This year’s Denver Auto Show allowed visitors to get cozy with over 500 new makes and models at the Colorado Convention Center. Gleaming with showroom-quality shine, more than 35 auto manufacturers displayed their most current models, next year’s models, concept cars, trucks, hybrids, vans, crossovers and sport utility vehicles.
It’s always fun to get the latest look into industry designs whether it’s coming from the eco-friendly world or the high-performance luxury world. Automakers giving previews into their 2014 models included:
- Aston Martin Vanquish – majorly yummy luxury touring. Priced at $300,000
- Chevy Cruze Diesel – estimated 42 highway mpg, 2.0 liter turbo-diesel
- Chevy Impala – new bodaciously sculpted bod, three engine choices
- Ford Fiesta ST – euro-styled 5-door hatchback, 6-speed manual
- GMC Sierra 1500 – full-size pick up said to be the most powerful in brand’s 110-year history
- Jaguar F-TYPE S – front engine, rear-wheel drive high-performance sport
- Kia Forte – euro-sport sedan
- Kia Green Lantern Soul – themed after DC Comic’s Green Lantern, ‘heromobile’ originally made to raise awareness for Kia’s ‘We Can Be Heroes’ relief effort to combat hunger in Africa.
- Maserati Quattroporte – cloaked by Maserati of Denver to tease unveiling April 15-17
- Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 Concept Style Coupe – starting at $29,900 affords out-of-this world, luxury-quality at real-world pricing. Front-wheel-drive, turbo and panorama sunroof
- Toyota Tundra prototype and a replica – mock-up Tundra towed the 300,000-pound space shuttle Endeavor (and its rig) across LA’s Manchester Boulevard Bridge. Insert Tim Allen ape grunt here.
- Toyota SEMA Avalon hybrid – first seen at this year’s Specialty Equipment Market Association Show in Las Vegas
Noticeable race car models demanded attention with the bright orange and black Lexus CSS-R and super sexy, dark grey Lotus Exige with a five-point driver seat belt. Lamborghini had it’s 700 horsepower Aventador sitting pretty in a matte finish next to its super-glossy Gallardo sibling.
A taste of the outdoors was brought inside with Camp Jeep’s indoor driving course, giving folks a chance to get down on Jeep’s trail-rated performance without getting dirty. Safe and controlled five-minute rides were conducted by professional drivers in a sectioned-off area to showcase off-road capabilities of the Grand Cherokee, Wrangler Rubicon and Wrangler Unlimited. Steve Lorton, the Track Manager who tours with Camp Jeep says the display is understandably a popular one in the Colorado market. Lorton explains that the five disciplines that make Jeep a trail-rated vehicle include maneuverability, stability, traction, ground clearance and articulation. “The sixth one is water fording, but we don’t do water fording on the indoor show”, Lorton says. Good call. The articulation display had the vehicles beautifully balanced on three tires while creeping off the incline, while the traction ramp demonstrated Jeep’s vertical climb and descent abilities on a 14-foot high, 35-degree hill climb.