Biggest cars at the 2016 Detroit Motor Show

Here's our rundown of the most anticipated cars set to star at this year's Detroit Motor Show

The Detroit Motor Show is the annual American automotive bonanza and plays host to the world’s car manufacturers. Granted, it’s very much a North America-biased show, but there are usually a few cars there with real relevance for us on the other side of the Atlantic.

However, there are a few notable absentees this year. There’s no Citroen, Peugeot, Tesla, MINI or Bentley and no Jaguar or Land Rover (despite the US being some of their biggest markets). That’s not to say that there won’t be anything of interest there, though. Read on to find out more about the most important cars that made their debuts at this year’s Motor City Motor Show.

Audi Q6 h-tron concept

It’s becoming a tradition for Audi to show a near-production-ready alternatively fuelled concept at just about every major motor show. They’ve gone through full electric and plug-in hybrid and next up, we’re told, is a hydrogen fuel-cell car. With the already-on-sale Toyota Mirai and Hyundai ix35 offering this technology, Audi has to get in on the act. The new Audi H-tron lets it do just that. Not only does it feature a ground-breaking power source in its hydrogen fuel cell - which Audi says is good for 282bhp and a 378 mile range - but it also previews many of the technologies (on the inside) which we are likely to see in the next generation Audi A8 luxury saloon.

BMW M2

The smallest ‘proper’ M car, the BMW M2 has made public debut at the Detroit show, despite having been unveiled a couple of months ago. It uses a more powerful version of the M235i’s 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six petrol engine, producing 370bhp. It’ll dispatch with the 0-62mph sprint in just 4.3 seconds, which allows it to take on rivals like the ballistic Audi RS3 and Mercedes-AMG A45. Naturally, it also features bigger brakes, uprated suspension and a performance bodykit – both to mark it out from the regular BMW 2 Series coupe and help deal with the extra power.

BMW X4 M40i

Rather than introducing a full-fat M version of the X4 SUV/coupe crossover, BMW has decided to water it down slightly. The M40i is more in the mould of the M135i – using a 355bhp version of the company’s 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six engine, it’ll do 0-62mph in just 4.7 seconds. It’ll have a subtler look than a full-blown ‘M’ model, however.

Infiniti Q60

The slinkily styled Infiniti Q60 coupe was first glimpsed undisguised on our sister title Auto Express’ website in November. It’s not quite as dramatic as the concept, which made its first appearance at the 2015 Detroit Motor show, but it’s a striking-looking thing nonetheless. Initial versions come with a 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine or a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine. At the moment, there are no plans for a diesel or hybrid version, although this may change. The car will go on sal ein the UK towards th end of summer 2016.

Mercedes E-Class

Quite simply one of the most important new cars of the year, the all-new Mercedes E-Class echoes the styling of the current S and C-Class saloons, with flowing lines taking over from sharp, angular design. Italso features some hugely impressive technology, with Mercedes claiming that it's the most technologically advanced car it’s ever sold. As ever, the saloon will be the first to arrive – in the summer – with estate and coupe versions coming later.

Mercedes-AMG S65 Cabriolet

We’ve already seen the luxurious Mercedes S-Class cabriolet – unveiled at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show – but Detroit sees the introduction of the ultimate version of this drop-top limousine. A vast twin-turbocharged V12 engine will be good for over 600bhp and 0-62mph will take just 4.1 seconds. It's be pricey, though: expect to pay around £200,000 when it goes on sale in the spring.

Mercedes SLC

The simple swap of a consonant has led to the SLK roadster becoming the SLC – bringing it in line with the rest of Mercedes’ naming strategy. It’s also received an updated look – including a new grille and new lights – as well as some trim updates and new seats. Other than that, however, it’s a fairly mild facelift.

Lexus LC 500

The Lexus LC 500 coupe is the company’s rival for the likes of the Mercedes SL. The LF LC concept on which the car is based was first shown at the 2012 Detroit Motor Show. It’s been confirmed that the LC 500 will go into production with a 5.0-litre V8 engine and will use a new rear-wheel drive platform.

Porsche 911 Turbo and Turbo S

Hot on the heels of the turbocharged 911 Carrera and Carrera S models come the ‘proper’ Turbo and Turbo S. These revised cars get new LED daytime running lights, new alloy wheels and some new door handles, but the big changes are under the engine cover. They both use a twin-turbocharged version of the company’s 3.8-litre flat-six engine, with the Turbo and Turbo S producing 532 and 572bhp respectively. This results in 0-62mph times of 3.0 and 2.9 seconds.

Volkswagen Tiguan GTE Active Concept

Although still officially a concept, the Volkswagen Tiguan GTE Active Concept - which follows on from the reveal of the new Tiguan SUV at last year's Frankfurt Motor Show - gives us the clearest indication that a plug-in hybrid version of the new off-roader will be arriving shortly. The rugged styling accoutrements shown in these pictures may not make it on to the production version, but the big news is under the bonnet. A 148bhp petrol engine is joined by a couple of electric motors (one at the front and one at the rear) to give an electric-only range of up to 20 miles.

Volvo S90

Very much in the mould of the excellent Volvo XC90 SUV, the new S90 will take on the likes of the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes E-Class and Jaguar XF. Like the XC90 on which it’s based, it’ll major on comfort, luxury and refinement and will be powered by a variety of 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engines, all of which should be pretty cheap to run. There’ll also be a high-performance T8 hybrid version. The S90 saloon is the second of the ‘90’ family to arrive – going on sale early this year – with the V90 estate coming later in 2016.

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