Granted, wild and crazy concept cars command the most attention at major shows such as the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, although to consumers the real cars and trucks on display are most important. Plenty of new models premiered this year in the Motor City, ranging from economy cars to luxury cars to powerful trucks. Take a look at the production cars making news at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show.
Following on the (w)heels of the new A4 sedan, Audi introduced the all-new A4 allroad at this year’s Detroit show. The allroad stands out from a typical A4 with raised ground clearance, flared wheel arches, an underbody guard, unique bumper treatments and a very large grille with vertical chrome slats. Ride height is increased by about one inch, and larger tires increase clearance by a bit more. All A4 allroads features Audi’s legendary quattro all-wheel drive system. Audi will offer the allroad with a variety of engines worldwide with options of a 6-speed manual gearbox, a new 7-speed S tronic or the redesigned 8-speed tiptronic. It’s unclear at this time which engine and transmission options will be available for the American market — that information should be coming soon.
The introduction of a new BMW M model is always exciting, and even though this latest offering is at the entry level of the BMW lineup the excitement is still there. The M2 boasts an impressive 365 horsepower from its new turbocharged 3.0-liter 6-cylinder engine. Torque is rated at 343 lb-ft, but an overboost function bumps this to 369 lb-ft — good enough to push the new M2 to 60 mph in just 4.2 seconds. Top speed is limited to 155 mph. A 6-speed manual transmission with rev matching is standard, but the M2 can also be equipped with a 7-speed M Double Clutch transmission which provides extremely quick shifts without need of a third pedal.
BMX X4 M40i
BMW took the wraps off the all-new X4 M40i in Detroit, which has impressive power and capabilities. The X4 is BMW’s sporty small crossover, and the sportiness has been taken up a notch with this new M edition. Of course the heart of any M car is under the hood, and this X4 M40i is no exception. Power comes from a turbocharged 3.0-liter 6-cylinder engine that puts out 355 horsepower and 343 lb-ft of torque. Acceleration is quite impressive — the X4 M40i can reach 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds. An 8-speed STEPTRONIC automatic transmission is standard, as is BMW’s xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system, which has been configured to favor the rear wheels. The BMW X4 M40i will be available in U.S. showrooms in February 2016.
The Buick division of General Motors has experienced great sales success in China, and at this year’s Detroit show Buick introduced a new SUV that is built in China. The Envision crossover slots between the small Encore and midsize Enclave crossovers. The 5-passenger Envision features styling that fits perfectly in the Buick lineup and makes use of a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that produces 252 horsepower and uses Buick’s first Active Twin Clutch all-wheel-drive system. Occupants in the Envision will enjoy 8-way power front seats, heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel, tri-zone climate control and available OnStar with 4G LTE and a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot.
Chevrolet Bolt EV
Shown in concept form last year, the production Bolt debuted this year in Detroit. Chevrolet promises a range of more than 200 miles with a price around $30,000. The 200-mile range exceeds almost every other electric car currently on the market — the one exception being Tesla. However, the Bolt will be less than half the price of the Model S. In addition to its impressive electric stats, the Bolt is loaded with new innovations. A Bluetooth low-energy system — designed specifically for the Bolt — connects to a smartphone as the driver approaches the car. A large 10.2-inch touchscreen display and rear camera mirror will be available, and a dedicated EV nav system plans a route while taking into account terrain that will affect the battery’s depletion rate. Chevrolet even plans to make efficient driving fun: Bolt owners will be able to compete against each other and see who is driving most efficiently.
Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback
Chevrolet revealed the all-new Cruze hatchback at this year’s Detroit Auto Show, which adds space and versatility to the already popular redesigned Cruze sedan. Folding the rear seats flat provides more than 47 cubic feet of cargo space. “With 9 percent market growth in small hatchbacks last year, it’s the perfect time to bring the Cruze Hatch to America,” said Alan Batey, president of General Motors North America and Global Chevrolet. Cruze hatchback gets all the latest safety technology as well as a new 1.4-liter turbocharged 153-horsepower engine that’s expected to achieve 40 mpg. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility are standard, and the Cruze hatchback can also be equipped as a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.
