2017 Detroit Auto Show: Top Cars

© Rod HatfieldTop Cars
The annual North American International Auto Show in Detroit is one of the most important automotive showcases in America. This year the show’s press days were a bit quieter than past events, although there were still plenty of new models worth talking about. Here’s a quick look at the multitude of luxury, performance and family cars that made news at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show.

© Rod Hatfield2018 Audi A5/S5 Cabriolet
The latest version of the Audi A5 and S5 Cabriolets made their U.S. debut here in Detroit, completing the new generation of Audi’s A5/S5 lineup. A proper luxury convertible, the new A5/S5 features a fully-electronic top that can be lowered via one-touch opening. The top operates in a mere 15 seconds at speeds up to 31 mph. Both the A5 and S5 are longer and wider than their predecessors, even though they are lighter and more rigid. The A5 and S5 Cabriolet offer the same advanced infotainment systems that were introduced in the coupe and sportback models, including the available Audi virtual cockpit.

© Rod Hatfield2018 Audi A5/S5 Cabriolet
Powering the A5 is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 252 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. Teamed with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, the A5 can reach 60 mph in 6 seconds. The high-performance S5 gets a reengineered V6 that produces 354 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. With its 8-speed automatic transmission the S5 is considerably quicker, hitting 60 mph in less than 5 seconds. Both models have Audi’s legendary quattro all-wheel-drive system.

© Rod Hatfield2018 BMW 5 Series
BMW’s midsize luxury sedan gets a complete makeover for the 2018 model year. The seventh-generation 5 Series makes extensive use of aluminum, magnesium and high-strength steel to improve handling while reducing weight. The 5 Series will be available in multiple configurations including the 530e iPerformance Sedan, 530e xDrive iPerformance Sedan and the M550i xDrive Sedan —all versions were at the BMW display in Detroit. Slightly larger than its predecessor, the new 5 Series features the familiar BMW kidney grille with integrated twin circular LED headlights. “The new BMW 5 Series will make a mature, confidently stylish and dynamic impression at every opportunity. The formal and precise design combines presence, aesthetic appeal and functionality in equal measure,” says Karim Habib, head of design at BMW Automobiles.

© Rod Hatfield2018 BMW 5 Series
The two iPeformance sedans are equipped with a 4-cylinder 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo engine teamed with an eDrive electric motor to produce a total 248 horsepower. The top-level M550 ups the ante with an M Performance TwinPower Turbo 4.4 liter V8, good for 456 horsepower and 458 lb-ft of torque. The all-wheel drive performance sedan can rocket to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds, and has an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph. The new 5 Series also offers the latest version of Gesture control, which premiered last year in the BMW 7 Series. Navigation, phone, entertainment features and vehicle functions can be displayed on a standard high-resolution 10.25-inch screen and controlled using the iDrive Controller or by hand gestures, voice commands or simply touching the display.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2018 Bentley Continental Supersports
Bentley has no display at the 2017 North American International Auto Show, but that didn’t stop the company from bringing their newest model to the streets of Detroit. Available as a 4-seat coupe or convertible, the Continental Supersports boasts a 6.0-liter twin-turbo W12 engine that generates an immense 700 horsepower and 750 lb-ft of torque. Teamed with a fast-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission and full-time all-wheel drive, the new Continental can reach 60 mph in a mere 3.4 seconds. Top speed is listed as 209 mph. Not only is this the Continental Supersports coupe the most powerful production model ever from Bentley, it also is now the fastest 4-seat car in the world.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2018 Bentley Continental Supersports
Bentley does more for the Continental Supersports than simply add power — this high-performance sports car features a specifically calibrated and updated version of the torque vectoring system first introduced on the Continental GT3-R. The Continental Supersports also features a lowered and stiffened dynamic suspension, but Bentley says this car still retains the luxurious ride expected when driving a Bentley, complemented by an interior that exhibits the level of luxury also expected of a Bentley. A unique tri-tone color arrangement adorns the cabin — the first application on this generation of Continental GT. The seats and door panels feature a new diamond-quilted design, and checkered carbon-fiber fascia panels are a new addition to the existing list of 10 veneers and technical finishes available.

