2012 NAIAS Part 2 – “G” thru “M”

Yesterday we reviewed all the news from the North American International Auto Show in Detroit from “A” (as in Acura) to “F” (as in Ford).  Today we cover the cars from “G” (as in GMC) to “M” (as in Mini).  And if you come back tomorrow you can read Part 3 as we finish out with Nissan to Volvo.

Mini's next variation?

GMC

GMC did not have any design-related news to report at the show.

Honda Accord Coupe Concept

2013 Honda Accord Coupe Concept

Honda brought out a concept of the next Accord Coupe to the Detroit show.  The exterior of the concept looks much more aggressive and athletic than the outgoing model (it was a non-running buck so there was no interior to see).  The new model .  One can only hope the sedan will be changed in a similar manner.  According to Honda’s press release the new sedan will sit on a smaller footprint to give it even more of a sporty appearance.  I like the way the 20″ wheels fill out the wheel wells and give the concept a solid stance but I doubt Honda will bring them forward into production.  The headlamps remind me of the Alfa Romeo 159 and that’s a good thing but the tail lamps look more like a Camry and that is not so good.

2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

The 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe has a new corporate face

The Hyndai Genesis Coupe gets a mildly refreshed front end.  To be honest, I had to get pictures of the old and new version side by side to understand the difference.  I found out it wasn’t that they weren’t different enough.  The problem is that both the older and newer version are pretty much non-descript.  The Sonata is a treat, why can’t the Genesis generate the same passion?  I guess if you have been winning as much as Hyundai has the past couple of years it is to be expected to slip up once in a while.

2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo

2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo

The Genesis Coupe isn’t the only Hyundai with a new fascia.  Apparently installing a turbo motor in the Veloster required one as well.  Like the Genesis, I think they could have done better than trying to copy the Mazda fish-mouth look.

Infiniti

Infiniti did not have any design-related news to report at the show.

Jeep

Jeep did not have any design-related news to report at the show.

Kia

Kia did not have any design-related news to report at the show.

Lexus LF-LC Concept

Lexus LF-LC Concept is intended to set the tone for future Lexus design

2013 Lexus LF-LC Concept

The interior of the Lexus LF-LC Concept is defined by interesting shapes and surfaces

The Lexus LF-LC Concept is intended to be a design study that sets the tone for the third phase in the Lexus assault on the luxury car market (phase one was establishing the brand and phase two was expanding the portfolio).  The LF-LC was developed in the Calty Studio in Newport Beach California with the goal of redefining the design language at Lexus and thereby creating emotional and inspirational product (phase three).  Over and over during the show I heard other designers make positive comments on the expressive shape of the body.  I found the overall package stunning, but for my taste there was a bit too much detail (as I am very partial to simple designs like the 2002 from Michelotti and the 1750 GTV from Giugiaro).  The headlamps, for example, while interesting, are a bit too complex for me.  It is a great thing about automotive design that is is art and beauty is in the eye of the beholder – and this design speaks to many people.  I can imagine that a production car built with this design language could be quite beautiful and look forward to seeing the next vehicles out of Lexus.

Lincoln MKX Concept

The Lincoln MKZ Concept gets horizontal grille bars

Is Upscale America ready for the MKZ Concept's roofline? Probably.

The most striking feature of the MKZ Concept is the large glass roof

According to Derek Kuzak, Ford Motor Company group vice president for Global Product Development, the MKZ Concept you see here is not the introduction of a new car, but the introduction of a new brand.  He continued that this vehicle “is the next step in the reinvention of Lincoln, something we’ve been quietly but aggressively pursuing.”  It is nice to see that the MKZ is distinctly different from the new Fusion.  I think I can speak for all of us that we are tired of badge engineered vehicles with only minor appearance trim differences.  The new grille features horizontal grille bars in a satin finish along with a bright chrome surround and a similar contrast of finishes is found on the wheels.  Perhaps the most striking part of the design is the new panoramic glass roof.  While the glass is fixed on the Concept, there are indications future production models will be openable.  While the glass roof might be the most striking design element, the roofline itself might be the most controversial.  Several recent German luxury car models have a similar shape but the sales volumes I have seen indicate the consumer still prefers the more traditional notchback shape.

Maserati Kubang

Maserati Kubang Concept - Yes, it is still a concept

The Maserati Kubang Concept was kept under a sheet until it’s literal unveiling but unfortunately, as far as I can tell, it is exactly the same Concept that was shown in Frankfurt last year.

Maybach

Maybach did not have any design-related news to report at the show which is not surprising since Mercedes announced that they would be closing the brand soon.  Of course, they probably still have a few models around that need to be sold so that probably explains the booth space.  I will just wait for the buy one- get one fire sale at the end.

Mazda

Mazda did not have any design-related news to report at the show.

2013 Mercedes SL

2013 Mercedes SL - even better looking in person

This 2013 Mercedes SL interior looks edible

A few weeks ago the first official Mercedes SL photos were released and we did a brief write up (click here for the post).  But seeing a picture and seeing it in person are two entirely different things.  Back then I thought the refined design was much better than the outgoing model.  Now that I have seen it in person I think it is even better than that.

Mini Roadster

2013 Mini Roadster - are there any other body styles they haven't tried?

It seems Mini has developed more version of a single architecture than any other manufacturer in history with the possible exception of Chrysler and the K-Car.  The latest production version is the Roadster which may be the first time since the 2003 intro that Mini has gone back to their roots (smaller is better).  The Roadster was originally introduced at the SEMA show last year so this is not even its North American debut.

So that covers the alphabet up to and including “M”.  Look tomorrow for the rest of the cars and trucks.

About Frank Schwartz

Frank Schwartz is the founder of CarFriend.me and Advanced Automotive Consulting Services, partner in The Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment and serial entrepeneur. A long time automotive enthusiast, Frank started reading car magazines at the age of 8 and has spent 30+ years working inside the automotive industry. In his spare time Frank races with the Sports Car Club of America, spends time working on his numerous project cars and supports many local charities.
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