West Coast Editor Mark Rechtin, who walked the floor of the Detroit auto show gathering first impressions of new cars and concepts, is convinced that this was a show of missed opportunities, of early embargoes spoiling surprises, and of vehicles that should have been much better than they are. Here's his take on the winners, losers and everything in between.
With Ford leaking the Mustang early, the FT-1 concept supercar was the show's "wow" vehicle. Executives said there are no plans to build the swoopy, sinewy brute, but Toyota and BMW signed a deal last year to create such a vehicle, so it's pretty easy to connect the dots.
The most important vehicle here. There's already gossip about whether body shops will be able to repair dents in the truck's aluminum panels. But from a styling perspective, it's a home run. A suite of new, fuel-efficient engines means Ford remains the king of the hill, the job site and the roadhouse parking lot.
Often imitated, never equaled. This generation drops the V-8 powerplant for a direct-injection, twin-turbo inline-six that cranks out 431 hp. The muscular coupe's stance looks ready to charge over its front axle.