Posts Tagged ‘2016 NAIAS’

2016 NAIAS: 2017 Audi A4 allroad and A4 sedan

January 13th, 2016 No comments

Audi is wasting no time building out its bread-and-butter A4 lineup with the sedan and a new allroad debuting at the North American International Auto Show. Both models use a 2.0-liter turbo with 252  hp and a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. You can still get an A4 with front-wheel drive but almost no one does, which is probably the same reason the 6-speed manual is no longer available on base cars. The allroad makes Quattro all-wheel drive standard and also raises the ride height 1.3 inches. That makes light offroading somewhat easier and the cladding along the lower body seems to be a hit with customers so it carries over from previous allroad generations. The A4 features just about all the tech and luxury features you can get on the high-end Audi’s, including a 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen 3D stereo, the latest and greatest Virtual Cockpit, full color head up display and the list goes on and on. With prices starting at $38k and heading quickly up from there we should probably be glad that the A3 has entered the lineup where the A4 used to reside and helped make Audi ownership a little more attainable.

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2016 NAIAS: 2017 GMC Acadia

January 12th, 2016 No comments

GMC’s Acadia has been around for ages. To say that the Acadia hasn’t been redesigned since its introduction as a 2007 model (count it, that is a full 10 model years ago) isn’t entirely true. As a mid-cycle update it adopted the body shell from the orphaned Saturn Outlook in 2013. There have been products that have lingered for longer than the Acadia, but not many, and those tend to be legacy fleet models not core products. Even so, GMC claims that 2015 was Acadias best-selling year. So how to follow up on the success of such a vehicle? GMC executives claim that the 2017 Acadia is repositioned to match the way most Acadia customers use their vehicle. The Acadia has been shrunk, losing one seating position and a staggering 700 lbs! Maximum seating is now seven, rather than eight, when equipped with the now optional third seat. The new Acadia seems to be more of a successor to the long discontinued Envoy SUV rather than a more fashionable alternative to a minivan. Denail remains the top offering and an All Terrain trim is added above the familiar SLT. One unique safety feature GMC has developed is a rear seat reminder that intends to help driver’s check to make sure they haven’t accidentally left a child unattended in a locked vehicle. For the first time, a 4-cyldiner is the standard engine and is mated to a 6-speed automatic. This configuration on front wheel drive models achieves 28 mpg highway and 22 mpg in the city due to start/stop technology. An optional 310 horsepower V6 is also available. Expect to see the all-new Acadia on streets in spring 2016.

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2016 NAIAS: 2017 Lincoln Continental

January 12th, 2016 No comments

In the late 1990s when Ford embarked on ambitious plans to dominate the premium market segment, it aligned its purchased foreign brands Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover, and Volvo together in its “Premier Automotive Group.” That apparently left resources spread too thin and Lincoln was left to let the Town Car soldier on, the LS with no successor, and the Continental to vanish into history. Lack of a clear vision in the years after the PAG was sold off to keep the Blue Oval afloat meant Lincoln was positioned more like the orphaned Mercury brand as merely premium Fords. Lincoln is attempting to correct a couple of those missteps with the re-introduction of the Continental as its top model offering. Lincoln executives are promoting this new Lincoln as being focused on premium luxury rather than a performance car. Indeed, sybaritic comfort is something that even Cadillac has chosen to make secondary to performance and handling. The Continental certainly looks the part and the interior is no exception. Lincoln promises a 3.0L V6 with an anticipated 400 hp applied to the pavement through all four wheels. That V6 is mounted transversely so those expecting a Continental in the configuration of your grandfather’s Town Car will be disappointed. It likely won’t matter: the interior appears extremely commodious. The exterior champions Lincoln’s abandonment of the split winged grille that, though distinctive, was largely criticized. A horseshoe shaped grille with a prominent Lincoln logo sets the direction as the brand’s new trademark. The curious winged door handles from last year’s Continental concept have arrived in tact. Though details are mostly scarce right now, we expect a host of safety and infotainment features already offered throughout Ford’s product offerings. Expect the Continental to hit the road in late 2016.

2016 NAIAS: 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia

January 11th, 2016 No comments


The Alfa Romeo Giulia is a sight to behold. In full Quadrifoglio hot-rod trim it is pent up anger from every direction as if it’s been impatiently scolded to sit still when all it wants to do is go outside and bounce off the walls, or track curbing in this case. The sedan is a tight package with tidy overhangs and sexy wheels hiding massive carbon ceramic brakes. The hood hides a highly tuned 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 spitting out 505 hp and a plateau of 443 lb-ft of torque starting at 2,500 rpm. The 6-speed manual–yes, you read that right–is standard equipment and 60 mph is history in 3.8 seconds. This car is serious. So serious that it set the production sedan track record at the Nurburgring with a 7:39. Top speed is 191 mph. Inside a set of serious bucket seats do their best to hold you in place and alcantara trim on the wheel and seats is a nice touch. With a near 50/50 weight balance that Giulia should be a responsive handler. It doesn’t go on sale until later this year but it should prove that after the 8C and 4C sports cars, Alfa remains serious about performance in America.