© Rod Hatfield2017 Dodge Challenger GT AWD
Dodge continues to iterate on the exciting Challenger lineup, showcasing the all-new Challenger GT at this year’s Detroit show. The Challenger GT is the first 2-door American muscle car to feature all-wheel drive, providing the sport coupe all-weather capability. With a 305-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 under the hood, the Challenger GT could prove to be great fun when the snow flies. The GT features Dodge’s high-performance all-wheel-drive system also found in the all-wheel-drive Charger. This technologically-advanced system includes an active transfer case as well as front-axle disconnect to improve both performance and fuel economy.

© Rod Hatfield2017 Dodge Challenger GT AWD
“Dodge is shifting the muscle car paradigm with the new 2017 Dodge Challenger GT — the world’s first and only all-wheel-drive American muscle coupe,” said Tim Kuniskis, head of Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT passenger cars for FCA North America. “The Challenger has always been the most wide-ranging and functional muscle coupe, and now, with the new 305-horsepower all-wheel-drive Challenger GT, we are stretching the functional and geographic boundaries even further,” Kuniskis noted. Under normal driving conditions, all the engine’s torque is directed to the rear wheels, but when sensors indicate the need for additional traction, the system automatically engages all-wheel drive.

© Rod Hatfield2018 Kia Stinger
Arguably one of the stars of this year’s show, the Kia Stinger is the Korean brand’s first-ever performance sedan. Based on the GT concept shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2011, the Stinger carries through much of the styling and ideas found in that original GT. Stinger retains the signature Kia grille, but the design features a wide stance, short front overhang, steeply-raked windshield, vented hood, sleek LED headlights and bold fenders. The quad oval exhaust pipes will indicate to anyone following that this is a performance car. Two different powertrains will be available when Stinger arrives later in 2017, including a 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 that should produce 365 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque. With the larger engine, Kia expects the Stinger to hit 60 mph in just over 5 seconds with a top speed of 167 mph — figures not typically associated with a Kia automobile. Stinger will also be Kia’s first model to offer rear- or all-wheel drive.

© Rod Hatfield2018 Kia Stinger
Inside Stinger are deeply-contoured seats that can be covered with ultra-soft Nappa leather. The driver’s seat features additional bolsters for better support during spirited driving. A large color touchscreen display dominates the center dash with climate and ventilation controls below. Gauges are ringed in metal and feature red needles, continuing the sporty feel. The longer wheelbase allows for plenty of legroom both front and back. Stinger will also be available with several high-tech safety systems, including Forward Collision Assistance with integrated Autonomous Emergency Braking with pedestrian detection, Advanced Smart Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

© Rod Hatfield2018 Lexus LS 500
Toyota’s luxury brand took the wraps off the latest version of its flagship LS at the 2017 Detroit show, and it’s arguably the most dramatic redesign the car has had in its 28-year run. Longer, wider and lower than its predecessor, the all-new LS 500 features coupelike lines and showcases the latest iteration of the trademark large spindle grille. The new platform that debuted with the LC 500 coupe underpins the new LS sedan. This — combined with considerable weight savings — should provide a smoother, quieter ride as well as better handling than the previous version.

© Rod Hatfield2018 Lexus LS 500
The new LS 500 sports an all-new 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 engine rated at 415 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque. Teamed with quick-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission, the LS 500 should have enough power to push this big luxury sedan to 60 mph in about 4.5 seconds. Inside, passengers will find the level of comfort, luxury and technology expected of a Lexus flagship. The available 28-way power front seats that feature heating, cooling and massage will please the front passengers, while rear passengers can enjoy an expansive space with Shiatsu massage, reclining seats and a raised ottoman. Active noise control keeps the cabin quiet, so passengers may enjoy the 3D surround Mark Levinson audio package with in-ceiling array speakers. The new LS will go on sale later this year.

