• Top 10 Reveals at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show

    Highlights from Detroit's Cobo Hall at the 2017 North American International Auto Show
    • BMW 5 series
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    We aren’t going to lie; the words “Autonomous”, “Connected” and “self-driving” were heard so many times in the halls of Detroit’s Cobo Hall that if we never hear them again, it will be too soon. That being said: it seems autonomy is the way of the future, and we aren’t going to be able to escape it.

    However: amongst all the corporate shilling to the world of the autonomous car, there were still a few good ol’ fashioned driver-required models that made their debuts this year.

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    • 2017 BMW 5 Series
    1

    2018 BMW 5 Series

    The 5 Series may be one of the BMW’s biggest sellers, but that hasn’t stopped the band from Bavaria from honing it even further for its next generation, the model’s seventh. Efficiency, of course, is priority number one. That means a more slippery shape (one that’s bigger, but lighter than before), a turbo motor as well as a turbo motor/EV motor hybrid, good for 210 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. Not to worry, all you big-engined-Bimmerrites: the V8 also returns, now in “M550i xDrive” guise, suggesting a slightly more performance-oriented model than previous.
    • Genesis G80 Sport
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    2018 Genesis G80 Sport

    Not one to rest on its laurels as sister company Kia wows the crowd with its Stinger, Genesis came to Detroit with a ‘Sport’ variant of the Genesis line-up’s second production model, the G80. It “sports” either rear- or all-wheel drive, as well as a 3.3 litre twin-turbo V6 good for 365 hp – yes, the Stinger gets the same powerplant – as well as special 19-inch wheels, upgraded suspension and other body add-ons like a new front splitter. It also gets special contrast-colour door mirrors and genuine carbon fibre trim, as well as leather sport seats.
    • Chevrolet Traverse
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    2018 Chevrolet Traverse

    Chevy needs to be careful with this one. The current Traverse sells in droves – especially in Canada – and you don’t want to anger the loyalists too much in favour of attracting new buyers. So, you have to walk the line. With the Traverse, Chevy has done so by offering best-in-class cargo space and third-row legroom, but at the same time grafting the latest Chevy grille and headlights onto the front fascia. The wheelbase has also been stretched, giving the impression of something more luxurious. That being said: in an effort to lure more younger buyers – even Chevy isn’t immune to this quest – an all new RS version will be available, powered by a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder.
    • Lexus LS 500
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    2018 Lexus LS 500

    Like its cross-town competitor, the Acura RLX, the LS has slid down the sales charts and while you can blame the shift to luxury SUVs for a big part of that, other full-size luxobarges from the likes of Audi and Mercedes-Benz are proving that there’s still a market. So, with that in mind, Lexus has scrapped everything and delivered a completely all-new car. That means all new twin-turbo V6 power (415 hp and 442 lb-ft of it), new 10-speed transmission and new styling, more in-keeping with the rest of the line-up, right down to the application of the brand’s hourglass-shaped “spindle” grille. The addition of a longer wheelbase and rear-seat package (heated and cooled reclining seats) suggest Lexus is serious about making this latest version of its original model a worthy competitor in the segment.
    • Honda Odyssey
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    2017 Honda Odyssey

    Minvans may not be the most popular thing these days with the advent of the seven-seat crossover, but that didn’t stop Honda from bringing one heckkuva take to Detroit. On the styling-front, the Odyssey now gets the grille and headlight treatment that every other Honda model has, which is a modern take on typical minivan fare. And, as it should be with minivans, the real story is in the seats; for the first time ever, the second-row captain’s chairs can slide left and right, meaning you no longer have to squeeze yourself between two seats to access the back row. Which, of course, you can keep doing if you like. Once back the seats are filled, front-seat occupants can monitor the goings via the 8” touchscreen mounted into the centre stack.
    • Audi Q8
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    Audi Q8 Concept

    While the Stinger wins the award for best production debut this year, “best concept”” laurels have to go to the fantastic Q8. It’s as long as a Q7 but doesn’t look it, thanks to a chopped top, slanted rear window and long hood. It does get hybrid power – no surprise there – but the addition of an electric motor means that it pushes out over 500 lb-ft of combined torque, and over 330 hp. We’ll take that, thank you very much, as well as the digitized interior (both the front and rear passengers get touch surfaces to play with). Well done, Audi. Oh, and there’s a new SQ5 as well as new A5/S5 Cabriolet models coming, too.
    • 2018 Nissan Qashqai
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    2018 Nissan Qashqai

    Yes; the name’s hard to pronounce (it’s “Cash-Kai”). Yes; it’s only really new to North America as this generation – the model’s second – has existed in Europe and Japan for two years now, and yes; it looks a lot like the Nissan Rogue. It looks a lot like the Nissan Rogue (and will actually be called the Rogue Sport in the US) because it is one, albeit a slightly shrunken one that is here to attract younger buyers (flares like gunmetal rims and a roof spoiler should help) to crossovers and away from their beloved compact hatches and sedans. Nissan is serious about doing that, which means you can bet the Qashqai will be able to be had for below $20,000 when it arrives later this year. With standard features like heated front seats, rear-view monitor and heated outside mirrors, it makes for quite an interesting proposition.
    • Infiniti QX 50
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    Infiniti QX50 Concept

    While technically in its concept stages, the QX50 we saw in Detroit was an evolution of the QX Sport Inspiration Concept seen in 2016 and Infiniti has been known to stick pretty true to its concept designs when it comes to the actual production models. We hope they stay the same course here, as the QX50 is one gorgeous crossover. Strong character lines, aggressive head and taillamps and an open yet driver-focused interior come together to form one of the best-looking compact luxury crossovers in the biz, while the likelihood of turbo power means it should be able to hustle, too.
    • Kia Stinger
    9

    2018 Kia Stinger

    This may very well have been the star of the show. Rear- or all-wheel-drive, optional 365 hp twin-turbo power and looks that could make the Audi A7 blush all point to what will likely be the most exciting Kia we’ve ever seen. Are we upset that the “GT4” name has been dropped, as was seen on the original, two-door Stinger concept from 2014? A little, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t looking forward to trying this one out.
  • 2018 Toyota Camry

    Can’t believe I’m saying this, but the one manufacturer that actually spent time talking about the way their new car was going to drive was Toyota (actually, put more precisely, it was Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda doing the talking), and not about a new sports car, but about the newest version of their family haulin’ cabbie drivin’ Toyota Camry. It’s not just smoke and mirrors, either; the new car looks good, will get V6 power and even a Sport mode with spiffy two-tone colouring. There’s even a red interior option! To further push the point home, Toyota also brought out the latest version of its NASCAR entrant, along with drivers Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch.

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