North American International Auto Show 2016: U.S. OEMs

U.S. automakers show model variety for both new and old segments

2016/01/28

Summary

Gears
View of FCA's display called  Gears 
Crowds in Ford's exhibit
Crowds in Ford's exhibit

 The 2016 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) was held from January 11 through January 24, 2016, with the show being open to the public starting January 16. Attendance for the 2016 public show reached 815,575 visitors, the highest attendance total in 13 years.


 In preparation for this year's show, many automakers, including the Detroit Three, redesigned their displays. Approximately USD 200 million was invested on exhibits for the 2016 show, highlighting the importance of making a strong impression in Detroit. Examples of the investments could be seen in the two-story LED walls in Ford's display, circular 3-D video screens in FCA's exhibit, and numerous large screens across many other automaker displays.

 Models shown by the Detroit Three spanned across many segments, demonstrating themes of flexibility and reinforcing positions for specific markets. GM unveiled a variety of crossovers such as the Bolt EV crossover, as well as the Cruze hatchback. FCA debuted the Pacifica minivan, intending to transform the segment. Finally, Ford showcased performance, plug-in hybrid, and premium versions of the refreshed Fusion.

 This report is the first of three reports which highlight notable vehicle models displayed at the 2016 North American International Auto Show. This report will focus on vehicles showcased by U.S. OEMs, specifically GM, Ford, and FCA. A second and third report will be released at a later date featuring models developed by European and Asian automakers respectively.

 


Related reports:
North American International Auto Show 2015
US automakers display confidence with luxury and performance models (Jan. 2015)
European automakers focus on their strengths and prepare for the future (Feb. 2015)
Asian OEMs establish strong positions in truck and performance market (Feb. 2015)



GM displays versatility with Bolt, Cruze hatchback, Buick Envision, and GMC Acadia

 As it had done in previous years, GM unveiled a wide range of vehicles in Detroit. Its redesigned Chevrolet display gave a sizable amount of space for its notable models, which included a miniature theater area for the Chevrolet Bolt. Product specialists for all of GM's brands held regular presentations both on the vehicle models and on specific qualities such as safety or electric vehicles.

 

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV Crossover

Chevrolet Bolt
Chevrolet Bolt

 Originally shown as a concept in 2015, the production model of the Chevrolet Bolt was first unveiled at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show before being brought to Detroit. The Bolt fulfills GM's promise to "deliver a long-range electric vehicle attainable by the masses". Notably, the Bolt is expected to have a range exceeding 200 miles and can be charged for 90 miles of range in 30 minutes using DC Fast Charging. Using a standard 240-V wall box, the Bolt can be charged for a 50 mile trip in less than two hours.


 The Bolt's motor generates 200 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque, providing 0-60 acceleration in less than seven seconds. Storing the 960 pound lithium-ion battery under the floor increases the amount of interior space as seen by the 16.9 cubic feet of cargo space in the rear.


 Another Bolt feature is a regenerative braking system that can activate when the driver releases the acceleration pedal. A 10.2-inch central display, infotainment system compatible with CarPlay and Android Auto, rear camera mirror, surround vision system and available 4G LTE Wi-Fi emphasize the Bolt's connectivity capabilities.

 

Chevrolet Bolt Interior
Chevrolet Bolt Interior
Chevrolet Bolt Trunk Interior
Chevrolet Bolt Trunk Interior


 Production for the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt will take place at GM's Orion Assembly Plant in Michigan, U.S., and will begin in late 2016. The Chevrolet Bolt will compete with the Nissan Leaf, BMW i3, Ford Focus Electric, and Kia Soul EV.

 

2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback

 In 2015, sales of small hatchbacks grew by 9% in the U.S. Chevrolet introduced the 2017 Cruze Hatchback in Detroit looking to capitalize on the increased demand with a hatchback version of its best-selling model. Having sold approximately 3.5 million Cruzes worldwide since 2008, Chevrolet hopes that the Cruze Hatchback will win younger audiences.


 The Cruze Hatch carries over a standard 1.4-liter turbo I4 engine from the sedan version. The engine has 153 hp, 177 lb-ft of torque, and is expected to achieve 40 mpg on the highway. Available transmissions include a six-speed manual and six-speed automatic.

