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    Report Card: 2016 Detroit Auto Show


    • We Reported on the Vehicles That Made Their Appearance At Detroit, Now Its Time To Grade Them

    This year's Detroit Auto Show was somewhat down in terms of excitement. But considering last year's show was a 'once in a blue moon' event with a number of highly awaited vehicles and some surprises, 2016 was going to be somewhat a disappointment. Still, a number of automakers were willing to give it a shot and show off new models and concepts that would amaze all.

     

    It is time to see who is on the honor roll and who be heading to detention after the show.

     

    Acura Precision Concept: C
    Something I never thought I would say: I miss the shield grille. Also, were Acura's designers play too much F-Zero on the Super Nintendo.

     

    2017 Audi A4/A4 Allroad: C+/B+
    At first, I couldn't find the A4 sedan at Audi's booth. But after a moment and looking on the back on a number of their vehicles, I was able to find it. I never thought it was possible to self-plagiarize your design.

     

    At least, the A4 Allroad looks somewhat different than the current model. Also, the interior in both models is really sharp.

     

    Audi h-tron Concept: B+
    Finally, something that isn't an electric concept! Seriously, this is one really sharp looking concept.

     

    2016 BMW M2: A-
    I'll admit I wasn't interested in the M2 when I first wrote about back in October. But seeing it in person, I was intrigued. 0-60 times under 4.5 seconds from a revised turbo 3.0L inline-six and suspension tuning from M? This is something I want to drive.

     

    2016 BMW X4 M40i: C-
    So a 355 horsepower four-door crossover coupe thing with M bits for the suspension... WHY!? *Begins pulling hair out*

     

    Buick Avista Concept: A+
    And now for something surprising: Damn, that's a fine looking Buick. It helps there is a twin-turbo V6 and what many believe to be Alpha platform sitting underneath. Many want Buick to put this into production. But if past experience tells us anything, we could be seeing elements of Avista in a production model.

     

    2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback: A
    Mark Reuss said not bringing the first-generation Cruze was a mistake. GM hopes to fix this with the new Cruze Hatchback. After seeing it in person, I think Chevrolet has a real chance.

     

    2017 Chrysler Pacifica: A
    This could challenge the Kia Sedona for sexiest minivan on sale (yes, I know that is a contradiction). Also, the plug-in hybrid is a unique selling point. But why Pacifica? WHAT WAS WRONG WITH TOWN & COUNTRY?!

     

    2017 Ford Fusion: B-
    Postive: Refresh makes it look less like an Aston Martin
    Negative: Who wants to pay close to $40,000 for a Fusion?! (i.e. Platinum)

     

    2017 Ford Raptor SuperCrew: Incomplete
    Whoopie, there is a supercrew version of the Raptor... Ford, just go back to your room and think about why this warranted a show debut. Also, planning to release power figures soon?

     

    2017 Genesis G90: B+
    Somehow the new Equus, wait I mean G90 looks more frumpy than the model it replaces. The new engines and seemingly never-ending list of standard equipment make up for it.

     

    2017 GMC Acadia: A-
    How to drop 700 lbs out of a crossover? Make it smaller. With the Acadia, there is beginning to be some clear differentiation starting to appear in GM's large crossovers.

     

    2017 Honda Ridgeline: C+
    Now more truck like including a space between the cab and bed! Honda, you're not fooling anyone. At least, the in-truck bed is still there.

     

    2017 Infiniti Q60: A
    Keeps much of the design from the concept and brings some much needed new engines to Infiniti. Horray. Also Infiniti's direct steer system is optional which should quiet those folks who believe it is the worst thing to happen to cars (about five or six at last check).

     

    Kia Telluride Concept: Incomplete
    Uhh, hmm. I don't have any words for this concept.

     

    2017 Lincoln Continental: B-
    To quote my Instagram: "Lincoln... I really want to like you, but you are making it so hard to do so." Something on the design just seems off.

     

    2017 Lexus LC 500: A-
    The fact that Lexus made the LF-LC into a production model is shocking enough! Considering they didn't water it down is more shocking. But Lexus, we need to talk about building a V8 that is capable of 500-plus horsepower for this new coupe.

     

    2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class: B+
    Mercedes-Benz has taken the Audi ideals when designing their vehicles; using the enlarge and reduce function on the copy machine. But I like what Mercedes is doing with their design on their current sedan lineup. The sharpness of the interior is an added plus.

     

    Nissan Titan Warrior Concept: B+
    Glad to see someone else take Ford on with a Raptor even if it's a concept. Quick Aside: Can someone build a muscle truck again?!

     

    Volkswagen Tiguan GTE Active Concept: C
    Whose bright idea at Volkswagen was; let's take the concept we showed at Frankfurt, add some offroad bits, and call it the GTE Active? Great Idea, right? No.

     

    2017 Volvo S90: A+
    Woah. Inside and out, the new S90 is a stunner. It also helps that S90 underneath is the same as the North American Truck of the Year - the XC90.

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    Acura Precision Concept: C. It just an execixze in obsurdity. the radical design is actually borring at this point. Who would have thought

     

    2017 Audi A4/A4 Allroad: D/D. Jelly Bean.. I'm trufully sick to death of Audi's styling. Its boring in small, medium, and large. I really connot fathom what makes people see them as anything other than over-priced VWs.

     

     

    Audi h-tron Concept: D+. The plus is for teh technology, not the design

     

     

    2016 BMW M2: A-. I'll agree. Its gonna be a quick lil bitch

     

    2016 BMW X4 M40i: C. I am with the OP. What real reason do people think that a CUV.. needs to handle like an M-Series. Its silly. And it really detracts from the brand and the segment

     

    Buick Avista Concept: A++ This vehicle is so buildable it isn;t even funny. Frankly I'd settle for the Opel MOnza inspired GT... which I bet resembles this BUick a great deal.

     

    2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback: A+ Should have come a while ago.. I am actually fine with this over a coupe, but seriously believe the one thing it lacks is the return of the SS engine. 300HP+ Anyone?

     

    2017 Chrysler Pacifica: B. I hate minivans, but a people mover shoudl be efficient. If this gets what FCA promises, 80MPG, then I'm all for it. Styling does make it livable

     

    2017 Ford Fusion: C. I never saw what the hoopla was about. Outside of the grille.. the Fusion came off as plain jane. Now.. the grill is gone.. and all that is left is the rest of it. BLAH!!!

     

    2017 Ford Raptor SuperCrew: Incomplete

    Whoopie, there is a supercrew version of the Raptor... Ford, just go back to your room and think about why this warranted a show debut. Also, planning to release power figures soon?

     

    2017 Genesis G90: F-. Blatant stealing off someone else's paper used to get a failing grade when I was in school

     

    2017 GMC Acadia: A- Like the ENVOY.. the ENVOY.. it replaces... it should offer a V8 or at least V8 power via the LF3 detuned to say.. 360HP. The 8Speed is missing as well. 

     

    2017 Honda Ridgeline: D. Japanese go home. Colorado and Canyon rule this land

     

    2017 Infiniti Q60: B.. for the 400HP. The looks. SOrry.. I'm just not into the Infinti, Lexus look

      

    2017 Lincoln Continental: B-

    To quote my Instagram: "Lincoln... I really want to like you, but you are making it so hard to do so." Something on the design just seems off.  I agree. Nuff said

     

    2017 Lexus LC 500: A- Props to Lexus for building it... It will get the driver noticed. Cadillac.. its your turn. Build the ElMiraj so the Lexus driver pulling right up to U.. doesn't get noticed at all. 

     

    2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class: B for the sake of familiarity. I too have seen this before.. and it actually looks better as it gets larger. The C-Class is an awkward mess. The E seems to get better.. the S-Class drives it home.

     

     

    2017 Volvo S90: A Props to Volvo too for building this. While I wouldn't buy one it defeinetly should out all near-luxo builders on notice. BUICK.. this is what U should do in terms of materials and finish in your Enclave
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    All A's report card from a GM site.

    Shocking, I know.

     

     

    And for the record, the Raptor is all new, in it's second generation of having a crew cab, and GM has NOTHING to compete with it still.

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    All A's report card from a GM site.

    Shocking, I know.

     

     

    And for the record, the Raptor is all new, in it's second generation of having a crew cab, and GM has NOTHING to compete with it still.

     

    We are not a GM site.

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    I'd say the winner is the  Pacifica (A+) because the hybrid is revolutionary for the segment (even though few will buy it) and they did add a lot of technology, the multimedia for kids in the back, the 9-speed auto, they copied Honda's in car vacuum, etc.  And the styling is sleek and somewhat unique for a van.  Pacifica I think can really take over that segment.

     

    Stuff like the Fusion and E-class, they tweak them since they are big volume players in their segments, they will keep that going.   I like what they did with the E-class, the interior and technology really push it forward and it has the familiar Mercedes look.  Fusion is just a refresh, I'd give the E-class an A- because I would have liked a bit more unique styling.

     

    The Acura (D) concept is there to get headlines and make them look like a prime time luxury brand.  Otherwise they would have a trio os Honda-Inspired sedans and a rebadged Pilot on their stage, and no one would pay attention to them.  That precision concept is something they'll never build, but they want to keep teasing the fan base.  I feel like the Buick Avista is a bit like that too, although I think they should build a 3.6 V6 Avista, a grand touring style Camaro for about $40k.  I think that is a sell-able car that you can get enough volume off of.

     

    The Ridgeline (B)  looks a little awkward, but it could do well with the car like ride, Honda reliability, the storage bin under the pick up bed, etc.  Mid-size pickups got pretty dated, until the GM twins showed up, and after like 10 years a new Tacoma.  Competition is heating up there again.

     

    Acadia (A-) I think they did right.  It looks trucky as a GMC should, it moved to mid-size which is the sweet spot, and they have Enclave and Yukon there if you want bigger.

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    All A's report card from a GM site.

    Shocking, I know.

     

     

    And for the record, the Raptor is all new, in it's second generation of having a crew cab, and GM has NOTHING to compete with it still.

    Any idea of when we might hear something about the power figures? I was hoping we would have heard it in Detroit.
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    I would give extra credit marks to the following vehicles.

     

    Fusion. Bump it to B. I'll give credit for Ford realizing a sale lost on Lincoln is better captured by Ford one way or another. And they're the de facto performance leader in their segment now, and the platinum level interior is capable of punching above its class. Plus I really like the way it looks, but that didn't factor in the extra marks I would give.

     

    Buick Avista: You don't get a grade. You get advanced placement, you're off to battle school, and your grades are so good you make the Xenocide, Ender Wiggin, irrelevant. This is a car that would, quite frankly, upset the power balance in the GM portfolio, and a car like this would really shake Cadillac ATS to the bone.

     

    Lexus LC-500 - 100% completion. It's a concept car that is the production car. I can't believe Lexus had the guts to build it. It's an irrational car for an utterly rational brand. Besides, they are going against some exclusive competition too. This is an example for Cadillac. It's one of those cars I would actually buy if I had the money. And if it is utterly superior to anything else, especially that beautiful peanut butter interior, no nationalist buying criteria will bail out something from the home team. I'll go full sellout and get myself thrown out of the country.

