2014 Detroit Auto Show Preview

 020 Ford conf II

Rumors are spreading fast and furiously as thousands of auto writers from around the world pour into Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport for press days at the 2014 North American International Auto Show, Jan. 13-14 (public days are Jan. 18-25).

We've already seen several 2015 model pickup trucks before the show begins (first the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra Heavy Duty at the State Fair of Texas, then the 2015 Chevy Colorado at the Los Angeles Auto Show), and heard from both Honda and Nissan about some big changes coming to their existing platforms. Here's what we hope to see at this year's Detroit show based on what we've heard about the pickup truck landscape from those much closer to the action:


  • Speculation is quite high that the timing is exactly right for Ford to show the 13th-generation of the F-Series pickup. Last year Ford created quite a stir when it showed its futuristic Ford Atlas concept, so it would make sense if Ford did something a little more realistic this time around. We'll have to wait and see. Some Ford insiders were not too happy about how the recent all-new Mustang reveal played out, with some media outlets breaking embargoes and ruining Ford's information control, so that could explain why the company has been so tight-lipped. Even our spy photographers are surprised about how little they've seen.


  • With the 2015 Chevy Colorado making its dramatic appearance in Los Angeles, that leaves a big intro at the Detroit or Chicago auto shows (or possibly New York) for the 2015 GMC Canyon, the newest arrival to the growing midsize pickup truck segment. We don't expect much difference between the Colorado and Canyon platforms, but if the full-size twins are any indication, there will be some significant differences between the two midsize trucks in design and trim packages. The GMC version could also sport some extra technology.


  • Nissan has been coy about when and where we'll get a first look at its new truck. The big news this year was the announcement of Nissan's new partnership with Cummins through which a new ISV5.0 V-configured turbo-diesel engine will offered in a new Nissan Titan when it eventually makes it to market. Some have speculated it won't be until sometime in 2015 as a 2016 model, but we're beginning to hear that timeframe is being accelerated, with changes to the existing Frontier not much further behind.


  • Honda recently announced that it's finishing the existing Ridgeline production run by the middle of this year, giving the engineering, design and manufacturing teams a chance to catch their breath before they create a new and improved next-gen 2016 Honda Ridgeline. Rather than try to make running changes to the plant and production line, Honda is doing it the old-fashioned way and shutting it all down, presumably because it has some big changes in store. The preview sketch Honda released has us believing it's entering the midsize market with something more conventional and rugged. We might not see anything about this truck for a while, but pieces of technology from other platforms could give us some clues.


  • Ever since the "memorandum of cooperation" was dissolved between Ford and Toyota regarding the development of a full-size hybrid pickup truck, speculation that both would come to market soon with their own hybrid systems has been strong and loud among the green crowd. Unfortunately, we don't have any information to support that, but it does seem odd that all that work didn't yield any results — unless they both found out that it might be difficult for lithium-Ion batteries to meet the duty requirements of a work truck. That's possible; but it seems more likely that Toyota decided to be pragmatic about its research funds and concentrate on a better, smarter next-generation Tacoma, which is due out in the near future. Pushed by GM, the dominating choice in the segment is long overdue for a chassis and powertrain upgrade, and we'd suggest a few interior and bed-tech innovations as well. The Chicago Auto Show seems to be Toyota's venue of choice for reveals, but we've heard nothing to date.



Nissan is taking forever.

We may see the 2015 F150. ALCOA is supposed to have a displace with military balistic grade aluminum to dispell the myth that aluminum is weak.

I believe that the ZO6 Corvette will be the big news from GMC.
The Colorado reveal? I doubt it.

I doubt they will bring anything new to the table.

Perhaps a Ridgeline reveal but I doubt it. It won't hurt them to shut down production for a while as they don't sell many Ridgeline's to begin with.

I can see why they let the agreement with Ford go south, they will be releasing a hydrogen cell powered vehicle.
The Tundra most likely will stay the same.
The Tacoma/Hilux both need a major overhaul. I doubt Toyota will reveal anything related to trucks.

You guys did not mention Ram.
Have they had more delays in releasing new products?

