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The Hooniversal Opinion: 2016 North American International Auto Show (Detroit)

Bradley Brownell January 13, 2016 Detroit Auto Show, Featured 42 Comments

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There is no possible way that the Detroit show in 2016 can beat the Detroit show in 2015. Last year, we saw the unveiling of the GT350, the Raptor, and the Ford GT was a surprise that blew everyone away. Not to mention the Acura NSX, the Porsche Targa 4S, The Alfa 4C Spider, and a number of other great concepts and whatnot. Well, the level of surprise has at least been matched, as Buick rolled out a performance car concept that stunned the motoring world. Nobody saw that coming. This is a show that’s largely been dominated by a van, a Honda pickup truck, a couple of full-sized luxury sedans, and a sports car concept from an unlikely brand. Check out what’s new this year (with photos cribbed from our friends at AutoWeek and Autoblog), and the whole crew’s opinions about everything, after the jump.

Volvo S90

-1x-1
I loved it when it first broke cover and I love it even more after seeing the live photos. I think it looks stellar inside and out and should do wonders for Volvo’s brand perception. Suddenly there’s a really interesting choice of premium saloons now that goes way beyond your typical Cadillacs or Benzes and this Volvo might be the most interesting of them all.

-Greg Kachadurian

What a handsome sedan. If there is anything not to like, it’s the fact that it FWD-based, but most people will opt for AWD and more power anyway. The interior looks amazing, my lawd, those seats.

-Kamil Kaluski

So, will this be the basis for the 2019-2025 Ford Taurus and Explorer like the S80 before it?

-Tim Odell

Scandinavian God of Sex Sedan. When I’m older, I’ll want one. If they make a Polestar version, I’ll want one now.

-Jeff Glucker

Nissan Titan Warrior Concept

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Fun game: How far into any story on the TITAN WARRIOR CONCEPT will the words “tough” and “bold” be used? Being a numbers guy, I’ll put the over/under at about 35 words.

-Eric Rood

Too bad it’s only a concept as the world clearly needs more Raptor-like trucks. Diesel FTMFW, obviously.

-Kamil Kaluski

Tough. Bold. ★★★★★.

-Bradley Brownell

Was Titan BRO D0Z3R CONCEPT taken?

-Tim Odell

I know they won’t build it because Nissan hates fun things that enthusiasts like, but that doesn’t make it any less cool. I would gladly dress myself in head to toe in Mossy Oak and strap a furry woodland creature to the roof for a chance to try this out.

-Greg Kachadurian

Hopefully they at least make some sort of NISMO PRO-4X version at least approaching this. Problem is, it will wind up costing $65,000.

-Jeff Glucker

Mercedes Benz E-Class

Mercedes-Benz E-Klasse Limousine (W 213) 2016Mercedes-Benz E-Cl

This is a mistake. I’m looking at the C-class. Can we get an E-class, please.

-Kamil Kaluski

Oh, that’s new?

-Tim Odell

Okay, so German car companies have always been accused of practicing the “same sausage, different length” philosophy with their cars. The current Mercedes-Benz lineup is probably the single biggest offender in history. This E-Class looks great like all the other Benzes do, but holy shit THEY KEEP MAKING THE EXACT SAME CAR. The current S-Class was the first volume car to wear their current design language and ever since it’s been the same car in a different length with a few subtle tweaks so upper management doesn’t notice. The only other thing that varies between each car is the price. Even BMW has substantial design variation between all their models and they build four-door versions of two-door versions of their four-doors and put 68 ///M badges on each for fuchs sake!

-Greg Kachadurian

Regardless of the fairly boring design, I’d still hand over all of my dollars to have an E63 Wagon version.

-Jeff Glucker

Mercedes Benz SLC Roadster

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I have always loved how small Mercedes sport roadsters look, and this one is no different. Chances are, I still won’t fit in this one either.

-Bradley Brownell

What a great little car to give your affluenza-suffering daughter for her sixteenth birthday.

-Kamil Kaluski

Do they even sell these to guys?

-Tim Odell

With the face lift and all the new features, Mercedes have went above and beyond to remind us that this car exists. I find it interesting though that they chose to give it a glass roof. If you wanted to see the sky while you drive, isn’t that why you’d buy a convertible in the first place?

-Greg Kachadurian

How the hell do you not fit in this Bradley? It’s built by Germans. Even their women are taller than you.

-Jeff Glucker

Honda Ridgeline

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The biggest issue with the previous Ridgeline was marketing. Honda said it was a pickup truck and all the pickup truck buyers laughed. They should have said it’s an SUV with the utility of a small pickup truck, perfect for someone who’s got a house they like to tinker with, gardener types.

