The 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit rolled out the red carpet for new sports cars, luxury vehicles and pickup trucks from the industry’s biggest players.
Continue Reading Below
It was a big show for high-end brands like Buick and Lexus, while Honda (HMC) made a splash with a new midsize truck. Here’s a breakdown of five show-stopping vehicles in Detroit:
1. Lexus LC 500
The Lexus LC 500 is a fast, powerful, rear-wheel drive sports coupe. It gets a 5.0-liter V8 engine that generates 467 horsepower, and Lexus says the LC 500 can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in less than 4.5 seconds.
The LC 500 grabbed the spotlight during the second day of unveilings in Detroit. Toyota (TM) created the LC 500 to sit atop the Lexus lineup, giving dealers a new halo car to attract high-end shoppers.
“A few years ago, we decided to guide the future of the brand with products that had more passion and distinction in the luxury market,” said Akio Toyoda, Chief Branding Officer and Master Driver for Lexus. “This flagship luxury coupe’s proportions, stunning design and performance make a strong statement about our brand’s emotional direction and will grow the Lexus luxury appeal globally.”
Fans will have to wait until the spring of 2017 to buy one, and it won’t come cheap. Prices will start at just under $100,000. Lexus also plans on selling just 400 LC 500s per month in America.
2. Buick Avista
An early star of the Detroit Auto Show was the Buick Avista, a sporty concept car that made its debut at a General Motors (GM) event on Sunday. While Buick has no current plans to actually make it, the Avista is another car that teases Buick’s future.
The Avista is a low-slung coupe with 2+2 seating and rear-wheel drive. A 3.0-liter V6 engine gives the Avista plenty of muscle at 400 horsepower. Buick also turned heads for its styling, reminiscent of the premium brand’s Avenir concept at the 2015 show.
Buick plans to launch seven new or redesigned models over the next three years. In 2016 alone, Buick will start selling the redesigned 2017 LaCrosse sedan, the 2016 Cascada convertible and the 2017 Envision crossover that GM will build at a plant in China. Buick hopes the new direction will reverse last year’s 2.6% sales decline.
3. GMC Acadia
The all-new 2017 GMC Acadia will be the latest luxury crossover to hit the market when it arrives at dealers in the spring. GMC says it created a smaller Acadia to put more room between the midsize SUV and its larger sibling, the full-size Yukon. GMC shaved 700 pounds off the Acadia, which increased fuel efficiency. GM estimates the standard four-cylinder engine will get 28 miles per gallon on the highway.
GMC also touts interior technology and storage. All three rows of seating have USB ports, and a new pull-out drawer in the rear of the center console can house electronic devices and small toys. A rear seat alert is standard, reminding drivers when a person or item is in the second- or third-row seats.
The high-end Denali trim adds chrome accents and exclusive six-spoke wheels.
The first-generation Acadia had a long run. GMC introduced the Acadia for the 2007 model year, and the SUV got a facelift for 2013. Even though it is one of the older vehicles in GM’s portfolio, the popular Acadia recorded a sales record last year.
4. Volvo S90
The 2017 S90 brings another jolt of enthusiasm to Volvo, whose XC90 SUV was named North American Truck/Utility of the Year at the Detroit Auto Show.
The S90 will be packed with semi-autonomous driving technology. Volvo says Pilot Assist, a standard feature, gives gentle steering inputs to keep the car inside its lane. Under the hood is a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, while an optional hybrid powertrain delivers 410 horsepower.
Volvo’s newest premium sedan will go on sale in June, and prices are expected to start in the $40,000 range. It will compete with luxury heavyweights such as the BMW 5-series and Mercedes-Benz E-class.
Volvo says the S90 highlights its commitment to the U.S. market. Company officials want the S90 to bring even more people to the Swedish brand’s showrooms after U.S. sales jumped 24% year-over-year in 2015. Volvo recently broke ground in Charleston, S.C., where it will build its first North American factory.
5. Honda Ridgeline
Honda is bringing back the Ridgeline after revamping the midsize pickup truck. The 2017 version, which should go on sale later this year, will be powered by a V6 engine and offers all-wheel drive capability. The Ridgeline borrows the platform that Honda uses for its Odyssey minivan and Pilot crossover.
Honda also created some new exterior features such as an in-bed audio system—a first for pickup trucks—and a dual-action tailgate that can be opened like a car door.
The Ridgeline is re-entering a stronger midsize truck segment. Detroit’s Big Three all stopped making smaller trucks, but GM jumped back into the market with new Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon models in late 2014. Toyota’s redesigned 2016 Tacoma, which was unveiled at last year’s Detroit Auto Show, just went on sale.
Honda will build the Ridgeline at the Japanese company’s plant in Alabama.
Continue Reading Below