Friday, January 8, 2016

2016 North American International Auto Show preview

North American International Auto Show

Early January in Detroit means it's time for the North American International Auto Show, where we can expect a slew of new production and concept vehicles to make their debuts. News regarding some of the reveals has been trickling out during the previous weeks, while rumors regarding other potential product announcements have been swirling around. In all, you can expect to see more than 50 reveals at this year's show, which is open to the public January 16th through the 24th.


A teaser image of the Precision Concept was shown last month by Acura. Honda's luxury division says the concept doesn't serve as a precursor to a particular production car, but it gives a strong indication of the future design direction of the Acura sedan lineup in general.


 2017 Audi A4
We are expecting two world premieres to come out of the Audi camp. One will be a concept, and the other a production vehicle, but no official details are available yet. If we were making bets, our gut instincts tells us the production car will be either a new Q5 compact crossover SUV or an A5 coupe, which are among the oldest models in the current Audi lineup. The new 2017 Audi A4 will also be making its North American debut in Detroit.


Performance is the theme for BMW at this year's show, with the debut of two potent models. The X4 M40i is a slightly hotter version of the crossover with a 355-horsepower, twin-turbocharged six-cylinder engine. With an eight-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive, the X4 M40i can hit 60 mph in 4.7 seconds. It goes on sale in February.

But it's the M2 that enthusiasts should be salivating over. The small coupe packs a twin-turbo inline six-cylinder engine with 365 horsepower and sprints to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds. Buyers will be able to choose from either a six-speed manual with automatic rev-matching, or a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. The M2 will arrive in BMW showrooms this spring.


Crossover SUVs are red hot, and in particular the compact, entry-level luxury segment is on fire, with the likes of Acura RDX, Audi Q5, and Lincoln MKC duking things out. Buick will be throwing its hat into the ring this summer when its Envision hits dealers in the US. Power comes from a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 252-horsepower connected to a six-speed automatic transmission with standard all-wheel drive.


A Cruze hatchback will come to the US as a 2017 model offering 18.5 cubic feet of space behind the second row, and 42 cubic feed with the rear seats folded. Power comes from a 1.5-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine with standard stop-start. All Cruze Hatchback models will come standard with a Chevy MyLink infotainment system including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It hits dealerships this fall.


Nothing has been confirmed by Ford, but we saw a covered-up mid-size sedan during a Ford press briefing in Dearborn last month with a sign next to it saying it was secret until January 11th. We are going to assume that a refresh of the Fusion will be making its debut at the show.


Honda has already teased images of the next-generation Ridgeline pickup truck, and we've seen it in off-road racing form. After going on brief hiatus from the lineup, it returns as a 2017 model sharing the same platform that underpins the Pilot crossover SUV and Odyssey minivan, as well as the 3.5-liter V-6 engine. Interestingly, the original Ridgeline also made its debut at the Detroit auto show back in 2005.


The big news coming out of Hyundai is the spinoff of its Genesis luxury brand. The first car under the new umbrella will be the G90, which replaces the Hyundai Equus. Expect the G90 to pack a standard adaptive suspension system, a 22-way power driver's front seat and a 12.3-inch, high-definition infotainment screen, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitor, automatic high beamsnand a 360-degree, top-down camera system.


Kia says it will bring a new large SUV concept vehicle to Detroit featuring advanced "health-and-wellness technology," along with a new interpretation of its design language. The large SUV features a boxier, more traditional SUV design that may offer some styling hints about a possible future lineup addition that would slot above the Sorento.


We got a close-up look at the technology-packed interior of the new 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class a couple of months ago that included available dual 12.3-inch, high-definition screens, steering wheel touch-control buttons, and Apple CarPlay capabilities. In Detroit, we'll to see the new E-Class in its entirety along with the new SLC roadster (formerly known as the SLK).


Porsche will uncover the 2017 911 Turbo and Turbo S with power jumping to 540 and 580 horses, respectively. The only transmission option remains Porsche's dual-clutch sequential manual gearbox. Along with the additional power, minor styling revisions include a new front fascia and taillights.


The new S90 premium sedan from Volvo aims directly at the BMW 5 Series and Audi A6. Sitting on the same Scalable Product Architecture platform that the XC90 crossover SUV rides on, the S90 will be available with the T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid powertrain. Being a Volvo, it will pack the latest safety features, including an updated version of the company's City Safety collision prevention system that can automatically brake if an imminent collision is detected, and a rear pre-collision system that can recognize when the vehicle is about to be rear-ended and pre-tension the seatbelts and active headrest.


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