Top highlights from Detroit
As this year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit gets underway, we look at the highlights of the show.
Audi Q8 concept
Providing a rival to models including the BMX X6 and Range Rover, Audi’s flagship Q8 SUV was revealed in near-production concept form at Detroit.
Due for launch next year, the Q8 sits on the same platform as the A7 and according to the brand brings the “typical spaciousness of an SUV with the elegance of a coupé”.
The concept uses a plug-in hybrid combining a 328bhp 3.0 TFSI with an 134bhp electric motor married up with an eight-speed tiptronic gearbox and Quattro permanent all-wheel drive system. Total power is 443bhp and the concept accelerates from 0 to 62mph in 5.4 seconds on its way to a top speed of 155mph.
A lithium-ion battery is located in the rear and enables an electric range of 37 miles. Total range is claimed to be up to 621 miles. A full charge with 7.2 kW output takes about two and a half hours. Official economy under the NEDC cycle is up to 122mpg with CO2 emissions of 53g/km.
The fifth-generation of the brand’s flagship saloon brings a complete redesign plus a new engine and safety package.
Longer, wider and lower than its predecessor, the new model is built on an extended version of the company’s new GA-L rear-wheel drive platform for luxury vehicles (GA–L), which was also used for the LC 500 coupe. Helped by the use of ultra-high tensile steel sheet and aluminium, the new model brings a 90kg weight saving.
The new LS also introduces a new twin-turbo 3.5-litre V6 petrol with 415bhp and a projected 0-62mph time of 4.5 seconds, plus the segment’s first 10-speed automatic transmission.
It also introduces new safety features under the Lexus Safety System + including pedestrian detection with active steering.
No launch timing has been announced.
Mercedes’ facelifted GLA crossover debuted, showing its updated design and range of engines.
On sale from now and due to start deliveries from April, the GLA brings updated bumpers plus new LED headlights, which replace the previous bi-xenon versions, and new alloys.
Engine line-up carries over the 200 and 250 models, with a 250 4Matic four-wheel drive model also available. A new 220 petrol unit offered solely with the brand’s 4Matic four-wheel drive is also being launched but won’t be available in the UK.
Three chassis variants are offered. Comfort suspension is available as standard with lowered suspension available on request in conjunction with AMG Line or the Dynamic Handling package).
Volkswagen’s first seven-seat Tiguan will go on sale before the summer, providing a rival to cars like the Skoda Kodiaq, Nissan X-Trail and premium-brand offerings such as the Land Rover Discovery Sport.
Badged ‘Allspace’ in European markets, this longer version of the Tiguan will join the standard model apart from in the US where it will be the sole Tiguan available.
Thanks to the longer wheelbase and redesigned rear section, the model provides room for a folding row of seats in the boot.
Specification is said to be enhanced over the five-seat model, though the engine line-up is likely to be almost identical including 2.0-litre TDI options for European markets.
This rear-wheel drive sports saloon is the highest-performance production vehicle in the company’s history and will arrive in markets around the world later this year
Competing with models such as the Audi S4, the Stinger is based on a version of the Hyundai Genesis platform and is longer than many models in the segment, giving rise to claimed extra boot space.
The engine line-up will initially cover two units: a 252bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder and a 360bhp 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6, with a targeted 0-62mph time of 5.1 seconds to and a top speed of 167mph. Both engines are offered with an eight-speed rear-drive automatic transmission.
The line-up will gain more engines and optional all-wheel drive depending on market.
Technologies on offer include Forward Collision Assistance with integrated Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection, which can detect a potential collision with another vehicle or pedestrian and help bring the car to a halt.
Infiniti QX50 Concept
Infiniti showcased its QX50 midsize SUV concept, which builds on the QX Sport Inspiration shown at the 2016 Beijing Motor Show and shows how it could be adapted for a future production model.
The model brings a ‘driver-centric, passenger-minded’ interior along with
semi-autonomous drive technologies likely to be used in future production models. These will focus on aiding rather than replacing the driver, taking care of more mundane tasks such as stop-start traffic.
The concept features Infiniti’s production-ready variable compression turbo engine, which targets a 27% improvement in efficiency compared to equivalent V6 units =without a reduction in performance.
Volkswagen I.D. Buzz
Volkswagen displayed the latest in its I.D. range of electric cars with the unveiling of the I.D. Buzz MPV.
The concept marries up retro styling from the Microbus with electric power, all-wheel drive and an eight-seat layout.
The I.D. Buzz follows in the footsteps of the I.D. electric hatchback unveiled at the Paris Motor Show last autumn as part of a series of new electric vehicles due for launch in 2020 and spearheading the carmaker’s plans to sell one million electric cars per year by 2025.
The Buzz makes use of an extended version of VW’s modular MEB platform also used for the hatchback and features front and rear electric motors with a combined output power of 369bhp and a range of up to 373 miles on the NEDC cycle. The concept’s 0-62mph time is in 5 seconds with a top speed restricted to 99mph.
Other features include 3D virtual head-up display and a multi-function touch-sensitive steering wheel.
No plans for production have been announced.