The 2016 Detroit Motor Show, otherwise known as the North American International Auto Show, opened its doors to the press on January 11th. The world’s top car manufacturers duly deposited their latest cars, cutting-edge technology and top executives into its show halls for rigorous inspection by the media.
Detroit 2016 brought the usual selection of brand new production cars and flight-of-fancy concepts for us to feast our eyes and camera lenses on. Highlights included the new Volvo S90 executive saloon, an all new hydrogen-powered concept car from Audi, the new Mercedes E-Class and the stunning Lexus LC500 sports car.
Over and above the new and highly polished metal on the manufacturers’ stands and the technology announcements in the press conferences, the Auto Express team took the opportunity to see and speak to many of the automotive industry’s top movers and shakers. These chats yielded an array of news stories from Porsche’s plans to integrate hybrid technology into the next 911 to the Mercedes-Benz chairman’s view on Lewis Hamilton’s “rock star” lifestyle.
Overall, the 2016 Detroit Motor Show gave us a procession of brilliant new cars to get excited about and left us much better informed about where the car industry we love is headed over the next 12 months. You’ll find all the important cars and the key things we learned below…
Scroll down for the lowdown on the cars of the Detroit Motor Show 2016 and the top news...
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Which cars stole the limelight at the 2016 instalment of the Detroit Motor Show? these are our pick of the most influential reveals...
• New Mercedes E-Class - the new 2016 E-Class takes a bow
• Lexus LC500 - stunning new Lexus coupe arrived with 460bhp V8
• Volvo S90 - Volvo's new exec saloon makes motor show debut
• Audi h-tron quattro concept - new hydrogen-powered Audi concept
• VW Tiguan GTE Active Concept - a tough off-road version of the new Tiguan
Our team had face time with a string of top automotive industry executives in Detroit. Here are the best of the stories they picked up...
• Next Porsche 911 to get plug-in hybrid power
• Hyundai’s Genesis brand to arrive in Europe with SUVs
• Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg "the perfect couple" says Mercedes boss
• Hydrogen-powered GLC SUV to lead Mercedes electric car range
• Ford reveals future tech plans in Detroit
All the pics from the Detroit show for your viewing pleasure...
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Below you'll find our full A to Z of what the world's leading car brands were up to at Detroit 2016...
Audi revealed its h-tron quattro concept at the Detroit show, based on the Q6 e-tron SUV concept we saw at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2015. The new car, seen here in a rather luminous yellow, has a hydrogen system that can produce the equivalent of 308bhp and a claimed range of 373 miles.
Just in case the standard A4 Avant wasn't chunky enough for you, Audi revealed its more capable 'Allroad' model at the Detroit show. Complete with flared wheelarches, 34mm of extra ground clearance and quattro four-wheel drive as standard, the A4 Allroad is scheduled to go on sale in the summer.
The M2, the smallest of BMW's M cars, was unveiled in Detroit and will bring the fight to its German rivals, the Mercedes-AMG A45 and Audi RS3, with a 3.0-litre straight-six engine producing 365bhp. An active rear differential and lightweight components should make this rear-drive pocket rocket a blast around the corners.
Keen to exploit absolutely every niche, a spiced-up M version of the X4 compact coupe-SUV was also displayed on the BMW stand. With slightly less power than the M2, at 355bhp, the X4 M40i will nonetheless make its way from 0-60mph in just 4.7 seconds.
This is thanks to TwinScroll turbo technology for the straight-six engine which BMW says will also boost efficiency. It's not a full-fat M car though.
Ford hasn't technically revealed anything new for the European market, but has announced a fleet of new technologies that could cross the pond in the near future. The biggest announcement is that of FordPass, which will rival Vauxhall and General Motors' OnStar services.
The brand has also announced that they have been testing autonomous vehicles in the snow - a first for any manufacturer - and has announced a new car leasing programme which lets friends and family share the costs of one new vehicle.
The Infiniti Q60 will be powered by a 3.0-litre turbo V6 engine with 400bhp, but there will also be a 208bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit available with slightly better economy figures.
Kia's US division has revealed a large SUV concept in Detroit named the Telluride. The tall shoulderline and pronounced wheelarches combine with chrome detailing showing premium aspirations, while the bluff front end takes cues from the Volvo XC90. A decision on US production for the car will be made soon, but it will not be coming to the UK
Hot on the heels of Infiniti's coupe offering was Japanese rival Lexus, but the latter is aiming further upmarket with the LC500. Revealead at Detroit, it will tackle the BMW 6-Series and Mercedes SL, and will take its place as the flagship offering in the brand alongside the LS saloon.
