The ongoing 2017 North American International Auto Show goes on till January 22, but all the announcements have been made. So unless you want to see the cars in the metal (and are in the vicinity), here’s the list of India-bound/-relevant exhibits at Detroit Auto Show:
Performance SUVs have come quite some way since the time the previous SQ5 was relevant, so while Audi might have not brought it in the past, the all-new SQ5 will surely be a welcome addition to the current line-up, if and when launched.
It uses a turbocharged 3-litre V6 petrol engine that makes 354 bhp and 51 kgm. Being an ’S’ model it also gets the quattro all-wheel drive system, adaptive suspension, and the optional extras that you would see on the regular Q5. And since the regular Q5 is lighter than the outgoing (presently on sale in India) model, expect the SQ5 to be a formidable member of the performance SUV segment; one that doesn’t unnecessarily burn rubber at every traffic signal.
Looking for Audi’s reply to the Volvo XC90 Excellence? Well, that’s exactly the Q8 Concept for you. It is expected to be realised next year, and has enough to offer to ditch that premium saloon of yours.
It has a coupe-like roofline (but shouldn’t you worry because there’s no third row of seats!), a hybrid powertrain, and a cabin for four. The performance figures aren’t half bad: 5.4 seconds to a ton. Bin the private jet, too, then?
Also making its public appearance at the Detroit Auto Show is the next-generation 5-series. You might have seen it make its onscreen debut with Clive Owen, and might have read tonnes of information about how it’s lighter and better than the outgoing car already. It is also slightly larger than before, but with its 50:50 weight distribution intact, it is expected to be as much fun from behind the wheel.
There will also be a 550i xDrive variant — think of it as an M5 but a bit more practical, less OTT, if you will. While the said variant might not make it to the Indian market (the M5 eventually will, although it’s not out yet), there are other bits to help maintain its position in the executive saloon market: semi-autonomous tech, wireless Apple CarPlay, etc.
Mercedes Benz GLA (facelift)
Not an all-new car per se, but the update makes the GLA crossover a bit more likeable. The styling revisions mean it’s got a few new bits: bumpers, grille, and alloys. The interior isn’t left untouched, either, and it gets new equipment including optional Apple CarPlay connectivity, a birds-eye camera (360-degree) view of the car, etc.
To reaffirm the GLA’s SUV characteristics, Mercedes is also offering an optional off-road-friendly suspension, which makes the crossover sit 30 mm higher than the regular version. There will also be a new colour choice called Canyon Beige and all-LED head- and tail-lamps.
Mercedes Benz E-Class Coupe
Sitting proudly between the coupe versions of the C- and S-Class will be the new E-Class Coupe. Fewer doors and styling similar to that of the other members of the coupe family, the E-Class Coupe manages to look different, thanks to the quarter class at the rear. There interior gets some updates, especially in the form of those propeller-like AC vents.
The AMG-spec car is yet to be announced, but engine choices are far from paltry, with the E400 managing 0-100 kph in 5.3 seconds. Also, while it’s based on the E-Class saloon, make no mistake as there have been multiple changes to its underpinnings, like that it sits 15 mm lower. And in comparison to the previous E-Class Coupe, it’s substantially roomier, too.
Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace
Showcased in a five-seat form at the 2016 Auto Expo, the MQB-based Volkswagen Tiguan has the potential to do well in the Indian market. Not only because VW doesn’t have anything to offer in the segment, but also because the demand for such a product is increasing.
The Tucson-/X-Trail-rival can become more relevant should the company decide to bring the slightly longer but the seven-seat version that was showcased at the 2017 NAIAS. It’s called VW Tiguan Allspace for the non-American markets, boasts 110 mm longer wheelbase, more space for passengers and luggage. All of it at the cost of minimal style revisions and a larger footprint — the overall length is increased by 215 mm.