The 2015 Detroit Auto Show officially kicked off on January 12 and now all the newest vehicles are out in the open, which can mean only one thing: it’s time to pick our favourites. From stunning supercars to advanced autonomous vehicles – the event gave us everything we could possibly hope for, making it very tough for us to choose the so-called “highlights.” That said, thanks to such a wide variety of vehicles on display and the recent drop in fuel prices, we feel good about 2015, which is refreshing given how uneven 2014 was by comparison.
But enough about that, and let’s take look at some of our favourite vehicle reveals:
7. 2016 Audi Q7
Audi’s new midsize crossover may not be flashy or particularly good-looking, but it is an incredibly functional vehicle. One of the biggest highlights here is the new version of Audi’s Multi-Media Interface, which comes with a large touchpad on the centre console and eight programmable buttons on the top to make mundane tasks like entering addresses in the nav system quick and easy. We also liked the big, high-res screen in place of the instrument cluster, which Audi calls its Virtual Cockpit. At the back, the crossover features two optional infotainment tablets with all the latest inner parts, wifi and HD cameras.
6. 2016 Volvo S60 Cross Country
Looks like the S60 is to become Volvo’s first Cross Country sedan, since up until now, the automaker has stuck strictly to Cross Country wagons – which up until now included the V40, V60 and V70. What are “Cross Country” vehicles, exactly? They are crossover-like versions of regular wagons (and now sedans), which essentially means that they offer bigger wheels and beefier bodies. The S60 Cross Country will come with all-wheel drive, 18- or 19-inch alloys and a T5 2.5-litre turbocharged inline five-cylinder engine that produces 250 horsepower. Volvo plans to start selling the Cross Country sedans this summer.
5. 2016 Acura NSX
Acura makes a triumphant return to the supercar world with its popular NSX model, which will offer an advanced hybrid drivertrain called the Sport Hybrid Super-Handling All-Wheel-Drive system. It will contain a twin-turbocharged V6 engine with a dual-clutch transmission and three electric motors. Two of the motors will power the front wheels, while the other one will power the rear. It’s as sleek and sexy as you’d expect, and we’re glad it’s back!
4. 2017 Ford GT
One of the biggest surprises of the Detroit Auto Show was the reveal of the Ford GT – the American automaker’s answer to European supercars like the Porsche 911 Turbo S and Audi R8. Its body will consist of lightweight aluminum and carbon fiber, and underneath it all, there will be a 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6 engine that produces 300 horsepower. Ford is yet to announce the price, but the vehicle is expected to go on sale in 2016.
3. Honda FCV Concept
Honda finally showed off its new FCV concept, which is the automaker’s first hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle to be mass-produced. With a range of over 300 miles (or 483 km), it will run on a single tank of compressed hydrogen and take roughly three minutes to refuel, easily beating most electric vehicles. The five-seater’s current competitor is the Toyota Mirai and it’s expected to go on sale in 2016.
2. Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion Concept
While Mercedes’ futuristic self-driving concept car is many years away from mass production, we’re still impressed with what we got to see here. The F 015 is a smooth pod-like autonomous vehicle that offers something no other car does – a lounge-like cabin with swivelling front seats that can turn around to face the rear passengers. In addition to a huge and comfortable cabin, the F 015 also offers a fuel-cell hybrid powertrain that powers 684 zero-emission miles (1,100 km). It’s a lofty claim that Mercedes still needs to back up, but if all of this is to be expected in the mass-produced version – then sign us up!
1. Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept
Chevrolet’s new electric vehicle – the Bolt EV – is here to take aim strictly at Tesla. The car will boast 200 miles of electric range along with a decent entry price of $30,000. This means that the Bolt will be twice as cheap as a lower-end Tesla, while offering almost the same driving range. It’s important to note that Tesla is looking to reduce the price of its electric vehicles to $35,000, which suggests that General Motors is not going to get a clear path to victory.