Corvette Z06 will steal the show for sure, Go GM!!!

I'm thinking about going again this year. It's a nice setup. For those of you that haven't been to Detroit for auto show, I recommend going if you live relatively close to Detroit. It's much better venue then Chicago or NY and manufacturers bring only the best of the best. There is no garbage to look at.


When are we going to get MPG figures for the ram ecodiesel? It seems very strange that it is taking so long. Seems like they are having some kind of problem or something. It was originally supposed to be available months ago. Sounds like the 2015 f-150 will be available only very shortly after the ecodiesel. Maybe even before it. Maybe Ram has been waiting for the detroit auto show to reveal the MPG figures in order to steal some of the thunder from the f-150?

With all the talk lately I'll be extremely disappointed and surprised if there is no f-150 reveal.

I expect to see the Titan at the New York auto show, at least thats what I'm hoping for.

GMC on Facebook and Twitter showed a picture of a large banner on display in Detroit with "GMC 1.12.14" - this Sunday there will be a separate press preview of the 2015 GMC Canyon. It will then likely be on display at the NAIAS.


Re: 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 wins Fleet Truck of the Year award


Having a small business fleet of 40+ to manage, and knowing most of the 1/2 ton market, all brands
I don't see how. We own Ford, GMC/Chevy, Dodge, Toyota, along with other brands of cars and SUVs.40% of our fleet is regular cab long bed trucks. I really can't find much about the new K2 in our primary configuration of regularcab 8ft box, that makes it a better truck to own over the Ford, Dodge or, Toyota. The K2's interior space and cab storage is a joke compared to any of the other 3 MFGs 2dr cab designs.

i just bought our first K2 platform 1500 last week. 2wd ext cab. We only have 4 trucks total in this configuration. The others are Fords, GM incentives and value pkgs led me to put this first k2 in the fleet. The new K2 design had nothing to do with that decision. The new tiny fwd hinge doors severely limit access to the back seat area, GM with the old 900s the rear doors rotated completely out of the way, and GM had an advantage over Ford, now Ford changed nothing, but for my purposes the 2014 Ford now has the advantage in function.

(I totally agree with this. No Regular Cabs available. And the extended cabs with fwd hinge doors don't work well for individuals or two people going back and forth to the rear/businesses.)

@beebe - Alpar says that the Ecodiesel won't be out until spring. Rumours are noncompliance with emissions or some sort of emissions related problem.

@Beebe - some where also questioning as to whether or not Ford would reveal the 2015 F150 due to some tooling issues working with the new aluminum body panels.

I think what would be cool for Ford to do is the same thing Shelby did with the 427 SC Cobra. It was aluminum bodies and IIRC, he had one displayed just with a polished body (no paint). That would be an attention grabber.


Early spec builds are due at the end of February (most popular equipment trucks), with customer orders due in march. Considering the EcoDiesel is available in the Grand Cherokee currently, it doesn't have emissions issues. It was delayed because of inconsistent diesel qualities in the US.

"It was delayed because of inconsistent diesel qualities in the US."
Why would this delay the trucks but not affect the Grand Cherokee? I'm sure they changed that engine somewhat for the trucks, and that could be affecting emissions too.

Diesel refinement has nothing to do with release of a diesel engine since way more machines use diesel than gas. Plus it take much less to refine diesel than a high octane gasoline. Pesonally it ls probably supply issues with the motor

With the new mid-size twins coming next year from GM, it would be a nice surprise to see at least a mid-size concept from Ford and Ram. Heck, I'll even say the same for Nissan, Toyota and Honda since their mid-size offerings are so long in the tooth.

Yeah. Nothing expected of Ram? Plus, doesn't the EPA do the testing on mpg, not the manufacturer?
I would think shoving the v8 Cummins in the Power Wagon would make a quite a few people happy. I wonder even if throwing the diesel 8 in the 2500s as a lower priced option would work. Sound like it would be adequate for people who don't need the power of the i6. Anyone agree?

@BenThere, yes i totally agree. Ram should also use the 5.0 ISV for a hydraulic hybrid setup.

