In case you have been living under a rock, Detroit is undergoing a major rennaissance. After decades of urban decay and mismanagement, the city is rebuilding in new and creative ways. Depending on what you read, Detroit is the new [insert name of cool place (Brooklyn, Portland, Austin) here]. But while it may have more coffee shops serving pour-over single-origin roasts and an uptick in artists, musicians and other creative types flocking to the city, Detroit is still, first and foremost, the Motor City. From the logo on the Detroit Red Wings sweater to the GM headquarters that shapes the city’s skyline, there is no escaping the fact that you are in car town.
At no time is that more true than during the North American International Auto Show, which is a big, long name for something that everyone else just calls the Detroit Auto Show. It is one of the biggest car shows in the world and a place where automakers, both American and international, reveal their latest models, concepts, and technologies.
Even though this year saw a few big names (Jaguar, Land Rover, Mini, Tesla) pull out for a variety of reasons ranging from a lack of new models to beef with Michigan’s car-selling laws, this year’s Detroit Auto Show did not disappoint.
From beefed up trucks to sleek sports coupes, here are the coolest cars from the 2016 North American International Auto Show. And these are only the cars that were there in person. There was also some exciting announcements about upcoming releases like a Jeep Wrangler pickup truck and a 707-horsepower (!!!) Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Hellcat.
7. FORD F-150 RAPTOR SUPERCREW
Ford took the beastly F-150 Raptor and made it even bigger, creating a high-performance off-road truck that the whole family (or all your buddies) can enjoy. The SuperCrew is a foot longer than the SuperCab model and has four doors so passengers in the back seat don’t get screwed. Despite its size the Raptor SuperCrew is 500 pounds lighter than previous iterations and the 10-speed EcoBoost engine is rumored to put out 450 horsepower. And that new Avalanche Grey paint color is the complete opposite of blah grey.
6. AUDI H-TRON CONCEPT
For starters, there’s the name. “H-Tron” just sounds badass. Then there’s the fact that this combination electric and hydrogen powered SUV has a range of 370 miles, tops out at 124 mph, and can be refueled in four minutes, all with zero emissions. The H-Tron concept is even equipped with solar panels on the roof, which can provide 621 miles of range per year, all powered by the sun. The H-Tron may make its way into production as a version of the Audi Q6 in 2020.
5. BMW M2
Let’s face it, most of us will never get to drive a McLaren or a Ferrari let alone own one. But at $51,700, the BMW M2 Coupe is actually within reach. What you get for that price is a more than peppy roadster that lives up to the M-series legacy. Light of weight and fleet afoot, the turbocharged M2 has 365 horsepower, 45 more than its predecessor the M235i, and goes 0-60 in 4.2 seconds. And the coupe is beautifully proportioned, with a look that begs to be driven fast.
4. VLF FORCE 1
If you ever had any doubt that American companies could compete with Italian and German rivals in the supercar category, the VLF Force 1 will change your mind real quick. Legendary auto designer Henrik Fisker created the Force 1 based off of a Dodge Viper. The result is an all carbon-bodied beast that puts out 745 horsepower, hits 60 in 3.0 seconds and tops out at 218 mph. Somewhere behind 50 and 200 of these monsters will be created, and they won’t be cheap. The Force 1 will sell for $268,500 later this summer. If you’re picking one up be sure to save some money for speeding tickets.
3. LEXUS LC 500
Looking like an arrow poised to be launched, the Lexus LC500 is proof that concept cars sometimes come to life. The design closely mirrors that of the LF-LC concept revealed in 2012, but this car is actually going to be a flagship production model for Lexus. The chassis on the LC 500 is even stiffer than Lexus’s LFA supercar, even though the LC 500 is expected to sell for around $100,000 compared to $375,000 for the LFA. The 5.0-liter V8 engine of the LC 500 produces 467 horsepower and a 0-60 time of 4.5 seconds. Then there’s that grill. Damn, is that thing mean.
2. BUICK AVISTA CONCEPT
We know, Buick isn’t exactly the first manufacturer that comes to mind when you think of cool cars, but the Avista concept that the company revealed in Detroit will change your mind. The long, drawn out lines are reminiscent of a Bentley Continental. The twin-turbo V6 sends 400 horsepower to the rear wheels making this a driver’s car and not just something to be stared at, even though that deep Superior Blue paint job is tough not to ogle.
1. ACURA PRECISION CONCEPT
Aside from the NSX, Acura hasn’t done a whole to get car enthusiasts hyped. The new Precision concept seems to acknowledge that and hopefully signals good things to come. At first glance, you don’t even notice that it’s a four-door. And the steering wheel, which looks like something out of an F1 car, is another touch that leaves you wondering how exactly to classify this car. The Precision concept is one of those vehicles that forces you to ask the question, “What is it?” The answer, of course, is, “It’s awesome.”