Year in Review: 2015 Auto Show Highlights

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceVehicular Highlights
As this year draws to a close, we’re taking some time to reflect on the major auto shows that took place throughout 2015. With hundreds of new models debuting in Detroit, Tokyo, New York, Geneva, Los Angeles and other locations around the world, the shows provided plenty of shiny new sheet metal to admire and desire. Here’s a fresh look at the standout vehicles of the 2015 auto show circuit.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2017 Acura NSX — Detroit
Three years ago at the Detroit Auto Show, Acura gave the world its first glimpse of a new-generation NSX. After what felt like an eternity, the all-new NSX finally made its debut at this year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Not only does the NSX look the part of a modern-day supercar, there’s plenty of tech under the skin. Power comes from a twin-turbo V6 teamed with three electric motors — two of which power the front wheels — for total output of 573 horsepower. Watch for the NSX to go on sale early in 2016, priced somewhere north of $150,000.

© General MotorsBuick Avenir Concept — Detroit
Buick surprised the oft-jaded press corps at the Detroit show with this gorgeous concept that could easily fit into the Buick lineup as an all-new flagship sedan. In addition to its attractive sculptural surfacing and expressive proportions, the Avenir’s interior features seating for four with deeply integrated technology. Unfortunately Buick has no current plans to put the Avenir into production, but we expect to see some of the styling cues on future Buick models.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2016 Cadillac CTS-V — Detroit
Not long ago only a supercar could pack more than 600 horsepower. What’s past is prologue — this latest-generation of the CTS-V that debuted in Detroit churns out an incredible 640 horsepower. Not only does that make this CTS-V the most powerful production Cadillac in history, it’s good enough to reach 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and hit a top speed of 200 mph. So this begs the question — can a supercar have four doors? CTS-V answers with a throaty, rumbling yes.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2017 Ford GT — Detroit
It’s not easy to steal the show in Detroit, but Ford achieved this feat hands down when they drove the all-new GT onto the stage. This lightweight supercar sports the most powerful EcoBoost production engine ever — 600-plus horsepower out of a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6. The mid-engine rear-wheel-drive GT hits the road next year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Ford GT race cars placing 1-2-3 at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans, beating archrival Ferrari at the endurance race they had dominated for many years.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2016 Lexus GS F — Detroit
Just as Mercedes has AMG, BMW has ‘M’ and Cadillac has ‘V’ to designate their high-performance offerings, Lexus has ‘F’ to delineate its power line. And the latest model to wear the ‘F’ badge is the all-new Lexus GS F sports sedan. As with those other lettered models, the GS F takes the luxury you expect from a Lexus and turns the performance up dramatically. The GS F is extremely quick thanks to its 5.0-liter V8 that puts out 467 horsepower, and sports a custom suspension to make proper use of that added power.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2016 Honda Pilot — Chicago
Count on Honda to bring useful, versatile vehicles to market — the third-generation Honda Pilot underscores that truism. Styling clearly fits with the rest of the Honda lineup, but kicks things up a notch with LED projector headlights as well as LED taillights. Slightly larger than the outgoing model, the new Pilot provides additional cargo space while still seating up to eight passengers — unusual for midsize SUVs. The third-gen Honda Pilot has a large 8-inch touchscreen with smartphone integration, while the nav system features updated graphics with 3D renderings of buildings.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2016 Ram Laramie Limited — Chicago
With their large cabins and carlike amenities, today’s pickup trucks often replace family cars. For those who would like to replace a luxury sedan, Ram introduces the Laramie Limited. Available on the Ram 1500 as well as the heavy-duty 2500 and 3500, the Limited has all the capability of a Ram pickup, but with a much higher level of luxury. Limited trims feature a unique Ram grille as well as a tailgate adorned with a chrome RAM badge that spans a full 20 inches across the gate. Chrome bumpers, running boards, chrome accents and 20-inch wheels complete the Laramie Limited look. Occupants sit comfortably in black soft-leather seats with gray leather piping and pinstriping. Black Argento wood trim and satin chrome give the doors a premium feel, and floor mats are plush Berber carpet.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceBentley EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept — Geneva
One of the stars of this year’s Geneva show, the EXP 10 Speed 6 is a high-performance 2-seat sports car that Bentley is pondering for production. Considerably smaller than the Continental GT, the muscular-looking coupe is a modern interpretation of classic Bentley design cues including the familiar grille and oval taillights. According to Wolfgang Dürheimer, chairman and chief executive of Bentley Motors, “EXP 10 Speed 6 is one vision for Bentley’s future — a powerful, exquisite and individual concept. . . . It offers thrilling, driver-oriented performance, complete with trademark modern Bentley luxury and effortlessness.” We agree, and could see this new sports coupe competing with the likes of Aston Martin, Maserati or Porsche.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceBugatti Veyron Vitesse La Finale — Geneva
As the name implies, this is the last Bugatti Veyron to be built in anticipation of a replacement model coming soon. La Finale is the 450th Veyron built, and it is on display in Geneva next to the first Veyron, which emerged from the factory about 10 years ago. Still the fastest production car in the world, the Veyron set the world speed record when it recorded a top speed of 267.86 mph. All 450 Veryons have been sold — 300 coupes and 150 convertibles. The Veyron La Finale sports a unique black and red color scheme, and still impresses with its 1200-horsepower 8.0-liter quad-turbo W16 engine. Although we’ve heard and read these stats numerous times for the past 10 years, they’re still mind boggling: zero to 62 mph takes just 2.6 seconds and top speed exceeds 250 mph.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceFerrari 488 GTB — Geneva
