Welcome to Detroit's North American International Auto Show. It was colder than Frozen outside, but the bright lights and hot autos warmed COBO Hall. The show kicked off with the Honda Civic and Volvo XC90 being named North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year and revved up from there. Here are the highlights:
Buick Avista Concept
On opening night, Buick rolled out the Avista Concept, an elegant Camaro-sized coupe with fluid lines, boattail roofline, 20-inch wheels, and the brand's new chrome winged grille. Curved swipe-screen controls extend to the console. Prividing pace to grace is a 400 horsepower twin-turbo V6. It won one of the show's Eyes on Design awards, and deservedly so! Pray for a production version.
2017 Chrysler Pacifica Minivan
Chrysler invented the modern minivan in 1984, and it aims to re-invent it for 2017. Renamed "Pacifica", Chrysler's icon adopts aero styling from the 200 sedan, highlighted by a signature upturned windowline. Interiors are more upscale, too. Pacifica will be available as a plug-in hybrid that delivers 30 miles all-electric range and 80-MPGe. Regular models employ a V6 that delivers 28-MPG hwy.
2017 Lincoln Continental
Continental returns with luxurious cabins harboring 30-way adjustable seats, wood, leather, and Revel audio. Bold exterior styling sports the brand's new grille and power opening/closing doors with handles hidden in the window trim. A twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 delivers 400 horsepower to torque-vectoring AWD. Sales commence this fall.
Acura Prestige Concept
Created at its design studio in California, the Precision Concept defines the next generation of Acura style. Attributes include a wide stance, long hood, faceted surfaces, LED headlamps, and diamond trapezoid grille. Interiors feature a floating control pod, independent flat screen instrument cluster, and head-up display screen.
2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV
One year after the concept's debut in Detroit, Chevrolet beats Tesla to offering an affordable electric car with more than 200 miles range. The Bolt charges for 90 miles of all-electric driving in just 30 minutes. Drivers will enjoy an electric car rush given 200 horsepower and 266 lb.-ft. of torque. Chevrolet targets a price of $30,000; production begins at Lake Orion, MI this year.
2017 GMC Acadia
Moving to a smaller architecture, Acadia is completely restyled while shedding 700 pounds. Engines include a 310 horsepower V6 and 194 horsepower four-cylinder engine that delivers 22/28-MPG city/hwy. Denali trim returns and is joined by a new All Terrain edition. Three rows of seats hold up to 7 passengers in a more sumptuous interior. Standard rear seat alert reminds parents to grab their children and prevent heat-related deaths. Sales start this spring.
2017 Honda Ridgeline
Gone is the origami bodywork, replaced with a traditional crew cab configuration fronting a separate bed that boasts its own stereo, under-floor storage, and multi-function tailgate. Heavy loads and pampered peeps are moved with a 3.5-liter V6 delivering 280 horsepower through optional torque-vectoring AWD. Sales can only increase.
Kia Telluride Concept
Based on Sorento underpinnings, Telluride has three rows of seats, including captain's chairs front/middle. Tech includes front seats that measure the vitals of passengers, LED panel under the sunroof to treat jet lag, and a hybrid system that delivers 30-MPG via a 270 horsepower V6 and 130 hp electric motor. Sales to commence never.
2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
The bigger and lighter soul of Mercedes-Benz adopts S-Class styling, twin screen dashboard, and swipe-sensitive steering wheel controls. A standard 2.0-liter turbo-four delivers 241 horsepower through a 9-speed transmission. After launch, the E-Class will be available with active lane change assist, remote parking, Steering Pilot to follow cars in front, and side bolsters that move passengers away from impacts. Sales begin this summer.
2017 (Hyundai) Genesis G90
Genesis officially becomes Hyundai's luxury brand, replacing Equus with the G90. It's big and beautiful, coddling passengers in sublime luxury and powered by a choice of three gas engines paired with eight-speed transmissions: twin-turbo 3.3-liter V6, 3.8-liter V6, or 5.0-liter V8. This is the first of six Genesis models to roll out by 2020.
2017 Lexus LC500
Introduced by Toyota scion Akio Toyoda, LC500 fulfills his promise of no boring cars for Lexus. Concept coupe styling cues like razor thin headlamps, 21-inch wheels, and chopped roof carry to production. Underhood is a 467 horsepower 5.0-liter V8, connected to a 10-speed transmission, that propels the four-seater 0-60 mph in under 4.5s.
E-mail Casey at AutoCasey@aol.com; follow him on Youtube and Twitter: @AutoCasey.