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Auto Show:  2015 Detroit Auto Show

2015 Detroit Auto Show Preview

author photo by Colin Ryan January 2015
  • First major car show of 2015
  • Consumer and industry confidence will banish the winter blues
  • More than 40 launches scheduled

The 2015 Detroit Auto Show is going to be "a reflection of the health and excitement of the global industry," says the event's chairman, Scott LaRiche. "Consumer confidence is high and automotive sales continue to climb." He's right to be upbeat. This show looks like it might be one of the most fascinating in its 27-year history, with supercars as well as sporty versions of regular cars and trucks set to warm up Detroit in January. Here's a preview of what we can expect to see at this year's Detroit Auto Show.

Power and Glory

The 2016 Acura NSX will surface at last. After what seemed like an endless development phase, the much-anticipated second generation of this mid-engined sports car is making its official debut. Intriguingly, it has a hybrid powertrain.

The NSX won't be stealing all the headlines, however. Lexus will be attending with an all-new track-ready performance model wearing the marque's F badge. Both imports will have to compete for attention with a supercar successor to the gorgeous Ford GT.

Additional attendees include the Shelby GT350R, a hot, track-focused version of an existing Shelby car. The GT350, based on the Ford Mustang, exceeds 500 horsepower, and the R version will be even more extreme.

Also being unveiled will be the new Cadillac CTS-V, a strong rival to the BMW M5 and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG midsize sports sedans. The outgoing generation of CTS-Vs was a credible alternative, offering 556 hp from a supercharged 6.2-liter V8. We're looking forward to seeing what this new edition brings to the table.

There will be plenty more muscular machines in attendance, such as the new John Cooper Works version of the current MINI. This version is the most powerful car the company has produced, bristling with 231 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque.

BMW is also coming to Detroit bringing its revamped 6 Series to the show in coupe, convertible and 4-door Gran Coupe forms.

Mud and Guts

Ford's latest, aluminum-bodied, full-size pickup could be receiving the off-road racer treatment to create the Ford F-150 Raptor. Nothing is official at the time of this writing, but the rumor mill is buzzing.

We know for sure that the 2016 Toyota Tacoma midsize pickup is heading to Motor City. This marks the introduction of the third generation of a perennially popular nameplate.

The all-new 2016 Nissan Titan full-size pickup is also set for a Detroit debut. One expected engine choice is a diesel V8 with a mighty 550 lb-ft of torque.

The second-generation Audi Q7 full-size SUV is sleeker and lighter than its predecessor, and it may be available as a plug-in hybrid. We'll have more details when it launches.

Designs and Patterns

The Infiniti Q60 concept coupe is a teaser for what to expect when the real version goes into production. The current Q60 is really the erstwhile G37 conforming to Infiniti's new naming system.

The Honda FCV will arrive in Detroit as a concept, but the company has had fully operational, lease-only fuel-cell vehicles for several years. So the hydrogen-powered hardware is available, even if it is expensive. Honda says the FCV could go on sale in Japan in March 2016 before hitting American dealerships later that year.

Refilling with hydrogen is a thorny issue, but with companies like Hyundai, Toyota and Volkswagen exploring fuel cells, it may just be a matter of time. Jacob Harb, BMW's head of electric vehicle sales in North America, said recently that "2015 is the year of infrastructure."

There's a pretty exciting lineup so far, and there will be much more to come when the 2015 Detroit Auto Show press days take place on January 12-13, 2015; more than 40 launches are expected. As always, will be providing comprehensive coverage, so be sure to check back regularly and often.

What it means to you: It looks like full steam ahead for the auto industry, which is good from a big-picture economy point of view. It also means a wide range of choices available to car buyers.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2015 Detroit Auto Show Preview - Autotrader