     

    Lincoln Continental - B+

     

    I don't want to like this car, and I really kind of don't, but every time I see it... I think for once Lincoln has a deep understanding of what its customers want. Lincoln cannot possibly serve its customers as the "me too" sporty sedan. It can't. They've figured out that having ultra-luxury level features such as 30 way power seats, hi-fi Harman Audio, liberal use of cow-hide is their way forward. They put their money into a fine interior when they didn't have the money for an exclusive platform. That's probably a smart thing to do, customers look at the inside and exterior more than the dirty underneath bits. Building relationships with their customers - that is important too. Serve the customer. I'll call it the 'be the Butler strategy.'

     

    The Raptor- It's just a pass/fail option for this car. And it passes because its only competition are concepts from these days and days past.

     

    Everything else I agree with William's grades assignments.

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    All A's report card from a GM site.

    Shocking, I know.

     

     

    And for the record, the Raptor is all new, in it's second generation of having a crew cab, and GM has NOTHING to compete with it still.

     

    Really?! Really.. Sure I gave seven As on the report card, but only three were GMs. The rest were Chrysler, Infiniti, Lexus, and Volvo. How does this make me bias to GM?

     

    And your second point, the Raptor isn't all new. They showed it off last year. Sure the supercrew is all new, but the fact Ford didn't give any power numbers or show off some interesting new feature is why it got an incomplete.

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    Buick Avista: Circlejerkery for a car that will never, ever, ever, ever be built. 4/10

     

    Continental: Equally as milquetoast as the breakfast sharing its name. Should be called the 'Lincoln Flyover State' because ain't nobody stopping for that. 4/10

     

    Acadia: GM's cultural appropriation bent endures, by continuing the Acadia name without any reverence for the Acadian culture. GM should make the dash cluster half Francophone as a start. Still not as bad as the free blankets some Pontiac dealers distributed with Aztek tent packages. 4/10

     

    Raptor SuperCrew: SuperCompensation. 4/10

     

    Nissan Titan Warrior: Reliable SuperCompensation. 4/10

    Honda Ridgeline: Dudebro's appreciate the clean design inviting customization and the box speakers, ensuring your next outdoor event will be thoroughly ruined. 4/10

    Chrysler Pacifica: Stylish suburban spawn-schlepper with copious room for even more spawn. Gives parents the illusion of class while carting around their little bundles of bad decisions. Will become ground zero for missing french fries and feckless, entitled lower-middle income suburban white males. 4/10

    Tesla: Not sharing space with the trash above. 10/10

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    Acura Precision Concept: Fail

    I'm actually liking Acura's current design language for the ILX and TLX, as well as the NSX (which I'm skeptical will ever be released). This hideous abortion looks like Lexus was tasked with refreshing the ZDX. Just stahp.

     

    2016 BMW M2: A

    Good to see BMW taking a break from the endless variants, 4-door coupes, and crossover sedan coupe monstrosities to build something genuinely appealing to enthusiasts in the way the best M3 used to do.

     

    Buick Avista Concept: –

    It's not a fail because it looks good, it has a great chassis, and solid powertrain. I just don't get it. It makes no sense for Buick and it will never reach production. Build the f@#king Avenir and stop toying with my emotions.

     

    2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback: A-

    This exceeded my expectations as far as design. I'd love to see it in a non-embarrassing color. The only thing it lacks is a compelling drivetrain or sport model, the new 1.4T is adequate but lacks lust or excitement. GM needs a performance car below the Camaro, this has the potential.
     

    2017 Chrysler Pacifica: A

    Very impressive minivan. I have no interest in this segment, but it looks good and is quite innovative.

     

    2017 Ford Fusion: B

    Underwhelming refresh, glad it looks less Aston than before. The sport will be a great car for the money, but speaks volumes about Ford's true lack of devotion to set Lincoln apart in a meaningful way.

     

    2017 Ford Raptor SuperCrew: Incomplete

    I agree with the incomplete assessment. Drop the specs already! Looks awesome.

     

    2017 Genesis G90: B

    Glad Hyundai spun off a luxury brand to build a reputation. Exterior is decent, interior is impressive. I still doubt their ability to build a luxury competitive chassis and powertrain.

     

    2017 GMC Acadia: B+

    I think the downsize is a brilliant move with the Acadia, HOWEVER, I'm not feeling the headlight design (doesn't say GMC at all). No 8 speed, no exciting engine options, why do I get the feeling the 6-speed is a hold over for the new Ford/GM trans?

     

    2017 Honda Ridgeline: C

    Looks better and more like a truck than its predecessor. Falls woefully short of the Canyon/Colorado in any meaningful metric, and base models are now FWD.

     

    2017 Infiniti Q60: B

    Design is too over the top for me, the hitch in the c-pillar just kills it. Asian automakers are all in this over-design phase and they keep cranking out weird sh*t.

     

    Kia Telluride Concept: Fail

    What the hell were they thinking?

     

    2017 Lincoln Continental: C

    This is supposed to be Lincoln's flagship, and the return of a storied nameplate and a kickstart to Lincoln brand equity. Every little detail that didn't make it from the concept to production cheapened the car considerably IMO. I will say the seats look great. I'll reserve final judgement until the car is tested and reviewed to see if it ascends beyond its FWD roots, or if it's another MKS.

     

    2017 Lexus LC 500: B

    I'm not going to pat Lexus on the back for continuing to cram their design language down our throats. This is one of the better looking iterations, but is that really a compliment given the context? Powertrain seems to carry over from the RC-F, yawn.

     

    Nissan Titan Warrior Concept: A

    Really wish more of these details had made it to the mundane looking XD. This concept totally transforms the truck visually.

    Edited by cp-the-nerd
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    Buick Avista: You don't get a grade. You get advanced placement, you're off to battle school, and your grades are so good you make the Xenocide, Ender Wiggin, irrelevant. This is a car that would, quite frankly, upset the power balance in the GM portfolio, and a car like this would really shake Cadillac ATS to the bone.

     

     

     

    Not at all. The ATS, for one, is in its last two years.. this Buick wouldn't be intro'ed til around 2018. As gorgeous as it is.. the CT3(?) is gonna be taking on the Elmiraj design language, as the current one is more in line with the Ciel. The other thing is that this is SPORTY... exclusively so. Its like comparing a 911 to a Panamera. Different purposes, even in coupe form.

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    All A's report card from a GM site.

    Shocking, I know.

     

     

    And for the record, the Raptor is all new, in it's second generation of having a crew cab, and GM has NOTHING to compete with it still.

     

    Really?! Really.. Sure I gave seven As on the report card, but only three were GMs. The rest were Chrysler, Infiniti, Lexus, and Volvo. How does this make me bias to GM?

     

    And your second point, the Raptor isn't all new. They showed it off last year. Sure the supercrew is all new, but the fact Ford didn't give any power numbers or show off some interesting new feature is why it got an incomplete.

     

     

    Why?

     

    Because the Raptor is all new and never seen before, except as a concept, same as the Continental, which you gave a B-.  And your reasoning for giving Raptor an incomplete, was that you said there are no power numbers, yet there are, 'albeit not finalized at '450/450.'  So hardly a reason for an incomplete, IMO.  And you simply complained about the price of Fusion, completely ignoring the new Sport which is rare in this segment of mundane family movers.  BTW, final power numbers are not revealed their as well, only estimates, so perhaps you should change that to incomplete as well.  Hey, I recognize it is no Cruze hatchback, good for an A, but I digress. 

     

    And don't be ashamed of having a bit of a bias, we all have it.

    Edited by Wings4Life
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    Wings why are you on uber defense mode?

     

    Drew already said that the CT6 and Conti are about evenly matched given what you get with both, and what we know or expect the pricing structure to be for both.

     

    And Casa, it's okay, I'd buy the Camaro over the ATS or CT3 too. And not because I'd save a helluva lot of money AND get the better looking coupe, get a better infotainment system, but because you can get the same V8 as GM's performance flagship, and I could also be satisfied that more competent drivers than I could run circles around a V Series ATS or CT3.

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    Wings, how is the Raptor all new when they gave me a model of the Raptor at last year's Detroit auto show?  What they showed this year is just a larger cab model of the one that they showed last year?

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    Was it really like a big-time debut thing where they dimmed the lights, and paraded the thing out?

     

    Or was it just:

     

    "here's the new thingamabobber!!! Oh yeah, everything else in this segment is a n00b!!!"

     

    "They are the weakest links. Goodbye!"

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    My apologies to the OP for my remarks on your assessment of the show, as I honestly felt that Ford/Lincoln had a better showing than was represented here with your report card.

     

    This is a subjective thread after all, and not my place to challenge.

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    Wings why are you on uber defense mode?

     

    Drew already said that the CT6 and Conti are about evenly matched given what you get with both, and what we know or expect the pricing structure to be for both.

     

    And Casa, it's okay, I'd buy the Camaro over the ATS or CT3 too. And not because I'd save a helluva lot of money AND get the better looking coupe, get a better infotainment system, but because you can get the same V8 as GM's performance flagship, and I could also be satisfied that more competent drivers than I could run circles around a V Series ATS or CT3.

    U're entitled to buy whatcha like... Me? I would take the current ATS V hands down over the mighty Camaro and the LT1. The LF4 is simply too good and the Cadillac only lacks in terms of gauges versus the Chevy due to DOB. CT3 will rectify quite a few things.

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    My apologies to the OP for my remarks on your assessment of the show, as I honestly felt that Ford/Lincoln had a better showing than was represented here with your report card.

     

    This is a subjective thread after all, and not my place to challenge.

    Yet U did. Ford had the Continental debut.. IMO.. Boring. As a luxury lover, there is nothing that inspires me to want to buy that car. U are making such HoopLa over... I assume U have one on order?

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    My apologies to the OP for my remarks on your assessment of the show, as I honestly felt that Ford/Lincoln had a better showing than was represented here with your report card.

     

    This is a subjective thread after all, and not my place to challenge.

    Yet U did. Ford had the Continental debut.. IMO.. Boring. As a luxury lover, there is nothing that inspires me to want to buy that car. U are making such HoopLa over... I assume U have one on order?

     

     

    Let it go casa.

    Let it go.

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    My apologies to the OP for my remarks on your assessment of the show, as I honestly felt that Ford/Lincoln had a better showing than was represented here with your report card.

     

    This is a subjective thread after all, and not my place to challenge.

    Yet U did. Ford had the Continental debut.. IMO.. Boring. As a luxury lover, there is nothing that inspires me to want to buy that car. U are making such HoopLa over... I assume U have one on order?

     

    Let it go casa.

    Let it go.

