Back in January the Motor City hosted the 2017 North American International Auto Show. Always a venue for the latest and greatest from all the world’s auto and truck manufacturers, the Auto Show is also the place to see where the automotive world is heading in regards to technology, design and functionality–in other words, it’s a great place to drool over concepts, prototypes and actual new releases. After spending some time digesting all the new offerings at this year’s show, here are six CarSoup.com favorites. Some are available now, others in the near future, and a few only in our dreams.
Chevrolet Bolt — Chevy’s all-electric car (shown above) is poised to give Tesla a run for its money. It was named the 2017 North American Car of the Year and Motor Trend’s Car of the Year. A floor-mounted battery powers a 200-hp electric motor that delivers a claimed EPA-estimated 238 miles per charge. To achieve this range, the Bolt incorporates such unique tech as “Regen on Demand” that allows you to slow the vehicle simply by pulling on a steering wheel-mounted paddle (thus according to Chevrolet converting energy into electricity that’s transferred back to the battery) and one-pedal driving that allows you to brake by lifting your foot off the accelerator pedal. The Bolt is set to retail for around $30,000 after rebates.
Kia Stinger — With styling that takes aim at the likes of BMW and Lexus, the Kia Stinger is the Korean automaker’s challenge to existing sport sedans. It’s available with two different engine options—a 255-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder will serve as the entry-level engine, and a 365-hp turbo 3.3-liter V-6. The Stinger will sport an eight-speed automatic transmission, and buyers will be able to choose between rear- and all-wheel drive.
Nissan Vmotion 2.0 — The Nissan Vmotion 2.0 concept pushes the brand’s polarizing love-it-or-hate-it V-Motion design cues. Some of the more interesting features include a cut-away steering wheel that gives both the driver and front passenger a view of the entire instrument panel, a touchpad in the center console that operates the Vmotion 2.0’s infotainment system, and Nissan’s ProPilot automated driving system that controls the accelerator, brakes, and steering wheel at highway speeds for hands-free driving while requiring the driver to take over for lane changing and passing. Talk about cruise control!
Toyota Camry — Remember when the Camry was as plain and vanilla as could be imagined? Toyota intends to make those days a bad memory. Along with the sci-fi-inspired looks, this Camry is loaded with futuristic tech such as a 10.0-inch color head-up display, a 7.0-inch multi-information display, and an 8.0-inch display for audio, navigation, and climate control that is flush with the center console and has a smartphone-like interface. Throw in a 4G LTE–based in-vehicle Wi-Fi for up to five mobile devices, plus new remote-connect features and an app suite across all trim levels, and you’ve got a Camry that’s poised to impress. Plus it comes with Toyota’s Safety Sense system that includes pre-collision warning with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning with steering assist, and automatic high-beams, plus adaptive cruise control and a backup camera.
VW I.D. Buzz Concept — With all the hot water that Volkswagen has gotten into over its diesel models, the German automaker is setting its sights on something completely different—electricity! As a concept vehicle, the I.D. Buzz is intended to highlight where VW could potentially be headed in the very near future. Totally flexible seating for eight and a completely removable center console allow for complete customization of the passenger compartment, and a full skylight roof provides unprecedented openness. The squared-off steering wheel recedes into the dash when it’s not needed (seeing a trend here?) and all secondary controls are accessed via a large touchscreen. Some sources say that the I.D. Buzz could actually enter production as early as 2022.
Honda Odyssey — Last year Chrysler was at the center of the media attention with its new Pacifica minivan. This year it’s Honda and its redesigned Odyssey. This new version of Honda’s family mover takes versatility to a new level with middle row seating that can be positioned farther forward so that a little one strapped into a car seat is within easier parental reach. Or take out the center section and the outboard seats can be snugged up together and slid forward for improved access to the third row. The new Odyssey also features several technologies for keeping tabs on and communicating with passengers in the rear two rows. CabinWatch—an infrared camera located in the overhead rear-seat-entertainment system—enables the driver and front-seat passenger to keep an eye on the goings-on in back, even in the dark, while CabinTalk gives the driver the ability to speak to rear seat passengers via a microphone and be heard via the rear speakers or headphones.