The all-new Pacifica is the latest version of the venerable Chrysler minivan. Although we’re not crazy about the name — which was last used on a marginal crossover — a number of unique innovations premiere with the new model. The sliding side doors and rear hatch can be operated hands-free — activated with the wave of a foot underneath them. Heated and ventilated seats are available, as is remote start — a nice feature for frosty mornings. Pacifica will also be available with Stow ‘n Vac — an integrated vacuum that reaches all four corners of the van for easy cleanups. Even more important than quick clean-ups: Pacifica will be the first hybrid minivan on the market. The Pacifica Hybrid can drive up to 30 miles on electric-only operation, and is estimated to achieve a fuel economy rating of 80 MPGe during city driving. Batteries get stored under the second-row floor, preserving the ample cargo space in the rear, as well as the Stow ‘n Go seats in the third row.
An all-new Ford Fusion made its debut in the Motor City this week, and while styling tweaks are subtle there are a number of changes under the skin. Most notable is the new Fusion V6 Sport, which boasts a twin-turbo 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine producing 325 horsepower; available all-wheel drive makes this a rather impressive sport sedan. A Platinum-level Fusion adds considerable luxury to the midsize sedan with high-end leather trim, a unique grille and 19-inch polished wheels. Fusion Hybrid and the plug-in Fusion Energi get better performance and fuel economy — the Fusion Energi can travel almost 20 miles on electric power only. SYNC 3, the latest version of Ford’s communication and entertainment system, is also available. The new Fusion will arrive in showrooms this summer.
Ford F-150 Raptor
We saw the Raptor in concept form a year ago in Detroit. This year Ford pulled the wraps off the final production version of this high-performance off-road truck. The F-150 Raptor will offer more room than the previous version, built in SuperCrew configuration — four doors with an interior that can seat five comfortably. Six inches wider than the standard F-150, the Raptor features a dual exhaust and 17-inch wheels shod with BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2 tires designed for off-road performance. Power comes from a new high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine producing 411 horsepower and 434 lb-ft of torque. The updated 4-wheel-drive unit offers a Terrain Management System that allows the driver to choose from six preset modes for different terrain and driving conditions, including Street Mode, Weather Mode and Baja Mode. Raptor is expected to arrive in showrooms by the end of the year.
Up until now, Genesis was simply a model in the Hyundai lineup, but here at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show Hyundai introduced Genesis as a new luxury brand and a new flagship to go with it: the Genesis G90. Hyundai designers refer to the G90’s styling as “Athletic Elegance,” a design aesthetic that will inspire future Genesis products. Standout styling includes a large, bold grille; a long wheelbase with minimal overhangs; and 19-inch turbine-blade alloy wheels. Full LED headlights and taillights are also available, giving the luxury sedan a striking look at night. Inside the G90 is everything you would expect from a high-end luxury sedan. Surfaces are swathed in Nappa leather and real wood, and the driver’s seat offers 22 power adjustments. The G90 will be available with two engine choices: an all-new 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 that produces an impressive 365 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque at a very usable 1300 rpm. For buyers who are looking for a bit more, there’s a 5.0-liter V8 putting out 420 horsepower.
Although the natural progression of an SUV in America seems to be its assured growth in all directions when the new model debuts, the all-new Acadia is actually smaller than the previous model. About seven inches shorter in length and 3.5 inches narrower, the Acadia still manages to offer similar or better seating space. As an added bonus, GMC has managed to knock 700 pounds off the overall weight. This translates to better performance and fuel economy from either a new 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine or 3.6-liter V6. The V6 will offer an estimated 310 horsepower with a 4,000-pound towing capacity. As with the previous generation, a number of different trims will be available for Acadia buyers, including the top-of-the-line Denali and a new All-Terrain version providing enhanced off-road ability. Acadia is available with 5-, 6- or 7-passenger seating — the third row is a 50/50 split and when folded provides a flat cargo floor for easy loading. The new Acadia is slated to arrive in showrooms in spring 2016.
