Detroit Auto Show Debuts to Watch

Location Front Quarter Volvo S90 Mussel Blue

We’re in the midst of an intense one-week period in the automotive industry that’s unmatched the rest of the year: The Consumer Electronics Show is currently in Las Vegas, and the North American International Auto Show in Detroit kicks off Monday with press days.

It’s a period that sees more new vehicles and concepts introduced than at any other time of year. The news is already out about vehicles like the production-ready Chevrolet Bolt and the Farraday Future FFZERO1 concept.

Now it’s time to look ahead to Detroit and its reveals. Here are a few that will make a big impact.

2017 Lincoln Continental
Lincoln-Continental-ConceptWait, you might say, wasn’t the Lincoln Continental introduced in New York? That was technically the concept. Now Detroit is going to show us the production model. Among the details known? It’s going to have all-wheel drive (AWD), will carry LED lighting and bold design, and be loaded with lots of luxury features. Speculation is it will come with a 3.0-liter version of the twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 found in the Ford F-150. So, it won’t lack for oomph. Don’t expect it to have all the amenities of the concept, though.

2016 BMW M2 and M40i
2016 BMW M2 and X4 M40iBMW is touting the 2016 BMW M2 (above left) for its M performance (which is always a great thing), because this coupe is going to get a newly developed M TwinPower Turbo 3.0-liter, 6-cylinder engine that produces 365 horsepower and 343 lb-ft of torque. It’s estimated to hit 60 mph in 4.2 seconds. The 2016 BMW M2 will be available in U.S. showrooms in spring 2016.

Also new in the BMW stable is the 2016 BMW X4 M40i (above right). It will share the powerplant of the M2 with similar torque numbers but a slight dip in horsepower to 355. It will hit 60 mph in 4.7 seconds. The crossover will go on sale in February and boasts a chassis tuned to M Performance specifications, BMW ConnectedDrive, intelligent xDrive, and the TwinScroll turbo technology.

Chrysler Town & Country
A minivan – who gets excited about a minivan? Enthusiasts downplay them, but minivans can still make up a significant chunk of a carmaker’s output. At Honda the Odyssey represented about 8 percent of sales in 2015, and the Sedona made about 6 percent of sales at Kia. In fact, minivans are so important FCA has reconsidered its decision to scrap the Dodge Grand Caravan, which was its second-best selling vehicle in 2015. The new Chrysler Town & Country is expected to come with sliding doors you can open with a wave of your foot. It will also offer a plug-in hybrid version that will help boost corporate average fuel economy while probably appealing to fleet customers, too.

Volvo S90
Location Front Quarter Volvo S90 Mussel BlueThe Volvo S90 is probably going to be the safest luxury sedan in the world. Remember, Volvo wants to eliminate deaths by collision in its cars by 2020. It will feature an advanced semi-autonomous drive feature, Pilot Assist. The system gives steering inputs to keep the car in the lane up to speeds of about 80 mph. Volvo brags that it’s another step toward fully autonomous driving. The S90 will also come with a powerful T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid powertrain and what Volvo claims is one of the most luxuriously appointed interiors and connected infotainment systems in the large sedan segment.

Genesis G90
Genesis is the new luxury marque for Hyundai, or as some call it, the Korean Lexus. In its home market, the G90 is known as the EQ900. It is reported to be as big as a Mercedes-Benz S-Class with a price matching the E-Class. Hyundai is going to go all out with the Genesis G90, and early spy shots suggest it will be a stunning car that should be a head-turner.

Honda Ridgeline
Honda is coming out with the Ridgeline at just the right time. It’s a midsize pickup for those who are unwilling to buy domestic and want the comfort of owning a Honda. It should share a lot of its underpinnings with the new Honda Pilot, which is a good thing.

-Keith Griffin

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Editor’s note: New England car fans who can’t make it to Detroit might want to consider attending next week’s New England International Auto Show.

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