Your spotters guide to the 2016 Detroit Auto Show
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Press conference: Tuesday, 8:00 AM
Debut: Precision concept
Acura design chief Dave Marek is adamant his brand stands for performance. NSX notwithstanding, it hasn't lately. Now comes the Precision concept, which Acura teased ahead of the show, but revealed little else. The styling, which you can vaguely see through this image, points the way for Acura's new, edgier appearance. This is billed as a design concept, but if it has a powertrain, we expect all-wheel drive (Acura doesn't do rear-wheel for its sedans) and a turbocharged engine.
Press conference: Monday, 8:35 AM
Debut: Hydrogen SUV concept
Audi is rolling out a hydrogen-powered Q6 concept, according to rumors rattling around the internet. Audi showed an electric SUV concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, and this new prototype would swap in fuel cells. Another rumor indicates a new version of the A5 or Q5 might sneak into the Motor City. We'd guess there will be a concept and at least one production model.
Press conference: Monday, 10:05 AM
Debut: M2, X4 M40i
BMW already showed us the glory of the forthcoming M2, but we haven't seen it in the flesh yet. That'll change in Detroit, where the 365-hp wunderkind will be the star of the booth. The initial photos showed the car in Long Beach Blue metallic, so maybe it'll get a respray for it's big debut. The other reveal will be the X4 M40i, BMW's pumped-up, but not quite full M Division version of the four-door slope-roofed SUV. It'll retain the 3.0-liter turbo inline-six, but get an additional 55 hp over the X4 35i.
Press conference: Sunday evening (offsite)
Debut: Envision, surprise vehicle
It's widely reported the Envision sport utility vehicle will make its US debut after going on sale in China late last year. The new crossover will slot between the Encore and the Enclave, giving Buick its best lineup of SUVs in years. Buick confirmed the Envision will run a turbocharged, 252-hp four-cylinder engine, paired with a six-speed automatic.
Then there's the 'surprise,' which Buick vice president Duncan Aldred hinted about with The Detroit News. Last year, the company rolled out the Avenir, a jaw-dropping concept that got people talking about Buick at a show where there was a new Ford GT and an Acura NSX. The News correctly notes that the Verano, Regal, and Enclave are all due for updates, though another concept would better fit the 'surprise' billing. Plus, the Envision will be built in China and imported to the US, a move that spurred controversy and angered the UAW. Buick will have some interest in keeping the conversation flowing beyond the Envision.
Press conference: Monday, 8:05 AM
Debut: Cruze Hatchback, Performance vehicle?
We know the steak. The big question: Will there be any performance sizzle? We've seen spy shots of what we think is the Camaro ZL1, and it's expected to launch around the 2017 model year. While the Z/28 is better known, Chevy rolled out the ZL1 first for the last-gen Camaro, and as the spy shots indicate, that seems to be the plan again. General Motors also applied for a Corvette E-Ray trademark last year, which indicates some sort of electric-enhanced Vette is in the works. The timing lines up for a concept to be shown in Detroit. Or it's just federal paperwork.
As the for the steak, we know Chevy will reveal the Cruze hatchback, and attractive five-door set for US sale this fall. It also will bring the Bolt revealed in Las Vegas. It will offer a range of 200 miles on electricity and start at $37,500 before incentives.
Press conference: Monday, 7:35 AM
Debut: New minivan
FCA has been talking about this for at least a year: The long-awaited replacement for the Chrysler Town & Country is here. Spy shots reveal a front end with squinty headlights that's reminiscent of Chrysler 200. It will also run a Pentastar V6 and offer a plug-in hybrid variant. We expect the vehicle to offer a McMansion level of comfort and convenience features, like a vacuum, hands-free entry, and improved Stow 'N Go seats. The minivan saved Chrysler in the '80s, and this vehicle is FCA's most important reveal of 2016.
Press conference: N/A
Debut: The Force 1, another concept
We know The Force 1 will have a Fisker-designed carbon fiber body laid over a front-engined American production car, is said to be a daily driver with the precision of a track car and the comfort of a luxury sports car, is priced near $300,000, and no more than 50 units will be produced starting next year. It may be a based on a Corvette, but we're not sure. The other concept is, as of this writing, a mystery. There's no scheduled press conference, so keep an eye on the site for more on these two.
Press conference: Monday, 11:40 AM
Debut: Fusion, F-150 Raptor?
Ford will show off the refreshed 2017 Fusion and its Energi plug-in hybrid sibling. Ford teased what's believed to be the Energi at an event in December, and it's expected to improve on the current plug-in's range and EPA ratings. The basic Fusion is expected to get a relatively basic refresh. There's also speculation Ford will roll out a surprise, which seems likely given its recent track record at the Detroit Show – both the GT and F-150 Raptor showed up unexpectedly last year. We've seen the GT a ton, but Ford's been pretty quiet on the Raptor front. Either way, there's gotta be more than the Fusion, right?
Press conference: Tuesday, 9:00 AM
The first of the long-overdue Lambda crossover replacements is on its way. Historically, the Acadia has been the first to break cover, and judging by the teaser image GMC released on Thursday, it'll be at Detroit. We expect to see available AWD, a V6, and GM's latest consumer technology inside – and it should remain a three-row unibody CUV, of course.
