The Highlights from the 2016 NAIAS

IMG_2989bOver the years, the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) has seen lots of ups and downs, just like the city of Detroit, which hosts this show.
The 2016 edition of this auto extravaganza is not the best I’ve ever seen, but there were still lots of interesting reveals to talk about.
So in no particular order of preference, the following are the vehicles from the 2016 NAIAS that grabbed my attention, and I hope they’ll grab yours also.
IMG_1391b2016 Mercedes-AMG S63 Cabriolet Edition 130: If you’re planning on travelling in utmost style, luxury, and power this summer, than look no further than the Mercedes-AMG S63 Cabriolet. At the 2016 NAIAS, the German luxury-giant unveiled the Edition 130 model of this new car, to celebrate 130 years since Karl Benz first invented the Patent-Motorwagen, which was the world’s first motor car (or, horseless carriage, as they were initially called).
As you’d expect from anything with an AMG badge, there is lots of power under the hood. A twin-turbo 5.5L V8 sends 585 hp to all four-wheels, which allows this two-tonne land yacht to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.9 seconds. If you have a spare $300,000+, you can bring one home later this year.
IMG_1392b2017 Infiniti Q60 Coupe: If you don’t have the kind of cash required to buy the aforementioned Mercedes, but still want something sporty with luxury features, than Infiniti might have the answer for you.
The 2017 Infiniti Q60 made its world debut in Detroit, and it takes a lot of the technology currently found in the Q50 sedan, and packs it in a stunning coupe body. When this car goes on sale later this year, it’ll be offered with three engines. A base 2.0L turbo four-cylinder packs 208 hp, while the mid-range 3.0L turbo V6 packs 300 hp. Every enthusiast however will want the high-output 3.0L turbo V6, that develops 400 hp – this should be a fast car.
Prices haven’t been announced yet, but expect them to range between $40-to-70,000.
IMG_1439b2017 Lexus LC 500: Want a Japanese luxury coupe with even more power and features than that Infiniti? Than you might gravitate towards the new Lexus LC 500.
Aimed at the likes of the BMW 6 series, the Lexus LC 500 is a big luxo coupe with big power. Under the hood is a 5.0L V8 that is good for 467 hp. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a brand new, 10-speed automatic gearbox. No confirmed sale date or price has been announced, but we’ll keep you posted on that.
IMG_1417b2017 Chrysler Pacifica: Not as exciting as the other three cars I just mentioned, but far more important to the market is the second generation of the Chrysler Pacifica.
Poised to replace the aging Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan, the new Pacifica is being hailed by its maker as a “cool minivan.”
This Windsor, Ontario built minivan will be offered initially with two powertrain options, a base 3.6L V6 that will be good for 287 hp, or (the one that everyone will want to have is) the plug-in hybrid version. The hybrid might be down on power, offering just 248 hp, but will allow up to 50 km of full electric drive – perfect for when strolling through the city or when in stop-and-go traffic.
Pricing for the 2017 Pacifica will be announced at a later date.
IMG_1482b2017 Chevrolet Bolt: Perhaps the most important new car launch in Detroit this year, is the Chevrolet Bolt.
This all-electric hatchback offers a driving range of approximately 320 km on a full charge, which is significantly more than what its competition like the Nissan Leaf and Kia Soul EV offers.
The Bolt features a 60 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that consists of 288 cells. They power a single electric motor that produces 200 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. That is enough power to accelerate you from 0 to 100 km/h in about seven seconds. So, it’ll be pleasantly quick to drive, and all the while emitting zero fumes into our environment.
The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt will go on sale later this year, and will be priced in the mid-$30,000 range.
IMG_1436bKia Telluride: Kia’s take on a “green vehicle” is a little bit different. The Telluride concept is a hybrid, but its 3.5L V6 when combined with its electric motor makes 400 hp. That is a lot of power, and it powers an impressive SUV.
Looking very much like a competitor to the new Bentley Bentayga SUV (although in reality will be more of a competitor to the new Volvo XC90), the Telluride is a modern two-box SUV design with very practical suicide doors – although this feature will probably not make it to production.