-Kamil Kaluski

Yeah, I agree with Kamil, because then it would have been a sales success like the Subaru Baja…

-Bradley Brownell

How does Bradley define success? By fitting into a Mercedes SLC? The annual sales figures for the Ridgeline were as high as 50,000. At its lowest year it outsold all of Jaguar. Clearly those complete idiots at Honda, unlike Bradley, see profit in it.

-Kamil Kaluski

Ever met someone who lives completely within their means, buying only what they really need? They pack their lunch every day, wear store-brand khakis and $25 shoes and never drink? The Ridgeline is like that: it’s exactly what 85% of the truck buying public needs: an AWD Honda Accord with a trunk you can fill with dirt. Alas, that’s not really why people buy trucks.

-Tim Odell

So not for me? Got it.

-Jeff Glucker

I live in Georgia which just might have the highest truck-to-high school graduate ratio in America. I never see a Honda Ridgeline. It’s unfortunate but I feel that no matter how good a new truck from Honda will be, the people buying Rams and Silverados will never jump ship. I’m not sure who they expect to buy this; maybe people that otherwise wouldn’t have bought a truck at all because of how big they’ve all gotten? It might say in the press release but I’m not worrying about reading it until it’s time to do The News 😛

-Greg Kachadurian

Audi A4

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plagiarism#Self-plagiarism

-Tim Odell

I like the way most Audis look but I can’t help but think this new A4 already looks dated. The changes they made over the previous generation aren’t exactly groundbreaking… at all. It looks good but it’s as if the designers just went… “eh… here ya go”. It should still be a nice well-rounded car for daily duties and the updates they made beneath the skin are substantial enough for it to be called “all new for 2016”.

-Greg Kachadurian

Curious to see how it drives. I’m hoping it’s not lame. I’ll find out in a month or so.

-Jeff Glucker

Audi A4 Allroad

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See above.

-Tim Odell

Ooooh yes. Yes, yes, yes, and yes. Soft roaders are another thing I don’t see very often but there’s still something cool about them. A lifted A4 shouldn’t look as good as it does…. I wonder if anyone will buy it.

-Greg Kachadurian

JUST GIVE US THE DAMN A4 AVANT PLEASE. NOT THE MORE EXPENSIVE BUT ONLY MILDLY MORE USEFUL ALLROAD. The original Allroad worked because it was actually interesting, and did things the standard A6 wagon couldn’t. This A4 Allroad? It can occasionally get dirtier than the regular A4 Avant, but it never will.

-Jeff Glucker

Audi h-Tron Hydrogen Concept

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“Hydrogen as a mass-market fuel is just a few years and engineering challenges away from viability” – Hydrogen folks, every year since like 2005.

-Tim Odell

It’s alleged 372-mile range and 4-minute refueling time are impressive. Its styling isn’t.

-Greg Kachadurian

No. Ve do not zink deezell is zee future. Vhy do you hask?

-Jeff Glucker

Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback

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This looks a lot better than the sedan. Still not enough for me to want to buy one, though.

-Bradley Brownell

Did GM hire a former Hyundai designer?

-Kamil Kaluski

“Let’s make a hatchback, but make both the hatch and back as small as possible”

-Tim Odell

I think it has some impressive hardware and tech backing up its great looks. That’s the first time I’ve ever said anything nice about a GM compact. Also, this is just asking to be the base for a Focus RS competitor.

-Greg Kachadurian

VW Tiguan GTE Active Concept

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It’s active! Which is a new meaningless word for ‘dynamic’. BFG A/T’s automatically make every vehicle more rugged, so it’s brilliant that they use them here, but unlike Jeep and Toyota they won’t have the balls to fit them on a production vehicles. This is just another CUV. Yawn.

-Kamil Kaluski

“Grrrrrrrrrrr!!” – not the vehicle growling, just the howl of mud terrains (they’re mud terrains, Kamil) unnecessarily fitted to a crossover with no low-range.

-Tim Odell

They threw on all-terrain tires [Mud Terrain! -ed] and raised the ride height by 2 inches. “LOL I’m ready for the Rockies!”

-Greg Kachadurian

I think it at least looks pretty bad ass. No other crossovers can really say that.

-Jeff Glucker

BMW M2

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Audi struck gold again with the right-sized S3, effectively reviving the B5 S4. Lets hope BMW has found a bit of leftover soul from the E36 M3 and shoved it in the M2. At 52 grand, though, it’s a bit on the pricey side for a compact sports-purpose coupe.