 

Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback
Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback
Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback Rear-End
Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback Rear-End


 While the Cruze Hatch shares the same 106.3-inch wheelbase as the sedan model, it has a unique roof and rear-end structure. The top of the liftgate has an integrated spoiler, while the rear has wraparound taillamps. The Cruze Hatch has 22.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat, which can be increased to 47.2 cubic feet with the rear seat folded.


 Sales for the 2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback will begin in fall 2016. Assembly will take place at GM's plant in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico. Competitors to the Cruze include hatchback versions of the Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Volkswagen Golf, and Mazda3.

 

2016 Buick Envision Luxury Compact Crossover

Buick Envision
Buick Envision

 Though the Buick Envision has been sold in China since late 2014, it made its North American debut at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show. The 2016 Envision will be the first model imported from China by a member of the Detroit Three. As such, it has garnered some negative attention locally despite the brands' need for a midsize crossover in the U.S. and the Envision's strong sales in China.


 The 2016 Buick Envision has a standard 2.0-liter turbo I4 engine capable of 252 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, which is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. This differs slightly from the Chinese model which offers a choice between the 2.0-liter turbo and a 1.5-liter turbo I4. A class-exclusive HiPer Strut front suspension improves steering feel. The Envision also features Buick's first active Twin Clutch All-Wheel Drive system.


 A floating, wraparound instrument panel provides a flowing appearance for the Envision's interior. The front seats come standard with eight-way, power-adjustable seating with four-way adjustable lumbar support. Connectivity features include a standard 8-inch Buick IntelliLink screen with available OnStar and 4G LTE capabilities. Standard safety features include a rearview camera, front park assist, lane change alert, and rear cross traffic alert.


 The 2016 Buick Envision will go on sale in the U.S. in the second quarter of 2016. It will compete with the Acura RDX, Audi Q5, and Lincoln MKC. Manufacturing of the Buick Envision takes place in Yantai, China.

 

Buick Avista Sports Coupe Concept

 For the second consecutive year, Buick unveiled a surprise concept vehicle on the Sunday prior to the press days of the Detroit auto show. Similar to last year's Buick Avenir concept, the Buick Avista is a design concept that highlights the brand's future direction by combining modern design with its performance legacy.


 The 2+2 coupe has a 110.7-inch wheelbase, a 63-inch front track, and a 62.9-inch rear track, giving it an aggressive appearance. Chrome-accented front fender vents are an evolution of Buick's signature fender ports. Like the Avenir, the Avista has continuous body lines that stretch from the front to the rear, giving a sense of motion. A lack of B-pillars between the doors and the rear side windows further emphasizes the Avista's flowing style.

 

Buick Avista Concept
Buick Avista Concept
Buick Avista Concept Interior
Buick Avista Concept Interior


 The use of uninterrupted lines continues in the interior of the Avista, which has touchscreen controls on both a widescreen instrument panel and the center console. A fading pattern on the seats, consoles, and doors add to the theme of motion and flow. Carbon fiber and aluminum accents throughout the interior provide reminders of the Avista's performance capabilities.

 

2017 GMC Acadia Full-Size Crossover Utility Vehicle

 As the U.S. economy improves and gas prices drop, crossovers have become one of the fastest growing segments in the automotive market. GM's introduction of the 2017 GMC Acadia hopes to capitalize on market trends and the model's strong sales, which reached a record high in 2015 with 96,393 units sold.

 

GMC Acadia
GMC Acadia (Denali version)
GMC Acadia Interior
GMC Acadia Interior (Denali version)


 The 2017 GMC Acadia is smaller and weighs 700 pounds lighter than its predecessor. The decreased size and weight both improves the fuel efficiency of the Acadia and gives it a more car-like feel. Powertrain options include a 2.5-liter I4 engine with 194 hp and 190 lb-ft of torque and a 3.6-liter V6 engine with 310 hp and 271 lb-ft of torque. Thanks to GMC's first use of Stop/Start technology, the I4 and V6 engines are expected to achieve 28 and 25 miles per gallon on the highway respectively.