    Right. If it makes U feel better... I at least like the effort

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      The new SUV from Audi takes a sporty and taut stance on the street. A sculpturally flared Singleframe grille with a solid frame dominates its aerodynamically flat front end. It is available with headlights that are either in LED or high-resolution Matrix LED technology with dynamic turn lights.
      Typically Audi: Reference to the quattro drive
      A distinctively curved and strongly undercut shoulder line gives structure to the side view. The strongly emphasized wheel arches are a reference to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system, and the low greenhouse tapers back down early. Just as at the front, horizontal lines at the rear convey an image of width and presence. The tail lights are also available with optional dynamic turn signals. The tailgate wraps around the C-pillars – a typical feature of the Q models from Audi. A diffuser insert integrates the exhaust tailpipes.
      Audi is offering the new Q5 in 14 different exterior colors. Five newly configured equipment lines are available – sport and design, the S line sport package, design selection and the S line exterior package. They influence the overall appearance. In the design line, contrasting gray add-on parts emphasize the rugged character of the new SUV, while the sport equipment line of the Audi Q5 has parts fully painted in the exterior color.
      Weight saved: up to 90 kg (198.4 lb) lighter than the previous model
      4.66 meters (15.3 ft) long, 1.89 meters (6.2 ft) wide and 1.66 meters (5.4 ft) tall with a 2.82 meter (9.3 ft) wheelbase – compared to the previous model, the new Q5 has grown in nearly all of its dimensions. Consequently, the unladen weight was reduced – depending on the engine – by up to 90 kg (198.4 lb). Steels with maximum tensile strength and aluminum form an intelligent material mix in the body.
      The new Q5 also stands at the top of its class in its aerodynamics. The four-cylinder versions attain a cd figure of 0.30 with the aerodynamically optimized roof. Wind noises are exceptionally low, and vibration comfort is high – the new SUV from Audi indulges the driver and passengers with the best interior acoustics in its class.
      Spacious and wide: the interior
      The interior offers a lot of space for five persons, and it surpasses the previous model and its competitors in key dimensions. Its horizontally oriented lines underscore the impression of width and comfort, and a three-dimensional trim strip runs across the entire width of the instrument panel. The new equipment lines concept offers customers a broad selection of colors and materials.
      The new, high-efficiency air conditioner is available in two versions. A three-spoke multifunction steering wheel is standard; additional functions such as steering wheel heating are optional. Seat features range all the way to a pneumatic massage function. When it is dark, the optional ambient lighting (standard with design selection) creates an attractive atmosphere in 30 different colors. The workmanship quality in the new Q5 is uncompromising.
      The rear seat back of the new Audi Q5 is split into three segments. Longitudinal and seat back angle adjustment are optional. Depending on the rear seat position, the basic volume of the luggage compartment ranges from 550 to 610 liters (19.4 to 21.5 cu ft), 10 liters (0.4 cu ft) more than in the previous model. When the rear bench is folded down, this volume grows to 1,550 liters (54.7 cu ft). Cargo loading is simplified by intelligent solutions like a standard, variably folding mat, optional sensor control of the power tailgate and manual lowering of the body via the optional air suspension.
      Simply coherent: controls and displays
      Operation of the new Audi SUV is intuitive and is marked by three great new features. The optional Audi virtual cockpit presents brilliant graphics on its high-resolution 12.3-inch screen. The driver can choose from two views – a classic view with large round instruments and a mode in which the navigation map or lists dominate. The also optional head-up display projects key information onto the windshield.
      The MMI terminal in the center console acts as the main control element. In the top infotainment system, the MMI navigation plus with MMI touch and an 8.3-inch display, a touchpad is integrated into the rotary pushbutton. It recognizes handwritten entries as well as gestures familiar from consumer electronics such as zooming gestures. If the new Q5 has an automatic transmission, it also has the larger MMI all-in-touch including haptic feedback.
      The MMI operating logic is based on the flat hierarchies used in today’s smartphones, and it offers such features as intelligent free-text search. The new natural-language voice control function also recognizes inputs from everyday speech. Serving as an additional third operating level in the new Audi Q5 is the multifunction steering wheel plus. Audi can deliver a newly developed head-up display as an option. It projects relevant information onto the windshield – including from driver assistance systems – as symbols and numbers that can be perceived quickly.
      Audi navigation: “Personal route assist”
      The new Audi Q5, like the Q7 and the A4, has a self-learning “personal route assist” function. After activating this function, the navigation system learns the routes and destinations that the customer regularly selects, and it associates this information to the parked position and time of day.
      For as long as it is active, the system therefore learns from the customer’s behavior and uses this information to suggest optimized route planning for the next trip – even while navigation is inactive. The navigation system incorporates the three most likely destinations into the calculation, taking into consideration both the arrival time and current traffic levels. For instance, the system can suggest that the customer activate navigation to find out about potential alternative routes. The driver decides whether or not to activate the function. He also has the option of deleting saved destinations. If the function is deactivated, the system does not store the destinations and does not consider deleted destinations or the routes driven.
      Online via LTE: MMI navigation plus
      MMI navigation plus utilizes the Audi connect module to integrate a LTE module and a Wi-Fi hotspot – this lets passengers go online with up to eight mobile devices. Audi connect enables convenient roaming in Europe for many Audi connect services with its permanently installed SIM card – the Audi connect SIM with a flat data rate. If they wish, users can also book data packages for the Wi-Fi hotspot at attractive prices, which also include EU roaming.
      The free Audi MMI connect app produces a close interconnection between the car and smartphone or a smartwatch and offers other services. They include remote checking of important vehicle states, online media streaming and transmission of a calendar from a smartphone to the MMI.
      High-end option: the infotainment modules
      The Audi phone box connects smartphones to the vehicle’s antenna for optimal reception quality; it also charges smartphones inductively according to the Qi standard. The Bang & Olufsen Sound System with innovative 3D sound introduces the spatial dimension of height. The Audi tablet, which is also new, serves as a flexible Rear Seat Entertainment device. The Audi smartphone interface also brings Apple CarPlay and Android Auto into the new Q5.
      Driver assistance and safety systems
      In its driver assistance systems, the new Audi Q5 also tops its segment with a broad range of high-tech options. In their intelligent interplay, the systems represent a next step towards piloted driving. They are bundled into three packages – Tour, City and Parking.
      The predictive efficiency assistant helps the driver save fuel by specific information on the car’s surroundings. Adaptive cruise control (ACC) including traffic jam assist can handle some of the steering work in slow-moving traffic. Audi active lane assist makes it easier to stay in lane. Distance warning alerts the driver when the distance to a vehicle drops below a safe distance.
      Cross traffic assist rear, the exit warning system, collision avoidance assist and turn assist are other new features that perform excellently in pursuit of safety. The same applies to the pre sense systems – Audi pre sense city is a standard feature which warns of pedestrians and vehicles and may initiate automatic emergency braking within system limits. Park assist, the camera-based recognition of traffic signs and hill descent assist round out the features.
      Powerful quintet: TDI and TFSI engines
      The new Audi Q5 is launching in Europe with five powerful and efficient engines: four TDI engines and one TFSI. They have added up to 20 kW (27 hp) of power, with fuel consumption however being significantly reduced. Particularly the 2.0 TDI engines in the new Q5, with outputs of 110 kW (150 hp), 120 kW (163 hp) and 140 kW (190 hp), are highly efficient. The two-liter diesel is also a highly efficient engine in the version with 140 kW (190 hp).
      The two top engines combine ample power with efficiency. The further developed 2.0 TFSI has an output of 185 kW (252 hp), yet it only consumes 6.8 liters of gasoline per 100 km (34.6 US mpg), which equates to 154 grams CO2 per km(247.8 g/mi). The also intensively revised 3.0 TDI increases output to 210 kW (286 hp) with 620 Nm (457.3 lb ft) of torque.
      Versatile and efficient: drivetrain
      The drivetrain of the mid-size SUV has been redeveloped from the ground up – this also applies to the six-speed manual transmission, seven-speed S tronic and eight-speed tiptronic (only with the 3.0 TDI). The automatic transmissions integrate a fuel-saving freewheel function. The driver controls it by a selection lever or by shift paddles on the steering wheel; in both cases, the control signals are transmitted electronically.
      The new quattro drivetrain with ultra technology is standard equipment for the 2.0 TDI with 120 kW (163 hp) and 140 kW (190 hp), and for the 2.0 TFSI with 185 kW (252 hp). Audi can deliver it as an option for the entry-level diesel engine with 110 kW (150 hp). The quattro with ultra technology always disengages the rear-axle drive whenever it is not needed, and if necessary it can proactively re-engage it. The new concept boosts efficiency without reducing traction or driving dynamics.
      In both the front-wheel drive and quattro drive versions, torque vectoring gives handling a refined touch. The intelligent software solution always delivers a dynamic, precise and controllable driving experience. For the V6 diesel, Audi can deliver an optional sport differential at the rear axle which distributes torque between the wheels as necessary and thereby provides a maximum of driving dynamics – this is another new feature in this model series and in the competitive field.
      Resolving contradictions: the chassis
      The new Audi Q5 enables handling that combines very different strengths – it is sporty while being extremely comfortable. Creating the basis for this are the newly developed five-link suspensions and also the new electromechanical power steering system. Dynamic steering is available as an option; it varies its gear ratio according to the driving speed and steering angle.
      Customers can choose from two extension stages of springs and damping. The chassis with damper control offers a very wide spread between comfort and dynamics, which the driver can select via Audi drive select. In addition to adjusting damper control, the new adaptive air suspension can be used to vary the ride height of the car body over five stages. In the Audi Q5 
      3.0 TDI, these two systems and the sport differential are bundled into a new central chassis control unit.
      In the standard system, Audi drive select, which accesses various technical modules, the driver can select one of as many as seven driving modes. The two new modes, lift/offroad and allroad, emphasize the offroad character of the Audi Q5 optimally.
      The new Audi SUV comes from the factory with 17-inch alloy wheels. The design and sport equipment lines come with 18-inch wheels, and the S line sport package and Audi design selection come with 19-inch wheels. Wheels up to 21 inches in diameter are available as options.
      The new Audi Q5 is manufactured at a newly constructed plant in Mexico. It will arrive at dealers in Germany and other European countries at the beginning of 2017. The base price at the start of sales for the Q5 2.0 TDI 120 kW quattro S tronic will be 45,100 euros.
      A New Body of Work - 400PS Audi RS3 Saloon Debuts In Paris
      The first Audi RS saloon since 2010 features the world’s most powerful five-cylinder engine now rated at 400PS First compact Audi saloon to bear an RS badge 2.5 TFSI aluminium engine with 400PS and 480Nm of torque (354 lb-ft) 0-62mph in just 4.1 seconds and optional 174mph top speed Wider track compared to the Audi A3 and signature RS design cues The most powerful five-cylinder engine on the world market         Ingolstadt/Paris, September 29, 2016 –  Now booted, and even better suited to covering ground with incredible pace and agility, the new Audi RS 3 takes to the stage in saloon form at the Paris Motor Show this week, matching blistering performance with a captivating soundtrack created by the most powerful five-cylinder engine ever to empower a series production Audi. The 400PS, 174mph RS 3 makes history as the first saloon in the brand’s history to use a transversely mounted configuration for its evocative powerplant, which has a proven track record as a seven-time winner of an ‘International Engine of the Year’ category award. 
      The new 2.5 TFSI delivers a phenomenal 400PS and 480 Nm (354.0 lb-ft) of torque, available at engine speeds between 1,700 and 5,850 revolutions per minute. Such firepower allows the the compact RS model to sprint from 0 to 62 mph in just 4.1 seconds. It can attain a maximum speed of 155mph and, upon request, Audi will increase the electronically limited top speed to 174mph. The unique sound of the five-cylinder unit intensifies an already emotionally charged driving experience originating from the ignition alternating between directly adjacent cylinders and widely spaced ones. The sound can be modified via Audi drive select.
      With its light-alloy crankcase, the five-cylinder engine is 26 kilograms lighter than before. It employs a dual injection into the intake manifold and into the combustion chambers, as well as the Audi valvelift system for variable control of the exhaust valves.
      Relentless traction, steadfast driving safety
      With lightning-fast shifting, the S tronic seven-speed dual clutch transmission transmits the power of the 2.5 TFSI to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive. Its electro-hydraulic multi-plate clutch distributes the drive torque variably between the axles. The electronic control combines superior stability with a high level of driving pleasure. The more focused the driving, the faster and more often will a large share of the torque will reach the rear axle. The result is especially agile handling characteristics.
      quattro management is integrated as a standard feature in the Audi drive select dynamic handling system, as are the steering, S tronic, engine management and the adjustable exhaust flaps. The driver can individually vary the operation of these components between the three modes comfort, auto and dynamic. The same is true for the optional RS sport suspension plus with adaptive damper control.
      Wheel-selective torque control, an intelligent software feature of the Electronic Stabilisation Control (ESC), rounds off the work of the all-wheel drive. In fast cornering it slightly brakes the inside wheels, which are under a reduced load. In this way it can transmit greater lateral power, making handling more fluid and stable. In addition, the RS-specifically tuned ESC comes with a sport mode for controlled drifting. The ESC can also be fully deactivated for even more engaging driving characteristics.
