Car technologies of the future, presented at CES, gave way to cars, top 10 of which were selected by Extreme Tech.
Faraday Future in Vegas gave way to the “all-new” (that is, new) Toyota Camry and the “new” (that is, midlife update) Ford F-150, reports.
Many people were concerned that they might not get into or out of Detroit for the show running Saturday, Jan. 14, through Sunday, Jan. 22.
As to the show: Bentley attended, but more luxury brands skipped Detroit this year, including Porsche, Jaguar, Land Rover, Rolls-Royce, and Tesla, saving their new cars for the New York and LA shows where their customers live.
Porsche is doubling its floor space at the Chicago show next month. Hometown player Chrysler chose CES, not NAIAS, to introduce the Chrysler Portal semi-autonomous concept vehicle. Still, there’s lots of news.
According to Extreme Tech, here are the top 10 cars of NAIAS 2017, especially those with the technical appeal:
2018 Toyota Camry: lower, sleeker, safer
The 8th generation Camry gets standard safety: adaptive cruise control, lane departure assist, pedestrian detection, pre-collision system. Blind spot monitoring is optional. All get Entune 3.0 infotainment with navi. Still no Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. Wi-Fi is optional. It’s 1 inch lower, wheelbase is 2 inches longer, handling is improved, and a new 2.5-liter four should have best-in class mpg, Toyota says. It ships late summer. The old Camry (No. 1 sedan in sales) and the US sedan market overall were both down 9% last year.
2018 Ford F-150 gets diesel, Wi-Fi hotspot
The No. 1 selling F-Series (F-150/F-250) crossed 820,000 sales in ’16, 5% of all US vehicle sales. The midlife F-150 refresh just three years in offers a 285-hp diesel engine. The transmission is a 10-speed automatic (except base 3.3-liter gas V6). The car also has a full-range adaptive cruise, pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection, Wi-Fi hotspot for 10 devices, and auto stop/start. Ford also announced a F-150 hybrid (2020) and the return of the Bronco SUV and Ranger small pickup (no ship date).
VW ID Buzz concept van channels the Microbus
Diesel didn’t work out the way VW expected. Onto electricity, and plans to sell 1 million EV VWs by 2025. Here, VW resurrects the spirit of the ’60s Microbus in an EV with LiIon batteries in the load floor. VW ID Buzz’ range: 600km/373 miles on the lenient Euro cycle. Cheaper models would have smaller batteries. It will have at least semi-autonomous driving. Ship date? Midway between 2020 and 2025, most likely.
Stinger GT: a true sports car from Kia
This car is a true four-door sports coupe competing against BMW 3 Series, although its length makes it more 5 Series-ish. Kia climbed to 8th (of 36 brands) in 2016 sales, just behind sibling Hyundai. Sales could go higher. And Stinger will go faster: a turbo V6 delivers 365 hp, a turbo-four about 255 hp. Standard equipment would include wireless phone charging, navi, and and a head-up display. Look for Stinger this summer.
2018 Chevrolet Traverse / Equinox SUVs
Chevy Cruze-Malibu-Impala sedans are world-class; now it’s the turn for the mid-almost-full-size Traverse (photo) and compact Equinox SUVs. Traverse offers a surround view camera, lane departure warning, and teen driver mode. A 3.6-liter V6 and 9-speed transmission boost mpg 10%. Equinox, Chevy’s No. 2 seller after Silverado, drops 400 pounds and 5 inches (still longer than CR-V and RAV4), and goes to an all-four-cylinder lineup, including a diesel. Equinox cousin GMC Terrain, downsizes similarly. They ship by spring.
Honda Odyssey: The minivan you need, not the SUV you want
The 2018 Odyssey, due this spring, carries 7-8 passengers better than SUVs 1-2 feet longer. More insulation makes it quiet for movie-watching. CabinWatch IR camera lets mom be sure the back-seat denizens for trouble and CabinTalk (like Toyota Easy Speak) lets the front row broadcast a warning to shut up, please. Toyota has this already. The new AV head unit is quicker to load and respond to inputs. Wi-Fi is available. Honda Sensing provides a suite of safety assists affordably, including full-range adaptive cruise control. On the $40K plus trim level, you get blind spot detection; otherwise it’s the right-side Lane Watch camera.
2018 Audi Q8 concept: the new flagship?
Shorter but wider than the Q7, the Q8 is a plug-in hybrid with a supercharged engine and 17.9-kWh battery for 443 hp (37 miles per charge, 621 miles per tank). The concept’s Virtual Cockpit loses the MMI controller. The VR HUD seemingly projects directional map arrows onto the road. Production is set for 2018.
BMW X2 cute subcompact SUV concept
The X1 SUV will get a coupe SUV some time in the next year, the X2. The roofline won’t get quite the hatchback utility-crushing slope that turned the X5 and X3 into the X6 and X4. The closest competitor is the Land Rover Evoque.
2018 Mazda CX-5 gets diesel, better driver assists
It looks like the 2012-2016 first-gen CX-5, but it’s all-new. In the US, a 2.5-liter gas engine is standard. Mazda’s long-awaited SkyActiv 2.2-liter turbodiesel debuts here, along with a true head-up display. Adaptive cruise control is now full-range. The G-Vectoring motion control makes the CX-5 feel more stable. Steering wheel buttons are larger, and the center stack seems less cluttered. There is no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. It’s a match for top-selling compacts such as the Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4.
Nissan Rogue Sport is really a subcompact SUV
Elsewhere it’s called Qashqai; here the subcompact Rogue Sport (173 inches long, and new to US market) shares its name with the foot-longer, three-row, compact Rogue. The suspension is the same, although the engine is less powerful (141 hp). Few subcompacts have this much tech: adaptive cruise, blind spot warning, lane departure prevention, pedestrian detection, surround view cameras, and moving object detection around the car. It’s on sale this spring. With Juke, Nissan now boasts two subcompact crossover/SUVs.