DETROIT, MI: This year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit was aptly described by a colleague as “docile” but the Domestic Three were front and centre nevertheless.
Leading the way was General Motors with new products and concepts from three of its four divisions staring with Chevrolet which showed the 2017 Bolt EV and Cruze Hatchback.
The Bolt is described as Chevy’s “first ground up, long-range electric vehicle” that is based on a flat battery pack beneath the floor with exceptional short front and rear overhangs but with a tall “greenhouse” for a wide range of view and SUV-like seating.
This makes it possible for the Bolt to seat five with 16.9 cu ft of cargo space under the rear seat.
The “floating” instrument panel has a 10.2-inch capacitive tough screen with multipurpose centre console and wireless charging for a wide range of mobile devices.
The Bolt goes into production later this year.
RELATED: Chevy Bolt EV Ready For Production
Debuted on the eve of the show, the Cruze Hatchback boasts 524 litres (18.5 cu ft) of cargo space behind the rear seat. With the rear seat folded, cargo space expands to 1,189 litres (42 cu ft).
It is more than 91 kg (200 lb) lighter than the previous-generation model due largely to a body structure that is 100 pounds lighter and an engine that’s 20 kg (44 lb) lighter.
Offered in five trim levels, it is powered by a 1.4-litre turbo engine with direct injection and Stop/Start technologies, electric power steering and, on Premier models, a Z-link rear suspension.
RELATED: Chevrolet introduces Cruze Hatchback
Perhaps the biggest news for Canada from the show was the world premiere of the next generation Chrysler minivan which will continue to be built in Windsor.
Called the Pacifica, it replaces the Town & Country with styling more like a full-size CUV than a minivan and is longer and wider than the model it replaces.
The Pacifica shown in Detroit was far more richly appointed than the Town & Country with 10-in touch screens in the second row and an “Are We There Yet?” rear seat navigation app.
In the meantime, the current Town & Country will remain in production until March 16 and the Grand Caravan ending August 5.
A 2017 Grand Caravan similar to the current model will start production August 22.
The 2017 Acadia full-size crossover bowed in Detroit featuring two new engines – a 2.5-litre inline four-cylinder and 3.6-litre V6 with a six-speed automatic transmission.
Offered with five- or seven-passenger seating, front-drive is standard with optional all-wheel-drive.
All trim levels feature a new drive mode selector which allows the driver to alter chassis and powertrain response to suit driving conditions.
Front-drive models offer Normal (2×4), Snow, Sport and Trailer/Tow modes, while AWD models offer 2×4 (AWD disconnect), 4×4, Sport, Off Road and Trailer/Tow modes.
The 50/50-split third-row seat folds flat for a completely flat load floor behind the second row. With the second row is also folded, there is 2,237 litres (79 cu ft) of cargo space.
Buick showed two vehicles in Detroit starting with the Envision luxury compact crossover with 2.0-litre inline four-cylinder turbo engine producing 252 hp and start/stop technology.
It is the first Buick CUV with HiPer Strut front suspension and Buick’s first active Twin Clutch AWD system.
The new Envision offers a standard eight-inch Buick IntelliLink screen as well as available OnStar with 4G LTE with a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot.
It will be sold globally and goes on sale in Canada in the second quarter of 2016.
Also on the Buick stand was the Avista concept generally considered the best looking car of the show.
It carries the latest design language first seen on the Avenir concept from last year’s Detroit show and more recently on the 2017 Lacrosse.
The 2+2 coupe is powered by a 3.0-litre V6 with 400 hp with an eight-speed transmission driving the rear wheels.
The long-awaited Lincoln Continental broke cover in Detroit.
Lovely to look at from any angle, it is powered by a twin turbo 3.0-litre V6 with 400 hp and 400 lb/ft of torque with optional all-wheel-drive and torque vectoring.
Steering and suspension settings can be adjusted in three modes (comfort, normal and sport) while adaptive steering helps optimize steering response, enabling the vehicle to react more smoothly and precisely to driver input.
The interior was designed for the maximum of comfort and connectivity starting with the Perfect Position seats inspired by private jets and high-end office furniture.
Adjustable in 30 ways, they feature available massage, heat and cooling and independent thigh extensions to provide support.
Considered the brand’s flagship model, the Continental goes on sale in Canada in the fall.
RELATED: 2017 Lincoln MKZ Preview
Big, bad and beautiful describes the 2017 F-150 Raptor SuperCrew, the most off-road capable sport truck ever from Ford.
It is powered by Ford’s new, second-generation high-output 3.5-litre EcoBoost engine with 411 hp and 434 lb/ft of torque making it more powerful and efficient than the 6.2-litre V8 it replaces.
Paired with a new 10-speed automatic transmission, it features an all-new four-wheel-drive, torque-on-demand transfer case with advanced, easy-to-use off-road mode driver-assist technology, further improves Raptor’s performance so it is easy to drive off-road across varying terrain.
The new Raptor comes with six preset modes: Normal mode for everyday driving, Street mode for higher-performance, on-road driving; Weather mode for rain, snow or ice; Mud and Sand mode for muddy and sandy trails and terrain; Baja mode for high-speed desert running and Rock mode for low-speed rock crawling.