-Bradley Brownell

I drove the M235i and it was fantastic. This is going to best the M car in a long time. But M235i owners shouldn’t feel bad as I don’t think the price will justify the increase in performance for them.

-Kamil Kaluski

Glad it exists, but the M235 (will that still exist?) will be the better performance value. The M Tax is real.

-Tim Odell

I’ll be serious and say I’m strongly considering one of these… in five years after depreciation kicks in. The thought of modern BMW straight-six power and drivetrain tech in a smaller package makes this a much more attractive package than the current M4 – which I can say from experience is still a beast of a car. I love that BMW is still building something like this… almost as much as I love the things BMW used to build.

-Greg Kachadurian

Man, cars like this give me hope for BMW.

-Jeff Glucker

BMW X4 M40i

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Obligatory Eagle Reference.

-Tim Odell

I love BMW as long as I pretend things like this don’t exist. Start with a car that nobody needs or wants, add an awesome twin-scroll turbo straight-six that makes power everywhere, give it sport suspension, and add an ‘M’ to its name and you end up with something almost as stupid as the X6M. And you know why BMW still builds these? It’s because people buy them. *Facedesk*

-Greg Kachadurian

I hate you BMW.

-Jeff Glucker

Chrysler Pacifica and Pacifica Hybrid

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Pretty minivan. Dare I say, sexy. Lack of AWD option will drive a few buyers to the Sienna. This vehicle needs to be really good because the Sienna and the Odyssey are damn excellent, and the Kia Sedona is pretty much on the same level. The company that developed the original minivan hasn’t been leading the market in a long time, but they do have a lot of excellent vehicles (Grand Cherokee for instance) and if they can just follow that path, this will be a success.

-Kamil Kaluski

The Town and Country is dead. Long live the Town and Country!

-Bradley Brownell

I’d love to see the recording from the meeting where they decided to swap one of the best-known minivan names for that of a failed CUV. Surely a PT Cruiser is just around the corner. That said, this looks to be a damn-good minivan. Toyota and Honda have been sitting on their asses for nearly a decade, so it’s nice to see a fresh design and some innovation. Thankfully no AWD, as then I’d be forced to admit it’s the better purchase than a used Suburban.

-Tim Odell

I can’t find the quote now, but someone at Chrysler supported the name change saying something along the lines of “the Pacifica left a good impression on the market”… But did it really though? But more importantly, Chrysler’s managed to make a minivan look truly unique. Not bad at all, even if it does look like a van is wearing the 200’s face as a mask like some deranged serial killer.

-Greg Kachadurian

The last Pacifica left a great impression on the market, Greg… I remember dealerships trying to unload them with Buy-One-Get-One-Free deals. Also apparently their front engine cradle subframes rot out with an alarming quickness, and new ones are on indefinite backorder (Don’t ask why I know this).

-Bradley Brownell

Kamil is fired.

-Jeff Glucker

Genesis G90

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Not just a new car, but a new car *brand* for the Hyundai/Kia group. Perhaps with an up-market brand joining their fold, they’ll figure out what the heck Hyundai and Kia stand for instead of infighting for the same markets (Ala the Kia K900 and Hyundai Genesis Sedan).

-Bradley Brownell

Ok, so Genesis is turning into its own high-end brand, right? So what are we to make of the Hyundai Equus? It’s like they take a half-step towards having a cogent brand strategy, then the boss’s nephew (who runs a given product line) pipes up in some meeting and unravels the whole thing.

-Tim Odell

Keep an eye on this brand. Hyundai has already completely revolutionized their main lineup in what must be some kind of record time for such a large company. Now that they’ve got a spinoff luxury brand to go wild with, good things are gonna happen.

-Greg Kachadurian

The 2nd-gen Genesis is actually a wonderful full-size sedan. Hyundai ironed out most of my issues with the 1st-gen car (yes, probably for me personally…). I’m curious now to see where they can take this new sub-brand. I have high hopes for an Equus replacement as being a truly luxurious machine that also drives well.

-Jeff Glucker

Infiniti Q50Infiniti Q50 - FINAL 1 - EMBARGOED until 12.15 3pm PT - 6pm ET

A new 400 horsepower turbo version of the VQ engine gives this sedan plenty of grunt. Now it might drive as good as it looks. If only Infiniti would sort out that silly naming structure.

-Bradley Brownell

Yes, gaddamn it, yes! The Q50 was always a cool looking sport sedan but without any substance. That’s is being cured for 2016 with the help of some hair-driers to the tune of 400hp. About damn time. I hope that they fixed that weird infotainment system while at it. I hope to see that engine in the next Z car.