      Progressive steering, a four-link rear axle, a tight setup and lowered by 25 millimetres relative to the standard model – the chassis of the RS 3 Saloon is the perfect partner for the powerful drive system. From its stable centre position, the RS 3 Saloon deftly tackles curves and exits with superior precision.
      The front brake discs have a diameter of 370 millimetres, while eight-piston calipers with large-area linings provide optimal deceleration. Alternatively, Audi supplies carbon-fibre ceramic discs upfront.
      The rear axle is fitted with brake discs which are 310 millimetres in diameter. Standard on the RS 3 Saloon are 19-inch wheels and 235/35 tyres. 255/30 tyres are optionally available for the front axle.
      Distinctive RS design outside and inside
      The Singleframe grille with its three-dimensional honeycomb design bears the quattro logo along the bottom. Underneath, a blade extends across the entire width of the front into the side air inlets, where it forms narrow funnels for better air flow through the wheel arches. LED headlights with their distinctive daytime running light signature are standard; Audi also offers matrix LED headlights as an option.
      Compared with an A3, the front track of the RS 3 Saloon is wider by 20 millimetres – the front wheel arches are accordingly flared wider as well. At the rear axle the wheels are spaced 14 millimetres further apart compared with the standard model.
      A fixed spoiler lip on the luggage compartment lid improves the separation of air flow. A distinctive diffuser insert with vertical struts and the large oval tailpipes of the RS exhaust system terminate the rear. Audi exclusively offers the RS-specific paint colors Nardo grey and Catalunya red as options.
      The dark-toned interior welcomes the driver and passengers with illuminated door sills bearing the RS 3 logos as a standard feature. Black fine Nappa leather sport seats with RS logos on the backrests are standard. Optionally available are more contoured RS sport seats with integrated head restraints. Their covers are also diamond patterned and colour-perforated. The RS sport leather steering wheel is flattened at the bottom. Inlays at the instrument panel and at the doors complete the customary Audi Sport touches.
      Intuitive operation and high-definition displays
      The flat hierarchies and intelligently linked context menus make operation of the Audi RS 3 Saloon intuitive and ergonomic. The main control element is the rotary/push-button control on the console of the centre tunnel. With the top infotainment system MMI navigation plus with MMI touch, the terminal includes a touchpad for scrolling, zooming and writing.
      Additionally included is a free text search feature that automatically completes the user’s input after entering just a few letters. The voice control processes questions and commands formulated in everyday language.
      As standard, a seven-inch electrically extending MMI screen is fitted. The two circular instrument dials are black with red needles and white scales. The centrally positioned driver information system includes a boost pressure indicator, an oil thermometer and a lap timer.
      The fully digital Audi virtual cockpit is optionally available. On its high-resolution 12.3-inch monitor the driver can choose between three display modes. They include a special RS screen that moves the tachometer to the centre. On the left and right information appears on tyre pressure, torque and g-forces. When the transmission is operating in manual mode, a scale with a colour background prompts the driver to use the steering wheel paddle or selector lever to upshift when approaching maximum revs.
      Always online with Audi connect and Audi smartphone interface
      An LTE module gets the Audi RS 3 Saloon online. It brings on board the various services of Audi connect, including navigation with Google Earth and Google Street View, as well as information on fuel prices, the weather, travel and traffic. The information is displayed directly in the MMI, and operation is by way of the standard-equipped RS multifunction steering wheel, the rotary/push-button control and touchpad or by spoken command. Data is transmitted via the new Audi connect SIM, which is factory-installed in the car.
      With the corresponding data flat rate the customer can immediately use the services for up to three years free of charge – even in other European countries. In addition, the navigation systems include a Wi-Fi hotspot enabling passengers to surf the web with their tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices.
      The free Audi MMI connect app offers many other features, such as transferring your smartphone’s calendar to the MMI. Through Aupeo! and Napster it affords access to countless music tracks and audio books. Destinations from Google Maps, points of interest (POIs) and the entries from the “Travel” service can be transferred from your smartphone to your car’s navigation system using the app. The Audi smartphone interface brings Apple Car Play and Android Auto into the car.
      Selected apps for the phone, navigation and streaming services, for example, are then directly displayed on the MMI screen. The driver can control the apps using the various operating options in the car.
      Attractive supplementary components complete the infotainment lineup. The Audi phone box inductively charges the smartphone according to the Qi standard and connects it to the car antenna via near-field coupling for optimal reception quality. The Bang & Olufsen Sound System produces an excellent sound experience with 705 watts of power and 14 speakers.
      New portfolio of assistance systems
      The RS 3 Saloon is also at the top of its class when it comes to driver assistance systems. They keep the car at the desired distance from the vehicle in front, assist the driver when changing lanes and staying within the given lane, detect traffic signs and help avoid rear-end collisions and pedestrian accidents.
      New are the traffic jam assist, which briefly takes over the steering in slow-moving traffic up to 37mph, the emergency assist, which automatically stops the car if required, and cross traffic assist rear. The latter system looks out for crossing vehicles when pulling out of a parking space.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Audi had two world premieres for this year's Paris Motor Show, the redesigned 2017 Q5 crossover and the high-performance RS3 sedan.
      We'll begin with the Q5 as it is one of Audi's most important vehicles. The first thing you'll notice is how much the new model looks like the outgoing one. Yes, there is a larger grille and sculpted lines from the larger Q7. But the redesigned Q5 somehow looks very much the same as the current one. At least the new Q5 is larger in all dimensions which allows for a more spacious interior. Speaking of the interior, the Q5 follows the same ideals as seen the in the A4. This means a clean and simple dash layout and the optional of Audi's Virtual Cockpit system that swaps the standard instrument cluster for a 12.3-inch screen.
      Engines for the European market include a choice of four and six-cylinder gas and diesel engines, along with a new hybrid powertrain. Details for the U.S. version will be announced at a later date. Transmissions include a six-speed manual, seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, and an eight-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive comes standard on the lower-powered engines, while quattro all-wheel drive comes standard on higher-powered models. New for this generation is an optional air suspension system that can vary the height of the vehicle.
      The 2017 Audi Q5 will be built in a new factory in San José Chiapa, Mexico. Sales are expected to begin next spring.
      Now on to the RS3 sedan. We have known about the existence of this model thanks to a leaked video that appeared in February. There is a more aggressive front end with larger air vents and honeycomb grille. Under the hood is a turbocharged 2.5L five-cylinder producing 400PS (about 395 horsepower) and 354 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and quattro all-wheel drive. Audi says the RS3 sedan hits 60 mph in 4.1 seconds and hit a limited top speed of 155 mph (you can increase top speed to 174 mph by asking Audi). 
      Other changes for the RS3 sedan include a wider track to fit fatter tires, larger brakes, lowered suspension, and unique settings for the stability and traction control systems. Adaptive dampers are available as an option.
      The Audi RS3 sedan arrives in the U.S. next summer.
      Source: Audi
      Press Release is on Page 2
      Even sportier and more multifaceted: the second generation of the Audi Q5 arrives
      Audi presents another successful model: Sales for the second generation of the Audi Q5* begin at the start of 2017. The SUV with the four rings combines the sportiness of an Audi saloon with a multifaceted character and a highly flexible interior. Whether in its connectivity, efficiency or driver assistance systems – the new Audi Q5 once again sets standards in its segment.
      “The first Audi Q5 was for many years the world's best-selling SUV in its class. It was no easy task to design its successor, but that is precisely why it is so very exciting,” says Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management at AUDI AG. “With the new Q5 we are setting the bar a notch higher. Among the great innovations are the quattro drive system with ultra technology, highly efficient engines, the air suspension with damper control and a comprehensive line-up of infotainment and assistance systems.”
      The new SUV from Audi takes a sporty and taut stance on the street. A sculpturally flared Singleframe grille with a solid frame dominates its aerodynamically flat front end. It is available with headlights that are either in LED or high-resolution Matrix LED technology with dynamic turn lights.
      Typically Audi: Reference to the quattro drive
      A distinctively curved and strongly undercut shoulder line gives structure to the side view. The strongly emphasized wheel arches are a reference to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system, and the low greenhouse tapers back down early. Just as at the front, horizontal lines at the rear convey an image of width and presence. The tail lights are also available with optional dynamic turn signals. The tailgate wraps around the C-pillars – a typical feature of the Q models from Audi. A diffuser insert integrates the exhaust tailpipes.
      Audi is offering the new Q5 in 14 different exterior colors. Five newly configured equipment lines are available – sport and design, the S line sport package, design selection and the S line exterior package. They influence the overall appearance. In the design line, contrasting gray add-on parts emphasize the rugged character of the new SUV, while the sport equipment line of the Audi Q5 has parts fully painted in the exterior color.
      Weight saved: up to 90 kg (198.4 lb) lighter than the previous model
      4.66 meters (15.3 ft) long, 1.89 meters (6.2 ft) wide and 1.66 meters (5.4 ft) tall with a 2.82 meter (9.3 ft) wheelbase – compared to the previous model, the new Q5 has grown in nearly all of its dimensions. Consequently, the unladen weight was reduced – depending on the engine – by up to 90 kg (198.4 lb). Steels with maximum tensile strength and aluminum form an intelligent material mix in the body.
      The new Q5 also stands at the top of its class in its aerodynamics. The four-cylinder versions attain a cd figure of 0.30 with the aerodynamically optimized roof. Wind noises are exceptionally low, and vibration comfort is high – the new SUV from Audi indulges the driver and passengers with the best interior acoustics in its class.
      Spacious and wide: the interior
      The interior offers a lot of space for five persons, and it surpasses the previous model and its competitors in key dimensions. Its horizontally oriented lines underscore the impression of width and comfort, and a three-dimensional trim strip runs across the entire width of the instrument panel. The new equipment lines concept offers customers a broad selection of colors and materials.
      The new, high-efficiency air conditioner is available in two versions. A three-spoke multifunction steering wheel is standard; additional functions such as steering wheel heating are optional. Seat features range all the way to a pneumatic massage function. When it is dark, the optional ambient lighting (standard with design selection) creates an attractive atmosphere in 30 different colors. The workmanship quality in the new Q5 is uncompromising.
      The rear seat back of the new Audi Q5 is split into three segments. Longitudinal and seat back angle adjustment are optional. Depending on the rear seat position, the basic volume of the luggage compartment ranges from 550 to 610 liters (19.4 to 21.5 cu ft), 10 liters (0.4 cu ft) more than in the previous model. When the rear bench is folded down, this volume grows to 1,550 liters (54.7 cu ft). Cargo loading is simplified by intelligent solutions like a standard, variably folding mat, optional sensor control of the power tailgate and manual lowering of the body via the optional air suspension.
      Simply coherent: controls and displays
      Operation of the new Audi SUV is intuitive and is marked by three great new features. The optional Audi virtual cockpit presents brilliant graphics on its high-resolution 12.3-inch screen. The driver can choose from two views – a classic view with large round instruments and a mode in which the navigation map or lists dominate. The also optional head-up display projects key information onto the windshield.
      The MMI terminal in the center console acts as the main control element. In the top infotainment system, the MMI navigation plus with MMI touch and an 8.3-inch display, a touchpad is integrated into the rotary pushbutton. It recognizes handwritten entries as well as gestures familiar from consumer electronics such as zooming gestures. If the new Q5 has an automatic transmission, it also has the larger MMI all-in-touch including haptic feedback.
      The MMI operating logic is based on the flat hierarchies used in today’s smartphones, and it offers such features as intelligent free-text search. The new natural-language voice control function also recognizes inputs from everyday speech. Serving as an additional third operating level in the new Audi Q5 is the multifunction steering wheel plus. Audi can deliver a newly developed head-up display as an option. It projects relevant information onto the windshield – including from driver assistance systems – as symbols and numbers that can be perceived quickly.
      Audi navigation: “Personal route assist”
      The new Audi Q5, like the Q7 and the A4, has a self-learning “personal route assist” function. After activating this function, the navigation system learns the routes and destinations that the customer regularly selects, and it associates this information to the parked position and time of day.
      For as long as it is active, the system therefore learns from the customer’s behavior and uses this information to suggest optimized route planning for the next trip – even while navigation is inactive. The navigation system incorporates the three most likely destinations into the calculation, taking into consideration both the arrival time and current traffic levels. For instance, the system can suggest that the customer activate navigation to find out about potential alternative routes. The driver decides whether or not to activate the function. He also has the option of deleting saved destinations. If the function is deactivated, the system does not store the destinations and does not consider deleted destinations or the routes driven.
      Online via LTE: MMI navigation plus
