What to Expect at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

The 2017 Detroit Auto Show is sure to bring some interesting debuts to kick off the New Year.

Automakers have been teasing what they plan on unveiling at this year’s North American International Auto Show, but expect a few surprises to debut as well. At last year’s show, Lexus impressed with the new LC 500, while the Acura Precision Concept got us excited for the brand’s future. Detroit also gave Americans the first look at the hot BMW M2, while Chrysler ushered in a new era of minivans with the new Pacifica.

2017 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

We expect the 2017 Detroit Auto Show to feature plenty of crossovers and SUVs as the segment continues to boom. Here’s a preview of what to expect at this year’s show. Stay glued to AutoGuide.com as we will be reporting live from the show floor with full coverage of all the surprises automakers have in store.

Audi Q8 Concept

Audi has already teased the Q8 Concept that it’s bringing to Detroit, which will eventually be made into a production model. It will feature coupe-like styling with the spaciousness you would expect from a full-size SUV, with the model sitting at the top of Audi’s SUV range. It’s also branded as an e-Tron concept, meaning it will be electrified in some way.

“With the Audi Q8 concept, we have created a new spearhead within our Q model line. Its design strongly evokes sportiness and prestige,” said Audi Head of Design Marc Lichte. “What’s more, we believe an important aspect of this showcar is that it offers a spacious interior with four equally comfortable seats, even with the flat roof line.”

BMW 5 Series

BMW has already introduced its new 5 Series sedan online, but the 2017 Detroit Auto Show will be the first time the public gets to enjoy it. The more luxurious and lighter sedan also introduced the quickest 5 Series model yet and it doesn’t even sport the M5 nameplate. Instead, it’s the M550i xDrive with a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 engine with 456 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque, allowing it to accelerate to 60 mph from a standstill in 4.4 seconds.

Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

Unfortunately, the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 hasn’t been confirmed to make its debut at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, but we can’t imagine the American automaker would pick another venue to unveil it. Spy photographers have caught it testing numerous times in recent months, sporting aggressive styling and a large rear wing hinting that it’s going to be one serious performance machine. Rumor has it the ZR1 is expected to offer more than 700 hp, although its powerplant of choice remains a mystery. Here’s to hoping the American automaker rolls it out in Detroit.

GMC Terrain

In four days, the bar will be elevated, shattered and left behind. #GMC pic.twitter.com/hSPCGUZUsS

— GMC (@ThisIsGMC) January 4, 2017

GM hasn’t revealed too much about the upcoming, brand new 2018 GMC Terrain, but it did release this teaser image that shows a new floating roof design. This is a huge design departure for the Terrain, which was typically a very boxy SUV. Because it shares a platform with the new Chevrolet Equinox, which debuted in September, expect similar powertrains and a more upscale interior.

Chevrolet Traverse

Expected to offer even more space than the current model, the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse has been teased by the American automaker as it enters a new generation. Chevrolet is claiming the new Traverse will have the most third-row legroom in the segment and it appears the styling will borrow cues from the new Equinox.

Ford F-150

Spy photographers recently caught the refreshed 2018 Ford F-150 testing, showing off its new front end. The updated pickup is expected to debut in Detriot, helping keep it fresh until the next-generation F-150 arrives. Expect to see subtle details throughout the truck as part of the refresh, as well as Ford’s new 10-speed automatic transmission that was jointly developed with GM.

Honda Odyssey

Last year, Chrysler introduced the all-new Pacifica minivan in Detroit, and although the segment isn’t as popular as it once was, Honda is looking to impress with a new Odyssey at this year’s show. The fifth-generation Odyssey appears to be an evolution of the current model but with a more sculpted and stylish body. It resembles the lower and longer Odyssey sold in other markets like Japan and it will be interesting to see if that translates when the production model appears in North America.

Infiniti QX50 Concept

Infiniti has already revealed its QX50 Concept online, previewing the brand’s next-generation, mid-size premium SUV. The concept is an evolution of the 2016 QX Sport Inspiration and it also previews the brand’s rollout of its autonomous drive support technologies. Infiniti will also show off its new VC-Turbo engine technology in Detroit, which is the world’s first production-ready variable compression ratio engine.

Kia GT

Over the last month, Kia has been slowly teasing a new model with a series of videos titled “The Curve Ahead.” The Korean automaker says that the vehicle will be its fastest-accelerating model yet, and has been developed on the world famous Nurburgring. The all-new car promises to marry “heart-pounding performance with purposeful and progressive design,” while the latest video previews the actual car.

“This new vehicle is going to fundamentally change the global image of Kia,” said Peter Schreyer, president and chief design officer for Kia Motors Corporation. “It will revolutionize the way people think about the brand and propel us upwards into a different era. You cannot believe how excited I am about this car.”

Lexus LS

The production Lexus LC brought plenty of excitement to Detroit last year, and Lexus is following it up with the debut of its next-generation flagship sedan. The original Lexus LS 400 was first introduced at the 1989 Detroit Auto Show, so it’s fitting that the Japanese automaker will bring a new model to this year’s show. It will ride on an extended version of the same platform underpinning the LC 500, offering a more dynamic driving experience, spacious cabin, luxurious appointments and visionary technology.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe and GLA

Mercedes-Benz has already introduced the new E-Class Coupe that will make its first public appearance in Detroit, but that’s not all it has in store. The company will show off an updated GLA model at the show, receiving a mid-cycle refresh that is expected to go on sale in the second half of 2017. Up front, it appears the crossover is getting a more rugged appearance while the headlights have been tweaked for a more striking appearance.

Nissan Qashqai

The Nissan Qashqai is reportedly joining the lineup in North America, likely so Nissan can strengthen its position in the crossover and SUV segments. The Truth About Cars reported that the U.S.-bound Qashqai will make its debut in Detroit this year and that the crossover won’t replace an existing model.

Toyota Camry

The best-selling car in America is entering a new generation at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, with the introduction of the 2018 Toyota Camry. So far, the Japanese automaker has only released the above image showing off the rear end sporting aggressive styling and sculpted edges, hinting that the Camry will look sportier than ever. The biggest news is that the Camry will use Toyota’s TNGA global architecture and will take advantage of aluminum to shed weight, likely making it more fuel efficient than before.

Volkswagen I.D. Concept and Long-Wheelbase Tiguan

Volkswagen has confirmed it will debut a new I.D. family model in Detroit and the teaser images hint that it will be another iteration of the company’s Microbus, similar to what was shown at 2016 CES. Joining the new I.D. Concept will be the long-wheelbase Tiguan variant that will offer seating for seven.

Jason Siu
Jason Siu

Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at AutoGuide.com saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.

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