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January 12, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch and David Undercoffler
Ford Motor Co. will introduce the “reinvention” of its F-150 pickup truck at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit Monday. The automaker is gambling with its 2015 model year redesign of the truck - for decades America's top-selling vehicle - eschewing the traditional steel for lightweight aluminum alloys. The aluminum body - doors, hood, engine compartment, bed and tailgate - will be a first for full-size trucks and a rarity in the automotive world. PHOTOS: Ford's 2015 F-150 truck The switch to an aluminum body is a complicated and expensive undertaking for Ford, but  shaves 700 pounds off the weight of the truck - with a big payoff in performance and efficiency.
January 12, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch
In a move to get closer to its lofty goal of selling 1 million vehicles annually in the U.S. by 2018, Volkswagen will bring a seven-seat sport utility vehicle to the market in two years, the automaker's chief executive, Martin Winterkorn, said at the start of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Speaking to reporters Sunday night, Winterkorn said he believes the German automaker is on track to reach that sales figure.  It sold just about 570,000 autos in the U.S. in 2013 and replaced Jonathan Browning, its top executive in North America, at the end of the year.
January 12, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch
Continuing to diversify its truck portfolio, General Motors on Sunday showed off the second of its smaller trucks, the GMC Canyon, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. GM is convinced that America's love affair with pickup trucks is enduring. But consumers also want smaller vehicles that provide the same utility with less fuel. “They are looking for something that is easier to live with, to park and maybe at a lower purchase price,” said Roger McCormack, director of Buick/GMC marketing for GM. DETROIT AUTO SHOW: Big trucks, fast cars and more GM is targeting the truck directly at the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier.
January 11, 2014 | By David Undercoffler
They are the Dodger Dogs with all the trimmings, the triple cheeseburger with extra bacon, the filet mignon topped with melted butter. At next week's Detroit auto show, half a dozen automakers will be rolling out low-volume, high-performance or specialty vehicles meant to generate buzz for their brands. A Corvette Stingray not fast enough? The Corvette Z06 is on the way, likely with ludicrous levels of horsepower and torque. DETROIT AUTO SHOW: Big trucks, fast cars and more Subaru's WRX wannabe rally racer still too bland?
January 8, 2014 | By David Undercoffler
After several weeks of teaser photos and hints about its plans, Lexus has confirmed its new asphalt-churning RC F Coupe will be unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next week. The F Coupe is a meatier version of the more docile RC Coupe that made its debut at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show in November. The RC is an all-new model for Toyota's luxury brand. It's based on the mid-size GS sedan, though it will sit between the GS and the smaller IS sedan in the Lexus lineup.
January 8, 2014 | By Brian Thevenot
The Volkswagen Golf R will make its U.S. debut next week at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, boasting breakneck speed and standard four-wheel drive in a compact package. The fastest and priciest variant of the popular hatchback, the R will have 290 horsepower, 34 more than the previous model. Torque jumps by 37 pound-feet to 280. That's a big bump over 210 horsepower in the GTI, the mainstream go-fast Golf. The R model also distinguishes itself with all-wheel drive, stiffer suspension, unique 18-inch alloy wheels, different bumpers, side skirts, LED lights, and a two-branch exhaust system with four chrome tips.
January 7, 2014 | by Houston Mitchell
If you are the Detroit Lions, don't you have to make a call to Tony Dungy now? The former Indianapolis Colts coach said on Monday that, while he isn't planning on coaching again, if he was going to return, it would be for the Detroit Lions job. "I will tell you this Dan, I think the best job out there is the Detroit Lions," Dungy said on the syndicated radio program "The Dan Patrick Show. " "That's the job I would want, I think they are the closest to the Super Bowl. "You look for things, you look for a franchise quarterback in this day and age. You want to have a passing game, because this game is all about passing, and you want people who can rush the passer and protect the lead, Detroit's got all that.
January 2, 2014
Re "California is no Detroit," Opinion, Dec. 29 John D.R. Clark's explanation of the state's pension problem was easy for even a regular guy like me to understand. He tells us that because of the post-1999 enhanced retirement formula, public employees with 30 years of service can retire with 90% of their salary. He mentions that bankrupt Detroit had no way to meet its pension promises, but that the vast majority of cities and counties in California are not on a path to bankruptcy.
January 1, 2014 | By David Undercoffler
Though it's not officially naming the car yet, Nissan will use the upcoming Detroit Auto Show to give us a good idea of what the next-generation Maxima will look like. The automaker announced Tuesday it plans to unveil the Sport Sedan Concept, a vehicle that points to where Nissan will take the design of a new Maxima that is due in production form later in 2014. PHOTOS: Highlights from the 2014 Detroit Auto Show The full-size, front-wheel-drive car sits at the top of Nissan's sedan lineup, and competes with the likes of the Chevy Impala, Toyota Avalon, Hyundai Azera and Kia Cadenza.
December 26, 2013 | By Alana Semuels
Detroiters may despise the ruins that surround them, but the hundreds - if not thousands - of tourists who come to see the derelict buildings say the experience helps them understand the Motor City. There are hundreds of buildings to explore: Jesse Welter, the photographer and urban explorer featured in a Los Angeles Times story , calls the city "an amusement park. " Cindy Lindow has gone on 22 tours with Welter. She lives in St. Clair, about 50 miles north of Detroit, but grew up in the city and has some nostalgia for the way it used to be. Her uncle was a priest in a church she has toured.
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