What’s a Motor Bella, you ask? It’s the auto show that replaced the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit for 2021. Between a change in dates, format, and Covid, the last NAIAS held in downtown Detroit was nearly 2 years ago. To help promote safety and a quasi-return to normal, event organizers elected to pivot again this year and move the show outdoors and about 30 miles north to Pontiac, MI, and the M1 Concourse racetrack.
The outdoor event known as Motor Bella is a slimmed-down version of the traditional NAIAS. The expansive facility allows for unique activities like test drives and demonstration laps on the M1 race track. While not quite the same scale of the NAIAS, Motor Bella does feature displays from the Detroit 3 OEMs as well as Toyota, Honda, and other non-US automakers. Many Tier 1 suppliers and various startups display their newest products as well. Elsewhere modern exotics like Ferrari, McLaren, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, and others were displayed in various tents around the property.
General Motors’ display consisted of a large, raised tent on the skidpad portion of the M1 track. The #4 C8.R racecar and the next generation Camaro NASCAR Cup car sat on one side while the new GMC Hummer EV and its cutaway chassis resided out back in front of the large display screen. Three iterations of the COPO Camaro occupied the left side of the display while the new 2022 C8.R edition Stingray’s stood front and center.
The biggest Corvette news for 2022 outside of the low profile rear spoiler and ECM tuning is the C8.R package available on 3LT coupes and convertibles so it’s no surprise that’s what GM elected to show off at Motor Bella. The Accelerate Yellow or Hypersonic Gray cars mimic those driven by the Corvette Racing Team right down to the car numbers to the left of the license plates.
Elsewhere, GM’s Jim Campbell, Russ O’Blenes, Laura Klauser, and racer Austin Dillon participated in a lunchtime panel discussion about GM Performance and their various racing efforts. Nothing new really came out of this as Klauser basically reiterated that Corvette Racing is still working through IMSA’s upcoming move to the GT3-based class.
With the 2021 Motor Bella event, it’s great to get back to the world of auto shows. While we’re not sure if Motor Bella will be around in 2022 when the NAIAS returns, we really enjoyed the outdoor atmosphere (aside from the light rain) and seeing the auto industry come together again just like we used to do. Motor Bella’s public days run Thursday, September 23rd through Sunday, September 26th. If you can’t make it, enjoy our gallery below.
Photos by Steve Burns