 

Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Curb weight (lb.)
2017 Acadia 112.5 193.6 75.4 68.7 3,956
2016 Acadia 118.9 200.8 78.9 72.6 4,656


 A range of model options are available for a variety of purposes, including the Acadia Denali premium model, and an All-Terrain model for off-road purposes. Other unique functions include a standard rear seat alert to remind the driver if an item or child has been left behind in the rear seats, and an available Tow Vision Trailering system to assist in hitching and monitoring a trailer.


 Sales of the 2017 GMC Acadia begin in spring 2016. The Acadia will be manufactured in Spring Hill, Tennessee.



FCA aims to transform minivan segment with Chrysler Pacifica debut

 Having redesigned and relocated its exhibit, FCA's "Gears" display featured circular, halo-like screens around each of its brands. These screens served to highlight key aspects and models for individual brands. The Chrysler Pacifica drew large crowds, signaling interest in FCA's direction for the minivan segment.

 

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Minivan

Chrysler Pacifica
Chrysler Pacifica

 The world premiere of the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica reflected FCA's intent on revolutionizing the minivan segment. Instead of adopting the Town & Country moniker of its predecessor, FCA used the Pacifica name to indicate a fresh start for its minivan line, while maintaining brand recognition from the older Pacifica crossover.


 One way that the Pacifica is changing the segment can be found in its powertrain options. A 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine providing 287 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque is standard on gas engine models. A plug-in hybrid Pacifica will also be available, making the Pacifica the first minivan available with such an option. The hybrid engine is a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 hybrid, capable of 248 hp and 230 lb-ft of torque. The Pacifica Hybrid is expected to achieve a city rating of 80 MPGe. Both engines are produced at the Saltillo Engine Plant in Mexico.


 Passenger comfort, safety, and vehicle versatility are important characteristics for minivans. The Pacifica has the largest interior volume in the minivan segment and utilizes FCA's Stow 'n Go system for multiple seating and storage configurations. An available Surround View camera provides a 360-degree view of the area surrounding the vehicle. Entertainment options such as the all-new Uconnect Theater allow back seat passengers to watch movies and stream content on two HD 10-inch touchscreens.

 

Chrysler Pacifica Interior
Chrysler Pacifica Interior
Diagram of Stow 'n Go configurations
Diagram of Stow 'n Go configurations


 The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica will be assembled at FCA's Windsor Assembly Plant in Ontario, Canada. Gasoline models for the Pacifica will be available in spring 2016, while the hybrid version will be available in the second half of 2016.

 

2017 Fiat 124 Spider Roadster

 Debuting at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November 2015, the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider was also highlighted in Detroit. One of the main goals in introducing the 124 Spider was to expand the Fiat brand in North America through a stylish performance vehicle. The new 124 Spider uses design cues from the original model, such as a hexagonal grille pattern, styling projections on the hood called "power domes", horizontal rear lamps, and rear fenders that create a unique V-shape when viewed from behind.

 

Fiat 124 Spider
Fiat 124 Spider
Fiat 124 Spider Rear View
Fiat 124 Spider Rear View

Fiat 124 Spider Interior
Fiat 124 Spider Interior

 The 124 Spider features a 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo I4 engine assembled in Termoli, Italy, which can generate 160 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. Available transmissions consist of a six-speed manual and six-speed automatic. A double-wishbone suspension in the front of the vehicle, multi-link suspension in the rear, and lightweight frame enhance the driving experience while minimizing road noise.


 Sharing a platform with the Mazda MX-5 Miata, the 124 Spider will be assembled at Mazda's facility in Hiroshima, Japan. The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider will be available worldwide in summer 2016.



Ford showings feature refreshed Ford Fusion and Lincoln Continental

 Ford's newly designed display reflected the intention stated at its press conference of transforming from an "automotive company" to an "automotive and mobility company", with a more casual and open showcase. The Ford Fusion models were prominently shown in the center of Ford's display, an area at the back of the exhibit focused on Ford models suitable for specific lifestyles while a second level highlighted Ford's performance lineup.

 

2017 Ford Fusion Sedan

 As the third-best selling vehicle in Ford's lineup, the refreshed 2017 Ford Fusion includes more options to appeal to a wider audience. Specifically, the Fusion V6 Sport is targeted towards drivers looking for more performance, while the Fusion Platinum focuses on interior luxury and comfort.


