Sunday, January 10, 2016

2016 NAIAS Preview

Alexander Carabitses

As promised, I will preview the 2016 North American International Auto Show.  Held in Detroit every January, NAIAS is still one of the most important auto shows in the world.  In the last few years, specifically 2013 and 2014, we witnessed a return to greatness for the show, only for it to disappoint last year.  Sure the Ford GT, Acura NSX, and Buick Avenir Concept were great, but everything else that was shown at the show was forgettable.  Maybe this is because a lot of the debuts were simply high level performance trim packages, or maybe it was because many of the day 2 unveils were shown before the show began.  Either way, hopefully things are better this year.  Mini, Land Rover Jaguar, Bentley, and Tesla all backed out of the show, leaving a lot of empty floor space, only to be filled by companies such as AT&T, making the show seem less important.  The floor plan has also been heavily updated, which is apparently suppose to mean that the displays will be better...we'll see.

The time has now come to preview all of the vehicles that will take the stage in Detroit, so here they are in alphabetical order.

Acura will preview their future styling direction with the Precision Concept.  I'm not all that excited about this concept because I have a feeling that I will be disappointed it.  Acura simply hasn't been able to design a sedan or crossover that looks good in a long time, so I don't know how much talent is in the design house to make this look good.
(Image credited to Acura)

Audi plans to show a hydrogen powered version of the Q6 Concept.  It is also rumored that either the A5, Q5, or both will be shown in Detroit.  Don't be surprised if the new 2017 Audi A4 makes its US debut at this show either.  If it doesn't do so in Detroit, it will surly be New York; personally, I'd rather see it in New York.

BMW has taken transparency to a whole new level, showing both of its Detroit debuts back in October and November.  They will be the X4 M40i and the long awaited M2 Coupe.
(Images credited to BMW)

Buick will show two new vehicles, the first of which will be the Envision compact crossover, which will be imported from China when it goes on sale this summer.  The second "surprise" model is heavily rumored to be a Camaro sized coupe concept.  Both vehicles will be unveiled tonight (1/10/16), on the eve of the show.
(Image credited to Buick)

Chevy will bring two vehicles to Detroit, one of which will be the 2017 Cruze hatchback, while the other will more than likely be the 2017 Camaro ZL1.  There were some rumors about a hybrid Corvette concept, but I don't expect to see that at this year's show.
(Image credited to Chevrolet)

One year ago Chrysler confirmed that its next generation minivan would debut at Detroit in 2016.  Time really flies, but things haven't changed.  Chrysler even has the first press conference on Monday morning.  Oh and by the way, this will be the most important debut at the show by far, as Chrysler invented the minivan.

Henrick Fisker has teamed up with VL, which for those of you who don't know, is the company owned by Bob Lutz and this other multibillionaire, which takes Fisker Karmas and puts Corvette ZR1 engines, in place of the battery.  The company will show two cars: one will be a concept, while the other will more than likely be Corvette based.  Called the Force 1, it was also be limited to 50 units and cost $300,000.
(Image credited to Fisker and VL)

Ford plans on showing the refreshed, 2017 Ford Fusion.  This will be more of a nip and tuck, with the powertrain in the Energi Plug-in to see the greatest amount of powertrain changes.  An ST version of the Fusion may also be in the cards, although whether it is revealed at Detroit or elsewhere remains to be seen.  It is also rumored that Ford may show the GT and the Raptor in final production guise, although the changes will barley be noticeable at first glance.

GMC will show the long overdue 2017 Acadia, which is expected to go from being a full-size crossover to a midsize crossover, to compete with the Ford Edge, Nissan Murano, and Hyundai Santa Fe Sport.
(Image credited to GMC)

Another very important debut will be that of the 2017 Honda Ridgeline, which will finally look like a conventional midsize pickup, rather than something stupid.  If Honda is still serious about the pickup truck segment, this version will hopefully be a bit more than a Honda Pilot with a pickup truck bed on it.  We'll know for sure very soon.
(Image credited to Honda)

Hyundai will officially launch the Genesis brand with the debut of the G90.  This car serves as a replacement for the Hyundai Equus in the company's product portfolio.  It will also be one of five new products to be launched in the next five years.
(Image credited to Hyundai)

Infiniti will show a refreshed QX60 crossover, a mildly tweaked Q50 sedan with new powertrains, and the production version of the Q60 coupe.
(Images credited to Infiniti)

Kia will show a full-size SUV concept, that will be bigger than the current Sorento crossover. Some speculate that it will share its platform with the Genesis G90 and Kia K900.  I'm just going to say, let's wait and see.
(Image credited to Kia)

Lexus will show a production version of the striking LF-LC concept (pictured below) that debuted in 2012.  Although not an important debut for the industry itself, it will still be exciting.  It could also prove to be the star of the show.
(Image credited to Lexus)

Lincoln will finally kill off the MKS and replace it with the production version of the Continental Concept.  Judging from spy photos, the new car seems to have retained the shape of the concept, but I'd expect many of the lavish interior details of the concept to be exchanged for a more conventional look.

Remember the Mercedes SLK?  Well forget about it, because not only will Mercedes show a refreshed version of the roadster, but it also plans on changing the car's name to SLC and part of the brand's new nomenclature.  Apparently the SLK is based on the C-Class (I didn't know that until now).  As always with mid-cycle refreshes, the powertrains have been tweaked and the design has seen some changes.  Mercedes also killed off the SLK 55 AMG, replacing it with the SLC 43 AMG. Beyond that this is the same car as before.  Mercedes will also show an all new E-Class sedan that comes loaded with new tech and safety features, the most interesting of which is an audio system that is triggered when you are in a crash so your hearing isn't damaged.  Four cylinder and six cylinder engines will be on offer, as will an E350e plug-in-hybrid model.  AMG variants will be shown at a later time.
(Images credited to Mercedes-Benz)

Nissan will either show the standard variants of the 2017 Titan or a concept version of the next generation Frontier.  Either way, both of these models are do for a redesign, as is the Armada full-size SUV.  Expect to see these models appear later this year, as well as a refreshed Nissan Pathfinder.

The award for the most low-key debut goes to Porsche, who is expected to show a facelifted 2017 911 turbo and Turbo S coupe and convertible.  The standard Turbo will get 540 horsepower while the S will get 580 hp.
(Image credited to Porsche)

Volvo will unviel its new flagship sedan, the S90.  Sized to compete with the BMW 5-series, the car will be built on the brand's new Scalable Modular Architecture that underpins the XC90 and effectively replace the S80.  This car features an all new exterior and interior design that mirrors the XC90, while the care also comes loaded with a slew of safety features, as well as updated adaptive cruise control that can now control the steering.
(Image credited to Volvo)

Finally, Volkswagen is expected to show some type of crossover concept.  Knowing Volkswagen, it will probably be another Cross Blue Concept that we'll all forget about within 24 hours.  However, I wouldn't count out the chance of the all-new Tiguan making its US debut, although, like the Audi A4, it could also debut in New York.

And with that, we have a brief synopsis of what will debut at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show.  I won't be posting for the next two weeks, due to this lovely thing called midterm exams.  When I return, I will give my final impressions of the 2016 NAIAS, highlighting any surprise vehicles that broke cover at the show, as well as my first impressions of the vehicles in the teaser image above.  I am also headed for the New England International Auto Show in Boston and will have a review post for that show as well, soon to be followed my opinion on the Super Bowl car commercials.  A lot of exciting things are coming, but I ask for patience as I get through these next couple of weeks.

Until then, thank you for reading and have a good week.

No comments:

Post a Comment