Detroit Auto Show Update # 2

Performance sports coupes from Asia were the talk of the lunch time crowd at the show with both Lexus and Infiniti doing the honors.

Lexus LC 500

Four years after the debut of the LF-LC concept coupe, Lexus showed off the rear drive production coupe now known as the LC 500. Under the hood is the 5.0-liter V8 found in the RC F and the GS F models, rated at 467 horsepower with 389 lb-ft of torque. You will hear the coupe coming with a specially tuned exhaust and a “Sound Generator” that “enhances the engine’s raucous melody into an aural thunder…” The transmission is a newly developed 10-speed automatic, something Lexus claims is a first in a luxury automobile. It “targets” a 0-60 time of less than 4.5 seconds. The coupe’s driving position was “calibrated to invite spirited, sporting driving, and help develop confidence with a more intuitive control layout.” Sport seats are an option. Lexus’ new Multimedia package is said to feature updated, faster, more flexible software and a “more inviting graphic user interface.” At 187.4 inches long, the new offering is about the size of a Mustang.

INFiniti Q60

A year ago, Infiniti showed the Q60 concept at the Detroit show, and today displayed the production model that replaces the G37. The 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo comes in two power ratings: 300 horsepower or 400 horsepower both with rear wheel drive or all wheel drive and a 7 speed automatic. A 208 horsepower four will also be offered. An optional “Dynamic Digital Suspension System” will give drivers multiple settings for the adaptive dampers. A 2+2, the interior includes two large touchscreens and Infiniti’s “spinal support” design seats. The Q60 will go on sale in late summer, and Infiniti hopes, will “re-ignite its presence in the premium sports coupe segment.”

Elsewhere on this first of two press days:

2017 Honda Ridgeline Debuts at 2016 North American International Auto Show

With trucks in big demand these days, Honda showed off the 2017 Ridgeline that features “the industry’s first in-bed audio system” making it “the ultimate tailgating vehicle.” The midsize truck will launch in the first half of this year. Carried over are the unibody construction and the in-bed hidden trunk and Honda claims the only 4-foot-wide flat bed space in the segment. The truck will be powered by a 3.5-liter V6 mated to a 6-speed automatic with all-wheel drive available. Terrain Management will allow optimum operation in Normal, Sand, Snow and Mud modes. Inside will be three zone climate control, a full color TFT center screen and available 8-inch Display Audio touchscreen with Apple Car Play and Android Auto compatibility. Leather seats will be an option. Payload capacity is said to approach 1,600 pounds. Tie down cleats and 400-watt power inverters are located in the truck bed. And the in-bed audio system utilizes six exciters located inside the bed walls, in place of conventional speakers pumping out sound from the audio head unit with up to 540 watts of power. Assembly will take place in Lincoln, Alabama.

Hyundai G90

Hyundai unveiled its G90 luxury sedan, the first in its expansion of the Genesis brand. The G90 will compete at the top of the premium luxury market with what the maker claims will be “best-in-class” NVH levels and a 22 way adjustable power driver’s seat. Hyundai’s H-TRAC all-wheel-drive system is standard along with an adaptive control suspension. Two engines are offered: A 3.3-liter direct-injected, twin-turbocharged V6 with an estimated 365 horsepower or a 5.0-liter direct-injected V8 sporting an estimated 420 horsepower. Both come with an eight-speed automatic and four driver selectable modes for suspension, steering, stability control, engine and transmission. Occupants will find a Nappa leather-stitched instrument panel along with genuine wood accents that “cosset the occupants in a first-class ambience.” Along with the 22-way adjustable driver’s seat, the passenger gets a 16-way adjustable seat. Both are heated and cooled. And the outboard rear passenger seats are electronically adjustable in 12 ways or 14 ways for the right seat position. On V8 models, the rear seats recline and come with shoulder-adjusters, lumbar support and 4-way head restraints. Fortunately, a memory system is included to preserve that “just right” setting. Five additional Genesis models are planned for launch within the next five years.

Kia Telluride

Kia’s Telluride concept made its world debut – a design that “takes Kia’s design language in a bold new direction” that suggests styling of a possible future premium large SUV. Telluride is a three row, seven passenger “luxury” SUV that is longer, wider and taller than the recently redesigned Sorento. For ease of access, the front and rear doors swing open 90 degrees in opposing directions. Four black leather captain’s seats are in rows one and two ahead of a third row bench seat. Fold away footrests are offered second row passengers. Smart Sensors capture a passenger’s vital health information that is then displayed in an interior door panel. An LED panel mounted beneath the sun roof displays “a pattern of therapeutic light to treat desynchronosis” or jetlag, “and improve the passenger’s energy level.” So much for take two aspirin and see me in the morning! Under the hood is a 3.5-liter V6 that along with an electric motor produces a total of 400 horsepower while achieving more than 30 mpg on the highway. Power is routed to all four wheels. “While there are currently no plans to bring the Telluride to production, Kia has a history of delivering production vehicles that bear strong resemblance to preceding concepts, and Kia’s large SUV is anything but a utopian fantasy,” the maker said.

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