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Detroit first stop for new offerings from auto makers

THE Detroit Auto Show is where the movers and shakers in the automotive world gather to beat their chests and indulge in one-upsmanship over their latest offerings at a show that’s known for hot new sheet-metal and concept cars.

The 2016 version is the start of a global runaround that takes in Chicago, Geneva, Beijing, New York, Paris, Frankfurt, Los Angeles.

This year, expect a raft of new cars and concept vehicles. Chevy is going electric with the production version of the Bolt EV, Chrysler is reinventing the minivan, while BMW and Porsche have turbocharged performance monsters at the ready.


BMW’s 365-horsepower M2 Coupe (above) is lithe and lean, and powered by a twin-turbocharged, inline-6 cylinder engine coupled to either a 6-speed manual or 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission.


Scion is getting its first SUV. The C-HR (above) has worn both Toyota and Scion badges during previous auto show appearances around the world. But Scion is getting the glory in Detroit. Powered by a 4-cylinder and with a choice of front- or all-wheel-drive, the C-HR cashes in on the market surge for smaller, budget-conscious crossovers and SUVs.


Hyundai will reveal its premier luxury offering — the G90 sedan (above). It is large and luxurious and the first in a line of Genesis-branded cars and SUVs.


The current Ford Fusion (above), is getting a makeover to keep it competitive against rivals like the Accord, Camry, Sonata and Malibu. Expect Ford to offer plenty of fuel-sipping engines, along with a plug-in hybrid variant. Ford’s clunky infotainment system should get a massive overhaul to make it simpler to use.


Volvo’s XC90 crossover (above) has earned rave reviews, so now it’s the turn of thee S90 sedan to keep the good vibes going. Elegant design, Volvo’s suite of City Safety features, and an optional 316-hp 4-cylinder engine that’s both turbo- and supercharged ensure that Volvo isn’t going away like fellow Swede, Saab.


Power and more power — the all-wheel-drive Porsche 911 Turbo (above) is mind-crushingly quick. A top speed in excess of 320km/h is made possible by the twin-turbo, flat-6 cylinder engine mounted at the rear of the car. The sprint from 0 to 60 mph takes only 2.8 seconds.


Infiniti is revamping its hottest selling SUV in time for Detroit. The company’s new twin-turbo V-6 is being kept in the Q50 sedan, though the QX60 does benefit from fresher styling, including new head- and tail-lights, along with an upgraded cabin. Like Lincoln and Hyundai’s Genesis, Infiniti is a luxury brand on the move in the Motor City.


Lexus has kept a low pre-show profile indicating it is planning something big for Detroit. Possibly an off-spring of the LF-FC Concept (above) shown at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, its anticipated V-8-powered performance coupe should have around 500-hp and a 10-speed automatic transmission.


Buick is a really big deal in China – it’s one of the country’s most popular car brands – so it was only a matter of time before a Chinese-built Buick headed stateside. Built in Shandong province, the Envision (above) is a midsize SUV that blends inoffensive styling with Buick’s penchant for building whisper-quiet cabins.


Mercedes has axed the SLK name, replacing it with the SLC (above) it will bring to Detroit. The base SLC300 comes with a 241-hp 4-cylinder, but there’s also a twin-turbo V-6 in the AMG-tuned SLC43. With 362-hp, this little Mercedes roadster only needs 4.6 seconds for the 0-60 mph sprint.


Honda’s US Acura brand is giving a strong hint as to its future design direction with the Precision Concept (above). The teaser image looks to be a long sedan, with a low and swept-back greenhouse, along with aggressively flared rear fenders.


Chevy is thinking small when it comes to going green. The electric-powered Bolt (above) will be noticeably smaller and less expensive than the American brand’s current Volt hybrid. Driving range is expected to be around 320 kilometres a charge, while the Bolt’s price is expected to drop.


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