-Kamil Kaluski

Handsome, speedy car that’s probably a quick tune away from humiliating a few more hardcore machines. Their naming convention’s still dumb, though.

-Tim Odell

They changed what they needed to and added a true-ish performance variant. Can’t really ask for more on what was supposed to be a mid-cycle refresh.

-Greg Kachadurian

I hate that Infiniti doesn’t let you fully defeat traction control. I’m going to figure out which fuse to pull when I eventually borrow this car… luxury sedan brake stands are fun brake stands.

-Jeff Glucker

Infiniti Q60

INF15021_Q60_001_3EMBARGOED Until 1.11 1245PM EST

Basically the coupe version of the Q50, right? It’s a good looking car, but it would seem Infiniti has been taking too much design inspiration from Jaguar.

-Bradley Brownell

The original G35 was a huge success. Unfortunately Infiniti left it like that for far too long, even after a redoing it in 2008 it seemed the same. Infiniti played safe here, but that’s wise as it looks good, no one will mistake it for anything other than an Infiniti coupe.

-Kamil Kaluski

Won’t mistake it for anything other than an Infiniti coupe or a Jaguar coupe, that is.

-Bradley Brownell

*squint* How the hell does this look like a Jag? Maybe around the headlights? I dunno.

-Kamil Kaluski

It’s the headlights (see the older XF). The sedan looks better. This has a bit of BMW 6-series awkwardness to it.

-Tim Odell

I don’t know if “pretty” is the right way to describe it, but Infiniti’s sport coupe finally got the updates it deserved and it looks promising. It’s the first production-bound Infiniti that’s made me say “I NEED to drive that”. I hope it sells well and I’m sure it will.

-Greg Kachadurian

I barely see Jag. I totally see luxury GT-R in that profile. Y’all muthafuckas need glasses.

-Jeff Glucker

Buick Avista Concept

2016 Buick Avista Concept

Last year Buick rolled out a stunningly gorgeous sedan concept and followed it up with a production version of a frumpy compact convertible built in Germany. This year Buick rolled out a stunningly gorgeous coupe concept and followed it up with a production version of an unnecessary crossover built in China. Buick, you have excellent designers on your staff, you need to let them work on stuff you’re actually going to build. The Avista will never be built, of that I am certain.

-Bradley Brownell

Hey now, Bradley, that frumpy convertible is built with [some] pride in Poland!

You know what happened here, right? They saw my Lemons racer and they though “damn, people love that thing, people love a high performance Buick, so we should make one!!” They forgot a proper park bench spoiler but I’ll let that slip. In all seriousness, a Camaro-based Pontiac Buick, what a novel idea! I like the fact that they’re using a turbocharged V6 for power, too. They forgot about t-tops tho but they made up for it by not having the B-pillar, something that will obviously be on a production car, if one should happen to come to fruition.

-Kamil Kaluski

Makes a ton of sense to get more Alpha-platform and turbo V6 volume and add relevance to the Buick brand. Grand National is way too redneck; Riviera would be better. Really, I wish Ford would do this with the Mustang chassis.

-Tim Odell

Re: Tim – Ford killed Mercury too soon to do a new Mustang-based Cougar.

-Bradley Brownell

I’m not as crazy about this car as everyone else seems to be. Maybe it’s because of the personal experiences I’ve had with Buicks in the past, but I really think it’s because of the precedent Buick set when they brought their last gorgeous concept to production. The Avenir Concept ended up in production as a Buick LaCrosse, which looked similar and quite good looking, but not nearly as stunning. I get the feeling that the Avista will end up being brought to production in a car that looks good but just doesn’t deliver the same kind of beauty as what we’re looking at here.

-Greg Kachadurian

I’ll be happy if they actually build it… and I’m not holding my breath on this one.

-Jeff Glucker

Buick Envision

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I can Envision one of these parked badly outside Trader Joe’s. Sorry, that’s all I’ve got.

-Tim Odell

I have less than zero interest in this car and I only know it exists because I saw “built in China” in the headlines, which doesn’t really alter my opinion in any way. It’ll be interesting to see if there’s any backlash against Buick for selling a Chinese-built crossover in America – otherwise, I’d rather watch C-SPAN completely sober.

-Greg Kachadurian

An American car company building Chinese knock-offs of the BMW X5. Alright then.

-Jeff Glucker

Chevrolet Bolt

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Of everything on the list, this might be the one I’d be most likely to purchase with my own money. With a theoretical 200 mile range, this would make an excellent commuter for me, and that really diminishes the range-anxiety that comes with a lot of other EVs. GM really might have something on their hands with this one. According to people actually at the show, the Bolt looks much better in person than it does in photos. And I really don’t think it looks that bad in photos.