Honda took the wraps off an all-new Ridgeline pickup truck at this year’s auto extravaganza in Detroit. Remaining unique in the truck market with unibody construction, the Ridgeline carries over a number of features that stand out now as much as they did at the truck’s introduction 10 years ago, including the in-bed storage trunk and dual-action tailgate — which is both left- and bottom-hinged. The Honda of pickup trucks now gets the industry’s first in-bed audio system, making the Ridgeline an excellent option for a tailgate party. The bed is wider and longer than the previous generation; with 48 inches between the wheel wells, Ridgeline can handle the obligatory 4X8 sheet of plywood, laid flat. The 2017 Ridgeline will be powered by the same 3.5-liter V6 engine found in the new Pilot. Although horsepower specs have not been released, output will likely be similar to the 280 horsepower found in the Pilot.
Infiniti debuted the all-new 2017 G60 coupe in Detroit with bold exterior styling and a new VR30 twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine. The Q60 shares the front-end appearance of the Q50 sedan, but the coupe styling is much more dramatic. The VR30 will be offered in both 300-horsepower and 400-horsepower versions in the rear-wheel drive Q60, combined with a 7-speed automatic transmission and available all-wheel drive. A 208-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter engine will also be offered. A new 19-inch wheel design is standard with 20-inch wheels, Dynamic Digital Suspension and second-generation Direct Adaptive Steering available as options. The 2017 Q60 will go on sale in late summer of 2016.
Kia showed the updated 2017 Kia Forte at NAIAS 2016 with a design refresh, new powertrain and advanced technology, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Subtle design changes include a new front bumper and a new “tiger nose” grille. The 2017 Forte gets power from a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine combined with an updated 6-speed automatic transmission. Available driver-assistance features including Autonomous Emergency Braking, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Front Collision Warning, and Dynamic Bending Lights.
A new flagship coupe for the Lexus brand, the LC 500 that debuted in Detroit retains many of the key design elements first seen when the LF-LC concept was reveled four years earlier in Detroit. The front of the car is dominated by a new version of the Lexus spindle grille with chrome on three sides and a new 3D mesh, flanked by a triple LED headlight unit with L-shaped daytime running lights below. The fast-sloping roofline includes a standard glass roof with an available carbon fiber roof. The slim multi-layer taillights create the appearance of a sequential L motif, while the rear diffuser and available active rear spoiler aid the aerodynamics. Standard wheels are 20-inch machined cast aluminum with 21-inch forged aluminum wheels optional. The LC 500 is powered by a naturally-aspirated 5.0-liter V8 engine expected to produce 467 horsepower and 389 lb-ft of torque, delivered to the rear wheels via a newly developed 10-speed automatic transmission.
The Continental returns to the Lincoln lineup as the flagship of Ford’s luxury brand, with a focus on quiet luxury and elegance. Continental gets power from a new 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine that is exclusive to Lincoln and expected to produce 400 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. The available all-wheel-drive system incorporates Dynamic Torque Vectoring to transfer torque between the rear wheels when cornering for better handling and stability. Perfect Position seats can be adjusted up to 30 different ways with heating, cooling and available massage functions. The rear seats offer available adjustable recline, heating, cooling and massage as well. The outside door handles are an interesting design element, moved from the traditional position in the door to the chrome trim below the windows. A microprocessor-controlled E-latch electronic door handle releases the door, and the available auto-cinch feature secures the door when closed gently. The Lincoln Continental will go on sale in the United States and China in the fall of 2016.
The 10th-generation E-Class debuted in Detroit boasting a new exterior design, a new luxurious interior and some world-premiere technologies. Larger than the outgoing model, the Sport version features a sport grille with a large Mercedes star in the center, while the Luxury version has a more traditional grille with the Mercedes star on the hood. The luxurious interior is dominated by a high-resolution display that combines a wide navigation display screen and a traditional gauge cluster integrated into a single unit behind the steering wheel. The steering wheel features two touch-sensitive control pads that respond to horizontal and vertical swiping motions, allowing the driver to control the infotainment system with thumb motions. The E-Class will launch in the U.S. market with a new turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that produces 241 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque combined with a new 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic transmission as standard equipment. AIR BODY CONTROL air suspension is offered as an option and new technology includes DRIVE PILOT with Distance Pilot Distronic, Active Lane-change Assist and Evasive Steering Assist. The new E-Class goes on sale in the U.S. in the summer of 2016.