Here’s the big question, will the Telluride get the green light? If it does, it’ll be the first large-SUV offered by this Korean company in Canada since the poor selling Borrego (2008 to 2011). Let’s hope it does make it to production, and I hope it’ll do well for its maker also.
IMG_1474b2017 Lincoln Continental: The Continental name has been absent from Lincoln’s line up since 2002, but for the 2017 model year, it’ll make a come back, in the form of their new flagship sedan.
With Cadillac in its sight, Lincoln has pulled out all the stops to try to win the bragging rights to be the best American luxury car company.
They’ll do it by offering customers an exceptionally quiet cabin, that’ll have the type of luxury features previously only enjoyed by Rolls Royce or Maybach customers – yes, it’ll have massaging seats in the front and rear.
It’ll have the guts to get up and go also. Under the hood is a new, twin turbocharged 3.0L V6 that’ll produce 400 hp. A torque vectoring system will send power to all four wheels.
Pricing info is not available yet, but the Flat Rock, Michigan built 2017 Continental will go on sale in the third-quarter of this year.
IMG_1422b2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia: Switching back to performance cars, the return of Alfa Romeo to the North American market has been a joyous one.
It might have started with the two-seater 4C sports car, but now Alfa will offer a vehicle that lets you bring your family along for the fun. The 2017 Giulia sedan will be offered with a host of different powertrains, but the one all the enthusiasts will lust after is the Quadrifoglio model. Thanks to a Bi-Turbo V6 motor that produces 505 hp, this Giulia will sprint from 0 to 96 km/h in just 3.8 seconds, and can keep on going till it reaches 300 km/h – just be sure you’re not carrying any groceries when you try that.
Expect this model to be in Canadian showrooms by late summer.
IMG_1468b2017 BMW M2 Coupe: On sale a bit earlier will be the BMW M2. This is the coupe many car fans have been waiting for, as many are already regarding it to be a spiritual successor to the 1973 BMW 2002 turbo.
Powered by a 3.0L I6 motor that features TwinPower turbochargers, the M2’s willing motor produces 365 hp – and on overboost – 369 lb-ft of torque. BMW quotes the 0 to 100 km/h run to take 4.5 seconds, but it’ll probably be quicker than that. Top speed is electronically limited at 250 km/h.
The M2 should go on sale this spring, with prices expected to be around $60,000.
IMG_1484b2016 VLF Force 1 V10: Renowned automotive designer, Henrik Fisker, was back at the Detroit auto show with a new American supercar, called the Force 1 V10.
The car is launched under a new brand named, VLF – which stands for (Gilbert) Villarreal, (Bob) Lutz, and (Henrik) Fisker.
However, there is another name attached to this car, and that is of Ben Keating. Keating has been very successful with racing Dodge Vipers on the track, and he is also quite successful at selling them, with his Viper Exchange dealership in Texas having the distinct honor of being the No. 1 selling Viper store in the world.
So, it should come as no surprise then that the VLF Force 1 V10 is based on the platform of the current Dodge Viper.
But, it’s more than just a Viper in different clothing. First of all, there is more power from its 8.4L V10 motor, now tuned to produce 745 hp and 638 lb-ft of torque. That should be enough to sprint it from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.0 seconds, and on to a top speed of 350 km/h.
To handle such power, the Force 1 V10 features a unique suspension system that constantly adjusts to the road (or track) conditions. This technology is just not available on a production Viper, nor is a six-speed automatic transmission, which the Force 1 V10 will also offer.
All of this power and technology is packed in a unique body, that looks to be out of a Hollywood movie set portraying the future.
VLF is taking orders now, and if you want one in Canada, you’ll need to set aside $381,684 (current exchange rate prices based on US$268,000). With winter showing its strength this week, one can only dream of clear, warm, sunny days with no traffic on the highway, and driving a mechanical beast like this Force 1 V10.IMG_1453b
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