For the last 40 years, Ferrari has offered a V8-powered sports car. At this year’s Geneva Motor Show, the Italian car company revealed the latest model in that 8-cylinder tradition — the Ferrari 488 GTB. However, this one is a little different: For the first time ever, Ferrari adds a turbocharger to its V8. The engine is small in size — just 3.9 liters — but it puts out an amazing 660 horsepower and 560 lb-ft of torque at just 3000 rpm. As expected, 488 GTB performance will be impressive. Sixty mph in less than 3 seconds, 125 mph in just over 8 seconds on its way to a top speed around 205 mph. The new 488 GTB can lap Ferrari’s Fiorano test track in just 1:23 — almost 2 seconds faster than the legendary Enzo, and just as fast as the F12 Berlinetta. It also beats its predecessor — the Ferrari 458 Italia — by about 2 seconds as well.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2017 Ford Focus RS — Geneva
For car enthusiasts, the Focus RS was one of the most exciting cars at the Geneva show. The RS is the latest model to come from the new Ford Performance Group, and it occupies the top of the Focus lineup. With a sophisticated all-wheel drive-system and a new EcoBoost engine expected to deliver 350 horsepower, the Focus RS is a serious sports car, ready to compete with the Subaru WRX STI and Volkswagen Golf R. The Focus RS offers a number of innovations, including four settings for the AWD system, with one of them being a “drift mode.” With a bold grille, rear spoiler, large brakes and unique alloy wheels, this special Focus will not be easily overlooked. Pricing information has not been released, but we’re told the Focus RS will arrive in U.S. showrooms early next year.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceKoenigsegg Regera — Geneva
Koenigsegg’s newest megacar, the Regera adds more luxury to the usual Koenigsegg formula of extremely lightweight cars that are more like race cars for the street. The Regera is a 2-seat mid-engine coupe made from carbon fiber and Kevlar, with a removable hardtop that can be stored in the front compartment. Only 80 hand-built examples will be produced, powered by an 1100-horsepower 5.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 combined with a Direct Drive electric propulsion system featuring three electric motors for a total output of more than 1500 horsepower. The Koenigsegg Direct Drive Transmission replaces a traditional transmission and adds a pure electric mode, while creating direct drive to the rear axle from the internal combustion engine. The electric drive system uses three electric motors, with one motor for each rear wheel providing direct drive to that wheel and the third motor on the crankshaft. Koenigsegg claims that the Regera will accelerate from 150 kph (93 mph) to 250 kph (155 mph) in 3.2 seconds and will accelerate from zero to 400 kph (249 mph) in less than 20 seconds.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceMcLaren P1 GTR — Geneva
The track-only McLaren P1 GTR debuted in Geneva painted in a yellow and green livery, inspired by the McLaren F1 GTR chassis #06R that was one of five F1 GTRs that competed at Le Mans in 1995. All changes to the P1 GTR from the road car are specifically for track performance, including a wider track, lower ride height, aggressive front splitter, 19-inch motorsport alloy wheels and the a fixed rear wing. Lightweight components and motorsports technologies have shaved more than 100 pounds of weight, and aerodynamic changes result in 10 percent more downforce than the P1 road car. The powertrain of the P1 GTR has been extensively revised for optimum track performance, combining the 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine with an enhanced lightweight electric motor for total output of 1000 horsepower. The P1 GTR is only offered to current McLaren P1 owners and McLaren is developing a P1 Driver Program for driver training, testing and evaluation, and track sessions.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2016 Chevrolet Malibu — New York
The ninth generation of Chevrolet’s Malibu had a New York debut, proving this family sedan has come a long way since the first version hit the streets in 1964. Larger but lighter than the outgoing version, the 2016 Malibu offers more interior space as well as improved fuel efficiency. A 160-horsepower 1.5-liter turbo or 250-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo are the engine choices for the non-hybrid Malibu. The new Malibu Hybrid teams an all-new 1.8-liter turbo engine with a 2-motor electric drive unit for a total of 182 horsepower and an impressive 48 mpg in the city, 45 mpg on the highway.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2016 Cadillac CT6 — New York
On the eve of the 2015 New York International Auto Show, Cadillac unveiled its new full-size luxury flagship sedan, the CT6. The aluminum-intensive body structure of the CT6 utilizes 11 different materials and all-aluminum exterior body panels for weight savings of almost 200 pounds over primarily steel construction, with the goal of achieving performance, luxury and efficiency. The result is an all-new vehicle that Cadillac claims will be one of the lightest and most agile among its competitors. Three engine options will be offered for the CT6, including a new 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 that will produce an estimated 400 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. Inside, the CT6 features extended comfort seats, an available Articulating Rear Seat package, and a rear-seat entertainment package with 10-inch diagonal screens that retract into the front seats. Performance and chassis technology include active-on-demand all-wheel drive, active rear steering and Magnetic Ride Control on the available Active Chassis System.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2016 Hyundai Tucson — New York
Tucson gets fresh new styling for the 2016 model year, featuring a large, bold grille similar to the one on the Genesis luxury sedan, as well as LED twin-projector headlights. Longer and wider than the outgoing model, the new Tucson also has a longer wheelbase that increases both passenger and cargo space. A dual-level rear cargo floor adds to the SUV’s versatility. Two new engines are available: a 2.0-liter four cylinder and a 1.6-liter turbocharged four, both putting out more power while running more efficiently than the previous offerings. Tucson’s AWD system has also been updated, featuring a selectable AWD Lock mode to distribute torque equally between the front and rear axles.