Mercedes-AMG S65 Cabriolet
For the ultimate in open-top motoring, the new Mercedes-AMG S65 Cabriolet offers four passengers the luxury of S-Class refinement with the power of the AMG 6.0-liter V12 Biturbo engine that produces 621 horsepower and 738 lb-ft of torque. Combined with the AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONIC transmission and sport suspension based on AIRMATIC air suspension, the S65 Cabriolet offers sports car performance in a four-passenger cabriolet, with passenger comfort guaranteed by the AIRCAP automatic wind protection system, the AIRSCARF neck-level heating system, heated armrests and intelligent climate control. The 3-layer acoustic fabric soft-top is available in four colors and has a high-quality lining in Nappa leather and DINAMICA microfiber. The Mercedes-AMG S65 Cab will be available for the U.S. market in late summer 2016.
Replacing the SLK in the model lineup, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz SLC is a 2-seat roadster with a retractable hardtop. The SLC300 is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that produces 241 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque; the Mercedes-AMG SLC43 gets power from an AMG 3.0-liter V6 Biturbo that produces 362 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque. The 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic transmission is standard for both versions. Features include aluminum trim parts with a carbon fiber finish, a new instrument cluster design and a new sport steering wheel. The SLC300 offers a Dynamic Handling Package with adaptive damping system and ESP Dynamic Cornering Assist. The 2017 SLC will be available for the U.S. market in late spring 2016.
Porsche 911 Turbo
The 2017 Porsche 911 Turbo and Turbo S — the top performance models of the 911— made their world debut at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in both coupe and cabriolet versions. Even though the 911 Carrera and Carrera 4 now have turbocharged engines as well, the 911 Turbo and 911 Turbo S continue as the most powerful versions. The 2017 911 Turbo gets motivation from a 540-horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter horizontally-opposed 6-cylinder engine combined with a 7-speed PDK transmission, while the Turbo S now has 580 horsepower thanks to new turbochargers. According to Porsche, the 911 Turbo will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds and reach a top track speed of 198 mph, and the 911 Turbo S will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds reach 205 mph on the track. The 2017 911 Turbo goes on sale in the U.S. in April of 2016 at a starting price of $159,200 — not including destination charge.
smart fortwo cabrio
The smart fortwo cabrio had its world debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September and made its U.S. debut in Detroit, joining the redesigned fortwo coupe. The soft-top offers three different configurations, with the roof fully closed like a coupe, open partway like a large sliding sunroof, or completely open like a cabriolet. The soft-top can be fully opened in 12 seconds at any vehicle speed. The new fortwo cabrio adopts the design of the coupe, but with a narrower B-pillar. Powered by the same 89-horsepower 3-cylinder engine as the coupe, the cabrio is offered with either a 5-speed manual transmission or a twinamic dual-clutch unit. The fortwo cabrio will arrive for the U.S. market during the summer of 2016.
Volvo launched its new flagship S90 sedan in Detroit, the next new vehicle in Volvo’s product lineup since the launch of the new XC90 last year. The exterior design is characterized by clean lines and features a concave grille that includes Volvo’s new iron mark and T-shaped Thor’s Hammer. The long, sloping roofline give the S90 a 4-door coupe profile with a short rear decklid. Inside the S90 takes cues from the successful XC90, with attention to detail including new air blades that stand vertically on each side of the Sensus user interface. The S90 launches with IntelliSafe Assist as standard equipment, which includes Adaptive Cruise Control and Distance Alert and the advanced semi-autonomous drive feature, Pilot Assist. The S90 will be offered with three different engines, a turbocharged 2.0-liter four cylinder, a turbocharged and supercharged four cylinder, and the T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid.