Attending media day at the 2022 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) spanned a range of emotions. I’ve been making the typically mid-winter trek to Detroit for the better part of 25 years. Sometimes through blizzards, frigid temperatures and pre-sunrise darkness. Walking to Huntington Place (formerly Cobo Hall) on an 75-degree and sunny morning felt magical.
My last visit to the show was in 2017 and a lot of changes were already happening. Manufacturers were beginning to be more selective about auto show appearances. The seemingly unlimited budgets for the over-the-top display stands were clearly being reined in. And thus began the show’s slide from a unique experience to the indoor parking lot it essentially became for 2022. Seen.Today is more about telling a story through images so I’ll end the written critique of the show here.
As far as what was new, there were a couple electrified introductions from Jeep. Chevrolet presented their variant of the Hummer, the Silverado EV and Ford debuted the seventh-generation Mustang outside in Hart Plaza, which sadly I couldn’t get into see.
Continuing with Ford, Lincoln displayed the two concepts to celebrate the brand’s 100 year anniversary. It was great to see these in person and have a close look at all the interiors and all the cool details. Even though both of these vehicles are studies, I think the direction of simple, smooth and fluid shapes for the exterior feels right for the brand going forward. Contrast that to Cadillac’s Lyriq with layers of facia trim and rear which looks overly complicated and lacks beauty.
The Buick Wildcat concept has some interesting proportions particularly with the stretched out roofline that tapers in the rear. Overall it’s an elegant study but the graphics on the front end appear to sharp to match the character of the rest of the car. The simplicity of the rear is much better balanced in shape size and character.
Finally the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT EV Concept is the first electrified muscle car from performance brand. It looks a little less chunky in real life versus in photos. The dark paint scheme was pretty easy to miss in the dim lighting. The exterior is clean and simple, it could use a more vibrant exterior paint color or maybe a modern take on the iconic 60’s Dodge stripes and graphics to add a touch more visual character.
Photos and Text: Dave Pinter