Hot cars at the Detroit auto show

January 13, 2014 

— The North American International Auto Show begins this week in Detroit with media and industry previews. It opens to the public Saturday.

Here are some of the new cars and experimental concept vehicles unveiled at the show:

PORSCHE 911 TARGA: Porsche is dialing up the 911 with two new models, the Targa 4 and 4S. As with the original 1965 Targa, the new models feature a roof bar, movable front roof section and wraparound rear window. The new roof can open and close at the push of a button and stow behind the rear seat. Porsche said they are aiming for a “sporty and low-slung profile.” The Targa 4 accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds, the 4S slightly quicker with an optional package. The Targa 4 has a sticker price of $101,600 and the 4S is at $116,200. Deliveries are scheduled to start this summer.

CORVETTE Z06: General Motors rolled out a hot new version of the Corvette Stingray, called the Z06, with a staggering 625-horsepower supercharged V-8 engine. The company says the performance of the 2015 Z06 will rival the best supercars in the world. The car gets a new 6.2-liter engine and a new eight-speed automatic transmission. A seven-speed manual also is available. The car also has a removable top. No performance times or prices were released. The standard Corvette starts around $52,000.

MERCEDES-BENZ S600: The top model from Mercedes-Benz is getting an upgrade. The S600 sedan features a 12-cylinder, 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged engine that packs 523 horsepower. With the look and feel expected from the highest tier of the luxury brand, it seats four or five and features touchpad controls that allow letters, numbers and special characters to be entered in handwriting in nine languages. It’s scheduled to go on sale in the spring. Pricing is yet to be announced.

BMW 2 SERIES COUPE: The two-door, four-seat, rear-wheel drive 2 Series Coupe – the replacement for the 1 Series Coupe – will come in a 228i version, which features a 240-horsepower, 2.0-liter V-4 engine, and the M235i version, which features a 322-horsepower, 3.0-liter V-6 engine. Scheduled to go on sale starting in March, BMW plans to sell the 228i for $33,025 and the M235i for $44,025.

VOLKSWAGEN GOLF R: The compact Volkswagen Golf is getting a powerful boost. Its latest incarnation packs a 290-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that improves on past fuel efficiency. The all-wheel-drive Golf R promises zero to 60 mph acceleration in 4.9 seconds with the automatic transmission version. The Golf R is scheduled to go on sale in the U.S. as a four-door model only in the first three months of 2015. Pricing will be announced later.

TOYTOA F-1: This vehicle’s development started two years ago, and the car was devised first in the Sony PlayStation Gran Turismo game environment. Starting Tuesday, the automaker says FT-1 will be available as a downloadable vehicle for PlayStation 3 Gran Turismo 6.

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