Detroit: 2015 North American International Auto Show

Odometer (Legend):  532,287


Odometer (ILX):  109,718


Since 1899, Detroit has been home to one of the largest auto shows in North America.  What kinds of cars were even around that long ago?  As the operational headquarters for the “Big 3” automakers (Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors), Motor City has always been the logical place for the auto show to take place, despite the fact that frigid weather there each January is somewhat less than welcoming.


Up until 1965, the show was held at various locations in the Detroit Metro Area, like the city’s fairgrounds.  But since 1965, it’s occupied over 1 million square feet of show space at the “Cobo Center” convention facility.  Over 900,000 people attend the show annually during the week that it’s open to the general public.


This year, I once again attended as a member of the Redline Productions Media (RPM) team, which is headquarted in the Washington DC area and has created a name for itself in the automotive video review arena.  Redline’s YouTube Channel has amassed over 24 million video views since its inception in May, 2012, and has over 85,000 subscribers.  Editor-in-Chief Sofyan Bey hosts the series and occasionally invites other automotive journalists like myself to join in on the fun.

This marked my fourth time attending the Detroit Auto Show.  It seems like just yesterday I was sitting on the front row of the Acura press conference awaiting the reveal of the 2013 ILX & NSX Concepts during the show in January 2012.  Reminisce with me:


I had to laugh when I exited the rental car shuttle bus at Detroit airport to pick up my car on Sunday night.  The attendant at Nationwide said, “Keys are in the cars.  Take anything in the midsize row.”  In a heavy snowstorm, I dragged my rollaway bag to the parking lot and soon learned that there were only two midsize cars available, and they were both Chevy Camaros.

I picked the red one and went on my way, wondering how I’d just managed to get a vehicle upgrade for free.  It took only a few yards of driving before it dawned on me:  The reason nobody had taken the Camaro was because rear-wheel-drive in the snow is far less than optimal!  The short 4-mile drive to my hotel in snow-covered roads was a crash course (thankfully, not literally) in how to handle slick-road RWD driving dynamics.  I had some fun with it, too.


The two days that I spent at Media Days were jam-packed with photography, filming, networking, and attending press conferences.  In between all of that, I walked a total of over 10 miles walking from exhibit to exhibit!  The showstoppers this year for me were the Acura NSX and Ford GT supercars, each wowing the crowd with its exotic design.

Aside from that, there were dozens of other noteworthy new-car reveals that I acquainted myself with.  The Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Titan were long-overdue for new bodystyles which they finally received.  Cadillac’s heart-pumping 600+ horsepower CTS-V made its entrance, and Buick launched its first convertible in 25 years (the “Cascada”).


The capstone to a great trip was the chance I had on Tuesday night to meet up with two old friends and make a new one.  I met up near Michigan Central Station at Mercury Bar for dinner with my old buddies Hass and Waseem, then I headed to Royal Oak for a meet-up with Chris who I met via Instagram.  Chris even threw me the keys to his 2007 Acura TL Type-S for a spirited jaunt up Highway 696!  Thanks, guys for meeting up.


Below is the photo highlight story of how my trip to Motor City went.  Thanks for coming along!

Video of the NSX reveal from my perspective, with multiple glances at Jerry Seinfeld seated ahead of me for good measure.

ILX parked at Phoenix Sky Harbor terminal 4 for a few days


Flight 15F – window seat overlooking the wing on my Southwest PHX-DTW flight


I left the Arizona sunshine for this?


My hot-rod Camaro V6 automatic rental with 9,500 miles on the odometer.  Fun car, plenty of power.  Blind spots were massive, and for some reason it tried dialing OnStar 6 times repeatedly for no reason.  WTH?


Sofyan, Jackson, Tyson:  the Redline Reviews crew en route to Day 1 of the auto show, just about to catch our ride on the Detroit People Mover (DPM) which costs $0.75 and takes a loop around downtown.


New Nissan Titan – finally.


New Toyota Tacoma – finally.  Did you know that every 2016 Tacoma will come with a GoPro video camera mount on the inside, passenger side windshield?  Toyota is offering this truck in a 6-speed stick, too, which I think is cool.


Infiniti Q60 Concept replaces the outgoing model which has been based on the aging G37 Coupe platform.


New Lexus GS-F sports sedan follows in the footsteps of the smaller IS-F, pumping out 467 horsepower.


Second-row seat at the 11:50 a.m. Acura press conference, awaiting the debut of the 2016 NSX.