      MMI navigation plus utilizes the Audi connect module to integrate a LTE module and a Wi-Fi hotspot – this lets passengers go online with up to eight mobile devices. Audi connect enables convenient roaming in Europe for many Audi connect services with its permanently installed SIM card – the Audi connect SIM with a flat data rate. If they wish, users can also book data packages for the Wi-Fi hotspot at attractive prices, which also include EU roaming.
      The free Audi MMI connect app produces a close interconnection between the car and smartphone or a smartwatch and offers other services. They include remote checking of important vehicle states, online media streaming and transmission of a calendar from a smartphone to the MMI.
      High-end option: the infotainment modules
      The Audi phone box connects smartphones to the vehicle’s antenna for optimal reception quality; it also charges smartphones inductively according to the Qi standard. The Bang & Olufsen Sound System with innovative 3D sound introduces the spatial dimension of height. The Audi tablet, which is also new, serves as a flexible Rear Seat Entertainment device. The Audi smartphone interface also brings Apple CarPlay and Android Auto into the new Q5.
      Driver assistance and safety systems
      In its driver assistance systems, the new Audi Q5 also tops its segment with a broad range of high-tech options. In their intelligent interplay, the systems represent a next step towards piloted driving. They are bundled into three packages – Tour, City and Parking.
      The predictive efficiency assistant helps the driver save fuel by specific information on the car’s surroundings. Adaptive cruise control (ACC) including traffic jam assist can handle some of the steering work in slow-moving traffic. Audi active lane assist makes it easier to stay in lane. Distance warning alerts the driver when the distance to a vehicle drops below a safe distance.
      Cross traffic assist rear, the exit warning system, collision avoidance assist and turn assist are other new features that perform excellently in pursuit of safety. The same applies to the pre sense systems – Audi pre sense city is a standard feature which warns of pedestrians and vehicles and may initiate automatic emergency braking within system limits. Park assist, the camera-based recognition of traffic signs and hill descent assist round out the features.
      Powerful quintet: TDI and TFSI engines
      The new Audi Q5 is launching in Europe with five powerful and efficient engines: four TDI engines and one TFSI. They have added up to 20 kW (27 hp) of power, with fuel consumption however being significantly reduced. Particularly the 2.0 TDI engines in the new Q5, with outputs of 110 kW (150 hp), 120 kW (163 hp) and 140 kW (190 hp), are highly efficient. The two-liter diesel is also a highly efficient engine in the version with 140 kW (190 hp).
      The two top engines combine ample power with efficiency. The further developed 2.0 TFSI has an output of 185 kW (252 hp), yet it only consumes 6.8 liters of gasoline per 100 km (34.6 US mpg), which equates to 154 grams CO2 per km(247.8 g/mi). The also intensively revised 3.0 TDI increases output to 210 kW (286 hp) with 620 Nm (457.3 lb ft) of torque.
      Versatile and efficient: drivetrain
      The drivetrain of the mid-size SUV has been redeveloped from the ground up – this also applies to the six-speed manual transmission, seven-speed S tronic and eight-speed tiptronic (only with the 3.0 TDI). The automatic transmissions integrate a fuel-saving freewheel function. The driver controls it by a selection lever or by shift paddles on the steering wheel; in both cases, the control signals are transmitted electronically.
      The new quattro drivetrain with ultra technology is standard equipment for the 2.0 TDI with 120 kW (163 hp) and 140 kW (190 hp), and for the 2.0 TFSI with 185 kW (252 hp). Audi can deliver it as an option for the entry-level diesel engine with 110 kW (150 hp). The quattro with ultra technology always disengages the rear-axle drive whenever it is not needed, and if necessary it can proactively re-engage it. The new concept boosts efficiency without reducing traction or driving dynamics.
      In both the front-wheel drive and quattro drive versions, torque vectoring gives handling a refined touch. The intelligent software solution always delivers a dynamic, precise and controllable driving experience. For the V6 diesel, Audi can deliver an optional sport differential at the rear axle which distributes torque between the wheels as necessary and thereby provides a maximum of driving dynamics – this is another new feature in this model series and in the competitive field.
      Resolving contradictions: the chassis
      The new Audi Q5 enables handling that combines very different strengths – it is sporty while being extremely comfortable. Creating the basis for this are the newly developed five-link suspensions and also the new electromechanical power steering system. Dynamic steering is available as an option; it varies its gear ratio according to the driving speed and steering angle.
      Customers can choose from two extension stages of springs and damping. The chassis with damper control offers a very wide spread between comfort and dynamics, which the driver can select via Audi drive select. In addition to adjusting damper control, the new adaptive air suspension can be used to vary the ride height of the car body over five stages. In the Audi Q5 
      3.0 TDI, these two systems and the sport differential are bundled into a new central chassis control unit.
      In the standard system, Audi drive select, which accesses various technical modules, the driver can select one of as many as seven driving modes. The two new modes, lift/offroad and allroad, emphasize the offroad character of the Audi Q5 optimally.
      The new Audi SUV comes from the factory with 17-inch alloy wheels. The design and sport equipment lines come with 18-inch wheels, and the S line sport package and Audi design selection come with 19-inch wheels. Wheels up to 21 inches in diameter are available as options.
      The new Audi Q5 is manufactured at a newly constructed plant in Mexico. It will arrive at dealers in Germany and other European countries at the beginning of 2017. The base price at the start of sales for the Q5 2.0 TDI 120 kW quattro S tronic will be 45,100 euros.
      A New Body of Work - 400PS Audi RS3 Saloon Debuts In Paris
      The first Audi RS saloon since 2010 features the world’s most powerful five-cylinder engine now rated at 400PS First compact Audi saloon to bear an RS badge 2.5 TFSI aluminium engine with 400PS and 480Nm of torque (354 lb-ft) 0-62mph in just 4.1 seconds and optional 174mph top speed Wider track compared to the Audi A3 and signature RS design cues The most powerful five-cylinder engine on the world market         Ingolstadt/Paris, September 29, 2016 –  Now booted, and even better suited to covering ground with incredible pace and agility, the new Audi RS 3 takes to the stage in saloon form at the Paris Motor Show this week, matching blistering performance with a captivating soundtrack created by the most powerful five-cylinder engine ever to empower a series production Audi. The 400PS, 174mph RS 3 makes history as the first saloon in the brand’s history to use a transversely mounted configuration for its evocative powerplant, which has a proven track record as a seven-time winner of an ‘International Engine of the Year’ category award. 
      The new 2.5 TFSI delivers a phenomenal 400PS and 480 Nm (354.0 lb-ft) of torque, available at engine speeds between 1,700 and 5,850 revolutions per minute. Such firepower allows the the compact RS model to sprint from 0 to 62 mph in just 4.1 seconds. It can attain a maximum speed of 155mph and, upon request, Audi will increase the electronically limited top speed to 174mph. The unique sound of the five-cylinder unit intensifies an already emotionally charged driving experience originating from the ignition alternating between directly adjacent cylinders and widely spaced ones. The sound can be modified via Audi drive select.
      With its light-alloy crankcase, the five-cylinder engine is 26 kilograms lighter than before. It employs a dual injection into the intake manifold and into the combustion chambers, as well as the Audi valvelift system for variable control of the exhaust valves.
      Relentless traction, steadfast driving safety
      With lightning-fast shifting, the S tronic seven-speed dual clutch transmission transmits the power of the 2.5 TFSI to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive. Its electro-hydraulic multi-plate clutch distributes the drive torque variably between the axles. The electronic control combines superior stability with a high level of driving pleasure. The more focused the driving, the faster and more often will a large share of the torque will reach the rear axle. The result is especially agile handling characteristics.
      quattro management is integrated as a standard feature in the Audi drive select dynamic handling system, as are the steering, S tronic, engine management and the adjustable exhaust flaps. The driver can individually vary the operation of these components between the three modes comfort, auto and dynamic. The same is true for the optional RS sport suspension plus with adaptive damper control.
      Wheel-selective torque control, an intelligent software feature of the Electronic Stabilisation Control (ESC), rounds off the work of the all-wheel drive. In fast cornering it slightly brakes the inside wheels, which are under a reduced load. In this way it can transmit greater lateral power, making handling more fluid and stable. In addition, the RS-specifically tuned ESC comes with a sport mode for controlled drifting. The ESC can also be fully deactivated for even more engaging driving characteristics.
      Progressive steering, a four-link rear axle, a tight setup and lowered by 25 millimetres relative to the standard model – the chassis of the RS 3 Saloon is the perfect partner for the powerful drive system. From its stable centre position, the RS 3 Saloon deftly tackles curves and exits with superior precision.
      The front brake discs have a diameter of 370 millimetres, while eight-piston calipers with large-area linings provide optimal deceleration. Alternatively, Audi supplies carbon-fibre ceramic discs upfront.
      The rear axle is fitted with brake discs which are 310 millimetres in diameter. Standard on the RS 3 Saloon are 19-inch wheels and 235/35 tyres. 255/30 tyres are optionally available for the front axle.
      Distinctive RS design outside and inside
      The Singleframe grille with its three-dimensional honeycomb design bears the quattro logo along the bottom. Underneath, a blade extends across the entire width of the front into the side air inlets, where it forms narrow funnels for better air flow through the wheel arches. LED headlights with their distinctive daytime running light signature are standard; Audi also offers matrix LED headlights as an option.
      Compared with an A3, the front track of the RS 3 Saloon is wider by 20 millimetres – the front wheel arches are accordingly flared wider as well. At the rear axle the wheels are spaced 14 millimetres further apart compared with the standard model.
      A fixed spoiler lip on the luggage compartment lid improves the separation of air flow. A distinctive diffuser insert with vertical struts and the large oval tailpipes of the RS exhaust system terminate the rear. Audi exclusively offers the RS-specific paint colors Nardo grey and Catalunya red as options.
      The dark-toned interior welcomes the driver and passengers with illuminated door sills bearing the RS 3 logos as a standard feature. Black fine Nappa leather sport seats with RS logos on the backrests are standard. Optionally available are more contoured RS sport seats with integrated head restraints. Their covers are also diamond patterned and colour-perforated. The RS sport leather steering wheel is flattened at the bottom. Inlays at the instrument panel and at the doors complete the customary Audi Sport touches.
      Intuitive operation and high-definition displays
      The flat hierarchies and intelligently linked context menus make operation of the Audi RS 3 Saloon intuitive and ergonomic. The main control element is the rotary/push-button control on the console of the centre tunnel. With the top infotainment system MMI navigation plus with MMI touch, the terminal includes a touchpad for scrolling, zooming and writing.
      Additionally included is a free text search feature that automatically completes the user’s input after entering just a few letters. The voice control processes questions and commands formulated in everyday language.
      As standard, a seven-inch electrically extending MMI screen is fitted. The two circular instrument dials are black with red needles and white scales. The centrally positioned driver information system includes a boost pressure indicator, an oil thermometer and a lap timer.
      The fully digital Audi virtual cockpit is optionally available. On its high-resolution 12.3-inch monitor the driver can choose between three display modes. They include a special RS screen that moves the tachometer to the centre. On the left and right information appears on tyre pressure, torque and g-forces. When the transmission is operating in manual mode, a scale with a colour background prompts the driver to use the steering wheel paddle or selector lever to upshift when approaching maximum revs.
      Always online with Audi connect and Audi smartphone interface
      An LTE module gets the Audi RS 3 Saloon online. It brings on board the various services of Audi connect, including navigation with Google Earth and Google Street View, as well as information on fuel prices, the weather, travel and traffic. The information is displayed directly in the MMI, and operation is by way of the standard-equipped RS multifunction steering wheel, the rotary/push-button control and touchpad or by spoken command. Data is transmitted via the new Audi connect SIM, which is factory-installed in the car.
      With the corresponding data flat rate the customer can immediately use the services for up to three years free of charge – even in other European countries. In addition, the navigation systems include a Wi-Fi hotspot enabling passengers to surf the web with their tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices.
      The free Audi MMI connect app offers many other features, such as transferring your smartphone’s calendar to the MMI. Through Aupeo! and Napster it affords access to countless music tracks and audio books. Destinations from Google Maps, points of interest (POIs) and the entries from the “Travel” service can be transferred from your smartphone to your car’s navigation system using the app. The Audi smartphone interface brings Apple Car Play and Android Auto into the car.
      Selected apps for the phone, navigation and streaming services, for example, are then directly displayed on the MMI screen. The driver can control the apps using the various operating options in the car.
      Attractive supplementary components complete the infotainment lineup. The Audi phone box inductively charges the smartphone according to the Qi standard and connects it to the car antenna via near-field coupling for optimal reception quality. The Bang & Olufsen Sound System produces an excellent sound experience with 705 watts of power and 14 speakers.
      New portfolio of assistance systems
      The RS 3 Saloon is also at the top of its class when it comes to driver assistance systems. They keep the car at the desired distance from the vehicle in front, assist the driver when changing lanes and staying within the given lane, detect traffic signs and help avoid rear-end collisions and pedestrian accidents.
      New are the traffic jam assist, which briefly takes over the steering in slow-moving traffic up to 37mph, the emergency assist, which automatically stops the car if required, and cross traffic assist rear. The latter system looks out for crossing vehicles when pulling out of a parking space.
    • By Cory Wolfe
      By Cory Wolfe
       
