New Car Debuts from the 2016 Detroit Auto Show

NAIAS, the North American International Auto Show is a big deal in the car world.  It all began in 1907, when a beer garden in Riverside Park hosted what was likely the inaugural show, and it has been held annually ever since, excluding the war years in the 40s and early 50s.  The current home is Detroit’s Cobo Center with nearly 1 million square feet of display space occupied. 

Many of the world’s car manufacturers debut important new cars as well as concepts at the show every year, and 2016 was no exception.  Here are a few of my favorites for upcoming production cars…

Lexus’ current design language has many detractors, but I think the stylists finally nailed one.  The upcoming LC 500, due as a 2018 model, is a luxury coupe in the larger Grand Touring theme.  Powered by a version of the high-zoot V8 used in current F-series cars, the LC will have 467 hp and 389 lb-ft of torque to get you moving quickly, and a new 10-speed transmission will row you through the gears.  The interior is finished in high style as well, with luxury materials as well as updated electronics.  My favorite Lexus ever...?  Hell yes!

I’m not including the 2017 E-Class due to its beauty, as the exterior design changes are very restrained.  However, one might argue that the E is Mercedes’ bedrock model, thus the relevance of this debut.  Fortunately for the MB folks, the interior redux is top shelf, bringing the E-Class cabin up to the design level of the recent C and S-Class updates.  The tech will be top-shelf as well, with the latest and greatest safety and infotainment gizmos.

The car maker from Sweden is on a roll.  With the huge success of the new XC90 SUV and a few concept car hits at recent auto shows, the Volvo arrow is pointing firmly upward.  The 2017 S90 employs a sleek and stylish new exterior, along with the interior design language shown to such great effect in the XC90.  And let’s not forget that excellent Sensus infotainment system.  The S90 will use the same powerplant from the XC90 as well, which has proved to be a winner.  I like this car… a lot…!

One of the great automotive monikers is returning for the 2017 model year.  The Conti is back...!  Lincoln’s iconic flagship sedan debuts new marque design queues and looks sharp and stately.  The powerplant is a twin-turbo V6 good for 400 horsepower and was tuned to give what Lincoln describes as “effortless” performance.  Interior luxury design was guided by substantial research with brand customers as well as non-automotive luxury brands.  Will this car be a hit…?  Time will tell, but it looks like the folks at Lincoln have set the table well for this one…

Like Lexus, Infinity is another manufacturer that has missed the bullseye with their car design, but that may be changing.  The unveiled 2017 Q60 Coupe may have turned the corner for Lexus’ design team, as this is surely their best work in recent memory.  A mid-size coupe that will compete with the likes of the BMW 4-Series, Audi A5 and Mercedes C-Class coupe, the Q60 will be powered by a 400 horsepower V6 and have plenty of performance and tech features to keep the enthusiasts happy.  This one could be fun…!


While the Detroit Auto Show isn't just for Detroit cars (American manufacturers) anymore, I think this review leaves a lot out. There are multiple sedans that fit in with these luxury manufacturers in that they create very comparable vehicles. I know it's the furthest thing from "Detroit", but the Kia should be just as included as Lexus or Mercedes Benz.

Douglass @ Viva Kia