© Nissan North America, Inc.2016 Infiniti QX50 — New York
Infiniti has been going through some major changes with fresh styling and naming conventions working their way through the lineup. In New York, the compact crossover EX35 received a complete redesign and a new name — QX50. Styling now fits with the rest of the newer models in the Infiniti lineup, such as the Q50 sport sedan. Larger than its predecessor, the QX50 luxury crossover has a much roomier back seat as well as increased cargo space. All QX50s come well equipped with features such as heated leather seats, pushbutton start, a rearview monitor, a powered sliding moonroof, and 18-inch alloy wheels. Only one engine is available in the QX50 — a 3.7-liter V6 putting out 325 horsepower matched with a 7-speed automatic transmission. QX50 is available with either rear-wheel drive or Infiniti’s Intelligent All-Wheel Drive.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2016 Jaguar XF — New York
The all-new XF made its public debut at the New York Auto Show after its worldwide reveal in a dramatic high-wire water crossing in London the previous week. This new Jaguar is the first complete redesign since the XF debuted as a 2008 model. The beautifully proportioned vehicle takes on a more coupelike profile with a longer wheelbase, more interior space and very low aerodynamic drag. The XF is the second model based on Jaguar’s aluminum-intensive architecture, with weight reduced by 132 pounds for the rear-drive car and 265 pounds for the all-wheel-drive variant. The Jaguar XF will launch in the U.S. with a choice of two supercharged V6 engines producing 340 or 380 horsepower, featuring an 8-speed automatic transmission.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2016 Lexus RX — New York
One of the first luxury crossovers on the market, the RX is the best-selling Lexus model ever, so clearly this is an important introduction. Styling is completely new for the 2016 model, featuring the brand’s large, bold spindle grille which dominates the front end. All-new LED fog lights and running lights give the RX a unique look at night. With blacked-out C-pillars, the RX has the appearance of a floating roof — a feature becoming quite common in the segment. Integrated exhaust gives the RX a sportier look. The RX is available as either the RX350 or the hybrid RX450h. A more potent 300-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 teamed with an 8-speed automatic transmission powers the RX350. The hybrid system in the RX450h also puts out about 300 horsepower but should deliver better fuel economy. For the first time the F SPORT package is available on both RXs, equipping them with 20-inch alloy wheels with a graphite finish, a unique instrument cluster as well as exclusive colors.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceLincoln Continental Concept — New York
One of the stars of the 2015 New York Auto Show was the Lincoln Continental Concept, a car showcasing a new full-size Continental luxury sedan coming next year, with a focus on what Lincoln calls quiet luxury. The Lincoln Continental Concept introduces a new face for Lincoln, as well as a new 3.0-liter EcoBoost turbocharged V6 engine, which will be exclusive to Lincoln. The design features a sleek profile and a new centered chrome grille, replacing the previous signature split-wing grille. New technology includes E-Latch door handles, LED matrix headlamps with laser-assist high beams, signature full-width taillights with light-through-chrome technology and an SPD SmartGlass tinting sunroof. Inside, the Continental Concept includes Venetian leather seat and door panels, Alcantara seat inserts and armrests, rose gold trim around the instrument cluster, bright chrome trim on the instrument panel, a satin headliner and shearling wool carpet.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2016 McLaren 570S — New York
McLaren introduced the Sport Series at the New York Auto Show with the reveal of two new McLaren 570S Coupes. McLaren describes the Sport Series as more of a sports car rather than a supercar, and a car that is more usable day-to-day than previous McLaren models, while still incorporating race car technologies and supercar levels of performance. The 570S is powered by a new version of its 3.8-liter twin turbocharged V8 engine — with 30 percent new components — that produces 570 horsepower. The lightweight carbon fiber MonoCell II chassis keeps the overall weight low, and the interior has more of an emphasis on usability with improved access, a higher level of refinement than other models and more storage space. Starting price for the McLaren 570S is $184,900.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2016 Nissan Maxima — New York
When the third-generation Maxima was introduced for the 1989 model year, Nissan coined the phrase 4-Door Sports Car, putting the label 4DSC on the new Maxima. Some would argue the company lost its way with Maxima over the years, but the all-new 2016 model that debuted in New York is once again wearing the 4DSC badge. Nissan designers apparently visited the U.S. Navy Blue Angels for inspiration, resulting in a sculpted, aerodynamic body. The distinctive front end uses the Nissan “V-Motion” grille and boomerang-style headlights with LED running lights. Taillights are a similar shape, and close inspection reveals 4DSC embossed in the headlights and taillights. Helping to make the Maxima a true 4-Door Sports Car is a revised 3.5-liter V6 engine putting out 300 horsepower, teamed with Nissan’s Xtronic continuously variable transmission. The changes to the engine result in a 15 percent increase in fuel economy vs. the previous version.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceBugatti Vision Gran Turismo — Frankfurt
This extreme sports car was arguably the star of the entire show in Frankfurt. Designed for the popular Gran Turismo PlayStation gaming franchise, the 1:1 scale vehicle looks like it drove straight out of the video game. Bugatti designers wanted to pay homage to the brand’s legendary racing history while at the same time create something extremely modern. The result was the Vision Gran Turismo, which has elements of the already extreme Veyron, but with a considerably more aggressive look. “We wanted to develop a virtual race car for our fans, which is a genuine Bugatti down to the last detail and radiates the unrestricted values of the brand,” the designers note. “We hope that the gamers will have just as much fun racing the car as we did in developing it.”

