NAIAS 2017: Look Over Here, Please, We Beg You! Lexus Hopes 2018 LS Returns Flagship to Relevance

It wasn’t long ago that Lexus could reliably sell 20,000-plus LS sedans in the U.S. each year. Certainly, the model’s pre-recession sales performance fell under the heading of “reliable,” with over 35,000 sold in 2007.

Ever since great economic upheaval sent American buyers fleeing in increasing numbers into the arms of crossovers and SUV, the Lexus sedan that created tsunami-like ripples through the luxury car field in 1990 has seen its customer base erode. Just 5,514 U.S. buyers saw fit to take an LS home in 2016.

Could a redesign bordering on the radical be the medicine the LS so desperately needs?

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NAIAS 2017: Redesigned 2018 GMC Terrain Shows Up in Detroit With Diesel Power

GMC rolled out a redesigned 2018 Terrain SUV at the North American Auto Show in Detroit, with the usual promises of added refinement, new electronic convenience and safety features, and greater versatility. But GMC also added one feature not commonly found in an SUV, particularly one of the non-behemoth variety: An available diesel engine.

The diesel Terrain gets a 137-horsepower 1.6-liter turbodiesel with 240 lb-ft of torque matched with a six-speed automatic transmission. Gasoline powertrains include a 170-hp 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and a 252-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder, both with direct injection and paired with a nine-speed automatic.

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NAIAS 2017: Chevrolet Just Trucked-up the Traverse, Finally Giving It a Shape

Chevrolet’s current Traverse is an amorphous blob of rounded sheet metal. While not offensively homely, it lacks a distinctive silhouette or any purposeful styling. A layperson could be forgiven for confusing the globule with a minivan. However, with the Lambda platform being replaced by the C1XX, General Motors seized an opportunity to enhance the 2018 Traverse’s angles and make it more of a traditional-looking SUV — resulting in a more handsome and eerily truck-like crossover.

Undiminished in size, Chevrolet claims the squared-off CUV now provides more headroom and legroom for occupants in its second and third rows. Despite a wheelbase that’s two inches longer than its precursor, rear cargo space has been reduced to 23 cubic feet. That’s still enough to beat Ford’s Explorer, and the hold climbs to 98.5 cubic feet with all of the rear seats laid flat. Seven- and eight-passenger seating configurations will be offered on the new Traverse. More affordable versions will be equipped with benches for the second and third rows, while fancier editions will see that middle area replaced with two captain’s chairs.

GM is also offering the 2018 in two new trim levels — the debatably sporty RS and the suede-enhanced High Country.

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NAIAS 2017: Say Hello to Your Next Rental Car, the 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport

You know it. Nissan knows it.

Consumers are fleeing cars in favor of high-riding crossovers. And the Rogue Sport is another one.

Despite the name, Nissan’s newest utility is less Rogue Jr. and more overseas transplant. Nissan America adapted the Qashqai, available in global markets since 2006, with a new name to meet North American tastes (though not in Canada, where it’ll still use its Turkic nomenclature). The renaming ensures we can pronounce it (and Nissan can preserve its Star Wars connection). More importantly, it hitches the new crossover to Nissan’s best selling nameplate.

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NAIAS 2017: 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 and GLA45 Drops in Detroit, Gives You New Bumpers

Mercedes-Benz has a total of seven model series in the SUV/crossover playing field, ranging from its granddaddy G-Wagen to the compact GLA. Given SUVs and crossovers are enjoying record sales numbers, it should be no surprise manufacturers are wont to outdo their competitors by keeping them as fresh as possible.

Applying their considerable engineering might, the boffins in Stuttgart will kick off 2018 with a neue version of the GLA — with some new bumpers.

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NAIAS 2017: 2018 Kia Stinger Revealed in Detroit - Don't Call It A Four-Door Coupe

Kia uses the more accurate and less offensive term “fastback sports sedan” to describe the new Stinger, unveiled tonight ahead of the 2017 North American International Auto Show. Kia will offer the rear-drive, coupe-like 2018 Stinger liftback with turbocharged four-cylinder and V6 powerplants, and optional all-wheel drive.

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NAIAS 2017: 2018 Ford F-150 Shows Off New Face, Diesel and Gas V6 Engines

Being on top doesn’t mean a company can take its customer base for granted. Not satisfied with basking in the goodwill generated by the F-150’s best-selling status, Ford Motor Company has unveiled a refreshed 2018 model and a host of new hardware upgrades.

While the upcoming F-150 sports an evolutionary facelift, it’s what’s under the hood that stands to tempt a new range of buyers.

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NAIAS 2017: Bentley's New Best: The 209 MPH Continental Supersports

Equipped with unnecessary power and pluralization, the 2017 Continental Supersports should be the fastest production Bentley in history — especially considering that it is, unequivocally, the most muscular.

