Auto Shows

The 10 Best Releases From The 2016 Detroit Auto Show Source:

Each year consumers look to the Detroit Auto Show, known formally as the North American International Auto Show, for the latest and greatest releases in the automotive industry. The show is a chance for automakers to showcase their latest advances in technology and design and provide a preview of what buyers can expect to see on the market within the near future. Whether it’s simply a refresh of an existing model, a brand new vehicle, or a futuristic concept car, companies bring their A-game to this industry event. And the 2016 show was no exception. From alternative-powered cars to highly anticipated redesigns, these are the 10 best releases from this year’s event.

10. Buick Avista Concept

This is certainly not your grandfather’s Buick, that’s for sure. GM has been investing plenty of resources into its entry-level premium brand over the past several years, and it shows. The Buick Avista Concept is a stunner. The 2+2 sports coupe is powered by a 400 horsepower twin-turbocharged V6 engine and features large front-end grille with the brand’s new winger tri-shield insignia. The car’s Dark Sapphire Jewel exterior and chrome accents provide an air of sleek elegance that Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global Buick Sales, says “embodies the dynamic soul of Buick.” He goes on to say that the Avista “is a modern expression of the brand’s heritage of sophisticated performance, communicated with beautiful elegance.” And we couldn’t agree more. Source:

9. Ford F-150 Raptor SuperCrew

An off-road performance vehicle with edge, the Ford F-150 Raptor is inspired by Baja race trucks and features a purpose-built engine, body and suspension that makes it capable of taking on all sorts of tough terrain. The vehicle’s redesign was unveiled at last year’s Detroit Auto Show, but this year Ford has built on the popular model by offering a SuperCrew version that now has four full-sized doors (resulting in wheelbase that is 12 inches longer than the Raptor SuperCab) and a roomier interior for passengers and gear. Powered by a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine, the SuperCrew has an all-new 10-speed transmission and four-wheel drive, as well as torque-on-demand transfer case. It simply is the best Ford F-150 Raptor to date. Source:

8. Kia Telluride Concept

Kia is looking to re-enter the full-size SUV market once again with the debut of the Telluride Concept. This three-row, seven-seat vehicle is based on the Sorento chassis but is 4.6 inches wider, 4.7 inches taller and has a wheelbase that is 11.9 inches longer (overall it is 9.5 inches longer). The interior features large black-leather captain’s chairs in the first and second seating rows, with the latter being reclinable and accompanied by fold-away footrests, along with Smart Sensors embedded into the seatbacks to measure passengers’ vital health information. And the exterior is equally impressive, with its front and rear-hinged back doors capable of opening 90 degrees in opposite directions, as well as a dominating “tiger nose” grille and LED headlamps and taillights that speak to the modern design language of the vehicle. If Kia’s track record of turning concepts into production vehicles is anything to go by, the full-size SUV class will have a new entrant in the near future. Source:

7. Nissan Titan Warrior Concept

This is one tough-looking truck! The Warrior Concept, which is based on the current Titan XD, features a 5.0-liter V8 diesel engine and six-speed automatic transmission, along with custom suspension that is catered toward its off-road capabilities. And while its under-the-hood specs are certainly impressive, it’s the exterior of this vehicle that wowed onlookers during the unveiling. From its matte silver paint and orange accents to its oversized headlights that cut into the front quarter panels, the Warrior Concept is bold and aggressive. And if the production version ends up looking anything like the concept, the Ford F-150 Raptor will have some serious competition in the off-road performance vehicle category. Source:

6. Volkswagen Tiguan GTE Active Concept

This certainly wasn’t Volkswagen’s year at the auto show. Given the emissions scandal that erupted in late 2015, all eyes were on the company as they issued a lengthy apology to the media at the show’s opening. Luckily, this embarrassment didn’t stop them from debuting a unique take on their popular Tiguan model. The plug-in hybrid vehicle, named the Tiguan GTE Active Concept, is equipped with a 148-horsepower engine and two electric motors which deliver power to the wheels by means of a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox. All of this is packaged in an off-road ready vehicle that features a large aluminum skid plate beneath the front bumper, as well as protective side sills along the doors and rear bumper. The suspension of the GTE Active Concept has been raised an additional two inches above stock to make room for larger tires that will help with more aggressive types of terrain. One of the most interesting new ideas to be released by the automaker in quite some time, the Tiguan GTE Active Concept goes to show there is still hope for Volkswagen yet. Source:

5. Honda Ridgeline

With the recent resurgence of the mid-size truck category, Honda has decided to revive its Ridgeline model. Powered by a 3.5-liter i-VTEC V6 engine with a six-speed automatic transmission, the truck will be available in both front-wheel and all-wheel drive and feature Intelligent Terrain Management with Normal, Sand, Snow and Mud modes to assist with off-road capabilities. The frame boasts four full-sized doors and has a sleek front end that is similar to that of the newly redesigned Pilot, as well as a truck bed that is five feet wide and five feet, four inches long, making it larger than that of its previous generation as well as competitors like the Chevrolet Colorado and Toyota Tacoma. With specs this impressive the Ridgeline stands a real chance of competing in mid-size truck segment. Source: YouTube

4. Chevrolet Bolt EV

Although the Chevrolet Bolt EV was technically unveiled at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month, its arrival at the auto show gave GM a better opportunity to show off its design and capabilities among rival technology from its competitors. The subcompact hatchback is equipped with a 60-kWh lithium-ion battery that has 288 lithium ion cells, making it capable of of travelling 200 miles on a full charge. But what’s even more impressive than the Bolt EV’s battery range is the power its motor is able to deliver: 200 horsepower (150kW) and 266 pound-feet of torque. And its under the hood specs aren’t the vehicle’s only notable features. The Bolt EV’s exterior boasts sporty design language, while its interior includes a 10.2-inch touchscreen display and EV Navigation Mapping to maximize the vehicle’s range and help drivers locate charging stations when needed. And with a starting price of an affordable $37,500 before rebates, the release of the Bolt EV is fulfilling GM’s promise to “offer a long-range, affordable electric vehicle for the masses.” Source:

3. BMW M2

Whenever BMW releases a new M-badged vehicle, there’s plenty of excitement and eager anticipation among automotive press and enthusiasts. And the release of the brand new M2 was no different. Although pictures and specs for the vehicle were released a few months ago, this year’s auto show was the first time the media and public were able to see it in the flesh—and it didn’t disappoint. Inspired by the BMW 2002 model from the 1970s, the M2 is the compact high-performance sports car that’s been missing from the automaker’s lineup for many years. Powered by a high-performance six-cylinder in-line engine that can churn out an incredible 370 horsepower and 343 pound-feet of torque, the vehicle is capable of launching from rest to 62 miles per hour in just 4.3 seconds. And did we mention how visually stunning it is? From its menacing front end to its expanded rear panels that accommodate 19-inch forged wheels, this might just be the most exciting release from BMW in recent memory. Source:

2. Volvo S90

Volvo has always been known for its reliable and safe vehicles, but with the recent release of the completely redesigned XC90 and now the S90, the automaker is developing a reputation for its subtle, but exceptional design language. Simply put, the S90 is beautiful. The four-dour coupé’s front end is elegant, but the T-shaped Thor’s Hammer lights give it a flair of attitude. And customers will be able to choose from three engine options when customizing their S90: T5, T6 and T8. All three versions start with a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder and build onto its power in increments, with the T5 being turbocharged for 240 horsepower, the T6 adding a supercharger to reach 302 horsepower, and the T8 offering a plug-in hybrid powertrain that can deliver up to 410 horsepower. The release of the S90, along with the XC90 last year and upcoming V90 wagon, prove that Volvo is once again ready to compete among its rivals like Audi, BMW and Mercedes in the luxury vehicle segment. Source: YouTube

1. Chrysler Pacifica

You might be surprised to find a minivan atop this list of impressive vehicles, but the Chrysler Pacifica has earned this accolade. Replacing the Town & Country that has been around since 1990, the automaker is reviving the Pacifica name and putting it good use. Its exterior draws design inspiration from the popular 200 sedan with a slimmed down front grille and sleek headlights, while its interior is equipped with several touchscreen displays, including the 8.4-inch Uconnect Theater which controls the rear seat entertainment and audio systems. But perhaps the most impressive feature about the Pacifica, beyond its roomy interior and Stow ‘n Go seating, is that it will be offered in both gasoline and plug-in hybrid powertrain options. The traditional engine is a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 with a nine-speed automatic transmission, which delivers 287 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. The hybrid model, on the other hand, which is the first of its kind in the minivan category, uses a 16-kWh lithium-ion battery that can deliver up to 30 miles of zero-emissions power before it begins to rely on both the electric drive system and a specially adapted version of the gasoline engine to power the vehicle. Seeing as Chrysler was the original innovator of the minivan, it seems only fitting that they be the automaker to change up the game in this vehicle segment and offer a long overdue redesign of this popular people hauler. Source:
Rachel Despres

Rachel Despres