-Bradley Brownell

See my diatribe above about the Ridgeline. This is the optimal commuter car for, like, everyone. But just…ugh. It’s so sexless.

-Tim Odell

Chevy’s first real EV and I think they’ve got a hit on their hands. It has a better range than most of the competition at a better price and it’s not short on features. If you can get over the styling, there’s really no reason to look anywhere else for a ~$30,000 EV right now. I just hope that eventually we’ll start getting proper EVs that go beyond the usual compact city car. How about a mid-size sedan EV already or a five-door?

-Greg Kachadurian

Hopefully it does well and brings more EV options to the masses. Yes, I’m for that. More fuel for me.

-Jeff Glucker

Lexus LC 500

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Wait! This isn’t a concept! It’s a production vehicle! That’s impressive! Hopefully it won’t be a bloated pig like the RC. This just might be the best in this show.

-Kamil Kaluski

I guarantee Lexus unveiled this car at Detriot just to make Acura’s NSX look foolish.

-Bradley Brownell

Acura doesn’t need Lexus to make them look foolish. They had the Ford GT. And the Corvette. And the Viper. And the whole line-up of McLarens.

-Kamil Kaluski

This car’s design has all the subtlety of a gold-plated codpiece accompanied by assless chaps.

-Tim Odell

Of all the cars at this year’s NAIAS, this is the only one that’s truly blown me away. Lexus is taking this very car to production exactly as is sits in front of you now. It’s a real-life concept car for the roads and it’s absolutely jaw-dropping – convenient, because it looks like the car’s jaw is already pretty low. They say it’ll start at around $100K which puts it in line with some tough competition, but I expect it’ll do well just because of how different it look from anything else on the road. If you’ve ever wanted to drive a real-life concept car, here’s your chance. Good on you, Lexus.

-Greg Kachadurian

It’s always fun when an automaker takes a concept, basically puts real mirrors and lights on it and says “Okay, there you go world!” That’s what happened here, and it is good.

-Jeff Glucker

Porsche 911 Turbo and Turbo S

911 Turbo S

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Effectively Porsche has increased power slightly and given the car a facelift. The old Turbo was excellent, there’s no reason to believe this one isn’t. Oh, and the car now has Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, which it desperately needed. Porsche navigation sucks, and this takes one of the minor problems I had with the car and throws it away. Are they still expensive? You better believe it.

They also added a potentially gimmicky “Anti-lag” system to the Turbo and Turbo S. I haven’t seen much in the way of technical information, but I found this quote floating around the internet.

As opposed to the aggressive, turbocharger-consuming setup seen on rally cars, Porsche engineers went for a milder approach, basically turning the engine into an air pump during the overrun phase. Take your foot off the gas in one of these Turbos and air will continue to flow into the cylinders. Since the air is compressed by the cylinders, this maintains the turbo’s spinning state, thus minimizing lag.

-Bradley Brownell

There totally won’t be any confusion at the country golf club gatherings between the base turbo Carreras and the Carrera Turbo. Nope, none at all.

-Kamil Kaluski

For a culture so obsessed with technical accuracy and precision, the Germans sure suck at naming cars in ways that make sense.

-Tim Odell

IT MAKES PERFECT SENSE!

-Bradley Brownell (and probably like 400 Porsche engineers/marketing people)

Did no one tell Porsche they weren’t supposed to bring last year’s cars to the show?

-Greg Kachadurian

The more Bradley waxes poetic about Porsches, the less I care about them. Sorry Bradley. It’s not you, it’s the cars. While technically amazing, I find myself eyeing cars like the F-Type R, V8 Vantage GT, Z06, etc. You know… cars that are fun at all speeds.

-Jeff Glucker

Ford Fusion

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The new Fusion has an optional ‘Sport’ model that adds a 325 horsepower engine option. They should have called that one the FuSHOn. If Ford would let me get one with a stick, I might be swayed. Who doesn’t need a 325 horse AWD mid-sized sedan?

-Bradley Brownell

I drove the Ford Edge with that engine. It was impressive. After the F-150 and the Edge, I’ve got more respect for the EcoBoost engines than before, at least for power, not necessarily fuel economy.

-Kamil Kaluski

Can’t wait to see that motor dropped into the back of a clapped out Fiesta at LeMons in 2030.

-Tim Odell

Looks like Ford did as little as necessary to keep the Fusion looking current and pretty. Meanwhile, its competition (especially the Malibu) got prettier too. The big news here is they added more hybrids and a “sport” model with some proper power now. It’s not the ST model we were hoping for, but it’s close.