Finally getting a look at Acura’s next supercar.


I dig the wheels, and I think that “Athletic Red” paint color is the same that was used when the TLX model launched a year ago.


NSX interior.


My phone went crazy for a few hours with texts from friends wanting a firsthand opinion of the new NSX.  I got a kick out of people like my friend Nick in NJ who offered to split the cost of the car.


No NAIAS would be complete without a few “celebrity” encounters.  Here are a few of the people I ran into.

Davis Adams, Honda Public Relations


Steve Ewing, Sr. Editor of Autoblog


Nyko dePeyer, Executive from Local Motors


Jon Ikeda, Acura Design


Donny Nordlicht, Cadillac Public Relations


Brian Cooley, Editor-in-Chief of CNET


Chuck Schifsky, Acura Public Relations


Steve Siler, Car & Driver / freelance author


Jason Mosery, Autoguide


Jason Richmond, Hondapro Jason and Sage Marie, Honda/Acura Public Relations


New Ford GT Supercar, during Sofyan’s intro.  Twin-turbo V6, 600+ horsepower.  Don’t get in its way.


2016 Audi Q3. I’m a sucker for this blue hue.


Look, it’s Canada!  This is the view from Cobo Hall across the Detroit River to Windsor, Ontario.


NSX “swag” on display during Day 2.  I must own that jacket someday!


More memorabilia.


The rest of the Ac fleet came out to play on the second day, too, including the 2016 ILX.


Exiting Cobo Hall after an exhausting, yet fun, couple of days.


Quick visit to Michigan Central Station.  Once the tallest railway station in the world, this 1912 building has been abandoned since 1988.  My Camaro looked pretty photogenic, too.


Dinner with long-time “Legend” friends, Hass and Waseem, who are local to the Detroit area.


And another shot of Chris’ TL-S.  Hot ride even in cold weather!


Bright and early this morning (as in, 1:00 a.m. my time), I was getting ready for my return flight to Phoenix.


As I was running through the Phoenix airport, I saw this T-shirt for sale out of the corner of my eye and I stopped in my tracks.  Doesn’t the font look a little bit like “ILX”?


Peace out until next time!

15 Responses to “Detroit: 2015 North American International Auto Show”

  1. Good to know the new ’16 Tacoma still has a 6 speed manual! That’s a pretty sweet TL-S too.

  2. What are your thoughts on the 2016 ILX??

  3. Great to meet you Tyson. Hope to see you again soon in the Midwest or the Southwest! Cheers

  4. Looks like a very nice show! I’m liking that Audi blue as well. FYI – WHEN the Seahawks beat the Packers this weekend I will be looking to make a trip down to AZ to watch the Super Bowl!!! If I can make it we should get some lunch.

    • I’m stoked for the Super Bowl to be here in town! I’m honestly not even sure if tickets are still available, unless it’s for a hefty pricetag. I’ll stay tuned to the upcoming games… And cross fingers that you will make it out here to visit next month!!

  5. It was 1 degree in Detroit? That is BRUTAL Tyson. I went to New York several years ago from Miami. I thought 22 degrees was very very cold back then. But 1 degree seems crazy cold for us Miamians. 😦 I don’t think you wore enough layers in those shots of you outside. If I had gone to Detroit, I would have worn twice as many layers and a hat and scarf. The hat and scarf helped me out big time when I was in New York!

  6. Kinda sucks that the new NSX isn’t available with a manual. We’ll just have to see how that 9 speed dual clutch performs.

    • Agreed, I’m bummed the car won’t have a third pedal, but still willing to give it a chance and I’ll be THRILLED if/when I actually get the chance to take one for a spin.

  7. *Eating popcorn and enjoying the show* Lol. Camero in the snow, meeting Brian Cooley, hanging with Sofyan and Jackson, seeing the NSX, and getting a ride in another TL-S? Nice post there Tyson and I’m jealous! So many great people and gorgeous rides you saw there. It’s about freakin’ time we get a new Titan. I thought Nissan forgot about that. Ford GT looks every bit as good as the original. NS-SEX is the star of the show though for me. Would make a great companion for the 91 NSX. I’m sure your left leg would need a rest every now and then;)

    • How’d that popcorn taste? Glad I could deliver on a fully documented Auto Show experience! Yeah, I’m willing to give my left leg a break if it’s for the sake of taking the new NSX for a spin someday. Crossing my fat fingers!

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