There are noisy whispers doing the rounds that because key brands like Bentley, Jaguar, Land Rover and McLaren aren’t showing at this year’s annual Detroit Auto Show, it’s a drab affair. But that argument is flawed because there’s enough firepower by way of the other manufacturers who are coming out in full strength at the first major auto show of the year. Here are the launches you should know about. Hopefully, you’ll also be able to get up close with a few of them at the upcoming Delhi Auto Expo next month.
Audi H-Tron Concept
With Chinese-backed Faraday Future throwing its hat into the ring and Tesla already on a blitzkrieg, Audi’s making sure it isn’t left by the wayside in the race for electric vehicles. When broken down into raw numbers, this electric SUV has a 110kw hydrogen fuel cell mated to a 100kw lithium ion battery that powers up a 140kw motor in the back and a 90kw motor in front. In real world performance, that translates into a 0-100kph time of seven seconds, and a range of 600 kilometres before you need a recharge.
There’s not a petrolhead in sight who’ll look the other way at the mention of an M-badge. Which is why BMW’s M2 is all the rage at the ongoing auto show. This all-new ripped ride packs a 365hp turbocharged 6-cylinder monster underneath. It’ll shoot to 100kph from naught in less than 4 seconds.
The S90 is entering a crowded segment where the E-Class and 5-Series are veteran punters. But with a sexy Scandinavian design and a fine engine to go with it (the top-end variant includes a plug-in hybrid T8 model), the S90 is brimming with confidence. All of the S90 variants include a 2-litre engine, tuned to different states. There’s a 240hp turbocharged T5, a 302hp supercharged T6, and a 400hp hybrid T8.
New Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Mercedes has had a thumping-good 2015 – it sold more than 13,500 units, with its luxury sedan segment swelling by over 42 per cent. That’s makes this fifth-gen model one of the most significant launches at the Detroit auto show as far as India is concerned. Good news is that the E-Class is going the S-Class route with regards to its exterior styling and interior creature comforts – its super-plush cabin includes a massive 12.3-inch LCD display on the dashboard and touch control surfaces on the steering wheel to control the infotainment. Mercedes have also included autonomous driving capabilities. The E-Class can follow another car in front of it at speeds of up to 209kph.