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceHyundai Vision G Coupe Concept — Frankfurt
When Hyundai began producing cars it was best known for building small economy models, but that time has passed. Emphasizing that point is the Vision G Coupe concept the Korean automaker had on display at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. The elegant 2-door provides a look at design elements likely to make their way to future premium products from Hyundai. If this concept is any indication, the future is looking pretty good. “Vision G is the first high-end premium coupe by Hyundai Motor. Despite its bold and powerful styling, the concept is purposefully understated, creating a balance of opulence and elegance that will resonate with customers who seek style without pretention,” said Peter Schreyer, president and chief design officer of Hyundai Motor Company.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceNissan Gripz — Frankfurt
Nissan provided a look at the future of sporty crossovers with the introduction of the Gripz concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The Gripz not only predicts styling language for the next-generation of Nissan crossovers, it represents a new class of vehicle altogether. A rather bold statement, but Nissan backs it up with sports-car-like performance, bold styling, a unique interior and an advanced hybrid powertrain. A small fuel-efficient gasoline engine provides power to the same electric motor found in Nissan’s popular LEAF electric car. The doors are easily the standout design feature: front doors swing out and up, while rear doors are small and half-hinged. With no B-pillar the roof appears to float, and there is easy access to front or rear seats.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperiencePorsche Mission E — Frankfurt
With plenty of experience around hybrid and electric drivetrains, it’s no wonder Porsche is exploring the feasibility of a high-performance electric sports sedan. The Mission E provides a taste of what that vehicle could be, and is the first all-electric 4-seat sports car from the German automaker. Legendary Porsche performance with new levels of efficiency and innovation are expected from the Mission E. Virtual external mirrors capture images and project them onto the lower corners of the windshield, eliminating the drag of large door-mounted mirrors. In order to properly compete in this high-performance electric car market (which is currently quite small), Porsche feels this car would need to be able to reach 62 mph in less than 3.5 seconds, have a 300-mile range and be able to reach 80 percent capacity after just 15 minutes of electrical charging.