Press conference: Monday, 1:15 PM
Honda is finally revealing the new generation of its midsize truck, which is teased in the shot above. Honda sold the unibody-based Ridgeline from 2005 to 2014. It was an innovative alternative when it launched, but it grew long in the tooth until Honda killed it ahead of the new generation. Now it faces stiffer competition as Toyota has a new Tacoma, and General Motors re-entered the segment with the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon. Honda is keeping a lid on Ridgeline details, but this is expected to be one of the most significant reveals at the show.
Press conference: Monday, 1:45 PM
Debut: Genesis G90
Hyundai has been quiet, but the floorplan for the show has space allocated for "Genesis" in the company's stand. We think that means the G90, the first car to wear the Genesis luxury name, will make its US debut. The G90 will replace the Hyundai Equus and is the tip of the spear for the company's new luxury ambitions with the Genesis name. Five more models will be launched under the Genesis banner over the next five years.
Press conference: Monday, 12:15 PM
Debut: Q60 Coupe, QX60, Q50 with new engines
Think of the Q60 Coupe, mechanically similar to the Q50 sedan, as what the Lexus RC is to the GS. The Q60 should pack a twin-turbo V6 as well as a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder (the latter actually being a Mercedes-Benz engine, part of a partnership between the two companies that produced the rebadged QX30). Expect these engines to also find their way into the Q50 sedan at the show. The facelifted QX60 three-row crossover, which we've already seen, will officially debut at Detroit as well.
Press conference: Monday, 2:15 PM
Debut: Fullsize SUV concept
The body-on-frame Borrego, sold for a model year before disappearing, probably won't have much to do with the new fullsize SUV concept that Kia has confirmed will debut in Detroit. We do know it was designed in California, and we're pretty sure it won't be body-on-frame. It's more likely it'll be related to the new Genesis G90 or Kia K900 rear-drive platforms, in the contemporary crossover fashion. From what we can see of the teaser, it looks handsome. Expect this to preview a production vehicle in the near future.
Press conference: Monday, 12:45 PM
Debut: LC 500
Remember the LF-LC concept car? It previewed a big, premium luxury coupe. The production version is tipped to appear at Detroit, and it will be larger and more luxurious than the RC. Expect it to pack the same 5.0-liter V8 as the RC F and GS F models. Lexus hasn't confirmed this is what it's showing off, but it's almost certainly happening – especially since we've seen the car testing.
Press conference: Tuesday, 8:30 AM
This year's show will be the death knell for the unloved MKS, in favor of the new production version of the Continental concept that wowed at last year's New York Auto Show. The basic shape is similar, but expect some details to change. The concept Continental's incredible interior will likely be toned down for the production version, but it'll definitely feature the controversial push-button transmission selector seen in other Lincolns. The Motor Company is being coy about the powertrain, but expect a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 – the one from the new MKZ.
Press conference: Monday, 9:35 AM
Debut: E-Class, SLC-Class
Whether you think it looks like a big C-Class or a small S-Class, the tweener E-Class sedan (which we have seen already, in leaked form) will be the big story at Detroit. It'll feature the new corporate styling that looks great on its stablemates, and the interior (which we've seen already, in person) looks superb. Meanwhile, the SLC roadster is the new version of the SLK, renamed and refreshed to match the rest of the lineup.
Press conference: Tuesday, 9:30 AM
Debut: Truck concept
We're not entirely sure what Nissan is showing this year at Detroit, but smart money is on it being one of two things. The more likely scenario is the reveal of the regular Titan fullsize pickups (as opposed to the heavy-duty-ish Titan XD). Another possibility would be a concept previewing the next Frontier compact pickup. While we do expect to see an Armada and NV commercial van replacement at some point in the future, it likely won't be at this auto show.
Press conference: Monday, 11:05 AM
Debut: 911 Turbo, 911 Turbo S
Pretty simple and pretty sweet for enthusiasts. Porsche will have the 911 Turbo and Turbo S, which get 20-hp boosts from new turbochargers. The Turbo is now rated at 540 hp and the S checks in with 580 hp. Look for coupe and convertible variants on the stand. Porsche has shown things like the 918 RSR in Detroit before – which it did in a pre-dawn reveal in 2011 – so it's worth checking back in Monday in case there's something unexpected.
Press conference: Monday, 10:35 AM
We've already gotten a very detailed look at the S90 sedan, Volvo's newest flagship. Detroit will be its Stateside and auto show debut. The new S90 is based on the company's new Scalable Modular Architecture that debuted in the XC90 and will underpin the next-generation V90, S60, V60, and XC60. Expect Volvo to make a big deal about the presentation of this sedan, as it's as important to company's soul as the XC90 will be for the company's sales.
Press conference: Monday, 9:05 AM
VW is probably going to show off its Budd-e electric vehicle concept in Detroit, seeing as how it just debuted at CES and they're surely going to want to show it off more before they retire it to the old concepts shed. As for what else they might bring, the rumors around our industry are fast and loose. Could it be a off-road Touareg concept? A Tiguan with a similar treatment to the Beetle Dune? Hard to say at the moment, but with a primetime press conference slot, it will likely be something interesting.
Steven Ewing, Alex Kierstein, and Greg Migliore contributed to this story.
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