North American International Auto Show 2016: Asian OEMs

Concepts indicate future plans; returning models build on previous feedback



Acura's exhibit
Acura's exhibit
Various Infiniti Q60 Trims Displayed
Infiniti Q60 Display

 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. 815,575 visitors attended the public show, setting a thirteen-year record.

 A number of concepts were introduced by Asian OEMs during the 2016 North American International Auto Show, highlighting differing directions for the automakers. Nissan's Titan Warrior Concept showed an off-road design study of the Titan XD, while the IDS provided a glimpse of an autonomous transportation system. The Acura Precision Concept served as a stylistic design study, and the Kia Telluride emphasized advanced technologies.

 There were also a significant number of introduced models that had previously existed in other forms, signifying the automakers' reception to feedback. The Infiniti Q60 and Lexus LC 500 were both production models that had concept unveilings at previous auto shows. A second-generation Honda Ridgeline was introduced after production on its predecessor stopped in 2014. Model refreshes of the Infiniti Q50 and QX60, and the Kia Forte and Forte5 were also present.

This report is the third of three reports which focus on the vehicles displayed at the 2016 North American International Auto Show. This report will focus on vehicles showcased by Asian OEMs, specifically Nissan, Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai-Kia. Reports focusing on U.S. OEMs and European OEMs have previously been released.

Related reports:
North American International Auto Show 2016
U.S. automakers show model variety for both new and old segments
European OEMs showcase new technology to indicate future direction

Nissan unveils Titan and IDS concepts; Infiniti exhibits Q60, Q50 and QX60

 Nissan's Infiniti brand looked to expand and reinforce its model lineup, showcasing three production model Q60s on a raised area. The refreshed Q50 and QX60 were also present. On the other hand, the Nissan brand's exhibit highlighted two different concepts, each with their own display.


2017 Infiniti Q60 Coupe

Infiniti Q60 Infiniti Q60

 Following through on its plans to launch a production of the Q60 Concept shown in Detroit in 2015, Infiniti debuted the 2017 Q60 Coupe. Few changes were made to the Q60's exterior, keeping the production model similar to the design concept. Signature design characteristics include a double-arch grille, crescent-shaped C-pillars, and eyelid-shaped LED headlights. A lower and wider body gives the Q60 a more aggressive stance.


 The Q60 features three powertrain choices. A direct injection 2.0-liter I4 engine provides 208 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Infiniti's new 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine offers a low-output version, with 300 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, and a high-output version, with 400 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. All powertrains are paired with a standard seven-speed automatic transmission.

 Direct Adaptive Steering, Infiniti's redesigned steer-by-wire system, is available on V6 versions, and improves steering feel and feedback. Suspension choices include a standard suspension system or Infiniti's new Dynamic Digital Suspension system. Other comfort-related features include standard active noise cancellation and bolstered, ergonomic seats. Interior trim options include aluminum, wood, and carbon-fiber highlights.

 The 2017 Infiniti Q60 will go on sale in late summer 2016. Competitors to the Q60 will include the BMW 4-Series, Audi A5, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Lexus RC, and Cadillac ATS.


2016 Infiniti Q50 Sports Sedan

 As Infiniti's top selling model in North America, changes made to the refreshed 2016 Q50 revolve around enhanced powertrain and system options. The Q50 features Infiniti's new 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo and a 2.0-liter I4, and will add a hybrid powertrain in the future. All engines are paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission.

Powertrain 2.0L I4 3.0L V6 Twin-turbo (low output) 3.0L V6 Twin-turbo (high output) 3.5L V6 hybrid
Q50 version 2.0t, 2.0t Premium 3.0t Premium, Sport Red Sport 400 Hybrid
Power 208 hp 300 hp 400 hp 360 hp (combined)
Torque 258 lb-ft 295 lb-ft 350 lb-ft 258 lb-ft (engine), 214 lb-ft (motor)


Infiniti Q50 Infiniti Q50

 Other changes include Infiniti's redesigned Direct Adaptive Steering system, available on V6 versions of the Q50. The Q50 also features Infiniti's Dynamic Digital Suspension for the first time. Available safety and security packages include technology such as Blind-Spot Intervention and emergency braking.

 The 2016 Infiniti Q50 will be available in 2016. The premium trim model, Q50 Red Sport 400, will be available in early spring 2016, while the Q50 hybrid will be available in late winter 2016.