© Mike Meredith2017 Bentley Bentayga — Frankfurt
The Bentley of SUVs, the Bentayga debuted in Frankfurt with a combination of luxury, off-road performance and everyday usability not previously seen from Bentley. Motivated by a new 6.0-liter W12 engine that produces 600 horsepower and 663 lb-ft of torque, the Bentayga will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 4.0 seconds and is capable of a top speed of 187 mph. The Bentayga interior features the highest level of handcrafted luxury and precision, meticulously finished in metal, wood and leather. According to Wolfgang Durheimer, chairman and chief executive of Bentley Motors, “Bentayga is the fastest, most powerful, most luxurious and most exclusive SUV in the world.”

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2017 Jaguar F-Pace — Frankfurt
The Jaguar F-Pace is an all-new medium luxury SUV and the first SUV in the Jaguar lineup, with an exterior design inspired by the Jaguar C-X17 concept. Built on a strong and stiff lightweight aluminum architecture, the F-Pace features double-wishbone and integral link suspension with chassis technologies derived from the F-TYPE, including Torque Vectoring, Active Dynamics and Configurable Dynamics. Two engines will be offered for the U.S. market when F-Pace launches next spring: a 340-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 and a 380-horsepower supercharged 3.0-liter V6 — both combined with an 8-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. Later in 2016 a clean Ingenium diesel engine will be added for the U.S. market, producing 180 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2016 Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4 Spyder — Frankfurt
In Germany Lamborghini revealed the Huracan LP 610-4 Spyder, the new version of the Huracan with a lightweight soft-top for open-air driving. Powered by the same 610-horsepower 5.2-liter V10 engine as the coupe, the Huracan Spyder will accelerate from zero to 62 mph in 3.4 seconds and achieve a top speed of 201 mph. Power for the Spyder is delivered through a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission and a new electronically-controlled all-wheel-drive system. The cloth top opens in 17 seconds, and with the top stowed two fins start behind the seats and run toward the rear of the car to continue the roofline, maintaining the sleek shape and optimizing airflow through the engine compartment.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2016 Porsche 911 — Frankfurt
Porsche displayed the newest version of the iconic Porsche 911 Carrera at the Frankfurt Motor Show, with updated design elements including new headlights with 4-point daytime running lights, integrated door handle recesses, a redesigned rear decklid with vertical louvers, and new rear lights with the characteristic 4-point brake lights. One of the biggest changes is the addition of a new generation of twin-turbo 3.0-liter flat 6-cylinder engines that provide a 20 horsepower increase over the previous models. The 911 Carrera now has 370 horsepower and 331 lb-ft of torque, and the 911 Carrera S has 420 horsepower and 368 lb-ft of torque with peak torque available from 1700 to 5000 rpm. The new engines are also more efficient; a 7-speed manual transmission is standard.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2016 Rolls-Royce Dawn — Frankfurt
Inspired by the rare 1952 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn, the new Rolls-Royce Dawn is in keeping with the current Rolls-Royce lineup, but don’t think of it as merely a convertible Wraith — 80 percent of the body parts are unique to the new model. The goal was to carry four persons in opulent luxury without compromise, and engineers were able to keep the interior sound level down to the same level as the Wraith when the soft-top is in position. The operation of the top, which will lower in 20 seconds at up to 30 mph, is almost completely silent. A 6.6-liter twin-turbo V12 engine resides under the long hood, producing 563 horsepower and an amazing 575 lb-ft of torque at just 1500 rpm. That’s enough to move this 5,600-pound automobile to 60 mph in less than five seconds. Doors are rear-hinged for easier entry and exit — a signature design element for Rolls-Royce and the Dawn; other signature elements include the marque’s legendary grille and Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament; 21-inch polished wheels fit perfectly with the vehicle’s overall proportions.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceMazda RX-Vision — Tokyo
Although this sexy concept would certainly turn heads if it ever hit the streets, Mazda has no plans to build this one-of-a-kind sports car. With its low, wide stance, short overhangs and sleek roofline, the RX is clearly a true sports car, emphasizing the front-engine rear-wheel-drive architecture. Styling is reminiscent of past Mazda sports cars, but incorporates design language that could translate to a future model. Under the hood of the RX-Vision sits a next-generation rotary powerplant called the SKYACTIV-R. And this is where you need to use your imagination — no details have been released about the engine. We trust that if Mazda were to build it, power would match the RX’s sporty looks.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceYamaha Sports Ride Concept— Tokyo
The company best known for building motorcycles introduced a car at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show. The Sports Ride Concept looks like a baby supercar and features a lightweight, rigid chassis with optimized weight distribution. The concept fulfills the idea of building a sports car with the direct-connection experience so elemental to motorcycles. High-quality materials are evident in the 2-seat cabin that Yamaha says would be for everyday use. No powertrain details were discussed; naturally, we’d expect a small, lightweight high-output powertrain were Yamaha to decide to go further with this concept.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2016 Porsche Macan GTS — Tokyo
The German automaker has always stayed true to its roots, emphasizing the “sport” in its sport-utility vehicles. That emphasis gets turned up a notch with the Macan GTS. The GTS stands out in the Macan lineup with its combination of high-gloss bodywork and matte-finish accents in the rocker areas, as well as carbon fiber trim, a lowered ride height and special 20-inch matte-black wheels. As expected, the GTS is much more machine than its visceral good looks. The chassis has been reengineered and brakes reinforced. The GTS has tighter, sportier suspension than the rest of the Macan lineup, and the 3.0-liter biturbo V6 engine gets teamed with Porsche’s PDK transmission. With 360 horsepower on tap, the Macan GTS hits 60 mph in about five seconds.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceNissan CONCEPT 2020 Vision Gran Turismo — Tokyo
The Nissan CONCEPT 2020 Vision Gran Turismo began as an ultimate Nissan performance model for the virtual world of the Sony PlayStation Gran Turismo videogame series. Penned by Nissan designers for the Gran Turismo fantasy garage, the car then became a physical model, premiering in July at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England. Created by a team of young designers at Nissan Design Europe in conjunction with Polyphony Digital Inc. — the creators of Gran Turismo — Nissan engineers in Japan then collaborated on the real-world project to create a vehicle that represents the performance potential of the virtual model.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceLexus LF-FC — Tokyo
The Lexus LF-FC Flagship Concept is a look at the direction of design and technology for a future Lexus flagship sedan. The profile reveals a 4-door coupe roofline with elegant, flowing lines, a long hood and short rear deck. At the front is a new version of the Lexus signature grille with a new mesh pattern, and daytime running lights that flow forward from the front fenders. The LF-FC is powered by a high-output fuel-cell system that operates the rear wheels and two electric motors housed in the front wheels, making the LF-FC all-wheel drive with sophisticated torque-distribution control between the front and rear wheels. New technology inside includes an advanced human machine interface that can be operated by simple hand gestures.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceSubaru Impreza 5-Door Concept — Tokyo
The current Impreza hasn’t been around too long, but Subaru is providing a look to the future with the Impreza 5-Door Concept, which includes upscale design cues even if it is the entry model in Subaru’s lineup. The design direction showcased here not only indicates what we can expect from the next Impreza, but offers a peek into how the rest of the Subaru lineup will follow. Subaru is best known for its all-wheel-drive system, and the Impreza 5-Door Concept highlights this feature with bold extended fender flares that wrap around large 19-inch wheels. The wide stance carries through to the rear, enhanced by the hatchback’s powerful shoulders. The Impreza 5-Door isn’t exactly ready for production, but we expect to see a new Impreza based on this concept sometime in the near future.