      As another year falls into the grasps of history, a new one lands filled with drinks, dreams, and the Detroit auto show. With all its shiny cars, crazy automotive espionage, and endless cappuccino, Cobo might just be my yearly heaven. Or is it my own personal hell, taunting me with sore feet, pushy journalists, and a severe lack of sleep? This year may just pin it towards the latter... This show sure can make someone relatively young feel frighteningly old rather quickly. Then again, a smart and well-prepared individual likely wouldn't have this problem, nor would that individual attempt to lug a 20-pound camera bag on his back for two days straight. Yeah, what the hell was I thinking when I bought that? I need a bag with wheels, not one that will put me in a chair with wheels. Enough about my poor planning, though. Let's get on with all the pretentious nitpicks and juicy behind-the-scenes commentary through the eyes of one exhausted photographer.
       
      Surprise! There's No Surprise
       
      Auto show season is upon us; its that time of year when automakers tend to go out-their-mind with introductions. This year, though, brought us a decidedly restrained show full of boring. Not only were the majority of the vehicles unsurprising, the reveals themselves were just average. A few lifted covers, various fog machines, and numerous turntables were the norm. Nissan, most notably, didn't even bother to try a bit of secrecy with its concept Titan. There it was, 7 am on day one, sitting out on display a full day before the press conference was scheduled. Lincoln was another offender in this regard, however not to the same degree; they at least waited until the day of to let it out. Beyond those, every automaker seemed to wait. Hold on, come to think of it, is it really any different? It's like clockwork, 12 am hits, the embargoes drop and each ensuing unveil is ruined in the process. There's very little in the way of true surprises any more. With the exception of Buick, everything was either leaked, teased, or previously shown. Leave it to the brand that's capitalized on little old lady's proclaiming "That's not a Buick!" to have the one true shock of the show.
       
      The biggest disappointment with the show in terms of the lack of surprise has to be the sheer number of non-debuts. No, I don't mean the carry-over models; I'm talking about those aforementioned introductions that were already shown. The Bolt? Electrified at CES. The M2? Revealed in October. The S90? Displayed in December. The 911 Turbo? Announced in November. The G90? Disrobed in Korea. The entire Mercedes press conference? Printed from the photo copier. The number of true world premiers were truly lacking at this show. Even the models that were generally something new were actually just new versions of existing debuts! A few more or less doors, an added trim, a bit more dressing; there was even a concept version of a production car that originated as a concept. Seriously, why?
       
      Oh Big Beautiful Concept, You
       
      While there were many debuts that literally put at least one journalist to sleep, there was a bit of excitement to be found at others. Perhaps one of the best kick-offs to an auto show ever, Buick proved once more that it can make a damned nice concept. What the Avista lacks in clever naming can be suddenly forgiven upon sight of that beautiful body. Every detail of this car is exquisitely perfect. This is one vehicle that could really change the perception of what a Buick is, unlike those silly commercials. It's not even that far fetched, in all honesty. Sure, many of the exaggerated details would never make it to production, but the heart of this concept could. With a platform that is just begging for my capacity and a powertrain that's been picked from the parts bin, I can't imagine it would be difficult to bring to reality. If the reception from the media days are any indication, there will be a lot of people shouting "Take my money!" during public days.
       
      Another concept that I was pretty impressed with was the Acura Precision concept, albeit with another terrible name. This one is bit different than the Buick in that you have to see it in person. No, really, you do. Pictures do not do this car any justice, instead making it look overly angular and uninspired. Once you're up close and see how the light hits each panel as the car rotates on the turntable, its something to appreciate. Like the Buick, this is a vehicle that could help Acura become more than just the tarted-up Honda it's always been. There's an identity here to be established, and thankfully, its shield-less. With that said, this one isn't likely to be sitting in your driveway with a huge bow on it for Christmas. In fact, it never will be. What may actually come from this, however, is a new design theme for Acura; a design full of diamonds. Let's hope the diamonds stay with the concept while the rest reinvigorates the brand's appeal.
       
      There is one car that looks like a concept, feels like a concept, and probably even smells like a concept, but it isn't one. The Lexus LC500 is by far the most shocking production car for that reason. Lexus has come quite a ways from the quiet days of yore when it was best known as a Japanese Buick. It's recent style revolution to change that image has been mixed, to say to the least, with each redesign gaining more spindle and more katana-formed angles. It hasn't been pretty. This car, however, is something to behold. This is a design that was lovingly sketched and nitpicked to perfect. Every line has a divine purpose as ordained by the design deity. The detail, precision, and craziness of this design could put most exotics to shame. Lexus, somehow, managed to craft a beautiful car. Yes, a beautiful Lexus finally exists; I never thought I'd say that.
       
      Are We Sharing or Are We Copying?
       
      In the automotive world, you'll quickly notice that new trends spread like wildfire throughout the industry. From the tail-fins and rockets of the 50's to the velour and design by cardboard box of the 80s, or the faux fender vents of this past decade; these trends come and go like that drunken hook-up you wished you never had. It's not just limited to design either, as I've come to find after sitting through numerous press conferences. By the end of the show, there was one spec I was continuing to hear over and over and over. I'm fairly certain a 3.0 liter turbocharged 6-cylinder with about 400 horsepower is the next must-have item on your luxury-sports car. First Buick, then Infiniti, and finally Lincoln all hit with exactly the same engine specs, while many more have varying horsepower figures but still employ the same basic engine. It's a repeat of the 2.0 liter turbocharged 4-cylinders that everyone and their mother has.
       