2016 Infiniti QX60 Crossover

 The refreshed 2016 QX60 features notable changes to its exterior and interior. Redesigned exterior features include a double-arch grille, new LED daytime running lights, stylized taillights, and a chrome-finished rear hatch. In the interior, acoustic glass improves noise insulation, while new trim materials, a quilted seat base, and a new gearshift knob highlight improved comfort and refinement.


Infiniti QX60 Infiniti QX60 Infiniti QX60 Interior Infiniti QX60 Interior

 Two different powertrains are available, a 3.5-liter V6 engine with 265 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque, and a hybrid powertrain which combines a 2.4-liter I4 engine with an electric motor to produce 250 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque. An electronically-controlled CVT with a manual shift mode is paired with both engines. New safety technologies available for the QX60 include Forward Emergency Braking and Backup Collision Intervention.

 Availability for the 2016 QX60 begins later in 2016.


Nissan Titan Warrior Concept

Nissan Titan Warrior Concept Nissan Titan Warrior Concept

 With the launch of the 2016 Titan XD having begun in December 2015, the Titan Warrior Concept indicated both a possible future direction and Nissan's confidence in the model. The Titan Warrior Concept served as an aggressively styled off-road design study.

 While the Titan Warrior keeps the ladder frame, 5.0-liter Cummins V8 Turbo engine and Aisin six-speed transmission from the production model, changes were made to the body and exterior. The Titan Warrior's height and width was increased by 2.8 inches and 6.0 inches respectively to accommodate 37-inch off-road tires and a custom suspension design. Fitting the theme of "modern armor", the Titan Warrior has a more machine-like appearance with sharper lines. Carbon fiber fenders and spoilers and a front skidplate add to the muscular image.


 The interior serves to support the idea of the Titan being used as a daily driver as well as an off-road vehicle. The seats are covered with a high-strength seat fabric, while carbon fiber trim, polished chrome finishes, and leather are present throughout the interior. Other features included an aluminum steering wheel, hot-and-cold drink holders, and auxiliary gauges to monitor performance.

Nissan IDS (Intelligent Drive System) Concept

 After debuting at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, the IDS Concept made its North American debut at the 2016 Detroit show. The IDS represents Nissan's vision of a future autonomous, zero-emission vehicle.


Nissan IDS Concept Nissan IDS Concept Nissan IDS Concept Interior Nissan IDS Concept Interior

 While the IDS has autonomous capabilities, it is not meant to be driverless, as shown by its two driving modes. In Manual Drive Mode, the steering wheel, instrument panels, and head-up display activate, providing the driver with vehicle information and controls. In Piloted Drive Mode, the steering wheel recedes into the instrument panel and a large flat screen unfolds. The seats also rotate inward slightly, which allows for easier conversation between passengers.


Nissan IDS Concept Interior Nissan IDS Concept Interior (Manual Drive) Nissan IDS Concept Interior Nissan IDS Concept Interior (Piloted Drive)

 The IDS uses a 60-kWh battery to power the vehicle. For comparison, the 2016 Nissan Leaf is expected to have a 107-mile range on a 30-kWh battery. The IDS's reduced height, reduced weight, and aerodynamic design help maximize its range. Large-diameter wheels improve performance, while thinner tires provide less air and rolling resistance.



Toyota announces Kymeta partnership; Lexus shows production LC 500

 Toyota's exhibits focused more on technology than any specific vehicle model. This could be seen in the concepts and specialty vehicles that were displayed. The only production model debut was the 2017 Lexus LC 500, a model based on a concept shown in 2012.


Mirai Research Vehicle with Satellite Communications Technology from Kymeta

 At its press conference, Toyota announced its partnership with Kymeta, a satellite antenna technology company. The Mirai fuel cell vehicle displayed in Detroit represents the current progress of the partnership between Kymeta and Toyota. Kymeta is able to develop lightweight satellite antennas with a flat profile due to the antenna's software and liquid crystal technologies. This enables the antennas to be easily integrated during assembly or installed afterward.


Mirai Research Vehicle Mirai Research Vehicle Mirai Research Vehicle Rear/Roof View Mirai Research Vehicle Rear/Roof View

 The ability to send data, such as over-the-air updates, telematics, and streaming media becomes more important as cars become more advanced. Satellite communications provide several benefits in data transmission, such as enabling large amounts of data to be sent. Kymeta antennas are able to transfer 1 TB of data per month. Other benefits include larger coverage areas and more stable communications. Toyota invested USD 5 million to Kymeta in January for future R&D.