 The new Fusion V6 Sport is a performance sedan with a twin-turbocharged 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engine which provides 325 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. This outperforms the 3.5-liter V6 engines in the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord by approximately 50 hp and 100 lb-ft of torque. On the premium end of the lineup, the Fusion Platinum features an interior with leather-wrapped trim and steering wheels, a unique front grille, and 19-inch polished-aluminum wheels. For green vehicles, the Fusino Energi plug-in hybrid has an electric-only range of 19 miles and can travel over 500 miles on a single tank.

 

Ford Fusion V6 Sport
Ford Fusion V6 Sport
Ford Fusion Energi
Ford Fusion Energi


 A variety of driver-assist technologies are available for the Fusion, and come standard for the Fusion Platinum. These technologies include Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection, blind spot detection, adaptive cruise control, and lane keep assist. The refreshed Fusion also has an all-new gear shift dial which allows for additional cabin space and larger storage bins.

 

1.5L I4 EcoBoost Engine
1.5L I4 EcoBoost Engine
2.7L V6 EcoBoost Engine
2.7L V6 EcoBoost Engine
2.0L Plug-in Hybrid Engine
2.0L Plug-in Hybrid Engine

 

Powertrain 1.5L I4 EcoBoost 2.7L V6 EcoBoost 2.0L Plug-in Hybrid
Fusion version Standard V6 Sport Energi
Power 181 hp 325 hp 188 hp
Torque 185 lb-ft 350 lb-ft 129 lb-ft


 The 2017 Ford Fusion will be available in summer 2016, with the new Fusion V6 Sport to arrive a few weeks afterwards. Production of the 2017 Fusion will take place at Ford's plant in Hermosillo, Mexico.

 

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor SuperCrew Full-Size Pickup Truck

 Having debuted the Ford F-150 Raptor SuperCab at the 2015 North American International Auto Show, Ford unveiled the SuperCrew version of its most popular vehicle this year. The F-150 Raptor SuperCrew differs from the SuperCab by having four full-sized doors and additional legroom for rear passengers. In order to accommodate these changes, the SuperCrew has a 145-inch wheelbase, 12 inches longer than the standard F-150 Raptor SuperCab.

 

Ford F-150 Raptor SuperCrew
Ford F-150 Raptor SuperCrew
Ford F-150 Raptor SuperCrew Truck Bed
Ford F-150 Raptor SuperCrew Truck Bed


 Both versions of the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor will be assembled at the Dearborn Truck Plant in Michigan, U.S. Sales for the F-150 Raptor will begin in fall 2016.

 

2017 Lincoln Continental Full-Size Luxury Sedan

 During the 2015 New York Auto Show, Lincoln displayed the Lincoln Continental concept. The production model of the Continental flagship shown in Detroit looks to provide "more human, personally tailored experiences" for its customers while conveying a theme of quiet luxury. For example, as the driver approaches the vehicle, lights in the front fascia, taillamps, headlamps, and mat lights activate.

 

Lincoln Continental
Lincoln Continental
Lincoln Continental Full Interior
Lincoln Continental Full Interior


 Various aspects of the Lincoln Continental's interior contribute to creating a comfortable experience. Available Perfect Position Seats can be adjusted in 30 ways, and provide massage, heating, cooling, and independent thigh extension functions. The Active Noise Control system and acoustic laminated glass reduce external noise. Leather seats, a leather-wrapped console and instrument panel, and wood or aluminum trim further enhance the Continental's luxurious style.


 While not necessarily intended to be the most powerful vehicle in its class, the 2017 Lincoln Continental features a brand-exclusive 3.0-liter V6 engine with twin turbochargers, projected to achieve 400 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. Driver-assist systems and 360-degree camera systems are available to partially relieve the driver of commuting-related stress.


 The 2017 Lincoln Continental will be assembled at Flat Rock, Michigan, U.S. and will be available in fall 2016. It is expected to compete with models such as the BMW 5-series, Lexus LS, Infiniti Q60, and Cadillac XTS.

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