A century of history and six decades of international editions uphold the emblematic Detroit Auto Show. Its strategic, early January position in the calendar, signals the beginning of the year within the automotive tradition. Leaving history aside, this year’s circumstances are leading us to a Detroit Motor Show lacking in significant new developments and surprises. The general feeling is that this year’s edition is being a somewhat watered down show.
The Trump effect and its protectionist proclaims, have been blowing an uncomfortable, disconcerting tailwind over the industry during the last year, driving several brands to change their plans. Others, such as Volkswagen or Fiat, start the year litigating the actual and potential consequences of ‘Dieselgate’. Furthermore, and regrettably, American brands tend to merely tip toe through this event, only Ford and Chevrolet daring to take a step forward when it comes to innovations. On top of this, other key brands like Tesla, Jaguar, Land Rover or Porsche are absent from this year’s programme.
Trends and reveals
As far as trends go, and as it was expected, the SUVs are gaining ground in spite of the saloons, which seem to have lost weight. Hybrid and electric technology has let out some new developments although nothing extraordinary. The show will come to an end on the 22nd of this month and so far the most notable reveals have been:
- Lexus LS: Despite the decline of the saloons, this model is amongst the most interesting reveals of the Detroit Motor Show. The luxury brand Lexus has got everyone talking with its elegant yet modern re-design. Its dimensions are exceptional (5,24 metres) and it is loaded with new technological developments, boasting a 10 speed automatic transmission and an all new twin-turbocharged, direct-injected 3.5 litre V-6 with an output of 415 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque.
- Audi Q8 Concept: Another of the big names on high-end vehicles. The German brand surprises with a personality twist with this new hybrid SUV offering over 620 miles of autonomy. It is 5 meters long and displays a smart and robust design. Its 3 litre turbocharged direct-injection V6 engine delivers 450 horsepower.
- KIA Stinger: Perhaps the most significant new development at the show, strictly speaking. This new saloon integrates the most powerful engine the Korean brand has ever fitted into one of its vehicles (365 horsepower), coupled by a young, sporty look. It is certainly eye catching.
- Volkswagen ID Buzz Concept: The first hippy van of the future has also been unveiled in Detroit. Its design blends modernity and nostalgia and it is equipped with an electric engine giving over 240 miles autonomy. Still no date regarding its commercialisation.