The 2016 North American International Auto Show took place in Detroit last week, where journalists, bloggers, and car aficionados came to see what the world’s top automobile manufacturers had to offer. We spent a couple days at the show to see what all the hubbub was about, and we definitely weren’t disappointed. Here are our 10 favorite cars from the show:
Mercedes-Benz 130 Edition S63 Cabriolet
We won’t even try to sugar coat this one. The Mercedes-Benz AMG S63 Cabriolet “130 Edition” is going to retail at about $250,000. Yeah. Ouch. Now that that’s out of the way, the 130 Edition S63 Cabriolet is a taste of both heaven and hell. A sleek and luxurious convertible, done in a way that only Mercedes-Benz knows how, fools the driver into thinking he’s driving a standard luxury convertible coupe, all while a twin turbo 5.5-liter V8 pushes 585 horsepower to the beautiful matte black 20-inch 10-spoke wheels.
The latest addition to BMW’s M family of cars, the M2 also got a big reveal this year in Detroit. Did the M2 bring anything revolutionary for people who’ve been waiting for it? Not particularly, no. But if you’re a fan of the 2 Series cars—and we are—then you’ve spent quite a while in agonizing anticipation for the M2, and it totally delivered. A beautifully aggressive stance, accentuated by a nasty-looking front grill and headlight assembly, and the same telltale flared wheel arches M enthusiasts know and love. Oh, and the 370-horsepower turbocharged I6 motor is no slouch, either.
If we’re talking history, the Honda Ridgeline is nothing special. In fact, it’s one of the worst-selling pickup trucks the U.S. has ever seen. But in Detroit this year, the Ridgeline earned a spot on many top lists—ours included—because of Honda’s bonafide attempt at making good on their promises to make a less crappy Ridgeline. And we think they’ve delivered. From what we gather, the Ridgeline will be powered by a 3.5-liter V6 and a 6-speed automatic tranny, which are both nothing to write home about. However, what we’re intrigued by is the possibility of tan optional AWD system with Honda’s i-VTM4 terrain management software, which would put the Ridgeline right in the running with the Tacomas, Colorados, and Frontiers of the world. Sometimes it’s exciting to root for the underdog!
Buick Avista (Concept)
We’ve all seen the weird Buick commercials as of late. You know, the ones that feature people who don’t know what a Buick looks like, wondering where their friend—who owns a Buick—is located, even though their friend is, like, right next to them. Or the one where the girl goes, “My grandpa drove a Buick” and when the generically handsome long-haired fellow gets out of his Buick right outside the club, her friend replies, “Uh, that’s not your grandpa?”
Continuing the brand’s revitalization as a luxury car for cool people, the Buick Avista blew us away at the show. Sleek, modern, and elegant, with a touch of aggression and some bling thrown in for good measure, Buick’s beautiful new sport coupe features a twin-turbo V6 that puts out a respectable 400 horsepower to the rear wheels. If this is where the brand is going, we’re in.
Lexus LC 500
The car that stole the show for many, the debut of the Lexus LC 500, a 467-horsepower fire breather, signifies a major step forward in a new direction for the brand once reserved only for older folks looking for comfort and luxury. A beautiful and aggressive body, coupled with a sleek and purpose-designed interior, a lightweight steel chassis and RWD.
Porsche 911 Turbo
As you’d expect from the engineering geniuses at Porsche, the 911 Turbo is a work of art. The twin turbo’d 3.8 liter V6 pumps out a horrifying 540 horsepower, and bangs 0-60 in under three fucking seconds, thanks to the 911’s standard all-wheel drive platform. It has a top speed of just over 200 MPH, but we doubt you’d have the balls to go there, anyway!
Infiniti Q60 Sports Coupe
Infiniti’s new sports car, the Q60 Sports Coupe, also made a lasting impression on the crowd in Detroit. Displayed in both white and red, it was difficult to pick a favorite, but that’s neither here nor there. The important points are that it comes with a twin-turbo’d 3.0-liter V6, mated to a 7-speed automatic tranny (no manual options will be available—a pretty peculiar, if not troubling commonality we noticed throughout the show, this year), and will send power to all four wheels. It will be available in either 300-horsepower or 400-horsepower configurations, each churning out either 295 or 350 foot-pounds of torque, respectively.
Acura Precision (Concept)
Another of the NAIAS’ biggest head-turners this year was the Precision concept car from Acura. Seemingly taking a play right out of Lexus’ “emotional” new playbook, the folks at Acura came out swingin’ with the Precision concept. Designed under the same veterans who brought us the NSX, but without the $150k price tag. It’s wide, it’s low, and it’s beautiful.
Kia Telluride (Concept)
TELL-yoo-ride? Tell-UH-ride? Telephone? Ask us how to pronounce the new SUV concept from Kia, and we wouldn’t know what to say. Ask us if we like it, and the answer is a resounding “Yes.” Kia’s elegant and boxy plug-in SUV comes with a 270-horsepower V6 motor, coupled with a 130-horsepower electric motor. It can comfortably pack away seven passengers, is built on the same chassis as the super popular Kia Sorrento, and features suicide doors. We love it, and really hope Kia takes this clearly practical concept into production, in some fashion or another.
Nissan Titan Warrior
Nissan Titans, by themselves, are unassuming half-ton workhorses. People love them for their sturdy chassis and punchy Cummins 5-liter turbo diesel V8 motors. The Warrior concept, however, is a completely different animal, and makes a standard Titan look like light work. Powered by the same 310-horsepower 5-liter turbo diesel, the Warrior concept was presented with aggressive styling features, a purpose-built off-road suspension with a 3-inch lift, 37-inch off-road tires, carbon fiber rear cab and tailgate spoilers, off-road lighting, etc. All fun and games aside, don’t be mistaken; the Titan Warrior concept is still a workhorse, and a quick one, at that!