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.