This is the third implementation of the Supersports title by the Anglo-German carmaker. Originally used to denote the ultra-rare high-speed variants of the Bentley 3 Litres in the 1920s, the company reintroduced the name as a leaner and meaner version of the Continental in 2009. At the time, its 621 horsepower twin-turbo W12 made it a sledgehammer wrapped in velvet and the most luxurious super tourer a pile of money could buy. While Bentley seems adverse to updating the styling, it doesn’t seem to have any problems updating powertrains. The 2017 incarnation of the Supersports shaped up to be an elegant monster.

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NAIAS 2017: The 2017 Ram 1500 Rebel Black Special Edition: None More Black

The factory optioned “murdering-out” of cars and trucks is all the rage right now. It seems like every model has some variant where the OEM has replaced all of the shiny bits for black plastic for a meaner disposition. Everything from Porsche’s Carrara to Chevrolet’s Silverado has a dark edition with a midnight monicker. Even Mercedes-Benz is providing a blacked-out version of the S-Class for this year’s North American International Auto Show.

Ram will also bringing something tall, dark, and handsome to Detroit with its new Rebel 1500 Black.

While the Rebel is already an aggressive looking off-road truck with an abundance of darkened trim, Ram has given it an extra dash of visual menace with this inky special edition.

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TTAC News Round-up: Ford Leaving Japan, Indonesia; Detroit's Big Show; Kia Rio GT Coming?

The big Blue Oval is setting in the Land of the Rising Sun.

That, Volkswagen’s labor boss doesn’t like what he hears, Detroit’s big show and Kia’s big plans for the Rio … after the break!

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Bark's Bites: Finally, Lexus Actually Flexes

If you’ve never been to a press day at a major auto show but always dreamed of being there for all the big releases and parties and executive speeches, I’m afraid I must burst your bubble: The shows just aren’t all that awesome. This year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit was no exception.

It’s true that there was some fun to be had, but it was mostly the same sort of fun that one has at a high school reunion. I had a blast karting with the Jalopnik crew the Saturday before the show, and I definitely enjoyed hanging out with my friends Matt Farah and Sam Smith late on Sunday. But the show itself was a giant MEH.

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NAIAS 2016: New 2017 Genesis G90 is Beginning at The End

When the American-spec 2017 Genesis G90 finally made its bow at the North American International Auto Show on Monday, most of us already knew what to expect. The South Korean version of the first Genesis model — dubbed EQ900 — has already been out there for more than a month. Still, we were eager to see how the new fledgling luxury automaker would grow from the top of luxury market to the bottom.

On Monday, we found out.

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NAIAS 2016: Acura Precision Concept Completes Lunacy

Despite selling all the damn crossovers they want, automakers are lining up to show off what they envision next for their future sedans. Case in point: the Acura Precision Concept. The four-door NSX-ish looking car was unveiled Tuesday at the North American International Auto Show and, according to the automaker, it’s a sign of things to come — especially its grille.

The car has all the concept earmarks: comically large wheels, no mirrors, no door handles, tight shoulders and wide hips, just like its tease last year suggested.

The impossible curves and straight lines only confirm that Japanese automakers have lost their damn minds and it’s great.

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NAIAS 2016: 2017 Lexus LC500 - Ur-Lexus for Next Generation?

Four years after Lexus unveiled its LF-LC at the 2012 North American International Auto Show, the automaker announced Monday that it would put into production largely the same car and call it the LC 500.

Powered by a 5-liter V-8 lifted from the RC-F and GS-F, the LC 500 will be the brand’s largest two-door coupe and mostly complete the turnaround by the automaker they started around four years ago.

Seriously, the LC 500 is by the same people who make the ES 350.

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NAIAS 2016: 2017 Infiniti Q60 - The G37 is Finally Dead

After keeping the G37 Coupe on life support past its sell-by date, the Q60 two-door sport coupe is finally getting a complete overhaul for 2017.

Just one question: How many hundreds of horsepower do you want? 200? 300? 400?

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  • Carlson Fan The way the truck drops in the rear and the bed/tailgate become a ramp is genius! I'd buy it just for that alone!!! It would be awesome for loading snowmobiles and garden tractors in the back. However, my trucks need to be able to regularly tow heavy loads long distance, summer & winter. Sorry folks, current battery tech. isn't even close to what it needs to be for me to think even one second that a battery truck could replace my current ICE powered truck. An EV for a DD makes sense , but for truck you need a MUCH better battery.
  • Inside Looking Out For midsize sedan it is too small. It basically is a compact car.
  • Stodge I test drove the 200S and damn, its suspension was so firm, I was convinced it didn't actually include suspension at all. It hurt my spine and hip, it was that firm.
  • MRF 95 T-Bird If Mopar had only offered sport hatch versions of the 200 and or Dart they might have sold more of them for folks who wanted some more versatility without having to go for a small utility Compass Patriot or new at the time Renegade or Cherokee.
  • El scotto I started driving in the late 70's. The cars high school kids could afford and wanted were very very worn out muscle cars. Oh Lordy those V-8's bring back some happy memories. Oh there some outliers in my crowd, a VW Bug and a Dodge Scamp with slant six; neither car would die. In 10 years their will be young people wanting very used Teslas or Dodge's with hemis. B&B, I say that if someone is excited about their EV, Hybrid, or Hemi welcome them to the club of people who like cars.