2017 Lexus LC 500 Coupe

 Following feedback at the 2011 Pebble Beach show, Lexus pushed to redefine the brand with models that evoke more excitement and passion. The debut of the LF-LC Concept in 2012 at Detroit drew significant attention, but left the public wondering about a production model. The 2017 LC 500 based on the LF-LC indicates the future styling direction of the brand, and serves to highlight increased collaboration between design and engineering teams.

 Sharing design cues from the LF-LC Concept, the core of the LC 500 is in its low, wide stance and sloped roofline. The front features a variation of the Lexus signature grille, with a new chrome-framed 3D mesh design. In the interior, the steering wheel and paddle shifters are both ergonomically positioned, while the driver's hip point is located near the vehicle's center of gravity for improved feedback. Leather and Alcantara seats add a sense of luxury.


Lexus LC 500 Lexus LC 500 Lexus LC 500 Interior Lexus LC 500 Interior

 The LC 500 uses a 5.0-liter V8 which provides 467 hp and 389 lb-ft of torque for a rear-wheel drive system. Mated to a ten-speed automatic transmission, the LC 500 has a 0-60 time under 4.5 seconds. The LC 500 will also feature the debuting 2017 Lexus Multimedia package, which provides an enhanced audio experience with more flexible software and a more accessible interface. Active safety technologies such as Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and Pre-Collision System will be available in the Lexus Safety System + package.

 The Lexus LC 500 will be available in the U.S. and Japan in spring 2017 and will arrive in Europe later in 2017.



Honda Ridgeline reenters market; Acura concept shows "precision crafted performance"

 Honda's unveilings at the 2016 North American International Auto Show focused on future potential. The Ridgeline is Honda's entrant in the high-demand midsize truck segment, while the Precision Concept indicates the future of design for Acura. Both models were displayed on elevated stages, establishing their importance.


2017 Honda Ridgeline Midsize Pickup

 Honda reentered the midsize pickup segment with the 2017 Ridgeline as demand for smaller pickups increases. The Ridgeline combines the utility of a pickup with unique comfort and convenience features.


Honda Ridgeline Honda Ridgeline Honda Ridgeline Interior Honda Ridgeline Interior

 While exact power specifications are currently unavailable, the Ridgeline will be powered by a 3.5-liter direct-inject V6 engine paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard for the Ridgeline, with an all-wheel drive system with torque-vectoring as an option. All-wheel drive versions will have Intelligent Terrain Management with normal, sand, snow, and mud modes. A lightweight unibody construction combined with a fully-independent suspension enhances the Ridgeline's handling.


Honda Ridgeline Truck Bed Honda Ridgeline Truck Bed Honda Ridgeline Opened In-Bed Trunk Honda Ridgeline Opened In-Bed Trunk

 The Ridgeline includes a cabin that is largest in the segment and a five-foot wide truck bed with an estimated 1,600-pound payload capacity. Cabin comfort features include tri-zone climate control, push button start, and an 8-inch touchscreen display compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The truck bed also includes an In-Bed Trunk for more storage, a dual-action tailgate for easier access, and an in-bed audio system for tailgating purposes.

 The 2017 Honda Ridgeline will be manufactured by Honda Manufacturing of Alabama in Lincoln, and will be available in summer 2016.


Acura Precision Concept

 Reflecting Acura's tagline of "Precision Crafted Performance", the Acura Precision Concept is a design study which will influence future production models. Notable design cues include high-contrast details, and a smooth transition between the model's exterior and interior.

 The Precision Concept has a width of 84 inches, length of 204 inches, height of 52 inches, and wheelbase of 122 inches. These dimensions, combined with a low, muscular stance, long V-shaped hood, and sweeping lines create a bolder style. In the front, the Precision Concept utilizes Jewel Constellation LED headlights and a Diamond Pentagon grille. The lack of a B-pillar outlines the blend between interior and exterior.


Acura Precision Concept Acura Precision Concept Acura Precision Concept Interior Acura Precision Concept Interior

 Inside, highlights include a double-layered instrument panel, two-toned front seats, and floating rear seats. An HUD, sports steering wheel, and Integrated Dynamics System emphasize the Precision Concept's technological aspect. The interior also shows off a new HMI concept, in which the center screen is controlled by a floating touch pad on the center stack. The system can also detect specific car occupants and provide customized features and settings.