-Greg Kachadurian

Fisker Force 1

Source: WSJ

Source: WSJ

Handsome car. Great engine. High price. They would sell a ton of them in 2010.

-Kamil Kaluski

It’s a Viper with a ‘lightweight’ carbon fiber body. What’s not to love about this thing?

-Bradley Brownell

This is like the El Pollo Loco to Chevy’s Taco Bell and Dodge’s Del Taco. In other words “huh…I guess that exists, too.”

-Tim Odell

There’s a lawsuit over this? Heh. It looks not boring at least.

-Greg Kachadurian

Meh.

-Jeff Glucker

Acura Precision Concept

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Acura has to get a start on the next NSX that will debut in 10 years time. Coming up, another NSX concept, and yet another NSX production delay.

-Bradley Brownell

I have small tolerance for styling vision concepts.

-Tim Odell

(get it?)

Acura NSX

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Exactly four years ago I was at NAIAS in Detroit where the NSX was unveiled in front of me. It’s still not on the road. I have high hopes but I am also realistic. I want this car to be awesome but I doubt that it will be.

-Kamil Kaluski

Are we still talking about this car? Wasn’t this version of this car unveiled at Detroit last year to almost no fanfare? Is anyone still excited about this car?

-Bradley Brownell

I finally get it – Acura has actually perfected the missing piece of being a “real” supercar – endlessly trotting out the same concept, re-painted with different theoretical specs on the info placard.

-Tim Odell

I wonder how many original NSXs I can buy for the kind of coin they’re asking for this…

-Greg Kachadurian

Well, not as many as you would think. Early pop-up headlight models trade hands between about 50 and 75 thousand. So, like two or three?

-Bradley Brownell

I must drive this. The reaction from journos in their first drive reports has been mixed at best. I need to decide for myself. I fear I won’t love it though, which is so wrong on a car like this.

-Jeff Glucker

Lincoln Continental

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Of all the designs Lincoln has toyed with over the years, I really hope this is the one that sticks. They’ve found something that works, so rather than reinvent their whole design language again in 5 years just build off this one and give the brand some identity. We said good things about the Continental Concept and Lincoln went and built almost exactly the same way. That deserves huge credit.

-Greg Kachadurian

Was going to write something, but Eric says it much better below. He gets the last word

-Tim Odell

When I was in high school, this stoner kid named T.J. had a ratty, unrestored 1976 Lincoln Continental. It weighed at least 5,500 pounds and its 460 cubic-inch V8 bleated woefully when he matted the pedal, which was often. It occupied all of a parking space and made for the world’s best juxtaposition next to my friend Jeff’s Ford Festiva, which was electric blue with a dealer-installed decal of a bright-pink flower. And while 25 feet of Detroit iron will give some real high-school-parking-lot gravitas, T.J. and the other practitioners of fine early Malaise Era cars I hung around aspired to someday own a Continental with suicide doors because there’s nothing more baller than suicide doors.

This 2016 Continental does not have suicide doors, is not baller, and is nothing to which one aspires. Lincoln, what hath ye wrought?

-Eric Rood

Lincoln has quietly kept its head down and gone back to the drawing board, literally. Look at the current lineup and you’ll find supremely handsome sedans with extremely well crafted interiors. Add in the fact that they went ahead and built a new Continental, gave it a real name, and kept it close to the concept, and we could be on the verge of a nice change of pace for this brand. Pay attention Acura…

-Jeff Glucker

  • PotbellyJoe★★★★★

    I’ll take my All Road in purple, please.

    • Sjalabais

      Colour seems to make a comeback at some stands. Lots of red, brown and yellow, and that gorgeous green Kia XC90. And then there’s white Continentals for the conservative crowd.

    • Tomsk

      Nice to see carmakers (particularly the Germans) starting to let their freak flags fly again Re: color palettes.

  • Bradley Brownell

    @Jeff Glucker – You’re looking for fun at all speeds? Go drive a GT4. Best car ever made by anyone.

    • The Rusty Hub

      [Snoring intensifies]

    • Bradley Brownell

      Also, I’ve never fit in SLKs, which is what this is. I’m what doctors like to call “fat as shit”.

    • Jeff Glucker

      awesome car certainly… but the ones I mentioned are more fun when just cruising down the road with traffic.

      • Bradley Brownell

        Lies. Unpossible.

      • The V8 F-Type R might be the most underrated car on the market.

