DETROIT, MICHIGAN (WTOL) - In the great competition for eyeballs and attention at the Detroit Auto Show, one of the brightest and shiniest objects at Cobo Hall this week was the new Shelby Mustang GT500.
With over 700 horsepower and a 21st Century makeover, it dazzled the crowd as it growled and swaggered its way into the hall as the most powerful street legal Ford in history. And no it’s not a hybrid. For this was 1960′s muscle at its finest. A raw power tribute to the gas breathing monsters of internal combustion of yesteryear.
It wasn’t the only one.
Toyota, for example, after years of rumors, reintroduced a new and powerful Toyota Supra model after a 20 year hiatus. It reaches top speeds of 155 MP, and does 0 to 60 in 4.1 seconds. Not to be outdone, Hyundai revealed their Veloster N Racing Model that promises 350 horsepower and victory on the track for the price tag of $155,000.
The notion of fuel economy and green sustainability weren’t mentioned. Such global concerns didn’t seem to be on the agenda this year. But that doesn’t mean electric vehicles were not in the Detroit line up.
Hyundai for example was afforded honors for SUV of the year with their hybrid Elantra N line, and Cadillac shocked many when it unveiled its new XT 6 electric , and Nissan showed off an newly designed fast backed concept car called the IMs which can muster over 483 horsepower while still being environmentally conscious.
A sexy car of the future that features dynamic pulsing exterior lights that glow blue while the car is in self-driving mode.
Humble is not an adjective to describe this one.
It appears that the era of the small and drab looking hybrid sedan is fading quickly as today's designers move to retain the sex appeal of performance and power as gasoline engines are gradually replaced with electric motors.
Where is Jeep in this new world? Certainly not in front of this technology trend. They are still taking baby steps into the world of auto electrification.
Their only current offering is a so called "mild" hybrid start-stop for the Wrangler.
Scott Tallon, Director of the Jeep brand at FCA, however, is quick to add that Fiat Chrysler has announced a plug-in hybrid coming in the future for the Wrangler in 2020, but there is still no definitive time table.
That has some analysts worried that Jeep may be allowed to drag its feet before they are forced to fully engage in the changing world of vehicle propulsion.
Last year, Jeep did announce an surprising plan to begin a program to fully electrify its line up by 2022. These include all-electric versions of the Renegade, Wrangler, and Cherokee or Grand Commander.
However, most of these will be sold only in China and not in the U.S. or European markets.