© Rod Hatfield2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT
Mercedes-AMG is celebrating 50 years of performance with a new addition to the AMG GT line of sports cars, as well as updates to all AMG GT and AMG GT S variants. The new AMG GT C Coupe will initially be offered exclusively as the Edition 50 to commemorate the golden anniversary of AMG, which was founded in 1967. The U.S. market will receive 50 coupes and 50 roadsters of the AMG GT C Edition 50. The Edition 50 gets finished in Graphite Grey Magno with black chrome accents and black-surface AMG forged wheels. All 2018 AMG GT variants will include the AMG Panamericana Grille, which pays tribute to Mercedes-Benz motorsports history with 15 vertical bars similar to the Mercedes-AMG GT3 race car.

© Rod Hatfield2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT
All AMG GT versions are powered by a 4.0-liter Biturbo V8 engine with a different output for each level. For 2018 the AMG GT and AMG GT S both receive power increases, with the GT now rated at 469 horsepower (13 additional) and 465 lb-ft of torque, while the GT S gets rated at 515 horsepower (12 additional) and 494 lb-ft of torque. The GT C produces 550 horsepower and 502 lb-ft of torque, while the GT R tops the range at 577 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque.

© Rod Hatfield2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe
At this year’s show in Detroit, Mercedes-Benz hosted the world premiere of an all-new E-Class Coupe, which joins the E-Class sedan and wagon that debuted here last year. The elegant, sporty design features a low grille with center star, an aggressive front fascia, a long hood, a flowing roofline and a short decklid. Frameless windows and no B-pillar add to the clean, smooth arch of the cabin. The new coupe rides on a 4.4-inch longer wheelbase than its predecessor, and overall dimensions are 4.8 inches longer and 2.9 inches wider for increased interior space. The cockpit includes a standard 12.3-inch high-resolution COMAND display with an optional 12.3-inch widescreen instrument cluster combined under a single screen that floats above the dash.

© Rod Hatfield2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe
The E400 Coupe gets power from a 3.0-liter Biturbo V6 engine producing 329 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque, combined with a 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic transmission. Mercedes-Benz’s 4MATIC all-wheel drive and AIR BODY CONTROL air suspension are optional. The available Sport Package adds more aggressive bumpers, side skirts, larger AMG-style wheels, a chrome-trimmed grille and an AMG leather sport steering wheel.

© Rod HatfieldNissan Vmotion 2.0 Concept
One of the few concepts we saw at this year’s Detroit show was the all-new Nissan Vmotion 2.0. This showcase of advanced technology also provides a look into the future of Nissan design. “Technology is evolving. So is design. At Nissan we see design as the ultimate expression of how customers see themselves, but also an expression of the vision and values of our brand,” said Shiro Nakamura, senior vice president and chief creative officer at Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. “Vmotion 2.0 previews what the future designs from Nissan will be. And it is an insightful proposition of what the future sedan could be in the coming years,” Nakamura noted.

© Rod HatfieldNissan Vmotion 2.0 Concept
Nissan’s trademark Vmotion front-end design is still recognizable but has more of a 3D look. The warm silver paint with copper undertones seems to glow under the auto show spotlights, while the sweeping headlights and sculpted doors give the impression of movement even while parked on a display. The front- and rear-hinged doors open wide to reveal an elegant but simple interior with the instrument panel and infotainment system integrated together in the dash. The center console’s simple layout includes a multi-functional touchpad to operate the infotainment system. Natural Zebra Wood is featured on the floor and inner door panels for a feeling of luxury and sophistication.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2018 Subaru WRX/WRX STI
It may be a few years before the high-performance Subaru WRX and WRX STI are built on the new, improved Impreza platform, but the company has made many updates to the current offerings showcased at the Detroit show. Both variants receive a restyled front fascia with a more pronounced grille and larger lower grille opening, providing a more aggressive look. The top-level WRX Limited gets LED Steering Responsive Headlights, as do all STI trims. Front and rear suspension has been retuned for the 2018 WRX, and the shifter feel has been enhanced. A new Performance Package is also available for the WRX Premium, featuring Recaro 8-way power seats, red-painted brake calipers and upgraded JURID brake pads.

