Outdoor test drives, new vehicle premieres and more fun at first-ever Motor Bella in Pontiac, MI

Ford Bronco test drive at Motor Bella. (Jason Rzucidlo/AmericaJR)

Pontiac, Mich. — The first-ever Motor Bella outdoor auto show was held last week at the M1 Concourse in Pontiac, Mich. It was this year’s replacement for the North American International Auto Show, which could not be held inside due to COVID-19.

There were lots of fun things to do including free test drives and giveaways plus discussions about self driving vehicles and the future of mobility. NASCAR drivers Austin Dillon and Austin Hill also made special appearances during press days.

As for the weather, there were off-and-on rain showers for the first press day on Tuesday. Wednesday’s press activities were canceled due to heavy rain and flooding. The weather got much better for Friday, Saturday and Sunday for the public show days.

GM showed off it’s all new GMC Hummer EV which will hit the market as a 2024 model. It will feature GM’s new Ultium battery pack with an expected range of 300 miles or more. There will also be a GMC Hummer EV pickup truck but that model was not displayed at Motor Bella.

Ford took the wraps off it’s all new 2022 Expedition Timberline large SUV. The new off-road model comes with a new exterior, upgraded tires and a heavy duty skid plate. It comes equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 engine producing 440 horsepower and 480 lb.-ft. of torque.

This was also the first time the public could see the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning all-electric pickup truck in person. It will also feature a 300 mile range. The F-150 Lightning can also be used to power your home in case of an outage. 

Meanwhile, Toyota introduced its 2022 Tundra full size pickup truck. It comes with one of two engine choices: a 3.5-liter twin turbo V6 or an I-force Max powertrain. On the inside, there’s a 14-inch touchscreen and a 12.3-inch instrument panel display. 

Lincoln unveiled its 2022 Aviator Shinola Concept at Motor Bella. It features a Shinola bag and a blanket in the rear. The automaker also showed off a refreshed Navigator large SUV.

“The ’22 Navigator is really exciting,” said Laura Clark, Lincoln Navigator brand manager. “We’ve updated the front grille, the 3D taillamps so now you have a new front end and a new rear end. We’ve also added a lot of really great technology including ActiveGlide which is our hands-free driving technology and Lincoln now has over the air software updates so now the vehicle gets smarter over time.”

NASCAR driver Austin Hill was on hand to sign autographs and give out free t-shirts. He drives the No. 61 Toyota in the NASCAR Xfinity series and the No. 16 in the Truck Series. 

The Polestar Precept concept car took three of the EyesOn Design Awards at this year’s Motor Bella. Meanwhile, the Ford Bronco was named the best production vehicle. Attendees were able to test drive the Ford Bronco as well as the Audi e-Tron at the show.

The North American Car Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year (NACTOY) semifinalists were announced on Tuesday during the press preview. Those will be further narrowed down to the finalists at the LA Auto Show in November. 

Motor Bella was produced by the Detroit Auto Dealers Association—the same team who puts on the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) each year.

While there was no NAIAS this year, Motor Bella was a safe outdoor alternative during the COVID-19 pandemic time. We look forward to the NAIAS  returning in 2022.

For more information about Motor Bella, visit www.motorbella.com.

Video by Jason Rzucidlo / AmericaJR

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