        • I’m gonna bounce off this slightly and give it most “under-appreciated,” as it’s been swooned over greatly and reviewed well to no end, but everybody seems to forget about it with the Porsches, Z06s, Aston, Viper, etc etc etc all in the same price range

          • That the term I was looking for! But it might be underrated too, sure as hell feels like more than 550 ponies.

  • CraigSu

    An out-the-corner-of my-eye glance at the Acura Precision had me thinking Mazda. The same glance at the Volvo S90 had me thinking BMW. Hmmm…

    • bigredcavetroll

      Give it another 20 years and all cars will be amorphous blobs with the only distinguishing feature being the number of doors.

      • Sjalabais

        Compared to, say, the late 90s, we’re really in a golden age of car design. It’s so much variety out there! Mazda’s gorgeousness has to be copied, as they seem to sit on some golden formula. The crazy Lexus is blingtastic, even though it really wants to make me look away. I agree with the Hooniversiat that this deviation will find deviant buyers. Crash norms lead to some similar light treatments and front facias, but it’s not sealed beams anymore.

        • bigredcavetroll

          This is true. I don’t actually think all cars look alike now, but many of them do look quite a bit similar, and I think that is, like you said, due to safety concerns. None of these cars are what I’d call ugly either.

  • Citric

    Given that this is the Detroit Auto Show, I will now use the new GMC Acadia to demonstrate a theory. Here is a picture of it:

    http://o.aolcdn.com/dims-global/dims3/GLOB/legacy_thumbnail/750×422/quality/95/http://www.blogcdn.com/slideshows/images/slides/376/624/3/S3766243/slug/l/2017-gmc-acadia-all-terrain-001-1.jpg

    The theory is something I call the “GM Mistake,” developed when my office looked out on a parking lot with a lot of GM products in it. The theory goes that all GM designs, whether good looking or otherwise, will have a number of really tiny details that are executed poorly for no clear reason. Due to the inexplicable nature of these tiny mistakes, one must assume they are deliberate, like those elaborate rugs that must always have a flaw because the makers believe humans achieving perfection is an affront to god. Except most GM products aren’t perfect, of course, it still is the only explanation for the haphazard placement of the 2010 Camaro’s reverse lights, for example.

    The GMC Acadia, especially in this trim, is the embodiment of the GM Mistake. Examples of weird details:

    -The grille badge is slightly too high, making it look like it has a sort of upturned pig nose.
    -The window line is strangely disconnected to the rear windows, as though the designers responsible for the glass were not on speaking terms. It just looks wrong.
    -Placement of the All Terrain badge is in the middle of nowhere, which serves no purpose except to make one wonder why the badge is placed in that location.
    -There is a silver bit on the bottom of the front and rear bumpers, which is only notable because on this model there isn’t silver anywhere else, making it look like someone installed the wrong bumpers.

    They’re really minor styling mistakes, and probably not a big deal for most of the people buying a big family bus, but now they’ll bug me whenever I see one of them – and I’ll see a ton of them, they are the #1 choice for hockey moms – like all the other GM Mistakes I see whenever I notice them.

    • The Rusty Hub

      As an ambivalent 2011 Malibu co-owner, here-here.

    • Mah gawd… I can’t unseen any of this now!!! Especially the pig nose!

    • bigredcavetroll

      I would argue that those little mistakes GM makes don’t stop with the styling and continue on into the mechanical bits.

    • Certainly applies on interior ergonomics/UI.

      My parents’ Tahoe, for some mysterious reason, only has LATCH anchors in 2 of the 3 seats in the middle row. Which two seats? Why, the center and the passenger side. That would be the same passenger side that folds to access the 3rd row.

      I’d love to hear the possible explanation for why a family vehicle is missing LATCH anchors in the most logical place to put them.

      • Vairship

        “I’d love to hear the possible explanation for why a family vehicle is
        missing LATCH anchors in the most logical place to put them.”

        Because like most three-row SUVs, it is bought by people who only have 2 kids. And standing on the sidewalk, you can only reach the middle and passenger seat in the 2nd row.
        See also: why are most third-row seats located in the crumple zone?

        And of course realizing that there are parts of the world that have the sidewalk on the other side of the car is too far out for most GM corporate drones.

    • This. And it’s more than styling. And I won’t be able to unsee those things now.

      When I owned a Saturn Outlook I remembered being impressed with the design of the steering wheel. Good looking, well laid out, nice feel to the controls. Quite well done. Then I touched the turn signal stalk which felt like an upgrade of an 80s design and the turn signal sound was identical to my grandma’s 1972 Ford Galaxie.

    • stigshift

      That window line is nearly BMW i3 cringe worthy. Egads.