© Rod Hatfield2018 Subaru WRX/WRX STI
The STI gets similar suspension retuning for 2018, with the addition of a revised AWD system and its first-ever 19-inch wheels. An upgraded Brembo Performance Brake System, identified by yellow calipers, now uses stronger monoblock 6-piston calipers in front and monoblock 2-piston calipers in the rear, as well as larger drilled rotors all around for better heat dissipation. The WRX continues to offer excellent performance with its 268-horsepower turbocharged boxer engine, while the STI takes things to the next level with an impressive 305 horsepower. The updated 2018 models will arrive in showrooms this spring.

© Rod Hatfield2018 Toyota Camry
The Toyota Camry has been the best-selling passenger car in America for the last 15 years, so it’s a big deal to completely redesign this popular model. But that’s exactly what Toyota has done, debuting the all-new 2018 Camry at this year’s Detroit Auto Show. “The all-new 2018 Camry is, without a doubt, the most captivating midsize sedan we’ve ever produced,” said Bob Carter, Toyota senior vice president of automotive operations. “It delivers on everything Camry owners have come to expect from America’s best-selling car, and adds to it jaw-dropping design, more advanced technology, cutting-edge safety systems, and stirring performance that raises it to an unparalleled level of excitement,” noted Carter.

© Rod Hatfield2018 Toyota Camry
Lower and wider than the previous generation, the new Camry has an updated front grille, integrated headlights and sculpted lines to give America’s best-selling passenger car a more engaging presence. To up the level of engagement, Toyota redesigned the trim levels so each Camry variant has a more distinctive look. The LE/XLE features a wide, more luxury-focused grille, while the SE/XSE take on a more aggressive look with a grille similar to the look of Toyota’s luxury brand, Lexus. Camry’s interior features improved ergonomics and completely reengineered front seats, and rear seats offer plenty of legroom and headroom. Three powertrains are available: a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder, a 3.5-liter V6 and a fuel-efficient hybrid. Performance and fuel-economy specs will be released at a later date. The new Camry should roll into showrooms this summer.

© Rod Hatfield2018 Volvo V90
Wagons may no longer curry favor among U.S. shoppers, but the wagon has been part of Volvo’s heritage for more than 60 years, and this all-new V90 is probably the sexiest one yet. The long hood, sleek lines and wide stance make this one of our favorite vehicles at this year’s Detroit show. “Wagons are an important part of Volvo’s history,” said Lex Kerssemakers, president and CEO of Volvo Car USA. “After successfully launching the XC90 SUV, S90 sedan and most recently V90 Cross Country, we complete our 90 range with the introduction of our new luxury wagon,” Kerssemakers noted. The V90 will be available with front- or all-wheel drive, and can be equipped with either the 250-horsepower T5 or 316-horsepower T6 engine.

© Rod Hatfield2018 Volvo V90
In an unusual move, Volvo dealers won’t have the V90 sitting on showroom floors for immediate customer purchase. The V90 will be sold exclusively as a custom-order model that can be obtained via Volvo’s Online Concierge or the Overseas Delivery program. With Volvo Concierge, customers can choose the V90’s features online with a Volvo representative who will then guide them through the ordering process. The vehicle will be delivered to their local Volvo retailer where the customer can complete the purchase. With Overseas Delivery customers can pick the color, interior, trim and engine with their Volvo retailer, and receive two paid airline tickets and hotel accommodations to pick up the vehicle at Volvo’s factory in Torslanda, Sweden. Deliveries of the new V90 will begin this summer.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceLightning McQueen
There were plenty of high-performance vehicles at this year’s Detroit Auto Show, but none with the personality of Lightning McQueen. Star of the “Cars” movie franchise — including the upcoming “Cars 3” — Lightning McQueen is a one-of-a-kind hand-built stock car. Wearing the number 95, Lightning McQueen has had great success at the racetrack and calls Radiator Springs home. The happy race car has some impressive stats: a high-strength tubular frame and a full-race V8 engine putting out 750 horsepower. Word on the street says that Lightning can hit 60 mph in about 4 seconds and achieve a top speed approaching 200 mph.

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