The 2017 North American International Auto Show arrived in Detroit for its annual run from January 8–22. And like every year, it did not disappoint. As usual, replacements, upgrades, and concepts were showcased for the car lover in all of those who attended.
New Takes on Old Classics
VW Microbus Concept
A few old names made the guest list at this year’s Auto Show. Volkswagen has been mum for years on the idea of reintroducing the Minibus to drivers around the world. The classic has had fans champing at the bit for a chance to get behind the wheel of a modernized version. It looks like you won’t have to wait much longer since Volkswagen unveiled a concept electric version called the I.D. BUZZ (giggle). With two electric motors (one on each axle), the I.D. BUZZ will be all-wheel drive and get around 375 miles per charge. Volkswagen is open to many different configurations including rear-wheel drive only, a smaller battery, and fully autonomous capabilities. Volkswagen is planning an initiative to be selling 1 million electronic vehicles annually by the year 2025. What do you think — Is the I.D. BUZZ going to be the bee’s knees?
With the Bronco’s return roughly 36 months away, you can get that quick 36-month lease and be primed to be one of the first to rule the road with a brand-new Bronco! Although the design for the new Ford Bronco won’t be retro, its spirit will be. But since it’s still a ways away, designers have yet to decide (or at least reveal) whether or not there will be a four-door option. Ford may make concessions because of how the market has changed. But take a look at the below image that’s been pinged around the Internet of what fans imagine a Bronco might look like in 2020:
Customers have been loud and clear and Ford clearly listened; the Ford Ranger is also making a return in 2019, a year earlier than the Bronco. The Ranger has been Europe’s best-selling pickup and will be the basis for the North American version that’s returning. Because similarly sized trucks are selling quite well here from the likes of Toyota and Chevy, Ford decided to get back into the game. In its heyday, the Ranger put the contest on ice selling about twice the number of Rangers in 1999 as Toyota Tacomas in 2015. With a reasonable price and improvements to the engine, I expect the Ranger to light up the light truck world.
Here is my not-so-official list concerning the best of the 2017 NAIAS:
Best SUV Concept
It happens every year. We see a car that we simply fall in love with and we hope and wish it becomes a reality. Classified as a luxury crossover, the Q8 is a more coupe-like Q7 to satisfy sportier preferences for a dynamic but balanced design. It couples a turbo V6 with an electric motor to equal 443 horses charging on the urban battlefield. As a way to distance themselves from the diesel catastrophe, Audi is using electric motors to get as far away as they can. Next year promises to be even more eventful with a plan to release an all-electric SUV.
Most Likely to Succeed
This isn’t a high school yearbook, but the 2018 Toyota Camry is more dynamic and stylish than recent years. My first car was a 1985 two-tone brown Camry and I was sad to see my baby go. With sedans being less desirable as of late, Toyota set out to make the Camry more identifiable with a more powerful appearance that means business. Offering different versions to appease all kinds of drivers, Toyota redesigned a classier interior with an upgraded infotainment system to keep your riders engaged and entertained. Other standard upgrades include a reverse camera, 10 airbags, and forward collision warning system. The future looks very good for Toyota and the Camry.
I know we already talked about a buzz, and now I’m going to mention a stinger. The Kia Stinger, that is. Kia is asserting itself with a slick design that rivals any of the German luxury cars you know and love. Its physical appearance is nearly indiscernible from a BMW 4 Series and has a good 365 horsepower to propel it from 0 to 60 in five seconds. It also has an option for real-wheel drive that will allow for hard acceleration and with the balance of having the drive components in the rear, the Stinger will offer better potential for handling, braking, and overall safety.
Tires at the Car Show
All the new and exciting cars on show from city to city are absolutely worthless without proper tires to drive them on. So Michelin let it be known that they have a new performance tire to equip any number of those beautiful new sports cars. The Pilot Sport 4S will be available in spring and combines attributes of two previous tires. Like my parents essentially making a better version of themselves by making me, the Pilot Sport 4S took the best qualities of the Pilot Super Sport and Pilot Sport Cup 2 to bring this new, unprecedented tire. The Pilot Super Sport has already earned its stripes (or tread grooves) as being the best-rated summer tire on the market by Car & Driver. What? You think they didn’t make any progress? The PS4S has extended its ability to handle in wet and dry conditions, braking ability, and longer treadwear. To name a few, the Pilot Sport 4S will serve as the OEM choice for vehicle models for Ferrari, Porsche, BMW, Ford, and Mercedes-Benz. I’d say they’re riding on easy street with the new PS4S.
Tell us about your city’s car show? Will you be going? And what would you like to see most?