The LC500 gets a 467bhp 5.0-litre naturally-aspirated V8 from the firm's 'F' performance range, and a 10-speed single automatic gearbox, a Lexus first. It also features weight-saving materials such as carbon composite doors and a carbon-fibre roof.
Detroit saw the official launch of the Mercedes E-Class at a private event before the show this year. Leaked images of the new BMW 5-Series rival had emerged earlier this month, showing a design similar to the C and S-Class.
The all-new model will be the most technologically advanced car Mercedes has ever produced, and come with a range of more powerful and efficient engines. The saloon model will go on sale in the summer, followed then by an Estate, Coupe and Convertible.
The Mercedes SLK Roadster has received a facelift and a name change to Mercedes SLC, which fits in with the new naming structure the company are introducing. As shown in Detroit, it's a pretty mild facelift, but sleeker lights and a bolder grille added to aluminium trim and new leather for the seats bring it up-to-date.
The most expensive S-Class in the range, the S 65 AMG Cabriolet is based on the S-Class Cabriolet and its twin-turbo V12 powers it from 0-62mph in just 4.1 seconds. It's expected to go on sale in the UK in April and will cost around £200,000.
The main changes are under the bonnet where redesigned components give a 20bhp boost to both cars, bringing power up to a storming 572bhp for the Turbo S. Top speed will increase to 205mph while the car can reach 60mph from a standstill in 2.8 seconds.
We've also learned that the next generation of Porsche's 911 will get a hybrid version. The car will be still be a focused performance car but a hybrid powertrain based on its six-cylinder engine is in development.
Replacing the current S80, the Volvo S90 will go against the Mercedes E-Class, Jaguar XF and BMW 5 Series when it goes on sale in the summer. The same range of engines from the XC90 will feature - exclusively four-cylinder petrol and diesel units, along with a plug-in hybrid T8 model.
Volkswagen is aiming to steal the show with its latest SUV concept, as the Tiguan GTE Active Concept is more than just some thicker cladding and roof rails. Volkwagen is using the concept to showcase its next-generation infotainment system, which uses gesture control and a massive 9.2-inch touchscreen instead of conventional buttons and dials.
The GTE Active Concept's hybrid power system delivers a combined 222bhp, and is connected to a six-speed DSG gearbox.
As the USA's biggest Motor Show, there are of course several exhibits by American brands. Some have global presence but others are producing just for the home market.
There are also a few cars by other manufacturers, such as Hyundai's Genesis, that are targeted towards the US and won't make their way to the UK or Europe.
Acura is to Honda what Lexus is to Toyota - a luxury sub-division. The brand's cars haven't come to the UK before, but they're popular in the USA and the Precision Concept previews the firm's new design language.
Though marketed as a 'compact' crossover in the US, the Buick Envision is definitely a large car for UK tastes - and may make its way here badged as a successor to the Vauxhall Antara.
The Envision will be built in China and imported to the US, with only petrol power available - though we'd expect a diesel if the car comes to the UK.
Hyundai is going premium with its new brand, Genesis, and the G90 is the first of six new cars to be rolled out before 2020. It's a luxury saloon aimed at beating the likes of the Mercedes S-Class on space, technology but most importantly, price. It will be offered with three petrol engines - 3.3 or 3.8-litre V6 units or a 5.0-litre V8.
The Genesis brand will be sold across the United States, Russia, China and the Middle East. There are plans to bring it to Europe but Hyundai is waiting for the Genesis SUV models to come on stream first.
Pickups are big business in the UK, but our market is a drop in the ocean next to the USA, where pickups are every bit as popular as cars. Honda is showing the Ridgeline Pickup, promising fuel efficiency and safety as top priorities.
Despite the name, the big Lincoln won't be sold 'on the continent' - it's a US-only car. It's based on a stretched and altered Ford Mondeo platform using EcoBoost petrol engines.
Don't get too excited that this may signal the return of the Granada or another 'big Ford' as the Mondeo is likely to be as big as it gets for Ford this side of the Atlantic.
The VLF Destino is the end product from the ill-fated Fisker legacy. It's essentially a re-badged and re-engineered Fisker Karma, but tt's fitted with a massive supercharged 6.2-litre V8 from a Corvette ZR-1 and has an impressive 0-62moph time of 3.9 seconds.
Alongside the Destino saloon, VLF Automotive has debuted its striking Force 1 V10 at the 2016 Detroit Motor Show. Limited to just 50 units a year, the supercar gets a 745bhp 8.4-litre V10 from the Dodge Viper.
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What was your favourite car at the 2016 Detroit Motor Show? Let us know in the comments below...