      Corporate Jealousy and Espionage
       
      Media days at an auto show means a couple things will be present. For one, you'll see everyone hitting up the cappuccino stands trying to get as much a caffeine buzz as possible before running to the next press conference. You'll also notice an abundance of pushy people getting in your way at every step. Within these droves of human annoyances are a few different types of people. You have the determined photographer, the erratic journalist, the elitist CEO's and their protective posses, and finally there are the numerous manufacturer issued spies that run about making comments, taking notes, measuring gaps, etc. That last one is what I want to focus on. Let me just get this out of the way: I hate every single one of you. You get in my way constantly fiddling with sun visors and rubber moldings. No one cares what you think about company A's fit and finish compared to your company B's. Please, for everyone's sake, find a new, more meaningful job.
       
      As much as they got in my way, there were some funny conversations to be heard. At the launch of the GMC Acadia, there were reps discussing the downsizing. Pretty much went like this: Rep A to Reb B: "Wow, this is suicide! They just handed the market to you and your new crossover. What were they thinking?!" Meanwhile, I'm siting beside Rep A trying to casually take a picture and pretend I'm not paying any attention. Hilarious. Then, we have the Honda Ridgeline and various reps crawling underneath to check out the bed construction. Afterwards, they point out how the bed is designed to appear separate all in the name of looking more traditional and manly but is really just a faux cut-line with some rubber weatherstripping. Finally, I'll leave you with a positive comment from another rep examining the Lincoln Continental. As he was admiring the door handles, he took note of the soft-close feature saying quite sternly "We don't have that." I wish I would have caught which manufacturer he worked for.
       
      The Swedish do Everything Better
       
      As a tired, hungry, and dehydrated photographer, sometimes you have to find time to stop and replenish. That actually doesn't happen, the stopping part that is. In this context it means switching from running to stationary not to relax, but to import photos and send them off to some online editor in a timely manner. Generally, this means working while waiting for the next press conference to begin. You can however, get lucky and sit down in the one of the various automakers' lounges. Here, you may do your work in a nice comfy seat with some delightful cappuccino. After running around I finally found my favorite spot to be: The Volvo Lounge. Staffed with genuine Swedes (one was pretty cute, too, not going to lie), they put the most care into making their drinks. Other lounges simply make a cappuccino while they lovingly crafted a cappuccino. Absolutely wonderful, I'm going to miss the Volvo Lounge.
       
      Final Notes of the Quick Variety
       
      After the photos I needed were taken, edited, and uploaded off to Romania, I finally had some free time to roam the show floor. This is the best part of media days at an auto show. Unrestricted access to nearly every car on the floor is a wonderful thing. There's no one to stop you from getting into any car you wish, except that damned Alfa Romeo Giulia; the Italians have no trouble denying you. I took this opportunity to sit in a few new releases as well as a few older releases I've been eager to fondle with the utmost disrespect. Readers beware: I suspect I may ruffle a few feathers with some of the following comments.
      Lincoln Continental: This car surprised me. I saw the spy photos, the press shots, etc. and I expected it to be a disappointment. In person, it has a certain presence, an air of prestige in which Lincoln has been lacking in recent years. This continues insides where it truly exudes luxury. They really nailed the look and feel of the materials, at least in the pre-production cars on display. Ford Fusion: As a vehicle that was already in my personal top 3 of its respective segment, I wasn't expecting anything crazy. In fact, I wasn't sure how I felt about the refresh at first. I don't know what I was worried about. The updates look good, but that's not the story here. Neither is the addition the delicious Sport model. I sat in the the new Premium trim and was blown away by how good it is. Chevrolet Malibu: Here is where I should say about how much of an improvement this model is over its predecessor. I'm not. Don't get me wrong, it's better, but its entirely incremental. The biggest departure is its looks and it does, in fact, look fine; it's certainly not offensive at all to my eyes. My gripe lies with the interior and what looks and feels like a downgrade in materials. Maybe I shouldn't have sat in the Fusion first, as that car makes this one feel positively cheap. Volkswagen Golf R: "Ah ha," you're probably thinking, "Here comes that bias!" Unfortunately for you, you will see no such thing. While I have briefly sat in a MK7 GTI before, it was at another auto show and I really didn't have much time with it; I didn't this time either. I did, however, have enough time to come away rather disappointed. As a current MK6 GTI owner, I really noticed a difference in quality between the two. It's enough of a downgrade to question whether I'd really want to every upgrade. Mazda MX-5 Miata: Oh sweet Jesus, if there is one car I would have liked to bring home with me, its this one. Such a gorgeous little car. It's as close to a perfect package as you can get and it fits me like a glove. Great touch points, slick shifter, comfortable seats, and practical enough considering its a roadster. If I had to nitpick, it would be over the rather useless cup holders and their nearly impossible to comfortably use position. Chevrolet Bolt: Strangely enough, I really like this little electric car. It's the first one of its kind that could actually be used as your only vehicle without having to shell out an arm, leg, and perhaps a testicle or two. The expected performance is even appealing and perfectly acceptable for its price. I could see myself owning a Bolt in the not too distant future. Am I crazy? I hope not. Genesis G90: This car gave me an experience opposite to that of the Continental; I expected it to be legitimately surprising. In all honesty, it wasn't. Inside and out, this car failed to feel special. It has the content and everything falls in line within the segment, but it's value price betrays it. It looks and feels a step below its competitors, even if its just slightly so. Perhaps that's something to be proud of. Personally, I'd hand over the extra cash for the real thing, one with a soul.

       

      With that said, this show wasn't its best year, nor was it the worst. A bit lacking in excitement, this years show didn't blow me away with exotic reveals or highly anticipated debuts. It was merely an adequate showing in Cobo. Does it matter? Of course it does. Despite everything, this was still an important show that somehow managed to feel more hectic than usual. It almost seemed as if attendance at media days greatly increased over my last stint here, having to fight more than usual for a good seat at each press conference. All in all, I think I may have to go back to press days for more touchy-feely goodness. It's just too bad I won't be able to enjoy Volvo's lounge... That was some damn good cappuccino.
       

    • By Cory Wolfe
      By Cory Wolfe
       
      As another year falls into the grasps of history, a new one lands filled with drinks, dreams, and the Detroit auto show. With all its shiny cars, crazy automotive espionage, and endless cappuccino, Cobo might just be my yearly heaven. Or is it my own personal hell, taunting me with sore feet, pushy journalists, and a severe lack of sleep? This year may just pin it towards the latter... This show sure can make someone relatively young feel frighteningly old rather quickly. Then again, a smart and well-prepared individual likely wouldn't have this problem, nor would that individual attempt to lug a 20-pound camera bag on his back for two days straight. Yeah, what the hell was I thinking when I bought that? I need a bag with wheels, not one that will put me in a chair with wheels. Enough about my poor planning, though. Let's get on with all the pretentious nitpicks and juicy behind-the-scenes commentary through the eyes of one exhausted photographer.
       
      Surprise! There's No Surprise
       
      Auto show season is upon us; its that time of year when automakers tend to go out-their-mind with introductions. This year, though, brought us a decidedly restrained show full of boring. Not only were the majority of the vehicles unsurprising, the reveals themselves were just average. A few lifted covers, various fog machines, and numerous turntables were the norm. Nissan, most notably, didn't even bother to try a bit of secrecy with its concept Titan. There it was, 7 am on day one, sitting out on display a full day before the press conference was scheduled. Lincoln was another offender in this regard, however not to the same degree; they at least waited until the day of to let it out. Beyond those, every automaker seemed to wait. Hold on, come to think of it, is it really any different? It's like clockwork, 12 am hits, the embargoes drop and each ensuing unveil is ruined in the process. There's very little in the way of true surprises any more. With the exception of Buick, everything was either leaked, teased, or previously shown. Leave it to the brand that's capitalized on little old lady's proclaiming "That's not a Buick!" to have the one true shock of the show.
       
      The biggest disappointment with the show in terms of the lack of surprise has to be the sheer number of non-debuts. No, I don't mean the carry-over models; I'm talking about those aforementioned introductions that were already shown. The Bolt? Electrified at CES. The M2? Revealed in October. The S90? Displayed in December. The 911 Turbo? Announced in November. The G90? Disrobed in Korea. The entire Mercedes press conference? Printed from the photo copier. The number of true world premiers were truly lacking at this show. Even the models that were generally something new were actually just new versions of existing debuts! A few more or less doors, an added trim, a bit more dressing; there was even a concept version of a production car that originated as a concept. Seriously, why?
       
      Oh Big Beautiful Concept, You
       
      While there were many debuts that literally put at least one journalist to sleep, there was a bit of excitement to be found at others. Perhaps one of the best kick-offs to an auto show ever, Buick proved once more that it can make a damned nice concept. What the Avista lacks in clever naming can be suddenly forgiven upon sight of that beautiful body. Every detail of this car is exquisitely perfect. This is one vehicle that could really change the perception of what a Buick is, unlike those silly commercials. It's not even that far fetched, in all honesty. Sure, many of the exaggerated details would never make it to production, but the heart of this concept could. With a platform that is just begging for my capacity and a powertrain that's been picked from the parts bin, I can't imagine it would be difficult to bring to reality. If the reception from the media days are any indication, there will be a lot of people shouting "Take my money!" during public days.
       
      Another concept that I was pretty impressed with was the Acura Precision concept, albeit with another terrible name. This one is bit different than the Buick in that you have to see it in person. No, really, you do. Pictures do not do this car any justice, instead making it look overly angular and uninspired. Once you're up close and see how the light hits each panel as the car rotates on the turntable, its something to appreciate. Like the Buick, this is a vehicle that could help Acura become more than just the tarted-up Honda it's always been. There's an identity here to be established, and thankfully, its shield-less. With that said, this one isn't likely to be sitting in your driveway with a huge bow on it for Christmas. In fact, it never will be. What may actually come from this, however, is a new design theme for Acura; a design full of diamonds. Let's hope the diamonds stay with the concept while the rest reinvigorates the brand's appeal.
       
      There is one car that looks like a concept, feels like a concept, and probably even smells like a concept, but it isn't one. The Lexus LC500 is by far the most shocking production car for that reason. Lexus has come quite a ways from the quiet days of yore when it was best known as a Japanese Buick. It's recent style revolution to change that image has been mixed, to say to the least, with each redesign gaining more spindle and more katana-formed angles. It hasn't been pretty. This car, however, is something to behold. This is a design that was lovingly sketched and nitpicked to perfect. Every line has a divine purpose as ordained by the design deity. The detail, precision, and craziness of this design could put most exotics to shame. Lexus, somehow, managed to craft a beautiful car. Yes, a beautiful Lexus finally exists; I never thought I'd say that.
       
      Are We Sharing or Are We Copying?
       
      In the automotive world, you'll quickly notice that new trends spread like wildfire throughout the industry. From the tail-fins and rockets of the 50's to the velour and design by cardboard box of the 80s, or the faux fender vents of this past decade; these trends come and go like that drunken hook-up you wished you never had. It's not just limited to design either, as I've come to find after sitting through numerous press conferences. By the end of the show, there was one spec I was continuing to hear over and over and over. I'm fairly certain a 3.0 liter turbocharged 6-cylinder with about 400 horsepower is the next must-have item on your luxury-sports car. First Buick, then Infiniti, and finally Lincoln all hit with exactly the same engine specs, while many more have varying horsepower figures but still employ the same basic engine. It's a repeat of the 2.0 liter turbocharged 4-cylinders that everyone and their mother has.
       
