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De Lorenzo delivers a searing smackdown of 2014 Detroit show

Jan 15, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT

Auto Show AP

There are the cookie-cutter reviews of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit that you can read… and then there is Peter De Lorenzo’s no-holds-barred, unfiltered take you can read over at Autoextremist (in, fittingly, the rants section).

De Lorenzo, an automotive lifer in advertising who founded the blog site in 1999, outlines this year’s Detroit show in the headline as: “a kaleidoscope of the pretty good, the really bad and the just plain ugly.”

Among the areas De Lorenzo critiques in great detail: GM’s elongated half-hour introduction before actually introducing the new Corvette Z06, the Chrysler 200 as a “massive yawn,” the Nissan Sport Sedan Concept as “sheer design lunacy,” and the Korean auto industry altogether, which he called “not ready for prime-time players.”

Motorsports made an appearance in a couple parts of this unvarnished review. De Lorenzo at least gave credit to GM for introducing the racing version of the Z06, the new C7.R, at the same time as the production car. But of the Infiniti/Red Bull Racing tie-in, De Lorenzo was not impressed. At all.

“How about Gimmicky, Misguided and Chock-Full of Clichés? The Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge is such a classic screw-up I don’t even know where to begin. This whole business about Infiniti trying to somehow establish a link between hanging its name on the side of the Red Bull Racing Formula 1 machines and translating it into production cars worth desiring is not going well. At all. There is absolutely nothing about this car that suggests that Infiniti’s considerable financial involvement in the Red Bull Racing F1 team and having World Champion Sebastian Vettel act as technical adviser has been worth the effort, or even capable of yielding even a shred of desirability in the future.”

There is one vehicle he considered a home run: the new aluminum-bodied Ford F150, which De Lorenzo called “a flat-out a game changer and a grand slam home run, pure and simple” that he believes will leave Ford considerably ahead of the pack in 18 months.

You’ll need to take some time to read all the critiques in detail, but this review is roughly the automotive equivalent of the searing smackdown the New York Times’ Pete Wells laid on Guy Fieri’s new restaurant a couple of years ago. In other words, long and memorable.

  1. testover6370 - Jan 15, 2014 at 1:25 PM

    Eh, I stopped reading De Lorenzo a long time ago. He has a very set view of how things are and how they ought to be, and all the evidence to the contrary is simply dismissed. He makes dramatic criticisms but never supports them with anything concrete.

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