Technology, flagship vehicles dominate in Detroit

Technology, flagship vehicles dominate in Detroit

Nissan display 2016 NAIAS

Upon entering Cobo Hall in downtown Detroit, the message was crystal clear: the auto industry is back. With a record-breaking 17.5 million unit year behind us, automakers pulled out all the stops for the 2016 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).

Displays reached near the convention hall ceiling, featuring mega-sized digital screens running video full-time, not just during scheduled press conferences. This year, manufacturer stands were so large that one could easily get turned around inside this $200 million indoor city full of faux buildings, shiny cars and trucks, and carpets of all heights and textures.

“Of the 57 introductions at NAIAS, nearly 90 percent were worldwide debuts, which is an incredible testament to the global position of importance that NAIAS plays in automakers’ new vehicle and technology launch strategies,” said 2016 NAIAS Chairman Paul Sabatini.

Inspiration oozed from every automaker. Many reintroduced flagship vehicles that had been forcibly ignored during tighter times in the industry, particularly the economic downturn of 2009 and the years immediately following. But today’s bright picture for car sales gives car designers and product teams the freedom to be creative and to share their passion projects with us publicly.

No announcement was made without some sort of technological feature. Coming off the heels of the Consumer Electronics Show — traditionally a tech-only event that now dedicates 200,000 square feet of its space to the car industry — the Detroit Auto Show has become less about the futuristic, outside-the-box concepts and more about the tangible tech that automakers are excited to put in front of their customers.

For the Be Car Chic team on the ground, the most exciting vehicle debuts included:

Acura Precision Concept

Highlighting the future direction for the Acura brand and its vehicle design, the Precision Concept was a head-turner, both outside and upon opening its suicide doors.

Acura Precision Concept NAIAS

Acura Precision Concept Interior

Acura Precision Concept rear

Lexus LFLC and LC 500

Lexus has officially shaken things up with these bold and beautiful new designs of the LFLC, based on a concept that stole the Detroit Auto Show a few years ago, and the LC 500 coupe.

Lexus LFLC

Lexus LC 500

Infiniti Q60

Infiniti proves that the brand is still very much in the two-door game by reviving its red-hot Q60 coupe. (This is the car we got a sneak peek at back in September!)

2017 Infiniti Q60 Coupe

Genesis G90

No, that’s not a Hyundai; it’s a Genesis. Hyundai CEO, Dave Zuchowski introduced the company’s newest venture into the luxury market.

2017 Genesis G90

Buick Avista Coupe

Buick’s surprise reveal was the belle of the ball, stealing a bit of the spotlight from Infiniti and Lexus. However, the question remains whether or not Buick will actually build this concept.

Buick Avista coupe concept

Mercedes-Benz E-Class and E-Class Plug-in Hybrid

Undoubtedly, this is the most refined E-Class yet. Mercedes pulled out all the stops with this one, bringing in luxurious features from its incredible S-Class. They also did us one better by offering a plug-in hybrid version of the E-Class — for those more eco-conscious Benz lovers out there.

2017 Mercedes Benz E-Class

Mercedes Benz E-Class Plug-in Hybrid

Nissan Titan Warrior

Now, this is a truck we could get behind (the wheel of). We’re hopeful that this “concept” will mostly make it to production. The contrasting materials and colors are a nice touch.

Nissan Titan Warrior concept

Volvo S90 Sedan

Volvo is back on consumers’ minds with their XC90, recipient of this year’s coveted North American Truck of the Year award and the classically styled S90 sedan is likely to garner the brand even more attention.

New Volvo S90

Chrysler Pacifica

We’ve never been so excited to test a minivan, but the reinvented people-hauler by Chrysler comes stacked with Uconnect and technology for every member of the family.

Chrysler Pacifica van

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This article was written by

Melanie Batenchuk founded Be Car Chic in 2009 as a way to help consumers make smart decisions when buying and selling their cars. Her prior work at the dealership, trade association and manufacturer levels has provided her a deep understanding of the complex facets within the auto industry, making her a leading woman in her field.