Hyundai shows flagship G90 for Genesis brand; Kia displays Forte and Telluride concept

 Hyundai-Kia's presence included the auto show debut of the new Genesis luxury brand's flagship, the G90. While relatively small, the Genesis exhibit was able to convey the sense of luxury while highlighting its model lineup. Kia's exhibit highlighted both the Telluride concept and refreshed Forte and Forte5 in a casual environment.


2017 Genesis G90 Luxury Sedan

 As the flagship of the new Genesis luxury brand, the G90 is targeting the top of the luxury car segment. The G90 looks to develop the brand through a blend of performance, convenience, and comfort. A long wheelbase, minimized overhangs, and exterior chrome accents emphasize its powerful appearance.


Genesis G90 Genesis G90 Genesis G90 Front Interior Genesis G90 Front Interior

 The interior of the G90 features a 22-way adjustable driver seat, with power bolsters and cushion extensions. Nappa leather and wood trim are abundant in the interior. An increase in wheelbase length provides increased front headroom and legroom. Mood lighting lamps and sound-absorbing materials in the cabin provide a quieter, more relaxing environment. Safety technologies such as Automatic Emergency Braking, Smart Blind Spot Detection, Cross-traffic Alert, and Driver Attention Alert are all standard.


Genesis G90 Rear Interior Genesis G90 Rear Interior 5.0-liter V8 Engine for Genesis G90 5.0-liter V8 Engine for Genesis G90

 Engines available on the G90 include a 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V6 providing 365 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque, and a 5.0-liter direct-inject V8 providing 420 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The G90 comes standard with rear-wheel drive and has available all-wheel drive. For better handling, the G90 has increased rigidity over its predecessor and a multi-link suspension for improved comfort.

 The 2017 G90 will be available in summer 2016 and will compete with models such as the Audi A8, the BMW 7-Series, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.


Kia Telluride Concept

Kia Telluride Concept Kia Telluride Concept

 Debuting at the 2016 North American International Auto Show, the Kia Telluride Concept is a full-size concept SUV which focuses on advanced technologies and interior comfort. Compared to the Kia Sorento crossover, the Telluride is 4.4 inches taller, 4.7 inches wider, and 9.5 inches longer. Its wheelbase is 11.9 inches longer than the Sorento's, allowing more interior cabin space. Rear suicide doors further emphasize the size of the interior.


 Due to the increased cabin space, the Telluride's middle row seats feature full reclining capabilities and fold-away footrests. Seats in the first two rows have embedded Smart Sensors to track health information for the passengers. This information is then displayed on the door panel screens and is used for specific settings of the Light Emitted Rejuvenation (LER) system, which emits therapeutic light patterns. A Swipe Command system allows passengers to quickly scroll through and select media options.

 Other technologies include wireless cell phone charging, and 3-D printed components throughout the dashboard, door panels, and steering wheel. A push-button start system requires the driver's fingerprints to activate. The Telluride is powered by a PHEV system combining a 3.5-liter V6 with an electric motor to provide 400 hp, and is mated to an all-wheel drive system.


2017 Kia Forte Sedan and Forte5 Hatchback

Kia Forte5 Kia Forte5

 Kia unveiled refreshed versions of the Forte sedan and Forte5 hatchback in Detroit, highlighting slight changes in appearance and equipment. The Forte gained a new S trim level, which features a sportier version with a sport-tuned suspension, a rear spoiler, and chrome exhaust tip.

 Changes to the exterior of both the Forte and Forte5 include a new front bumper and "tiger nose" grille, similar to the 2016 Optima. The grille connects the new headlights, while the rear of both models feature new taillights. New driver assistance features including Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Blind Spot Detection are available on the refreshed models.


 The 2017 Forte now comes standard with a new 2.0-liter I4 engine, paired with either a six-speed manual or an updated automatic transmission. Also available for the Forte is a 2.0-liter GDI I4 with a six-speed automatic. Engine choices for the Forte5 are a 2.0-liter GDI I4 paired with a six-speed manual or automatic, or a 1.6-liter turbocharged GDI I4 with a new dual-clutch transmission. Specific power figures will be available closer to launch.

 The 2017 Kia Forte Sedan will be manufactured in Monterey, Mexico starting in the first half of 2016. Sales for the Forte will begin in the first quarter of 2016, while sales for the Forte5 begin in the first half of 2016.


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