The 2016 Detroit Motor Show (also known as the North American International Auto Show) played host to several vehicle debuts – frankly, far more than I expect you to explore in-depth.
A non-comprehensive list includes: Honda’s next generation Ridgeline pickup, BMW’s M2, Porsche’s face-lifted 911 Turbo, Kia’s Telluride SUV Concept, Hyundai’s G90 sedan, Volvo’s S90 sedan, Kia’s updated Forte/Forte5, GMC’s freshened Acadia SUV, Chrysler’s Pacifica minivan, Nissan’s TITAN Warrior Concept, Volkswagen’s Tiguan GTE Concept, Ford’s Fusion Sport and F-150 Raptor Supercrew, Audi’s H-Tron Quattro Concept, and Chevrolet’s Cruze.
While each of these models are important for their respective automakers and fan bases, here’s our take on the five most significant and/or exciting reveals from Detroit’s showroom floor.
Acura Precision Concept
Acura’s Precision Concept offers a glimpse into the future of the most angular Japanese luxury automaker around. As concepts go, the Precision four-door coupe style is nothing revolutionary, but its character lines, long hood, and new-for-Acura grille shape are certainly intriguing. Expect several of these design traits to blend into future models as Acura seeks to further distinguish itself from its sister brand, Honda.
Buick Avista Concept
Sometimes concepts are purely hype-machines and design exercises, but something about Buick’s Avista sports car concept feels production-bound. The hints are both in the reasons why Buick decided to build the Avista –to relive the American automaker’s performance heritage – and how it has done so – with a realistic design and powertrain. Certainly there are styling cues to the Avista that are too conceptual for production (like its oversized wheels and fluid interior), but the rest of the design isn’t so far-fetched. Even the door mirrors are of a standard shape and size (unlike other concepts which exchange function for form). At its heart, the Avista is powered by a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 making 400 horsepower. Indeed, the Avista shows that Buick may well launch back into the performance genre with a BMW M3-fighting sports car.
Related: 2016 Infiniti QX50 Review
2017 Lexus LC 500
Speaking of sports cars, Lexus unveiled the stunning LC 500 – a chip off the block of the Japanese automaker’s LF-LC Concept that debuted in 2012. And the LC 500 isn’t just a gorgeous figure; Lexus designed an all-new rear-wheel-drive architecture that incorporates carbon fiber, aluminum and high-strength steel – the stiffest structure Lexus has ever built. Powered by the same 5.0-liter V8 as the RC-F sports car, the LC 500 will go on sale as a 2017 model for less than $100,000. Without a doubt, Lexus is already working on a hotter “F” designation as well.
2017 Lincoln Continental
As expected, Lincoln introduced its production-spec Continental flagship sedan with subtle distinctions from its concept predecessor. The Continental is a crucial step for Lincoln as it emerges from a dark period of lackluster designs and uninspired luxury qualities. With its direct rival, Cadillac, surging forward with handsomely styled, powerful models, Lincoln needs an ace. Fortunately, the Continental appears to be both attractive and refined. A clean design inside and out is matched with a 400-horsepower twin-turbocharged V6 and trend-setting interior convenience features. To top it off, Ford will build its 2017 Continental here in the good ol’ US of A.
2017 Infiniti Q60 Coupe
Infiniti’s latest design direction may have been introduced via the Q50 sedan, but the 2017 Q60 Coupe will be the Japanese automaker’s shining star. Dazzling to the eye and pulse-pounding from the heart, the Q60 is a massive leap for the luxury brand along its journey to the table of luxury automotive kingpins. The Q60 will be available with a range of turbocharged engines, starting with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and working up to a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 making 400 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. Sadly, a manual transmission isn’t in the cards, but buyers can choose form rear or all-wheel drive setups.