Every year the North American International Auto Show in Detroit is held at Cobo Center (formerly Cobo Hall), Detroit’s expansive exhibition facility. The iconic space has recently undergone a nearly $300 million dollar renovation, making it great timing for the arrival of the 2016 Auto Show. Along with the new look for the convention space, came lots of new reveals. There were over 5,000 journalists representing 60 countries covering 57 automotive debuts, of which 90 percent were seen worldwide. Gathered here are some of the most talked about, and favorites among the featured debuts:
Acura Precision Concept
Creating a cosmic makeover with their non-production vehicle code-named Precision Concept, Acura’s lead exterior designer Michelle Christensen says the sedan is inspired by a “low and wide” profile. When considering what direction the company wants to go in the future, the most important element in the design of this car was a long dash-to-axle ratio, giving the impression that there is something big and powerful under the hood. The overall look features razor-sharp edges that suggest a galactic influence, including muscular fenders and distinctive lighting. Acura focused on the Precision Concept sedan as more of a design study model rather than a specific design concept.
Buick Avista Concept
Buick thinks ahead with a coupe concept called the Avista, bringing back memories of the Riviera. Powered by a turbocharged 3.0 liter V6 engine that produces 400 hp, featuring rear-wheel drive and is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, it’s proof that Buick is determined to shake off the “old school” reputation its suffered from in the past.
BMW M2 Coupe
No other car maker has produced such critical acclaim with driving enthusiasm and performance worthiness than BMW. Years ago the brand reached legendary status with its 3-series models. Their near-perfect weight distribution and powerful inline-6 powerplant created a buzz for the automotive world. Then along came the race-bred “M” designation that catapulted the Bavarian gang into a league all their own. Enter the M2 for 2016, BWMs entry-level M-series coupe that is tuned with a rocking, twin-scroll turbocharged inline 6 powerhouse that delivers 365 hp. And also the X4 M40i, a sports coupe-inspired small SUV variant featuring a straight 6 engine with 355 hp.
Last year the Lincoln Continental concept was revealed at the New York and China shows. This year the star is born, and fortunately the production version is close to the hot concept revealed in 2015. Luxury is the key word for the Lincoln flagship sedan, and the manufacturer achieved that creating a whisper quiet cabin, and spacious rear quarters including rear heated seats as standard equipment.
Lexus LC 500
Lexus LC 500 is the name of Toyota’s luxury brand’s new production grand tourer. It’s got a low, lean profile that gives the notion of serious motoring, and with its 5.0 liter V8 the thought is taken seriously. Parent company Toyota intended to let the world know Lexus has arrived with a premier luxury sports coupe that is focused on power. That power is derived from a badass engine putting out 467 horses. To make sure driving characteristics are up to par, carbon fiber frames make up the door components and help shave off weight. Considering its low center of gravity and near-even front-to-rear weight distribution it looks like this rear-wheel-drive luxury coupe is a major contender.
The 3-pointed star continues to shine with the debut of the new E-class. Mercedes-Benz sets a new standard for the mid-level model, adding more luxurious appointments inside like real metal accents and more presence of wood on the dash. Outside, the lines resemble the S class and seek to embody the same characteristics that the flagship model evokes. Powered by a 241-horsepower engine mated with a nine-speed automatic transmission the odds are in their favor!
VLF Force 1
Is electric car mogul Henrik Fisker done with producing hybrid vehicles? One would think so with the debut of the VLF Force 1. It has a massive V10 engine that produces 745 hp and 638 lb-ft of torque. Closely based on the Dodge Viper, the Force 1has set its sights a wee bit higher. It’s all dressed up with diamond-stitched Alcantara, suede and leather to give a more luxurious feel. Add to that the seatbacks hold two champagne bottles, making the point of luxury greatly emphasized. Finally, the rocket jets to 60 mph from a stand-still in 3.0 seconds flat.
The Kia Sorento is dressed up in a concept called Telluride. This 400-hp hybrid SUV will probably make it to production according to industry experts. Despite the Sorento reference it is longer, wider and more powerful.