputs of 375-horsepower, 470-lb ft from its 2.0-litre engine and a pair of motors. These are the same power and torque numbers as the existing Wrangler 4xe, the USA’s best selling plug-in hybrid vehicle (according to Stellantis North America). Raised suspension gives this 4×4 more than ten inches of ground clearance.
This month marks three years since production of the Corsair started at Ford’s Louisville plant in Kentucky. A facelift of this crossover (and its PHEV Corsair Grand Touring variants) now premieres, new for the 2023 model year. The update will also apply to the Corsair built in Chongqing by China’s Changan Ford joint venture.
The code for the next Corsair is said to be CX721. This will either be an EV or available in EV form.