The world debut of the Acura Precision Concept started the day, a car that its maker said points “toward a bolder more distinctive future” for its vehicle design. Inside is a double layered instrument panel, high contact front seat surfaces, and ultra thin “floating” rear seats that evoke “the look of modern lounge furniture.” The audio speaker grilles are said to be made of exotic wood while the driver’s space features a race-inspired sports steering wheel with paddle shifts, a “floating” center meter, head up display, a cantilevered center stack and an ultra-wide thin curved center display screen. It is operated by a touch pad suspended on the center stack. Upon entry, the system scans each occupant and selects personalized features and functions, including maps, audio and customized vehicle performance settings. At 204 inches, it would be, if this car is ever built, the longest car in the Acura lineup.
Here is one nice thing about the just introduced production model from Lincoln. It is not an MKZ, MKC, or MKX. It carries an easy to remember name – Continental. Ford’s luxury brand displayed the concept at the New York Auto Show last year and the production model this morning in Detroit. It remains very close to the concept that got rave reviews in Gotham City. Riding on a stretched Ford Fusion platform, the Continental sports either front or all-wheel drive, and a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 rated at a robust 400 horsepower with 400 lb-ft of torque. A 3.7-liter non-turbo V6 and a 2.7 liter turbo V6 are also available. All are married to a six speed automatic. (No CVT – hurray!!!) There are three driver selectable modes of operation – Normal, Sport and Comfort. They change damper firmness, shift mapping and steering effort. Lincoln will offer four trim levels with the top-of-line Black Label giving owners the chance to select three themes. Classical music fans will probably select Rhapsody. Among the nifty features is a 30-way adjustable seat with massage, heat and cooling, elimination of the waterfall grille, and a 19-speaker audio system with three listening modes – Stereo, Audience and On Stage. Look for the new Continental in showrooms this fall.
When humans go on a diet they want to lose say 10 pounds, perhaps 20. When the 2017 GMC Acadia went on a diet it dropped six inches and 700 pounds! The midsized crossover, when it goes on sale in the spring, will offer a standard equipment 2.5-liter engine good for what GMC said is 28 mpg on the highway with front drive models. A 3.6-liter V6 is new to the lineup with an estimated 310 horsepower and an estimated 4,000 pound towing capacity. Both come with a six speed automatic, the option of all-wheel drive, and electronically controlled drive mode selector. With second and third row seats folded, there is 79 cubic feet of storage out back. Rear seat passengers get a pull out drawer in the center console. And here’s a good idea – a standard rear seat alert will tell drivers if they have left an item in the second or third row seats. The vehicle is also a Wi-Fi hotspot. And for 2017, the Acadia is roughly six inches shorter than the 2016 model.
I have long wondered when, if, Nissan would update the Z car. The body style of the just unveiled IDS Concept would be a good place to start. Nissan wrapped up the vehicle introduction phase of the Detroit show with a concept car that you should look at interior first and see all the things that are missing. That because the IDS is Nissan’s “vision of the future of autonomous driving and zero emission Evs…”
“Nissan Intelligent Driving improves a driver’s ability to see, think and react. It compensates for human effort, which causes more than 90 percent of all car accidents,” said President and CEO Carlos Ghosn. Even when the operator turns the driving over to the vehicle, the car’s performance – from accelerating to breaking to cornering – imitates the driver’s own style and preferences. In the event of imminent danger the concept will assist the driver in taking evasive action. The transformation to manual drive is carried out through a switch between the front seats. A handy steering wheel will pop out where the screen was. The IDS is certainly a look into the future, but it would be wonderful if the next generation Z car, if there is one, came with a sexy body like this one.