© Rod Hatfield, TheNowDeviceSubaru Impreza Sedan Concept — Los Angeles
Subaru unveiled the Impreza Sedan Concept in the important SoCal market as a preview of what to expect in the next-generation Impreza, and as an indicator of the overall design direction for future Subaru models. Finished in Ruby Red Metallic as an expression of sportiness and energy, the Impreza Sedan Concept looks low and wide from the front, which is dominated by a hexagonal grille, hawk-eye headlights and an aggressive lower fascia with inset fog lights. Impreza’s profile incorporates character lines that emphasize the extended fender flares, which in turn highlight the car’s all-wheel-drive capability; a rising beltline extends all the way to the integrated decklid spoiler. The introduction of this sedan concept further reinforces the likelihood that a new Impreza is imminent.

© Rod Hatfield, TheNowDevice2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio — Los Angeles
Following the Alfa Romeo 4C coupe and roadster, the Giulia Quadrifoglio is a high-performance midsize luxury sedan designed to compete with some of the best offerings from Europe and America. The Giulia Quadrifoglio boasts a Ferrari-sourced twin-turbo V6 engine that puts out an impressive 505 horsepower. With so much power and extensive use of lightweight materials, the Giulia can reach 60 mph in under four seconds. Even more impressive is the Giulia’s 7:39 lap time around the famed Nurburgring racetrack in Germany, making it the fastest production 4-door sedan to complete the circuit. The Giulia Quadrifoglio is expected to retail for $70,000 when it goes on sale late in 2016. The Quadrifoglio will be joined by a more mainstream Giulia with a 276-horsepower engine and starting price around $40,000.