      • wunno sev

        on the i3 it’s at least deliberate.

        it’s much more cringeworthy when it’s just a matter of committee members missing meetings, i think. the i3 is controversial, but some people like it, myself included. nobody will ever love this thing. Citric was probably the first person to notice that it even had features to look at. it is an invisible, forgettable piece of fluff.

  • engineerd

    Note to self, give Jeff a call in July to get press credentials for NAIAS 2017…

  • Gee Nick

    I had a dream in 1985 that Honda came out with a proper Hi-lux competitor. Wake me up when it really happens. I can still visualize that childhood oracle.

  • Scroggzilla

    Those Infinitis are the best looking Mazda 6s that I’ve ever seen.

  • The Volvo looks great from the front 3/4, but the back is ugly.

    The Bolt concept looked great last year. The production version looks like an executive looked at the concept and said “That electric BMW has funky side windows. We need funky side windows.”

    Still trying to figure out what’s new with the design of the Fusion.

    The thing the Acadia had going for it over the Pilot was interior space and towing. GMC just took both of those advantages away.

  • CraigSu

    So what we have with the Buick Avista Concept is Buick’s attempt to build a more attractive Camaro.

    • stigshift

      Which isn’t really that difficult, apparently.

      • Vairship

        This one cheats though, because it has windows.

  • Maymar

    I think, strangely enough, I’m most excited about the S90, although really, I’m excited about the V90 that we’ll hopefully be sent, and this is just a step in the right direction. For that matter, the existence of the Volvo really shows up the Continental, which is really just kind of underwhelming, especially in that Early Bird Special white on white they’ve shown so heavily. Mind you, the Cruze is closest to something I’d actually buy for my next car. It looks okay, it’s a reasonable size, and the old Cruze was a perfectly fine, if unthrilling car.

    Also, the Titan is that guy who’s unnaturally interested in UFC, as interpreted with four wheels and metal.

    I’m impressed by the Pacifica, I’m pleased to see Chrysler keeping the minivan alive, although for Chrysler Canada’s sake, they’ll hopefully build a lower-priced model so they don’t completely torpedo the sales success we’ve seen here.

    It would be fantastic to see the Avista come to production – the vague modern interpretation of the Boattail Riviera (which, fantastic looking) is more interesting use of the Alpha platform than GM’s 3rd interpretation of the ’69 Camaro or the ATS’s middling commitment to Cadillac’s now-13-year old Art & Science design.

  • stigshift

    Kamil, all chaps are assless. Much like the new Continental, which is exactly what a mid-level Korean luxury car should be.

  • All in all I was pretty pleased with the show. Lot of good stuff in there, from the Bolt to the Infinitis and everything in-between (save for a few, like the Acura concept), but the LC500 stands out drastically. It’s the first car in years, to me at least, that I just know will stop people in their tracks and garner many “what the f&%$ is that!”s from people of all ages and interests. I’m not necessarily a huge fan of the styling (grille, specifically), but overall it’s a masterpiece in over-the-top design and will be wild to see out on the road.

    • Vairship

      You guys forgot to mention the best news about that Acura: the beak is finally dead!
      Sure, it’s been replaced by a weirdly shaped grille, but that’s still less ugly…

      • Rover 1

        I think they realised that trying for MORE ugly all the time had really reached it’s limit.

        • Vairship

          Which means Lexus is trailing Acura by several years in that respect…

  • Van_Sarockin

    How fortunate. I’m entirely disincentivized to purchase a new car. Wallet safe for at least another year.

    • Vairship

      To be honest, I’d be interested in the Bolt…if they stretched it by about 2 feet and lowered the price below $10,000.

      • Rover 1

        It will be interesting to see if the rest of the world gets their own versions of the Bolt like they had their versions of the Volt, the Opel and Vauxhall Amperas and Holden Volts.

  • Rover 1

    “I’d love to see the recording from the meeting where they decided to
    swap one of the best-known minivan names for that of a failed CUV.
    Surely a PT Cruiser is just around the corner. ”
    To compensate, maybe this time Fiatsler will have made something better than merely ‘good enough’ like the Dart and 200 and 500 and Guilia

  • Rover 1

    The new Continental is a rejigging of an old Buick.
    Wong wheel drive? … check
    Ride over handling? … check
    Transverse, boosted V6 ?… check

    ‘Coke bottle’ hipped styling
    in homage to an English car
    (Bentley this time, … check
    instead of Jaguar)

    Prominent grille flanked by
    latest technology headlights … check

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/18/95-96_Buick_Regal.jpg/1024px-95-96_Buick_Regal.jpg
    W body Regal
    With the demise of Mercury, Ford does need a Buick competitor ?