DETROIT - We've been at the North American International Auto Show all week, and we've been taking you along for the ride. Saturday you'll have your first chance to check out all vehicles in person.
Performance, luxury and the more practical models are all on the floor at Cobo Center. Quite a few of the vehicles on display have Toledo ties.
There are some truly amazing machines at the show. One if them is the Corvette ZR1. Mark Kieliszewski is an Assistant Chief Engineer at GM, "It's the most capable Corvette we've ever made.It is a super car in every sense of the word."
More on that Corvette and its connection to Toledo coming up.
It's just one example of a number of high performance and luxury vehicles on the floor. You'll see the newest designs from domestic and foreign automakers including Mercedes, BMW, Lincoln,Audi, Genesis, Alpha Romero and Cadillac.
The Cadillac CTS-V is powered by a Toledo-built 8-speed transmission, the transmission is also available in that Corvette ZR1.
Jordan Lee is a Chief Engineer at GM,"That transmission is phenomenal. It has extremely rapid shift times which makes our performance cars do what they do seamlessly."
Shifting gears to the Wrangler The new model is getting a lot of attention. Ralph Gilles is the Head of Design at Fiat Chrysler,"We really did our homework, changing only what needed it and improving everything. When you add all the improvements together it creates an incredible machine, a truly special machine. There is still nothing like it and what you can do with it. Everyone who owns one, and I've had two, says it changes your life. Every time you turn the key it's an adventure."
The next generation Wrangler was years in the making. Mark Allen heads up the team charged with the task. And he has a favorite feature, the improved fold down windshield. "The windshield went from having 28 bolts in the previous model and an hour of your time to now just four bolts. I took it off in about three minutes. There are people who say why does it fold down? It's hard to explain if you've never done it, but I like to say having no windshield on a Wrangler is the same reason there's no windshield when you 're riding a horse."
Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of Fiat Chrysler, says the iconic SUVs new design stayed true to it's roots with some much needed upgrades, "The changes are something that was owed to the vehicle. Technically we had to upgrade it. It was too rough and too primitive, so we're done for now."
Like Marchionne, Gilles has plenty to say about the work of the men and women who build so many different versions of the iconic SUV, "We get pretty brave knowing the plant can handle the complexity and the workers enjoy it. That is what made the difference of Wrangler just being a niche model to one of the cornerstones of the company."
The show opens Saturday morning. It runs through Sunday, January 28th at Cobo Center. Doors open daily at 9am. Tickets are $14 for adults, $7 for kids and seniors. There's a lot to see this year, so it's well worth the trip if you're looking for a new vehicle or you just like to see the latest creations.
We've posted a link.