© Rod Hatfield, TheNowDevice2017 Cadillac XT5 — Los Angeles
The latest all-new model to join the Cadillac lineup is this Crossover Touring 5. Replacing the aging SRX, the XT5 features the same design language we’ve seen on recent Cadillac models. Roomier and lighter than the SRX, the XT5 boasts a number of high-tech safety and convenience features such as a Rear Camera Mirror system. A video display in the rearview mirror gives the driver an unobstructed view behind the vehicle, which Cadillac says increases a driver’s rearward vision by 300 percent. The CUE interface system has also been improved for the XT5. Power will come from a 310-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 engine teamed with an 8-speed automatic transmission. XT5 will be available with either front- or all-wheel drive when it goes on sale next spring.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2017 Infiniti QX30 — Los Angeles
The latest crossover from Nissan’s luxury brand is the all-new QX30. The compact premium crossover carries the familiar Infiniti designs seen on previous new models. With a low roof and sleek lines, the QX30 will likely stand out in the very crowded premium crossover market. As expected, this newest Infiniti comes well equipped with the latest safety technology, including an around-view monitor as well as an auto-park system. The QX30 features an intelligent all-wheel-drive system that can send up to 50 percent of the engine’s power and torque to the rear axle when needed to maintain traction on slippery surfaces. Powering the QX30 is a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine producing 208 horsepower, teamed with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. QX30 is expected to reach showrooms next summer.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2016 Lamborghini Huracan LP 580-2 — Los Angeles
Last year Lamborghini introduced the all-new Huracan LP 610-4, which replaced the popular Gallardo. Since that introduction, the Huracan Spyder was revealed last month at the Frankfurt Motor Show, and in Los Angeles Lamborghini took the wraps off the latest Huracan: the rear-wheel drive LP 580-2. While it retains the same basic design as the original all-wheel drive version, this latest Huracan has been engineered specifically for its rear-wheel-drive setup. The changes to the Huracán aren’t exclusively under the skin — the LP 580-2 gets fresh styling, differentiating it from its all-wheel drive sibling as well as providing aero improvements. The Huracan’s normally-aspirated 5.2-liter V10 engine puts out 580 horsepower and almost 400 lb-ft of torque, with 300 lb-ft available at very low 1000 rpm. “The rear-wheel drive model fits perfectly into our Huracan family, appealing to those wanting an even more intense driving experience, or who currently drive other rear-wheel-drive marques and aspire to driving a Lamborghini,” said Stephan Winkelmann, president and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini.

© Rod Hatfield, TheNowDevice2017 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Convertible — Los Angeles
Yes, you read that correctly — a Range Rover convertible. Land Rover introduced this unique vehicle at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show, and reaction seems to be mostly positive. The Evoque’s sleek profile remains intact when the top is up, and in 18 seconds the roof stows flush with the rear bodywork. The top can be raised at speeds up to 30 mph. The Z-fold fabric top includes a layer of acoustic insulation to create an interior environment on par with the hatchback. As one might expect, the Range Rover Evoque Convertible retains the same impressive all-terrain capability as the Evoque hardtop, with a permanent all-wheel-drive system, a 240-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, a 9-speed automatic transmission and Land Rover’s patented Terrain Response system that can automatically set the vehicle up to handle a variety of terrain. The Range Rover Evoque Convertible should go on sale next summer.

© Rod Hatfield, TheNowDevice2017 Mercedes-Benz SL — Los Angeles
The SL is one of the most extravagant convertibles on the market, and this new one looks to enhance its exalted position. The most noticeable change to the SL: revised front-end styling, with headlights that are no longer flush with the grille, giving the SL a wider stance. The grille itself is more pronounced with different treatments depending on trim level. Dual power domes accentuate the long hood. The biggest change in power originates at the base of the SL lineup. The SL450 replaces the SL400 and gets a major power boost from its 3.0-liter V6 engine that now puts out 362 horsepower. That’s a jump of more than 30 horsepower, and good enough to get this entry-level SL to 60 mph in under 5 seconds. Power remains the same in the SL550 as well as the two AMG models, but there’s no shame in that. The SL550 gets its power from a 449-horsepower V8, while the AMG SL63 bumps up to the Biturbo V8 putting out 577 horsepower. For the ultimate in performance, the AMG SL65 gets 621 horsepower and 738 lb-ft of torque from its Biturbo V12 engine. That power will move the SL to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds, with a top speed of 186 mph.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2017 Fiat 124 Spider — Los Angeles
One of the highlights of this year’s L.A. show was the debut of the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider, marking the return of the Italian roadster nearly 50 years after the introduction of the original model to the U.S. market. Based on the same platform as the Mazda MX-5 Miata, the front-engine, rear-drive 124 Spider gets power from Fiat’s 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo 4-cylinder engine that produces 160 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque, combined with either a 6-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed automatic. The new Fiat 124 Spider was designed at Centro Stile in Turin, Italy, and takes styling cues from the original 124 Spider, including the hexagonal upper grille, power domes on the hood and sharp horizontal taillights. The double-wishbone front suspension, multi-link rear suspension and steering are all tuned for a dynamic driving experience. The soft-top is manually operated and stows behind the seats without a tonneau cover. The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider is available in Classica and Lusso trim levels, and the first 124 vehicles will be offered as the limited-edition Prima Edizione Lusso as shown in Los Angeles, finished in Azzurro Italia blue paint with saddle premium leather seats. The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider goes on sale in summer 2016.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2016 Honda Civic Coupe — Los Angeles
The redesigned 2016 Honda Civic Sedan is now on sale and the second addition to the Civic lineup, the 2016 Civic Coupe, made its debut in Los Angeles. The new Civic Coupe offers a sportier take on the new Civic design with a more steeply raked roof, a shorter rear overhang and 5.5-inch shorter overall length than the Civic Sedan, while also having a longer wheelbase and a wider stance than the previous Civic. The new Civic Coupe delivers more interior volume and 5 inches of more rear-seat legroom than the previous model. Two powerful fuel-efficient engines will be offered, with lower trim levels motivated by a 2.0-liter engine that produces 158 horsepower and 138 lb-ft of torque combined with either a 6-speed manual transmission or a CVT automatic. Higher trim levels will be powered by the first-ever turbocharged engine for Civic Coupe: a 1.5-liter direct-injection turbo that produces 174 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque. The 2016 Civic Coupe is scheduled to go on sale in March 2016.

