Last week the North American International Auto Show was in its host town of Detroit – many simply call it the Detroit Auto Show, or NAIAS for short!
It’s the show that launches this years’ new cars and gives us a preview of whats to come over the next few years from each marque.
But what have you missed out on? Here are our top cars from NAIAS 2017.
Every good auto show has a plethora of concept cars on display; they serve as a taster, a tease, a snippet of design that may come to a driveway near you in the future.
Arguably they are the most exciting part of most shows, Detroit was no different.
This sleek looking beast from Audi is based on the Q7 platform, but it’s sportier in nature with a coupe ‘esque profile. It’s most likely aimed at the Range Rover Sport brigade, and it’s rumoured that Audi is well under way to putting it into production.
In concept form, it was a plug-in hybrid, but if that comes into production, it will most likely be in SQ8 spec, coupled with a meaty diesel or maybe the 3.0-liter V6 petrol that’s already fitted in the Q7.
Naturally, it will have Quattro all-wheel drive, but it ditches the Q7’s rear row of seats in favour of that sleek profile – meaning that the Q8 will be a very large five seater.
Nissan VMotion 2.0
Nissan has been rather subdued in the concept car department of late, at Geneva last year they bought out the ‘Sway’ which prepped us for the new Micra. But apart from that their offerings have been pretty crap!
That all changed this week with the VMotion 2.0. Sadly, unlike the stunning Q8 this will never grace the roads, its a pure design study.
It would be epic if this angular four-door saloon made it into production as the next Maxima or Altima, but it gives you an idea of where Nissan wants to head with their styling.
With suicide doors the interior is amazing. Door panels made from zebra wood and quilted white seats are matched with hints of gold on their frames and the belt buckles. It looks as though it came straight of will.i.am’s creative genius.
The VMotion won concept car of the show, deservingly so.
VW I.D Buzz
VW’s iconic camper is loved around the world, but since those heady days way back in the 60’s they’ve failed to nurture that love. They haven’t even bothered to try and top it.
In another one of their famed camper concepts, the I.D Buzz is an all-electric variant. It has a range of up to 270 miles with seating for eight, like a VW California the seats can turn, be removed and repositioned for a more lounge-like feel, creating space for weekends away.
Like a Tesla, the floor is made up of batteries, which makes us wonder why the range is only 270 miles. Surely breaching the 300 mark should be easy in a wagon of this size!
And, like all electric vehicles, the twin motors give incredible power, the Buzz has a whopping 396 HP. The original camper (if you’re wondering) had a poultry 24.
New Cars For 2017
Now we get onto the more mundane stuff, depending on how you look at it. These are typically updated trims or refreshed models that will be hitting the streets later in the year.
Ford’s iconic F-150 has been the brands biggest seller since 1977, but for 2017 the pickup just gets a facelift. It takes some cues from the Super Duty in its refreshed headlight and grille combo.
Another new addition is the 3.0-liter turbo diesel V6, a Ford in-house lump. It will be paired with the 10-speed auto box’ developed alongside GM, although there aren’t any figures yet the new engine should make more the 240 HP and 420 lb-ft of torque.
That old workhorse the N/A 3.5 litre V6 has also been dropped in favour of a 3.3 litre with direct fuel injection…finally.
Probably one of THE most exciting all new models for 2017 is the KIA Stinger, a four-door sporty saloon that takes the brand upmarket and aims it squarely at the likes of Audi.
It’s had a long road so far, first being unveiled as a GT concept car back in 2011, and with KIA having only developed the Pro Ceed hot hatch they aren’t renowned for sporty cars…so it’s a bit of a gamble.
Coming out later this year the rear wheel drive Stinger will be powered by a 2.0-liter turbo petrol lump making 255 HP. However, there will also be a more aggressive 3.3 litre V6 that produces 365 HP – that will make it good for a 0-60 time of 5.1 seconds!
All-wheel drive will be an option when it comes to market around the world later this year.
Lexus LS 500
Did you know the current generation LS hasn’t had an overhaul since 2007, ten years! That’s almost unheard of these days, especially with the German makers moving to 4/5 year model life cycle.
So, it was about time Lexus brought something new to the table. The LS500.
Loosely based off the LF-FC that was shown off last year at Detroit it’s a very radical redesign for Lexus. It now has a very Porsche Panamera rear end to it…it’s either that or trying to pull off an enlarged Audi A7.
You’ll be able to spec it with a supercar like 3.5-litre twin turbo V6 that produces 415 HP; it will be good for a 0-60 time of 4.5 seconds. Even with its 123-inch long wheelbase.
Oh, and that grille is a work of art!
Conclusion NAIAS 2017
So, that’s it for the Detroit show 2017. Granted there was a lot more on show, the halls were filled…but we picked out the best, most interesting selection for you.
We’ll aim to keep you up to date with the next big show, Geneva, and the rest of them throughout the year. So stay tuned!