Detroit: 2016 North American International Auto Show

Good morning!

I’m looking out of my 6th floor hotel window right now at gray skies and white ground.  I’m definitely not in Arizona.  This week, I put away the car key and hopped on a Delta Flight to Detroit for the 24th annual North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).  This marks my fourth trip to Motor City for NAIAS, and prior write-ups are here:

On the docket this year were some significant world debuts.

media_pass

Once again as with the Los Angeles Auto Show, I joined forces with the crew from Redline Reviews to prepare content for their ever-growing YouTube channel of car reviews (now at over 180,000 subscribers).  It was an action-packed few days and I’ll share just a few highlights with you.  Between Monday and Tuesday’s “Press / Media Days,” I walked about 18 miles throughout the COBO Convention Center.  And they were miles well spent!  I was surrounded on all sides by some of the most technologically-advanced, innovative, and stylish vehicles on the planet today.  The goal for our visit was to capture short “first look” video segments on about a dozen of the most revolutionary new or substantially changed models.

dtw

The moment I landed at gate 74 of DTW airport, I knew it was frigid outside.  But even as an Arizonan, it didn’t phase me too badly as I was prepared with a heavy coat (which I use once a year for occasions like this).  My white Toyota Corolla rental car (yawn) blended right in with its snowy surroundings.

temp

corolla

Both Monday and Tuesday consisted of super early wake-up calls – especially taking into account a 2-hour time difference between Michigan and Arizona.  The convention hall was full of bustling energy and I quickly forgot about how tired I was when I saw the glistening sheetmetal under the spotlights.  The cars, the people, and the social events kept me fully entertained and the days flew by.

I helped the Redline crew by hosting segments on the following new or updated models:

  • Acura Precision Concept:  This creation of the design studio (with Dave Marek at the helm) comes to us as a glimpse at the new styling direction for the brand.  While this car as a whole won’t end up as a production model, certain design elements will.  The new grille, dubbed “Diamond Pentagon” does away with the previous “shield,” and the long front end / short rear deck exude rear-drive proportions.  The concept is pretty exaggerated, with suicide doors and a massive information screen on the instrument panel.  What were formerly known as Jewel Eye headlights have now become Jewel Constellations.

tyson_with_precision

  • 2017 BMW M2:  This 365-horsepower M-car comes at us as an aggressively styled and tightly packaged performance coupe.  An available 6-speed manual is perhaps my favorite feature, but I’m a huge fan of the overall design and I can see myself owning something like this.

m2

  • 2017 Ford Fusion:  Ford’s bread-and-butter midsize sedan gets a refreshed front & rear in an attempt to retain its market share against competitive rivals from Japan (Accord, Altima, Camry).  Higher trim models now have a rotary dial transmission selector and a new 2.7 liter twin turbo V6 puts power at the lead of its class.

fusion_1

  • 2018 Lexus LC500:  This car is so “out there,” it’s hard to believe it’s a production model and not a concept.  It’s powered by the same motor as the current RC-F model, its smaller sibling.  LC500 sets its sights on Mercedes S-Class Coupe buyers and is likely to have a pricetag at or near the six-figure mark.  I can tell you from sitting in the driver seat:  It felt worth it.

lc500

I’ll include links to these videos as soon as Redline has them available, but for now just enjoy the rest of the photos from my trip below!

First, a video segment from the Acura press conference:

My first time to a “Big Boy” restaurant, near Detroit airport in Romulus.  Apparently, these are a “thing” in Michigan.

big_boy

Acura booth with the Precision Concept under a cover (day before the press conference)

acura_booth

With Sofyan Bey, host of Redline Reviews

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Chrysler has ditched the “Town and Country” name and called its new minivan the Pacifica (resurrecting an old name)

pacifica

Volvo’s handsome new S90 sedan was turning more than a few heads.

s90

Mercedes’ new E-class carries over the design elements from the larger S-class

e_class

Honda debuted an all-new (2nd generation) Ridgeline pickup truck.  It shares an engine with the newly launched Pilot, and carries over its unibody construction which is unique for this segment.  Neat feature:  an in-bed stereo speaker system.  Perfect for tailgating.

ridgeline

Hanging with the Honda man himself, HondaPro Jason (in the green Honda hoodie, of course)

rob_sofyan_jason_tyson

Networking with a few other industry professionals, including Matt Landish  (AutoWeb) and Jason Cammisa (Motor Trend).

matt_tyson_jason_sofyan

Infiniti’s new Q60 picks up where the G37 coupe left off.  I quite enjoy this design!

q60

A few photos from the networking:  First with Derek Powell and Davis Adams (Honda).

tyson_derek_davis

Steve Siler (Car & Driver) and Brian Gurney (Mercedes-Benz)

siler_hugie_gurney

Acura’s press conference gives homage to the original 1986 Legend from the brand’s 30-years-ago beginning.

press_conf

Few shots of the Precision

precision_front

Front 3/4 is the best angle, I think.

precision

The taillights are “scooped out” in a sense.  Wide rear haunches there.

precision_right_rear

The steering wheel is NSX-inspired.

interior

Closer look at those “Jewel Constellation” headlights.

headlights

Spy photog and all-around awesome person, Brenda Priddy.

brenda_priddy

Downtown Detroit showing a little blue sky as I left Cobo Hall after day 2.

detroit

Dinner with a few local friends:  Mike, Dave, and Waseem

mike_tyson_dave_waseem

Thanks for coming along!

14 Responses to “Detroit: 2016 North American International Auto Show”

  1. Feels almost like being there! Thanks, Tyson…

  2. Good morning! Oh, and in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!

    But I will be seeing you. Soon.

  3. I agree with you about the Precision concept. It looks great from some angles, but my least favorite is the direct front. It seems overwrought and almost cartoonish from that view, although I’m sure they’ll tone it down a lot for production purposes anyway. The interior is pretty striking and really modern.

    • Yeah sounds like we’re on the same page about the concept car. They need to chop off two doors and build me a coupe before I’ll really be chomping at the bit to buy anything right away…

  4. Looks like some nice releases in Detroit this year!! Loving the new Ridgeline too!

    • Thanks Nate! Yeah the Detroit show always offers a lot of bang for the buck. Whereas our local show here in the Phoenix area every November is…. pretty much like walking around a used car lot. Zero frills and not nearly as fun.

  5. My grandparents used to take me to the “Big Boy” in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota all of the time when I was a young lad.

    • I tried another Michigan favorite yesterday. It was called Bob Evans. Have you ever been there? Amazing omelet. Met up with a former Legend / current NSX owner named Hass Abdullah for breakfast there.

  6. Bob Evans – ah yes Alan Jackson and I ate there when we stayed in Bloomington, Illinois on the way up to the NALM event in Milwaukee several years ago. I believe I had a Colorado Omelet for dinner and Alan couldn’t understand why I was having breakfast for dinner. I bought his meal also,

  7. That Corolla though, looks good covered in snow.

  8. I’m not feeling much Corolla love in this blog.

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