@Wgn - one rumour is that there were issues to due ramping up production and since the Grand Cherokee has a higher profit margin they will service that market first.

There are sources still saying that there has been recalibration issues facing the Ecodiesel tune. I doubt that the GC and Ram will have the same tune.

Are emissions standards different between an passenger vehicle and a light truck? That may account for the difference.

"In addition to the possible calibration issues with the 3.0L V6 EcoDiesel engine that will eventually show up in the 2014 Ram 1500, there is also the possibility that the production of the Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel models have backed up the Ram diesel production. The two vehicles use the same engine built in the same facility so if there was an emissions calibration issue with the new EcoDiesel engine in the Ram – the Jeep engine likely had the same issue. Word on the street is that the EcoDiesel Jeeps are now in production but a delay in production could have pushed back the expected launch dates of both the Jeep and the Ram. Since the Jeep was introduced first and was slated to launch first, the Jeep would have been the first priority and that would have pushed back the Ram EcoDiesel. In any case."

Nissan NV with the cummins diesel would be awesome, what's the hold up? There current van engines are gas pigs.

I don't see how a few differences up front and some plastic fender flares make the Sierra and Silverado significantly different. They share more sheetmetal than the previous generation!!! That says a lot about GM's executive management.

Outside of the Canyon possibility, I'm going to agree with most here that we aren't going to see anything new--well, not in trucks, anyway. We COULD be surprised by another view of the Jeep Gladiator concept or something similar, but I don't expect it.

Most of you already know who I am and since I've already used the term Road Whale™ frequently on this site I already know what kind of responses I'll get from most readers. However, that doesn't mean I won't give at least somewhat unbiased commentary about any trucks I choose to test drive, no matter what size they may be.

However, I'll be looking at them from the typical consumer's point of view and not the "professional" trucker's point of view. I'm fully aware of the need by many for full sized trucks and I don't argue that need. On the other hand, most of the discussion on these boards seem centered more around heavy duty use to the exception of light duty which is really the purview of the ½-ton and mid-size. My advantage right now is that I have no "Brand Prejudice" which seems to dominate these boards; I dislike/like all the brands at least somewhat equally, though I admit to a decided prejudice against Ford's automobiles as nobody I know who actually owns a Ford car really likes it beyond the first few weeks or months when it starts having 'issues'. I'll admit I typically don't hear of these same kinds of 'issues' from the truck owners.

During the next few months I'm going to try to get enough of a test drive in each brands' model lineup. I'll be using my own near-antique Ford XLT Lariat as a 'control' to compare with first, then maybe I'll cross-compare between brands. As I'll be driving off-the-lot demonstrators, I won't have much choice in which models I'll be driving, but I'll at least try to give the fairest review I can.

Either way, you'll be hearing more from me both here and there.

Ford's gonna own this show:

-'15 Mustang
-'15 F-150

Genital Motor's crappy Colo/Canyon are small potatoes. Fiat's offerings are okay, but not as important as Ford's.

So, grab a camera or a box of tissue and go to the show and see for yourself...

@RoadWhale™ - I believe that the reason why people fixate on the extreme heavy duty uses of pickups is because that is where the the bragging rights are.
Day to day use of trucks for most people is light to no load with mild off road i.e. gravel road usage or inclement weather.
Truck tests emphasize the extreme use through testing towing, hauling, and empty performance in a drag race format. 1st to the top of the hill, fasted to 40 or 60 mph etc. is not how most of us drive.
The blogs on this site post shootout prove my point. Brand fanboys brag up a storm if their favorite wins or make excuses till the cows come home if they loose.

Good luck on your endeavour.

Ram must be doing something at the show, if only a concept truck or two. Rumour has it that the new "HellCat" engine, the supercharged 6.2 liter V8, might be shown, possibly in the new Challenger, possibly not. By all accounts, Chrysler has the largest stand it's ever had at the show for some time .....

Ecodiesel is on hold due to output shaft weakness in 8 speed transmission. 2014 hemi equipped trucks have already been recalled.

@Ryan -all I can find is a recall on the 8 speed output shaft with V6 Pentastar engines.
No mention of V8's or Ecodiesel.

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