What’s a major auto show without a few flashy new concept cars to wow the public? The 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit (the 2016 Detroit Auto Show, for those of us who always think of it this way) offers show-goers plenty to look at. Here’s a look at the best concept cars of the 2016 Detroit Auto Show, in our humble opinion. Some are close to production; some are just concepts at this point. They’re all worth a look.

2016 Buick Avista Concept

Avista Concept from Buick – A show-stopping concept car, the Avista concept, from Buick, just takes you back. Not only is the exterior styling stunning, the concept four-passenger two-door large coupe is perhaps a hint at a potential Buick sedan that will occupy a slot above the current LaCrosse sedan. Powered by a 400-hp twin-turbo V6 engine and featuring GM’s Magnetic Ride Control suspension, the rear-wheel drive Avista rides on a wheelbase of 110.7 inches. This is the same size wheelbase as the Chevrolet Camaro. For consumers looking for much more from Buick, this could be the model that makes that wish come true. We’ll wait and see, but auto show feedback could go a long way toward that possibility.

Scion C-HR Concept

C-HR Concept from Scion – Its target buyer is the young urban creative, says Scion of the C-HR concept vehicle, an individual looking for a vehicle that’s clean, distinctive, passionate and sophisticated. Iconic design, functionality and sporty performance are the key attributes of the Scion C-HR which is being shown here for the first time since its world debut last November. While this is still in concept form, look for the C-HR production version to be shown later this year.

Audi h-tron Quattro Concept

h-tron Quattro Concept from Audi – German automaker Audi calls the h-tron Quattro concept a technology study to demonstrate the potential for fuel cell technology. The all-electric drive h-tron, which uses hydrogen as its energy source, also has two electric motors on the front and rear axles. These represent the next iteration of Quattro – electrified Quattro. The h-tron has a potential range of 372.8 miles, its hydrogen tanks can be safely refueled in about four minutes, and the sporty, luxury SUV accelerates from 0-62 mph in under seven seconds. Also noteworthy in the h-tron are piloted driving and parking technology that will go into the next-generation Audi A8 full-size sedan. These systems can take over driving tasks in stop and go traffic on freeways at speeds up to 37 mph, and parking maneuvers.

Nissan IDS Concept

IDS Concept from Nissan – Making its US debut at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show, the Nissan IDS concept represents the Japanese automaker’s vision of the future of autonomous driving and zero-emission electric vehicles (EVs). Nissan’s Intelligent Driving, according to Nissan president and CEO Carlos Ghosn, “improves a driver’s ability to see, think and react” and “compensates for human error, which causes more than 90 percent of all car accidents.” There are two different interiors for the IDS concept, Piloted Drive and Manual Drive. The IDS features a full carbon body, a roomy interior, and a body sideline that’s actually an LED that Nissan calls an intention indicator that shines white to indicate to pedestrians that the car is aware of them.

Acura Precision Concept

Precision Concept from Acura – It’s bold. There’s no question about it. Whether the Precision concept from Acura is a glimpse at future sedan design from the Japanese automaker or just an auto show reveal remains to be seen. Acura says the Precision was developed by its California design studio to “express the Acura brand DNA of ‘Precision Crafted Performance.’” What we find novel is the description of the Acura digital human-machine interface, or HMI. This system enables a more “intuitive, advanced and seamless” connection between driver and car. When an occupant enters the Precision, the system scans the individual and then selects personalized features and functions. Think maps, performance settings and audio.

Kia Telluride Concept

Telluride Concept from Kia – Of all the concept vehicles shown at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show, the one that’s most likely to make it into production is the three-row, seven-passenger luxury SUV, the Kia Telluride. With its Detroit reveal, Kia may be signaling a potential premium SUV the Korean automaker will position above its current hot-selling Sorento. Perhaps the rear-hinged second-row doors won’t make final cut, or even the neat in-seat sensors to keep track of occupant health, but the design looks ready to go right now.

Volkswagen Tiguan GTE Active Concept

Tiguan GTE Active Concept from Volkswagen – Based on the second-generation Tiguan, the Tiguan GTE Active concept is Volkswagen’s first SUV to use Modular Transverse Matrix. The Tiguan GTE Active features a plug-in hybrid drivetrain with a 148-hp gasoline engine and two electric motors that can travel up to 20 miles in zero-emissions electric mode. The concept SUV also boasts enhanced off-road performance and new 4MOTION Active Control. Safety features include front assist with autonomous emergency braking and pedestrian monitoring, an active hood to protect pedestrians, lane assist, and automatic post-collision braking system.

Nissan Titan Warrior Concept

Titan Warrior Concept from Nissan – Call it an extreme version of the Nissan Titan full-size pickup, one that’s perfect for weekend warriors looking for some rugged off-road excitement in a truly capable truck. With its off-road-ready suspension, massive skid plates and roof-mounted lights, the Titan Warrior is ready to go anytime. Maybe even do double-duty as a work truck (albeit on a grander scale) during the week. This would be Nissan’s answer to competitors like the Ford F-150 Raptor and Ram Rebel.

 

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