12 January 2009

Detroit 2009: Red

Small and efficient might be the message at Detroit, but there's still some decent fast stuff

Detroit 2009: Red

See the fast cars at Detroit gallery

It's not all hybrids and sustainable transport in Detroit, there's quick stuff too - and they were making no apology for it.

VW Concept Bluesport
Definite star of the show, this one - a lightweight mid-engined roadster from Volkswagen with 180bhp diesel power. It's been designed to accept the four-pot Golf engines turned around and plonked behind the driver, so tuned petrol versions are also a possibility. The Bluesport is only a concept at the moment but it's drivable and VW bosses are serious about building it, providing they can be confident it'll sell as well as the MX-5 does for Mazda. An Audi version might also help make up the numbers.

Audi R8 V10
Lots of dry ice and all the tightly scripted enthusiasm you'd expect from a German autocue as Audi revealed its second most interesting car of the show: the V10-engined R8. Shame, because they had lots to sing about - a 5.2-litre unit out of the Gallardo putting out 518bhp and 390lb ft of torque, which'll do 0-60mph in 3.9 seconds and top out at 196mph. A few visual tweaks too: all-LED headlights, bigger sideblades, new diffuser. Costs £100,000. Find out why it was only second most interesting here.

McMerc SLR Stirling Moss
Speedster version of Merc's supercar. No windscreen - just a couple of tiny wind deflectors. The 5.4-litre V8 is fettled up to 641bhp, will manage 60mph in 3.4 seconds and get to 217mph - the quickest windscreen-less road car on the planet.  Only 75 being built, all already sold to current SLR owners for 750,000 Euros.

Bentley Conti GTC Speed
Most powerful Bentley convertible ever: six-litre W12 now puts out 600bhp (48bhp more than the non-Speed). There was a press conferemce for this, but since the covers were off the car from the moment the show opened, we missed it. Anyway, stuff you need to know includesthe 4.5-second 0-60 and 200mph the roof-up top speed. There's also a sportier ESP mode, a few changes to front end, bigger wheels and bootlid spoiler. Costs £146,100.

Ford Shelby GT500
A refreshing break from the central US auto industry theme of small, green and economical - the new 540bhp GT500. Carroll Shelby revealed the thing, available in tin-top coupe and convertible flavours. Styling mods are subtle, but there are more curves to that distinctive 'Stang shape and a prettier rear end. It's also been sharpened up in the handling department, but the headline news is it's the most powerful production Mustang ever.

Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT S

A bit of extra power for Maser's four-door: 4.7-litre V8 bumped from 425bhp to 433bhp thanks to engine remap and new exhaust. Stiffer springs, lower ride height, new grille, fresh headlights. Definitely the big luxo-barge of choice if you like to waft at speed.

Read about the green cars at Detroit

Read about the real world cars at Detroit

Now share it...

What do you think?

This service is provided by Disqus and is subject to their privacy policy and terms of use. Please read Top Gear's code of conduct (link below) before posting.