© Rod Hatfield, TheNowDevice2017 Nissan Sentra — Los Angeles
The 2017 Nissan Sentra was unveiled in L.A. with new exterior styling, a refreshed interior and additional technology. The design reflects Nissan’s new design language, and the Sentra looks closer to the new Maxima and the redesigned 2016 Altima. Exterior changes include new front and rear fascias, grille, fenders, hood, headlights, taillights and a new 17-inch wheel design. Inside, the Sentra receives a new steering wheel, available power driver’s seat with power lumbar, and new center stack, audio display, console and seat fabrics. All Sentra trim levels are powered by a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 130 horsepower and 128 lb-ft of torque, combined with the Xtronic CVT automatic that now includes D-Step Logic for a more natural shift feel. A 6-speed manual transmission is available for the S trim level. New available tech goodies include Forward Emergency Braking, Intelligent Cruise Control, Blind Spot Warning and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

© Rod Hatfield, TheNowDevice2017 Hyundai Elantra — Los Angeles
Hyundai debuted the 2017 Elantra compact sedan in the City of Angels, featuring a signature hexagonal grille that ties the Elantra closely to the current Sonata design and includes available HID headlights with Dynamic Bending lights, as well as vertical LED daytime running lights. Inside, the new interior design incorporates soft-touch materials and high-tech details with a wide instrument panel. The 2017 Elantra offers two new powertrains, with the SE and Limited trims powered by a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder that produces 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque, combined with either a 6-speed manual transmission for SE or a 6-speed automatic. The Elantra Eco trim is powered by a 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that produces 128 horsepower and 156 lb-ft of torque, combined with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission; it’s expected to receive a combined fuel economy rating of 35 mpg. The 2017 Elantra is scheduled to arrive at Hyundai dealers in January 2016.

© Rod Hatfield, TheNowDevice2017 Mazda CX-9 — Los Angeles
Mazda’s all-new CX-9 midsize 3-row SUV is the largest model in Mazda’s lineup with the latest take on the KODO Soul of Motion design. Starting from the bold front fascia, the design naturally flows to the rear. The CX-9 debuted in the Mazda’s new signature color: Machine Gray, which was specifically developed to complement the styling. The new CX-9 is powered by a new SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter turbocharged engine designed to offer a great combination of performance in everyday driving situations as well as good fuel economy. The new engine produces 250 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque when using 93-octane gasoline, and 227 horsepower with 87-octane gas; it has a 6-speed automatic transmission. Available i-ACTIV AWD utilizes information from 27 different sensors and measures road conditions 200 times per second to adjust power distribution between the front and rear axles, as well as accounting for wheel slip. The Mazda CX-9 is scheduled to go on sale in the U.S. market in spring of 2016.

© Rod Hatfield, TheNowDevice2017 Kia Sportage — Los Angeles
The 2017 Kia Sportage made its North American debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show with a new design, a stiffer structure for improved driving dynamics, driver assistance systems and new technology. Every panel of the exterior is new, but the biggest change is the new front-end design with the signature Kia tiger-nose grille and headlights positioned higher and flowing back into the front fenders. The new Sportage is the same width, but the wheelbase has increased 1.2 inches and the overall length has increased by 1.6 inches, improving both passenger room and cargo volume. The 2017 Sportage will be offered in LX, EX and SX Turbo trim levels, with the LX and EX powered by a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder that produces 181 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque, and the SX Turbo powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder unit producing 241 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque.

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