Detroit has seen hard times, but it’s still America’s Motor City – and home of its most important car show. We reveal the cars and trucks making headlines at the Cobo Centre, from the bold Audi Q8 concept seen here to Kia’s exciting new sports saloon.
The Q8 concept previews Audi’s forthcoming SUV flagship – due in 2018. It’s sleeker than the current Q7, with a sweeping, coupe-style roof. Powered by a petrol/electric plug-in hybrid drivetrain, the 450hp Q8 will hit 62mph in 5.4 seconds.
Inside, the Q8 boasts four luxurious Nappa leather seats, plus an advanced version of Audi’s Virtual Cockpit with graphics projected onto the windscreen. Battery-charge time is two hours, with an all-electric range of 37 miles. We reckon the Range Rover should be worried…
Kia Stinger GT
Kia wants to sex-up its image, and a brawny, V6-engined sports coupe is a good way to do so. The 370hp Stinger GT will take on the Audi S4, BMW 340i and Mercedes-AMG C43 when it arrives in Europe in late 2017.
The Stinger GT’s platform comes from Hyundai’s Genesis luxury saloon, but with a stiffer chassis for sharper handling. Buyers will have a choice of four engines, including a four-cylinder diesel. But it’s that 167mph twin-turbo V6 we’re really excited about.
Volkswagen I.D. Buzz
What? Yet another VW Microbus concept? Yes, but this one stands a good chance of being built – and let’s hope so. The all-electric I.D. Buzz uses Volkswagen’s new scalable MEB platform. Quoted power output is 369hp and range is 373 miles.
The eight-seat I.D. Buzz can also drive itself. Push the steering wheel and it disappears into the dash as the car slips into ‘I.D. Pilot’ mode. This uses cameras, lasers and radar sensors to detect other road users. Oh, and the rear seats turn into a bed, so you can nap while the I.D. Buzz does all the hard work.
With dramatic looks influenced by the LF-FC concept car, the new Lexus LS luxury saloon debuted at Detroit. As you’d expect, it will be available with petrol/electric hybrid power, but the big news is a hydrogen fuel-cell option – following the lead of parent company Toyota and its hydrogen-powered Mirai.
While other companies such as Volkswagen bet on electric power, Toyota/Lexus hopes hydrogen will be the fuel of the future. The LS may emulate the LF-FC, with in-wheel electric motors for dynamic four-wheel drive.
Mercedes-AMG GT C
Taking pride of place on the Mercedes stand at Detroit is the Mercedes-AMG GT C. It’s the coupe version of the GT C Roadster, revealed last year. Slotting in between the GT S and GT R, the GTC’s 4.0-litre twin turbo V8 produces 550hp – the same as the soft-top version.
That means 62mph in 3.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 197mph – even quicker than the GT S seen here. It’s 35kg lighter than the Roadster, while the rear track is 57mm wider. The GT C will initially be launched as an Edition 50 special edition, celebrating 50 years of AMG, featuring black chrome trim and two paint colours: Designo Graphite Grey Magno and Designo Cashmere White Magno.
Alongside Audi’s Q8 concept at Detroit is this sporty little number: the 354hp SQ5. It’s powered by the same 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 as the S5 – a departure from the old model, which was diesel-only.
That power accelerates the near-two-tonne SUV to 62mph in 5.4 seconds, helped by its all-wheel-drive system. There’s also an optional rear Sport differential, which divides torque across the rear axle. Combine this with Sport mode for school-run heroics.
The original Ford Bronco was never sold in Europe, but it was a popular no-thrills 4×4 on sale in the USA for 30 years from 1966 to 1996. Although Ford hasn’t taken a concept Bronco to Detroit, it has revealed a Bronco graphic on its stand – with the words ‘coming in 2020’ underneath.
The firm hasn’t revealed much more information on the new Bronco, although it has hinted that it’ll be a rugged retro 4×4 with genuine off-road ability. It’s also said it’ll be a global vehicle and, although a decision hasn’t been made, it could be sold in the UK. Fans of the classic original are suitably excited.
This attractive SUV is the new Infiniti QX50 concept. It follows the QX Sport Inspiration seen at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show, but is closer to being a production-ready rival to the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Lexus NX. It could be exactly what Nissan’s premium brand needs to boost its image in Europe.
Power comes from Infiniti’s clever new 2.0-litre VC-T turbocharged petrol engine, which the brand is claiming will have the efficiency of modern turbodiesels. The QX50 concept also features clever autonomous tech – but the manufacturer says it’ll work with the driver, rather than taking over entirely.
Porsche 911 GTS
The controversial new flat-six 911 has now been given the GTS treatment: meaning an extra 30hp over the regular Carrera S (and 20hp more than its predecessor). Unfortunately, Porsche decided against revealing the GTS in the metal at Detroit, so you’ll have to settle for this press photo.
As you’d expect, here are a wide range of GTS models available: coupe, cabriolet or Targa, and two- or four-wheel drive. Oh, and you can choose between seven-speed manual or PDK auto gearboxes.
Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace
Good news: from summer 2017, you’ll be able to buy a Volkswagen Tiguan with a slightly longer wheelbase and seven seats. That extra practicality means it’ll be an interesting, German alternative to the likes of the Nissan X-Trail.
It’s difficult to spot the external differences between the Allspace and the regular Tiguan, but anoraks will spy a 110mm longer wheelbase (the overall car is 215mm longer), while the bonnet and grille are also revised.