      Corporate Jealousy and Espionage
       
      Media days at an auto show means a couple things will be present. For one, you'll see everyone hitting up the cappuccino stands trying to get as much a caffeine buzz as possible before running to the next press conference. You'll also notice an abundance of pushy people getting in your way at every step. Within these droves of human annoyances are a few different types of people. You have the determined photographer, the erratic journalist, the elitist CEO's and their protective posses, and finally there are the numerous manufacturer issued spies that run about making comments, taking notes, measuring gaps, etc. That last one is what I want to focus on. Let me just get this out of the way: I hate every single one of you. You get in my way constantly fiddling with sun visors and rubber moldings. No one cares what you think about company A's fit and finish compared to your company B's. Please, for everyone's sake, find a new, more meaningful job.
       
      As much as they got in my way, there were some funny conversations to be heard. At the launch of the GMC Acadia, there were reps discussing the downsizing. Pretty much went like this: Rep A to Reb B: "Wow, this is suicide! They just handed the market to you and your new crossover. What were they thinking?!" Meanwhile, I'm siting beside Rep A trying to casually take a picture and pretend I'm not paying any attention. Hilarious. Then, we have the Honda Ridgeline and various reps crawling underneath to check out the bed construction. Afterwards, they point out how the bed is designed to appear separate all in the name of looking more traditional and manly but is really just a faux cut-line with some rubber weatherstripping. Finally, I'll leave you with a positive comment from another rep examining the Lincoln Continental. As he was admiring the door handles, he took note of the soft-close feature saying quite sternly "We don't have that." I wish I would have caught which manufacturer he worked for.
       
      The Swedish do Everything Better
       
      As a tired, hungry, and dehydrated photographer, sometimes you have to find time to stop and replenish. That actually doesn't happen, the stopping part that is. In this context it means switching from running to stationary not to relax, but to import photos and send them off to some online editor in a timely manner. Generally, this means working while waiting for the next press conference to begin. You can however, get lucky and sit down in the one of the various automakers' lounges. Here, you may do your work in a nice comfy seat with some delightful cappuccino. After running around I finally found my favorite spot to be: The Volvo Lounge. Staffed with genuine Swedes (one was pretty cute, too, not going to lie), they put the most care into making their drinks. Other lounges simply make a cappuccino while they lovingly crafted a cappuccino. Absolutely wonderful, I'm going to miss the Volvo Lounge.
       
      Final Notes of the Quick Variety
       
      After the photos I needed were taken, edited, and uploaded off to Romania, I finally had some free time to roam the show floor. This is the best part of media days at an auto show. Unrestricted access to nearly every car on the floor is a wonderful thing. There's no one to stop you from getting into any car you wish, except that damned Alfa Romeo Giulia; the Italians have no trouble denying you. I took this opportunity to sit in a few new releases as well as a few older releases I've been eager to fondle with the utmost disrespect. Readers beware: I suspect I may ruffle a few feathers with some of the following comments.
      Lincoln Continental: This car surprised me. I saw the spy photos, the press shots, etc. and I expected it to be a disappointment. In person, it has a certain presence, an air of prestige in which Lincoln has been lacking in recent years. This continues insides where it truly exudes luxury. They really nailed the look and feel of the materials, at least in the pre-production cars on display. Ford Fusion: As a vehicle that was already in my personal top 3 of its respective segment, I wasn't expecting anything crazy. In fact, I wasn't sure how I felt about the refresh at first. I don't know what I was worried about. The updates look good, but that's not the story here. Neither is the addition the delicious Sport model. I sat in the the new Premium trim and was blown away by how good it is. Chevrolet Malibu: Here is where I should say about how much of an improvement this model is over its predecessor. I'm not. Don't get me wrong, it's better, but its entirely incremental. The biggest departure is its looks and it does, in fact, look fine; it's certainly not offensive at all to my eyes. My gripe lies with the interior and what looks and feels like a downgrade in materials. Maybe I shouldn't have sat in the Fusion first, as that car makes this one feel positively cheap. Volkswagen Golf R: "Ah ha," you're probably thinking, "Here comes that bias!" Unfortunately for you, you will see no such thing. While I have briefly sat in a MK7 GTI before, it was at another auto show and I really didn't have much time with it; I didn't this time either. I did, however, have enough time to come away rather disappointed. As a current MK6 GTI owner, I really noticed a difference in quality between the two. It's enough of a downgrade to question whether I'd really want to every upgrade. Mazda MX-5 Miata: Oh sweet Jesus, if there is one car I would have liked to bring home with me, its this one. Such a gorgeous little car. It's as close to a perfect package as you can get and it fits me like a glove. Great touch points, slick shifter, comfortable seats, and practical enough considering its a roadster. If I had to nitpick, it would be over the rather useless cup holders and their nearly impossible to comfortably use position. Chevrolet Bolt: Strangely enough, I really like this little electric car. It's the first one of its kind that could actually be used as your only vehicle without having to shell out an arm, leg, and perhaps a testicle or two. The expected performance is even appealing and perfectly acceptable for its price. I could see myself owning a Bolt in the not too distant future. Am I crazy? I hope not. Genesis G90: This car gave me an experience opposite to that of the Continental; I expected it to be legitimately surprising. In all honesty, it wasn't. Inside and out, this car failed to feel special. It has the content and everything falls in line within the segment, but it's value price betrays it. It looks and feels a step below its competitors, even if its just slightly so. Perhaps that's something to be proud of. Personally, I'd hand over the extra cash for the real thing, one with a soul.  
      With that said, this show wasn't its best year, nor was it the worst. A bit lacking in excitement, this years show didn't blow me away with exotic reveals or highly anticipated debuts. It was merely an adequate showing in Cobo. Does it matter? Of course it does. Despite everything, this was still an important show that somehow managed to feel more hectic than usual. It almost seemed as if attendance at media days greatly increased over my last stint here, having to fight more than usual for a good seat at each press conference. All in all, I think I may have to go back to press days for more touchy-feely goodness. It's just too bad I won't be able to enjoy Volvo's lounge... That was some damn good cappuccino.
       

      Album: Cory's Cobo Craziness 2016
      23 images 0 comments


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    • By William Maley
      This year's Detroit Auto Show was somewhat down in terms of excitement. But considering last year's show was a 'once in a blue moon' event with a number of highly awaited vehicles and some surprises, 2016 was going to be somewhat a disappointment. Still, a number of automakers were willing to give it a shot and show off new models and concepts that would amaze all.
       
      It is time to see who is on the honor roll and who be heading to detention after the show.
       
      Acura Precision Concept: C
      Something I never thought I would say: I miss the shield grille. Also, were Acura's designers play too much F-Zero on the Super Nintendo.
       
      2017 Audi A4/A4 Allroad: C+/B+
      At first, I couldn't find the A4 sedan at Audi's booth. But after a moment and looking on the back on a number of their vehicles, I was able to find it. I never thought it was possible to self-plagiarize your design.
       
      At least, the A4 Allroad looks somewhat different than the current model. Also, the interior in both models is really sharp.
       
      Audi h-tron Concept: B+
      Finally, something that isn't an electric concept! Seriously, this is one really sharp looking concept.
       
      2016 BMW M2: A-
      I'll admit I wasn't interested in the M2 when I first wrote about back in October. But seeing it in person, I was intrigued. 0-60 times under 4.5 seconds from a revised turbo 3.0L inline-six and suspension tuning from M? This is something I want to drive.
       
      2016 BMW X4 M40i: C-
      So a 355 horsepower four-door crossover coupe thing with M bits for the suspension... WHY!? *Begins pulling hair out*
       
      Buick Avista Concept: A+
      And now for something surprising: Damn, that's a fine looking Buick. It helps there is a twin-turbo V6 and what many believe to be Alpha platform sitting underneath. Many want Buick to put this into production. But if past experience tells us anything, we could be seeing elements of Avista in a production model.
       
      2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback: A
      Mark Reuss said not bringing the first-generation Cruze was a mistake. GM hopes to fix this with the new Cruze Hatchback. After seeing it in person, I think Chevrolet has a real chance.
       
      2017 Chrysler Pacifica: A
      This could challenge the Kia Sedona for sexiest minivan on sale (yes, I know that is a contradiction). Also, the plug-in hybrid is a unique selling point. But why Pacifica? WHAT WAS WRONG WITH TOWN & COUNTRY?!
       
      2017 Ford Fusion: B-
      Postive: Refresh makes it look less like an Aston Martin
      Negative: Who wants to pay close to $40,000 for a Fusion?! (i.e. Platinum)
       
      2017 Ford Raptor SuperCrew: Incomplete
      Whoopie, there is a supercrew version of the Raptor... Ford, just go back to your room and think about why this warranted a show debut. Also, planning to release power figures soon?
       
      2017 Genesis G90: B+
      Somehow the new Equus, wait I mean G90 looks more frumpy than the model it replaces. The new engines and seemingly never-ending list of standard equipment make up for it.
       
      2017 GMC Acadia: A-
      How to drop 700 lbs out of a crossover? Make it smaller. With the Acadia, there is beginning to be some clear differentiation starting to appear in GM's large crossovers.
       
      2017 Honda Ridgeline: C+
      Now more truck like including a space between the cab and bed! Honda, you're not fooling anyone. At least, the in-truck bed is still there.
       
      2017 Infiniti Q60: A
      Keeps much of the design from the concept and brings some much needed new engines to Infiniti. Horray. Also Infiniti's direct steer system is optional which should quiet those folks who believe it is the worst thing to happen to cars (about five or six at last check).
       
      Kia Telluride Concept: Incomplete
      Uhh, hmm. I don't have any words for this concept.
       
      2017 Lincoln Continental: B-
      To quote my Instagram: "Lincoln... I really want to like you, but you are making it so hard to do so." Something on the design just seems off.
       
      2017 Lexus LC 500: A-
      The fact that Lexus made the LF-LC into a production model is shocking enough! Considering they didn't water it down is more shocking. But Lexus, we need to talk about building a V8 that is capable of 500-plus horsepower for this new coupe.
       
      2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class: B+
      Mercedes-Benz has taken the Audi ideals when designing their vehicles; using the enlarge and reduce function on the copy machine. But I like what Mercedes is doing with their design on their current sedan lineup. The sharpness of the interior is an added plus.
       
      Nissan Titan Warrior Concept: B+
      Glad to see someone else take Ford on with a Raptor even if it's a concept. Quick Aside: Can someone build a muscle truck again?!
       
      Volkswagen Tiguan GTE Active Concept: C
      Whose bright idea at Volkswagen was; let's take the concept we showed at Frankfurt, add some offroad bits, and call it the GTE Active? Great Idea, right? No.
       
      2017 Volvo S90: A+
      Woah. Inside and out, the new S90 is a stunner. It also helps that S90 underneath is the same as the North American Truck of the Year - the XC90.


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