2016 NAIAS: 2017 Volvo S90

January 11th, 2016 No comments


Once upon a time Volvos were known as cars that looked like a loaf of bread or, worse yet, a refrigerator. That stigma began to erode when the original S90 sedan, which had clearly been styled exclusively with a t-square, was replaced with the wind sculpted S80 sedan in 1999. The once stodgy brand known also as a leader in safety innovations began to transform while under Ford’s ownership into a fashionable Swedish brand in such a way that comparisons to IKEA were inevitable. Having been sold off to the Chinese automaker, Geely, in 2009, Volvo has recently been under yet another transformation. For 2017 the S90 sedan returns and is nothing short of a stunning executive class car. The exterior features the shouldered fenders inspired by the original S80 sedan and a grille and hood shape reminiscent of the legendary P1800 sports coupe from the 1960s. The interior sports very natural materials (the finish on the woodgrain makes you want to reach out and run your fingers over the surface) and rich hues in the same vein as the also excellent XC90 crossover. The S90 is offered with either a T6 supercharged and turbocharged 2.0L 4-cylinder or a T8 Twin Engine (deceptively also a 4-cylinder) plug-in hybrid powertrain that delivers up to 410 horsepower. The S90 also makes available a large animal detection system that offers a warning and brake support. This isn’t surprising coming from a company originating from a country where moose collisions are considered a normal driving hazard. With as good as this car looks, we can’t wait to see the much rumored wagon version of this car.

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2016 NAIAS: 2017 BMW M2

January 11th, 2016 No comments


For many years, BMW could be counted on to provide cars that satisfy the enthusiast itch. Frequently offered with manual transmissions, silky smooth inline 6 engines and perpetually with rear wheel drive it was hardly arrogant for BMW’s tagline to make the claim of being the ‘Ultimate Driving Machine.’  Unfortunately, the truthfulness of BMW’s slogan has been taken into question with ever heavier (but fast) SUV’s, less driver focus on the 3-series, and finally (horror of horrors) the front wheel drive based 2 Series Active Tourer. So the official unveiling today of the M2 had to be a relief for the BMW faithful. The M2 does the M badge proud by offering a manual transmission with 365 horsepower and 343 lb-ft of torque produced from that ever lovable 3.0-liter Inline 6. The M2 is capable of reaching 60 mph in 4.1 seconds when optioned with the 7-speed DCT. BMW claims under an under 8 minute lap time at the famed Nurburgring. All this driving purity comes at a cost: the M2 starts at $51,700.

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2016 NAIAS: 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

January 11th, 2016 No comments


Today Mercedes completes its sedan refresh that started with the S-Class, focused on the smaller C-Class last year and finally makes its way the middle child E-Class at this year’s North American International Auto Show. The family resemblance is crystal clear outside and in with the same quality materials and artful design embellishments that debuted on the S 550 finding a home in the E-Class cabin. That means there is a giant 12.3″ high-resolution screen in the center of the dash and potentially two of them side by side on certain trim levels. Mercedes is particularly proud with the seat design and the news touch pad controls on the steering wheel that let you swipe up and down, left and right to control certain infotainment functions. A 9-speed automatic handles shifting duties in the E300 that hits dealers first in the US market. These cars are powered by a 241 hp 2.0-liter turbo, although the lineup will rapidly expand all the way up to a new hooligan-approved E63 AMG model.

2016 NAIAS: 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

January 11th, 2016 No comments


While green car enthusiasts have been watching Telsa and its exotic electric cars, the world should take notice: today GM unveiled the Chevrolet Bolt EV. The Bolt EV is significant because it has the potential to be the first mass market EV with a 200 mile range. Mass market means a starting price that Chevrolet assures will be ‘around $30,000’ after federal tax credits. The Bolt was unveiled last year as a concept and just a year later we are seeing the production version which will be built at GM’s plant in Orion Township, MI. While a full charge will take up to 9 hours with a 240-volt charging unit, an hour of charge accomplishes 25 miles of range. This EV offers more than just electrified propulsion. Other technologies packaged into the Bolt EV are an integrated rear camera mirror that virtually eliminates blind spots and surround vision. The instrument panel is festooned with a 10.2″ tablet-like display that can reportedly be controlled by simple, intuitive gestures. Chevrolet promises to have its newest electric vehicle available to customers by late 2016.

2016 NAIAS: 2017 Chrysler Pacifica

January 11th, 2016 No comments


It feels weird typing this, but the new Chrysler minivan that debuted today was not a Town & Country, or even a Caravan for that matter. Nope, Chrysler is naming their new family hauler Pacifica, just like the not-particularly-successful Pacifica that once fought the crossover battle for Chrysler way back when it was married to Daimler. Despite that surprising twist, the actual product looks about how we’d expect it to. Chrysler’s 200 sedan lends its look to the front end and the side and rear are fresh enough to get years down the road before demanding a facelift. The big news besides the name was the Plug-in Hybrid model that will travel 30 miles on a charge and return 80 MPGe even after firing up the 3.6 liter V6. You lose the ability to stow the middle row of seats (a Chrysler minivan trademark), but that seems a small price to pay for saving the planet. Pricing wasn’t announced but the new minivans should be at soccer games near you this fall.

2016 NAIAS: Buick Avista Concept

January 11th, 2016 No comments


Buick followed up last year’s well-received Avenir concept sedan with an even prettier concept coupe called the Avista that was the talk of the show. Once you’ve seen the car in person it’s easy to see why. Handsome from every angle and coated in the prettiest dark blue to ever come out of the paint shop, the Avista is a 2+2 luxury sport coupe that makes good use of the Camaro’s platform. Officials said that it was rear-wheel drive, powered by a twin-turbo V6 with 400 hp and an 8-speed automatic was doing the shifting duties. Sounds like a winning package to us. Hey Buick, build it.

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